The Case for Stopping the Ukraine-Russia War 

By Donald Gross 

The Ukraine-Russia war has raged for more than a hundred days. Now is a critical time to reflect on the case for people of good will to urge their leaders to end the war. The benefits of doing so are manifest.

Stopping the war would:

  • End mounting injuries and deaths in Ukraine of all combatants, noncombatants, the elderly, children and people with disabilities
  • End the commission of war crimes 
  • Allow millions of refugees to return to Ukraine 
  • Lay the basis for establishing long-term peace, stability and prosperity 
  • Enable all necessary medical treatment and rehabilitation for the victims of war 
  • Facilitate urgent and extensive humanitarian assistance to people in need 
  • Prevent foreseeable escalation to a potential nuclear conflict through Russia’s use of tactical nuclear weapons or through a direct clash of NATO and Russian forces 
  • Restore electricity, drinking water, and heat to people in need 
  • Allow prisoners to return home 
  • Mitigate serious internal NATO and European Union disputes that could lead to the division or long-term dissolution of such united bodies 
  • Enable the full investigation and prosecution of war crimes by international agencies 
  • Reduce disinformation purveyed through media outlets to justify continuation of the war 
  • Enable international trade to return gradually to normal levels 
  • Preserve Ukraine’s cultural arts and cultural sites 
  • Prevent famine and address a global food crisis by rapidly increasing the availability of grain and fertilizer to countries in need 
  • End war-related inflation 
  • Reduce gas prices to an acceptable level 
  • Prevent the possible use of chemical or biological weapons 
  • Avoid the risk and danger of “loose nukes” recurring in the region 
  • Increase reliance on international dispute resolution mechanisms provided by the United Nations, World Bank, World Trade Organization, and International Monetary Fund in lieu of resorting to the use of force 
  • Facilitate urgent nuclear and conventional arms control negotiations involving the US, Russia, France, the United Kingdom and China 
  • Reduce public threats to escalate the war made by governments and international actors 
  • Facilitate essential reconstruction in Ukraine of infrastructure and housing that has been destroyed or damaged 
  • Prevent and remedy extensive environmental devastation now taking place in the region 
  • End authoritarian measures taken by Russia and Ukraine to further their war aims 
  • Head off a period of feeble economic growth and recession in many countries that is projected by the World Bank, the OECD and others as a consequence of the war

After more than a hundred days of war, all national leaders should turn their attention from war-making to ending the Ukraine-Russia conflict so the international community can engage in extensive reconstruction in Ukraine for the good of all people and the planet. 

Donald Gross is a lawyer in Washington, DC who served as director of legislative affairs in the US National Security Council at the White House, as senior advisor at the US Department of State, and as counselor of the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency during the Clinton-Gore Administration. 

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