The Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Health Professionals Call for Nuclear Abolition

PSR-LA condemns the Russian invasion of Ukraine which has created a growing humanitarian crisis and heightened the risk of nuclear war. We are also deeply concerned by the Russian seizure of the Chernobyl and Zaporizhzhia nuclear power facilities and the risk of a radiological disaster. We urge global leaders to do everything in their power to end the war through diplomatic means, to render immediate aid to the injured and suffering, and for NATO and the US to renounce the use of nuclear weapons under any circumstances.

As an organization that was founded to protect public health from nuclear war, we have a unique responsibility to remind world leaders and the general public that there is no meaningful medical response to nuclear war; that nuclear weapons make us less, not more safe. PSR-LA is also an organization that is rooted in justice. We know that the victims of war are rarely those with the power to cause it, and that war creates additional sacrifice zones and environmental justice communities. We urge the United States and all countries that are able to help alleviate the suffering of Ukraine’s people and work to resettle refugees and keep civilians safe.

Throughout the nuclear age there have been numerous incidents of accidents, miscommunications and miscalculations that have nearly led to nuclear war, and such risks only increase in the fog of war. A nuclear war would have a devastating impact on the civilian population as well as the climate with even a small fraction of the Russian arsenal having the ability to wipe out all of humanity. We call on health professionals and everyone to join us and speak out for nuclear abolition, for as long as these weapons exist, there is a chance that they will be used and the Ukraine war has increased this risk.

It is also clear that the world’s continued dependence on fossil fuels exacerbates the Ukraine crisis at the same time as it worsens the climate. As Ukrainians who lived through the Chernobyl disaster know all too well, nuclear power is not sustainable or safe. Health professionals have a vital role to play in addressing the twin existential crises of climate change and nuclear weapons and we urge our members to get involved today.

Watching the events unfold in Europe, it is easy to become daunted by the challenges we face in pursuit of a more peaceful and just world, but it is exactly in these moments at this time that we must make our voices heard in the pursuit of peace and justice. Our work to shift that power continues, and we ask you to join us.

Resources for Action

Aid to the Ukrainian people
IPPNW petition
Back from the Brink: Bringing Communities Together to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

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