Ukraine Should Prepare for Civil Resistance Against Russia Now

With roughly 100,000 Russian troops and heavy equipment massed in a long arc along its border, Ukraine is currently preparing for a full-scale Russian attack. Although negotiations with Russia aimed at de-escalation have failed, Ukraine still must do everything within its power to prepare for the worst. As part of this preparation, the country should develop plans for a method of resistance where it might have a real advantage—nonviolent, civil resistance.
Civil resistance is a tool deployed in strategic situations where great asymmetries in hard power capabilities exist. Although early adherents such as Tolstoy and Gandhi found in nonviolence a deep moral and religious impulse, such belief is not necessary to appreciate the method’s strategic value. At its core, civil resistance recognizes that the functioning of any society is ultimately dependent on the cooperation of a population with those in power. When individuals refuse to cooperate on a mass scale, the governing edifice crumbles. Importantly, research shows that as a general point, nonviolent struggle is two-times more likely to succeed than violent insurgency. Given Ukraine’s military position vis-à-vis Russia, this makes civil resistance a tool that Ukraine s …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend