I recently became one of the initiators of the Peace and Justice challenge, which demands an urgent conclusion of the ceasefire in Ukraine and the initiation of efforts to resolve the conflict diplomatically. Our initiative was abundant (and wrongly) criticized as "pro-Russian" (also e.g. by Mr. Čermák on the pages of the Journal), the signatories are derisively called "Chcimirs" or "peacemakers" by opponents. So I would like to state the reasons, which led me to support the challenge:
Russian aggression against Ukraine is undoubtedly criminal and unjustifiable. But I am convinced, that a significant part of the responsibility for it also lies with the long-term, tragically imprudent policy of ignoring the Russians, albeit paranoid and unauthorized, but still existing security concerns. I wish I did, for the aggressor to be defeated, but I think, that Ukraine's military victory over a stronger aggressor is highly unlikely.
We are in the difficult situation of choosing between two morally problematic alternatives. First, so far held by our government and western allies, is to try their best to support Ukraine with arms supplies, and finally achieve that unlikely goal, whatever it takes (especially when it comes to Ukrainian victims). There will be temptation, appearing to many as principled and only morally acceptable, he refuses any dealings with the aggressor until he is defeated. Proponents of this approach dismiss concerns about the consequences of protracted conflict, potentially leading to the complete devastation of Ukraine, millions of dead and maimed and eventual escalation with global catastrophic consequences.
I believe, that this view is morally wrong because, that it de facto downplays war killings, mutilation and destruction. After all, the homeland is not just water roaring across the meadows and pines on the rocks, but above all people, who live there! I hope so, that even for the majority of rational supporters of that uncompromising position there is perhaps some limit, for which the amount of victims and damages is already unacceptable even for them.
I am simply convinced, that the damage and sacrifices for Ukraine have long been over, so unacceptably high for the whole world. It is therefore necessary, that a cease-fire be established as soon as possible and that diplomatic negotiations to end the conflict begin. This view seems cowardly and immoral to many, as it may lead to compromise involving e.g. certain territorial gains of the aggressor. Let's remind, that not only the representatives of many important states want a ceasefire and negotiations, but perhaps even the Pope.
But it must be admitted, that decision, whichever is greater in this case, resp. lesser evil, it's not easy at all. The arguments of both sides are legitimate and serious. Let's try to respect that in public and private discussions.
A few more relevant subjective remarks: It would be better for us, if we left NATO and were neutral like Austria. Concerns, that Russia, after some partial success, will rush upon us, they are ridiculous, after all, his army is not able to conquer even a Ukrainian district town. I consider the current armament hysteria to be madness.
Current Western arms supplies to Ukraine are prolonging the conflict, and thus de facto harms Ukrainians. Economic sanctions against Russia are counterproductive, harming many of our companies and contributing to further rapprochement between Russia and China, which is disadvantageous for us. Destruction of the Nordstream gas pipeline 2 is a terrorist act, whether it was done by the Americans, or the mysterious Ukrainian privateer. Don't ignore it, that most countries of the world see conflict, different than the West, as a proxy conflict between the US and Russia. I wish a miracle would happen and pacifism would rule the world...