IPPNW Russia

[Posted June 23, 2015]

About the russian affiliate

Russian Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War is a non-profit advocacy organization that is the medical and public health voice for policies to stop nuclear war and proliferation. Beyond its head-office in Moscow, IPPNW-Russia has national chapters in a number of major Russian regions, like St.-Petersburg, Kaliningrad, Chelyabinsk, Orenburg, Irkutsk among others. IPPNW-Russia is governed by two Co-Presidents (currently – by Dr. Sergei Kolesnikov and Dr. Vladimir Garkavenko) and the Board elected every second year. The Moscow office is run by Elena Tikhomirova, IPPNW-Russia Executive Director.

Mission statement
Guided by the values and expertise of medicine and public health, IPPNW-Russia makes every possible effort to protect human life from the gravest threats to health and survival. IPPNW-Russia stands for: - Abolition of all nuclear weapons - Demilitarization of the global economy and an end to the arms trade - Re-allocation of resources from military to civilian needs, especially to basic health care and human necessities - Sustainable and ecologically sound economic development

Background/short history/major accomplishments
IPPNW-Russia was founded in 1980 the same time as IPPNW itself. It was then the Soviet Committee of IPPNW. At that time with the world divided into two militarized camps poised on the brink of nuclear war, a small group of Soviet and American doctors decided that their obligation as physicians included a common commitment to the prevention of nuclear war. Led by co-founders Drs. Bernard Lown of the US and Evgueni Chazov of the Soviet Union, they organized a team to conduct meticulous scientific research based on data collected by Japanese colleagues who had studied the effects of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And they drew upon their knowledge of the medical effects of burn, blast, and radiation injuries.

Since then IPPNW-Russia, working closely with other IPPNW affiliates educated health professionals, political leaders, and the public about the medical and environmental consequences of nuclear warfare, comprehensively documented the health and environmental effects of the production, testing, and use of nuclear weapons.

Activities of governmental/parliamentary level:
Co-President of Russian affiliate of IPPNW Sergey Kolesnikov is currently Deputy chairman of the Committee for Education and Science of the State Duma (Russian Parliament). There are now 6 deputies who are members of IPPNW. As recognition of his scientific contribution, Sergey Kolesnikov was also elected to the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences.

The IPPNW members of the Parliament strongly supported and lobbied for the ratification of major WMD treaties by the State Duma – i.e. CTBT, START-2, ABM –treaty, Treaty on the Reduction of the Strategic Offensive Potentials (SOP-Treaty).

IPPNW members in the RF State Duma strongly supported and facilitated the ratification of the Protocol 2 to the Convention on Conventional Weapons at the parliamentary hearings in November 2004. By banning the irresponsible use of anti-personnel mines this protocol will help to reduce the collateral effects on the civilian population, facilities and the ecosystem and to limit the use of mines to a minimal number of situations in which the military utility of AP mines far outweighs possible humanitarian effects. IPPNW-Russia will also strongly support and facilitate the upcoming ratification of Protocol 5 to CCW on explosive remnants of war.

In spring 2006, due to its active position, IPPNW-Russia along with a number of other public organizations was invited by the RF Ministry of Foreign Affairs to become a part of the Public Advisory Board under the auspices of MoFA. IPPNW-Russia was also invited to become a part of the Public Council of Rosatom (RF Agency of Atomic Energy).

IPPNW-Russia international projects:

Since 2002 IPPNW-Russia and the Swedish IPPNW affiliate SLMK have been working jointly on the publication “Incidents at nuclear installations with nuclear weapons and their consequences as a result of human error” the English version of which was released in Autumn 2004.

In April 2005 took we published the Russian version of the study “Human Factor and Risk of Nuclear War” – another joint project of SLMK and IPPNW-Russia.

For a decade, since 1997 until now, IPPNW-Russia has been actively involved in the Dialogues with decision-makers and has held meetings on a yearly basis in between international IPPNW delegations with the decision-makers in the RF Parliament, MoD and MoFA, along with a series of round-table meetings and seminars.

For the last decade IPPNW-Russia released a number of publications, including the “Atom Declassified” information analytical series as well as the series “Sredmash Archipelago” and “Nukes are not Forever”.            

In March-April 2006 IPPNW-Russia contributed to the translation of the 100-pp. “20 Years After Chernobyl” scientific report by Ian Fairlie and David Sumner, prepared for the “Chornobyl+20: Remembrance for the Future” Conference, April 23-25 2006, in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Beside nuclear issues IPPNW-Russia deals with other threats posing dramatic humanitarian danger to humankind and advocates for a comprehensive ban on anti-personnel mines and cluster munitions.

Among the currently prioritized projects for IPPNW-Russia is the International Campaign to Abolish Nukes (ICAN)

Student projects, student development, inclusion of young doctors:
The IPPNW-Russia student chapter supported by the IPPNW-Russia headquarters and with a financial grant of SLMK hosted the 2005 IPPNW European Students meeting in St.-Petersburg.

IPPNW-Russia’s student chapter took an active part in the meeting between international IPPNW medical students’ delegation and high-level NATO officials in Brussels the same year.

IPPNW-Russia’s student chapter along with the organizational support from the IPPNW-Russia headquarters took an active part in the preparation and carrying out of the 2006 Baltic Bike Tour of about 25 medical students from all over the world who cycled the 880 km from Tallinn via St. Petersburg to Helsinki between August 21st and September 6th, 2006 giving press conferences, meeting with representatives of “Mayors for Peace” and raising public awareness for nuclear abolition through public events on their way.

Local partners
Federation of Peace and Reconciliation
Green Cross-Russia
Russian affiliate of Pugwash movement
Federation of international Peace Funds

ICRC mission in Moscow

How can locals get involved with the affiliate today?