Recently U.S. and European security agencies estimated deployed Russian militia units to be totaling more than 30,000 people along the eastern Ukraine border, and an estimated 20,000 more may have just flooded the region. Meanwhile, more than a dozen Russian drones patrol the frontier, sources have said.
As congressional lawmakers reacted with concern to Vladimir Putin’s rapidly expanding military along the border, and analyzed heightened rhetoric from Putin’s recent public case for military action, new U.S. intelligence assessments have said there are more indications than ever that Russia could actually invade eastern Ukraine. An incursion into eastern Ukraine could institute a land connection to Crimea, which, in a move widely condemned in the West, it formally annexed last week.
But as the influx of Russian forces continues to pervade the Ukraine frontier, Ukrainian women have decided that they won’t let Russian men in—literally.
They are boycotting sex.
A campaign comprised of about 15 Ukrainian women with the name loosely translated to “Don’t Give It to a Russian,” has orchestrated a sex strike against Russian men as a drastic measure to protest Moscow’s moves into Crimea. The women have demonstrated their grave concern over the budding Russian infiltration, by photographing themselves wearing t-shirts emblazoned with the logo of two praying hands resembling a vagina.
The slogan, “Don’t Give It to a Russian,” was inspired by Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko’s 1838 poem Kateryna, reading, “O lovely maidans, fall in love, but not with the Moskaly [the Russians].” The t-shirts are titivated with the inscription of this line.
But the t-shirts are not about sex, co-founder Irina Rubis said. “This is a claim to protect our country from aggressors. But sex is known for being one of the most effective elements of appealing substantial attention to campaigns,” she explained. “To use a provocative message to claim the world’s attention and interest to the Russians’ aggression was one effective way to become heard.”
The efforts of “Don’t Give it to a Russian” complement a larger boycott against Russian consumer goods.
Rubis said the sex strike began in an effort to combat the aforementioned moves into Crimea, and “the unbelievable chaos done by Russians in Crimea: kidnapping, limiting rights of the Tatars, preventing adequate journalists’ work.” She later added, “Our territory is invaded by Russia. Due to budgets Kremlin spends on propaganda around the world, a lot of people think that Ukrainians are Nazis who make suffer all Russian-speaking parts of the country. That is a huge lie. Being Russian speaking myself, working in media, travelling around Ukraine, 24/7 producing news at our Delo.UA portal, we know that Ukrainians are very tolerant, kind [and covet] freedom.”
The mission of Rubis and those behind her is to send a lucid message to Russians that they cannot take Ukraine’s freedom. “We meant to invoke: Do not give our territory, dignity, safety, culture, economy to Russians — to Russia and the world,” she proclaimed.
Thus far, however, Rubis said the campaign has ushered in Russian men’s hostility and humiliating words. Russian bloggers, particularly, have called them prostitutes.
Still, she is persistent. “Every citizen of the country, which is under risk of invasion, should invest its time, efforts, ideas and core expertise to the struggling the status quo,” Rubis concluded.
Allegedly, women banded together in abstinence to coerce the end of the Peloponnesian War over 2,000 years ago. And the tactic is catching momentum as, last year, Colombian women protested for road improvements by boycotting sex. Earlier this year, Japanese women, too, advocated celibacy in a rally against supporters of a sexist gubernatorial candidate.