Jesuit Institute South Africa Urges Government to Cut Ties with “imperialist” Putin Regime


Officials of the Jesuit Institute South Africa have called upon the country’s government to cut its diplomatic ties with the regime of Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, among other actions against the Eastern European nation that launched a military invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

In a February 25 Press Release, the leadership of the Jesuit institute says that it is “not enough” that the South African government is calling on Putin to withdraw forces from Ukraine and calls for even more stringent actions against Russia.

“While the South African Government has called on Putin to withdraw his forces (from Ukraine), this is not enough. We call on the South African Government to condemn Russia’s total disregard for international law, to impose sanctions with immediate effect, to withdraw South African support, and to cut diplomatic ties with the Putin regime,” officials the Jesuit Institute say. 

They described Putin’s regime as imperialistic, and say, “The hard-fought-for democracy in our own country should make South Africa particularly aware of the importance of respecting the integrity of democratic and sovereign states.”

South Africa has authority to speak against the ongoing military actions of Russia since the two countries belong to the BRICS community, the officials say in the February 25 Press Release by the spokesperson of the Johannesburg-based Jesuit Institute.


“The Jesuit Institute urges the South African Government to take concrete action immediately,” they say, and add, “As a member of the BRICS community, South Africa, like other members, has an even more urgent responsibility to denounce the aggression of President Vladimir Putin.”

BRICS is the acronym coined to associate five major emerging economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. The BRICS members are known for their significant influence on regional affairs.

In their Press Release, officials of the Jesuit Institute South Africa describe the Russian Federation as an “unjust aggressor”, and say, “This is what the LORD says: ‘A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.’

“The aggressive and immoral attack on Ukraine by The Russian Federation must be condemned in the strongest possible terms. It is an outright affront on human dignity and morally reprehensible,” officials of the Jesuit Institute that is dedicated to encouraging debate on current social and religious issues, from a faith perspective, and to stimulating critical reflection, research and dialogue, say.

They say that war always causes “a devastating loss of life, livelihoods, displacement, and destroys infrastructure.”

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“The peace of the whole continent of Europe is under threat, and the entire world will be poorer and affected by this imperialist invasion,” the leadership of the Institute that seeks to promote an inclusive and integrated faith-based vision of personal and social transformation says.

The ongoing war in Ukraine is more than “just an act of readjusting neighborly borders to some previous state imagined by the Russian President,” officials of the Jesuit Institute further say, and add that the war goes beyond what has been said to assure Moscow’s protection of Russian ethnic citizens within Ukraine.

“It is an affront to the international community and a breach of the peace agreed upon at the end of the Second World War. It is the first step in the imperialist fantasy of a demagogue,” they said.

The officials express fear that Putin may not stop attacking Ukraine saying, “Ukraine today, who will it be tomorrow, the Baltic States or Poland? This must be stopped…We urge our government to tell the Russian President, in no uncertain terms, to stop his onslaught and immediately seek resolution through dialogue.”

They tell the South African government that the country’s hard-fought-for democracy should make South Africa aware of the importance of respecting the integrity of democratic and sovereign states.


“Power-hungry and corrupt politicians make decisions that destroy the lives of millions of men, women and children,” they say, and add, “The atrocities of war scar people forever and have long-term material, psychological and spiritual effects on the progress of peoples.”

“We cannot remain silent; our own moral integrity is at stake if we do not condemn such evil. Let us be clear: war is evil. It is a radical violation of God’s will,” officials of the Jesuit Institute say. 

They also express concern, care and support for the people of Ukraine who they say are living in terror. “Be assured of our prayers for your nation. We pray too for those peace-loving Russians who are protesting their own Government’s actions,” they say.

The officials also pledge to support the call from Pope Francis for a global day of prayer and fasting for peace on Ash Wednesday, March 2, saying, “We call on all people of goodwill who deplore violence and destruction, who have a moral conscience, to join the Holy Father and the global community in praying for peace – especially in Ukraine.”

Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.