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Welcome to the March issue of the CO-Update e-newsletter. In this issue you will find a lot of information on Eastern European countries, and unfortunately very little news on positive developments. During the last month we also had a higher number of co-alerts than previously, a clear sign that support for conscientious objectors is still very important.

A focus for this issue is the Deserters' Festival in Russia, which took place from 19-23 February. To take part in this event, and to meet antimilitarist groups in Russia, was a very interesting experience, and we will hopefully follow up on some of this in future issues of CO-Update. However, it also showed that Russian antimilitarist act in a social environment very different to what we are used to, and pacifist or antimilitarist responses to the militarisation of Russian society are rare exceptions. In the future, War Resisters' International will reach out to Russian groups more, to develop closer relationships and to support conscientious objectors and antimilitarists in Russia. For this, we will need your support.

Andreas Speck

Veröffentlicht in CO-Update, March 2005, No. 7