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Russian writers on peace and war

Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Russian writers on peace and war

Mark Aldanov: War was the only subject she avoided

Leonid Andreyev: The Red Laugh

Mikhail Artsybashev: The death of a single soldier

Mikhail Artsybashev: Don’t talk to me about the beauty of war. No, no, your war is ugly.

Mikhail Artsybashev: A mother’s simple prescription against war

Victor Astafiev: On sunny days in peacetime all places are different, in wartime all are alike

Alexander Blok: The kite, the mother and endless war

Evgeny Bogat: Hiroshima and Socrates

Evgeny Bogat: In a world of napalm and burning villages, love is the triumph over non-existence

Evgeny Bogat: Rembrandt’s girl

Alexander Chakovsky: The war, the darkness and the cold. “And then everything will come back?”

Anton Chekhov: You can’t remember a single year without war

Fyodor Dostoevsky: Selections on war

Fyodor Dostoevsky: The abysmal cunning of war

Fyodor Dostoevsky: Decide for yourself, has civilization made mankind more bloodthirsty?

Fyodor Dostoevsky: The desire to rule mankind as slaves leads West to colossal, final war

1862: Dostoevsky on the new world order

Fyodor Dostoevsky: The expediency and inexpediency of war

Fyodor Dostoevsky: Holocaustal weapons of future wars

Fyodor Dostoevsky: Holy blood was shed, regular wars sprang up

Konstantin Fedin: Is there anyone who doesn’t want this war to be the last one on earth?

Rasul Gamzatov: For women war is never over

Maya Ganina: Peace and homeland

Vsevolod Garshin: Four Days

Nikolai Gogol: The dove not seeing the hawk. War in the Ukraine

Maxim Gorky: Selections on war

Maxim Gorky on Romain Rolland, war and humanism

Maxim Gorky to H.G. Wells: Cleanse from the hearts of children the blood-stained rust of horrible and senseless war

Maxim Gorky: The fatal consequences of ignoring military protocol

Maxim Gorky: Generals and substitutes for monkeys

Maxim Gorky: Henri Barbusse and the mass of lies, hypocrisy, cruelty, dirt and blood called war

Maxim Gorky: Military museum; soaking the dirt and dust of the earth with copious blood

Maxim Gorky: Military Tower of Babel

Maxim Gorky: Only time to train cannon fodder, not soldiers

Maxim Gorky: Perfidious Albion at war

Maxim Gorky: “That’s what war is for – to seize foreign land or depopulate one’s own”

Maxim Gorky: The true motives of war

Maxim Gorky: War and Civilization

Maxim Gorky: War, cunning in its stupidity

Maxim Gorky: War permits destruction of every kind: losing limbs fighting for our country

Maxim Gorky: What in war is honorable, in peacetime is criminal

Maxim Gorky: What we needed was a successful war – with anybody at all

Maxim Gorky: When “cause of freedom for man” means money for armaments

Maxim Gorky: With arming of vast hordes of people, what can I get out of the war?

Maxim Gorky: World war and racial conflict on an obscure, infinitesimal planet

Daniil Granin: A scientist’s lament

Alexander Grin: A hellish nightmare, or rather a horrible reality

Alexander Grin: How a little girl stopped a world war

Alexander Grin: How two leaders ended war

Alexander Herzen: Selections on the military and war

Alexander Herzen: As soon as a boy can walk, he is given a toy sword to train him to murder

Alexander Herzen: Barracks, the most inhuman condition in which men live. An exhibition of generals.

Alexander Herzen: Blood replaced by tears, the field of battle by forgotten tombs

Alexander Herzen: Chthonic passions, heathen patriotism fuel war

Alexander Herzen: Despotism means military discipline, empires mean war

Alexander Herzen: The frenzied anxiety, the exhausted satiety that lead to war

Alexander Herzen: Inhumanity of army discipline, flunky of a crowned soldier

Alexander Herzen: Middle class idyll impossible with half a million bayonets clamoring for “work”

Alexander Herzen: Six hundred thousand animated machines with bayonets. Military caste divides the people into two nations

Alexander Herzen: The type of military commander in whom everything social and moral, everything human has died out

Alexander Herzen: War and “international law”

Alexander Herzen: War, duel between nations; duel, war between individuals

Alexander Herzen: What the military calls work

Veniamin Kaverin: A dream of war

Yuri Kazakov: If only there was no war

Vsevolod Kochetov: Peace is the future happiness of mankind

Vladimir Korolenko: Final judgment

Vadim Kozhevnikov: “We seized power from women and there’s been war ever since”

Alexander Kuprin: Selections on war

Alexander Kuprin: Deciphering the military metaphysic

Alexander Kuprin: The human race has had its childhood – a time of incessant and bloody war

Alexander Kuprin: Mounds and mountains of corpses under which moan the dying

Alexander Kuprin: What is war after all? Perhaps it is nothing more than a mistake made by all, a universal error, a madness.

Alexander Kuprin: The whole science of war exists only because humanity will not, or cannot, or dare not, say, ‘I won’t.’

Leonid Leonov: All the blood that has been shed has turned the air bad

Leonid Leonov: Tell me, is it right to kill – in war or anyhow?

Mikhail Lermontov: Still you’re fighting: Why, what for?

Nikolai Leskov: Immorality

Elizar Maltsev: Suddenly people would discover that there was no war at all

Georgi Markov: War is a glutton. Its terrible hunger is never sated.

Vladimir Mayakovsky: Hurl a question to their faces: Why are we fighting?

Dmitry Merezhkovsky : His God is not at all the God of the Christians, but the ancient, pagan Mars

Sergei Mstislavsky: Germ warfare of the future

Nikolai Nekrasov: In War

Evgeny Nosov: What a single shell destroys

Vladimir Odoevsky: City without a name, system with one

Konstantin Paustovsky: All conquerors are mad

Konstantin Paustovsky: Cervantes slain in war

Andrei Platonov: Will the world become inured to bombing?

Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin: The grandeur, the selflessness of war

Sergei Sartakov: I fervently wish for universal peace

Sergei Sartakov: No to eternal war

Alexander Serafimovich: Down with war!

Ivan Shamyakin: As a physicist, she feared for the fate of mankind

Mikhail Sholokhov: Selections on war

Mikhail Sholokhov: His entire face a cry, screaming without opening his lips

Mikhail Sholokhov: People worse than wolves. And it was called a heroic exploit.

Mikhail Sholokhov: Visit to a military hospital

Mikhail Sholokhov: War’s bitter harvest

Mikhail Sholokhov: Who was he calling for in his hour of death?

Vasily Shukshin: How many lives destroyed

Vladimir Soloukhin: Shadow of this beautiful world being incinerated

Alexei Tolstoy: The one incontestable result was dead bodies

Leo Tolstoy: Selections on war

Leo Tolstoy: As if there were any rules for killing people

Leo Tolstoy: The Beginning of the End

Leo Tolstoy: Christian cannot be a murderer and therefore cannot be a soldier

Leo Tolstoy: Dialogues on war

Leo Tolstoy: “For what, for whom, must I kill and be killed?”

Leo Tolstoy: He who kills most people receives the highest rewards

Leo Tolstoy: How is it that millions of men commit collective crimes – make war, commit murder, and so on?

Leo Tolstoy: Idealization of military malefactors is shameful

Leo Tolstoy: The Law of Love and the Law of Violence

Leo Tolstoy: Letter on the Peace Conference

Leo Tolstoy: Men attribute the greatest merit to skill in killing one another

Leo Tolstoy: Murder and vengeance are not the will of the people

Leo Tolstoy: Patriotism or Peace

Leo Tolstoy: Prescription for peace

Leo Tolstoy: Then why those severed arms and legs and those dead men?

Leo Tolstoy: “Thou Shalt Not Kill”

Leo Tolstoy: Two Wars and Carthago Delenda Est

Leo Tolstoy: War began, that is, an event took place opposed to human reason and to human nature

Yuri Trifonov: Our world – the world of peace!

Ivan Turgenev: “Militarism, the soldiery, have got the upper hand”

Leonid Zhukhovitsky: May the book prove more powerful than the bomb

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