The Lysistrata solution to the Russo-Ukrainian war

Justice Markandey Katju-

Justice Markandey Katju

Justice Markandey Katju is a former Judge, Supreme Court of India, and former Chairman, Press Council of India. The views expressed are his own.

On 24th February 2022 Russian military forces invaded Ukraine, and since then the war is going on. There has been international condemnation of the Russian invasion. The UN General Assembly has called for Russian forces to withdraw, the International Court of Justice has called for suspension of hostilities, the Council of Europe has expelled Russia, and sanctions against Russia have been imposed by many countries.


There has been a humanitarian and refugee crisis, and thousands of deaths. Cyber warfare and disinformation campaigns have been going on

A huge of amount of gas was being supplied by Russia to Europe, but that has run into many problems due to the war.

Western countries are supporting Ukraine. USA has given to it huge aid worth billions of dollars, and the UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, is in Kiev and has pledged support.

Russia’s allies, China and India, have called for a negotiated settlement and an end to the conflict.

Yet the war goes on, and the use of nuclear weapons in the future cannot be ruled out. That could be disastrous for the whole world.

How is the conflict to be ended ? I have no idea. But the ancient Greek dramatist Aristophanes evidently did. It is given in his play Lysistrata.

The story in the play is that the Greek states were incessantly fighting with each other. To end the wars, the womenfolk decided on a strategy. They announced that they would refuse sex to their menfolk until they stopped fighting and restore peace. That strategy worked, and ended the wars.

Maybe the Russian and Ukrainian ladies could do something similar.

    There are a lot of things about us women
    That sadden me, considering how men
    See us as rascals.
    As indeed we are!

These lines, spoken by the Athenian Lysistrata and her friend Calonice at the beginning of the play, set the scene for the action that follows.



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