Other SOTA sites: SOTAwatch | SOTA Home | Database | Summits | Video | Photos | Shop | Mapping | Sotlas | FAQs | Facebook | Contact SOTA

Politicization among some SOTA activators

War is a very sad part of human history and present, needless to say.

However, Ham Radio has since the founding of this international hobby, been a APOLITICAL activity.

We all have our personal views and opinions on what is going on in Ukraine. But as Ham Radio operators, and as SOTA community, I please ask you to refrain from politicization of our activity.

Unfortunately, I have seen some odd examples of activators (some of them actually very senior ones), who misunderstand the fundaments of Ham Radio, and refuse to work Russian or Belarus hams while activating summits.

As you all know, we are trying to build up SOTA activity here in Russia, with a quite active R9 and a somewhat still less active R3 association.

It is very disappointing to notice that a minority of activators neglect calls from Russian and Belarus hams, and according to my 40+ years of Ham Radio experience, I only recall boycotts of ZS and 4X hams by some countries…

Please let us agree that Hams in Russia and Belarus, have “very little” or rather “no” possibility to influence decisions taken by governments in those countries. We SOTA hams in Russia and Belarus are keen NOT to mix radio with politics, and we ask you to treat us in the same way as we treated hams from countries that have been involved in wars and political conflicts in the past.

Thank you for understanding, and try to influence operators that break the Code of Honor between Hams…

73 de Mats RM2D (also SM6LRR, JT4RR, 8Q7MS, XV9D, 4S7LRG)
SOTA R3 Association Manager

28 Likes

Well said !!! Agree with you 100%
Best 73

4 Likes

I agree with your statements, however, and unfortunately opinion will be divided over ham radio as it is in the real world.

The only people that can change the minds of governments are usually the population of that country and the only solutions are usually sanctions to highlight to that population what is going on. this will spill over into the ham radio world again as in real life.

Therefore hams have as much influence on their government as the rest of the population and as such will be subject to “sanctions” by other amateur Operators in the hope this message gets through by all channels.

I hope this awful situation comes to a swift end and wish you well.

73

Chris, M0XRS

7 Likes

Are you aware of the reality here?

Do you expect me as a Swedish citizen to stand on the barricades of Red Square and demonstrate, or to express resistance otherwise, and at the same time be exposed to 15 years is jail for opposing the “special operation in Ukraine”?

I welcome you to apply for a visa to come to Moscow and join with Russian Hams to demonstrate against the decision taken…

As you realize, it is easy so sit in the cozy and safe English sofa in the living room, to express opinions.

Are you ready to come here and join in the Ham Demonstration on the Red Square???

And when you sit in your UA0 location, do you think it was “worthwhile” to be naive and come to Russia to express your opinions?

4 Likes

I understand your frustrations but my comments still stand, I will and have expressed my opinions to our government through what ever channel is open to me, if you cannot do that then I cannot do that in Russia.

As I said I agree with your sentiment but some ham operators will vote with there transmissions.

2 Likes

Ladies and Gentlemen, ham radio has a long tradition of being apolitical. Long may that continue. Even in the darkest days of the so-called “Cold War”, when it seemed that our world could at a moments notice dissolve into flames, ham spoke to ham across all boundaries. The tradition of avoiding politics protected ham radio from those with the power to shut it down (and will do so if it suits their purpose,) enabling us to remember that across all boundaries we are still human beings. Now speaking as Moderator, I will not allow this reflector to be used to break that tradition. I, too, have strong opinions about what is happening, I won’t express them here and expect you to follow suit.

We are just onlookers. There are many ways for those who have strong opinions to freely express them to a wider audience in the web echochamber. Better still, there is the Red Cross and other charities that can be helped to support those displaced or injured in the conflict. That is better than talk, yet it speaks loudly.

30 Likes

TU for the comments and my intention was not to utilize the bandwidth for political purposes, but rather ask people to remember our heritage as a apolitical hobby. Thanks and see you on the bands, both as a SOTA hunter, and activator (when the snow and later mud will disappear) from the R3 unactivated SOTA “mountains”… Very small ones, but still approved by SOTA!

73 de Mats RM2D

7 Likes

Dear friends,

I propose closing this topic.
Humanity reaches its moral bottom when bestiality and genocide are compared to the “Cold War” situation and reduced to a political problem. It’s a kind of holocaust nowadays.
Yes, amateur radio is apolitical. Yes, we are always human. Yes, I know that telling the truth about this aggression is punishable by 15 years in prison in Russia - in difficult conditions in labor camps. The heroes are usually dead.
But let us respect each other and the decisions of those people who have decided to ignore Russian radioamateurs, in the face of the fairly widespread demonstration of support by Russian radioamateurs for Putin’s bestiality. It is impossible not to notice it and it is enough to have a look at the Russian-language forums (if we do not understand, we have different translation tools). It is enough to listen to the conversations on the bands. These are not isolated cases.
I suggest more humility and fewer grades.
Hatred and the desire for revenge are not good signposts.

5 Likes

Agree with you completely.
What I say to all radioamateurs wherever they may be: try to think rational and critical to what you say and do. Enjoy our phantastic hobby and let it be an island of peace in an ocean where the waves are going high in a storm.
Never forget we are all members of a global family of humans.
73 Patrick

3 Likes

I thought long and hard about this.

I learnt long ago, in times of cold war, that radio amateurs should avoid talking about sex, politics and religions.

I live in democratic country now. I believe, and our constitution secures us that right, that we are free to have our own opinions and express them without being persecuted. So, in my opinion Russians are free to think that all their core land and inferior nations between Baltic, Adriatic and Black Seas should be under their control and ruled by corrupt almighty czar. We are free to think that all nations should decide for themselves how they want to be ruled and by whom.

But this is no longer only politics or opinions. This is not cold war anymore. This is imposing Russia’s “opinion” on other nation by force, and judging by mad rablings of their leader, we could easily be next in not too distant future. Lives and property are being destroyed and lost in most horrific ways under pretenses made out of thin air.

I am aware of penalties for expressing an dissenting opinion in Russia. I’m also aware of heavy propaganda that Russians have been subjected to for decades. So it’s no surprise for me that majority of them support this madness and are even proud of it. We can not change their minds.

In our democracy, one of the freedoms is freedom of association. I decided to not to associate with people who by great majority support this war. As soon as this madness ends I may change my decision.

Sorry, Swedish guy in RA, I understand your frustration. It sucks to be you right now and you can’t do a lot about it, but look at it from the bright side: you live in great empire under great leader, you are not being bombed or shot at, you don’t have to be afraid for your life or lives of your loved ones. You just lost the opportunity to exercise your great hobby in full. Unlike some 40 million people just across your border.

4 Likes

I fear that this thread is progressing in exactly the direction that I want to avoid. Partisan discussion of a highly emotive topic is likely to run out of control, leading to intemperate outbursts. I am going to follow in the footsteps of Fred who runs qrz.com, and ban discussions of the invasion of Ukraine. This thread is therefore closed and any subsequent threads will suffer the same fate. While taking this decision, I remain heartbroken at the destruction being visited upon the inhabitants of Ukraine, but I have to insist that discussions about the rights and wrongs of these events takes place elsewhere, while here we concentrate on SOTA and its incidentals.

8 Likes

If the Russians believe that nothing has happened to whom are these appeals?
As many write on the forum, having fun at the top, i.e. our hobby should not be more important than conscience and respect for those who have died on both sides … for those who have left their homes and have nothing to return to … We cry with Wiola with their mothers soldiers whose bodies will not be returned to their families - why does rich Russia not collect the bodies of its soldiers? Why in my city, on the street, in a shop, at school, you hear Ukrainian sounds - they are not tourists …
If we talk, we are people … sq9mdf
Russian radio amateurs are apolitical - bravo

4 Likes