Russia: The Doukhobor 1895 Arms Burning Is Relevant Today

HISTORY, 28 Jun 2021

Koozma J. Tarasoff | Spirit-Wrestlers - TRANSCEND Media Service

28 Jun 2021 – 126 years ago today, one-third of the Doukhobors in the Russian Caucasus joined in a daring protest of burning guns — all their killing weapons.

The significance of the Burning of Arms event for the Spirit Wrestlers / Doukhobors is enormous then and now.  Why?

This concrete act catapulted the Russian group into the international arena. Civilization was presented with a nonkilling alternative strategy of living instead of the use of violence from the gun, the bomb and other weapons of mass destruction.

‘Arms Burning by Russian Doukhobors in 1895’
by William Perehudoff, 1969.

This first ever event took place June 28-29 (Old Calendar, New Calendar July 12-13), 1895 in three places of Transcaucasia in southern Russia, with 7,000 people involved. It was inspired by Russian writer and philosopher Lev N. Tolstoy by way of Doukhobor leader Peter V. Verigin. 

Today the precarious international relations with world nations demands the same serious attention that Doukhobors applied to guns 126 years ago.  No more killing! No more wars! It’s time for the leaders of the world to make war illegal as a crime.


Koozma J. Tarasoff is an anthropologist, writer, published author, photographer, blogger, peace activist, and a representative of the Canadian Department of Peace Initiative. He is a scholar of Spirit Wrestlers/Doukhobor studies. Born in Saskatchewan, he now resides in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

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