The war in Ukraine ... no Russian participation to the IFR World Show and World Championships 2022.

Dear Rottweiler Friends,

The IFR-Board, as most of us and even most of the world, is appalled by what is happening in Ukraine.   We deeply regret the bloodshed, the suffering and the damages that the Russian invasion is causing to humans, their dogs and other animals and property. 

It is correct that our Federation of Rottweiler Friends was not founded to intervene in (geo)politics.  Still, just like so many other national and international cynologic, cultural, sportive, economic, politic, etc.  … organizations and including the FCI and national kennel clubs, we cannot place or think ourselves out of the world nor be blind for reality.    

The situation goes moreover much further than just politics.    Not only does the war directly concern the existence, health and well-being of the Ukrainian Rottweiler and our Ukrainian Rottweiler Friends, it concerns us all.   Before all else we are humans, civilians, that are now confronted with the reality of a war in a friendly country, with the imminent threat of escalation towards other nations and now even with the explicit threat of a nuclear warfare that would hurt or destroy all.   

On 27 February 2022, the IFR-Board formally condemned the war and has asked all our Member Clubs to take a position.

The clear majority of all IFR-Member Clubs, and an even overwhelming majority of the clubs that voted on the Board's proposal have approved it  and have decided that :

for the IFR World Show 2022 and the IFR World Championships 2022, all registrations of dogs, but also the participation as a handler of dogs and even the presence as spectators, by people that live in Russia, are and will be refused.  Russian judges cannot be invited to judge these events.

21 Member Clubs voted in favour of the proposal, 1 Club was against and 2 voted against but did not oppose taking a stand but suggested an alternative measure.

Believe me when I say that this is not meant as a punishment of the Russian Rottweiler Club or of the Russian Rottweiler Friend in general.

Although one might regret if the Russian Rottweiler Club did not openly condemn the war that is so severely hurting the Ukrainian population and our Ukrainian Rottweiler Friends, we are of course aware that the decision to wage war was not taken by them and that not all Russian Rottweiler Friends support that decision.   Our sympathy goes to them also ! 

But this does not change the fact they are part of the nation that is waging war on a peaceful member of the international community.   By doing this, the Russian nation has placed itself outside of the international community and has denied all of its population, including our Rottweiler Friends, the benefits of being a member of it.    This is the direct and necessary implication of the decision to wage war and is to be reproached to the leadership of the Russian nation only.

Even as the Rottweiler Club of Russia and its members may be morally innocent for this terrible situation, it is clear that participants do not just participate the World Show and/or World Championship as individuals, but also as representatives of their country.  For the IFR World Championships this is even formally and by definition the case.

It is then of course unthinkable that whereas the Ukrainian Rottweiler Friend would be in hiding or fighting a war that he did not want nor provoke and would be unable to participate our IFR-events, that the representatives of the invading country would be allowed to participate and be honored and cheered under the flag and hymn of the aggressor.  This would be unthinkable in the concept of the Friendship, solidarity and sportsmanship between dog lovers that is proper to our Federation!

In these circumstances, because of moral considerations but also considerations that concern the safety and well-being of all participants, spectators and dogs, the above mentioned decision was taken.

The Italian Rottweiler Club (SIR) and the French Rottweiler Club (UFR) are informed of the decision and will act accordingly.

We leave it to our Member Clubs to decide for themselves if they will or will not follow this decision for their own national activities.

Let it however be clear that this is not a termination of Membership of the Russian Rottweiler Club.   It is hopefully only a temporary measure and believe me when I say that this decision was not taken lightly but with deep regret and that the IFR-Board, with you all, sincerely hopes that the whole situation will quickly develop in a way that will allow us to withdraw it.

Finally, last but not least, we repeat our request to all Rottweiler Friends to show solidarity and to help our Ukrainian Friends wherever needed and possible, e.g. by offering shelter.

On behalf of the IFR-Board,

With friendly greetings,

D. Vandecasteele