Hands off Ukraine

A statement from the Anti*Capitalist Resistance steering committee.


NATO imperialism / CSTO imperialism – enemies of the peoples of Ukraine

Ukraine is being torn apart by imperialist powers – as a result, Europe stands on the brink of war. Its right-wing government desires greater integration with the EU and NATO. In response, Putin supports Russian-speaking separatists in the east of the country hoping to annex part of the country. Russia argues that the separatist forces must be defended by Russian military intervention. The house of cards is collapsing into bloodshed.

We strongly condemn the declaration of Putin on February 21 to recognise the ‘independence of Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics and follows this statement by sending Russian troops into those areas. Putin has threatened to further destabilise the region with plans to build military bases in the Donbas as NATO increases its own forces in the Baltic states.

Putin promotes the notion that Ukraine is an artificial construct. Which currently existing ‘nation state’ is not? Not any we can think of. And indeed as the comrades of the Ukraine social movement point out here he explicitly talked about correcting the mistakes of Lenin in recognising the right to self-determination!

Our support for Ukrainian self-determination is distinct from any political support for the reactionary Ukrainian government. Some on the left have made much of the strength of the far-right in Ukraine – while seeming to downplay the strength of similar forces in the so-called Peoples Republics – or indeed in Russia itself.

Putin’s imperialist ambitions – to recreate the Russia of the Tsars – are even more dangerous in the context of the bellicose actions of NATO. The West moves to impose sanctions and warn of the threat to democracy. We won’t take any lectures from western powers about democracy when they support dictatorships around the world or criminalise protests in their own countries. We oppose sanctions as a tool of inter-imperialist conflict.

While the Russian state has been engaged in aggressive troop and weapons manoeuvres encircling Ukraine, NATO has been engaging in its own war games by deploying in the area. Denmark has recently entered into talks that foreign troops can be stationed there for the first time ever – with a clear understanding that this could mean US troops.

Cheering on the imperialism of the west or of Russia is not a socialist position. We are concerned by the rise of ‘campist politics’ – seeing the world through the prism of foreign policy and declaring anyone who opposes US imperialism as somehow superior. We have seen where this leads  – tacit support for Russian intervention into Syria, the massacre of revolutionaries in Aleppo and the destruction of the Syrian revolution.  

  • As socialists in Britain we oppose any military involvement by the Westminster government.
  • We stand with anti-war campaigners in Ukraine, in Russia, across Europe and throughout the world in calling for a de-escalation of the military build-up on all sides – and beyond that for the dissolution of both North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).
  • We support independence and self-determination for Ukraine respecting the rights of ethnic and linguistic minorities.
  • We call for the cancellation of Ukraines debt as demanded by the Ukranian social movement

Only the international working class, struggling for peace against imperialism, capitalism and war can create a better world.

No to Nato – No to Putin


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