Solidarity with the people of Ukraine
Down with all imperialist powers
Putin has launched a brutal war of conquest in Ukraine. This is an imperialist military adventure with the primary objective of regime change. Putin wants to expand Russian control over countries on its periphery and make them subordinate to Moscow.
After military interventions in Georgia, Chechnya, Kazakhstan, the annexation of Crimea and the Donbass, not to mention support to the murderous Al-Assad in Syria, the people of Ukraine are now the focus of Putin’s imperialist ambitions.
The people of Ukraine deserve our full solidarity in their heroic resistance. They have the right to defend themselves and to obtain the weapons necessary to repel the Russian military invasion. We should demand not only the cessation of the aggression but also the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Russian troops from the whole of Ukraine’s internationally recognised borders, including Crimea and the Donbass. The democratic exercise of the right of self-determination, not the law of might, is the way to solve ethnic and national problems that have been pending since the dissolution of the USSR.
Imperialist countries have always used pretexts to justify a military intervention to subdue a weaker nation. Blair and Bush invaded Iraq in 2003 lying that there were weapons of mass destruction. Putin has used the pretext that Ukraine was going to join NATO– which was certainly not imminent, and no reason for invasion – to justify yet another war. But he has also revealed his real imperial objectives by openly arguing for regime change, demilitarisation of Ukraine and the “unification of Slavic people” into Russia.
Putin’s imperialist ambitions unfold in the context of NATO’s bellicose actions. It has expanded eastwards in Europe since the end of the Cold War in 1989, including the positioning of nuclear weapons. It has also carried out military interventions further afield such as the occupation of Afghanistan in 2001.
With the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Europe stands now on the brink of war. Sanctions against Russia should hit its oligarch and Putin’s war machine, not its populations. The London mansions of the oligarchs should be seized to house refugees and the homeless. We support workers in Britain boycotting and taking industrial action against Russian companies.
While we understand why the people of Ukraine, out of desperation, are calling for a No-Fly Zone, and even western military intervention, we are against these. Direct military intervention by NATO on the ground or by remote warfare would be taking the risk of provoking an escalation to a world war with nuclear weapons. It would turn the just war of Ukrainian resistance to invasion into an inter-imperialist war which must be resolutely rejected.
Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has greatly strengthened the forces of militarism in Europe. Germany will boost its military budget by €100bn. Nationalist and reactionary politics are also being strengthened. If Russia’s invasion is successful and it is able to “pacify” Ukraine, it will encourage other imperialist countries to resume their own wars of aggression for regime change. We are in solidarity with the anti-war campaigners in Russia who are demonstrating courageously despite repression and arrest.
We opposed Fortress Europe while Britain was part of the EU. But the EU in this circumstance has been more generous to refugees than Patel and Johnson. Urgent humanitarian aid should be provided to the refugees who leave Ukraine as well as to the internally displaced and those who are sheltering in the Ukrainian cities bombed by the Russian armed forces. We demand that the Westminster government open the borders to all those fleeing Ukraine – whether or not they have family connections here – as they should be for all those fleeing wars and repression.
Solidarity with the people of Ukraine!
Statement as agreed by all member meeting on 3 March 2022