We, socialists, trade unionists, activists for human rights, social justice and peace, stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine against Russian imperialism.
The international trade union movement and socialists globally must vigorously denounce and oppose Russia’s threats against Ukraine.
We oppose the unaccountable manoeuvres of the big powers and NATO deciding Ukraine’s destiny. Increased NATO deployments in other parts of Eastern Europe are motivated by Western rivalry with Russia, to protect business interests and influence, not the needs of Ukrainians. We stand for neither Washington nor Moscow, as both are untrustworthy.
Currently, it is Russia that is threatening the self-determination of the Ukrainian people and their legitimacy to even exist as an independent nation.
It is Russia that has massed troops on Ukraine’s borders; annexed Crimea and persecuted the Crimean Tatars. It is Russia that has organised an eight-year war in eastern Ukraine leading to 14,000 deaths, 30,000 wounded and 1.9 million displaced people on the Ukrainian side alone.
Subjugated by Russian Tsarist and Stalinist rulers, for centuries Ukraine was the object of exploitation, national oppression, the culture and language subject to discrimination, millions perished at the hands of the Kremlin.
The labour movement must have nothing in common with Russian chauvinism. Putin’s project is not to make Ukraine more democratic, but to subdue it in the interests of the oligarchs, of Russia’s ruling class.
To underestimate a fascist threat is dangerous, but neither should we overestimate that threat. This has led some to accept the camouflage of Putin’s fake ‘anti-fascism’ as justification for supporting Russian imperialism. Aggression by the historic oppressor has exacerbated the national question, inflamed nationalism and far-right elements. But only Ukrainians themselves can defeat the small far-right, not a Russian invasion.
We hail the brave internationalists in Russia protesting against Putin’s war politics and demand the release of Russian political prisoners.
We call for the achievement of peace through the self-determination of the Ukrainian people. That does not mean support for the current government of Ukraine or a state in which big business and oligarchs have been dominant.
We stand in solidarity with the socialists, trade unionists and activists for democratic and human rights who can bring about social and democratic progress in Ukraine – which Russia cannot tolerate and is seeking to prevent.
We demand the withdrawal of all Russian troops from the Ukrainian borders and occupied territories and an end to Russian interference in Ukraine once and for all.
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