First published at Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine.
On February 24, 2022, the Russian army treacherously attacked our country and started a full-scale war with the bombing of peaceful cities and villages and infrastructure objects. Last year, since the beginning of the full-scale military invasion of the Russian Federation of Ukraine, enormous damage has been done to our country. Tens of thousands of citizens were killed, millions of Ukrainians became refugees and IDPs, and the socio-economic infrastructure of the country was destroyed: thousands of schools, hospitals, and industrial enterprises were destroyed.
Soldiers of the Russian army systematically commit crimes: deliberate killings of civilians, sexual violence, torture, destruction of vital infrastructure facilities, forced resettlement, and deportation, including children.
A lot of enterprises were destroyed by the Russian forces, and thousands of jobs were lost as a result. Those of our colleagues who have kept their jobs are forced to work, constantly risking their lives. Because the Russian aggressors launch missile strikes all over Ukraine, disable energy facilities, and cut off power to mines, factories and other hazardous industries, threatening the lives and health of workers and the environment. During the year, more than 200 workers were killed at their workplaces by Russian shellings.
Tens of thousands of our trade unionists - miners, metallurgists, railway and healthcare workers, entrepreneurs, teachers, and representatives of other peaceful professions - were forced to leave their workplaces, join the Ukrainian Armed Forces and stand up for the defense of Ukraine. Almost a hundred of them were killed in action on the battlefield. We will remember every Hero who gave the most precious thing – his/her life – for the freedom and independence of the Ukrainian people!
Every Ukrainian dreams and looks forward to peace in Ukraine and does everything for this. The soldiers are fighting on battlefields, and the workers contribute to the economy and volunteer to help the people in need.
In this horrific time, the Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine and its branch and regional organizations launched active volunteer activities. Thanks to the help of our trade union brothers and sisters from all over the world, we provide humanitarian aid to the population of war-affected regions, and the families of members of our primary organizations, help to evacuate people from dangerous zones, deliver goods to local communities, etc.
We are sincerely grateful to our foreign trade union colleagues for their help and call on the international community not to stop supporting our people, to stand firmly on the side of democratic Ukraine, and to be the voice of Ukrainians at different levels!
We emphasize that the world is witnessing the genocide of the Ukrainian people and a cynical violation of international law by Russia. This unprovoked war was started not only against Ukraine. It undermines everything that we, trade unions, represent - peaceful labor, democratic values, sustainable development, and justice.
The unjustified invasion of the Russian army into Ukraine endangers not only our freedom and independence but also peace and stability in Europe and the world.
We call on all people of goodwill to help Ukraine and its citizens protect the right to life!
Stand with Ukraine! Help Ukraine to win this 9-year war, to restore Ukraine’s territorial integrity and to return peace to Ukraine!