First published at Fourth International.
The unjustified and atrocious Russian invasion of Ukraine decided by Putin on 24 February 2022 and the war it provoked have already caused over 100 000 deaths for each side, half of those in Ukraine of civilians. The suffering of those in Ukraine and Russia who have lost family members and friends is commensurably immense, through war crimes, rapes, kidnapping of children and continuing Russian bombing in civilian zones.
The first duty of internationalists is to support and solidarize with the resistance of the Ukrainian people in both their direct opposition to this bloody invasion and the self-organization of society in ways that help the population to survive, with particular support to those laying the basis for a future more just society by defending anti-capitalist policies, and the feminist and LGBT networks.
Millions of Ukrainians have been forced to flee the country tearing apart their families and social networks, putting them in the situation of refugees which in different countries may mean without permanent status, housing, work or income, and placing a great burden on the neighbouring countries whose populations have also mobilized to give material support.
In Russia and Belarus, those who oppose Putin’s imperialist war are criminalized. Deserters from the army and those who dare protest openly are severely repressed in Russia. Hundreds of thousands have also been forced to flee Russia, often without refugee status and confronted with the effects of measures designed to punish supporters of the Russian regime. They also merit our full solidarity.
Western governments have used the war to both justify the spiralling inflation that is hitting hard against working people, and to increase military budgets, expand NATO, and increase militarization rhetoric. We denounce both the efforts to make the working classes pay for the capitalist crisis and for using the suffering of the Ukrainian people to justify increasing military budgets.
The only lasting solution to this war can be through:
- An end to bombing of civilian populations and energy supplies;
- The complete withdrawal of Russian troops. All negotiations to be public in front of the Ukrainian people;
- The right of the Ukrainian people to determine their own future in their own interests and in respecting the rights of all minorities;
- Their right to determine this future independent of the interests of the oligarchy or the current neoliberal capitalist regime, the conditions of the IMF or the EU, with full cancellation of their debt;
- The right of all refugees and displaced persons to return with full security and rights;
- An end to all repression of Russian opponents to the war and if necessary their welcome in the countries of their choice;
- The dismantling of all military blocs - NATO, CSTO, AUKUS.
We also continue to fight for global disarmament - especially in terms of nuclear and chemical weapons.