Statements: Asian socialists condemn Russia's war on Ukraine, NATO expansionism

Putin hands of Ukraine

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Socialist Alliance: Russia out of Ukraine! No to NATO!

March 1 - The Socialist Alliance condemns the Russian attack on Ukraine. The war violates international law and is a catastrophe for people in both countries.

The Ukrainian people have a right to resist the invasion. We support calls for:

• Russia to immediately halt the invasion and withdraw its military from Ukraine’s territory and airspace.

• A return to diplomacy to de-escalate the situation and resolve the current impasse.

• The right to democratic self-determination for the Ukrainian people.

• A commitment from all sides to a peaceful resolution of the situation in the Donbas and a solution that respects the democratically-expressed wishes of the people who live there.

The role of NATO and the US

The Russian government is responsible for this terrible act of war. However, the relentless drive by the United States to expand NATO up to Russia’s border in order to encircle it militarily significantly frames the conflict. The same approach is being applied to China through AUKUS and the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue.

In both cases this has nothing to do with defending a “rules-based order” as its proponents hypocritically claim, but blocking competition and preserving profits. This aggressive “containment” policy actually has the consequence of reinforcing authoritarian nationalist politics in both Russia and China.

The following measures are needed to contribute to a lasting peace:

• An immediate commitment to stop the eastward expansion of NATO. Like AUKUS, ANZUS and the Quad; NATO should be scrapped.

• All countries to sign the Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).

Putin’s Russia

The recent assertion by Russian President Vladimir Putin that the Ukrainian nation does not exist, but was an invention of the Soviet Union is absurd. His suggestion that there would be military consequences for Finland and Sweden if they joined NATO and reference to nuclear conflict was extremely inflammatory.

Putin does not represent the working people of Russia. His political project is based on authoritarianism, social conservatism and Russian chauvinism. He represents the interests of Russia’s capitalist oligarchs and their desire to carve out their own sphere of influence in competition with Western capitalism.

This project has no progressive or anti-imperialist role. Instead, Putin’s actions make it harder to build a peaceful and more just world:

• The invasion of Ukraine will boost the appeal of NATO in neighbouring countries and convince many people in them that they need to remain allied with US military strategy in Europe and beyond.

• With the focus on Putin’s destruction in Ukraine, it makes it easier for the US and its allies to hypocritically pose as the defenders of international law while they continue to unleash violence on parts of the world outside the gaze of the Western media.

• We express our solidarity with the emerging Russian peace movement and call for the immediate release of all protesters who have been detained and political prisoners. We do not support economic sanctions on Russia that hurt working people.

Finally, we insist that while refugees from this war should immediately be made welcome in Australia, this must be in addition to the existing humanitarian intake and not at the expense of refugees from other places.

Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) statement on Ukraine

February 25 Stop the bombings! Russian troops Out of Ukraine! US and NATO out of Eastern Europe!

The Partido Lakas ng Masa views with alarm the escalating military conflict in Eastern Europe and joins with the peace movement, democratic and socialist organisations and activists worldwide in calling for an immediate stop to bombings, withdrawal of troops by all powers from the frontline and the region, and a solution based on demilitarisation and negotiations.

The Philippine government should not support the US in its attempts to create a global aggressive alliance against Russia. The conflict between the Western-supported Ukrainian government in Kiev and the Russian-supported insurgent republics in the Donbas region has been essentially frozen since the Minsk Agreement in September 2014, despite continual ceasefire violations by both sides. (The Minsk Agreement includes a ceasefire, self-government to Donbas, and state border control by the Ukrainian government.)

The speed of the escalation since the New Year, when the US Biden regime began declaring that a Russian invasion of Ukraine was imminent, has taken the world by surprise.

To supporters of the US official narrative, the February 24 Russian land and air military offensive simply vindicate Biden’s warnings.

However, this ignores the fact that since 2014 and until February 22, Russia abided by the Minsk Agreements including withholding official diplomatic recognition of the two Donbas autonomous republics of Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics.

Biden’s stance triggered Putin’s direct intervention in the Ukraine by demanding Russia’s removal of troop deployments from its own territory, arming the ethnonationalist Ukrainian forces with the explicit intent of retaking the Donbas republics, and promoting the idea of Ukraine joining NATO. Even some of Washington’s European allies, in particular Germany, had warned the US of such a trigger effect.

However, Putin has escalated the situation further by attacking Ukraine beyond the Donbas region with the aim of disabling Ukraine’s military capacity.

A shooting war involving nuclear global powers is a threat to the entire planet. Russian troops should immediately withdraw from Ukraine, and US troops should withdraw from countries bordering Ukraine and Russia.

Offensive military alliances should be disbanded.

Despite the agreements that NATO would not expand to Russia’s borders following the reunification of Germany in 1990, NATO’s expansion continued. This is the ongoing underlying cause of the conflict and reflects the post-Cold War US ambition to create a unipolar world order. Since 1991, 14 Eastern European nations have become part of NATO, 3 of them former republics of the Soviet Union.

We call on the Philippine government to take immediate measures to secure the lives of OFWs in the region and make arrangements for their repatriation if needed. The United Nations should call on all parties to stop the aggression and intervention in the Ukraine and should initiate a peace process to resolve the conflict.

Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM): No to war in Ukraine!

February 27, 2022 - The Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) strongly condemns the Russian military invasion of Ukraine. The Russian invasion of Ukraine is unacceptable and deplorable, as it violates international laws and brings catastrophic consequences to the Ukrainian people and the Russian people. The war is bringing devastation to the lives, economy, and environment in Eastern Europe and threatening peace at the global level.

The military aggression on Ukraine by Russian forces demonstrates the nationalist-chauvinist nature of Putin’s regime. It will serve nothing in what Putin’s claimed “denazification”. Instead, the Russian invasion of Ukrainian soil will only help fuel more anti-Russian far-right nationalist sentiment in Ukraine and elsewhere.

While condemning Russia’s reckless military aggression on Ukraine, we shall not absolve the responsibility of the warmongering United States’ aggressive push to expand the 20th Century Cold War antique — NATO, further eastward to Russia’s border in intensifying and escalating the tension to this juncture.

War is never an answer to geopolitical conflict, and military solutions will only lead to more conflicts. Only diplomacy with mutual respect among all parties can resolve the complex question of regional security.

The Russian war on Ukraine will further suppress the already shrinking democratic space in both Ukraine and Russia, bringing devastation to any progressive social movement that challenges these countries’ oligarchic capitalist rule.

Hence, we call for:

 Immediate withdrawal of all Russian troops from Ukraine;

 A return to diplomacy in order to resolve the conflict in a peaceful and respectful way;

 Respect of the right to democratic self-determination of the Ukrainian people, same goes to the people who are living in the Donbas region;

 NATO must stop its eastward expansion.

We also salute and express our solidarity with the brave Russian people who are protesting in the streets despite repressions by the increasingly autocratic regime in Russia.

When the world faces a global health crisis, increasing socio-economic inequality and extinction-level climate crisis, humanity does not need another imperialist war.

Released by,
Choo Chon Kai
Central Committee Member
Socialist Party of Malaysia / Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM)

Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation (CPIML) on Russian Military Intervention in Ukraine

February 24 - We stand with Ukraine against the war being waged on it by Russia, and demand that Russia immediately stop bombing Ukraine, and withdraw its military from Ukraine territory and airspace. All disputes must be settled only through diplomatic means. 

Russia must immediately call a halt to its aggressive military intervention in Ukraine, dubbed a 'special military operation' by Putin, withdraw its forces and return to diplomacy to de-escalate & resolve the current impasse. 

India must adopt a proactive role to stop Russian military intervention in Ukraine and the ongoing military mobilisation by NATO which can only push the region to a full-scale war with ominous consequences. Safe repatriation of Indians in Ukraine must also be a top priority.

We also condemn interference and warmongering by the US and NATO constituents on the pretext of Ukraine. We demand that the US withdraw the sanctions it has declared against Russia, and NATO must call a halt to its eastward expansion. Contrary to claims by the US and UK that NATO is a defensive alliance, its record in Afghanistan, Yugoslavia and Libya over the last generation, not to mention the US-British attack on Iraq, clearly demonstrate its imperialist objectives.

In his speech making the recognition of two autonomous eastern provinces of Ukraine as independent entities, Putin clearly states that Ukraine’s independent existence was a result of Lenin’s policy of respecting the autonomy of various smaller and oppressed nationalities – a policy that rejected “Greater Russia” nationalism.  He even goes on to say that Ukraine came into existence as a result of the Bolshevik policy and can be called 'Vladimir Ilyich Lenin's Ukraine.' These words of Putin make it all too obvious that he is out to undo Lenin’s legacy and the presence of Russian troops on Ukraine borders is certainly not meant for “peacekeeping” as he would like the world to believe

CPI (ML) Liberation: Stop Russia's war on Ukraine! End US-NATO expansionism!

March 2, 2022

Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Russia's biggest neighbour and the second largest constituent of the erstwhile USSR is a major international crisis. There are reports of growing civilian casualties of Russian bombing and large numbers of Ukrainians fleeing to neighbouring countries for safety. At least one Indian student has also been killed by Russian shelling of Kharkiv, the second largest city in Ukraine, even as South Asian and African students trying to board trains, or to cross the border into Poland face racist attacks. The attack on Ukraine has come on the heels of Russia's declaration of diplomatic recognition for the Luhansk and Donetsk regions of Eastern Ukraine as two independent people's republics and deployment of Russian troops as 'peacekeeping forces'.

The war has triggered widespread international protests, most significantly within Russia, where even many people who had earlier supported the recognition of predominantly Russian-speaking Luhansk and Donetsk have joined the protests. The people of Russia and Ukraine have very close cultural and social ties and despite police crackdown and mass arrests, more and more Russians are coming out on the streets to demand an immediate end to the war. Many prominent Russian celebrities have come out openly against the war. More than 4,000 Russian scientists and science journalists have signed an open letter opposing the war.

Only a century ago, the region had turned an imperialist war into a revolution. The ten days of Russian revolution that shook the world had snapped the imperialist chain at its weakest link and turned Tsarist Russia into the first socialist country of the world. The victorious revolution transformed the Tsarist empire, a veritable prison of nationalities, into a socialist confederation – the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Shared socialist construction and a Marxist approach to the nationality question – recognising every nationality's right to self-determination including the right to secede – created a new model of multinational unity. This was possible only because the November revolution not only demolished the Tsarist autocracy, it also overcame the Great Russian chauvinism.

Over the years, Soviet socialism lost its way, and the bureaucratic degeneration of socialism and erosion of the socialist confederal unity of nationalities eventually led to the collapse and disintegration of the USSR. Ukraine emerged as a sovereign republic in 1991. For years Ukraine maintained a certain balance in its ties with Russia on one hand and European Union on the other till the toppling of the elected Yanukovych regime in February 2014 and Ukraine's subsequent quest for a strategic alliance against Russia with the European Union and NATO. Russia had retaliated by lending explicit support to the separatist movement in Russian majority Donbas region and annexing Crimea.

The 2014 crisis and hostility was sought to be resolved diplomatically with mediation by France and Germany. The resultant agreements reached in a summit held in Minsk, the capital of Belarus involving Russia, Ukraine, France, Germany and representatives of the Luhansk and Donetsk republics came to be known as the Minsk I and Minsk II agreements (September 2014 and February 2015). These brought about a ceasefire and reduction of hostilities, but with the agreements reflecting the imbalance of forces generated by Russian intervention and never fully implemented, the Russia-Ukraine conflict has again entered a new phase, with Putin describing Ukraine’s very statehood as 'Lenin's Ukraine' and vowing to undo this Leninist legacy, and Ukraine seeking its future in the EU and NATO.

The solution to the Russia-Ukraine conflict could still lie in a negotiated agreement which balances the issue of Ukraine's sovereignty with internal decentralisation and guarantees of the rights of the Russian ethnic minority. But the continuing eastward expansion of NATO and Ukraine's insistence on having strategic alignment with EU and NATO is also an obstacle. The existence of NATO as a military alliance of the Cold War era lost its very raison d’etre in the wake of the collapse and disintegration of the Soviet Union and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact. Yet, NATO has not only embarked on imperialist wars but has continued to make deeper inroads in Europe with its membership increasing from the founding number of twelve in 1949 to thirty in 2020.

Even though NATO has not yet inducted Ukraine as a full member, and consequently stops short of making an explicit military commitment in support of Ukraine, the EU, originally a trade bloc, has started transforming itself into a veritable military alliance with its decision to fund Ukraine's weapon purchases. While talks have begun between Russia and Ukraine, it remains to be seen if the two countries really manage to avoid further escalation and reach a quick truce.

The current conflict between Russia and Ukraine has extremely worrying global implications. There are unmistakable signs of renewed global confrontation and arms race between NATO and the Russia-China alliance. The growing penetration of the US in Europe will also advance the interests of the US military-industrial complex at the cost of possible cooperation between Russia and Western Europe. The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany has already become a casualty. Even as the world smarts under the ravages of the Covid19 pandemic, the global economic recession, and escalating climate change, we now have a potentially explosive war threat staring us in the face.

For Russia and the whole world, the history of the Soviet Union's Afghanistan adventure and its aftermath holds some stark lessons. The invasion and occupation of Afghanistan paved and accelerated the decline and eventual collapse of the USSR. And the patronage provided by US imperialism to the Mujahideen in Afghanistan heralded decades of terrorism and US-led wars of occupation and plunder. Reports of funding and training in recent years to openly fascist paramilitary outfits in Ukraine by the West are extremely ominous. More broadly, it is impossible not to notice that the hypocritical high-decibel American and Western support for Ukraine stands in sharp contrast to other conflicts where Western propaganda routinely demonises resistance, such as the Palestinians, and dehumanises the refugees fleeing the wars, like Syrians, Iraqis, Afghans and many others. Nor can we forget that Putin himself was embraced by Bush and Blair as a great ally precisely because of his brutal war on Chechnya. Behind all this hypocrisy lies not only blatant racism, but Western interests in using Ukraine to dominate the entire region.

It is ironic that during the Second World War, Ukraine and Russia together had combated and defeated Hitler's fascist aggression at great human cost. Today ultra-nationalist, far right forces are gaining ground across the entire region amidst this crisis, threatening yet more protracted suffering to its people. In the US, Trump has been all praise for Putin's 'smartness' and in India, we can see how India's own ultra nationalist Hindutva forces see Putin as a role model and the Ukraine war as an ideal template for how India should deal with her neighbours, especially Pakistan. Meanwhile, Modi and other BJP leaders are busy invoking the Ukraine war to seek votes for the BJP in UP elections, harping on the need for a strong government and Modi's alleged global stature even as Indian students stranded in Ukraine face an extremely insecure and uncertain future. The Modi government has done practically nothing to arrange timely evacuation of Indian students and even take up the issue of racist attacks faced by Indian students trying to cross the border.

The forces of peace and democracy the world over must demand an immediate end to the war and diplomatic resolution of the conflict, respecting the sovereignty of Ukraine and the rights of Ukraine's ethnic minorities, and ensuring peace and stability in the region. For real and lasting peace, the US-NATO expansionism must also stop and NATO disbanded.