[Updated] Solidarity statements on the second anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine

Solidarity statements released by the Fourth International, Ukraine Solidarity Network (US), European Network for Solidarity with Ukraine and left elected representatives on the second anniversary of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Two years of war : Statement on Ukraine

Fourth International

In the context of the anniversary of 24 February 2022 invasion of Ukraine, we express our global internationalist and systematic support for Ukraine’s right to self-determination and right to resist occupation and oppression, as we express it for all peoples whoever be the colonial oppressor.

We affirm our political independence from the neoliberal Zelensky government. That is why we aim to develop direct internationalist links from below with the left, feminist, LGBTQ+, social and environmental struggles and currents within the popular resistance to build a free, democratic therefore pluralist, independent nation.

Therefore we continue to give our support to the demands expressed by left political and trade-unionist Ukrainian currents:

  • An immediate end to shelling, the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine;
  • To increase the resources consolidating the public services and social protection so much needed in the context of war and for the future independent Ukraine, and resist the ongoing attempts by the neoliberal government of Ukraine to use the war as an excuse for dismantling public services and destroying social protection
  • The need to abolish all forms of “aid” conditional on privatizations;
  • The support for material and financial aid which does not increase the Ukrainian foreign debt, in line with our support for the demand of cancellation of the existing debt;
  • A general orientation to use funds devoted to help Ukraine resistance and reconstruction in order to contribute to building a social and democratic European project, which means the reduction of inequalities and therefore opposition to the logics of fiscal and social dumping and “competition”;
  • The increase of Ukrainian wages – individual and social income – as an outlet for Ukraine industrial and agricultural production is to be radically opposed to the ongoing dominant policy (which is trying to increase Ukrainian “competitivity” in exports by reducing taxes and wages)

Our support to Ukrainian armed and non-armed resistance against the Russian invasion also means our solidarity with all citizens of the Russian Federation who refuse that war and are repressed because of their democratic stance.

We oppose the logic of 'Great Russian power' and domination over neighbouring countries. The victory of the free and democratic Ukrainian people is organically favourable to the emergence of a pluralist, peaceful and democratic Russian Federation and union of the peoples of Europe.

The Russian aggression and threats against its neighbours creates more support for NATO in those countries. The defeat of Russian aggression would therefore facilitate the struggle against NATO. We oppose the use of the Russian invasion of Ukraine as an excuse to increase military budgets. We have always been, and continue to be against any logic of counter-posed military blocs or zones of influence. We struggle for the dissolving of military blocs that are in the service of imperialism such as NATO and the Russian-led CSTO alliance. In our struggle against imperialism and for the self-determination of all peoples we fight for the defeat of Putin’s project.

We reaffirm such a programme for the second anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine helping to combine our full support to Ukrainian resistance to the war and to neoliberal policies with promoting new European and international progressive projects integrating eco-socialist anticapitalist dimensions.

Stand against genocide and imperialism, from Palestine to Ukraine

Ukraine Solidarity Network (US)

Two wars dominate world politics today–and the U.S. is involved in both, although in very different ways. Washington enables Israel’s genocidal onslaught on Gaza with weapons, funds and political support while providing direct military backing through airstrikes in Yemen, Syria and Iraq. In Ukraine, however, the U.S. opposes Russia’s also-genocidal attack on its culture and people, and has provided weapons, funds, and political backing to the Ukraine government. Washington’s double standards and hypocrisy are obvious to the millions of people around the world who have taken to the streets in solidarity with Palestine.

The staggering cynicism of the Biden administration–denouncing Russian missiles that destroy schools and hospitals in Ukraine while sending weapons to perform such atrocities in Gaza–may lead some activists to conclude that U.S. backing for Ukraine delegitimizes its people’s struggle against Russia. Yet a closer look shows that both Ukraine and Palestine are facing wars waged on them by powers that seek not only to subjugate them militarily but to erase them as a people with their own national identity.

Consider the words of Russian President Vladimir Putin. He justified the 2022 invasion by claiming that Ukraine is led by Nazis, is not a “real” country and therefore has no legitimate claim to national self-determination. Then look at the map that Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu held up at the United Nations General Assembly in 2023–one that showed Israel with Gaza and the Occupied Territories on the West Bank completely erased. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov even likened Israel’s war aims in Gaza to those of Russia in Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has lined up behind the U.S. in supporting Israel, which has made many in the Palestine solidarity movement skeptical about supporting Ukraine’s resistance against Russia. However, even if Zelensky backs Israel at the same time he is attacking workers’ union rights in Ukraine, the Ukrainian people have the right to defend themselves against Russian imperialist invaders and to get the weapons they need anywhere they can. Regardless of what their President says, Ukrainians are worthy of our solidarity, just as the struggles of American Black people, other oppressed groups and workers deserve international support no matter what the US President says. The same is true for Palestine: it is possible to criticize Hamas’ politics and actions while supporting the struggle for self-determination for Palestinians and the international movement to support that goal. In particular we support worker-to-worker solidarity, including aid convoys, to Palestine and Ukraine.

Both Ukrainians and Palestinians are standing against imperialist aggression. As a statement by more than 300 prominent Ukrainian activists, journalists and scholars put it:

Watching the Israeli targeting civilian infrastructure in Gaza, the Israeli humanitarian blockade and occupation of land resonates especially painfully with us. From this place of pain of experience and solidarity, we call on our fellow Ukrainians globally and all the people to raise their voices in support of the Palestinian people and condemn the ongoing Israeli mass ethnic cleansing.

We reject the Ukrainian government statements that express unconditional support for Israel’s military actions, and we consider the calls to avoid [Palestinian] civilian casualties by Ukraine’s [Ministry of Foreign Affairs] belated and insufficient. This position is a retreat from the support of Palestinian rights and condemnation of the Israeli occupation, which Ukraine has followed for decades, including voting in the UN.

For its part, the U.S. government backs Israel’s war to crush Gaza because it serves its interest to have a loyal, militarily powerful ally in the Middle East. It supported Ukraine–with plenty of strings attached–because Washington wishes to inflict a “strategic defeat” on Russia. This calculated approach to achieving U.S. imperialist goals lies behind the Biden administration’s hypocrisy and double standards regarding Palestine and Ukraine. Factions in the Republican Party oppose even that support, some because they share Putin’s white nationalist ultraconservatism and some because they see U.S. confrontation with China as the main foreign policy objective.

We also support many other important movements for national liberation, from Western Sahara to the struggle of the Kurds in the Middle East and the fight for self-determination in Puerto Rico, Kashmir and beyond. We focus today on Ukraine and Palestine not because these and other struggles are unimportant, but because the major contending imperialist powers have made Ukraine and Palestine a testing ground for new imperialist wars of aggression and genocide. If they succeed, it will be a blow to democracy and national self-determination everywhere.

As the situation in Gaza grows ever more desperate and another year passes in Russia’s war against Ukraine, we seek to build links between these struggles of resistance and to put forward an alternative of self-determination and justice. As many Jewish participants in the Palestine solidarity movement have pointed out, the genocide against Jews in the Second World War is being used to justify both genocide against Palestinians today and the attempt to erase Ukraine.

Never again for Jews. Never again for Palestinians. Never again for Ukrainians. Never again for anyone anywhere.

Statement on second anniversary of Russian invasion of Ukraine

European Network for Solidarity with Ukraine

February 24, 2024, marks two years since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. This totally unjustified invasion has already cost the lives of at least 20,000 Ukrainian civilians and over 100,000 soldiers. Millions of people have been forced to flee abroad, millions more are displaced inside Ukraine.

The aggressor continues to destroy entire cities and civilian infrastructure (electricity and heating networks, schools, hospitals, railways, ports, etc). The Russian army has carried out mass killings of Ukrainians (both soldiers and civilians). Sexual violence is part of the aggressor's strategy. Many citizens (including children) have been forcibly deported to Russia and Belarus.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Russian government, the main political forces of the Russian Federation, religious leaders and the media promote an imperialist agenda that denies Ukrainians their right to independence, statehood, and the freedom to choose political alliances.

The Ukrainian people refuse to be passive victims of this aggression and are massively resisting the invasion, with and without arms. Grassroots self-organisation (including by trade unions, feminist organisations, and civil rights associations) is playing a vital role in the country's defence and the struggle for a free, social and democratic Ukraine.

However, in view of the complicated world political situation (exemplified by the Republican Party's blocking of financial aid to Ukraine in the US Congress), mobilisation in support of the military and civil resistance of the Ukrainians is more necessary than ever.

The Russian government has increased the resources of its own war industry by 70%, to which must be added private mercenary forces and various forms of subsidy designed to make the war acceptable to the poorest populations of the federation, whose men are mobilised as cannon fodder. Putin is also exploiting the hypocrisy of the “democratic” rhetoric of Western countries to divert public opinion from criticising his own crimes in Ukraine.

At the same time, solidarity with the Ukrainian people is being undermined by a dominant discourse which presents spending “to help Ukraine” as a justification for cuts in social budgets and permanent increases in arms spending. 

The legitimate aspiration for peace accompanied by demands for urgent responses to social and ecological emergencies cannot take place at the expense of Ukrainian lives and rights: it should instead be transformed into a demand for transparency about real government spending, rejecting permanently rising militarisation and socially regressive economic policies, nationally and globally.

Ukraine cannot win without NATO-supplied weapons to repel the invader. Yet what its eventual victory over Putin will most represent is not a win for the Western side in the great-power struggle for global dominance, but a triumph for the Ukrainian people’s unyielding resistance and right to decide its future.

As such, it will be a victory for small nations and democratic principle everywhere. We call for making the week around 24 February (19-25) a time of international action against the Russian invasion and in solidarity with Ukraine.

Peace for Ukraine. Stop Russia’s war! Immediate stop to Russian bombing and withdrawal of all Russian troops from all of Ukraine!

The widest possible support and solidarity with the Ukrainian people in their legitimate resistance to the Russian invasion!

Left elected representatives call for full support to Ukraine on the second anniversary of the Russian invasion

Left elected representatives

As present and former  elected representatives of the left – members of the European and national parliaments, regional and local councillors – we want to address our colleagues on the left in Europe and in the world. We appeal to you to mobilise together with us in support of the military and civil resistance of the Ukrainian people. In this respect our elected positions give us a special opportunity and a special responsibility. Supporting Ukraine also means countering the nefarious propaganda of the far right which is the bedrock of Putin’s support internationally.

We are coming to the second anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. That means that Ukraine is entering its third year of war. Many of us hoped that the war would be shorter and that Ukraine would be quickly victorious. It is now clear that this was an over-optimistic view. Russia has dug in and built strong defences. What was a war of movement in 2022 has become largely a war of position in 2023.

The war does not only concern the soldiers who are defending Ukraine. It also concerns the civilian populations who are victims of Russian bombings and attacks on infrastructure, above all for the second winter in seeking to destroy heating systems.

The situation in the zones occupied by Russia is much worse. Ukrainians who refuse to take Russian passports are discriminated against in various ways, for example in refusal of access to health care. Those who are considered the most incorrigible are arrested and sent to Russia. It is estimated that there are about 4,000 Ukrainians held prisoner in Russia, not counting prisoners of war, and held in very bad conditions. There are also examples of deportation of Ukrainians to Russia and their replacement by Russian settlers – a process pioneered in Crimea after 2014. Most serious of all is the deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia where they are “adopted” and “Russified”.

Ukraine has received much aid, humanitarian and financial. Some of this aid comes from governments and NGOs. Some of it comes from trade unions, especially in Europe. Many unions have taken clear positions in support of Ukraine and established strong contacts with Ukrainian unions. Ukraine has also received military aid from NATO countries and elsewhere. This aid is necessary, and it will continue to be.

Nearly two years after the invasion, Russia’s position has not budged one inch. It demands the totality of the territories that it has “annexed” including the parts that it has not succeeded in occupying. There is no guarantee that it will not also demand Kharkiv and Odessa. And it continues to demand a change of government in Kyiv. There is no room for discussion on the basis of these demands. The only road to a lasting peace is the unconditional withdrawal of Russian troops. And Ukraine must be able to receive the arms necessary to impose that withdrawal.

To indicate your support, send an email to representatives@ukraine-solidarity.eu 

See below for signatories at February 22, 2024

NAMEElected positionName of party/alliance etcCountry
Sâmia BomfimFederal DeputyPartido Socialismo e Liberdade (PSOL)Brazil
Roberto RobainaCouncilor - Porto Alegre/RSPartido Socialismo e Liberdade (PSOL)Brazil
Mônica SeixasState Deputy - São PauloPartido Socialismo e Liberdade (PSOL)Brazil
Mariana ContiCouncilor - Campinas/SPPartido Socialismo e Liberdade (PSOL)Brazil
Luciana GenroState Deputy - Rio Grande do SulPartido Socialismo e Liberdade (PSOL)Brazil
Luana AlvesCouncilor - São Paulo/SPPartido Socialismo e Liberdade (PSOL)Brazil
Josemar CarvalhoState Deputy - Rio de JaneiroPartido Socialismo e Liberdade (PSOL)Brazil
Fernanda MelchionnaFederal DeputyPartido Socialismo e Liberdade (PSOL)Brazil
Camila ValadãoState Deputy - Espírito SantoPartido Socialismo e Liberdade (PSOL)Brazil
Julie JamesMinister for Climate Change, Member of the Senedd (Welsh Parliament)Labour and Cooperative PartyCymru (Wales)
Dawn BowdenDeputy Minister for Arts and Sport, Member of the Senedd (Welsh Parliament)Labour and Cooperative PartyCymru (Wales)
Hannah BlythynDeputy Minister for Social Partnership, Member of the Senedd (Welsh Parliament)Labour and Cooperative PartyCymru (Wales)
Lynne NeagleDeputy Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing, Member of the Senedd (Welsh Parliament)Labour and Cooperative PartyCymru (Wales)
Mick AntoniwGeneral Counsel for Wales, Member of the Senedd (Welsh Parliament)Labour and Cooperative PartyCymru (Wales)
Victoria VelasquezMember of ParliamentRed-Green AllianceDenmark
Trine Pertou MachMember of ParliamentRed-Green AllianceDenmark
Søren SøndergaardMember of ParliamentRed-Green AllianceDenmark
Søren Egge RasmussenMember of ParliamentRed-Green AllianceDenmark
Runa HansenMember of ParliamentRed-Green AllianceDenmark
Rosa LundMember of ParliamentRed-Green AllianceDenmark
Pelle DragstedMember of ParliamentRed-Green AllianceDenmark
Nikolaj VillumsenMember of the European ParliamentRed-Green AllianceDenmark
Jette GottliebMember of ParliamentRed-Green AllianceDenmark
Anne HegelundMember of ParliamentRed-Green AllianceDenmark
Tuncay CilguConseiller municipal à PauNouvelle Union populaire écologique et socialeFrance
Laurence BoffetVice-Présidente Métropole de Lyon, Conseillère d'arrondissement Lyon 1erEnsemble!France
Jean-Yves LalanneMaire de Billère vice-président de la communauté d’agglomération Pau Béarn PyrénéesNouvelle Union populaire écologique et socialeFrance
Sonia ZdorovtzoffDeputy Mayor of the City of Lyon,Les EcologistesFrance
Kevin DonoghueCouncilor, Dublin City CouncilLabour PartyIreland
John LyonsCouncilor, Dublin City CouncilIndependent LeftIreland
Miguel Jorge MadeiraMember of the Assembleia of Freguesia (Parish Assembly) of PortimãoBloco de EsquerdaPortugal
Steven CarrCouncilorScottish National PartyScotland
Roza SalihCouncilorScottish National PartyScotland
Anne McLaughlinMember of Parliament (Westminster)Scottish National PartyScotland
Amy McNeese-MechanCouncilorScottish National PartyScotland
Graham CampbellCouncilorScottish National PartyScotland
Stuart DobbinCouncilorScottish National PartyScotland
Carlos GirbauCouncilor, Ciempozuelas Council, MadridMas MadridSpanish State
Malin BjörkMember of the European ParliamentLeft PartySweden
Sylvain ThévozDeputy (Geneva)Socialist PartySwitzerland
Stéfanie PreziosoFormer Member of Swiss ParliamentEnsemble à GaucheSwitzerland
Pierre VanekFormer Member of Swiss ParliamentEnsemble à GaucheSwitzerland
Nicolas WalderMember of ParliamentGreen PartySwitzerland
Laurence Fehlmann RielleMember of ParliamentSocialist PartySwitzerland
Hadrien BuclinMember of the parliament of the canton of VaudEnsemble à GaucheSwitzerland
Emmanuel AmoosMember of ParliamentSocialist PartySwitzerland
Élodie LopezMember of the parliament of the canton of VaudEnsemble à gaucheSwitzerland
Mathilde MarendazMember of the parliament of the canton of VaudEnsemble à gaucheSwitzerland
Jean BatouFormer deputy, Grand Council of GenevaEnsemble à GaucheSwitzerland
John McDonnellMember of Parliament (Westminster)Labour PartyUnited Kingdom