Stand with Ukraine – UK solidarity statement and call for protests for the anniversary of Russia’s invasion

We are calling for and supporting protests, actions and meetings in solidarity with Ukraine in the last week of February –  during the global week of action organised by the European Network for Solidarity with Ukraine and others, marking the anniversary of Russia’s invasion.

The casualties of Russia’s war in Ukraine are counted in tens of thousands, the displaced in many millions, the damage in tens of billions of pounds. The invading forces are systematically committing crimes including intentional killing of civilians, rape, destruction of vital infrastructure, and forced displacement and deportations, including of children. Meanwhile the war is transforming Putin’s Russia into an even more violently reactionary and authoritarian regime.

A democratic, lasting peace for the peoples of Ukraine and Russia requires the defeat of Russia’s brutal imperialism. We stand with Ukraine’s military resistance to Putin’s war, and with the anti-war resistance in Russia.

We demand the immediate withdrawal of all invading troops from the territory of Ukraine to its internationally recognised borders; the right for all refugees and displaced persons to return in conditions of safety; for those responsible for war crimes to be held fully accountable, and for meaningful justice for their victims.

We demand governments increase humanitarian aid, and for the gifting to Ukraine of all the surplus UK military equipment due to be replaced, especially the 79 Challenger tanks, 170 Scimitar reconnaissance vehicles, all Warrior infantry fighting vehicles, Typhoon fighter aircraft – to help Ukraine win more quickly, with less suffering.

We commit to building renewed and expanded solidarity with Ukraine’s resistance; with Ukraine’s labour movement and left in their fight for independence, to defend workers’ rights, human rights and democracy during the war, and for a more just and democratic post-war reconstruction; and with the anti-war movement and independent labour organisations in Russia.

We call for the UK to increase its support and welcome for the victims of this conflict, and to end the hostile environment facing refugees.


Initial signatories:

Gary Smith, GMB General Secretary

Barbara Plant, GMB President

Mick Whelan, ASLEF General Secretary

Chris Kitchen, NUM General Secretary

Simon Weller, ASLEF Assistant General Secretary

John Moloney, PCS Assistant General Secretary (pc)

Oksana Holota, Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine (in UK)

Pavlo Holota, Independent Union of Mineworkers of Ukraine (in UK)

John McDonnell MP

Nadia Whittome MP

Clive Lewis MP

Rachael Maskell MP

Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP

Ian Lavery MP

Mick Antoniw, Member of the Senedd

Paul Sweeney, Member of the Scottish Parliament

Alena Ivanova, Sacha Ismail, Chris Ford, Ukraine Solidarity Campaign

Paul Mason, writer and campaigner

Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner

Yuliya Yurchenko, Sotsialnyi Rukh, Ukraine Solidarity Campaign, UCU activist

Matthew Hull, Trade Union Liaison Officer, Green Party of England & Wales (pc)

Tessa Milligan, Open Labour Co-Chair

Amen Tesfay, Open Labour Co-Chair

Mark Boothroyd, Unite and RCN activist, Guys’ and St Thomas’

Zoe Williams, journalist Daniel York Loh, writer, performer, filmmaker

Mike Davis, editor, Chartist

Julie Ward, Chartist, former Member of the European Parliament

Cathy Nugent, Workers’ Liberty

Vijay Menezes-Jackson, Chair, National Young Members’ Committee, PCS (pc)

Vera Horton, Belarusian activist, BelDiasporaTV

John-Paul Himka, historian

Praveen Kolluguri, Kingston and Surbiton Labour Black Asian and Minority Ethnic officer Councillor Graham Campbell, SNP NEC Black Asian and Minority Ethnic convener

Pat Murphy, National Education Union NEC

Pete Glover, NEU NEC

Peter Duncan, School of Slavonic and East European Studies

Zoe Gardner, Another Europe is Possible NC

Mary Kaldor, AEIP NC

John Palmer, former Guardian European editor, European Policy Centre Political Director, AEIP NC

Alan Fraser, Education & Health & Safety Officer, GMB

Gregory Schwartz, University of Bristol

Taras Fedirko, University of Glasgow

Gita Saghal, human rights advocate