Statement from SP two years after the invasion

Two years after the invasion:

Russia out of Ukraine

Neither Putin nor NATO

Two years after the Putin regime’s criminal invasion of Ukraine, the attack has developed into the most devastating major war in Europe since 1945. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and injured, cities and villages laid in ruins, priceless agricultural land ravaged, infrastructure and business destroyed forcing millions of civilians to become refugees. The invasion has not only affected Ukraine but also the global food supply, social welfare systems that are being drained by massive military spending, and serious environmental damage.

In the wake of the invasion Europe is experiencing the fastest militarization it has seen in over half a century with galloping military rearmament, a dramatic growth in munitions production and propaganda messages to the population to be ready for war. Rather than weaken NATO, the Putin regime has done more to expand and strengthen the Atlantic military bloc than any pro-NATO politician has ever managed.

The invasion has not only led to horrendous human losses in Ukraine, but also large casualties in Russia, not to mention the crushing of democratic and human rights in the Russian Federation. The death of opposition leader Alexei Navalny and the canceling of war critic Boris Nadezhdin’s election candidacy are two of the more noticeable expressions of the Putin regime’s oppression. Tens of thousands of Russian peace activists and opponents of the war are silenced in prisons and penal camps while popular revolts like the recent one in Bashkiria are put down. Month by month the war reinforces the despotic character of the Putin regime with the increasing risk of proliferation and the possible use of tactical nuclear weapons.

For the world’s workers, social movements and socialists, the task at hand is absolutely clear: Putin’s war must be stopped, the people of Ukraine must be defended, Russian peace activists released and the return of democratic rights and the reconstruction of ruined societies must be effected immediately. Those responsible for the invasion must be held accountable and war criminals convicted.

The workers and popular social movements in Europe and elsewhere have no military resources, but we have a groundswell of popular solidarity in support the Ukrainian people – from practical assistance to worker and left organizations, feminists, democrats and minorities, to political pressure aimed at both the Russian regime and Western imperialism’s attempts to shackle Ukraine to neoliberal plundering and long term debt dependancy.

Obliterate banking secrecy and force the tax havens to open their books. Confiscate the assets of the Russian oligarchs and their international accomplices, and use them for the reconstruction of Ukraine!

Write off Ukraine’s debts, support the Ukrainien workers and social movements against neoliberal privatizations, wage cuts, destruction of the welfare system and the abolition of workers rights.

No to chauvinism and discrimination, Russification and oppression of minorities – including Russian-speaking minorities.

Support Ukraine’s working class soldiers with equipment, protection and care, open the medical systems in the West for free medical care, support the Ukrainian trade unions fight to protect their members both on and behind the fronts.

Solidarity with Russian peace activists, asylum for war resisters and deserters.

Don’t let Putin legitimize NATO’s expansion with its massive increase in armaments and the placement of US military bases and nuclear weapons in Scandinavia and elsewhere.

Confiscate munitions industry profits for for use in civil society reconstruction.

Demand the withdrawal of all Russian troops from Ukraine. A ceasefire, negotiations and a peace settlement without annexations is the only way to begin the necessary process to bring equal democratic and human rights for the peoples of Russia and Ukraine.

Let the growing demand for peace in Russian go hand-in-hand with an independent Ukraine and together fight for a just and democratic future.

Socialist Politics