Ukraine: 7 conclusions for 24 February


Vitaliy Dudin

February 24, 2024

The viewpoint of a Ukrainian socialist

  1. Ukraine has proved that it is possible to resist Russia, the most militaristic imperial power of our time, without joining NATO. It is a living testimony to the independence and dedication of the Ukrainian people, in particular the Ukrainian armed forces. Putin has walked into a trap of his own making and there is no way out without an even greater degradation of [Russian] society in the direction of fascism. We have survived thanks to unprecedented solidarity, and the prospect of victory depends on its continuation at world level. But to move to a new stage, the national character of the war must be complemented by socialist measures taken by the Ukrainian state.
  2. The link between the state's economic potential and its arsenal of resources is obvious. It is no coincidence that David Arakhamia[1] has said that if US aid is not forthcoming, more Ukrainians will have to be mobilised. Concentrating on measures such as debt cancellation, progressive taxation and the nationalisation of strategic industries would probably enable defenders to be better equipped and therefore fewer people to be recruited. With limited resources and unlimited freedom of action, the authorities are inclined to mobilise people rather than restructure the economy.
  3. The Ukrainian people are convinced that capitalism is incompatible with humanity. Many care workers, railway workers, educators, security guards, drivers and civil servants have experienced multiple vulnerabilities: from them I have learned how the threat to their lives has been compounded by fear of the future due to the arbitrariness of employers. It's a disgrace to see how the authorities are concerned not with these people, but with the comfort of the business elite in all its aspects. The sense of disenfranchisement and insecurity among the working masses is exacerbating the shortage of workers.
  4. Enough time has passed for even free market advocates to be convinced of the inability of the liberal economy to meet the challenges of war. Our people are ready to make an even greater contribution to victory by increasing the production of the means of defence and restoring the infrastructure, but for this to happen, the State must provide everyone with decent and productive employment. Today, labour shortages are compounded by unemployment. The unresolved social and labour crisis will not allow Ukraine to benefit from its natural advantages and will make it dependent on Western aid.
  5. The legitimacy of any coercive measure (such as mobilisation or restricting travel abroad) will remain questionable as long as there is a gap between the social strata and corruption. The authorities will never realise that a society stratified into classes is less stable than a society in full social cohesion. During a war of liberation, there can be no oligarchs in a country that is trying to win.
  6. Restrictions on the calling of elections and political competition should be offset by the expansion of forms of democracy at all levels, in particular by increasing the importance of trade unions and workers' collectives in solving problems at the industrial and legislative levels. After the expiry of the mandate for which she was elected, Galina Tretyakova[2] should not continue to determine social policy and impose a Labour Code focused on protecting the rich from the working population. Without taking into account the opinion of trade unions in the framework of social dialogue, the authorities should not take such decisions, unless, of course, they want to bring social contradictions to a critical point.
  7. Get used to thinking at least once every 24 hours about what you have done for the common good. Are you prepared to sacrifice your free time, because many have already given the most precious thing in the fight for a free Ukraine: their lives. Remember them.


[1] Member of Parliament, Chairman of the Presidential Group in Parliament

[2] Chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Social Policy.