The Russian invasion of Ukraine

The invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces should be opposed by all socialists.  It will deliver death and destruction and strengthen division between the workers of each country; not to mention division within Ukraine between its majority and Russian-speaking populations, and within Russia and its millions of Ukrainian residents.

Initial reports are of opposition by many Russians to the invasion and this must be supported by workers everywhere.  If we seek to support these voices we must not rally to our own ruling classes and states in their aggression towards Russia, which will inevitably hit ordinary Russians most rather than the oligarchs who have been so royally entertained in the West for so long.

We must oppose NATO and its expansionism and demand no Western involvement in the war.  The future of Russia must lie in its workers opposing the repression of Ukraine, which will be a foil to resistance to their repression from their own state.  They will bear the cost of the war in the lives of their fathers, sons and brothers and the cost of bombs, shells and missiles as well as incurring the wider enmity created.

Similarly in Ukraine, while the Ukrainian people have the right to defend themselves and to seek support from Russian workers and workers in the West, they need to ask what sort of state and Government it is that has led them into this war.  The higher living standards of the West have understandably attracted many in Ukraine, but the route to economic and social unity with the West does not lie through an alliance with NATO, which has demonstrated its aggressive and war-like nature in Afghanistan, in Libya and previously in Europe.

The promise of independence of Ukraine within NATO was a promise that could not be kept and could exist only as an increasing threat to Russia.  NATO membership would simply make Ukraine a hostage to NATO – in reality US – foreign policy and its intentions. This does not excuse the Russian invasion but damns the policy of the Ukrainian Government and the lies of Western powers.

Self-determination for Ukraine today means opposition to the war and to NATO.  At some point the fighting will stop but it will not be the Ukrainian people who will determine their future, just as the prelude to war has involved the US, EU and China arguing over their fate.  Real self-determination can only be accomplished by the unity of the peoples of the region, of Russia, Ukraine, Eastern Europe and Europe as a whole.  Who will achieve this?

Only the working people of Ukraine and Russia have an interest in denying the territorial ambitions of their respective states and ruling classes.  Only they have a joint purpose in removing their own corrupt governments from power and denying their wider geo-political ambitions.  The so-called end of the cold war and the Soviet Union has demonstrated that war is intrinsic to the existing regimes in both Russia and the West, and of most benefit to its strongest power the United States. The demand for peace will be hollow if it does not recognise this glaring fact of recent history.

In Ireland we are asked to join the hypocrisy of Western powers with blood on their own hands, to oppose Russia in its copying their own actions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Serbia etc.  The call to join NATO is getting louder and the demand for a bigger Irish military is now prominent.  Ukraine has demonstrated that neither of these is a contribution to peace or security.

The unity of the peoples of Eurasia can only be achieved over the body of capitalist state rivalry and the billionaires and oligarchs who have benefited from the existing political and economic system. The working class movement of each country must reject the aggressive policies of its own states and leaders and seek to build real unity of its working people.

Against the War! Against the invasion! For immediate withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine!  No to NATO! For the unity of working class people – Workers of the World Unite!

see also here

3 thoughts on “The Russian invasion of Ukraine

  1. Pingback: The War in Ukraine and the Left – 🚩

  2. just been listening to a virtual talk by John Mearsheimer about the Ukraine conflict. He is in no doubt that Nato which is dominated by the USA is largely to blame for the crisis. The analysis is not a Marxist one though, it is based on the realism of accepting the national interest of the powerful states, in short his method is positivist or neo positivism. Nevertheless his account of the genesis of the conflict is worth knowing about. His solution is that Ukraine returns to the status it had before 2014, a neutral buffer State between Nato and Russia, this solution is not that far away from your own declaration that Russian forces should withdraw and Nato should also be kept out of Ukraine for now and forever.

    you readers can catch the talk on you tube: professor john measheimer; the situation in ukraine and russia; Kings politics. It is worth watching for the detailed genesis of the crisis, details that most of us don’t know much about.

  3. Putin is making too many enemies at home for his own regime too remain stable. At the very least there will be economic repercussions for his own supporters. I suspect he already believes some of his circle are secretly disloyal and he is using the national conflict in the disputed region of Ukraine to flush them out, you are either with me or against me style. I don’t see this as the start of an international conflict, though it might get out of hand if the three Baltic States act foolishly and of course if Boris seeks to save his own political reputation by getting GB more involved. the french have not even announced any economic sanctions and Germany will know the Americans are going all out to sabotage their oil and gas pipe line deal with Russia. Only the mad cap Brits are kicking up a sound of noise of fury to probably no particular end.

Leave a Reply to Paul Flannigan Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.