The Russian government’s invasion of Donetsk and Luhansk is a blow to working people in Ukraine, Russia and worldwide. It must be opposed.
Like its occupation of Crimea in 2014, Moscow’s violation of Ukrainian sovereignty is aimed at advancing the reach of Russia’s capitalist rulers. They are seizing territory, subjugating the Ukrainian people and threatening peoples across Eastern Europe in countries Moscow lost control over when the Stalinist-run Soviet Union came apart in 1991. And Vladimir Putin’s regime will use these war moves to intensify assaults on political rights at home.
In Ukraine, the Russian rulers seek to regain control they lost in 2014 when popular mobilizations by hundreds of thousands of workers, farmers and youth overthrew the tyrannical pro-Moscow regime of Viktor Yanukovych.
After Yanukovych’s overthrow, the Kremlin seized Crimea, launching a brutal assault against the Tatar people and worsening living conditions for working people as a whole. They funded and orchestrated a war by pro-Moscow separatist forces in eastern Ukraine. The bloody toll from Moscow’s conflict is paid for by both Ukrainians and Russians.
Putin insists that the Ukrainian people, who fought centuries of oppression imposed by Russia’s czarist rulers, are really Russians and their country’s independence should be crushed.
As workers here organize to stand with workers and farmers in Ukraine against Moscow’s war, they should also oppose the sanctions imposed on Russia by Washington, as well as calls for the U.S. rulers to unleash its military might there. Their imperialist foreign policy is an extension of their relentless assaults on our wages, jobs and rights here.
Working people need our own foreign policy — in opposition to U.S. military moves abroad and in solidarity with workers and farmers fighting to defend their interests against exploitation and oppression worldwide.
Washington’s last war in Europe was a brutal bombing campaign against the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, furthering the dismemberment of that country. The U.S. rulers asserted their dominance in Europe on the corpses of the Yugoslav peoples. Everywhere Washington intervenes it does so solely to advance the rulers’ power and enrich their class at the expense of workers and farmers.
Under the revolutionary leadership of V.I. Lenin, the Bolshevik government in Russia championed the rights of the Ukrainian people to self-determination. It combated all expressions of Great Russian chauvinism and strengthened the unity and fighting capacities of working people to advance the forging of a truly voluntary Soviet republic. That was made possible because the Bolsheviks had led workers and farmers to overturn capitalist rule in 1917 and make a socialist revolution.
Standing on that continuity, Socialist Workers Party members participate in and urge others to join actions to demand the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Moscow’s forces from Ukraine.