The Socialist International wholly condemns the Russian invasion of Ukraine which began at dawn today, 24 February, with the aerial bombardment of targets across the Ukrainian territory. It is a tragedy that diplomatic efforts have failed to prevent this war and the catastrophic humanitarian cost it will bring in terms of lost life and human suffering. We echo the words of the United Nations Secretary General in calling on President Putin to end this offensive and return his troops to Russia, in order that a truly devastating ground war may be averted.
This premeditated war of aggression, described by Russia as a ‘special military operation’, comes after months of provocation and belligerence. It follows the unilateral recognition of Donetsk and Luhansk as independent republics and the sending of Russian tanks and troops to those areas of Ukraine on 22 February, an act condemned by our International and the international community as a violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine which is wholly inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations.
The Socialist International further rejects the claims made by the Russian president over the sovereign territory of Ukraine and its allegations of oppression and genocide, repeated as a pretext for the invasion that began this morning. The responsibility for this war and the death, suffering and destruction it will bring lies with Russia, which must be held accountable.
Today Ukraine and its people are at war, as a result of an attack which all those in the world who value peace must oppose. We offer our full solidarity to the people and government of Ukraine in the face of the existential threat posed by this hostile invasion and urge the United Nations and the international community to defend the UN Charter, international norms, the rules-based order and the sovereignty of Ukraine by standing firm against this unjustified act of aggression.