Ukrainians are waging a heroic resistance against Russia’s invasion. Forced to regroup by the resistance, Putin and his generals have turned to the scorched earth strategy they used in their wars in Chechnya and Syria, putting millions of people’s lives in jeopardy.
Putin probably intends to permanently occupy much greater areas in eastern Ukraine than Russia currently controls. He will try to drive out opponents from these areas and impose terror against Ukrainians who stay. He intends to force Ukraine into a post-war agreement that destroys Ukrainian self-determination, possibly partitioning the country and subordinating a rump Ukraine to Russia.
The hope amid this horror is the emergence of international antiwar resistance from below. The most important component of it is the Ukrainian resistance. That resistance has inspired antiwar organizing throughout the world, most significantly in Russia itself.
We support the Ukraine right to national sovereignty and Ukraine’s fight to defend itself. We oppose any attempts by the West to force Ukraine to sign away its rights. The Ukrainian government wants to negotiate, and that is its right.
However, our job is to rally mass support to help Ukraine defend itself. We demand that the US and European states open their borders to Ukrainian refugees and also to all other migrants, especially African and Arab ones who have been thrust to the back of line and denied entry to the NATO states.
We have nothing but praise and solidarity for Russians who take a stand against Putin’s war, and we demand the release of all those arrested in Russia for anti-war activity.
We support the progressive Ukrainian forces that advocate the rights of the country’s oppressed national minorities, its Russian speakers, Jewish population, and others. Only unity among Ukrainians against all oppressions can knit together the resistance against Russia’s attempt to divide and conquer the country.
The US and other NATO powers aim to defend their sphere of influence, which they have expanded since the end of the Cold War deep into Eastern Europe. Washington is banding its allies together for great power rivalry with Russia—and with China—to buttress its hegemony over the global capitalist system. NATO offers no alternative to Ukraine but subjection to its imperial interests and neoliberal economics. Through the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, the US is one of the oppressors of Ukraine.These international financial institutions have locked Ukraine in debt that now exceeds $129 billion. The country’s workers and oppressed have paid an enormous price to service these loans. We call on the US and its international financial institutions to cancel Ukraine’s debt.
Our immediate task is Solidarity with Ukraine’s People. Long term, we are helping create a new generation of anti-war activists and principled, anti-imperialist forces with a strong base in the working class. We are committed to rebuilding the politics of working-class internationalism and fighting for a world that puts people before empire and profit.
Vermont DSA’s Socialist Internationalism Committee @ cvt.dsa.oc@travenl