No socialist can support the Russian attack on Ukraine. We oppose and condemn Russia’s military incursion and call for the withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukraine and an end to the bombing.
But, while opposing Russia’s actions, socialists must also try to understand them. In the fog of war propaganda pumped out by mainstream media in the UK it would be easy to be misled into thinking the Russians are behaving like madmen (as The Sun puts it). The Russians have long standing concerns about NATO’s eastward encroachment and their encirclement by hostile states with their weapons pointed at Moscow. The repeated NATO or US/UK attacks on states allied to Russia, such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Serbia and Syria, makes those concerns more understandable. While opposing the latest Russian attacks, we are aware they are only doing what NATO has already long been doing.
The Labour Briefing Co-op believes the situation in Ukraine must be settled by de-escalation, dialogue and negotiation and not by resort to further military conflict. We encourage our readers to support protests and political action against the British government’s warlike rhetoric and encouragement of arms sales to the region. Support and circulate the Stop the War statement against war and join with working people everywhere in the ongoing struggle for peace.
Stop the War Coalition statement on Ukraine – 24/02/22
Stop the War condemns the movement of Russian forces into Ukraine and urges that they immediately withdraw. We call for an immediate ceasefire alongside the resumption of diplomatic negotiations to resolve the crisis.
This dispute could and should be resolved peacefully, and that remains the only basis for a lasting settlement, rather than the imposition of military solutions. That it has not been resolved is not, however, the responsibility of the Russian or Ukrainian governments alone.
The conflict is the product of thirty years of failed policies, including the expansion of NATO and US hegemony at the expense of other countries as well as major wars of aggression by the USA, Britain and other NATO powers which have undermined international law and the United Nations.
The British government has played a provocative role in the present crisis, talking up war, decrying diplomacy as appeasement and escalating arms supplies and military deployments to Eastern Europe.
If there is to be a return to diplomacy, as there should be, the British government should pledge to oppose any further eastward expansion of NATO and should encourage a return to the Minsk-2 agreement, already signed by both sides, by all parties as a basis for ending the crisis in relations between Ukraine and Russia.
Beyond that, there now needs to be a unified effort to develop pan-European security arrangements which meet the needs of all states, something that should have been done when the Warsaw Pact was wound up at the end of the Cold War. The alternative is endless great power conflict with all the attendant waste of resources and danger of bloodshed and destruction.
We send our solidarity to all those campaigning for an end to the war, often under very difficult conditions, in Russia and Ukraine. Stop the War can best support them by demanding a change in Britain’s own policy, which can be seen to have failed.