The Ukraine Solidarity Campaign has issued a statement of labour movement solidarity to mark the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion on 24 February 2022.
The statement calls for “protests, actions and meetings in solidarity with Ukraine in the last week of February”, which has been declared a global week of action by the European Network for Solidarity with Ukraine and others.
It expresses support for Ukraine’s military resistance to Russia and, in particular, calls on the British labour movement to renew and expand solidarity “with Ukraine’s labour movement and left in their fight for independence, to defend workers’ rights, human rights and democracy during the war, and for a more just and democratic post-war reconstruction”, as well as with the anti-war movement and independent labour organisations in Russia.
The statement has been signed by a host of British and Ukraine trade union leaders and Labour MPs, including ASLEF general secretary Mick Whelan; MPs John McDonnell, Nadia Whittome and Clive Lewis; Mick Antoniw of the Welsh Senedd; and human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, among many others.
“We are calling for and supporting protests, actions and meetings in solidarity with Ukraine in the last week of February – during the global week of action organised by the European Network for Solidarity with Ukraine and others, marking the anniversary of Russia’s invasion.
“The casualties of Russia’s war in Ukraine are counted in tens of thousands, the displaced in many millions, the damage in tens of billions of pounds. The invading forces are systematically committing crimes including intentional killing of civilians, rape, destruction of vital infrastructure, and forced displacement and deportations, including of children. Meanwhile the war is transforming Putin’s Russia into an even more violently reactionary and authoritarian regime.
“A democratic, lasting peace for the peoples of Ukraine and Russia requires the defeat of Russia’s brutal imperialism. We stand with Ukraine’s military resistance to Putin’s war, and with the anti-war resistance in Russia.
“We demand the immediate withdrawal of all invading troops from the territory of Ukraine to its internationally recognised borders; the right for all refugees and displaced persons to return in conditions of safety; for those responsible for war crimes to be held fully accountable, and for meaningful justice for their victims.
“We demand governments increase humanitarian aid, and for the gifting to Ukraine of all the surplus UK military equipment due to be replaced, especially the 79 Challenger tanks, 170 Scimitar reconnaissance vehicles, all Warrior infantry fighting vehicles, Typhoon fighter aircraft – to help Ukraine win more quickly, with less suffering.
“We commit to building renewed and expanded solidarity with Ukraine’s resistance; with Ukraine’s labour movement and left in their fight for independence, to defend workers’ rights, human rights and democracy during the war, and for a more just and democratic post-war reconstruction; and with the anti-war movement and independent labour organisations in Russia.
“We call for the UK to increase its support and welcome for the victims of this conflict, and to end the hostile environment facing refugees.”