Statement by Independent Left (Ireland)

Independent Left condemns the Russian invasion of Ukraine; Putin’s war is an imperialist adventure. We support the demand for complete withdrawal of Russian forces from all of Ukraine. 

We support the right of the Ukrainian people to resist the Russian invasion by all means necessary – armed and civil resistance. We defend the right of the Ukrainian working class to arm themselves so as to resist conquest by the Russian army. If they are able to do so, despite extraordinary disparity of military equipment, the defeat of the Russian army will inspire resistance to imperialism of all forms, whether US-led, Chinese-led, or by any other major power tempted to use force to further their interests.

This is not a defensive war, but an offensive war, by one of the world’s imperialist powers; a power which has engaged in numerous military interventions to secure wealth and strategic influence, including the defeat of the Syrian people’s revolution and the recent suppression of the working class revolt in Kazakhstan.

We support the brave anti-war movement in Russia, a movement which will grow in proportion to the resistance of the Ukranian people to the invasion. The defeat of the Russian army in Ukraine will be a victory for the Russian working class because it will advance the prospect of the fall of the right-wing regime, authoritarian Putin regime, and of the oligarchic capitalism on which it is based.  We reject any attempt to blame the Russian people as a whole for this ruling class adventure, and while we support any measure that weakens the Russian ruling elite, we oppose any international sanctions solely designed to punish the Russian working class. We oppose the militarisation of Europe by NATO which is an instrument of American imperialism. It should be noted that Ukraine is not a member of NATO and that there was little prospect of it joining, and that NATO has made it clear it will not intervene directly. At this point NATO is not at war in Ukraine, so we reject abstract sloganeering by those whose focus on NATO leads them to be equivocal, or even opposed to the victory of the Ukrainian resistance.

Like all anti-imperial wars throughout history, there is a left and a right within the Ukrainian resistance. Without in any way putting conditions on our support for the goal of defeating the Russian invasion, we call on all socialists and trade unionists to organise active support for Ukrainian working class communities and organisations in their efforts to resist imperialism by donating or fundraising for their victory through the Ukraine Solidarity Campaign.