Tue Jul 23, 2024
July 23, 2024

Six months after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has now reached its sixth month. When Putin’s troops stepped onto Ukrainian soil on February 24, after threatening the country for months by keeping one hundred thousand soldiers stationed on its borders, all indications were that it would be an easy triumph for the Kremlin. Against all odds, this has not happened.

By Daniel Sugasti

Putin’s ambitions came up against the Ukrainian people’s resistance as they stood up to the second most powerful military on the planet. To get an idea of the invader’s brutality, consider that in the first month of war Ukraine suffered a bombing every 36 minutes. In the last month, it has been every 12 minutes.

But this has not dampened the people’s morale. In addition to the regular army, thousands of civilians have come to the country’s defense. The images that have circulated of hundreds of people in different cities organizing themselves to make Molotov cocktails, receive rapid military instruction, or to collaborate in every possible way in the rearguard, has been incredibly moving.

This resistance, coupled with logistical errors on the part of the Russians, caused Putin to abandon the initial plan for a lightning-fast conquest of Kiev. In March, Moscow announced that it would concentrate its military efforts on control of the Donbas and southern Ukraine.

The Russian withdrawal from the periphery of Kiev left in its wake a trail of terrible atrocities committed against civilians, as occured in Bucha and other cities. In the South, the conquest of Mariupol, an important port city on the Sea of Azov, involved a massive effort taking months on the part of Russian troops. In fact, that position could only be taken at the end of May after the Russian’s destroyed the city and committed countless other war crimes.

In recent months, the war has entered an impasse and phase of mutual attrition. Russia, with the cover of pro-Russian separatist mercenary groups, has conquered much of the Donbas, which is Ukraine’s mining and most industrialized region.

But it has not been easy. Putin is encountering strong resistance in the East (the Russians have not been able to conquer Kharkov, the second largest city in the country) and have had to respond to a series of Ukrainian counterattacks in the South (as in Kherson), which has forced the military to divide its forces. Ukrainian guerrilla actions against the invaders have also been taking place in different areas. However, the Russian military superiority on the ground remains overwhelming, especially in terms of its artillery and air power.

The war looks like it will be lengthy and costly. Thousands have been killed. Dozens of cities have been destroyed. More than six million people have left the country. Those who have stayed lack the most basic necessities such as food, drinking water, the ability to heat their homes, etc.

But Ukraine has not given up. The country’s main task remains to defeat the Russian invasion. Expelling Putin’s troops from Ukrainian territory is crucial. The problem is that the working class cannot trust Zelensky to achieve this goal. This is because Zelensky heads a bourgeois government in the service of the oligarchs, who have taken advantage of the war to further attack the conditions of the working class. And in this way, they have thus undermined working class resistance to the occupier. Because of its class character, Zelensky’s government will sooner or later betray the struggle of its own people.

Nor should the US and European (NATO) imperialism be trusted, as they will not tolerate a genuine victory of Ukraine’s exploited classes against Putin. That is why they are sending a trickle of mostly defensive and even obsolete arms. That is also why they have kept doing business with Putin. Imperialism is not remotely interested in Ukrainian sovereignty. In fact, on several occasions, world leaders admitted discussing the idea of dividing the country. On the contrary, the working class and exploited people are interested in defeating the invaders and recovering all the occupied territory, including Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014.

The IWL has supported the Ukrainian people’s cause from the beginning, maintaining its opposition to the Ukrainian government, bourgeoisie, and NATO, while supporting complete working-class independence. We have promoted talks and protests in different countries. We have organized, together with Ukrainian miners and other organizations, a solidarity convoy that brought supplies to the resistance.

We maintain that the nature of the conflict is defined by the military aggression of a more powerful country (Russia) against a weaker one (Ukraine). Therefore, we support the struggle of the Ukrainian workers and people against the invasion, and we are for the defeat of the Russian troops in this war.

In this sense, we believe it is necessary to promote public mobilizations to show our support for the Ukrainian resistance, the likes of which we have already seen in Europe and other parts of the world. It is regrettable that most of the left defends pacifist positions, or directly supports Putin’s invasion.

On the other hand, it is correct—and necessary—to mobilize to demand that governments, especially those of the imperialist countries, deliver heavy weapons with offensive power and all the necessary materials including ammunition, food, and medicines, directly to the Ukrainian resistance without any conditions.

We are adamantly against NATO interference in the conflict and demand its dissolution. We are also against the recent efforts to “strengthen” the armies that compose it, because they are ultimately a threat to all the peoples of the world. But it is necessary, in addition to denouncing and exposing the role of these governments, to demand that they deliver heavy weapons, fighter planes, and all the military technology required by the Ukrainian resistance, without conditions.

The war of liberation against the occupiers can only succeed if it becomes more and more a war of the Ukrainian working class and people. In Russia, the aggressor country, we support and encourage the mobilizations against the war and the invasion, which the Putin regime has been violently repressing.

Ukrainians are fighting heroically against the invasion happening under Putin’s regime. They have already inflicted significant defeats on the occupiers. They have shown that the Russian war machine can be defeated, and with it can come the defeat of one of the major collaborators of counterrevolution in the world.

It is for that reason that the Ukrainian people’s struggle is not only to liberate their own country. A defeat of the Putin regime would be a great impetus in the struggle of the workers and the masses in all countries.

We will remain on the front line in support of the Ukrainian people. Only by supporting the Ukrainian resistance can we fight and unmask the real interests of NATO, the US, the EU and Zelensky’s own oligarchic government, who thus far have been incapable of defeating the Russian aggressor.

Workers of the world, unite in support of the Ukrainian resistance!

For the defeat of the Russian troops!

Weapons for the Ukrainian people!

Long live the Ukrainian resistance!

No confidence in the USA, EU, NATO!

For the dissolution of NATO!

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