Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is an unprovoked act of aggression, the deed of an authoritarian regime and revanchist imperial power seeking to subjugate by force a weaker neighbor. It is the waging of war that can only result in needless death and devastation on a massive scale.
The justifications offered by the Russian despot Vladimir Putin for this flagrant violation of international law – such as the offensive claim that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, a Jew whose grandfather was wounded twice while fighting in the Red Army against the Nazis and whose three great uncles were murdered in the Shoah, is a “neo-Nazi” – are nothing more than fantastical propaganda.
In this moment of their trial, we stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and its working class. We join with them in saying: this attack on the independent and sovereign nation of Ukraine must end, and Russian armed forces must immediately withdraw from all Ukrainian territory. Our internationalist duty as democratic socialists and anti-imperialists requires that we make this call our first and primary demand. If Russian peace and democracy activists can risk their freedom and safety by protesting the invasion on the streets of St. Petersburg, Moscow and other Russian cities, there is no excuse for those us in relative safety from doing our best to ensure that this war of aggression does not prevail.
Diplomatic negotiations and meaningful progress toward a lasting peace cannot take place at the point of a gun, so powerful pressure must be brought to bear against the Russian regime to end its invasion. To this end, we support the levying of stringent diplomatic and economic sanctions that target the Russian state and the Russian oligarchic elite who are responsible for this war of aggression. We endorse the statements of the four DSA members of the House of Representatives and of Senator Bernie Sanders in favor of such sanctions, as well as their calls for the U.S. and NATO to accept refugees from the fighting in Ukraine. With these comrades, we would oppose military intervention by the U.S. or other NATO nations inside Ukraine, were such a step to be seriously contemplated, as a dangerous escalation which could lead to world war.
It is precisely because we oppose outside military intervention that we have an obligation to advocate for other means to compel a Russian withdrawal from Ukraine, and sanctions are the only other means that could conceivably produce such a result. In our view, to oppose sanctions is to surrender to the Russian invasion, a betrayal of the Ukrainian people and working class. For these reasons, we repudiate completely the statement of the DSA International Committee made immediately prior to the invasion, which contained not a single word critical of Russia’s unmistakable preparations for its war of aggression, and its tweets after the start of the invasion, which have opposed the levying of sanctions. These declarations are a perversion of true internationalism, an ‘anti-imperialism’ of fools.
In this moment of international crisis, we are moved by the courageous Ukrainians defending their homeland against much stronger Russian armed forces and by the courageous Russians demonstrating against the war of aggression undertaken by the dictatorial regime which rules their nation. Their example motivates us to act on their behalf.
North Star caucus members
antiracismdsa (blog of Duane Campbell)
Hatuey's Ashes (blog of José G. Pérez)
Authory and Substack of Max Sawicky
Online University of the Left
In These Times
The American Prospect
Black Agenda Report
Dollars and Sense
Working Families Party
Poor People's Campaign
Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism
Progressive Democrats of America
Democracy for America
Black Lives Matter
Movement for Black Lives
The Women's March
Jewish Voice for Peace
National Abortion Rights Action League
National Organization for Women
National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights