The Ukrainian people have been facing a major invasion by the Russian military with bombing and armored ground forces. The horrific situation has already killed thousands of people, and more than one million have fled. As cities are being bombarded, people have taken refuge in subway stations. Many Ukrainians are taking up arms and standing alongside the Ukrainian military to fight against the Russian assault.
Putin, president of Russia, is a ruthless dictator. His claim that Ukraine was never a country is a distortion of history. His goal seems to be to revive the Russian empire of the czars. With the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, a number of the former republics declared their independence as nations, including Ukraine. Since then, it has been ruled by regimes backed either by Russia or by the U.S. and NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization), which was established in 1949, to keep Russia in check.
The Maidan revolution in 2014 toppled the Russian-backed government. Russia then invaded Ukraine, seizing Crimea which gives Russia more protected access to the Black Sea. Russia also supported the separatist movement in the eastern part of the Ukraine (the Donbass), which Putin just declared as independent republics.
Putin says his invasion is meant to put an end to what he claims is the control of Ukrainian Nazi-like rulers. The U.S. media claims that the U.S. and its NATO allies are the defenders of the Ukrainian people. Both are lying. Both have equal disregard for the lives and well-being of the Ukrainian people. The people of the Ukraine are pawns in the struggle between these major powers over who will dominate the region.
Before the invasion, the U.S. and NATO discussed bringing Ukraine into NATO, as it has done with other countries that border on Russia. This would mean installing advanced weaponry on Russia’s border. We know what the response of the U.S. was when the Soviet Union moved to install missile bases in Cuba in 1962. Cuba is 90 miles off the coast of the U.S. What would be the U.S. response today if Russian weaponry were installed on the border with Mexico or Canada?
What NATO and the U.S. have done certainly doesn’t give Russia the right to carry out an invasion with the aim of installing its own regime. This invasion must be opposed. But not by supporting the interests of the U.S. and its allies.
The U.S. military has at least 750 military bases in more than 80 countries. This doesn’t include its vast mobile bases — the Navy. In recent years, we have seen the results of U.S. claims that its military was sent to free the peoples of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria, just to name a few.
The Russian people have begun to show their opposition to this war. By the second day of the invasion at least 1,745 people were arrested in 54 cities, nearly 1,000 of them just in Moscow, for demonstrating against the war. The same day more than a half million Russians signed a petition opposing the war. The demonstrations have continued with more than 8000 arrested so far. Two hundred reporters signed and published a letter condemning the war. We should follow the lead of the Russian anti-war movement. People in the U.S. and Europe should not choose between the big powers competing to control Ukraine.
We have more in common with the working people of Russia and Ukraine than we do with the U.S. government and the interests it represents. We need to oppose this war, talk with those we know and also stand up and demonstrate against this war.
- Russian troops out of Ukraine!
- U.S. and Europe — hands off Ukraine!
- The people of the region have the right to determine their own future – free of outside forces of domination!