A month into Russian imperialism’s bloody war on Ukraine, thousands already lie dead and millions have been displaced. Amid conflicting reports and figures which inevitably vary in wartime scenarios, the United Nations reports a death toll of over 13,000.
This figure includes large numbers of Russian troops, who have encountered effective armed resistance throughout Ukraine. Even the Russian authorities currently acknowledge over 600 soldiers killed, including a general. According to the UN, the number of refugees fleeing Ukraine surpassed 3 million on March 18, and the number has grown rapidly.
Despite his claims to the contrary, so far, this war has certainly not gone according to Putin’s plan. It took more than one week for Russia’s overwhelming military numbers to take control of a single major Ukrainian city (Kherson), and at the time of writing, Ukrainian forces remain in control of the capital, Kyiv.
In response, Putin is resorting to even greater brutality. The Russian onslaught has entered a phase of indiscriminate shelling and sieging of towns and cities. In some towns, reports indicate that 80% of all residential buildings have been destroyed.
The reaction of working-class and young people across the globe, marked by anger, solidarity, and anxiety, has only deepened in response to this hardening of warfare. There is confusion among ordinary people the world over about what we can do to end this disaster. Western propaganda insists that our best weapons are sanctions, which disproportionately hurt working class Russians who have nothing to gain from this war, and military aid. The truth is, Western imperialism cannot end the suffering of the Ukrainian masses just as they couldn’t end the suffering of those in Afghanistan who now live under Taliban rule.
The only force that can be relied upon to end the war is the global working class united under the banner of solidarity. While there is not yet a mass, global antiwar movement, we have seen incredible acts of solidarity particularly from ordinary Russians who have risked arrest and brutality to protest the war – on March 6th alone, over 4,300 people were detained at anti-war protests across Russia. This solidarity and action is the process which socialists — who are part of the movement to stop this war and demand the withdrawal of Russian troops — point to as a source of hope, and a pathway to a real solution based on working class internationalism.
That’s why we’re collecting donations internationally for protesters in Russia who are valiantly opposing Putin’s imperialist war, all while under severe danger of arrest and violence. Already, thousands of Russian protesters have been detained. Can you donate $50 or any amount to help us support Russian anti-war protesters? (Please put “for Russian anti-war protesters” into the notes section of the form.)
Alongside horrific human suffering in Ukraine, this conflict has plunged the world further into a spiral of inter-imperialist conflict and rivalry. As the war intensifies, so too does the imperialist saber-rattling, and the real threat of wider and even more devastating armed conflicts taking place in the future. Please help us translate the global anti-war movement into something more concrete, by financially supporting anti-war protesters on the front lines in Russia.