Asian socialists condemn war on Ukraine, NATO expansionism

Protesting the war in Delhi, India on Feb 26
A protest against the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in Delhi, India. Photo: CPIML

The catastrophic consequences of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are reverberating throughout the world. At the time of writing, the United Nations estimates that more than 660,000 people have been forced to flee Ukraine and civilian casualties are rising as cities and towns are bombarded.

In Malaysia, the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) released a statement on February 27 condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“The war is bringing devastation to the lives, economy, and environment in Eastern Europe and threatening peace at the global level.

“The military aggression on Ukraine by Russian forces demonstrates the nationalist-chauvinist nature of Putin’s regime. It will serve nothing in what Putin’s claimed ‘denazification’. Instead, the Russian invasion of Ukrainian soil will only help fuel more anti-Russian far-right nationalist sentiment in Ukraine and elsewhere.

“While condemning Russia’s reckless military aggression on Ukraine, we shall not absolve the responsibility of the warmongering United States’ aggressive push to expand the 20th Century Cold War antique — NATO — further eastward to Russia’s border in intensifying and escalating the tension to this juncture.

“War is never an answer to geopolitical conflict, and military solutions will only lead to more conflicts. Only diplomacy with mutual respect among all parties can resolve the complex question of regional security.

“The Russian war on Ukraine will further suppress the already shrinking democratic space in both Ukraine and Russia, bringing devastation to any progressive social movement that challenges these countries’ oligarchic capitalist rule."

The PSM called for: “Immediate withdrawal of all Russian troops from Ukraine; A return to diplomacy in order to resolve the conflict in a peaceful and respectful way; Respect of the right to democratic self-determination of the Ukrainian people, same goes to the people who are living in the Donbas region”; and for NATO to “stop its eastward expansion”.

“We also salute and express our solidarity with the brave Russian people who are protesting in the streets despite repressions by the increasingly autocratic regime in Russia.

“When the world faces a global health crisis, increasing socio-economic inequality and extinction-level climate crisis, humanity does not need another imperialist war.”

In India, the Communist Party of India (Marxist Leninist) Liberation (CPIML Liberation) said on February 24 that Russia must immediately stop its bombing.

“We stand with Ukraine against the war being waged on it by Russia, and demand that Russia immediately stop bombing Ukraine, and withdraw its military from Ukraine territory and airspace. All disputes must be settled only through diplomatic means.

“India must adopt a proactive role to stop Russian military intervention in Ukraine and the ongoing military mobilisation by NATO which can only push the region to a full-scale war with ominous consequences. Safe repatriation of Indians in Ukraine must also be a top priority.

“We also condemn interference and warmongering by the US and NATO constituents on the pretext of Ukraine. We demand that the US withdraw the sanctions it has declared against Russia, and NATO must call a halt to its eastward expansion.

“Contrary to claims by the US and United Kingdom that NATO is a defensive alliance, its record in Afghanistan, Yugoslavia and Libya over the last generation, not to mention the US-British attack on Iraq, clearly demonstrate its imperialist objectives.”

The CPIML Liberation, All India Students Association (AISA), along with concerned citizens and various progressive organisations joined a peace march in Delhi on February 26. Protesters gathered at Mandi House, raising slogans against the military aggression by Russia and the US-NATO expansion in Europe. The protesters called on the Indian government to immediately ensure the safe evacuation of all Indian citizens trapped in the crisis areas.

Ravi Rai, CPIML Liberation Delhi Secretary condemned the Russian aggression, stating, "This war waged on the people of Ukraine is an imperialist war and the people are resisting it everywhere. We demand that the Modi government ensure the safe evacuation of all Indian citizens."

AISA Delhi State Secretary Neha said: "No war has ever been waged by a government in favour of the people. We demand that Russia and US-NATO stop their quest of Ukraine and let the Ukrainian people decide for themselves!"

In The Philippines, Partido Lakas ng Masa (Party of the Labouring Masses, PLM) released a statement on February 25, joining calls for “an immediate stop to bombings, withdrawal of troops by all powers from the frontline and the region, and a solution based on demilitarisation and negotiations”.

PLM called on The Philippine government not to lend support to United States “attempts to create a global aggressive alliance against Russia”, and condemned the US actions that “triggered Putin’s direct intervention in the Ukraine”, which include “demanding Russia’s removal of troop deployments from its own territory, arming the ethno-nationalist Ukrainian forces with the explicit intent of retaking the Donbas republics, and promoting the idea of Ukraine joining NATO”.

“However, Putin has escalated the situation further by attacking Ukraine beyond the Donbas region with the aim of disabling Ukraine’s military capacity.

“A shooting war involving nuclear global powers is a threat to the entire planet. Russian troops should immediately withdraw from Ukraine, and US troops should withdraw from countries bordering Ukraine and Russia.

“Offensive military alliances should be disbanded.

The PLM condemned NATO expansionism: “This is the ongoing underlying cause of the conflict and reflects the post-Cold War US ambition to create a unipolar world order."

“We call on the Philippine government to take immediate measures to secure the lives of OFWs [overseas foreign workers] in the region and make arrangements for their repatriation if needed.

“The United Nations should call on all parties to stop the aggression and intervention in the Ukraine and should initiate a peace process to resolve the conflict.”

In Australia, the Socialist Alliance (SA) released a statement on March 1, condemning the Russian attack on Ukraine as a violation of international law and defending the right of the Ukrainian people to resist the invasion.

It supported calls for “a return to diplomacy to de-escalate the situation and resolve the current impasse; the right to democratic self-determination for the Ukrainian people, and; a commitment from all sides to a peaceful resolution of the situation in the Donbas and a solution that respects the democratically-expressed wishes of the people who live there".

SA called for the following measures to contribute to a lasting peace: “An immediate commitment to stop the eastward expansion of NATO. Like AUKUS, ANZUS and the Quad; NATO should be scrapped; and for “all countries to sign the Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons.”

Putin does not represent the working people of Russia. His political project is based on authoritarianism, social conservatism and Russian chauvinism. He represents the interests of Russia’s capitalist oligarchs and their desire to carve out their own sphere of influence in competition with Western capitalism.

“This project has no progressive or anti-imperialist role. Instead, Putin’s actions make it harder to build a peaceful and more just world…

“We express our solidarity with the emerging Russian peace movement and call for the immediate release of all protesters who have been detained and political prisoners. We do not support economic sanctions on Russia that hurt working people."

SA called on the Australian government to immediately welcome refugees from the war, and to expand its humanitarian intake so that this is “not at the expense of refugees from other places”.