'Stop the war in Ukraine!', says regional left conference

Left forces from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus held a two-day anti-war conference near Minsk on June 7 and 8. The conference was organised by participants of internet project “Prasvet” with the support of the Belarus web journal Left.

The aim of the conference was to help coordinate the internationalist, Marxist left forces of three countries under circumstances of military-nationalist hysteria and the outburst of violence and repression in Ukraine.

The conference issued the statement below, which is reprinted from , where full signatories can be found.

* * *

We, the participants of the meeting of left and Marxist groups and groups from Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine, believe that the civil war in Ukraine must cease ― we see it as a primary task.

The military conflict that followed the victory of the neoliberals and nationalists in the “Euromaidan” actions in Kiev claimed hundreds of lives and contributed to an unprecedented growth of chauvinism and xenophobia in Ukrainian and Russian society.

The war allows the Ukrainian ruling class to consolidate society around their political regime, distracting workers of the western and eastern parts of the country from struggle for their social and political rights. It makes them collide with each other in the interests of the capitalists.

The Russian government, the European Union and the United States government are using the civil war in Ukraine for their respective interests, while the people of the Donbass region suffering from war are just pawns of their competition.

We express our solidarity to all participants of the Ukrainian left-wing movements that are fighting against war, nationalism and xenophobia.

We consider it necessary to provide them all possible information, political and material support. We oppose the pressure, pogroms and reprisals by all participants of the conflict.

We oppose the massacres, torture and abductions of Ukrainian leftists, anti-fascists and all Ukrainian citizens, regardless of their political views. We oppose political persecutions in the Crimea region as well.

Stopping the war in Ukraine is the primary task for all democratic and left movements, regardless of differences on the complex political issues. Thus, we believe it is necessary to coordinate the efforts of all opponents of the war in Ukraine. We need to form a massive and influential anti-war movement.

• We urge the government of Ukraine to immediately halt its “anti-terrorist operation”, withdraw its troops from the territory of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, and conclude a truce with the self-defence forces of the Donetsk People's Republic and Luhansk People's Republic.

• We urge all the parties of the conflict to endorse a peace agreement for complete cessation of hostilities, to release all political prisoners and prisoners of war, and to disband armed groups.
• We urge the Ukrainian government to dismiss all the involuntary mobilised regular army soldiers, whose families are now organising protests in various regions of Ukraine.

• We demand Russia, the EU and the US completely stop interfering in the Ukrainian conflict and cease support to any one side.

• We demand an end to the chauvinist campaigns in Ukrainian and Russian media. Their use of hate speech is one of the main instigators of war.

• We demand the adoption of a new constitution of Ukraine, elections of the authorities of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, and a right to self-determination and self-government for Donbass and all the regions of Ukraine.

• We believe that information exchanges and organisational consolidation of left groups in the territories of the former Soviet space is a necessary condition of forming an effective anti-war movement.

• To this end, we are initiating joint development of “Red Cross” initiatives in order to help left activists and conscientious objectors to military service, and we are establishing an information network for left and Marxist groups in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine.

Participants in the conference

V.Ischenko, journal of social criticism The Commons, Ukraine
A. Manchuk, Liva.com.ua, Borotba, Ukraine
I. Ovsiannikov, Central Council of Russian Socialist Movement (RSM)
T. Salamanyuk, journal of social criticism The Commons, Ukraine
S. Solovyev, journal Scepsis, Russia
Rustam Sadykov, journal Scepsis, Russia
S. Kozlovskiy, member of the Central Council of Russian Socialist Movement (RSM)
D. Subbotin, journal Scepsis, Russia
G. Komarov, “Workers’ platform”, Russian Socialist Movement (RSM)
M. Piskunov, RSM, Russia
A. Kirpichenok, MMT, Russia
A. Ivanov, RSM, Russia
T. Chizhova, web-journal Prasvet, Belarus
D. Isayenok, web-journal Prasvet, Belarus
D. Denisov, Left Opposition, Ukraine and RSM, Russia
L.Barkova, Russia
S. Odarych, Liva.com.ua, Ukraine
I.Znamenskiy, Russia
E. Kuzmenok, Belarus
E. Ruskevich, Belarus
A. Barkhatkov, Prasvet, Belarus
S. Danilovych, Belarus
A. Oparin, website left.by, Belarus
Y. Glushakov, organizational committee of the Belarus Social Movement “Razam!”