England, Wales and Scotland section of International Socialist Alternative

Ukraine: War enters third year

By Alison Gaughan, Socialist Alternative West Yorkshire

Two years on from Russia’s invasion, Ukraine is largely overtaken in the media by the situation in the Middle East. However, there is no respite for those affected by the grinding stalemate. As well as the suffering of Ukrainian civilians and the thousands of conscripted soldiers killed and maimed on both sides, the war is affecting civilians across the world – shortages of medical and public services in Russia, a boost to cost-of-living crises in Europe and food insecurity for developing countries reliant on Ukrainian grain imports.

Ukraine is desperately dependent on military aid from the US and Europe but this has become a political football in the US in the lead up to elections. This situation puts pressure on the larger European economies. For example, Germany has committed €8bn despite imposing austerity and privatisation at home. The European Union has agreed a €54 billion package despite the opposition of Hungary, a partial Putin ally.

Nothing gained

Military aid only succeeds in prolonging the stalemate in Ukraine. All that is achieved is putting Ukraine further in debt to the West, leaving them tied into fiscal restraints in the worst form of disaster capitalism.

If Ukraine succeeds in military terms, there is still no positive outcome for the Ukrainian working class. Zelensky, having repressed the working class, for example, by massively restricting the rights of workers to collectively organise, is now replacing military leaders who are too popular – in a move characteristic of despots.

Socialists support the right of all nations to self determination, but there is no freedom for the working class under capitalism. The people of Ukraine and Russia must fight to take the wealth and power off the oligarchs on both sides, for democratic workers’ control of major industries and a socialist society.

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