The AGITATE! Editorial Collective supports the following statement:
By the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM India)
Resist the Expansionism of US-led NATO & Anti-People Military Industrial Complex
Working People’s Rights World Over Must Prevail Over War-Mongering
Indian Government must ensure safe return of all trapped Indian citizens and take a principled stand against the War.
GLOBAL ACTION NEEDED FOR IMMEDIATE NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT
7th March, 2022: National Alliance of People’s Movements (India) is immensely concerned by the ongoing global developments, leading to yet another unilateral attack on common people of smaller nations by mighty nation states; this time by the Russian Govt. againstthe outset, we unequivocally condemn this brazen military aggression that has only made the possibilities of exploring lasting peace and stability in the region even more precarious. We demand an immediate end to this war and return of all parties to the diplomatic table in a substantive way. Like always, it is the working people who become the casualty of the imperialist agendas of nation states. If not contained at the earliest via serious diplomatic efforts, this could very soon snowball into a humanitarian crisis of unimaginable proportions.
Ten days since the aggression began via land, air and sea routes, with bombing of military installations and even civilian establishments, the casualties have been increasing. While the United Nations has confirmed that at least 364 civilians have been killed (including 25 children) and 759 injured in Ukraine, since Russia’s invasion began on 24th Feb, it is believed that the actual numbers could be higher. UNHRC estimates that close to one million people have fled Ukraine over the past week to Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary and other neighbouring nations. The casualties of military personnel on either side also seem to be rising sharply, although the exact count varies, as per Ukrainian and Russian official sources. While two rounds of ‘talks’ on the Belarus-Ukraine border have yielded no results, it is hoped that some concrete negotiation can emerge in the third round.
As the world witnessed, what started as ‘peacekeeping’ by Russia on the Ukrainian border over many months, slowly led to a frontal attack on a sovereign nation. While the Russian President, Mr. Vladimir Putin claims this to be ‘a special military operation’; in reality, this is an unjustifiable and avoidable aggression against the ordinary people of Ukraine, which gives scope for powerful vested interests both within and outside Ukraine to escalate the tensions. It needs to be emphasized here that the growing anti-war movement within Russia itself is testimony to the fact that Putin’s war ‘on behalf of the Russian people’, has no intention to ‘save ethnic Russians’ or ‘establish peace in Donbass’, but assert regional hegemony.
The current war categorically exposes the inter-imperialist contradictions of our times and urge for geo-economic expansion; in particular; US and NATO’s destructive politics in Europe, Russian dominance in the region and resistance to NATO breaking its 30-year-old promise to not make inroads eastwards into Europe, Ukraine Govt’s pandering to the US and America thwarting economic partnerships between Russia and Germany. Although not very imminent, given Germany’s consistent opposition, if and when Ukraine becomes a NATO member, it could have potential adverse implications for Russia and the entire region. While none of this justifies Russia’s inhuman war on an entire people, it is important to acknowledge these geo-political complexities in framing our response to the crisis.
The current moment calls for a nuanced and principled understanding of the overall situation. All democratic-minded people, organizations and parties must take an unambiguous pro-peace, anti-war position and not get caught into or perpetuate the deliberately constructed and problematic binaries being advocated by pro-NATO, pro-Russian or even pro-Ukraine Govt. positions. We must fully oppose all power blocs and militarised formations that are racing towards a nuclear war and hold the potential to destroy the life of people everywhere and the planet itself. Through this detailed statement, we try to unpack some of the many complexities involved in this entire issue and attempt to put forth some specific demands and appeals.
RUSSIAN HEGEMONY & PEOPLE’S RESISTANCE AGAINST VLADIMIR PUTIN’S DICTATORIAL GOVT:
It is important for all of us to recognize that the Russian President, Mr. Vladimir Putin with his capitalist, nationalist and imperialist ambitions does not in any way represent the ideological struggles of the erstwhile Soviet. Infact, as democratic Marxists in Russia affirm, he ‘heads an autocratic government ruling over the stolen wealth and resources that generations of Soviet workers and farmers built up during 70 years of socialism’. In general, Russian rulers have been trying to increase their area of their influence which had been considerably reduced since the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and Soviet Union. Contrary to Lenin’s vision of upholding the right to self-determination of smaller nations, Putin subscribes to the Tsarist view of ‘The Great Russian Empire’. He has repeatedly questioned Ukraine’s right to exist as an independent nation. Furthermore, Russian Govt’s monumental crimes against the indigenous crimean tatars or Chechen people is recorded history. Therefore, to see Putin’s war as a ‘counter’ to the crimes of NATO does regional and global peace no good.
As is known, President Putin kept claiming for months that he only wanted to ‘stop NATO expansion into Ukraine’ and ‘prevent attacks against ethnic Russians in the eastern region of Donbass’, dismissing allegations that Russia was going to wage war with Ukraine. The ‘special military operation’ which has been going on since 24th Feb across Ukraine, clearly exposes these lies. Beginning the belligerence, Putin said that the objective of the operation is not the occupation of Ukraine, but its ‘de-militarisation’ and ‘de-nazification’. While not denying concerns that there are ‘neo nazis’ in the Ukrainian national guard (just as there are nazi and far-right elements across European countries including Russia) and acknowledging the fact that the United States has been trying to ‘influence’ the current Ukraine Govt’s political decisions for many years now, it is important to state that none of this legitimizes the bombing of an entire nation and its people, in particular unarmed women, children, elders and other citizenry.
It is pertinent to remember that following the Russian annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in 2014, an agreement known as Minsk II, facilitated by France and Germany was signed between Russia, Ukraine and rebel forces in Eastern Ukraine in February, 2015. This Accord called for immediate ceasefire, greater autonomy & special status to the two rebel regions Donetsk and Luhansk, constitutional reform, monitoring and verification by the OSCE. However, both Russia and Ukraine continued to interpret the Accord in different ways and under influence of the US, the Ukrainian Govt. was not in a position to effectively implement the Agreement, leading to increased tensions and killings in the Donbass region. Ukraine Govt. sources reveal that close to 14,000 persons were killed during the past 8 years in the region.
On his part, Putin should have intensified diplomatic efforts to ensure implementation of Minsk II, instead of waging an all-out war against Ukraine. Russia’s recognition of Donetsk and Luhansk as ‘independent states’ and its deployment of military forces is also a breach of the Minsk II Agreement, which has the status of international law. It is also believed that Putin has been trying hard to annex Ukraine, known as the ‘bread basket of Europe’, as part of his project to revive Russia’s crumbling economy. While the rage against and resistance to NATO is valid and necessary, the ruling classes in Russia must also reflect on their own ‘bully big brother’ role in Europe and Asia, forcing some smaller nations in the region to continue to remain part of NATO or seek NATO membership, to keep Russian aggression at bay.
Putin’s conservative and authoritarian policies, including the latest war are being rightly and courageously resisted by large numbers of progressive Russians. Across Russia, communists, trade unionists, human rights activists and feminists are facing intense repression for their political struggles. Putin’s military adventurism which has exacerbated tensions would hugely cost Russia too. Russian Govt. must immediately end this brutal war and maintain mutually respectful relations with its neighbours. The ordinary people of Russia are trying hard to get their government to do this, despite their dissent being crushed mercilessly. They deserve our clear political solidarity.
NATO IS A GLOBAL THREAT: TIME TO DISBAND NATO
A critical examination of the current crisis would be incomplete without understanding the historical and contemporary role of NATO, led by imperialist nations like the US and UK. For a brief context, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), established in 1949, in the aftermath of World War II, is an inter-continental, intergovernmental military alliance of countries from North America and Europe. Beginning with 12 member nations, NATO has a membership of over 30 countries, as on date. Barring the US and Canada, all other 28 members are European. One of the primary motivations behind the formation of NATO lay in the ‘fear of Soviet expansion’ beyond Eastern Europe. As a counter to NATO, the erstwhile USSR formed the Warsaw Pact in 1955, with 8 allied Eastern European nations. The period between 1955 to 1989, infamously referred to as the ‘Cold War’ witnessed these military blocks of nations in a constant arms race and proxy combat.
The dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 also brought about the end of the Warsaw Pact and the Cold War. While this should have led to disbandment of NATO as well, it continued to function more as a direct instrument of U.S. military policy and infact became stronger over the past three decades. Notably, at the time of dissolution of the USSR, the US-led NATO assured the then Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev that it had no plans for eastward expansion into Europe. However, NATO went back on its promise and began incorporating even many of the former Warsaw Pact countries into its fold. In the past two decades, 14 fourteen European nations were drafted into NATO as member states, thereby clearly grounding NATO’s military might on European soils.
Seven decades of NATO’s existence and operations has only scarred our planet with many wars, military aggressions, economic sanctions and puppet regimes often in the garb of ‘establishing peace’ and ‘restoring democracy’. NATO is the only multi-national ‘security’ architecture across the globe that functions in gross violation of the United Nations Charter and has a long history of aggression against small nations in Europe, Asia, and Africa. To name a few, US-led NATO has been responsible for:
- Bombing and disintegration of the erstwhile Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
- Bombardment of Afghanistan in the wake of the 9/11 terror strikes in the US and continued imposition of sanctions, after withdrawing from that country in a mess.
- Invasion of Iraq and destruction of that country.
- Encouraging the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to wage war against Yemen
- Siding with Israel which continues to occupy, attack and invade Palestine.
- Pushing Libya into a protracted civil war.
- ‘Intervention’ in Syria and bombing of that country to poverty.
- Humanitarian crisis in Venezuela due to economic sanctions for years.
Just this past week, while Western media attention remained focused largely on Ukraine, the US bombed Somalia, Israel bombed Syria and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia bombed Yemen at least 37 times. All of this, with US-NATO backing. This long list of aggressions against smaller nations debunk the hollow claims by the US and UK that NATO is only a ‘defensive alliance’ and establish the imperialist objectives of the Organization.
Undoubtedly, Russia remains the aggressor in Ukraine and must stop its war, but NATO must also own up much of the responsibility for this militarized mess it has created, by criminal interference in the internal and inter-state relations of sovereign countries. NATO has consistently increased its presence across countries bordering Russia. Ukraine, located at the doorstep of Russia becoming a NATO member, would pose a direct threat to Russia’s security interests, especially with its nuclear arsenal and hence the demand from Russia that Ukraine should not be drafted into NATO. To add to the tensions, withdrawal of the United States (in 2019) from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, 1987 has given rise to more concern of nuclear threat against Russia. The refusal by US and NATO to address these concerns have further escalated tensions.
It is also pertinent here to point out the manner in which the ‘sanctions regime’ functions. While within a week of the war against Ukraine, US and some other nations have begun imposing sanctions against Russia, neither the US nor NATO faced such sanctions for all the wars and destruction it has been responsible for, over decades. After what we have witnessed in Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, Libya, Syria and other wars backed by imperial powers in their quest for political and economic power, it is abundantly clear that far from being a ‘defensive alliance’, NATO is a war-instigator of the first order.
NATO with member nations from different continents increases tensions both within Europe and across the world. Its actions of devastating entire nations by wars and sanctions for their imperialist objectives are nothing short of grave crimes against humanity. So long as NATO remains the formidable militarized force that it is, global peace is next to impossible in real politik terms. Therefore, it is important to build up a global movement of all peace-loving nations and peoples to disband NATO, altogether.
THE CHALLENGE BEFORE EUROPE:
While Ukraine is burning right now, it is unlikely that this fire would stop at the borders of Ukraine. The current impasse is also an opportunity for the whole of Europe to reflect on how much its future is threatened by NATO and why it must free itself from this military alliance, if lasting peace and stability are needed in the continent. In fact, by virtue of being NATO members, the strategic and military policies of 22 (of the 27) members of the European Union are directly linked with and at times manipulated by the United States and its imperialist agendas. The continued presence of NATO, with American troops and nuclear weapons within Europe would only exacerbate regional conflicts and devastation.
For peace to be established immediately, the genuine concerns of all the peoples, including of the Donbass region in Eastern Ukraine, should be addressed. It is high time the European nations as well as Russia keep the United States out and based on principles of peace and collective security of all European nations, work towards a comprehensive resolution of the impasse. On its part, Germany must be able to take an independent decision on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, without bowing down to America’s diktats.
Europe has a long history of deadly wars since the beginning of the 20th century and can ill-afford more destruction. International bodies including the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the Council of Europe must work to stop any further military aggression and invoke all diplomatic mechanisms under the UN framework for charting a new peace accord in the region. The focus of all nations in the region must be on addressing the looming climate crisis, securing social and environmental justice for all communities, trade equity to the Global South, respect for international laws including the rights of refugees, without racism.
‘CAUGHT IN THE CROSS-FIRE’: LESSONS FOR UKRAINE:
Caught in the middle of a deadly war, our heart goes out to the ordinary people of Ukraine. We express our full solidarity with them and support their appeal to the global community for humanitarian assistance of all forms. Ukraine has a long history of fighting and surviving Russian chauvinism and we hope that this time as well, it will be able to stand up to the aggression, although the road ahead seems tough, given the sharp bi-polar political situation. The people of Ukraine who have already suffered immensely, have an incontestable right to be independent and sovereign, a right jeopardized by the mega-imperialists, especially Russia. However, the political leadership of the country has only complicated matters by courting one imperialist against the other! US ‘intervention’ since the 2014 Ukrainian elections has made matters worse in the region.
The ruling elite of Ukraine have allowed their country to become a ‘scape-goat’ in the imperialist ambitions of the US and Russia. On the one hand, the United States has been trying to consolidate its base in Europe and sees Ukraine as a potential stepping stone to push back Russia. On the other, Russia has been attempting to take over Ukraine or at least parts of it and annex it to the neighbouring Moldova, aligned with Russia. The Ukrainian experience clearly exposes the sly and opportunist politics of the United States, having pushed the country towards political turmoil.
The inability of the Ukrainian Govt. to rein in the far-right elements in the past 8 years and not take all sections of people in Donbass in confidence, has cost it heavily. So, while the political leadership of Ukraine seeks global sympathy in this moment of crisis (and yes, in principle smaller nations and the people of Ukraine deserve all support against big-nation bullying), they also have much to account for, with regard to the mismanagement of the Ukrainian-Russian relations, cozying up to the US, rights violations in Eastern Ukraine, stockpiling massive weapons, including nuclear ammunition as well as the unjustifiable decision to send Ukrainian troops to bomb Iraq.
The ordinary workers, youth and people of Ukraine have a huge task before them to not let their interests and aspirations be hijacked by imperialist powers and domestic allies of imperialists, any more. They must step forward to peacefully resolve disputes in Eastern Ukraine. Ukrainians must also realize that they need good neighbourly relations with Russia, Germany and other nations in the region cannot afford to antagonize them by tow-towing the line of US and big imperialists in West Europe. The government playing second fiddle to the US and NATO will only cost the nation hugely in the immediate and long-term.
INDIAN GOVT’s AMBIGUOUS STAND ON THE CRISIS:
The Indian Govt. has so far maintained ‘neutrality’, and has repeatedly abstained from voting on UN Security Council resolutions condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This ‘strategic silence’ tantamount to endorsing a bully’s belligerence against a smaller nation. India in fact has a history of abstentions in many such crucial UN voting in the past; be it on the Sri Lankan war crimes against Tamils, the Isareli bombing of Gaza or crimes against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. It did the same when Russia invaded Crimea in 2014.
It is no surprise that the Modi Govt, driven by militaristic and business interests, would display more political opportunism than ethical pragmatism. The Sangh Parivar’s admiration for Putin as a ‘strongman’, who has shown Ukraine ‘its place’ is also being splashed across right-wing Indian media as a template for how India must respond to Pakistan. We condemn such false valourizartion and self-defeating creation of war-imagery. In fact, the BJP Govt has tried to use the Ukraine crisis to its hilt in the UP election campaigns, calling for a ‘tough leadership’, while actually messing up on the foreign policy front.
As an important influencer in global politics, India should take a clear and principled stand towards resolving the stalemate and ending this war, at the earliest. That would imply positioning itself both against the military aggression of Russia as well as the imperialist designs of the United States and NATO. India must convey to the Russian Govt. that it must immediately withdraw its troops from Ukrainian soils, skies and seas and stop this senseless war. India must also demand an end to ongoing military mobilisation by US-led NATO, which can only push the region to further calamitous consequences.
INDIANS IN WAR ZONE: INDIAN GOVT’S CRIMINAL APATHY:
The high rhetoric of the Indian Govt. stands exposed through its utter unpreparedness and failure to safely evacuate its own citizens stranded in Ukraine, an overwhelming number of them being students. It is deeply distressing that despite simmering tensions and likelihood of aggression by Russia, since the beginning of this year, Govt. of India did not feel the need to take timely steps to fly its citizens back to safety. Instead, PM Modi was busy electioneering in UP, indicating his priority for votes over lives!
We all are witness to scary videos and appeals of students from the war-zone, on a daily-basis. As per initial reports, during the first week of the war, Govt. of India airlifted only 1,396 nationals in a meagre six flights, including a small number of students. Of the total 18,095 Indian students in Ukraine, thousands were stranded and unable to come back, also because of the exorbitant private flight charges. It was only after much hue and cry in social and other media that the Govt. of India announced more free flights.
In a display of crass insensitivity, the PM stated that students should study in India and not smaller foreign nations. It is a known fact that large numbers of Indian students are studying medicine in Ukraine due to affordable education there, while our Govt. is only increasing medical fees and destroying the education sector through policies such as NEP and NEET. Be it the privatization of airlines or the sky-rocketing higher education fees in India, the war in Ukraine has some lessons for us as well about the downside of reckless privatization.
Even a war is a site of optics for the Modi Govt, as it exaggerates its claim of ‘evacuating’ Indian nationals, many of who risked their lives, crossed over war-zone and reached the borders, where as well the faced harassment & discrimination by some personnel of the State Border Guard Service. The Indian Govt. abstaining from voting in the UNSC against the war by Russia has further complicated matters with some Ukrainian border officials apparently telling off Indian students that they are not responsible for their safety, when the Indian government isn’t being supportive of Ukraine at the UNSC.
We remember with immense pain, students Naveen Shekharappa (21) from Karnataka, who died due to shelling in Kharkiv and Chandan Jindal (22), who suffered an Ischemic stroke. Another student Harjot Singh survived a gunshot while trying to escape Kyiv. We are deeply concerned about the safety of all the remaining Indians (including students) in the war zone. The Govt. must take immediate measures to bring them all home. The mishandling of the Ukraine situation must be added to the long list of failures for which the Modi Govt. must be held accountable by the people of India, electorally and otherwise.
THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF IMPERIAL WARS:
What the world is witnessing right now is the challenge of inter-imperialist contradictions, spilling out in the form of bloody conflicts and spiraling out of control. Both the US and Russia have in different ways and at different times meddled with Ukraine’s autonomy, leading to the current crisis. Military might is being pressed into service to expand the market shares of the respective countries. Both US and Russian heads of state are trying hard to manufacture and aggravate conflicts, in order to digress the popular discontent within their own nations. The Joe Biden administration of the USA has been attempting to assert its control over Western Europe where France and Germany are emerging as independent economic players. The stalemate over the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is the US’s way of dictating economic policy in the region, with Russian Oil and Gas companies giving stiff competition to Western oil majors.
It is indeed outrageous that at a time when the world has been hit by the worst pandemic, economies have been shattered throwing millions of people out of work and public health has been affected in an unprecedented way, wars are being waged and military expenditure is being increased further. It is no secret that the military-industrial complex stands to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of wars, while polluting the planet. In the current war, the other big profiteers are the oil and gas companies.
On the one hand we are staring at an alarming climate crisis and on the other such confrontational politics is only deepening structural inequities. Scarce resources that must be used to improve health care and social security are being diverted towards military infrastructure. While the political and business elites fight over regions and resources, the unbearable costs of catastrophic wars are always paid by the working classes. Regardless of the ‘outcomes’ of this war, Russian and Ukrainian chauvinism & mistrust is bound to increase and the possibilities of peaceful co-existence between the two nations and its peoples would become that much more difficult. The human cost of trauma would take decades to heal.
Wars can scar entire nations and generations and should be avoided at all costs. People’s will must prevail over the lack of political will to establish global peace. Peace and stability are central to a sustainable economic recovery which alone can ensure social security and justice to working people. We are on the brink of ecological collapse and nuclear war and can ill-afford escalation of these conflicts, lest they engulf all our countries soon. Patient political diplomacy and fair trade are the only ways in which countries can co-exist in the 21st century.
TOWARDS A PRINCIPLED ANTI-WAR, ANTI-HEGEMONY STANCE:
The current situation also requires us to take a firm stand against all forms of aggression, hegemony and racism, might of imperialist nation states and their allied governments. We need to resist binaries and false dichotomies being put out by vested interests that seek to underplay the loss of human lives and futures of smaller nations as ‘collateral damage’!
For instance, our opposition to NATO’s criminal culpability over decades, must not mean we condone, invisibilize or much worse justify the chauvinistic excesses of the Putin Govt. Just as opposing the US’s role in Afghanistan cannot mean we underplay the violent and regressive role of the Taliban, or even worse, glorify it. Real solidarity with the Syrian people means challenging both the US (and its allies Israel and Turkey) as well as Russia and Iran which have been responsible for the crisis in that country. Likewise, while we support the right of fleeing Ukrainians to seek refuge in other European nations, we should also be able to categorically oppose the racism that refugees from war-ravaged African and Asian nations have faced at the hands of some of these countries.
The response to this unjustifiable escalation of military violence, especially by imperialist nations is not more violence; but political diplomacy and inter-state solidarity, based on the principles of shared collective security, respect for human rights and international law. Imperialism of all hues, by all nations, be it the US and UK led NATO or Russia and its allies like China must be resisted. We must resolutely reject further stratification of the world into mutually hostile military blocs. Instead, we must push for more non-aligned countries pursuing an independent foreign policy for common security and disarmament. The present crisis exposes the absurdity and danger of possession of nuclear weapons for ‘deterrence’ and the vulnerability of nuclear installations, in general. Thus, beyond abolition of nuclear arms, what we also need is decommissioning of nuclear energy installations.
We must categorically oppose the unconscionable and patriarchal culture of war-mongering, arms race, violence and loot that marks the politics of powerful nations and destroys smaller nations, displaces people, creates refugees, increases inflation and impacts working class people everywhere. Wars have the potential to jeopardize the planet and deprive the right to life of current and future generations. Wars never resolve conflicts but only create new ones. It is high time countries recognize that there can be no space for wars and sanctions in a ‘civilized’ world.
Our function of solidarity must, therefore, be unequivocal against all forms of toxic nationalism, wars, sanctions and puppet regimes in the name of democracy, aid etc. It is equally possible (and necessary) to oppose dictatorial, fascist and imperialist regimes while standing in unflinching solidarity with the peoples they oppress, across borders. More than ever before, we need global people-to-people solidarity now, with a lasting commitment to peace, international law and climate justice. We need to stand with peace loving Russians, Ukrainians and Europeans, in the interest of humanity.
THE WAYS FORWARD: APPEAL AND SOLIDARITY:
- We demand that the Govt. of Russia must immediately end the military aggression against Ukraine and withdraw all its forces from the territory and airspace of Ukraine. We appeal for immediate cessation of all military activities and war-mongering rhetoric on all sides.
- We further urge Russia and Ukraine to make extraordinary efforts to de-escalate the volatile situation and resume political and diplomatic negotiations in good faith, referencing the Minsk II agreements. We call upon the USA, UK, EU, UN, China, India and other international actors to also make earnest efforts for restoration of peace.
- We extend our solidarity to all the brave common citizens and workers of Ukraine, resisting the Russian Govt’s aggression and forced to leave their homes. We call upon global actors to uphold the sovereignty and independence of the Ukrainian peoples against any border change by way of military aggression.
- We support the brave anti-war, pro-peace movements inside Ukraine, Russia and other parts of Europe. In particular, we salute the courageous anti-war voices within Russia, demonstrating across cities, and standing up to their own dictatorial government in these times of intensified oppression and risk to their own safety.
- We condemn the dangerous interference by the US and NATO in Europe on the pretext of Ukraine. We call for a global movement against all military blocks and an end to imperialist military formations like the NATO, while immediately halting their expansion in Europe.
- We demand that the US and other nations withdraw their sanctions against Russia, as the same would only prove counterproductive and hinder the peace process further.
- We also demand that Ukraine and Russia must rein in the far-right elements on their respective territories. Both these governments must uphold human rights in their own countries and end repression on minorities, democratic activists and organizations.
- We appeal to the working class and youth of Ukraine and Russia, who are being drawn into this bloody war to compel their governments to de-escalate the conflict and begin concrete negotiations, towards ending the war.
- We call upon the Govt. of India to take a clear & categorical position against the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the military mobilisation by NATO, which would push the region into a full-blown war with disastrous consequences. GoI must play a responsible role in ensuring the revival of peace efforts and confidence-building measures, in order to prevent further escalation of the conflict.
- We demand that the Govt. of India must make comprehensive arrangements for the immediate, safe and free return of all remaining Indian nationals, including students. Govt. of India must also take full care of the education of the Indian students which has been impacted because of the war.
- We call upon all nations including the US, UK, Russia, European nations, members of NATO, China, Pakistan and India to immediately join the Treaty for the Prohibition of nuclear weapons, which came into force in Jan, 2021. The US must re-enter the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Both the US and Russia must refrain from engaging in competitive nuclear weaponization races that threaten global peace. The UN must lead negotiation efforts for multilateral and comprehensive disarmament, including nuclear and intermediate-range weapons.
As citizens of one of the largest democracies in the world, resisting our own version of fascism, we remain deeply committed to global peace, security and stability in Ukraine (including the Donetsk and Luhansk regions) as well as in Russia and across Europe. We oppose all chauvinist, racist, imperialist, war-justifying propaganda of governments, capital, and mass media. We appeal to common citizens and democratic groups everywhere to join peaceful demonstrations, public actions and campaigns against the conscienceless wars that threaten people and the planet.
See the original statement and signatories here.