On June 7-8 a conference of antiwar left forces from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus was held in Minsk. Its purpose was to strengthen the unity of internationalists of the three countries in the fight against the rampant violence, nationalist hysteria and repressions on both sides of the Ukrainian-Russian border. Below is text of the conference’s declaration. We invite others to sign it. Translated by David Mandel.
We, participants of the organizational meeting of left and Marxist organizations and groups from Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, consider it our primary task to end the civil war in Ukraine. This military conflict that followed the victory of neoliberal and nationalist forces in Kiev’s “Euromaidan” has claimed hundreds of lives and contributed to an unprecedented rise of chauvinism and xenophobia in Ukrainian and Russian societies. This war allows the ruling class to consolidate Ukrainian society around its political regime, distracting workers of both the west and east of the country from the fight for their social and political rights and opposes them to each other in the interests of the big bourgeoisie. The governments of Russia, the European Union and the United States exploit the civil war in Ukraine for the same purpose – the people dying in Donbas are pawns in their competition with each other.
We express our solidarity to all participants of the Ukrainian left-wing movements who fight against war, nationalism and xenophobia, and we consider it necessary to provide them all possible informational, political and material support. We oppose the pressure and repression on the part of all parties to the conflict. We oppose the pogroms, torture and kidnappings whose victims have been Ukrainian leftists, anti-fascists and other Ukrainian citizens, regardless of their political views. We also oppose political persecution in Crimea.
To stop the war – that is the main task of all left democratic movements, regardless of differences on various issues of the political agenda. To this end, we believe it is necessary to coordinate the efforts of all the opponents of the war in Ukraine and to form a mass and influential anti-war movement.
Our demands are:
- We demand from the government of Ukraine immediately to put an end to the “anti-terrorist operation,” to its troops from the territory of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions and to conclude a cease-fire with the militia and of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics.
- We demand of the parties to the conflict to sign a peace agreement for the complete cessation of hostilities, the release of all political prisoners and prisoners of war, the disbandment of armed groups.
- We urge the Ukrainian government to release forcibly mobilized soldiers whose families are now organizing protests in different regions of Ukraine.
- We demand from Russia, the EU and the U.S. completely to stop interfering in the Ukrainian conflict and to cease to support the participants.
- We demand an end to the chauvinist campaigns conducted by the Ukrainian and Russian media, which, using the language of hatred, are one of the main instigators of the war.
- We demand the adoption of a new constitution of Ukraine, new elections to the institutions of state power in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the genuine real right to self-determination and self-government for Donbass and all regions of Ukraine.
We believe that an important condition for the formation of the anti-war movement is the informational and organizational consolidation of the left groups in the former Soviet space. To this end, we will initiate the establishment of a joint initiatives, the “Red Cross,” to help left activists and conscientious objectors from military service who have suffered, as well as an information network of leftist and Marxist groups of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine. •
- Vladimir Ishchenko, journal of social criticism Spilne (The Commons), Ukraine
- Andrew Manchuk, editor of LIVA.com.ua, association Borotba, Ukraine
- Ivan Ovsyannikov, member of the Central Council of the Russian Socialist Movement, Russia
- Taras Salamanyuk journal Spilne, Ukraine
- Sergei Solovyov, scientific and educational journal Skepsis, Russia
- Rustam Sadykov, Skepsis, Russia
- Sergei Kozlovsky, a member of the Central Council of the Russian Socialist Movement, Russia
- Dmitry Subbotin, journal Skepsis, Russia
- George Komarov, Worker Platform, Russian Socialist Movement, Russia
- Mikhail Piskunov, the Russian Socialist Movement, Russia
- Artem Kirpichenok, MMT, Russia
- Alexander Ivanov, the Russian Socialist Movement, Russia
- Tatiana Chizhov, internet journal Prasvet, Belarus
- Dmitry Isayonok, Prasvet, Belarus
- Denis Denisov, Left Opposition, the Russian Socialist Movement, Ukraine-Russia
- Lyudmila Barkov, Russia
- Sergei Odarich, Journal LIVA.com.ua, Ukraine
- Ilya Znamenskii, Russia
- Elena Kuzmenok, Belarus
- Catherine Ruskevich, Belarus
- Alexander Markevich, RSD, Russia
- Kirill Vasiliev – member of the Central Committee of the United Communist Party (CCP), Russia
- Stanislav Khudzik, RSD, Russia
- Dmitry Ryder, RSD, Russia
- Bulat Gilmanov, RSD, Russia
- Georgi Ivanov, RSD, Russia
- Vlad Milevsky, RSD, Russia
- Leonid Rodin, chairman of the Interregional Trade Union of Novoprof, member of the Central Committee of OKP
- Eugene Valikov, OKP, Russia