This resolution was adopted at Freedom Road Socialist Organization’s 9th Congress in spring 2022.
We, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, hold the United States and NATO squarely responsible for the conflict in Ukraine. Since the disintegration of the socialist bloc in Europe, NATO has pursued a policy of expansion and military aggression that has brought instability to the region and beyond. In Ukraine, NATO and its de facto leader, the United States, created the conditions for the war that is now unfolding between the Russian Federation and the Ukrainian state.
The U.S. has encouraged a reactionary, ultranationalist tendency in Ukraine since during the Cold War when it sought to cultivate an anticommunist fifth column within the Soviet Union. In 2014, organized ultranationalists embedded in the Euromaidan movement executed a coup with U.S. support and afterwards were quickly integrated into the Ukrainian national guard and police. When ethnic Russians in the Donbas region demanded autonomy, these newly empowered forces initiated a brutal eight-year war against them. We stand in solidarity with the peoples of Donbas, along with communists and other progressive forces in Ukraine who have faced state repression and violence under the regime installed by the Euromaidan coup.
U.S. meddling in Ukraine has been military, political, and economic in nature, and bears a strong resemblance to U.S. meddling in Latin America. The 2014 Euromaidan coup was sparked by then-president Viktor Yanukovich’s refusal of International Monetary Fund loan terms in 2013. Only a few months after Yanukovich rejected the IMF’s terms and pursued friendly trade relations with the Russian Federation, he was overthrown by U.S.-backed ultra-nationalists and neo-nazis and forced to flee the country. The new post-coup government immediately re-initiated IMF negotiations and acceded to the loan deal. The resulting neoliberal reforms further opened Ukraine to penetration by Western capital and resulted in the mass privatization of Ukrainian industry, the elimination of state subsidies of consumer utilities, and the imposition of widespread austerity measures. It also led to the repeal of land protection laws that had prevented Ukrainian farmland from being gobbled up by the big bourgeoisie. This U.S.-installed government wrote a new constitution that enshrines the pursuit of NATO membership in the foundational document of the Ukrainian state, making it difficult for Ukraine to back away from direct confrontation with Russia.
We believe it’s vital that the U.S./NATO designs for Ukraine are defeated. This is a matter of importance not only for Ukrainians themselves but for all nations around the world who seek to uphold their independence. The U.S. has stated openly that its goal in the Ukraine conflict is to “weaken Russia” – Ukrainians are mere proxies to this end – and has used the conflict as an excuse to escalate sanctions and attacks against the progressive nations of Latin America and non-aligned countries like Pakistan and India. It’s also using the conflict to ram through massive new military expenditures, and implement an unprecedented domestic regime of censorship and propaganda. These actions ultimately lay groundwork for a confrontation with Russia’s southern neighbor, socialist China, which the U.S. sees as the main threat to the imperialist status quo.
We denounce the hypocrisy of the U.S. and its allies’ repeated accusations that Russia has weakened “international norms” and/or the “European security architecture.” It was NATO itself that first opened the Pandora’s box of unending inter-ethnic violence and lawless intervention when it waged a war of aggression on Yugoslavia in the 1990s.
We stand in solidarity with the masses in the former socialist republics who have faced political instability and a devastating decline in living conditions since the fall of socialism. We support the masses of the Russian Federation who have borne witness to the barbarity and ruthlessness of the imperialist destruction of their country, reject the neoliberal plunder of their economy, and wish to see the defeat of NATO’s plots and the destruction of its reactionary proxies such as the Azov Battalion.
We find it notable that many of those who show support for Russia’s actions in Ukraine do so by flying not the Russian flag but the Victory Flag of the Soviet Union. Since the disintegration of the USSR and the privatization of the Soviet economy, the Russian Federation has vied to dominate the regional economies of the former Soviet republics. Lacking the proletarian internationalist basis of the USSR, and with a monopoly capitalist economy rather than a socialist one, the Russian Federation is emerging as an imperialist power; the conflict in Ukraine is an inter-imperialist conflict between the U.S. and Russia.
However, the U.S.-led imperialist order is the main enemy of working-class and oppressed people everywhere, and its power is declining and has been for decades. This is a good thing. We uphold the right of nations to self-determination and welcome the advent of a so-called “multipolar” world order. However, we also recognize that these shifts in the global balance of power will change the nature of existing contradictions and introduce new ones. As socialist revolutionaries, we know that multipolarity is not the end goal of the struggle, but a necessary stop on the road toward a bright future of a world united by socialism.
We call on anti-war activists to organize protests demanding an end to U.S. and NATO material support to Ukraine, the lifting of sanctions and unilateral coercive measures imposed on the Russian population, and the immediate dissolution of NATO.