3. 8. 2023

Support the left in Ukraine, and Solidarity with the Peoples of Turkey, Kurdistan, and Syria

The Editors

A year into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, there is no end to the war in sight. The determined efforts of Ukrainians to resist subjugation by the far-right Putin regime, which denies their existence as a nation, deprived the Russian military of the quick victory that Putin was counting on. Women and children, organized workers, communities under attack – all have shown astonishing resistance and endurance. Ukrainian forces have counterattacked and endured ongoing Russian pressure; Western military support has been motivated mainly by the desire of the US and allied governments to weaken Russia, not at all by opposition to imperialism. With the future of Putin’s repressive rule tied to avoiding the perception within Russia of a defeat in Ukraine, the war is currently a bloody stalemate. As long as the war goes on, there is a risk that NATO military forces will be drawn into fighting with the Russian military, even though neither Western nor Russian ruling classes want this to happen.

The war has been devastating for Ukraine, with many tens of thousands of people killed and wounded, and much damage to housing, infrastructure, and the environment. At least a fifth of the population are now refugees living outside the country. The political impact has also been terrible: the neoliberal Zelensky government has a lot more popular support today than it had before Russia’s assault began, and has made new attacks on workers’ rights and social reproduction. Right-wing Ukrainian nationalism has grown, with many people seeing Ukraine as part of a good white Europe locked in conflict with an evil Russia, and there is now much stronger support in the population for Ukraine joining NATO, Western imperialism’s US-led military alliance.

It’s also imperative to remember that Russian aggression in Ukraine flows from the same geopolitical project that’s seen Russian obstruction of aid to earthquake victims in Syria and Kurdistan, with deadly consequences that get much less Western media attention than the disaster in Ukraine, thanks to a North American and European media establishment structured by white supremacy. While Ukrainian flags adorn storefronts and bridges in European capitals, white newcomers warmly welcomed from Brussels to Berlin, fear of refugees arriving from the earthquakes’ wreckage leads the EU to harden its borders yet again. We know, moreover, that there’s no such thing as a natural disaster under capitalism, and that the inadequate response to the earthquakes by Turkish president Erdoğan and the Turkish state is a consequence of what has been described as “cement capitalism,” putting profit (for example, the profits of cement companies) over working people’s lives and social reproduction.

Midnight Sun invites our readers to donate money to left, social movement, and other grassroots organizations in Ukraine, along with others working on the front lines of the earthquake recovery effort in Turkey, Kurdistan, and Syria; we’ve compiled a list below. We also hope that the coming months will see the creation of a left-wing initiative in so-called Canada like the Ukraine Solidarity Network in the so-called US. Our comrades abroad need all the assistance we can offer.