Vladislav Starodubtsev reports on the latest situation in Ukraine and stresses the vital importance of military and medical aid now
As regards the military situation, a lot depends on western military supplies. The recent leaks of US security show Ukraine lacks sufficient defensive materials. We don’t have enough rockets, anti-air capabilities, artillery shells or other ammunition. The army needs equipment. Ukraine does not have the capacity to finance the army in such a massive, costly war. This is now becoming critically important. It’s a question of quality and quantity of aid.
We have a huge cost-of-living crisis, with big rises in rents and the price of groceries and falling wages. People who were earning an average of €1,000 before the war now earn around €400. And that’s the situation for high paying jobs. Others earn a lot less. The situation is dire. The further east you go, the worse the problems become. Many cities near the front line have lost their infrastructure. It is impossible to repair when towns are being constantly bombed, as in Bakhmut. People are living in inhuman conditions – in basements with no central heating, constant power cuts. In some liberated towns like Kherson, the situation has improved.
As for the resistance, all organisations of the labour movement are doing the same. Trade unions have many members on the front line, while other members are actively supporting by sending supplies, medical aid, food. There is a huge level of solidarity.
The left and trade unions have been critical of the government’s anti-social reforms, austerity measures and cuts in social security, and have waged strong campaigns.
Trade unions are also helping displaced people. They have turned over their buildings to be used as temporary shelters – a place to sleep and eat. Many activists are providing housing, organising solidarity kitchens, supplies, and helping with integration of IDPs.
Above all, we need military and humanitarian aid now. We need to defend and extend a commitment to democracy. People in the west and elsewhere must not surrender to economic nationalism or fall for false peace rhetoric. All people facing invasion and occupation need help. We are on the front line of the fight for international security and stability.
Those who say more weapons for Ukraine only escalates the conflict are wrong. This is not an argument on how to stop the bombardment on the Russian side. It was Russia who escalated the conflict and invaded Ukraine in the first place. In fact, it is the opposite: less arms for Ukraine means less negotiating power to force a withdrawal from all the occupied territory. Russian forces have inflicted mass executions, assimilation, deportations, destruction of culture and more.
We should not be giving any ground to this argument, which only gives support for further Russian genocide. These views did not stop Russian butchery in Chechnya, Georgia and Ukraine nine years ago. In fact, fear of ‘escalation’ promoted very one-sided and tolerant actions to these invasions that made the horror that happens in Ukraine now possible. Military aid will enable the liberation of the Ukrainian people and, then, a settlement.