The YCL is saddened to witness Russian soldiers flood across the border from Luhansk and Donetsk, Crimea and neighbouring Belarus into Ukraine proper as they push towards the capital, Kiev.

As the Ukrainian government, propped up by the USA tried to de-escalate tensions, Biden, NATO, the Tory Cabinet and politicians of all stripes in Westminster rattled the sabre, daring their adversaries to react – and yet act shocked when Russia responds to years of manoeuvring.

While Vladimir Putin and his oligarch government are no friends of working people in Russia or internationally, the strategy and priorities of NATO remain clear. In their inter-imperialist rivalry with Russia, they attempted to encircle and undermine Russia using Ukraine as a scapegoat and staging post for their interests, and now it is the ukranian people who must pay the price while NATO stands back and refuses to intervene. A NATO intervention now would mean world war, and we condemn NATO in the strongest possible terms for placing ordinary ukranians in this position.

The UK-USA-NATO do not care that their warmongering has ended lives in Eastern Europe and created thousands of refugees. They do not care that their confrontation with one of the world’s most nuclear armed states threatens all of humanity. Their dangerous game of provocations and warfare places us all on the edge of a new era of tension and conflict.

We do not want to see a continued presence of NATO bases in eastern Europe. Such actions will only seek to further provoke Russia. We do not want to see Britain’s bourgeois armed forces deployed in Eastern Europe in either an offensive or defensive role, nor do we want a continued NATO presence in Britain, or a British presence in NATO. Billions of pounds being spent on an archaic anti communist defence pact would be better spent at home – paying for the cost of the pandemic and solving the cost of living crisis. US airbases in Britain put our people at risk should the world’s premier imperialist nation seek to take military action around the world.

We also should not forget that the governments which have been installed in Ukraine since the Maidan protests contain openly fascist and neo-Nazi elements – Putin’s claims of “denazification” are not completely fabricated.  The Ukrainian army is propped up by neo-Nazi paramilitary battalions that openly glorify collaborators in the holocaust. Frontline troops in Ukraine openly sport swastikas and SS symbols. No tears are shed for those members of Right Sector or Azov Batallion who die in this pointless war. We especially remember the victims of the 2014 Odessa Trade Union house massacre when we hear of Azov and Right Sector defeats.

It is clear that imperialism is growing increasingly dangerous and reckless in its desire to redivide the globe. The real winners of war mongering and militarism are the arms manufacturers and monopolies who lobby governments so vigorously in favour of military expansion and intervention, all to make billions in profit. The victims, as ever, are working people.

The youth of Britain and the youth of the world have nothing to gain from imperialism’s reckless drive to war – a drive to war which deprives our communities, divides our planet and threatens the existence of humanity. Britain’s Young Communists, hand in hand with our comrades across the world, are determined to oppose warmongering and militarism.

We’re calling for:

– Immediate withdrawal from NATO and the web of US imperialism, and NATO’s immediate withdrawal from our countries.

– A foreign policy which is based on peace, cooperation and international development, not war and extortion.

– Unilateral nuclear disarmament by the UK.

– Withdrawal of all UK military personnel from abroad and the closure of all foreign bases.

– The reallocation of the defence budget for peaceful purposes including health, education, housing and job creation.

No to war and imperialism!

Join the struggle for lasting peace!

In comradeship
Central Committee
Young Communist League

25 February 2022
London, Britain