The Ukrainian and Russian workers’ lives matter: no to this imperialist war!

Lutte Ouvrière workplace newsletter
March 11, 2024

Even though Macron’s allies have all declared that sending troops to Ukraine is out of the question, the French president insists. Last week, he called on Europeans not to be "cowards". This week, he is launching a parliamentary debate on military aid to Ukraine.

Officially, the government has already invested 6.7 billion euros in that ‘aid’ – with a complete lack of transparency, since Parliament has had no say in the matter. And the debate held this week will be strictly for show, as the vote will be non-binding!

This political show is designed to fuel controversy, by artificially exaggerating partisan differences. In fact, everyone, from Le Pen (RN) to Roussel (PCF) and Mélenchon (LFI), agrees that Ukraine should be supported militarily. Whenever politicians criticize Macron, it's only superficial and for strategic and diplomatic purposes.

But, for the government, this debate is above all another opportunity to spread war propaganda and to harp on the idea that "we must be prepared to make sacrifices to help Ukraine".

Who could be against helping the Ukrainian people? The question is whether the sending of weapons – or soldiers even – by the United States and European countries, actually “helps”.

The answer is no. If they are so involved in Ukraine, it's because it is THEIR war. A war for their economic domination over this region of the world, which they have been striving to detach from the Russian sphere of influence since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Through the exploitation of the workforce, factory takeovers, indebtedness to Western banks: a large part of the Ukrainian economy has already fallen under the control of Western capitalists. This trend has accelerated with the war, as evidenced by the privatization and concentration of huge farms under the impetus of Western financiers.

More and more Ukrainian peasants are being deprived of their land, while workers' rights and working conditions are under attack, in the name, of course, of the war effort.

And let's not forget the Ukrainian workers and peasants who have been turned into soldiers, and have lost a leg, an arm or even their life in the fighting. How many more sacrifices will they be asked to make to rebuild their country?

The only winners in this war are the Ukrainian oligarchs along with the multinational corporations, like ArcelorMittal, Nestlé or Vinci, the banks, like Crédit Agricole, and, of course, the Western arms dealers. Turning people into cannon fodder or slaves for profit, that's what the big world powers call ‘helping the Ukrainians’!

Whether it's the United States or secondary powers like France, imperialist countries only intervene to defend their own interests, never to save the people.

What are they doing for the Palestinians in Gaza? They let the State of Israel starve them, and ease their conscience by dropping a few food parcels, while the massacre continues! The war in Gaza has already killed more than 30,000 people. If the lives of women, children and men really counted in the eyes of these great world powers, they could easily act, since Israel is a close ally which depends on their financial and military support.

And what about their impact on Haiti? There, the United States has consistently supported and even armed corrupt political clans. Today, the population is prey to the gangs’ nightmarish violence and on the verge of starvation.

The same type of tragedy is unfolding in the region called Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo where war has been raging for twenty years, a war over minerals disputed by Western multinationals. Clearly, the imperialist powers are not the purveyors of peace, democracy and prosperity they claim to be!

As long as they can do business, they put up with the destitution, persecution and warfare that afflict peoples – of course they are often the ones who cause it all.

The only way to help the Ukrainians is to prevent our own leaders from doing harm. From harming Ukraine, by waging war with Ukrainian lives, and from harming us here.

Yes, Putin is a bloodthirsty dictator and an enemy of the workers. But if our purchasing power, our rights to benefits, retirement and healthcare are under attack, it's first and foremost our own government and the capitalists here that are responsible. We must be conscious of the fact that the warmongers are first and foremost our own leaders!

Nathalie Arthaud