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Our editorial on the invasion of Ukraine and tasks of the anti-war movement.

We condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has opened a dangerous new period in global politics. Russian troops should be withdrawn immediately, and negotiations commenced for a ceasefire and lasting resolution. We express our solidarity with all those in Russia who have bravely protested the invasion of Ukraine.

Those in the Scottish Government and establishment who pretend this war emerged from nowhere are being purposefully dishonest. Despite promises it would not, for over three decades the aggressive western military alliance Nato has expanded across Europe to the borders of Russia, eschewing many opportunities to foster peace and normalise relations. It has bombed, invaded and occupied from Serbia, to Libya and Afghanistan in a grand strategy for control over the Eurasian landmass.

The Russian government is responsible for its invasion of Ukraine. The Nato powers, including Britain and the US, also bear responsibility for the dangerous new pass we face. We will take no lessons from those, like First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who backed the murderous Nato bombing of Libya, and who a few months ago was lobbying Nato to maintain the 20 year occupation of Afghanistan.

The British and US states speak with no moral legitimacy in the world today, having driven so much war and destruction in preceding decades. As we speak, people are dying from Afghanistan to Yemen as a direct consequence of western actions. The western powers have consistently trampled on the rights of national self-determination and international law.

Our task now is to oppose the dangerous escalation in Europe and around the world, which can only mean more destruction and death. We must oppose any idea of military action, which has already been raised by politicians in the west. Moves to build-up Nato will only raise tensions and strengthen Vladimir Putin’s nationalist claims. So too will sanctions, which will fall on the shoulders of working class people in the east and west.

In recent decades, over 34,000 people have died seeking refuge in Europe, largely as a consequence of western wars and EU migration policy. We demand an end to ‘fortress Europe’, and support for all those displaced by war and persecution. We also call for an end to rhetoric about expelling Russian citizens from western countries.

The main task of the anti-war movement in Britain is to oppose our governments and their allies, as they seek dangerous escalation.

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