ECA STATEMENT: Two Years Since the Imperialist War in Ukraine: The Experience and Conclusions of the Communists

26 February 2024

European Communist Action

We, the communist and workers’ parties which constitute the European Communist Action, came together at the conference organised in the second year of the imperialist war in Ukraine in order to evaluate the experiences and conclusions of the communists during the period we have left behind.

On February 17, following the conference which was hosted by the Communist Party of Turkey in Istanbul, we declare that we act with the following joint approach and attitude:


1. The imperialist war in Ukraine has led to thousands of deaths. Millions were forced to leave their homes and country. This imperialist war is an extension of the conditions that emerged after the dissolution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and which have tragic consequences for the working classes all over the world. It was the overthrow of socialism that prepared the ground for this war, in which the blood of two peoples who worked together for decades to build a new society on socialist foundations, who fought shoulder to shoulder against fascism and brought it to its knees, is being shed.

2. The most important factor fuelling the conflict on this ground, is the fight among capitalists for the plundering of all underground and surface resources, the wealth produced by the workers. At the root of this conflict lies the competition and contradictions within the imperialist system as a whole, which in this case were expressed in the expansion of NATO and the EU to the east and the aspiration of the Russian bourgeoisie to establish new forms of organisations of capitalist states in the territories of the former USSR.

3. Competition within the imperialist system is escalating and contradictions are deepening. The attempts by the USA, the EU and their allies to impose their own interests on the international arena, against capitalist Russia and the countries supporting it, have been going on for years. In the last two years this has expressed itself in the form of an imperialist war in Ukraine. The increasing competition is for the raw material and energy resources, geostrategical footings and transport routes in the region.

4. From the very first day of the war, the Russian leadership has justified its military intervention in Ukraine on the grounds that the above-mentioned expansion threatens Russia’s security. Regardless of whether this threat is founded or not, it cannot be used as a justification for the violation of the existing borders and new bloodshed of the peoples. The discussions initiated to dispute the existing borders mainly aim to generate pretexts that legitimise imperialist aggression and must be rejected. Moreover, our parties have to remember that “security purposes” have been applied for years by the USA, the EU and NATO as a justification for bloody operations in countless countries, for interventions and occupations in the territories under the sovereignty of those countries.

5. The protagonists of the war are not the peoples of the two countries but their capitalist classes. Presenting the war as a war between Ukraine and Russia obscures the real actors of the war and makes it difficult to understand its class character. The ongoing war is being waged between the Russian capitalist class and its allies on the one hand, the Ukrainian capitalist class, the USA, the EU and NATO on the other hand.

6. The war being waged on the territory of Ukraine, is not an anti-imperialist or anti-fascist war, as claimed by the leadership of capitalist Russia and its apologists, a fact that our parties have pointed out from the beginning and has been proven many times in the past two years. Although the Russian leadership claims that its main objective in continuing the war is the denazification of the region and aims to break the siege by the Western bloc, it is clear that the main motivation behind is the protection of the interests of the Russian capitalist class in the wider region. Moreover, the values that characterise today’s Russia have nothing to do with those of the Soviet Union which had defeated fascism. Capitalist Russia has nothing to offer to humanity in the face of Euro-Atlantic imperialism. The Soviet Union was the mainstay of the people’s struggle for peace and socialism, while the leadership of Russia today makes statements about whether a nation exists or not, claiming that there are no such people as the Ukrainian people.

7. One of the most important elements showing the class character of this war is anti-communism, which is being intentionally raised in the region. The activities of the fascist forces in Ukraine and their crimes against humanity, bans and persecution towards communists continue. The Russian leadership, on the other hand, distorts scientific and historical facts in order to justify its strategic plans, and confronts Russia’s socialist past with false and distorted claims concerning Lenin, Stalin and the policies of the Soviet Union. Our Parties will continue to fight creatively against the anti- communist hysteria fuelled by all the actors in the war, to increase solidarity with Ukrainian and Russian communists and not allow the legacy of socialism to be defiled.

8. Moreover, our parties, which are at the forefront of the struggle against foreign bases and the sending of troops and military equipment abroad, call upon the workers, who see the contradictions expressed within the imperialist blocs and organizations, to show no trust in proclamations that a “multipolar world” will supposedly stop this or any other imperialist war and will lead to a peaceful world, without the overthrow of the capitalist system, which is the cause of imperialist wars.

9. The war on the territory of Ukraine, as the imperialist plans in the Red Sea, in Southeast Asia, etc., carry the risk of the war rapidly spreading to a global scale. Indicators such as the increasing tension in the Black Sea, the NATO Secretary General’s suggestion to European countries to increase their weapon production with reference to the war in Ukraine, and NATO’s exercises that are increasing in scope and scale are important in this respect and indicative of the escalation of the military confrontation.

10. These developments impose on us, as communist and workers’ parties of the European countries, which are in the sphere of influence of this tension at different levels, the task of warning and mobilising the peoples of our own countries against the threat of a regional or a more generalised imperialist war, and of opposing the interests and role of the bourgeois classes of our own countries in this tension.

11. We do not choose one side of the war over the other. The contradictions within the imperialist system, the competition and bargaining that go hand in hand, the false polarisations that serve to make the class antagonism invisible have repeatedly shown in the practice of the past two years that they cannot offer anything in the interests of the working peoples; on the contrary, it has become clear that an approach subjugated to the pretexts used by the imperialists will mean a regression from the revolutionary position and the display of a class-compromising attitude.

12. Our parties emphasize that the real choice is not between the so-called poles within the imperialist system but between the working people and the capitalist class. They remind us that the struggle of the working class can be strengthened with an independent line, far from all bourgeois and imperialist plans, and that the peoples, through their struggle, must oppose imperialist wars.

13. This is our call. We do not make an abstract call for peace, which is not clear to whom it is addressed and which serves to exonerate the capitalist class and the actors within the imperialist system. For a real sense of peace, we call for a struggle against NATO, the EU and all kinds of imperialist organizations and alliances that continue to fuel the war, we point to the need to expose the class character of capitalist alliances, and we declare that we will stand in solidarity with the working class movement and communists in these countries.

14. We continue the struggle for the withdrawal of foreign troops and the closure of bases in other countries, especially those of the USA, starting with our own countries. We act with the task of preventing our countries from being part of and implementing imperialist plans and of withdrawing them from imperialist unions such as NATO and the EU, with the peoples masters in their own land.

15. In the face of this war, which has a tendency to generalise, we declare once again that we will continue to be the voice of the working peoples’ demands for peace, social justice and socialism maintaining a steadfast front against nationalism, racism, fascism, and militarism.