It’s been a week since the beginning of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. According to Ukrainian figures, the death toll is 2,000 plus, not counting combat casualties. In just seven days, there are one million refugees. The UN estimates that this figure may exceed four million.  Internally displaced people number another million. In entire cities heat, electricity and drinking water are lacking, due to Russian attacks on basic infrastructure. We are facing one of the biggest humanitarian crises in Europe.
By International Workers League-Fourth International
Russia’s military is advancing in the south and east of Ukraine. Its apparent intention is to connect the Donbas with the south, taking control of the entire coast. The Russians claim to have seized the strategic Black Sea city of Kherson, although information is contradictory and the Ukrainian government denies this. If so, Putin would be in a better position to attack Odesa, Ukraine’s main Black Seaport. They are also besieging Mariupol on the Azov Sea, where the local population has no heat, electricity, water, and food. There is nowhere to flee to. The loss of access to the Black Sea and the Azov Sea would be catastrophic for Ukraine.
The huge convoy of Russian military vehicles heading towards Kyiv has not progressed as Putin had hoped. Ukrainian resistance and Russian logistical failures keep it almost stationary 20 miles from the capital. But Kyiv is already suffering under heavy Russian shelling as it awaits the final assault. Two days ago Russia blew up the television tower and yesterday they damaged a pipeline that could leave part of the city without heating. Mikhail Mezentsev, head of the National Defence Management Centre of the Ministry of Defence, warned of “an imminent humanitarian catastrophe” in major Ukrainian cities such as Kyiv, Kharkiv, Kherson and Mariupol, but blamed the Ukrainians themselves. In other words, the victims would be blamed for their own misfortune. The Kremlin’s cynicism knows no bounds.
Popular resistance is fierce. There are men and women armed militias that have joined the Ukrainian army. Ordinary people build barricades with tyres or sandbags, dig trenches, blow up bridges to hinder the Russian advance. There are scenes of people trying to stop the tanks simply by standing in front of them.  In the city of Enerhodar, workers at the country’s main nuclear plant formed a large barricade to stop the Russians. 
In this context, a second meeting was held between Russian and Ukrainian delegations on a possible ceasefire. The meeting was held in Belarus, a country ruled by Lukashenko, a bloodthirsty dictator allied with Putin, from where the Russians launch missiles and send troops. A humanitarian corridor was agreed upon, but with no guarantee of a ceasefire during civilian evacuations. The third round of talks was announced for next week. But Putin seems unwilling to budge on his demands or to respect civilians. Even if the Russian advance is slower than expected, Moscow’s military superiority is immense. On the other hand, there is no guarantee that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will not make unacceptable concessions to Putin, betraying the resistance of his people. The Ukrainian working class and the people, while fighting the Russian invader, cannot put any trust in Zelensky and the bourgeoisie of their country, submissive to the interests of imperialism. The Ukrainian people must rely only on their own forces and on the internationalist solidarity of the world working class.
A strong campaign of solidarity with the Ukrainian people must be organised in all countries. The condemnation of the Russian invasion must be broadened. We call on all socialists, democrats, defenders of the self-determination of the peoples to join the struggle for the defeat of Putin and the defence of the sovereignty of Ukraine. The defeat of Putin will be a victory for the Ukrainian people and for all the people in the world.
Defeat the Russian military invasion of Ukraine!
USA, NATO and the European Union claws off Ukraine!
For a unified Ukraine free from Russian oppression!
Dissolution of NATO!
Dissolution of the Russian state’s CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organisation) military alliance with the former Soviet republics, used for sending troops to crush popular uprisings and prop up submissive oligarchs, as in Kazakhstan!
 See <https://www.cnnbrasil.com.br/internacional/um-milhao-de-refugiados-deixaram-a-ucrania-em-uma-semana-diz-onu/>.
 See <https://edition.cnn.com/videos/world/2022/02/26/ukraine-civilians-block-russian-tanks-with-body-and-bikes-nr-vpx.cnn>. See <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sB1Ouz9pp3M>.
 See <https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/mar/03/russian-forces-surround-ukraines-biggest-nuclear-plant-sparking-un-concerns>. See Ukrainian barricades: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BI9ygcARDu4>.