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#AllThatsLeftPod: Two Years of War in Ukraine

On this episode of the podcast, we discuss the war in Ukraine after two years, and the continued need for an independent, working-class solution.

Left Voice

February 24, 2024
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All That's Left, the podcast from Left Voice.

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On February 24, 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine as part of an escalation in the growing tensions with NATO. Two years later, the war continues, but has effectively reached a stalemate that’s difficult for either side to overcome. Ukraine’s counter-offensive last spring failed, and the country’s allies are growing pessimistic. In some western countries, there is now less willingness to send Ukraine more military aid — for example, among certain right-wing sectors in the United States. 

The war in Ukraine needs to be seen through NATO’s larger strategy of encircling Russia. On the one hand, the alliance has been incorporating states from the former Eastern bloc. At the same time, it has been expanding U.S. influence and western imperialism in the region.

However, although these growing tensions between Russia and NATO are a key part of the context of the war, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was not a defensive move — it was an offensive one. The Russian regime’s aim is ultimately to advance its own interests and those of Russian oligarchs, and to advance the country’s interests in the region. 

This is a proxy war between Russia on the one side and the U.S. and NATO on the other, played out geographically within Ukrainian territory. In other words, this is a war between competing capitalist alliances, with no progressive camp.

From the United States’ perspective, the war has helped revitalize the country’s position in the global order, particularly the context of declining U.S. hegemony. The United States has used its position in this war to lead one of the world’s largest military rearmament across NATO countries. From NATO’s perspective, the war has breathed new life into the alliance, which has not only provided Ukraine with billions in military funding, but has also significantly expanded its influence in the region by, for example, incorporating Finland (and soon Sweden).

Meanwhile, President Zelenskyy has been using the war to attack the working class by cracking down on opposition parties, curtailing labor rights and the free press, and expanding the state’s authority. 

When it comes to the country’s relationship with the West, Zelenskyy has described aid to Ukraine as being, “an investment in global security and democracy.” In this sense, far from fighting for Ukrainian “self-determination,” the Zelenskyy regime has subordinated the interests of the Ukrainian people to the interests of U.S. imperialism. 

On this episode, we interview Philippe Alcoy, an editor at our sister publication Révolution Permanente who writes extensively on international politics. We explore how the war in Ukraine has developed, particularly the effects of the failed counter-offensive, and the frictions within the Ukrainian regime. Philippe also discusses the war in Ukraine in the context of the genocide in Gaza and increasing tensions in the Middle East. 

Finally, Philippe explains the need for an independent-working class intervention to put a real end to the war and to find a lasting solution. This can happen only under a workers’ government independent of all imperialist powers, independent of Russia, and independent of the Ukrainian oligarchs, but in alliance with the Russian working class.

Listen to the episode on Spotify on Apple Podcasts.

Support this podcast on Patreon

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Left Voice

Militant journalism, revolutionary politics.

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