Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

No to NATO Tanks in Ukraine, Let’s Fight the Escalation!

Left Voice and our comrades in Germany issue a joint statement against NATO sending tanks to Ukraine. We call on the working class to organize against this reactionary war which continues to escalate.

Facebook Twitter Share

Left Voice, along with our sister site in Germany, Klasse Gegen Klasse, denounces the recent move by NATO countries (including Germany and the U.S.) to send tanks to Ukraine. This is a clear escalation in a reactionary war which is creating nothing but misery for the international working class.

Germany is sending 14 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, while the United States is sending 31 M-1 Abrams tanks. The German government gave its permission to other NATO members like Poland and Spain to deliver German-manufactured Leopard tanks from their arsenals. Far from a matter of defense of Ukraine, the addition of Western tanks on the battlefield increases the objectives of NATO’s proxy-war, enabling the Zelenskyy regime to take a more offensive position in the East of the country. While it remains unclear how Putin will respond, the Russian Ambassador to Berlin said that Germany’s decision to send tanks “takes the conflict to a new level of confrontation.” It cannot be ruled out that more escalations could lead to the conflict becoming nuclear, or NATO troops being sent to the fight.

This comes just days after The New York Times reported that U.S. president Joe Biden is considering helping Ukraine take Crimea, an objective which was once strictly off the table. Meanwhile, Biden’s national security adviser, Jon Finer, said they would not rule out the delivery of fighter jets, a statement that was also shared by French, Polish, and Dutch military politicians. Ukraine has also been demanding air support since the beginning of the war.

Along with expanding the objectives and timeline of the war, the transfer of U.S. tanks to Ukraine implies additional coordination between the U.S. military and Ukrainian forces. We can already see this in the example of the Patriot missile system. Around 100 Ukrainian troops are currently in the United States being trained at a U.S. base to use the system. This signals a move toward more direct engagement of U.S. military forces in the ongoing conflict. Now some sectors of U.S. imperialism openly argue that the United States must support a protracted war until Russia is “defeated.” According to the Washington Post, this is the strategy that U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is now pursuing.

In Germany, chancellor Olaf Scholz has taken steps to escalate the conflict even more. He has replaced Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht with Boris Pistorius, known as a right-wing hardliner within the Social Democratic Party (SPD). Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock of the Green Party is now, for the first time, talking about Germany and NATO “fighting in a war against Russia”. These new steps are accompanied by discussions about an expansion of German arms production. Scholz and the SPD’s Secretary General Lars Klingbeil are in favor of a “national pact with the arms industry.” The Bundestag’s defense commissioner, Eva Högl (SPD), has even called for a 300 billion euro military budget. The arms company Rheinmetall, which manufactures the Leopard, has already doubled its stock market value since the start of the war.

There Are No Progressive Camps in this War

As members of the Trotskyist Fraction – Fourth International (FT-CI), we have consistently denounced the reactionary character of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. As a representative of the interests of Russian capital, Putin offers nothing for the working class with his brutal invasion. The Russian regime is waging this war to secure its own power in Eastern Europe by oppressive means. In doing so, it is massacring civilians and sending tens of thousands of people, especially ethnic minorities, to the front against their will. 

We do not take sides in the war. A free and socialist Ukraine can only exist independently of the influence of Russia and the West. Putin’s invasion sends Russian workers into Ukraine to kill and die for the interests of Russian oligarchs who are far removed from the fighting. We support the working class and anti-war movement in Russia. It’s up to the working class to defeat Putin’s reactionary regime.

NATO only follows its own capitalist interests, not the interests of the Ukrainian and Russian working class. In fact, the war that NATO and Russia are waging in Ukraine serves as a barrier to vital solidarity of the working class in Russia, Ukraine, and in NATO countries. This, while NATO sanctions and boycotts are economic warfare which hurts workers in Russia and worldwide. The role NATO expansion played in escalating tensions between the rival capitalist blocs to the point of war cannot be ignored or downplayed.

Along with Putin and NATO, another enemy of the working class is the Zelenskyy regime, which allows far-right nationalism to flourish, ruthlessly bombards the Donbas, and oppresses the Ukrainian Left and Ukraine’s Russian-speaking population. The war effort led by Zelenskyy furthers NATO-imperialist expansion throughout Europe, which comes at the expense of the working class, including the Ukrainian working class.

For the Intervention of the Working Class against this War

Left Voice and Klasse Gegen Klasse call on the labor movement in the United States, Germany, and the rest of the NATO countries to organize the power of the working class against this reactionary war and further escalation. We must do this in solidarity with the increasingly repressed labor movements and Left in Ukraine, the Donbas, Russia, and Belarus who are subjected to greater violence, destruction, and nationalism as a result of this war.

The Left and workers in Germany and Europe as well as in the United States must mobilize against the war and weapons shipments. So far, there have been few protests, due to the alignment of the Left and the leaderships of the trade unions, most of which back NATO and support sanctions or even arms deliveries. Other parts of the European Left, however, such as the wing in the German Left Party around Sarah Wagenknecht, downplay the Russian invasion. Instead, they want German imperialism to have a more independent orientation from the United States, closer to Russia again. 

We reject both perspectives. In the United States, the two-party regime provides bipartisan support to militarism and imperialism. Even the left wing of the Democratic Party, represented by figures like Bernie Sanders and The Squad, have gone lock-step in supporting the imperialist weapons shipments to Ukraine and sanctions on Russia.


We call on workers to strike against weapons shipments, sanctions, and rearmament — and for the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine, the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Europe, and dissolution of NATO. With actions of the working class in the west, we want to encourage our class siblings in Russia and Belarus to strike against the war as well. It is the duty of the western workers to show the eastern workers that this is not their war, these are not their sanctions. We must follow the examples of workers in Greece and Italy who stopped NATO tank shipments by withholding their labor and workers in Belarus who stopped Russian tank shipments by sabotaging the railroads, in opposition to a war waged against the interests, and at the direct expense of our class.

Facebook Twitter Share

Left Voice

Militant journalism, revolutionary politics.

Ideas & Debates

Tents at the Rutgers University in NJ during the Palestine encampment in May, 2024

What the Movement for Palestine Can Learn from the Rutgers Encampment Deal

The Gaza solidarity encampment at Rutgers New Brunswick ended in a deal between the administration and a negotiations team at the camp. It’s been a highly controversial decision. The experience at Rutgers shows the need for a truly democratic, bottom-up fight for Palestine.

Jason Koslowski

May 17, 2024
A banner at the City College Encampment in NYC which reads: "The 5 demands: 1) Divest 2) Boycott 3) Solidarity 4) Demilitarize 5) A People's CUNY

Specters of Vietnam in the pro-Palestinian Movement

The reemergence of the student movement raises echoes of the past that help to articulate key aspects of the direction of the movement against the genocide in Palestine. Here we consider a few links between today and the movement against the war in Vietnam.

Daniel Alfonso

May 12, 2024

The Student Revolt for Palestine

The student revolt for Palestine in the United States is spreading throughout the world. It is essential that the student movement unites against repression and draws the masses into the fight for a free Palestine.

Jimena Vergara

May 6, 2024

Left Voice Magazine for April 2024 — Labor Notes Edition!

In this issue, we delve into the state and future of the labor movement today. We take a look at the prospects for Palestinian liberation through the lens of Leon Trotsky’s theory of Permanent Revolution, and discuss the way that Amazon has created new conditions of exploitation and how workers across the world are fighting back.

Left Voice

April 20, 2024

MOST RECENT

Why Won’t PSC-CUNY Stand with Palestine Now?

While other higher education unions are going on strike in defense of their workers and against the genocide in Gaza, the bureaucratic leadership of PSC-CUNY just crushed a resolution calling on the university to divest from Israel and to drop the charges against Palestinian activists arrested on April 30. 

James Dennis Hoff

May 24, 2024

Attack on Pro-Palestinian Protestors at UMich Latest Example of Democrats Defending Israel’s Genocide in Gaza

Capitalist apologists from the Democratic Party have chosen their business partners in Israel’s far-right government over Palestinian lives. In Ann Arbor, those same so-called “progressive” Democrats decided to bring felony charges against protestors earlier this week, encouraging harsh police violence against the University of Michigan encampment.

Ryan McCarty

May 24, 2024
Activists in Detroit speaking at a press conference condemning repression of the pro-Palestine movement on May 20, 2024.

Detroit Activists Hold Press Conference to Condemn Repression of Pro-Palestine Protesters

Detroit Will Breathe organized a press conference to discuss the police violence and repression against pro-Palestine protesters. The movement must stand in solidarity and unite to combat the increase of repression.

Kyle Thibodeau

May 23, 2024
A sign for the University of California at Santa Cruz with a line of UAW signs in front of it

Dispatch from Day One of the UC Santa Cruz Picket Line for Palestine

Left Voice member and City University of New York worker Olivia traveled to Santa Cruz for UAW 4811’s historic strike to talk to workers. This is her dispatch from the first day of the strike.

Olivia Wood

May 22, 2024