IRISH ANTI WAR MOVEMENT (IAWM) PRESS RELEASE ON FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF RUSSIA UKRAINE WAR 22 FEBRUARY 2023
- RUSSIAN MILITARY OUT OF UKRAINE
- STOP RUSSIA & NATO’s PROXY WAR IN UKRAINE
- NO TO ESCALATION, YES TO DIPLOMACY – TALKS not TANKS
- DEFEND’S IRELAND’S NEUTRALITY – STOP MILITARISATION
One year on from the brutal invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the full scale of the tragic human disaster has become clear. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers and civilians have been killed and maimed, millions of refugees have been forced to flee and much of Eastern Ukraine lies in ruins. The illegal and unjustified invasion was an attempt by Russia to reassert its power in the region via an aggressive violation of Ukraine’s right to self-determination. The IAWM has condemned the invasion from the beginning. We called for Russian military forces to be withdrawn, as we still do. But we also predicted that the war would be a proxy war between NATO, and particularly the US, and Russia i.e. the two most heavily nuclear armed powers on the planet. This is exactly what has panned out. Each escalation on one side is followed by an escalation on the other side which has created a bloody war of attrition extracting a terrible human cost on both sides.
The latest military escalation on the part of western Governments – of sending tanks and possibly planes – sees the defence of Ukraine’s national rights subordinated to the geostrategic aims of the Western imperialist powers, including turning Ukraine increasingly into a NATO client state. Both sides intensify militarisation, with NATO’s explicit aim to help Ukraine defeat Russia, and so western leaders discourage and squander any possibility of peace talks. Each escalation by the warring parties (Russia, Ukraine and NATO) brings all humanity yet closer to one accident or miscalculation away from a nuclear war.
The IAWM continues to express our full solidarity with the Ukrainian people and their resistance to the invasion and we welcome to Ireland those Ukrainians fleeing the war. But we refuse to be drawn into NATO’s overarching strategy for expansion and military escalation. The reality one year on is that the Ukraine Russian war has reached a violent stalemate that all sides seem ready to prolong indefinitely at immense human and environmental cost – which will only be catastrophic for Ukraine, Russia and the world.
The Russia Ukraine war has also finally brought into the open the real political agenda of the Irish government. It wants to openly abandon neutrality to prove that it is fully committed to a Western alliance run by the US. One year on from this tragic war, the IAWM calls for unconditional support for Irish neutrality. We have joined others in establishing an Irish Neutrality League (www.neutrality.ie) in order to highlight the importance of our unique commitment to neutrality. We call on our government not to send Irish troops to train Ukrainian troops but instead to use its neutral status to call for peace negotiations, not the further escalation of an unwinnable war.
Jim Roche, PRO Steering Committee, IAWM, Tel. 087 6472737
Marnie Holborow, Member, Steering Committee, IAWM, Tel. 087 9889244
Sara O Rourke, Member, Steering Committee, IAWM, Tel. 087 6024821
Michael Youlton, Chair Steering Committee, IAWM, Tel. 086 8159487
Mark Price, Steering Committee IAWM, Tel. 086 3454332