(Ed. As I edit this and prepare it for posting, it seems that Russia has sent Coloumns of tanks into Ukraine at several points and Kaliber cruise missles strike several airports and SU-25's launch surgical attacks on civil and military infrastructure.)
English translation of a text composed by the Italian Anarchist Federation at their meeting on 20 February 2022.
In the context of the military escalation in Eastern Europe, where Ukraine and Russia are facing each other, pushing the military escalation to the limits of direct confrontation, and with the heavy involvement of the United States and of the European Union, our position can only remain the rejection of the imperialism of the contending states and coalitions, NATO and OTSC.
The power politics of states, nationalism, small homelands, are only screens to hide the exploitation of the working classes, resources and territories. The consequences of this confrontation, even if it does not lead to open war, will be in any case extremely serious, first and foremost for the civilian populations of the areas concerned, who have been in a situation of conflict and material deprivation for years.
But this conflict already affects workers throughout Europe, who are already seeing their incomes slashed by increases in the cost of energy and basic necessities, as well as by cuts in public social spending for the benefit of increased military expenditure.
The current conflict is part of a world scenario of increasing political and military unrest. Although the United States is still the world's leading power, it has been in obvious difficulty for years, both externally, as evidenced by its precipitate withdrawal from Afghanistan, and internally, as is shown by the 2020social uprisings and the resurgence of class conflict.
For its part, the Russian Federation finds itself in a defensive position that forces it to attack in order to stay on its feet. The crisis in the Russian sphere of influence, which became evident with the social mobilisation in Belarus in the summer of 2020 and the protests in Russia in January 2021, shows the fragility of the Russian state both externally and internally. A fragility that could be fatal if even one of the neighbouring states were to collapse, as the brutal and hasty repression of the uprising in Kazakhstan in January 2021 shows.
Italy is heavily involved in the confrontation, with US and NATO military bases all over the country, and in particular with the installations in Sicily used to control the Russian fleet in the Mediterranean. Moreover, the Italian state has a direct presence in Eastern Europe with its own troops, and is therefore taking a concrete part in the spiral of war. In Latvia, troops with tanks and snowmobiles are deployed as part of NATO's 'Baltic Guardian' mission; in Romania, near Constanta, there is a squadron of four Typhoon fighters as part of the 'Air Black Storm' mission; in the Black Sea, there is the FREMM frigate 'Margottini' and the minesweeper 'Viareggio', as well as the aircraft carrier 'Cavour' with F-35s fighters.
This deployment of forces was authorised with a budget of 78 million euros, which the government will certainly have to increase. The intention to send another 2000 Italian soldiers to the area has already been announced. The increasing military expenditure is justified on the grounds of our security, but nobody says that security should instead mean education and health, income for all and not war.
As anarchists, we intend to raise the flag of solidarity between the exploited classes, beyond and against any nation.
That is why we call all those who oppose the war to strengthen and relaunch the struggle against the warmongering policy of the Italian government, to create a broad anti-militarist movement that can impose the withdrawal of military missions abroad.
In the hypothesis of an open conflict, our position remains that of revolutionary defeatism, solidarity, fraternisation and rebellion against the High Command of each State. ■
Italian Anarchist Federation
Meeting of 20 February 2022