Crash site of a Russian plane shot down over Chernihiv on 5 March. Photo: State Emergency Service of Ukraine/CC
Crash site of a Russian plane shot down over Chernihiv on 5 March. Photo: State Emergency Service of Ukraine/CC

Ukrainian politicians have repeatedly asked for Nato to install a ‘no-fly zone’ over the country. Among working-class people in Britain and Ukraine, the demand has some support. Many see it as a way to protect people in Ukraine from Putin’s devastation.

Ian Pattison, Enfield and Lea Valley Socialist Party

Nato – an alliance of the Western capitalist powers – will only intervene if it serves its own ruling-class interests. The US, the dominant power in Nato, has led wars and invasions in the past, the bloody conflict in Iraq most starkly.

There can be no trust in these capitalist leaders. They have leant on ordinary people’s sympathy for the people of Ukraine, to distract from the failings of their governments’ at home.

Boris Johnson’s position as prime minister was hanging by a thread before the war. He had been weakened by ‘partygate’ and the cost of living crisis.

The working class, across borders, can stop this war. Anything that strengthens working-class unity, organisation and awareness of its own power to do this, should be supported. Anything that does the opposite should be opposed.

The Socialist Party has said: “There have already been instances of the Ukrainian workers discussing with Russian troops, demanding they go home. An appeal from Ukrainian workers saying ‘go home and throw out Putin who has sent you here under false pretences, and leave us to build a movement against our own oligarchs, and together fight for governments in our interests’ would be very powerful.”

The government of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has leant on the rich oligarchs in Ukraine and maintained the ban on the Russian language in Ukrainian schools. He can’t make an appeal like this that could unite working-class Ukrainians and Russians against the war.

A no-fly zone would increase Western intervention into the conflict, making an appeal like this by Ukrainian workers to workers in Russia harder.

A no-fly zone by the West may start by shooting down Russian military planes. There’s nothing to stop it there though. It would risk an escalation and even nuclear conflict, which is why Western powers do not want to go down that road.

Capitalism means war. It is the inevitable outcome of rivalry between capitalist powers, in order to secure domination over territory and resources to further their profits.

What we need is workers’ unity and international solidarity to kick out all warmongers and profiteers, and replace destructive capitalism with a democratic socialist society.