By Mykhailo Volynets and Grygorii Osovyi. 10 April 2022
On Saturday 9 April a demonstration took place in London called by UK trade unions and supported by both trade union federations of Ukraine. Published below are the statements from the Confederation of Free Trade Unions and the Federation of Trade Unions of Ukraine.
Message to the rally by the Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The members of the Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine are grateful to you for your support and attendance at the solidarity rally in London.
This is the horrific war in Ukraine, during which the Russian Forces disregard the rules of war and commit war crimes and crimes against humanity.
This war is aimed to kill the people of Ukraine that chose freedom, democracy, and dignity and it aimed to totally destroy the country that they have been developed and build.
The Russian forces attack enterprises and agricultural objects to destroy the Ukrainian economy and cause poverty and even food crises and famine.
Bucha, Irpin, Motyzhyn, Vorzel, Borodyanka, Dymer, Dmytrivka… All these towns near the capital of Ukraine were not very well known in the world before. There were people who lived in peace, worked honestly, and made plans for the future. Now, these cities of the Kyiv region are symbols of the inhuman atrocities of the Russian Armed Forces. After these cities’ liberation, the world knew about the horrific crimes of the Russian occupiers.
However, the bombing of hospitals and civil objects, executions, atrocities, raping, kidnapping, and forcible deportation are part of Russian inhumane tactics. The Russian troops are cynically ignoring all the rules of war and international humanitarian law, as well as the principles of humanity. Only in besieged and destroyed by airstrikes Mariupol at least 5000 civilians were killed, including 210 children.
This nightmare is a reason why there are more than 4 million, including 2 mln refugees children who fled from Ukraine and more than 6 mln became IDPs. These women, children, people with disabilities and pensioners fled from death, violence, and destruction. Please welcome them to the UK and your cities and help them.
Today workers and members of the KVPU work under the bullets and shellings and their families hide in basements in occupied cities. Our brave medical workers save lives of civilians and soldiers. Our railways and transport workers evacuate people from battle zones and carry cargo despite the shellings. The members of the KVPU help people with food, water, medicine and goods, and organize shelters and evacuations for women and children. Also, the members of the KVPU left their workplaces and homes and now are servicemen and servicewomen defending their Homeland from Russian occupiers.
Today the people of Ukraine do all possible to defend their Homeland. We all unite in the fight for freedom, democracy and indpendent
But the people of Uraine need your help to win.
Ukraine needs assistance, primarily military, financial, and humanitarian aid. The KVPU calls to provide this assistance to Ukraine and to impose tougher sanctions on the Russian Federation.
We call for Russia to be punished severely for crimes against humanity and genocide in accordance with the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the Statute of the International Military Tribunal, and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
Russia must be stopped immediately! Putin’s fascist criminal regime wants to destroy the people of Ukraine and also threatens peace and stability in Europe and the world.
Stand with Ukraine! Help the people of Ukraine to win in the struggle for independence and peace!
Chairperson of the Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine (KVPU)
Message to the rally by Federation of Trade Unions of Ukraine
Stop Putin! No to the War against Ukraine! Trade unions for Peace!
Dear brothers and sisters,
The whole world has stood up for Ukraine, condemning Russia’s insidious aggression. The British unions stand beside our long-suffering people and the Ukrainian unions. For only together can we stop the deadly war.
The main task for all of us remains to defend our country, save people and bring victory closer.
Today is the 45th day of the heroic defence of our state and protection of our independence, freedom and democracy. The Ukrainians’ right to be in the fraternal family of European society, not in the totalitarian Russian empire.
All these days the Russian invaders are trying to destroy the Ukrainian people, to raze Ukrainian cities and villages to the ground. But we will resist. And we will fight harder, the more they will attack. We will not give the enemy a single inch of Ukrainian soil, and the enemy must know it.
Many of our members have been forced to leave their jobs and take up arms to defend their families, their children and their land. Many of them, including trade unionists who in the early days of the war, took up arms and died. But we will always remember them.
We know that the road to victory is not yet close. We will have to go through gruelling missile attacks and air raids, because we still have the sky open to Russian attacks.
We will not allow our independence to be broken, just as you once did not want to lose it when the Nazis tried to take over your country.
We are grateful to the people, the UK government, who have provided us with invaluable humanitarian and military aid. However, we would ask for even stronger sanctions against Russia, which my country has deemed a terrorist state. Do the same. Recognise it as a terrorist state. Help secure our Ukrainian sky. Help defeat the global evil.
In addition to sanctions, which until there is peace should only increase, we would ask for economic support for Ukraine, funding for priority projects that will help restore employment. I believe that British unions can do much in this direction.
We are grateful to you for welcoming our refugees, who have been forced by this war to flee their homes, scattered to different countries and separated from their children.
But in any case, we are already thinking today about the future. About how we will rebuild Ukraine, where everyone will be happy, where everyone will live in peace. Thank you for bringing this future closer. Thank you for your solidarity.
President of the Federation of Trade Unions of Ukraine