International support builds for campaign demanding Ukraine release socialist Bogdan Syrotiuk

Support is building internationally for the campaign demanding that socialist Bogdan Syrotiuk be immediately released from prison by the Zelensky government in Ukraine.

Hundreds of people from around the globe have signed the online petition launched by the World Socialist Web Site on April 30, “Free Bogdan Syrotiuk, Ukrainian socialist and opponent of NATO’s proxy war!”

Bogdan Syrotiuk in his office.

People have signed the petition from many countries, including the United States, Australia, the UK, China, Germany, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, South Korea, the Philippines, Hungary, France, Norway, Turkey and Taiwan.

In explaining the significance of the arrest of Syrotiuk and the campaign for his freedom, the petition at Change.org states:

On Thursday April 25, Bogdan Syrotiuk—a socialist opponent of the fascistic Zelensky regime and the NATO-instigated Ukraine-Russia war—was arrested by the Security Service of Ukraine, the SBU, in his hometown of Pervomaisk in southern Ukraine.

Bogdan, who is 25 years old and in poor health, is being held in a prison in Nikolaev under atrocious conditions on fraudulent charges of serving the interests of Russia. In fact, Bogdan is an intransigent opponent of the capitalist Putin regime and its invasion of Ukraine. He fights for the unity of the working class in Ukraine, Russia and throughout the former Soviet Union.

The campaign for the freedom of Bogdan Syrotiuk is urgent. If he is found guilty by a kangaroo court of the charges against him, he is threatened with a prison term of 15 years to life, a sentence that in Ukraine is equivalent to the death penalty.

On Tuesday, David North, Chairman of the International Editorial Board of the WSWS, explained that the arrest of Bogdan Syrotiuk is the latest example of the brutal crackdown by the Zelensky regime on left-wing movements, whose opposition to the war is finding a growing response within the Ukrainian working class.

North explained the circumstances of the arrest:

SBU [Security Service of Ukraine] agents ransacked Bogdan’s apartment and the office that he has used to conduct political and educational activities. The World Socialist Web Site has been informed that the SBU is claiming that it found a Russian military coat, a backpack with the letter “Z”—a symbol associated with Russian military chauvinism—and a gas mask in the office. Only dull-witted fascist police will expect people to believe that such items will be found in an office that prominently displays a photo of Leon Trotsky and offers a wide selection of Marxist-Trotskyist literature.

If such items were “found” in Bogdan’s office, it is because they were planted there by the SBU, whose unscrupulous and Gestapo-like methods are common knowledge in Ukraine.

North also issued the statement, “Demand the release of Bogdan Syrotiuk, socialist opponent of NATO’s proxy war, from a Ukrainian prison,” as a video on social media.

Syrotiuk has been singled out because he is a leading member of the Young Guard of Bolshevik-Leninists (YGBL), a Trotskyist youth organization active in Ukraine and throughout the former Soviet Union.

Along with the online petition signers, the WSWS has received written comments from those supporting the campaign.

Thomas from Munich, Germany:
“Free Comrade Bogdan! His arrest is an attack on the entire working class. It shows again and very clearly the crimes of the imperialists and NATO countries that collaborate with the fascist regime in Ukraine. They are not concerned with freedom, human rights and democracy.”

Debbie from Cupertino, California:
“It’s infuriating that the US is using my tax dollars to fund Israel’s genocide of Palestinians & arm the fascistic Zelensky government of Ukraine! These charges are completely bogus & should be dropped immediately!”

Kim from South Korea:
“We condemn the Zelenskyy regime and the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) for arresting this young man, who led the anti-war movement with the unity of youth and workers in Ukraine and Russia, on trumped-up charges!”

Yotung from Guilin, China:
“He is not guilty.”

Geethananda from Colombo, Sri Lanka:
“Attempts to portray Bogdan as a supporter of the Putin regime and its invasion of Ukraine are politically preposterous. Comrade Syrotiuk is a leading member of the Young Guard of Bolshevik-Leninists (YGBL), a Trotskyist youth organization active in Ukraine and throughout the former Soviet Union.”

Vera from Hungary:
“Free him immediately!! Warmongers should be questioned. World leaders should sit together and argue, not promote wars. Less spending on arms and wars. Spend on education, peace, health care, social issues. Bogdan wants this as well as all ordinary working people.”

François from France:
“It is dangerous to call yourself a supporter of peace! The capitalists need war because ‘capitalism carries war as the cloud carries the storm,” Jean Jaurès, the first to be shot as an example.”

Simon from UK:
“The deplorable detention of Comrade Bogdan by President Zelensky’s military camarilla is a crime against the international working class. We will not rest until he is freed. We will re-energise the motto of Big Bill Haywood amongst the world’s workers & youth—An injury to one is an injury to all! Hands off Bogdan Syrotiuk! Release Comrade Bogdan at once!”

Stephen from Australia:
“Bogdan’s jailing is part of the increasing repression of opposition to the brutal Ukrainian government as they try to send more Ukrainian workers to their deaths in the war against Russia. The war must be stopped and Bogdan released.”

We urge all readers to take immediate action by signing the online petition and joining the campaign to make the case of Bogdan Syrotiuk known at workplaces, schools, neighborhoods throughout the working class in every country. Share the campaign with your friends on social media and use the hashtag: #FreeBogdan.