Port workers and an academic in Sri Lanka call for the immediate release of Ukrainian socialist Bogdan Syrotiuk

We publish below two statements issued by the Colombo Port Workers Action Committee and by Professor Ariyaratne Herath calling for the release of comrade Bogdan Syrotiuk. He was arrested by the fascistic Zelensky regime in Ukraine on trumped-up charges for fighting to unite Ukrainian and Russian workers on a socialist program against the US-NATO war and all the governments involved.

The World Socialist Web Site and the International Committee of the Fourth International have launched a global campaign demanding Syrotiuk’s freedom. Sign the online petition here.

Port Workers Action Committee,

Sri Lanka, 12.05.2024.

Immediately release Ukrainian socialist fighter, comrade Bogdan Syrotiuk!

Twenty days have elapsed after the arrest of Ukrainian socialist Bogdan Syrotiuk on April 25 on bogus charges by the SBU, the security force of fascist Zelensky regime. Syrotiuk, who was detained in his native village of Pvoromesk in Southern Ukraine is being held in Nikoloev prison.

Colombo port workers walking out on 30 January, 2023, to join lunchtime demonstration against the government's income tax increases.

We denounce the Ukrainian regime’s blatant lie that Comrade Syrotiuk is an agent of the Putin regime in Russia.

Bogdan Syrotiuk is a fighter for the unity of the working class in Ukraine and Russia against the war being carried out by the fascist government in Kiev and the reactionary national oligarchic regime in Moscow. He is a leading member of the Young Guard of Bolshevik Leninists working in the territory of the former Soviet Union and an opponent of the war stoked by NATO and the fascistic Zelensky regime.

We understand the importance of the call by the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) that the international working class develop a global movement against the escalation of war by imperialism and its NATO supporters in Ukraine and the preparations for a wider war against Iran and China. The war in Ukraine for the geopolitical interests of the imperialist powers has already claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and must be stopped.

As the American and NATO imperialists plunge the people of the world towards a Third World War, the huge task facing the working class is to prevent such a war. The military conflicts provoked by the US and its allies are threatening humanity with a nuclear conflagration.

Syrotiuk is fighting against the capitalist governments in Ukraine and Russia in political solidarity with the ICFI, which fights for world socialist revolution, the only program capable of defending mankind.

The Colombo Port Workers Action Committee (PWAC) urges all port workers and youth and all those who value democratic rights to come forward and campaign for the release of comrade Bogdan. Put your signature on the online petition that has been launched by the World Socialist Website.

The PWAC fully agrees with the statement issued on May 1 by the International Workers Alliance of Rank-and-File Committees (IWA-RFC). It declares: “The working class, the most powerful social force on earth, which creates all wealth through its labor, must leverage that power to force an end to genocide and war.”

The students of about 40 American universities have established encampments against the genocide in Gaza by the Zionist Netanyahu regime with the full support of the Biden administration backed by both the Democratic and Republican parties. The Biden administration, which falsely labels these students as “anti-Semitic” to provide a pretext to crush their protests, has deployed riot police to arrest 3,000 students.

The PWAC also stands for the defence of these students’ democratic rights, including freedom of expression. We demand their immediate release.

The PWAC calls on workers, young people and the oppressed to support the campaign for the release of anti-war Trotskyist Bogdan Syrotiuk including by educating people, building meetings, launching poster campaigns and organising protests in their neighbourhoods, universities and schools.

Thanking you,

On behalf of the Port Workers Action Committee, Sri Lanka,

Convener Jothipala Dadigama.

Professor Ariyaratne Herath, Department of Economics, University of Peradeniya:

Release socialist Bogdan Syrotiuk

I express my strong opposition to the arrest and detention of Comrade Bogdan Syrotiuk by the Zelensky regime in Ukraine. At the same time, I express my full support to the international campaign of the International Committee of the Fourth International and the World Socialist Web Site for his immediate release.

Professor Ariyaratne Herath

Considering the international socialist principles for which Syrotiuk is fighting, it is clear that the accusations against him of “undermining the territorial integrity of Ukraine and serving the interests of Russia” are completely false. Syrotiuk’s planned speech on International May Day read: “We call for the unification of the Ukrainian and Russian proletariat with the proletariat in the imperialist countries to end this war!”

It is clear that he is a socialist opponent of the war, fighting to unite the international working class, the only social force capable of stopping the war, against both the Zelensky regime, which is sacrificing hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians for imperialist interests, and the Putin regime, which is engaged in a fratricidal war on behalf of the Russian capitalist oligarchy.

His call gives me great courage. And it is sure to have a huge impact on workers and youth around the world.

I believe the cause of this war was the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. That was a result of “Socialism in One Country,” the anti-Marxist program carried out by the Joseph Stalin-led bureaucracy. I learned this history from a lecture held at our university by the International Youth and Students for Social Equality.

Not just the Ukraine war, but indeed the imperialists’ drive towards a nuclear world war, can be prevented only through the fight of the international working class based on international socialism.

Immediately release Comrade Bogdan Syrotiuk, who is fighting for that program!