CSP-Conlutas is part of the Workers’ Aid Convoy to the Ukrainian Resistance and arrived in the country, precisely in Lviv, last Friday (29/4).
The initiative is from entities member of the International Labour Network of Solidarity and Struggles. Since its arrival, activists have met with labour unionists and activists from several countries like Austria, France, Italy, Lithuania and Poland, besides resistance fighters from Ukraine.
On 29/4, around 800 kg of donations for the population from that region were delivered directly to the president of the Independent Labour Union of Metalworkers and Miners of the city of Kryvyi Rih, the militant Yuri Petrovich. The initiative was supported logistically by the Sotsyalnyi Rukh organisation and was considered a success.
The convoy followed guidelines from the Kryvyi Rih workers’ resistance organisation and prioritised sending emergency items such as medicines, first aid kits, dry food, ready-made baby food, as well as batteries and generators, resources needed in a situation of critical shortages in the supply of food and medicines, as well as electricity and heating.
Kryvyi Rih is the country’s industrial centre and had about 615,000 inhabitants. Currently, the city is 60 km away from Russian troops. Petrovich reported to Brazilian unionists that more than 3,000 union members have enlisted in the resistance forces.
Maintaining and strengthening internationalism
As we had already warned in our first report on the convoy, “many women have remained in the country because they have decided not to abandon their partners or take care of old people or children who have stayed behind. They are mothers, sisters or daughters, who survive with difficulty in conditions of scarcity in the distribution of food, medicines, water, energy and gas”.
And the support needs to be not only maintained but increasingly strengthened.
The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine reported that the number of civilians who are returning to the country today amounts to about 30,000 a day. Due to military compulsion, almost all of those crossing the border are women and children. They account for 90% of the country’s refugees.
Due to the return movement, we, from CSP-Conlutas, have once again placed the need to maintain class cooperation beyond public expressions and motions of support.
With the convoy, we sign practical and concrete internationalist solidarity and we will continue campaigning in defence of these working people, who with few resources have kept up a firm resistance against the Russian invaders.
Internationalist May Day
Here in Brazil, the Central received a letter from the Ukrainian miner Yuri, which was read during the May Day demonstration in the city of São Paulo.
In the letter sent especially for the act, he recalls “the struggle of the workers of Chicago who paid with blood to defend their rights. Now, here we are paying with blood for our right to freedom”.
On the other side, the CSP-Conlutas marked the day by the side of the international delegation that made up the Convoy, with the presence of Wilson Ribeiro from the CSP-Conlutas Sao Paulo, Fabio Bosco and Herbert Claros from the International Sector of the Central, Paulo Barela, from National Secretariat of CSP-Conlutas, Manoel Carvalho, from the Labour Federation consultant, and Welington Cabral, president of the Union of Chemical Workers of Sao Jose dos Campos and Region.
Due to the martial law in vigour in the country, the protest of the International Day of Struggle of the Working Class took place with closed doors. The event took place at Hhat Khotkevych Lviv, Lviv’s Municipal Palace of Culture.
The activity was attended by more than 50 people. This included 19 foreigners, who collaborated with the international solidarity initiative. Besides Brazil, comrades from France (Solidaires), Italy (ADL Cobas), Poland (IP – Inicyatywa Pracownicza), Lithuania (G1PS) and Austria (RCIT) made up the event.
Several issues were discussed such as labour reform, the impact of war on people and mental problems, stress and depression, the situation of women, as well as workers’ reports.
In one moment of the program, mine workers from the city of Kryvyi Rih participated via videoconference of the activities and were able to dialogue and thank for the international class solidarity.
CSP-Conlutas celebrates May 1st in Lviv and the victorious convoy supporting the Ukrainian workers’ resistance. Long live the internationalist struggle!
About the region of Kryvyi Rih
The city in which the entity benefiting from the convoy is located is considered strategic and has been under the sights of the Kremlin army for some time.
Not only because it is an important industrial centre for mining and steelworks, close to territories taken by Vladimir Putin’s army, such as the Kherson region, but also because of the symbolism of political victory contained in the domination of the site. Kryvyi Rih is Zelensky’s hometown and serves as a route to reach the Odessa region so desired by the Kremlin.
The head of Kryvyi Rih’s military administration, Oleksandr Vilkul, said on April 24 that the enemy “is organising an offensive attack formation in our direction. In the coming days we are expecting this possible offensive action”.
Over the past three days, Kyvy Rih has evacuated more than 5,000 residents coming from the Kherson region to different locations.
In total, more than 100,000 migrants have passed through Kryvyi Rih and 50,000 still remain in the city, according to local authorities.
So far, the Russian invasion has forced 5.4 million Ukrainians to leave their country and more than 7.7 million have fled and are internally displaced, according to official UN figures.