A delegation from the Brazilian labor organization CSP-Conlutas is part of the Convoy of Support to the Ukrainian Resistance. They arrived in Lviv last Friday (April 29). The initiative is part of the International Trade Union Network of Solidarity and Struggles. Since their arrival, the activists have met with trade unionists and activists from several countries such as France, Italy, Poland, Lithuania, and Austria, as well as with the Ukrainian resistance.
On April 29, close 2000 pounds of donations were delivered directly to the chairman of the Independent Trade Union of Metallurgists and Miners of the city of Kryvyi Rih, militant Yuri Petrovich, for the population of that region. The initiative was logistically supported by the Sotsyalnyi Rukh organization and was considered a success.
The convoy followed the guidelines of the Kryvyi Rih workers’ resistance organization and prioritized the shipment of emergency items such as medicines, first aid kits, dry food, ready-to-eat baby food, as well as batteries and generators, resources needed in a critical situation of shortages in the supply of food and medicines, as well as power and heating.
Kryvyi Rih is the industrial center of the country and had about 615,000 inhabitants. Currently, the city is 60 km from Russian troops. Petrovich told the Brazilian trade unionists that more than 3000 union members had enlisted in the resistance forces.
Maintaining and strengthening internationalism
As we had already warned in the first communiqué on the convoy, “many women stayed in the country because they decided not to abandon their partners or take care of the elderly or children who stayed behind. They are mothers, sisters or daughters, who survive with difficulty in conditions of shortages in the distribution of food, medicine, water, energy and gas.”
We must continue to give more and more support to the brave Ukrainian people who have stayed behind.
The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine reported that the number of civilians returning to the country today amounts to about 30,000 per day. Due to military compulsion, almost all of those who have crossed the border are women and children. They represent 90% of the country’s refugees.
Due to the return movement, CSP-Conlutas again raises the need to maintain class cooperation in addition to public expressions and motions of support. With the convoy, we affirm a practical and concrete internationalist solidarity, and we will continue the campaign in defense of these working people, who with few resources have maintained a firm resistance against the Russian invaders.
An internationalist May 1st
Here in Brazil, the head office received in a letter a greeting from the Ukrainian miner Yuri, which was read during the May 1 demonstration in the city of Sao Paulo.
In the letter sent especially for the event, he recalls “the struggle of the Chicago workers who paid in blood for the defense of rights. Now, here we are paying with blood for our right to freedom.”
CSP-Conlutas marked the day together with the international delegation and convoy in Ukraine. Present were Wilson Ribeiro from the São Paulo State CSP-Conlutas, Fabio Bosco and Herbert Claros from the International Sector of the Central Committee, Paulo Barela, from SEN, Manoel Carvalho, from the Central’s Advisory Office, and Welington Cabral, president of the Chemicals Union of São José dos Campos and Region.
Due to the martial law imposed in the country, the International Working Class Struggle Day protest was held behind closed doors. The event took place at Hhat Khotkevych Lviv (Lviv Municipal Palace of Culture).
The activity was attended by more than 50 people. Of these, 19 were foreigners, who collaborated with the international solidarity initiative. In addition to Brazil, partners from France (Solidaires), Italy (ADL Cobas), Poland (IP – Inicyatywa Pracownicza), Lithuania (G1PS), and Austria (RCIT) participated in the event.
Various topics such as labor reform, the impact of war on people and mental health, stress and depression, the situation of women, as well as workers’ reports were discussed. At one point in the program, mine workers from the city of Kryvyi Rih participated via videoconference in the activities and were able to dialogue and express their gratitude for the international class solidarity.
About the Krivyi Rih region
The city in which the entity benefiting from the convoy is located is considered strategic and has long been under the Kremlin army’s sights.
The region’s importance comes not only because it is an important industrial center of iron ore and steel close to territories seized by Vladimir Putin’s army, such as the Kherson region, but also because of its political symbolism. Kryvyi Rih is Zelensky’s hometown and serves as a route to reach the Odessa region, so desired by the Kremlin.
The head of the Kryvyi Rih military administration, Oleksandr Vilkul, stated on April 24 that the enemy “is organizing an offensive attack formation in our direction. In the next few days we are waiting for this possible offensive action.”
Over the past three days, Kyvy Rih has evacuated more than 5,000 residents of 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.
Article originally published on www.ptsu.org.br on 5/2/2022
Translated from Spanish here