VIDEO — Resisting the shock doctrine: Ukraine, debt, and reconstruction

As Ukrainian workers resist the Russian imperialist invasion of their country, the terms of reconstruction are being dictated by Western imperialism in the form of privatizations, cuts in social services, and attacks on workers’ rights. The vultures of international capitalism are already circling to claim their piece of postwar Ukraine. The neo-liberal Zelensky government has carried out “reforms” aimed at making Ukraine a safe place for Western imperialist investment.


The Ukraine Solidarity Network and Haymarket Books sponsored an international panel discussion on May 11, dealing with Zelensky’s neo-liberal attacks on the Ukrainian working class and what a progressive reconstruction that does not subordinate Ukrainians to Western capital might look like.

From the event page:

“In the midst of Russia’s imperialist war, Ukraine’s left, unions, and popular movements have struggled to cancel their country’s debt held by international financial institutions and resist Volodymyr Zelensky’s neoliberal policies. Already the IMF has attached conditionalities to new loans to Ukraine, setting an ominous precedent for its reconstruction. Join this panel with Yuliya Yurchenko, Eric Toussaint, and Sushovan Dhar to contextualize Ukraine’s struggle as part of the global movement against neoliberalism.”


  • Yuliya Yurchenko is a Senior Lecturer in Political Economy at the Department of Economics and International Business and a researcher at the Political Economy, Governance, Finance and Accountability Institute, University of Greenwich in Britain. She is the author of Ukraine and the Empire of Capital (Pluto, 2017).
  • Eric Toussaint is a historian and political scientist who completed his Ph.D. at the universities of Paris VIII and Liège. He is the spokesperson of the Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt and sits on the Scientific Council of ATTAC France. He is the author of “Debt System” (Haymarket books, 2019).
  • Sushovan Dhar is a political activist and trade unionist based in Kolkata, India. He is involved in the debt cancellation campaign and is the International Council member of the Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt, a member of the advisory group of South Asia Alliance for Poverty Eradication (SAAPE), and Vice-President of Progressive Plantation Workers Union (PPWU).

“This event is sponsored by the Ukraine Solidarity Network and Haymarket Books. While all of our events are freely available, we ask that those who are able make a solidarity donation in support of our important publishing and programming work.”

Photo: A scene in Mariupol in 2022.

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