Support grows in Britain for the release of Bogdan Syrotiuk: “Let his voice be heard!”

The campaign by the World Socialist Web Site for the release of 25-year-old Bogdan Syrotiuk, jailed by the Zelensky regime for opposing NATO’s war on Russia, is winning support in Britain among workers, youth and other defenders of democratic rights.

Syrotiuk—a socialist opponent of both the Zelensky and Putin regimes—was arrested by the Security Service of Ukraine, the SBU, on April 25. He is a leading member of the Young Guard of Bolshevik Leninists (YGBL), a Trotskyist organisation fighting to unite the Russian and Ukrainian working class against the war.

Bogdan Syrotiuk in mid-April 2024.

We are publishing a selection of statements sent by WSWS readers in Britain over the weekend calling for Syrotiuk’s release.

Sandy McBurney, Glasgow, longtime activist and employment law solicitor: “All socialists should speak out and call for the immediate release of Bogdan Syrotiuk unjustly held by the far-right Zelenski regime in Kyiv/Kiev.

“Bogdan Syrotiuk's anti-war stance and his call for the unity of the working class of Ukraine and Russia to end the NATO-sponsored war is a call that should have the support of all partisans of the working class. The international working class has the power to stop the imperialist drive towards World War 3. All socialists must speak out now for the immediate release of Bogdan Syrotiuk.”

Maxine Walker, London, campaigner for freedom for Julian Assange (personal capacity): “I condemn the fascist Zelensky regime's arrest and imprisonment of young socialist Bogdan Syrotiuk. Zelensky has banned many socialist and opposition parties and relentlessly persecuted those who oppose the NATO proxy war in Ukraine. Democratic rights have been abolished and forcible conscription imposed.

“This must be seen in the context of the NATO imperialists' drive to World War 3. Now they have authorised and are organising direct military attacks inside Russia with NATO—
supplied weapons.

“For the imperialists no truths are permissible as we have seen with the genocide in Gaza. The persecution and slow assassination of Julian Assange was an early warning of what was to come. A bonfire of our rights and world conflagration.”

Dr. Chamin, a National Health Service anaesthetist wrote: “I strongly condemn this disgraceful and foul arrest of Bogdan Syrotiuk, a leader of the Young Guard of Bolshevik-Leninists (YGBL) in Ukraine.

Dr. Chamin

“His detainment will have a major impact on democracy, freedom to talk and express unbiased views. I vehemently condemn this action by the secret service of the Ukrainian regime. Bogdan must be released immediately!”

Mike Martin, Sheffield, SEP supporter and retired Health and Safety Manager: “That Bogdan Syrotiuk has been arrested and faces prosecution on the absurd charge of treason, testifies to the weakness and fragility of the regime which came to power with the aid of western imperialism. The EU, NATO and USA, allied to extreme nationalist elements, themselves the political followers of Stepan Bandera, Nazi supporting thugs who took part in countless massacres of Jews during World War II.

“The aim of the USA and its allies is to dominate the entire Eurasian land mass and exploit its wealth of human and natural resources. To that end, provoking civil strife, oppressing Russian speaking regions it set the scene for the Odessa massacre in which around 50 opponents of the right-wing coup perished in a fire while trapped in the Trade Union building.

“Russia, menaced by NATO expansion set to include Ukraine by decision at Bucharest in 2008, was provoked to intervene in support of Russian speaking areas, while NATO armed Ukraine and sought to drain Russia of materiel and manpower. There result has been Russia drawn into a widening conflict and around half a million dead Ukrainian solders, at least 100,000 Russian troops.

“The seeds of the war, which became a proxy war and has the potential to turn into an all-out conflict, lie in the break-up of the Soviet Union, the loss of connections between branches of the economy and the collapse of the economic and political structures into the hands of rival oligarchs. The Russian and Ukrainian people are not natural enemies, far from it. They have common interests as working people and as part of the world working class. They will find new leaders, like comrade Bogdan, and settle accounts with the exploiters.

“Unite the Russian and Ukrainian workers! Free Bogdan Syrotiuk!”

John, South Yorkshire, former miner: “To accuse Bogdan of treason is an absolute outrage. The war against Russia being fought in Ukraine is all about money and power. The elite get mega-rich from war. These people want wars to be able to sell their weapons and give them a foothold in countries to rape their natural resources in places like West Africa that has become a wasteland. They’re like aliens in a science fiction film, descending with high tech weaponry to kill the weak, take the resources, and then leave. There’s no wars for democracy. There’s wars for money and natural resources, and that’s it.


“Zelensky will sing whatever song that America and Britain want him to sing. With these powers behind him, he knows that he and his family are set for life. With hundreds of thousands suffering, Zelensky doesn’t care what happens to his people. He turns up to every political event and is hailed as a hero. He’s no hero to me.

“The super rich will defend this social system with everything they’ve got because they know it’s in their best interests. They’ll fight until someone else’s dying breath.

“The ruling class will take whatever steps necessary to prevent workers from opposing them. They’ll use the media to manipulate the court of public opinion. To beat the system, you need a revolution—not a few, but millions of people.”

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Dr. Chris Porter, sociology lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University (personal capacity): 'The imprisonment and attempted silencing of Bogdan reveals the political disorientation of those who claim their support for the Ukrainian regime is about defending ‘democracy’ or ‘freedom.’

Dr. Chris Porter, pictured by the statue of Friedrich Engels in Manchester

“It also exposes a reactionary climate in which principled opposition to US-led imperialism and the fascistic forces it props up, is portrayed as support for whichever regime or leader is currently in the NATO crosshairs. Above all it shows that Ukrainian socialists orient themselves with an internationalist perspective, and not the nationalist dead-end offered by both the Zelensky and Putin regimes.'

An orchestra violinist who works in Norway: “I support this campaign to free socialist Bogdan Syrotiuk, who has been imprisoned in Ukraine on charges of treason for writing anti-war articles on the World Socialist Web Site. Falsely accused of spreading Russian propaganda, Bogdan and the WSWS have in fact been consistent critics of the Russian government and its invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

“Bogdan was calling for unity of the working class in Ukraine and Russia; to end the war under a programme of world socialist revolution. This is his true ‘crime’ in the eyes of the Ukrainian authorities. While they demand ever more sacrifices from a disillusioned, depleted population, Bogdan’s simple socialist message suddenly becomes too potent for them to ignore.

“But Bogdan’s imprisonment only exposes the highly-undemocratic, dictatorial nature of the Ukrainian government. It is a wake-up call to youth and workers in other countries whose governments invariably support Zelensky’s regime.

“Free Bogdan Syrotiuk and let his voice be heard!”