Australian postal workers demand freedom for Bogdan Syrotiuk

The following resolution was passed at a meeting of the Postal Workers Rank-and-File Committee on May 23. Since the meeting, several Australia Post workers have sent in statements of support for Bogdan Syrotiuk, which are also published below.

Australia Post worker delivers mail in Sydney

Resolution of the Postal Workers Rank-and-File Committee

The Postal Workers Rank-and-File Committee calls on Australia Post workers to join the global fight for the freedom of Ukrainian socialist and anti-war activist Bogdan Syrotiuk. We demand his immediate release from prison, and that the fraudulent charges under which he is held be dropped.

Bogdan is a political prisoner of the fascistic Zelensky regime, and faces the possibility of a life sentence. He was arrested on April 25 by the SBU, Ukraine’s Gestapo-like state security service, and falsely accused of high treason and “serving the interests of Russia.”

This is a complete lie. Bogdan is an intransigent opponent of the reactionary Putin regime and its invasion of Ukraine.

The 25-year-old is leader of the Young Guard of Bolshevik-Leninists, a Trotskyist organisation active in Ukraine, Russia and throughout the former Soviet Union. As such, he fights for the perspective of socialist internationalism, seeking to unite workers in Ukraine, Russia, and globally against the ruling capitalist elites of all countries. This is the only means of ending the bloodbath that has already claimed hundreds of thousands of lives in Russia and Ukraine.

The politically motivated frame-up of Bogdan stands as an unequivocal refutation of the claims of global imperialism, echoed by the corporate media and many among the so-called left, that the US/NATO war against Russia is about defending “democracy” and “human rights” in Ukraine.

His arrest is the latest example of the Zelensky regime’s brutal repression of left-wing movements, whose opposition to the war is finding a growing response within the Ukrainian working class.

Such repression is not unique to Ukraine, but part of the growing international assault on democratic rights, as imperialism escalates its military operations throughout the world in an accelerating drive towards a third world war.

In Australia, this has been spearheaded by the Albanese Labor government, which is totally committed to the war plans of US imperialism, and is preparing the country to play a leading role in a war against China.

The attack on democratic rights can be seen in the crackdown on student protests, in the US, Australia and internationally, against Israel’s genocide in Gaza. The police-state methods used today against students will be used tomorrow against every form of protest and strike action by the working class.

This means that the fight to free Bogdan is a matter of burning importance for every single worker.

We urge Australia Post workers to sign the online petition, post a statement of support for Bogdan Syrotiuk and bring this campaign to the attention of your co-workers.


A postal worker wrote:

I am writing to protest and demand the release of 25-year-old Bogdan Syrotiuk who leads the Trotskyist Young Guard of Bolshevik-Leninists in the Ukraine.

His arrest by the fascistic Zelensky regime is a direct attack on the conscious efforts of Bogdan to unite the Ukrainian and Russian working class in socialist opposition to their reactionary rulers.

The trumped-up charges against Bogdan for “treason” are directed both at him and the World Socialist Web Site for the “crime” of politically exposing the ruling-class interests motivating Zelensky and Putin and urging for the unity of the working class against such an agenda.

Opposition to imperialist war is being criminalised, as is voicing the call, “Workers of the world unite!” Opposition to the one percenters’ demand that working-class youth be sacrificed to “the national interest” is being criminalised.

The jailing of Bogdan is an attempt to handcuff and silence working class opposition around the world. It is no accident that the official government charge against Bogdan refers to the WSWS, which represents the only conscious movement of the international working class.

Bogdan and the WSWS do not represent the “foreign interests” of Russia or Putin as the Zelensky regime claims. Rather they represent the interests of the revolutionary working class. Comradeship not nationalism. Peace not imperialist war. These are aims “foreign” to the one percenters but inherent in the international working class.

David wrote:

I urge all postal workers around the world to demand the immediate release of Ukrainian socialist Bogdan Syrotiuk from prison.

The charges by the Ukrainian secret police (SBU) that Bogdan is an agent of Putin are a lie. As a leader of the Young Guard of Bolshevik-Leninists (YGBL), Bogdan’s political opposition to the war is based on the fight to unite the working class in Russia and Ukraine in a common struggle against the US-NATO-backed fascistic government of Ukraine and the nationalist oligarchy that rules Russia.

The war in Ukraine and genocide in Gaza by the Zionist regime of Netanyahu, fully backed by the US and all the major imperialist powers, represent the start of a third world war that threatens to escalate into a nuclear catastrophe.

Here in Australia, the Albanese Labor government has lined up behind the US-NATO war in Ukraine against Russia and is backing US preparations for war against China in this region. From the very start of the Gaza massacre, Albanese and Labor have supported Israel’s “right to defend itself,” and Albanese has publicly denounced student encampments opposing the genocide, slandering them as “antisemitic.”

The attacks on student protesters and the arrest of comrade Bogdan for opposing war and genocide are part of a massive assault on the democratic rights of workers and youth everywhere. The working class is going to be made to pay for these wars through the destruction of its living standards and their children will be forced to fight in them. For the ruling class, this means all opposition to the war drive must be suppressed.

For their part the unions have done nothing to fight against the genocide or Labor’s war preparations against China in this region. Not a single strike has been called to stop weapons shipments to Israel!

Workers and youth must take up the fight for international socialism as the only way to stop capitalism’s descent towards fascism and World War Three.

Bogdan was imprisoned by the Ukrainian government because he is part of the international Trotskyist movement that fights for this revolutionary perspective. The working class must demand his immediate freedom.

Juan wrote:

I support the fight for the release of Bogdan Syrotiuk. The charges against him are a complete fraud, because Bogdan has made clear his opposition to both the Putin government’s invasion of Ukraine and the US-NATO-backed fascistic regime of Zelensky.

Bogdan has taken a courageous stand, fighting to unite Russian and Ukrainian workers and youth against war.

His arrest shows the real state of democratic rights in Ukraine. Zelensky has cancelled elections, fearing growing opposition to the war. Anti-worker laws have been enacted that allow employers to sack workers at will. Workers are prohibited from undertaking any strike action and face brutal punishment if they do.

More and more anti-democratic measures are being used against workers all over the world, as the drive to world war ramps up. Here in Australia, protests against the Gaza genocide have been denounced and shut down by governments and police. This is on top of the fact that workers already have no right to strike except over wages and conditions, and only during enterprise bargaining periods, with the approval of the industrial courts.

War abroad means vicious attacks on the democratic rights and social conditions of the working class at home.

In Australia, the Labor government, aided by the unions, is seeking to make workers pay for its war drive and has overseen a massive decline in wages and living standards. This includes the demand for increased “productivity,” that is, profits, through endless restructuring operations at companies like Australia Post, where thousands of posties have been driven out over recent years.

To defend their jobs and living conditions, and to oppose war, workers need to fight for socialism, based on the international unity of the working class. This is the perspective fought for by Bogdan Syrotiuk.

I call on my class brothers and sisters at Australia Post and beyond to sign the petition to demand Bogdan’s release and to actively fight throughout the working class for his freedom.