This weekend’s events make the case for a ceasefire even more compelling writes Andrew Murray

Vladimir Putin tours Yevgeny Prigozhin’s food factory in 2011. Photo:

The case for a ceasefire in the Ukraine conflict is made all the more compelling by the events in Russia.

The mercenary Wagner group launched an armed insurrection to depose the leadership of the Russian military. Had it been successful, Russia’s military, including its vast nuclear arsenal, could have fallen into the hands of an enraged oligarch.

The adventure is a product of the failure of Russia’s war to achieve its objectives in Ukraine.  Indeed, Wagner boss Prigozhin has belatedly declared that the whole invasion last year was unnecessary and predicated on lies.

The bizarre agreement ending Wagner’s march on Moscow leaves everything unresolved.  Many Russians appear to share Prigozhin’s frustrations with the military hierarchy.

Between Prigozhin and Putin there is nothing to choose. Russia’s brave anti-war movement, facing state harassment, are the only Russian political forces deserving of solidarity at present.

However, there is scant likelihood of them coming to power in the foreseeable future. Waiting for a more progressive regime in Moscow remains a wish, not a policy.

Ukraine is now several weeks into its long-anticipated offensive to reclaim territory. So far, there is little to show for it. NATO continues to pour in arms and ramp up bellicose rhetoric, the British government to the fore. But it does not appear that Russia’s positions were adversely affected by the coup drama.

Stalemate on the battlefield remains the most likely outcome. Under those circumstances, the calls from governments and peoples across the world for a ceasefire and peace negotiations need to be redoubled.

It is the only way forward. The longer the conflict continues, the more the dangers to the world escalate. The British government is seeking by every means to prolong the conflict and must be brought to its senses.

The ministers attacking living standards and public services here are no more to be trusted on foreign policy. In Ukraine they pursue the same class interests as at home. Peace must be imposed on them.

26 Jun 2023 by Andrew Murray

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