The campaign to free Ukrainian Socialist Bogdan Syrotiuk continues to gain support in Australia and New Zealand

The campaign for the freedom of the socialist Bogdan Syrotiuk from his imprisonment by the Ukrainian regime continues to gain support in Australia and New Zealand. Bogdan has been the victim of a political frame-up. He was jailed in late April on the bogus charge of high treason and is threatened with life in prison.

David North, the chairperson of the WSWS International Editorial Board, explained in a statement of May 17 that the real reason for his arrest is that Bogdan called for the unity of the Russian, Ukrainian and international working class on a socialist program against imperialist barbarism, including the US/NATO war against Russia.

We urge all readers to sign the ICFI’s online petition here and send in statements demanding his immediate release.


Mick Hall [Photo: Twitter]

Mick Hall, a New Zealand-based journalist who was the victim of a hysterical McCarthyite campaign

Last year, Hall was pushed to resign from Radio New Zealand because he refused to conform to the media’s pro-NATO propaganda on the war in Ukraine. The WSWS received the following statement in defence of Bogdan from him.

The imprisonment of socialist organiser Bogdan Syrotiuk is an affront of democratic rights and one of several worrying examples of political repression against young people campaigning for a genuine peace across the world, whether it be in Palestine, Ukraine or other places where Western imperialism runs riot.

Accusations against the 25-year-old political activist of spreading Russian propaganda and acting as a Kremlin agent, are both spurious and predictable.

Falsely conflating a correct appraisal of the Ukrainian proxy war with ideological support for the Kremlin has been a crude means of suppressing dissent and punishing those who have articulated it since the invasion on February 24, 2022. It has now been used to criminalise and incarcerate Bogdan.

The conflict makes young working-class Ukrainians like himself cannon-fodder to forward the geopolitical interests of Western elites. Bogdan’s voice was a threat to those interests and the increasingly tenuous position of the Zelensky regime, which now has no semblance of democratic legitimacy. Zelensky has banned opposition parties and jailed his opponents, while his neo-Nazi allies have murdered others. It is now a classic vassal state of the United States.

He has courageously made appeals to unite against those political elites pushing this obscene war, one that may yet end in nuclear annihilation, as NATO pushes for further escalation. The very least we can do is draw attention to his plight and demand his release.

Jack Picone, a multi-award-winning Australian-born, Bangkok-based documentary photographer

He tweeted the April 30 statement calling for Bogdan’s release.

“Bogdan Syrotiuk, has been framed, arrested and incarcerated. His arrest is unlawful, oppressive and draconian. Fighting for Bogdan’s release is also fighting for an end to the repression of the working class and the sadistic proxy wars in Ukraine and Gaza.”

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Emily, an environmental scientist in Sydney New South Wales

Bogdan Syrotiuk was vocal in his opposition to the Ukraine-Russian war that serves as NATO’s proxy war against Russia. The Zelensky regime have arrested Bogdan citing clearly false accusations of collusion with Russia.

Opposition to this war, in which 500,000 Ukrainians have been killed, is opposition to the unnecessary loss of life of the Ukrainian and Russian working class. The suppression of this antiwar sentiment exposes the class interests of the Zelensky regime, as do the tactics used to falsely incriminate Bogdan which should serve as a warning to all who oppose war.

This desperate suppression of the international antiwar youth movement reveal that the Zelensky regime consider Bogdan and his stance a significant threat and reveals the power of the international working class united against war, imperialism, and capitalism. We must demand the immediate release of comrade Bogdan!


Zach, a student in Sydney and member of the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE), the youth arm of the SEP

The IYSSE at Western Sydney University echoes the call to workers and youth around the world to come to the defence of our comrade Bogdan Syrotiuk—the founder and leader of the Young Guard of Bolshevik-Leninists (YGBL) in Ukraine. Following his arrest on April 25 by the Security Service of Ukraine, state officials are attempting to present Bogdan as an agent and supporter of the Russian regime through blatant lies. The real crime of Bogdan—in the eyes of the Ukrainian regime—is his fight for the principled unity of the Ukrainian and Russian working class in opposition to both the US-NATO backed regime of Zelensky and the oligarchic Putin regime in the midst of this devastating war, which threatens nuclear annihilation.

The Ukrainian regime, like its counterparts around the world, is terrified of the very real prospect of revolutionary upheavals as a result of its criminal policies. It realises the significant threat posed by revolutionary leadership like Bogdan Syrotiuk and the YGBL and is attempting to use police-state measures to prolong its survival.

The attack on Bogdan is an attack on the entire working class! The genuine enforcers of democracy are the international youth and working class, not the profit-dominated judiciary system of Ukraine, or anywhere else for that matter.

In our defence of Bogdan Syrotiuk is the defence of our right to oppose the interests of the bloodthirsty capitalist class. This fight becomes ever more urgent, as the current socioeconomic order marches once more down the path of world war. Workers and students must turn to the ICFI in coordinating strike action and economic struggles against the corporations, universities, governments and union bureaucracies bankrolling and abetting war, genocide and the destruction of basic living conditions, making part of your demands Bogdan’s immediate release!

Kirsten Burns, a screen writer in South Australia

Bogdan Syrotiuk, a principled Trotskyist, has been arrested on a bogus charge of high treason. The real reason for his arrest is that he calls for the unity of Ukrainian and Russian workers, in opposition to the conflict in the region, a prospect that the ruling class fears.

Bogdan’s arrest is a stark warning to workers around the world that anyone who opposes the imperialist wars being waged, currently or those being prepared, will become a target of the various state apparatuses. Bogdan’s struggle is our struggle; I salute his bravery and add my voice to those who demand his immediate release.