Sri Lankan and migrant workers demand the immediate release of Ukrainian socialist Bogdan Syrotiuk

The Socialist Equality Party in Sri Lanka is receiving statements calling for the immediate release of socialist Bogdan Syrotiuk who is imprisoned by the Security Service of Ukraine on bogus charges of treason. The statements are in response to the global campaign to free Bogdan launched by the International Committee of the Fourth International and the World Socialist Web Site.

Bogdan Syrotiuk, founder and leader of the Young Guard of Bolshevik-Leninists

The accusations are a frame-up. Bogdan is an intransigent opponent of the capitalist Putin regime and its invasion of Ukraine. He has fought for an anti-war socialist program based on the unity of the working class in Ukraine, Russia and throughout the former Soviet Union, against the US-NATO proxy war and all the governments. His arrest is the latest example of the Zelensky’s regime’s brutal repression of left-wing movements, whose opposition to the war is finding a growing response within the Ukrainian working class.

To support and get involved in the campaign to Free Bogdan Syrotiuk, visit wsws.org/freebogdan to submit a statement, sign the petition and make a financial contribution.

Tisera, a Sri Lankan migrant worker in Italy:

I express my strong opposition to the Zelensky government’s arrest of socialist Comrade Bogdan on bogus charges, and appeal to all workers to unite for the release of this brave and young anti-war protester.

The fascist regime in Ukraine must be opposed by the Ukrainian working class with the support of the international working class. The Zelensky government is sacrificing workers to this war. Half a million Ukrainian soldiers, civilians and children have died.  The imperialist countries supporting this war are providing billions of taxpayers’ money and putting the burden of this war on the backs of their own workers.

The burden of war on the working class is not limited to the imperialist countries. In Sri Lanka the VAT tax has been expanded, even though the civil war in Sri Lanka has been over for a long time, and the Nation Building Tax is still being levied.

I only visit the nearby Italian city where I live on Sundays, which is the factory holiday. The police are everywhere. There are many signs that the repression of the working class in Italy is getting worse and worse.

Comrade Bogdan’s arrest came at a peak time in the Zelensky government’s fascist crackdown on opposition to the war. Bogdan worked to mobilise the working class against the war. Lenin and Trotsky, who built the Soviet Union by leading the Russian Revolution more than a century ago, spoke the same language: “The working class must not give one cent, one drop of blood to the imperialist war.”

Salitha, a Colombo Port worker:

I strongly condemn the arrest of Comrade Bogdan Syrotiuk, the 25-year-old leader of the Young Guard of Bolshevik Leninists (YGBL), which is active in Russia, Ukraine and the former Soviet Union.


Working according to the basic principles of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI), Bogdan has fought to mobilise the working class in Ukraine and Russia in unison with the international working class. There is no doubt that his arrest is an attack against the ICFI and its Socialist Equality Parties. I denounce the bogus charge sheet presented by the Zelensky regime against Comrade Bogdan.

The working class all over the world is now facing huge economic pressures because of the war being waged by NATO and led by the US in Ukraine to subjugate Russia. This is paving the way for a third world war.

The ICFI is engaged in an international effort to mobilise the working class to prevent that catastrophe. Comrade Bogdan has called for the unification of the Russian and Ukrainian workers, with the support of the international working class, against a third world war. I extend my complete support to Comrade Bogdan in his efforts.

Sri Lankan workers, like the working class internationally, are suffering from the attacks of the government of President Ranil Wickremesinghe, which is implementing an International Monetary Fund austerity program. The harbour workers in Sri Lanka, have been subjected to the same attacks and I believe that workers’ action committees need to be built at every factory, workplace, educational institute and in local areas to fight against these injustices and to unite under the International Workers Alliance of Rank-and-File Committees as proposed by the ICFI.

Sajith, a Ratmalana Railway Workshop office employee:

I am protesting the detention of Comrade Bogdan Syrotiuk, a leader of the socialist movement in Ukraine, who was arrested by the Zelensky regime. I demand his immediate release and restoration of his democratic rights. He should be allowed to engage in the politics of his choice.


Hundreds of thousands have died in both countries and lost their homes during more than two years of this bloody war. The damage done to society is limitless. We must protect Bogdan because he fights as an opponent of this destruction and as a protector of the people.

As a result of protracted imperialist war, a powerful anti-war sentiment has been awakened in the US, in particular, and all over the world. As the WSWS has explained, the imperialist powers are very nervous about this growing opposition. I see the arrest of Bogdan as an attempt to destroy the anti-war movement in Russia and Ukraine in advance.

Everything in the world is produced by workers. We are an international class, the most powerful class in the world, and the only class that can build an anti-war movement and stop this war. Freedom for Bogdan and the courageous journalist Julian Assange can only be secured through the building of such a movement.

Harsha, from the Ratmalana Railway Workshop:

The loss of lives and destruction of property caused by this war in Ukraine over the past two years is colossal. War is brutal wherever it happens. I condemn the arrest of Comrade Bogdan, who opposes this brutality, and demand his immediate and unconditional release from prison.

The ruling elites in Ukraine and Russia are fully aware that the majority of people in both countries vehemently oppose this bloody war and they know this opposition is reaching towards a tipping point. The intensification of anti-democratic attacks by the fascistic Zelensky regime is directly bound up with this situation.

In the media we see thousands of students protesting [against the Israeli genocide of Palestinians] and the police attacking them. The rulers fear that this situation will spread to the countries where war has already been launched. Bogdan may have been arrested to prevent this scenario in advance.

Parties and organisations appeal to the rulers of their own countries but as the WSWS has pointed out it is only the working class which produces everything that can stop this war. It is the most powerful class. Therefore, if the workers come forward, this war can be stopped and Bogdan freed. It is also through this campaign that there will be opportunities to unite the workers and masses of the world against world war.

S. Sivaseelan, a fisherman from northern Jaffna:

Jaffna was destroyed by the almost three-decade anti-Tamil communal war in Sri Lanka. At least 100,000 people, mostly Tamils, were killed in this war which ended 15 years ago with the military defeat of the separatist LTTE [Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam].

S. Sivaseelan

I oppose the arrest of Comrade Bogdan and demand that he be freed immediately. There are chances that he could be tortured under the existing martial law in Ukraine. We underwent a 26-year civil war and confronted the horrors of that war. During that war the Sri Lankan rulers arrested their political dissidents and opponents, holding them for long periods. Many of them were disappeared.

We must ensure the safety of Comrade Bogdan. I urge workers, youth and all those who value democratic rights to support the campaign, denounce his arrest and demand his freedom from the notorious fascistic regime in Ukraine.