This is the second Shelter and Solidarity podcast on the unfolding and devastating war in Ukraine, featuring LeftEast editor Olena Lyubchenko, political economist Jonathan Feldman, and the anti-imperialist US labor leader, David Van Deusen, President of the Vermont AFL-CIO. Together, they answer the following questions: Is it possible to build solidarity without solely relying on militarism – and therewith the fueling of further imperialist conflict? As the Russian invasion enters its fourth month, what is the current state of things on the ground, for the people in Ukraine, and in the region. How has this event already altered global and domestic politics, including in Russia and in Europe, as well as in the U.S. and beyond? How so are existing social movements and ‘left’ political forces relating to recent developments? What are the dangers and opportunities of this moment for those struggling for a world of peace, justice, equality, and security? What can it mean to struggle for justice and solidarity, with the people in Ukraine and elsewhere?
Olena Lyubchenko is a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science, York University, Toronto. Originally from Ukraine, her research interests include neoliberal restructuring, dispossession, and financialization of social reproduction as well as struggles around life-making. Olena’s dissertation draws on social reproduction feminism and traces the transformation of the gender contract and social citizenship model from the Soviet to the post-Soviet era in Russia. She works with the collective LeftEast.
Jonathan Michael Feldman specializes in research related to political economy, disarmament, green economics and studies related to democracy. He writes periodically for Counterpunch and Portside, and is an associate professor at The Department of Economic History and International Relations at Stockholm University. He is also the convener of GlobalTeachIn.com and organized the first national green new deal conference in Sweden, televised by Swedish television, in 2009. Feldman has been interviewed by or published articles in leading Swedish newspapers, and has written extensively on the current Russia-Ukraine conflict, and its implications for politics across Europe.
David Van Deusen, elected to office in 2019 as part of the progressive United! slate, is a member of AFSCME Local 2413 (Northeast Kingdom) and serves on the Labor For Single-Payer’s National Advisory Board, and is a member of Labor Against Racism & War’s national Representatives Assembly. Van Deusen is also a member of Democratic Socialists of America and a past member of Anti-Racist Action.