Russia's invasion of Ukraine is a disgraceful and murderous breach of international law.
I agree with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament that this invasion must be opposed not least because it raises the spectre of nuclear war with all that would entail.
I also agree with the Stop the War Coalition that this dispute between Russia, Ukraine and the West can only be resolved by dialogue.
40 years ago, as a young peace activist, I was used to people yelling "go back to Moscow" when we demonstrated against cruise missiles and Trident nuclear submarines. In those days we were told that the Soviet union threatened us because it was an aggressive expansionary, and above all, Communist power.
However in those days Soviet military might was only ever exercised within its sphere of influence which had been negotiated between the victorious allies at the end of the Second World War. The Soviet union posed a threat to its own citizens and those of its satellites and allies. It was the United States, and its allies, which were the aggressive, expansionary, imperialist powers then, as now. Before and after the end of the Cold War the West has intervened militarily to trample on the sovereignty of countless nations in pursuit of the interests of global capital.
We now know that they never was a risk that the Red Army would come rolling through West Germany, and that there never was any justification either for the presence of American nuclear weapons on British soil or for the notionally "independent" British nuclear "deterrent".
The West won the Cold War, the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet union broke up into its constituent republics. Western triumphalism welcomed the ascendancy of a brutal kleptocracy in Russia in particular and in this country the money of those who looted the previously state-owned assets has been welcomed.
Far from signalling "the end of history" the West’s triumph in the Cold War has bequeathed us a world in which war has now broken out between two reactionary nationalisms in Russia and in Ukraine.
Russia's invasion breaches the Budapest memorandum of 1994, which guaranteed Ukraine's borders in response to its decision to relinquish the former Soviet nuclear weapons stationed in its territory at the time of its independence.
There can be no doubt that this is a setback for the cause of nuclear disarmament in the world, albeit there is no evidence that the possession of nuclear weapons in any way provides a guarantee against aggression (for example by Argentina in the Falkland Islands 40 years ago).
However, just as it is clear for all to see that the United States was prepared to invade Iraq in 2003 because they knew Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction (whereas they will not invade North Korea because they know they do) so Russia's aggression against Ukraine will hardly make it easier for those of us in nuclear weapon states who argue that have own countries should abandon the horrendous policy of retaining and threatening to use these evil weapons of mass murder.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine is unquestionably unjustifiable. Nevertheless it is quite absurd to see people on social media "taking sides" in this conflict. This is particularly sad when some of those so doing purport to be internationalists and socialists.
This is not a war in which it is possible to "take sides”. Socialists should be on the side of peace and of the people who will suffer the effects of this war. Such limited political influence as we may have we should surely use in support of the goal of an end to conflict.
It is in any case quite meaningless to claim to be "taking sides" in a war unless one has taken up arms and booked a flight to Ukraine (or, for that matter, to the Donbass) or started collecting pots and pans to melt down and turn into weapons.
We need to be voices for peace, not beating the drums of war.