North Americans have watched the unfolding crisis for working people in Ukraine and Russia this week with sadness and fear, but also much confusion.

Like their Yemeni and Syrian counterparts (the former targeted by Saudi Arabia, the latter by Israel), people in Ukraine have been caught in the crossfire of yet another crisis created by and for the multinational ruling classes.

In this case, it is a complicated struggle between the leaders of the Western powers and the Russian oligarchy, with various factions in Ukraine siding one way or the other. Most people in North America know little of the geopolitical and capitalist rivalries that lurk beneath this conflict, which has led to a wide range of responses that often miss important context.

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