Democratic socialist group linked to AOC claims US ‘set the stage’ for Russian invasion of Ukraine

The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) group has claimed that United States “imperialism” was partly to blame for the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

In a statement on Saturday, the DSA condemned Russian actions while calling for the US to withdraw from Nato and “end the imperialist expansionism that set the stage for this conflict”.

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The demand – described by critics as “tone deaf” – was released as Ukrainian leaders pleaded with Nato nations to send more military and financial aid to repel the Russian forces attacking more than a dozen towns and cities across the country.

On social media, many said the statement was out of touch with the reality of the danger faced by Ukrainians, whose citizens have taken up arms to reinforce the armed forces.

One account, The Hoarse Whisperer, tweeted: “I applaud the DSA’s commitment to ensuring no adult with a working brain takes it seriously.”

Another user, Ryan Belafontaine, wrote: “The DSA is cosplaying as Neville Chamberlain holding the document that guaranteed peace in 1938.”

“This is such a silly look,” said another. “No one, including DSA members, are under the illusion that DSA is in a position to demand anything. Not even of the US gov’t, much less of Russia’s or Ukraine’s.”

Some said they would be cancelling their DSA membership over the post.

Nato – the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation – consists of 28 European countries along with the US and Canada who have pledged to come to one another’s aid in the event one of them is attacked. It has done so only once, following the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the US.

The DSA – which is not a political party but describes itself as the largest socialist organisation in the US, with 92,000 members – counts House Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Cori Bush and Jamaal Bowman among its membership.

Rep Ocasio-Cortez herself has condemned the Russian invasion, calling it “indefensible” and saying she backed the Biden administration’s decision to sanction Vladimir Putin and his circle. She also joined a bipartisan effort to ensure the president obtains approval from Congress before taking any military action.