The people of Ukraine won the battle of kyiv! Donbas is from Ukraine!

We present a first balance of the first two months of the war that began on February 24, 2022, whose first stage has culminated in the defeat of the "special military operation" in the main Ukrainian cities, where Kiev has served as the heart of the resistance

La Marx International 27/4/22

The battle for the Ukrainian capital, kyiv, ended between March 19 and 20, 2022, with the defeat of Putin. The invasion of Ukraine that began on February 24 went to the kyiv region where a series of battles took place in Hostómel, Bucha, Irpin, Brovary, Chernobyl, Ivankiv, Slavútych, Vasylkiv, and culminated in the victory of the Ukrainian troops. After suffering huge casualties, destruction, and significant material loss, Sergei Rudskoi on behalf of the Main Operational Directorate of the General Staff of Russia, announced at a press conference the withdrawal of troops from kyiv on March 25, 2022.

Rudskoi said the invaders had "achieved their goals" and were now withdrawing to fight for control of Donbass. With this "change of objectives" towards Donbas, Putin seeks to hide his defeat from the eyes of the world and the Russian people.

The objective of this maneuver is to hide the defeat of the " special military operation" started on February 24, and above all, to hide the disastrous defeat of the Russian troops in the main Ukrainian cities. In the first 23 days of the invasion, the "special military operation" failed miserably, Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, became the heart of the resistance, with wide participation of the masses on the war front.

The withdrawal of Russian troops and their reorientation towards Donbass constitutes a setback for the capitalist oligarchy that runs Russia, and more specifically, we can say that the battle of kyiv is a triumph of the workers and people of Ukraine, who defeated Putin's plans, and forced the dictatorship of the oligarchs to look to the Donbass as a consolation prize.

Faced with Putin's decision to concentrate his invasion on Donbass, our position is clear: Donbas belongs to Ukraine. As we develop in this article, the invasion of Donbas will not be a picnic for Putin either. On the contrary, Putin's invasion of Donbass can be defeated, the workers and peoples of the world must unite in favor of Putin's military defeat.

The Battle of kyiv: A Triumph of the Workers and People of Ukraine

Putin proposed a rapid escalation to take kyiv, overthrow the established government and place a (puppet) government at the service of the Kremlin's whims, as was the case in the time of Viktor Yanukovych. Putin's second bet was to find support from an important sector of the Ukrainian population, under the lying campaign of "denazification", however, this did not happen either.

As events unfolded, reality took a radically opposite path: the Ukrainian people unified in rejecting the invasion, actively participating in military resistance, building barricades with sandbags, making camouflage uniforms for the battlefront , bringing food and supplies to the combatants. The capital of Ukraine became a land battleship, where the resistance found a formidable echo in the civilian population, where the main Ukrainian unions have participated.

Ukrainian workers, men and women, took up arms to defend the capital, defending the victory of 2013, after the fall of Viktor Yanukovych, a government serving the interests of the Russian oligarchy.

Putin's troops entered Ukraine through Belarus, seized the Chernobyl plant, and on February 25, 2022, airborne mercenaries arrived in the northwest of Kiev. There began the first stumbles of Putin's army when a strong resistance from the Ukrainian resistance, which prevented them from seizing Chernihiv and Kharkiv. The resistance, adopted the form of guerrilla warfare, and launched a successful counterattack to recapture the city of Kherson in the south.

In turn, barricades began to be organized in the neighborhoods of kyiv, waiting for the invading army, while this was happening, weapons were distributed to the entire population that could hold a weapon and Territorial Defense Units began to develop, brigades popular made up of workers, youth, and peasants.

Simultaneously in Russia, thousands of citizens were imprisoned for opposing the war in Ukraine, while protests spread through St. Petersburg and dozens of cities. In turn, a global wave of solidarity with the Ukrainian people spread with massive mobilizations in the main cities of the world. The Ukrainian resistance received the massive support of millions among the workers and popular sectors of the entire world.

The nights turned into a nightmare for Putin's army. Foreseeing a quick invasion, they invested little in night gear for the soldiers which meant they were ambushed every night by Ukrainian guerrillas. Taking huge losses, and heavy casualties, the frustration of not being able to break the Ukrainian resistance caused the invading army to start indiscriminately bombing the cities of Kharkiv in the north, and Mariupol in the south.

Then began the exodus of millions of Ukrainian refugees, mainly women and children. At the same time, the formation of international brigades began to fight in Ukraine, a common postcard in the train stations were the contingents of people fleeing the war, while many others returned after sending their families.

Many others, mainly Ukrainians living in other European countries, returned to face the Russian army, along with thousands of volunteers from the internationalist brigades.

Between March 4 and March 10, the advance of Putin's troops stalled, as a result of the counteroffensive and triumph of the Ukrainian troops who defeated the invading troops in the battles of Hostómel, Bucha, and Irpin. During the first days of March, Putin's General Staff concluded that the forces it had initially concentrated for the invasion of Ukraine were insufficient, and began to bring in troops from other regions to strengthen an army made up mostly of conscripts, young and inexperienced, who were misled by Putin about the objectives of the invasion of Ukraine. 

Left: The line of Putin's army tanks destroyed in the Battle of Bucha. Right: Putin's army equipment destroyed in the Battle of Hostomel

In Irpin (1) Putin 's forces managed to enter the place but were unable to proceed. If they had, they would have reached kyiv because the capital is only 21 km away. The invaders took between 20% and 30% of the city, but the resistance was persistent. Irpin is now recognized with the honorary title of "Heroic City of Ukraine", an honor that dates back to World War II, when it was awarded in the former Soviet Union in the fight against the Nazis. The same thing happened in Bucha which was under the control of the invading troops, but was liberated by the Ukrainian counterattack.

Meanwhile, a gigantic 64-kilometer convoy of invading army tanks was immobilized 30 kilometers from kyiv by the attack suffered on the night of March 9 in Brovary by Ukrainian forces. The Battle of Brovary was a resounding defeat for Putin in which the Ukrainian guerrillas let the tanks in and first blew up the bridges that the invaders had already crossed, so that they could not go back the way they came in, and then let them advancing a little further, they blew up all the access bridges to Kiev in front of them .

In this way, they immobilized the military convoy that could not go back, nor approach kyiv, and then proceeded to destroy it completely because they had nowhere to flee, no shelter, no supplies. Ukrainian guerrillas hiding in the woods fired their missiles at the tankers, destroying them. The Russian tanks could not continue advancing along the originally planned route, because the bridges in the rear and in the front had been blown up, so they had to divert through snow-covered terrain, through muddy fields, and they ran out of gasoline, moment in which they were ambushed by the guerrillas ,which meant a significant amount of personnel, equipment and the death of the Russian commander, Andrei Zakharov, killed in the clash.

The video shows how the invading army tanks are destroyed by the Ukrainian resistance in the East of kyiv. Source: The Sun

Within a week of invading Ukraine, Putin's troops ran out of gas and food. They could not bring gasoline and food by land, because the access bridges were destroyed, and they began to send them in helicopters, which began to be shot down by the Ukrainian guerrillas in Irpin, Bucha and Borodyanka. In the Battle of Hostomel the invading army units took Antonov Airport, and advanced towards Bucha and Irpin, but were ambushed by Ukrainian guerrillas and suffered significant losses in manpower and equipment.

The ambushes at Hostomel and Bucha not only inflicted substantial casualties, but also hinted at what awaited them if they pushed further towards kyiv. The invading army was forced to take cover, digging in on roadsides to defend against Ukrainian artillery, but began to suffer heavy casualties overnight, forcing them to retreat, and on April 1, 2022, Oleksandr Pavlyuk, head of the kyiv Regional Military Administration, claimed that Russian forces had abandoned Hostomel.

In the battle of Slavútych, on March 18, the invading troops besieged the city and cut off all supplies of food, medicine, and electricity. Fighting intensified on March 23, with the city suffering from "humanitarian catastrophe" conditions . On March 26, the invading forces entered the city, the city hospital was captured, but an insurrection and mobilization of more than 5,000 people broke out. At the demonstration , the mayor of Slavútych gave a speech inviting the invading troops to withdraw, and later, the Russian forces withdrew from the city center to the suburbs. By March 27 the invading troops withdrew from Slavútych completely.

Images of the destruction of the 60 km tank convoy in Brovary, kyiv. Source: The Sun

In the east of kyiv, the Ukrainian resistance cut the lines of supply, supply, and communication of the invading troops near Sumy. By that time demoralization began to spread in the invading troops, as a result of the immense number of casualties, not only of soldiers, but also of high-ranking commanders. Putin increased artillery/rocket attacks on civilian positions and infrastructure, and refused to open evacuation corridors, leading diplomatic ceasefire negotiations to fail.

During the development of these battles, two very important events occurred: On the one hand, the Belarusian army refused to enter into combat in support of Putin, due to the resistance of the Belarusian people, who mostly sympathize with the people of Ukraine. And on the other hand, many soldiers of the invading army began to desert. By March 13, the invading army was able to occupy Kherson in the south, but protests by the population in Kherson and throughout the country immediately broke out. The popular uprising in Slavútych coincided with the successful counteroffensive that the Ukrainian troops launched from March 22 with increasingly strong counterattacks around Kiev and Mykolayiv.

While the Ukrainian resistance forces carried out a major successful counter-attack, the tank convoy was destroyed, and the invasion raids around kyiv had failed, the battle of kyiv left the invaders with a toll of 2,800 armored vehicles and 500 tanks destroyed thousands of soldiers, and 18 high-ranking leaders killed. A humiliating defeat for Putin that forced the withdrawal of the invading troops.

The battle of KYIV on Maps

(Click on the image to enlarge.)

Left: In pink the attack and control of territory by Putin's troops as of February 23, the orange circle shows the attack on Kiev from 3 different points.

To the Center: Counterattack by Ukrainian troops defeats Putin's troops, liberating more than 30 cities.

Right: Putin's troops withdraw to attack Donbas. Source: UK Ministry of Defense

After the withdrawal, Ukrainian troops recaptured more than 30 cities in the kyiv region, taking control of Demydiv, Dymer, Lytvynivka, Havrylivka, Kozarovychi, Zhovtneve, Hlubivka, Yasnohorodka, Talakun, Sukholuchchya, Lypivka, Havronshchyna, Makovyshche, Mykolayivka. and Khmilna. In the Chernihiv region, Ukrainian troops regained control of Rudnya, Shevchenkove, Bobryk, Stara Basan, Nova Basan, Makiyivka, Pohreby, Bazhanivka, Volodymyrivka, Shnyakivka, Salne, Sofiyivka, and Havrylivka.

Putin's army lost thousands of soldiers killed, wounded and captured. The towns of Irpin, Bucha, Gostomel and the entire kyiv region were liberated and the Ukrainian forces retook control of the villages of Sloboda and Lukashivka, which are located south of Chernihiv and located along one of the main transport routes. supply between that city and kyiv.

The Bucha Massacre:

Putin and NATO are responsible for barbarism

After the withdrawal of Putin's troops, horror ensued: In Bucha, a city from which the invaders withdrew on March 31, the horror was exposed in the streets when dozens of civilian bodies were found, executed, handcuffed, buried in graves common, and with signs of torture. The images of the Bucha, Volnovakha, Borodyanka and Mariupol massacre traveled the world, and will remain etched in the retina of millions of people as a horror of the invasion of Putin's troops, who have already committed barbaric acts in Syria, Africa and other places where his troops and mercenaries are intervening.

The fear caused by Bucha's images reveal the monstrosities and brutalities carried out by Putin in Ukraine. Bucha's massacre recalls what happened in Guernica (Spain, 1937) by fascism, in Srebrenica (Bosnia, 1995) by the Milosevic dictatorship, in Fallujah, Iraq (2004) by George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld, and the armies of the NATO, among other atrocities perpetrated by capitalist governments. The invading troops, before withdrawing, killed hundreds of unarmed, vulnerable civilians, women, children and men, just for not having resisted the invasion.

Left image: The Guernica massacre (1937) in Spain perpetrated by fascism. Second image: Families move the bodies in the Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia (1997) perpetrated by the dictator Milosevic. Third Image: The Fallujah Massacre perpetrated by the Bush administration, and NATO in 2004. Right: The Bucha Massacre perpetrated by Putin

The same atrocities committed by Putin in Mariupol, with thousands of deaths. The Ukrainian people have been resisting the atrocities with fascist methods of Putin and his dictatorship of oligarchs with bombings of cities, vital infrastructure, schools, hospitals, the attack on civilians, millions of displaced people outside the borders, and within the country, the murder of children, older adults, and defenseless people.

All these methods of fascism demystify Putin's campaign that the invasion is aimed at "denazifying" Ukraine. The existing Nazi groups in Ukraine are an absolute minority, what Bucha shows is that what is typical of the Nazis is the brutal methods of Putin . Putin is without a doubt a war criminal. The Stalinist groups, ex-guerrillas, Castro-Chavistas who defend Putin have received a brutal slap in the face with Bucha's images.

But the imperialist NATO governments that are now "horrified" by Putin's action are also responsible for the Bucha genocide. The imperialist governments and officials of the United States, England, France, Germany, who are now giving fiery speeches at the UN against Putin for years, supported, associated with, and did business with the Putin oligarchy, which allowed that dictatorship of oligarchs to become a millionaire oppressing, repressing the people of Russia, and the region.

The hypocritical imperialist governments refused to place an anti-missile shield as Israel has, for example, and Ukraine claimed to save the lives of thousands of defenseless civilians who died under Putin's horrific bombardments. These same governments gave limited weapons to the people of Ukraine due to the pressure of the masses of their countries that demanded action against the barbarism and genocide that takes place a few kilometers from their borders. And these same governments embraced Putin, celebrated his leadership, supported his actions, and collaborated with him over the last 15 years.

Putin is a creation of the imperialist governments of the world and they deny their paternity

Image Top Left: Putin exchanges flowers with Angela Merkel, President of Germany and Europe's top political leader Image Top Center: Putin exchanges greetings with newly elected US President Joe Biden. Top Right Image: Putin exchanges greetings with Emanuel Macron, President of France Bottom Left Image: Putin with Bill Clinton, George Bush, Barak Obama, and Donald Trump Presidents of the United States Bottom Right Image: Putin with the UN Secretary General Anthony Guterres

This cynicism of imperialist governments reaches the height that now everyone erases their photos with Putin, and visits Kiev to be photographed with the current president of Ukraine, Zelensky. Now everyone pretends to be friends with the Ukrainian people, given the enormous popularity that the struggle of the Ukrainian people has among the peoples of Europe and the whole world. But they are responsible for their policy of supporting Putin for decades, which supported this war criminal to carry out genocides like Bucha's.

Precisely for this reason we oppose the policy of the capitalist government of Zelensky, and the Servant of the People party, which grew in popularity in Ukraine and around the world for its willingness to resist, and not capitulate militarily to Putin. However, while Zelensky has not capitulated militarily, he has capitulated politically, as Zelensky proposes that Ukraine join the EU, and NATO.

That means that Ukraine loses its independence. Ukraine is today an independent country of NATO, the European Union, the Commonwealth of Independent States, and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). Zelensky's proposal would take a step back in what the Ukrainian people had achieved with their struggle. Furthermore, Zelensky speaks before the parliaments of Europe and the United States, sowing expectations in those reactionary imperialist institutions.

While we are facing Putin's invasion, we are also facing politically the line of the Zelensky government, Ukraine must remain independent! The Ukrainian capitalists and bourgeoisie are incapable of guaranteeing Ukraine's independence. Their interests are to do business and profit together with imperialist capital. But the war of national liberation in Ukraine has an anti-capitalist dynamic, because it confronts the capitalist oligarchs of the region. The hunger, the poverty, the misery that the Ukrainian people are going through cannot be solved by capitalism, they can only be solved with a workers' and popular government, imposed by the workers, peasants, and soldiers of Ukraine.

The Revolutionary War for National Liberation

Why did Putin, having an army infinitely superior in resources, and soldiers, lost the battle of kyiv? The capitalist media gives all kinds of crazy explanations claiming that the Ukrainian troops won as a result of the provision of weapons by NATO, or as a result of the ineptitude of Putin's troops, or as a result of the use of new technologies, or other theories absurd. Putin did not lose the battle of kyiv because of technology, nor NATO, nor the ineptitude of his troops, although these elements, to a lesser or greater extent, have existed.

The explanation of why Putin lost the battle of kyiv is the mass mobilization of an entire people, the Ukrainians, and the support of the world mass mobilization for his struggle. No matter how many supplies of weapons there are, they are useless if there are not enough combatants willing to wield them. And they will be useless no matter how technologically modern they are. On the other hand, Putin's army has been very efficient in Chechnya, Georgia, Syria, and other parts of the world, because he has never faced anything like what he is facing now in Ukraine.

Putin faced millions mobilized across Ukraine who staged guerrilla warfare, set up air raid warning systems in villages with wires and loudspeakers they bought out of their own pockets, built bomb shelters, prepared generators, drinking water storage tanks, basic necessities, prepared shelters for fleeing Ukrainians, organized families in schools, served free meals three times a day for people from devastated areas like Sumy, Kharkiv, and Bucha. They supplied the army, established volunteer headquarters, organized the aid that arrived from abroad, a whole process of organization and mobilization that involved sectors of the masses organized in solidarity to reject an invader that everyone recognized as superior.

Putin faced an urban guerrilla war, sustained by the masses collaborating with the defenders, while sabotaging the invader. And since they were not afraid to pay with their lives for confronting the invader, as happened in Bucha, they preferred to die rather than surrender to Putin's army. This phenomenon of urban guerrilla warfare is the same as what we saw in Iraq when the NATO invasion was stopped and defeated in Baghdad, Musol, Kirkak, or Basra, the cities organized to resist infinitely superior invading troops. Urban guerrilla warfare is a typical phenomenon of the 21st century, unlike the war of guerrilla wars that characterized the revolutions of the 20th century, which took place fundamentally in the countryside, such as the revolutions in China, Vietnam, Cambodia, or Nicaragua.

As Jesús Valdez explains in his work "Putin's War can be won" : " During the war of occupation of US imperialism against Iraq, a new type of guerrilla war was inaugurated, with its epicenter in the cities, which managed to win to US imperialism. This new type of "revolutionary war" with its epicenter in the urban centers is exactly what we are seeing in Ukraine, which, unlike the typical "protracted people's war" with its epicenter in the countryside, is blowing up a thousand to pieces a professional army in less than three weeks" (4)

In urban guerrilla warfare, the proletariat is more important than in rural guerrilla warfare, based fundamentally on the peasantry. Ukraine is a poor country, but located in the heart of Europe, with a strong working class, united and rooted in the European proletariat, with a great tradition. In turn, although there is a regular bourgeois army in Ukraine formed since 2014, the existence of the Territorial Defense Units with thousands of workers and armed peasants causes a different location for the most oppressed sectors of the population. Women, the young, the poorest, play relevant roles in the popular armies that they do not play in the regular armies of any capitalist state.

Those who in regular times only receive orders, oppression, and repression, in revolutionary times are compelled to take responsibility tasks, they have to make political, organizational, and military decisions based on the defense of their interests. As Leon Trotsky explained:

"When the small peasant or the worker speaks of defending the fatherland, they speak of the defense of their house, their family and the family of others against the invasion, against the bombs, against the suffocating gases. The capitalist and his journalist understand for the defense of the fatherland the conquest of colonies and markets, the extortive expansion of the "national" part of world income." (5)

The irruption of the armed masses in defense of their interests in the war of national liberation is the explanation why Putin lost the battle of kyiv. The bourgeoisie, its capitalist governments, analysts, intellectuals and opinologists will hide this from the eyes of the world's masses, because they are terrified to see peoples up in arms fighting against capitalist oligarchs, shaking off oppression, with brigades led by women, youth, workers , peasants and the poorest, which constitutes a real threat to the ruling classes of Europe and the world.

The Donbas is from Ukraine!

Currently Putin has concentrated all the military activity of the invasion in the Donbass. Putin's atrocities in Mariupol, as well as the bombings, destruction and methods were repeated in this case in the Donbass basin, one of the richest regions in the world, historically, culturally and economically part of eastern Ukraine since forever. The propaganda of the sinister Putin regime is that in Donbass, Ukraine oppresses the Russian-speaking minorities who want to establish independent states, and are unable to exercise their rights to "national self-determination".

This is Putin's way of disguising his political and military aggression against the Ukrainian people, pretending to show that his troops are there as "National Liberation" troops. In reality, the republics and protectorates created by Putin since 2014 in those areas are the product of the action of his armies of mercenaries who carried out provocations and permanent attacks on those populations that lived together peacefully for centuries. It is false that the Russian-speaking sectors of the population want to become independent, on the contrary, important sectors of Russian-speaking and Ukrainians are fighting together against Putin's occupation.

Unfortunately, a sector of the world left, Stalinists, Castrochavistas, and even sectors that claim Trotskyism echo Putin's campaign, repeating the same arguments that the war criminal uses to justify his aggression against Donbass. They refuse to claim that Donbass belongs to the Ukraine, thereby capitulating to Putin's criminal campaign. This is an expression of the crisis of the world left, its social democratization, adaptation to the regime and betrayal of Marxism reaches another expression in this case when it shares the same arguments as Putin and raises the "national self-determination" of the sectors that supposedly demand it.

The position of The International Marx is clear: The Donbass belongs to the Ukraine. Just as we claim that Palestine belongs to the Palestinians, not to Israel, that Ireland belongs to the Irish, not to Great Britain, that Catalonia belongs to the Catalans, not to the Spanish State, that the Malvinas belongs to Argentina, not to England, we affirm the same that Donbass belongs to Ukraine, not to Putin. And just as we did since before the invasion, we stand unconditionally on the side of the workers and people of Ukraine, and unite together with the workers and peoples of the world in favor of the military defeat of Putin.

Since the beginning of the Russian invasion, Marx International raised the slogan "arms for the Ukrainian people!" , because in war and revolution, it is more dangerous for the proletariat and revolutionaries to place themselves in the camp of pacifism, than in the defensive military camp, since any Ukrainian worker with two fingers on his forehead understands what a war means of invasion: to suffer class domination under capitalist exploitation, as well as to suffer the domination of an occupying army that would commit all kinds of atrocities in its wake.

Marxists and workers, like the old Leon Trotsky, understand in practical terms that "any confusion with the pacifists is a hundred times more dangerous than temporary confusion with the bourgeois militarists." If the Ukrainian workers had listened to the pacifist preaching of many pseudo-Trotskyists, they would have been murdered in cold blood and their companions would be spoils of war of an occupying army, something that happens in all the predatory wars that the history of humanity has known. .

The militarization of the masses intensifies day by day. We reject the grotesque claim to avoid this militarization with hollow peace protests. In the next stage all the big problems will be decided with weapons in hand. The workers must not be afraid of weapons; on the contrary, they have to learn to use them. Revolutionaries do not distance themselves from the people, neither in war nor in peace. A Bolshevik tries to become not only the best trade unionist but also the best soldier.

We do not want to allow the bourgeoisie to lead untrained or semi-trained soldiers to die on the battlefield. We demand that the State immediately offer workers and the unemployed the opportunity to learn to handle the rifle, the hand grenade, the rifle, the cannon, the airplane, the submarine and the other instruments of war. Special military schools closely related to the trade unions are needed so that the workers can become qualified specialists in the military art, capable of occupying the posts of commander.

Manifesto of the Fourth International on the imperialist war and the proletarian revolution.

The regrouping of the Marxist revolutionaries of Ukraine and Eastern Europe is necessary, the construction of a revolutionary party to end capitalism in Ukraine and the region. Capitalism can offer Ukraine nothing but hunger, poverty and oppression by aristocrats and oligarchs. The people of Ukraine must continue with arms in hand to impose national independence, and impose a socialist government, of the workers, the people and the armed soldiers to consolidate it.


1) Battle of Irpinín

2) Battle of Hostomel

3) Battle of Vasylkiv

4) Jesus Valdez. "Putin's War Can Be Defeated".

5) Leon Trotsky. "Transition Program"

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