For an Independient Ukraine! Out of NATO! Down with Putin!
"What does a revolutionary say... to the Ukrainian people: "What matters to me is your attitude towards your national destiny, I will support your struggle for independence with all my might!"
Leon Trotsky. The independence of Ukraine and sectarian confusionism. July 30, 1939
The world's media, Pentagon officials, and the US military announce that Russian military forces are massing up to 175,000 soldiers on the Ukraine border. The global communication chains fueled by the State Department raise the specter of World War III. What is happening in Ukraine? Is Putin preparing to invade it? Is this going to unleash World War III between Russia and NATO?
The whole campaign about "Impending World War III" is not new. What imperialism, Putin, the Stalinists, and the imperialist media intend with this campaign, is to hide from the eyes of the masses of the world the extraordinary revolutionary process that the people of Ukraine have been carrying out in their struggle for independence. , and for national self-determination for 8 years now. A fight that has the sympathy of millions in all the former republics of the USSR, and we must support it with all our might.
This revolutionary process is moving Europe because it takes place in a very rich country, the largest in Europe after Russia, which has the same population as France in the heart of European imperialism. The struggle of the Ukrainian people has infected the peoples that make up the Russian Federation, such as Belarus and Kazakhstan, and together with the people of Russia, is putting Putin's reactionary capitalist dictatorship on the ropes.
"Inter-imperialist" war or counter-revolutionary war?
The charlatans in the pay of imperialism pretend to show the reality of a prospect of war between Russia and NATO, an "inter-imperialist war" like the First World War of 1914. But the reality is very different. What there is is an attack by the Russian armed forces against the people of Ukraine. Putin's army at the service of the millionaire capitalist oligarchy, permanently attacks a people that is fighting for its self-determination and independence.
For eight years there has been an aggression by Putin against Ukraine that began with the attack on the Crimean peninsula and Donbass, and has caused 14,000 Ukrainian soldiers and civilians dead, in addition to more than 1.9 million displaced Ukrainians. But if Putin's troops enter Ukraine, this may be Putin's Vietnam. Thousands of Ukrainians train every weekend, workers, students, peasants, etc., preparing for an eventual invasion of Russia.
Putin's generals and 170,000 soldiers will meet 400,000 Ukrainian soldiers grouped in scattered units of soldiers, reservists and civilians who will attack their positions, and communications. An invasion by Putin would have to face a popular resistance that, in addition to the thousands of Ukrainian volunteers, will be reinforced by Russian, Belarusian, Lithuanian, and Latvian fighters, who hate Putin and will join the Ukrainian troops to end his sinister dictatorship.
NATO's presence in Ukraine is practically symbolic: NATO has 4,000 US soldiers in Ukraine, and 150 military advisers. This is the product of the fact that Ukraine does not belong to NATO, nor to the CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organization) led by Russia, also made up of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan.
In other words, we are not facing any "inter-imperialist war" in the events that are taking place on the Ukrainian border. We are in a counterrevolutionary war, a confrontation between the revolution and the world counterrevolution that influences the course of events in Europe, and the global revolution. This is how the Trotskyist revolutionary Nahuel Moreno explained it: "From the postwar period (1945)... A stage in the character of wars is closed and a new one is opened. The stage of inter-imperialist wars is closed and in the stage of the counterrevolutionary wars" (1)
The Ukrainian Revolution: The struggle against the ex-Stalinist oligarchy begins
The Stalinist groups around the world who describe Ukraine as a fascist-dominated state do so in an attempt to make Putin, his corrupt, rotten, and reactionary capitalist regime appear progressive. But nothing is further from reality than Ukraine being a state dominated by fascists, it is exactly the opposite: Since 2016 Ukraine has been experiencing a revolutionary process, a bourgeois democratic regime in crisis, and a crisis of all the parties that defend the interests of the Ukrainian bourgeoisie, a process that spreads to all the republics of the former USSR.
After the fall of the former USSR, both Russia and the former republics that made up the former USSR became governed by former Stalinist officials, former members of the KGB, the Armed Forces or the espionage services that privatized, gave away, and they handed over all the wealth of those nations to imperialism, and joined the imperialist corporations to enrich themselves. The Yeltsins, the Putins, the Yanusoviches, the Lukashenkos, the Nazarbayevs, went overnight from Communist Party officials to bourgeois oligarchs and millionaire capitalists.
The new capitalism of the former Stalinist oligarchs meant corruption, mafias, injustice, and social inequality, which caused millions of people to sink into poverty in all the republics of the former USSR. In Ukraine the crisis reached even higher levels than other former Soviet republics: The average salary in Ukraine was 2 to 2.5 times lower than in Russia and Belarus, and much lower than in the EU. Economic growth froze, industry fell, causing widespread poverty to advance.
The oligarchs established legislation that exempted them from paying taxes, allowing them to enrich themselves obscenely by exporting tens of billions of dollars worth of minerals, metals, ammonia, wheat and sunflowers, stashing the profits in tax havens. Meanwhile, the crisis worsened, and the national, regional and municipal governments began to have problems paying salaries.
Many oligarchs also withheld the salaries owed to state employees to speculate with these masses of money. Not paying salaries became a common practice for governments, and the budget practically stopped allocating funds to social programs. The situation was aggravated by the rise in gas prices, and the corrupt Party of Regions that led the country controlled by ex-Stalinist oligarch Victor Yanukovych, was not capable of proposing a plan beyond the businesses controlled by the sons of he.
Euromaidan explodes: the ex-Stalinist oligarchy falls
Between the years 2007, 2008 the sharp peak of the global crisis of capitalism broke out, and the crisis in Ukraine worsened. Soon popular discontent detonated a rise of the masses that forced Yanukovych, pressured by the rise, to propose a way out of the crisis, which he promised would come through an agreement with the European Union. It was signed on March 30, 2012, and Yanukovych urged the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, to pass laws so that Ukraine could comply with EU requirements.
On September 25, 2013, Volodymyr Rybak, Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, said that the legislative body would pass all necessary laws, but on November 21, 2013, a decree of the Government of Ukraine suspended preparations for the signing of the agreement on association. Yanukovych attended the EU summit on November 28-29, but the deal was not signed.
In the months of January and February 2016, the opposition leaders called for mobilizations repudiating the decision of the Yanukovych government not to sign with the EU, and the country exploded. Millions took to the streets throughout the country, the mobilization quickly surpassed the initial slogans and overwhelmed its capitalist leaders to raise democratic and economic demands: work and decent wages, health, education, against the oligarchs and finally, Yanukovych to go.
Independence Square in Kiev became a dual and popular power where decisions were made, amidst barricades and popular weapons. On February 21 Yanukovic and the opposition, under the patronage of the EU and the presence of German, French and Polish foreign ministers, signed an agreement for Yanukovych to continue and elections were called in December. The pact was applauded by the United States and Russia. Opposition leaders went to announce it in the square, but 200,000 people rejected the agreement in Plaza Independencia, shouting "traitors!"
The next day the police disappeared from the streets of Kiev and Yanukovych fled. One hundred police officers apologized on their knees to the protesters in Plaza Maidán. Yanukovych's fall was a revolutionary triumph that opened the stage of struggle against the Stalinist oligarchies in Ukraine and in the other republics of the former USSR. The triumph of the Ukrainian revolution brought profound changes in the country's political regime.
The Party of the Regions, which governed for almost 20 years, left power, and an average abstention rate of 40% occurred in all the elections that were called from 2016 to today, showing the crisis and wear of bourgeois democracy in Ukraine. The last elected president Volodymyr Zelensky, who beat the old regime parties in 2019, suffered a beating in the 2020 elections, where he lost in all the main cities of the country. But the most important change was the shock wave that the triumph of the revolution caused in Russia, and all the republics under its rule.
The revolution in Ukraine spread like an oil stain, first in 2020 the "Sneaker Revolution" broke out in Belarus against the Government of Aleksandr Lukashenko, the president of Belarus in the midst of elections in which Lukashenko was seeking a sixth term in The charge. The following year the mobilizations began in Russia against Putin, and this year 2022 began with the uprising of the people of Kazakhstan that had to be put down with Russian troops.
For an Independent Ukraine! Out of NATO! Down with Putin!
We completely reject the intervention of NATO forces, and the sectors of the Ukrainian bourgeoisie that propose unity with NATO. Ukraine has every right to defend its territory from any aggression, but anyone who proposes to place that defense under the wing of the Pentagon, or NATO is only leading that struggle to defeat. We Marxists support with all our might the struggle of the Ukrainian people for independence and national self-determination.
We also reject the "Summits" , and negotiations between the imperialist government of Biden and Putin. These summits seek to stop and divert the revolution of the Ukrainian people, and their struggle for national liberation. The right of the Ukrainian people must be in your own hands! Out with the diplomats of the State Department, the military of the Pentagon, and the intrigues of the Kremlin, on the rights of the people of Ukraine!
We follow the path that Vladimir Lenin proposed in his presentation of the struggle for the rights of the oppressed nations as part of the struggle for socialism: "... the main practical task, both of the Russian proletariat and of the proletariat of every other nation: the task of daily agitation and propaganda against all kinds of state-type national privileges, for the right, the equal right of all nations... because only in this way can we defend the interests of democracy and the union, based on equality of rights of all proletarians of all nations" (2)
We are for the national self-determination of Ukraine, against the historical oppression that its people have suffered from Russia, and other nations. To the Stalinists who argue that the Ukrainian struggle is "reactionary" because it is "nationalist," this is how Lenin responds:"To accuse the supporters of freedom of self-determination, that is, of the freedom to separate, of promoting separatism is just as foolish and hypocritical as accusing the supporters of freedom of divorce of promoting the breakdown of family ties. Just as in bourgeois society the freedom of divorce is contested by the defenders of privilege and venality, on which bourgeois marriage is based, so in the capitalist state deny the freedom of self-determination, that is, of separation from nations it does not mean anything other than defending the privileges of the dominant nation and the administrative police procedures to the detriment of the democratic ones" (3)
Lenin combated the privileges of the oppressive nations, and denounced the leaders and political currents that do not defend the right to national self-determination, even if they call themselves "Marxists" : "The real class significance of liberal hostility to the principle of political self-determination of nations is one, and only one: national-liberalism, safeguarding the state privileges of the Russian bourgeoisie. And all these opportunists among the Marxists of Russia, who just now ... have attacked the right of nations to self-determination...in reality they simply lag behind national-liberalism, they corrupt the working class with national-liberal ideas". (4)
The slogans that we raise in the Ukrainian struggle are the same as those formulated by Lenin: "Complete equality of rights of nations; right of self-determination of nations; fusion of the workers of all nations; such is the national program that teaches the workers Marxism, taught by the experience of the whole world and the experience of Russia". (5)
This struggle is the starting point of the socialist revolution, because the decrepit and decadent Ukrainian bourgeoisie is incapable of carrying out the slightest democratic task, it is the workers and the people with their permanent struggle, who will break the chains of oppression of the Putin's dictatorship and the Great Russian oligarchy.
This is how Leon Trotsky explained it: " Ukraine is especially rich in experiences of false paths of struggle to achieve national emancipation... only political corpses can continue to place hope in any fraction of the Ukrainian bourgeoisie as the leader of the national struggle for emancipation. Only the Ukrainian proletariat is capable not only of carrying out this essentially revolutionary task, but also of taking the initiative for its solution The proletariat and only the proletariat can rally around itself the peasant masses and the genuinely revolutionary national intelligentsia " (6)
From La Marx International we unconditionally support the struggle of the people of Ukraine for their independence and national self-determination, we promote the revolutionary struggle demanding the end of all interference by NATO and the imperialist powers, fighting for the defeat of the Russian troops, and the unity of the peoples of the East and the world for the fall of the reactionary capitalist dictatorship of Putin. This is the path to continue promoting the world struggle against capitalism, and for Global Socialism.
(1) Nahuel Moreno. "Transition Program Update" . 1980
(2), (3), (4) and (5) Vladimir Lenin " The right of nations to self-determination" May 1914
(6) León Trotsky. "The Ukrainian Question" April 22, 1939
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