Putin's war can be defeated

By La Marx Mexico, March 21, 2022

It has been almost a month since the start of the Russian occupation war against Ukraine, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), reported until Thursday, March 17, a total of 726 Ukrainian civilians killed, 52 of whom are children and more than 1,174 injured; [1] however, the agency considers that the real figure will be "considerably higher", given the difficulties of receiving and verifying information derived from the war. For their part, the Ukrainian authorities estimate the murder of more than 2,500 civilians in key areas such as the port city of Mariupol, while the latest report of fallen Ukrainian soldiers amounts to about 2,000.

The UN Agency for Refugees, reports the departure of 3 million Ukrainians [2] to find asylum away from the war, it is mainly women and children, the postcard of the first two weeks of war, has been the of thousands of Ukrainians sheltering in the subway, and the trains to burst to be able to flee. However, the other 41 million inhabitants have decided to remain and resist.

In turn, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Joint Forces reported that between February 24, 2022 and March 11, 2022 [3] , the Russian army suffered the following losses:

  • More than 12 thousand soldiers fallen in combat
  • 353 tanks have been destroyed
  • 1,165 armored vehicles
  • 125 artillery systems
  • 58 multiple rocket launchers
  • 31 air defense systems
  • 57 aircraft
  • 83 helicopters
  • 558 motor vehicles
  • 2 ships/boats
  • 60 fuel tankers
  • Seven tactical and operational UAVs.

On March 11 alone, the Russian troops lost 266 soldiers, 18 tanks, 60 armored fighting vehicles, 2 artillery systems, 2 multiple rocket launchers, 2 air defense units and 32 vehicles. As of Thursday, March 17 (the third week of the war), the Ukrainian authorities speak of 13,800 Russian soldiers killed in combat since the occupation war began.

The failure of Putin's blitzkrieg and the possibility of defeating it

Military attacks in Ukraine in March 10 2022

In planning the invasion of Ukraine, Putin could count on many well-known facts. He knew that Russia was militarily superior to Ukraine. He knew that NATO would not send troops to help Ukraine. He knew that Europe's dependence on Russian oil and gas would make countries like Germany hesitant to impose tough sanctions. Based on these known facts, Putin's plan was to hit Ukraine hard and fast, decapitate his government, install a puppet regime in kyiv, and wait out Western sanctions.

But there was a big unknown in this regard. As the Americans learned in Iraq and the Soviet Union learned in Afghanistan, it is much easier to conquer a country than to keep it. Putin knew that he had the power to conquer the Ukraine. But will the Ukrainian people put up with the puppet regime in Moscow? Putin made a bet on it. After all, as he repeatedly explained to anyone who would listen, Ukraine is not a real nation and Ukrainians are not a real people. Even in Putin's discourse, there is an anti-Bolshevik dressing, since Putin's chauvinist propaganda argues that the Ukraine was an invention of Lenin. After all, in 2014 the Crimeans did not resist the Russian invaders. Why 2022 should be any different

During the first days of the war, Vladimir Putin's troops mobilized on the border with Ukraine and later, from Belarus, amounted to 150,000 troops, divided into 120 tactical battalions, according to Ruth Deyermond, an academic at the Department of War Studies. of King's College [4] , under the false flag of the "military operation" for the denazification" of Ukraine, they tried to apply the tactic known as "shock and wave" (shock and terror), through which they seek to stun the adversary with an enormous firepower Even sources close to the Kremlin calculated that the president of Ukraine would not resist more than 5 days and the capture of Kiev would be like a field day... But the reality reflected the opposite

In those days, there were no significant advances, the capture of the main cities was far from the initial objective, so, in the first days of March, a mobilization of 60 kilometers of vehicles and artillery was reported to surround Kiev, this, from a Belarusian military base; which set off alarm bells around the world at the brutality of what was to come.

We are 1 month away from that mobilization, given the impossibility of taking the main cities, especially Kiev and Kherson, on Thursday, March 10, those vehicles and artillery split into three, to surround the Ukrainian capital (Kiev). The results were disastrous for the Russian troops, as they were defeated on all fronts, especially in Kiev, the Russian army had to bite the dust and fled, leaving behind 10 war tanks, which right now are in the hands of the army. and the Ukrainian resistance.

In the first 15 days of war, the Russian troops have lost 4 times more soldiers than all of NATO in 20 years of invasion of Afghanistan, we are talking about 3,609 casualties against 12,000. We are 1 month away from that mobilization, given the impossibility of taking the main cities, especially Kiev and Kherson, on Thursday, March 10, those vehicles and artillery split into three, to surround the Ukrainian capital (Kiev). The results were disastrous for the Russian troops, as they were defeated on all fronts, especially in Kiev, the Russian army had to bite the dust and fled, leaving behind 10 war tanks, which right now are in the hands of the army. and the Ukrainian resistance.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine released a video where the destruction of one of the control centers of Russian military operations is captured through a military drone. The Ukrainian army carried out a counterattack in the direction of the city of Brovary, near kyiv, the Russian troops lost 5 tanks. Also at Borodyanka, artillerymen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine covered enemy armored vehicles with fire. In the counterattack, no Ukrainian casualties were reported.

So far, 3 Russian generals and 6 senior officers have been killed by Ukrainian snipers [5], which has had a demoralizing effect on the invading army. The area of ​​greatest conflict are the cities of Kherson, Kharkov and Mariupol, especially the latter, which has been subjected to aerial bombardments, because its capture would allow Russian troops to unite Crimea with Donetsk and Lugansk, which are under control. Russian since 2014 in the case of Crimea and the last two regions, have declared their "independence" after a war of occupation that has claimed 14,000 lives from 2014 to February 2022.

The bombing of a maternity and children's hospital in Mariupol stands out, [6] where the mayor of the city reported the death of three people, while another 17 were injured, including pregnant women. This is just one example that refutes Putin's story that it is not a war against the people of Ukraine, but a "surgical operation" to denazify the country.

The Ukrainian people are a world example of resistance

By invading Ukraine on February 24, 2022, Putin's aggression that began in 2014 after the Maidan triumph took a leap. Since the revolution that dethroned the oligarch Yanukovych, Putin had been attacking Ukraine militarily, taking territory through the military occupation of Crimea and parts of Donbass, creating artificial republics at gunpoint with mercenaries from the Wagner group.

There began a revolutionary war between the Ukrainian people and the Putin dictatorship, where the destiny of national self-determination of the Ukrainian people was put at stake. Ukraine's independence seemed fragile, with a people that had almost no army, against another country that had strong military equipment. But after 8 years of constant aggression, and despite the thousands of displaced people, Putin failed to break the Ukrainian people.

However, the resistance of the Ukrainian people and the determination of millions of people who have refused to leave the country show the moral and military superiority offered by a people in resistance, despite being at a disadvantage and the resistance triumphing. It would not be the first time in history that a country considered "weak" manages to defeat a professional army, no matter how well armed and well trained it is.

By the way, popular self-defense in Ukraine is not new, it has been brewing since the Maidan revolution, supported by the Federation of Ukrainian Trade Unions, which lent its headquarters in Kiev to organize resistance against the Yanukovich government. At first, the demonstrations, in addition to being massive, were peaceful in nature, but after repeated and brutal government repression, the peaceful movement became a classic insurrection in terms of class, which changed the policy of pacifism to self-defense. street by street through barricades, it was in this revolution that we could see the first metallic shields to cover themselves from the rubber and real bullets of the Ukrainian police.

We would see this type of self-defense years later in Chile and Colombia in the front- line detachments of the youth.

The concept of revolutionary war

Carl Philipp Gottlieb Von Clausewitz was one of the main and most influential historians and theorists of modern military science, his eight volumes published under the title "of war", are taught in the main military academies in the world.

When Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Prussia in October 1806, Clausewitz served as an assistant to General Carlos Guillermo Ferdinand, who was in charge of the Prussian army, the most powerful of the time. That battle, together with the one at Auerstadt, ended in a crushing French victory and the complete disintegration of the Prussian army.

Prussia was crushingly defeated and became a satellite state of France, in the end, Clausewitz became one of the 25,000 prisoners of war, at least that was the case until 1808, those years in prison were dedicated to reflecting on the defeat of Prussia, because as Lenin stated: "Defeated armies learn with suspicion". This is how Clausewitz narrates it:

"In 1793 a force appeared that surpassed anything imaginable. Suddenly, war once again became a matter of the people, a population of 30 million all of whom considered themselves citizens (...) the people became into a participant in the war; instead of just governments and armies, as hitherto, the full weight of the nation was brought into play, the new resources and efforts available for use exceeded all conventional limits; nothing now limited the vigor with which the war could be conducted (...) this Juggernaut of war, based on the strength of an entire people, began his sweeping path across Europe"

As Frederick Engels says:

The irruption of the masses in the revolutionary processes and the wars implied great changes in relation to the strategy and military technique. The entire infantry of an army formed a long empty quadrangle of three ranks on each side and did not move in battle order, but as a whole; at the most, one of the wings was allowed to advance or delay somewhat (...) any change in the order of battle during the combat was impossible, and, once the infantry entered into fire, victory or defeat was decided in a short time and in one fell swoop.

In the American War of Independence, groups of rebels appeared in front of those rigid lines without resources. They were, admittedly, poorly trained, but they knew how to use their carbines very well, they fought for their own interests - which means that they did not desert, as the mercenary troops (...) and who did not do the English the favor of facing them in line and in the open field, but in forests that covered them, and by loose, fast-moving guerillas. The line infantry was powerless and succumbed to the invisible and unreachable enemies. This is how the shooter was invented again, a new way of fighting, as a result of the appearance of a modification of the welded material.

This mode of combat, based on the combination of riflemen and columns, and on the division of the army into independent divisions or corps made up of all the weapons, was fully perfected in all its aspects by Napoleon, both tactically and strategically...

(Quoted by Daniel Campos in his book: "The North American Revolution of the 21st Century")

This is how "general" Federico Engels, gives an overview that helped to explain in very precise lines, the problem raised by Clausewitz.

Throughout the 19th and 20th century, the revolutionary or national liberation wars had the countryside as their theater of operations, from the American and Mexican wars of independence, through the Mexican revolution, where the method of combat par excellence was the Peasant "guerrilla warfare" was also a dominant factor during the Chinese revolution led by Mao Tse Tung and Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam.

Another example of revolutionary war is the fight against German and Italian fascism, where a red army together with the allies (imperialist countries) managed to overthrow Hitler, while the partisans and the maquis, in alliance with troops from imperialist countries, overthrow Italian fascism.

After the defeat of fascism, power fell directly on the triumphant revolutionary armies, however, previously, Stalin had agreed in the Yalta and Potsdam agreements, the commitment to return power to the Italian and German bourgeoisie in exchange for consolidating new territories under their control, with the agreement not to encourage more revolutions in the imperialist countries. As a guarantee, he dissolved the Third Communist International.

On the different types of "revolutionary war", the Argentine Marxist Nahuel Moreno warns:

- They begin as defensive wars against colonial or fascist totalitarian states, or against occupying armies.
In all known wars, a difficult, tragic situation had to be faced, one of the triumph of fascism or of the occupiers. Colonial wars are somewhat different, since the guerrilla begins against an established power and not against a new phenomenon such as fascism and the occupation of a country. But in any case, they are fighting to overcome a historic defeat, the colonization of their own country, while in other cases they are fighting against an immediate phenomenon. This should not make us mistaken about the defensive character of the beginning of the armed struggle. [7]

During the US imperialism's war of occupation against Iraq, a new type of guerrilla warfare was inaugurated, with its epicenter in the cities, which after two decades of resistance, managed to defeat US imperialism. This new type of "revolutionary war" with its epicenter in 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 an army to pieces. professional in less than three weeks.

Main mistakes of the Russian troops on the battlefront

-The Ukrainian army does not offer a fixed point of attack

Since the advance of the Russian troops, the Ukrainian resistance has searched for the best points of attack, especially the highest areas that allow a better vision and easily locate the attack targets. This is a basic principle in military science that has been fundamental since ancient times. It is no coincidence to find that the fortresses of the original peoples of the whole world are located in the highest parts, since they have a better view of the enemy and can be make better decisions.

The Russian army is advancing at a very fast pace without a correct deployment of infantry, which is the most typical in any war. The lack of this element is one of its main weaknesses, from which the Ukrainian resistance has been able to take advantage.

This without forgetting the moral factor, which weighs heavily in a war, because while many young Russians were tricked to the border with Ukraine, the Ukrainian resistance fights for its historical legacy, for its present and for its future.

- It breaks the fixed supply and fuel lines

This weakness derives from the previous one, coupled with low morale in the invading army, the lack of supplies has forced many Russian soldiers to abandon their tanks, or to look for food in the Ukrainian populations, there is also talk of a phenomenon of desertion in the front, which is difficult to know, since the Kremlin will deny it, even if it is clearly evident.

- Progress is minimal and no major city has been taken

In the first 15 days of the war, and despite the fact that, due to Putin's despair, the indiscriminate bombardments against residential areas, hospitals and schools have failed to double the population or the resistance, in the trenches there is a very optimistic air, despite the destruction that the enemy has wrought.

In this sense: Putin's only success is the destruction of cities through missiles and cutting off their services. But that success is pyrrhic and illusory, because in a war of occupation, or more precisely, in a revolutionary war against an invading army, the one who has the last word is the people in resistance.

- The Ukrainian army is winning the war and is going from being a regular army to a people's army

As we have said, the Ukrainian people's war of resistance is a revolutionary war, large sectors of the population are participating, turning the picnic originally planned by Vladimir Putin into hell, paraphrasing the anarchist Ricardo Flores Magón, the Ukrainian people he is repaying "blood for blood, wound for wound, humiliation for humiliation" and this is more than evident to everyone.

Ukraine comes from a political revolution that cost many lives, the puppet government of Viktor Yanukovych fell as a result of weariness that exacerbated the political crisis as the economic crisis worsened throughout the world, but particularly, in a people that has been historically oppressed, vilified and trampled by practically everyone.

The government of Volodimir Zelensky was approaching a similar scenario, since during the last months prior to the war, there were important strike movements that led the scenario towards a political crisis. The armed victory of the Ukrainian people over the invading troops can hardly turn back to allow the disarmament of the civilian population, that is what NATO and imperialism fear, probably more than Putin himself.

Defeat on the political and economic front

Politically and economically, Russia, or rather the Russian people, bears the brunt. Not to mention the impact that the war is having on the world economy. The economic measures imposed by the United States against Putin and the Russian oligarchy have directly impacted the value of the ruble, which has lost more than 80% of its value and stands at 0.16 Mexican pesos, 0.0075 dollars, 0.0068 Euros.

With the economic blockade it is clear that Russia is not an imperialist country, it does not have the capacity to control capital flows, who dominates them is Wall Street, then France, Germany, Japan, etc., in short, the capitalist countries that make up the G7, of which Russia is far, far behind. The only bargaining chip that Vladimir Putin has in the world economy are missiles and nuclear warheads. The first results of the war are eloquent.

For every day that the Ukrainians resist, things get worse for Russia on the political, economic, and military front. As the war progresses, Russia will be further ruined.

The Russian tycoon owner of DIA Supermarkets affirmed that he "cannot live" because of the Western sanctions: blocked cards and millions in losses.
The Russian tycoon owner of DIA Supermarkets affirmed that he "cannot live" because of the Western sanctions: blocked cards and millions in losses.

The Russian oligarchy, ruined

During the first 4 days of the war, the 21 richest individuals in Russia collectively lost 75 billion euros. Although the tensions prior to the war and the possible economic sanctions began to scare away investors, once the war broke out and the economic sanctions were activated, in a single day, this group of oligarchs lost 35 billion euros. [8]

Despite the fact that the Moscow stock market remained closed, the value of the shares of globally listed Russian companies fell by up to 90%, that is, we are facing a tremendous capital flight.

To cite two examples, Vagit Alekperov, president of the oil company Lukoil, lost 12.5 billion euros in just 4 days; that is, 60% of his fortune. In short, the value of his company's shares plunged about 80% on the London Stock Exchange. For his part, Vladimir Potanin, has lost 5.5 billion euros, the value of the company he chairs, Norilsk Nickel, fell 56% on the London stock market. According to Forbes, by March 3, the 118 richest men in Russia would have lost $126 billion. [9]

List of the top 10 most powerful oligarchs in Russia, and losses up to the fourth day of the war, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index
List of the top 10 most powerful oligarchs in Russia, and losses up to the fourth day of the war, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index

JP Morgan and Wall Street, against economic measures against Russia

JP Morgan & Chase, advocated that Russia not be removed from the Society for Worldwide Interbank and Financial Communications (SWIFT, for its acronym in English). This was confirmed by Jamie Dimon, executive director of JP Morgan in an interview with Bloomberg. The question that arises is: Why is JP Morgan Chase against sanctions against Russia?

The only possible answer is that there are a number of Corporations that have Russian papers; if these collapse, global corporations collapse, in economic jargon they are known as "corporations exposed" to Russia.

The following are the European corporations exposed to Russia: Unicredit (Italy), Societe Generale (France), Raiffeisen (Germany) and CityBank by Wall Street. In other words, if Russia does not pay its debts and papers, this will generate a chain blow to various imperialist corporations, which is why JP Morgan Chase does not want sanctions on Russia.

Vladimir Putin is aware of this, and although many Russian oligarchs have asked him to stop the economic massacre of which they are being prey, because something is true, they are not concerned about the death of millions of people in the war, from hunger or the impact of inflation on the working masses of the whole world, mainly in Russia and the Ukraine.

If removed from SWIFT and defaulted, the Russian crisis could spread to the entire world economy. This is why the European Union refused to remove Russia from the Society for World Financial and Interbank Communications.

But it's not all bad news for Wall Street, as the largest nickel company in the world: Tsingshan Holding Group, of Chinese origin; it lost 8 billion dollars in just 24 hours and went bankrupt, after the war shot up the price of Nickel by 250%.

To avoid bankruptcy, the London Metal Exchange closed its operations, out of the storm, a friend appeared with a top hat and a striped jacket. Who was that friend? Well, none other than JP Morgan & Chase!, from North American origin.

Putin leads Russia into a collective harakiri

The first response of the Central Bank of Russia to Russia's economic measures was to impose capital controls so that Russian companies cannot pay interest or principal on international debts. That means those loans and bonds may soon default.

This will lead to defaults in the West and could even usher in a global liquidity crisis that can only be contained by the Fed's currency swap lines, as we saw in the early stages of the pandemic when markets were crashing. According to the economist James Rickards [10] :

This will lead to defaults in the West and could even usher in a global liquidity crisis that can only be contained by the Fed's currency swap lines, as we saw in the early stages of the pandemic when markets were crashing.

Russia banned the export of more than 200 products after the economy was affected by sanctions after its invasion of Ukraine, however, it did not stop sales of energy and raw materials, as this would end up collapsing the Russian economy. The restrictions cover items previously imported into Russia, from medical equipment and farm machinery to train carriages and turbines.

For its part, JP Morgan & Chase calculates that at the end of the year, the fall in Russian GDP will be -11%, however, other analysts estimate that the impact could be up to -20%.

Currently Russian companies are at auction prices, the main oligarchs of financial capital (Wall Street) are asking for the economic sanctions to be lifted in order to make these purchases in strategic sectors of the Russian economy. At the end of the war, it is likely that we will see a sign saying "Russia for sale" and this will end up strengthening big capital. After all, despite Putin's nuclear arsenal and his artillery, Wall Street can afford to treat it like a banana republic.

La Marx Mexico supporting Ukraine in CDMX
La Marx Mexico supporting Ukraine in CDMX

The international left, bourgeois pacifism and the policy of "supporting neither side"

 During the first days of the war, the Mexican socialists carried out actions to repudiate Putin's occupation war against Ukraine, including a demonstration at the Russian embassy in Mexico on February 26 and a forum-debate March 5.

Regarding this last event, an article appeared in La Izquierda Diario, where he criticized our support for the Ukrainian resistance:

" For the comrade of La Marx who participated in the forum, it is mainly a counterrevolutionary and colonial war against the workers and peoples of Eastern Europe, which goes beyond Ukraine. According to him, Putin's main motivation to invade would be stop the development of the class struggle in that country, where there have been strikes by teachers and miners, LGBTI+ diversity protests, and others, to avoid a scenario like that of Kazakhstan. an intervention similar in content to the one that Russia had in Syria, to support the government of Al Assad against the Kurds From this perspective, it would be necessary to be "with everything" with the resistance of the Ukrainian people against the invasion.

El problema de esta interpretación es que soslaya casi por completo la política expansionista de la OTAN y el papel subordinado a ella del gobierno de Zelenzki, que está recibiendo armas de dicha organización imperialista para "resistir" a la invasión. Así como las sanciones económicas contra Rusia, que afectarán sobre todo a los trabajadores y el pueblo de ese país, y el rearme que, con el pretexto de la guerra en Ucrania, están impulsando las potencias imperialistas." [11]

Although, we must recognize that our first characterization as an international team of La Marx, regarding a possible invasion of Russia in Ukrainian territory was that of "counterrevolutionary war" [12] , a concept that was widely exposed in our first statement before the beginning of the war, we warned that, if carried out, Putin would encounter fierce resistance from the Ukrainian people. Once the invasion has started, the Ukrainian resistance is carrying out a defensive revolutionary war, a concept that we explain in more detail in this statement.

Apart from what was mentioned above, the criticism written by La Izquierda Diario (LID) is striking, since it would not be the first time that the Mexican section of the "Trotskyist Fraction" denies support for an armed resistance struggle of a people under the pretext that "there is a black hand" from North American imperialism, NATO or fascism.

We are referring specifically to the refusal given by the majority of the left worldwide to the revolutionary war carried out by the Kurdish guerrillas against ISIS, a fanatical monstrosity that imposes itself with the methods of civil war (classic of fascist gangs). and mercenaries) sexually abusing, torturing, executing and beheading thousands of women in northern Syria to spread terror and crush the revolution.

For this task, ISIS has had the support of the Turkish government and Vladimir Putin himself, who, in addition to keeping Bashir Al Asaad in power, massacring more than a million people (mainly urban worker guerrillas, mostly not Kurdish) and displacing 7 million more. The pretext of the Trotskyist Fraction and La Izquierda Diario, as well as the majority of the left internationally, is that the Kurdish revolution cannot be supported because it had the support of 100 American soldiers who had a symbolic presence on the Kurdish side. . Since 2019 Donald Trump withdrew US troops and this encouraged the Free Turkish Army, as well as ISIS at the hands of Putin, to resume the war.

Where there is a real danger of fascism, the Trotskyist Fraction looks for the hair in the soup so as not to intervene or support in word or deed... and where there are popular uprisings, they shout fascism [13 ] . That is to say, when there is a revolutionary situation, the Trotskyist Fraction shouts "coup d'état!" and when there is a revolutionary war, they look for a thousand pretexts to turn their backs on the masses.

In the same text of La Izquierda Diario, Santos concludes:

"As much as in his presentation the comrade has stated that eventually the workers and the Ukrainian masses must "turn their weapons against their own bourgeoisie", the examples he gave of what the dynamics of the conflict may be (such as those in Syria or Iraq) , express their vision that it is possible to fight effectively in the current conflict ─in the midst of the policies being carried out by both NATO and Russia─, for the right to self-determination of Ukraine without the need for a workers' policy and leadership and independent socialist, which can only reinforce bourgeois or petty bourgeois leaderships that will never fight consistently for the interests of the workers and the people."

And herein lies the crux of the matter, because while in the forum on March 5 Santos mocked the "vaunted Ukrainian resistance", the Trotskyist Fraction "redirects" its policy, proposing an independent solution to the issue, not only in Aldo's article, but in others on the same subject [14]. The attitude of LID and the majority of the left towards the Ukrainian question is very similar to that of Michel Pablo towards the Maqui resistance.

We say that it is the crux of the matter, because the first task of a workers' party in these conditions is to go out and fight with our class, in the Ukrainian resistance, there are the main unions, from the miners, to referents such as the Independent Union of Ukraine "Zakhist Pratsi", and most likely the Federation of Ukrainian Trade Unions, which has been fighting side by side with the Ukrainian people in the streets since the Maidan revolution, where by the way, most see a "coup", in one of the many occasions where popular insurrections appear as "conspiracies fueled by the right."

As striking is this fact, as striking is that they withdrew from the rally at the Ukrainian embassy on February 26 when they noticed the presence of Gloria Álvarez and she herself tried to start a confrontation between Ukrainians and socialists, who reacted immediately, We were the militants of La Marx México, we stood up to Álvarez's provocation, as well as we began a fraternal dialogue with the Ukrainians who were furious at that moment, because in Álvarez's mouth, we were the equivalent of Satan. It is striking because LID spends its time arguing with Agustín Laje and "far-right characters", so much so that when they are in front of them, they run away. At the February 26 rally, the MTS withdrew even though Álvarez had already done so.

The Pablism of the 21st Century

The first position of the left at the international level in the face of tensions on the Ukrainian-Russian border was to denounce the imminence of the outbreak of the Third World War, once the war broke out, the second position of the left at the international level was to characterize the inter-imperialist conflict, despite the fact that neither Russia nor Ukraine, are imperialist countries. The usefulness of this second position was to be located in the position of Lenin before the First World War, that is, for not supporting any side in the war; However, among the organizations that characterize Russia as an imperialist country, there were those who took a radical turn beyond "no to war", but rather took sides with the attacked people, this was the third position of the international left, starting with the IWL-FI,

However, within the organizations that are for the Russian military defeat and the victory of the Ukrainian resistance, the specter of Pabloite "purism" appears. We refer specifically to the policy of the leadership of the IV International during the Second World War regarding the partisan resistance in Yugoslavia, Italy and France with respect to the maqui resistance. Although Michel Pablo, one of the main leaders of the Fourth International, was inclined to capitulate to popular front governments and had no moral qualms about it, when it came to confronting the Nazi-fascist occupation, he went on to the far left.

Trotskyism and partisan resistance during World War II

French Partisans in occupied France by Hitler's troops

On June 20, 1940, Hitler took Paris and almost half of France was occupied by the fascists. In March 1942, French Trotskyism denounced that the Nazi occupation regime was carrying out a raid (razzia) to recruit the labor force in the territories occupied under a regime of slavery, a monstrous innovation of fascism for capitalist development, which used methods surpassed by history, to super exploit the European proletariat.

In June 1942, the puppet government of Pierre Laval (imposed by the Nazis) announced the enactment of a policy known as la releve (the relay), whereby French workers were invited to volunteer to work in the Nazi Germany, in order to secure the release of French prisoners of war, as things were not going well for Hitler on the eastern front of the war and he needed skilled manpower.

In January 1943, the French government promised to send 250,000 more men and women to Germany, in addition to the 240,000 already in Nazi territory. In February 1943, Laval implemented the Compulsory Work Service (STO), through which 600 to 650,000 French workers were sent to Germany between June 1942 and July 1944. From then on, recruitment would be done by age group. So the resistance became a mass movement.

At the end of December 1942, a handful of men took refuge in the Alps of Haute Savoie, near the border with Switzerland, from there they formed militias to fight the Nazi occupation, in this region they concentrated between 6,000 and 10,000 "refractory", that is, men who opposed the STO, among those thousands, the maqui (guerrilla) resistance was formed.

The Internationalist Workers Party is formed

The Nazi occupation in France, takes the divided Trotskyists, among them, in January 1943, the French Committees of the Fourth International, change their name to Partido Obrero Internacionalista (POI), recognized section of the Fourth International, with Marcel Hic at the head, who enjoys authority both in the POI and in the European Secretariat of the IV.

The leadership of the POI, sympathetic to the maqui resistance, in its press release "La Vérité" of March 31, 1943, praised the French partisans (guerrillas):

Those of Thonon entered, weapons in hand, the vast army of the revolution, with exceptional means and methods of fighting. Let them know - and even if they capitulate tomorrow after the fight - that their fight has a meaning, because it is an aspect of the revolutionary struggle of the whole of Europe".

Consequently, the POI sends Yvan Craipeau to the southern zone to get in touch with activists from the Auberges de jeunesse (youth hostels), which organized the Refractories in Haute Savoie, the objective: to set up a revolutionary maquis and create a school for party military cadres in the Thonon region.

Faced with the refusal of both the allies (mainly the United States and Great Britain), as well as Senator Charles De Gaulle to provide them with weapons, the maquis accept the help of the Trotskyists. On May 17, 1943, the National Council of Resistance (CNR) was created, promoted by Jean Moulin, De Gaulle's representative in France. The POI authorized several of its militants to participate in the resistance, Pierre Kahn became secretary of the CNR, having as a deputy a militant close to the party, Claude Kilian.

Meanwhile, the political bureau of the POI, sent Marcel Hic to establish regular relations with Moulin, to establish technical collaboration and an exchange of information against the political police of the Nazis: the GESTAPO. The POI lent its premises and two full-time militants to the United Resistance Movements (MUR) and the CNR, the party understood the urgency of arming the proletariat, on March 31, 1943, one could read in La Verité:
"The Allies will bring arms first: it would be unworthy of the revolutionaries to reject them, because without arms the fight against imperialism, whatever it may be, is impossible." [16]

Sectarian tendencies within the POI and the European Secretariat of the IV

In February 1943, a document called "Go back to Lenin" appeared, signed by the "Internationalist Opposition" (OI), which survived from the time of the French Committees of the Fourth International. The document accuses "the realization of an opportunist revisionist line followed by the leadership", posing the issue in terms of "petit bourgeois nationalism or proletarian internationalism", denying France and Belgium as "oppressed peoples", when there was a Nazi occupation! and an ongoing fascist reaction! From this absurd approach, they deny the need for the slogans of national liberation and the right to self-determination.

This, at the same time that they rejected collaboration with the Gaullists, because for them, the main task was not the defeat of Hitler but "the defeat of capitalism." Therefore, the Trotskyists had to choose between "fighting for democratic freedoms" or "for the socialist revolution", posing a false dilemma. For the Internationalist Opposition, "the democratic program is the Blum program."

It was clear then that the OI lived on a very different planet from that of millions of workers throughout Europe, who were fighting with all their might to regroup to defeat fascism. The leadership of the POI adopted Leon Trotsky's program in the fight against Fascism: a united front policy with the social democracy, the Stalinist parties and all those willing to defeat Hitler, Trotsky's policy could be summarized as follows: In the fight against fascism it is lawful to make pacts with the devil and if it is necessary, with his grandmother.

Despite the petty-bourgeois opposition within the POI, Marcel Hic continued to occupy a dominant position both in the POI and in the European Secretariat of the IV. The Belgian section, headed by Mandel, supported his theses on the national question, in a bulletin March 1943, we can find a memorandum entitled: "Sterile and fatalistic sectarianism, an infantile disease of Trotskyism", where Mandel, Jan Stutje and Abraham de León maintain that the Trotskyists' propaganda should not start from programmatic abstractions, but from the needs of the masses and connect their immediate demands with the socialist objectives:

" Let us once again take this national question, so often discussed. The position of the sectarians is quite simple: the masses are "nationalists" and they are wrong.
We say that, on the contrary, the proletariat must use all the forces that are directed against the currently dominant imperialism in Europe, on which the entire capitalist order in Europe rests. We say that in the event of a "national" revolt, the proletariat must support the movement, that is, it must strive to take the direction of the struggle and transform the "national revolt" into a proletarian revolution." [17] .

The POI held its first Congress in June 1943, following the mandate of the national conference in January. About thirty delegates from different regions met in the Grand Morin valley, although Marcel Hic was absent, the national leadership was represented by Yvan Craipeau, Marcel Gibelin, David Rousset and Émile Guikovaty, while the European Secretariat was represented by Michalis Raptis and Michel Paul.

The manifesto of the first congress of the POI was drawn up shortly before the fall of Mussolini and the outbreak of the revolution in Italy in July 1943, in the words of Craipeau, the document was loaded with "democratic and national slogans", as well as those of opposition within the party.

The criticisms of the leadership of the POI were supported by the European Secretariat of the IV, under the aegis of Pablo, in July 1943, the body adopted a resolution calling for the holding of a European conference to reunite all tendencies, factions or parties that claim to be Trotskyists under the leadership of the Fourth International.

The Gestapo beheads the PCI

Gestapo, the political police of the Nazi regime
Gestapo, the political police of the Nazi regime

Charles de Gaulle's envoy to build the National Defense Committee, Jean Moulin was arrested on June 21, 1943. On October 31 of the same year, four members of the POI leadership are arrested by the Gestapo in Paris: Marcel Hic , David Rousset, Roland Filiâtre, as well as Yvan Craipeau, Filiâtre is tortured and Craipeau manages to escape, the latter affirmed that in those years, the POI had 300 to 400 militants, most of them young people between 18 and 25 years old, a hundred of them of whom would be detained, many of whom did not return, of whom never returned from the Nazi concentration camps, including Marcel Hic, Yves Bodenez, and Georges Berthomé.

This raid was a very hard blow for the POI, since it lost three of the 5 members of its leadership, which weakened it not only quantitatively, but also qualitatively and politically. As three of the most prominent leaders were absent, the POI came closer to the Pabloite-oriented International Communist Committee. Of course, Michel Pablo would not miss this opportunity to unify all the French tendencies and establish his hegemony in the European Provisional Secretariat of the Fourth International.

The European Conference of January 1944 and the defeat of the Nazis

In January 1944, a European conference of the Fourth International met in the municipality of Saint-Germain-la-Poterie, in the Oise department of northern France. It lasted 6 days and was attended by 15 delegates from France, Germany, Belgium and Greece.

The conference criticized both the positions of the POI on the national question and the "schematics" of the CCI, adopting the "Theses on the liquidation of the second imperialist war and the revolutionary rise", written by Pablo, which they denounced as "a crude slogan and the slogan of the "national insurrection" is misleading, which in his opinion was actually intended to "cover up the transfer of the leadership of the military and police apparatus to another leadership of the same ilk."

In other words, Pablo's theses renounce taking sides in the partisan resistance and the mass movement against fascism in Germany, Italy, Yugoslavia and all the places where the partisan phenomenon of combat against fascism took place, that is, the theses de Pablo turn their backs on the European masses.

The consequences of these theses were disastrous for the Fourth International, since by giving up fighting for the military direction of the war and having a mass influence, the IV found itself condemned to marginality for decades. Instead, the Stalinist parties that took sides in the partisan camp, ended the war with millions of militants in their ranks, even with power in Italy after the fall of Mussolini.

Faced with the inevitable fall of fascism in Germany, Italy and Japan, Stalin sits down to negotiate with Churchill and Roosevelt the Yalta and Potsdam agreements, where he promises not to encourage more revolutions in the imperialist countries and return power to their respective bourgeoisies. , as it does in France, Italy and Germany, obtaining in exchange, several territories in Eastern Europe. As a guarantee of his word, he dissolved the Fourth International.

According to the Argentine Trotskyist, Nahuel Moreno, in his work on the "Revolutions of the XXI Century":

"World War II was, as we have already said, a revolutionary war of the Red Army against Hitler's counterrevolutionary army. It must be specified whether the allied armies, despite them, did not also play a progressive role, since the defeat Hitler's was the most colossal revolutionary triumph in all of human history.
During World War II, guerrilla warfare became popular to confront the fascists and the occupying Nazi armies. In the immediate postwar period, urban struggles and the proletariat reappeared, playing a role of preponderant importance. Thus, the urban revolutions began again, but none managed to expropriate the bourgeoisie. On the contrary, if many revolutions caused by civil or national wars did."

The partisan phenomenon, understood as a guerrilla that confronts an invading army or an illegitimate government, arose in the heat of the Second World War, had many expressions, from the maquis in France, the anti-Franco guerrillas in Spain, as well as in Albania that fought against the Italian occupation between 1939 and 1943, the partisans in Yugoslavia in the fight against the Axis Powers in the Balkans, the Italian partisans in the fight against Benito Mussolini, the German partisans in the fight against Hitler, where they were from trade unionists, to Jews persecuted by the Nazis, not to mention the Red Army, which played a decisive role in the defeat of fascism in Germany.

Faced with the inevitable fall of fascism in Germany, Italy and Japan, before the end of World War II, Stalin sits down to negotiate with Churchill and Roosevelt the Yalta and Potsdam agreements, where he promises not to encourage more revolutions in the imperialist countries. and return power to their respective bourgeoisies, as it does in France, Italy and Germany, obtaining in exchange, various territories in Eastern Europe. As a guarantee of his word, he dissolved the Third International.

This is how the greatest betrayal of the world proletariat by not only Stalinism, but Pabloism, was consummated, which condemned the Fourth International to be a sect without mass influence.

For a workers', socialist and internationalist party for Ukraine

In a recent statement, as the International Marx Team, we affirm that:

"The Ukrainian capitalists and bourgeois are incapable of guaranteeing the independence of Ukraine. Their interests are to do business and profit together with imperialist capital. But the Ukrainian national liberation war has an anti-capitalist dynamic, because it confronts the capitalist oligarchs of the region .

That is why it is necessary that, at the same time that we confront Putin's troops, we confront Zelensky's policy. We never confuse the people's struggle with his leadership. In Palestine, we do not confuse the just struggle of his people with the reactionary leadership of the PLO, Hamas, or Hezbollah."

We never confuse the struggle of the Catalan people with the reactionary leadership of Carles Puidgemont, or the struggle of the Nicaraguan people with Sandinismo. We participate and are part of the revolutionary process, fighting for an alternative revolutionary politics to the Zelensky leadership that is occasionally at the forefront of this fight." [17]

The tradition that we claim is that of León Trotsky, James Cannon and Nahuel Moreno, our current has participated in revolutionary wars such as the one waged in Nicaragua against Anastasio Somoza at the end of the 80's, although at the moment, the main task of Ukrainian workers is the defeat of the invading army, this cannot mean even a millimeter of support for the government of Volodimir Zelensky.

Like Marcel Hic, we consider that it would be unworthy of the revolutionaries to reject their weapons in a liberation war, because they come from imperialist countries, we affirm that the role of NATO in this conflict is cowardly and criminal, since the support for the Ukrainian resistance has been very limited, although it exists, in the streets of Ukraine there is an atmosphere of disappointment that has led Zelensky to publicly renounce joining NATO and is calling on Vladimir Putin to negotiate.

The disappointment of NATO among the Ukrainian masses must be taken advantage of by the revolutionaries of the whole world, but above all, by the Ukrainian socialist revolutionaries. Until now, there are more than 20,000 volunteer fighters from 52 countries, through the International Legion, who are fighting side by side with the Ukrainian people, most of these fighters come from European countries, especially from neighboring countries of Ukraine. Ukraine, although delegations from Mexico, the United States and Colombia have also been seen arriving.

In this regard, it is necessary to say that although the struggle faces the aggression of a capitalist country that represents the interests of the Russian oligarchy and this dynamic is anti-capitalist due to its praxis; the socialist tasks of the revolutionary war will not sprout by themselves, for this a program and a socialist party are necessary, this was the program that the combatants of the Simón Bolívar Brigade gave themselves during the Nicaraguan revolution, at the fall of Somocism, the The first tasks of this classist detachment were:

- Organize more than seventy unions in Managua

- Preach the taking of all lands

- Organize militias in the neighborhoods of Managua and in Bluefields

- Sometimes describing the leaders of the FNLS as reactionaries

What earned him the expulsion of the Nicaraguan country, according to Tomás Borge, one of the main Sandinista leaders, Simón Bolívar and his fighters: "They adopted ultra-left and indiscipline positions that were creating problems for the Sandinista revolution." Before the triumph of the FSLN, its leadership had made a commitment to the Nicaraguan bourgeoisie, the Central American governments and the clergy, so that Nicaragua would remain within the framework of capitalism and private property of the means of production would be respected upon the triumph of the revolution. that is to say, that there would be no expropriations, worker control of production, or land seizures, for this, it was essential to banish and dismantle the Simón Bolívar Brigade.

Currently, in Ukraine, the government has made all the workers sign an agreement in which they agree to return their weapons, we revolutionaries are against these measures, because it is really what the Russian government is so afraid of, like NATO itself: to the arming of the proletariat and its independent political organization, because at any moment it can threaten the sacred holy private property over the means of production.

It is the task of all socialists, trade unionists and the feminist movement at the international level to support the Ukrainian resistance and stand in solidarity with the Russian people who today live in the grip of a satrap who is leading both the Russian and Ukrainian masses into a dead end. way out, where the only alternative is the revolution, turn the weapons against the respective bourgeoisies of each country and carry out the socialist revolution.

We are for the revolutionary war of national liberation, the fall of Putin, Zelensky and the Russian oligarchs, for a Ukraine independent of NATO, based on the revolutionary government of the workers in arms!

For a socialist federation in Eastern Europe and the fall of Vladimir Putin!

Socialist revolution, or more capitalist barbarism!

March 21, 2022

Leave your Message