Free Boris Kagarlisky !

Boris Kagarlisky
Boris Kagarlisky

La Marx International

Boris Kagarlitsky was arrested on July 25, 2023 in the Russian Federation on charges of "justification of terrorism" by the Vladimir Putin regime. He was transferred to Syktyvkar in the Komi Republic on July 26 by the Federal Security Service (FSB).

Kagarlitsky is a professor at the Moscow Higher School of Social and Economic Sciences. His arrest is part of a huge arrest raid that the Putin regime is carrying out in the Russian Federation against opponents. Beyond our political differences with Boris Kagarlitsky, we demand his immediate freedom.

As we have explained in different articles, Putin's defeat is changing the world because on the one hand it has opened a political crisis for the invaders' regime with public disputes between the high command of the army, while the people of Russia have turned their backs on the recruitments called by Putin. The Russian Federation is slowly sinking into an economic, social, and military crisis in the midst of global political isolation, which has opened the perspective of its disintegration because the peoples under Putin's boot begin to rise up and organize resistance in numerous republics following the Ukrainian example.

A wave of arrests by Putin's oligarchy

The military defeat is causing serious fractures and fissures in Putin's political regime, and the crisis extends within the "silovik" space , the sector of the oligarchy that began its career from the public or military security services. These officers of the former KGB, GRU, FSB, the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), or other armed forces that came to power, constitute the heart of the political regime of Putin's capitalist oligarchy. To silence the discontent, the regime has launched a wave of arrests against all opponents, both those who oppose the war and those who support it but raise their voices questioning the military high command, blaming them for the defeat.

On June 24, 2023 Yevgueni Prigozhin, Head of the Wagner Mercenary Group owned by Putin, took up arms against the high command of the army whose main officials are the Minister of Defense Shoigu, and the Chief of the General Staff Gerasimov . The Wagner Group denounced the loss of more than 30,000 men in the battle of Bakhmut, which left Putin's best troops practically pulverized. Prigozhin at the head, his men moved several kilometers towards Moscow, and although the Wagner Group finally put down the uprising, Prigozhin 's rebellion exposed to the entire world the serious political, social, and military crisis in which the regime of Putin's oligarchy finds itself.

After the Prigozhin rebellion at least 15 Russian officers were removed from their posts, and 13 were detained to testify. The internal security service of the Russian Federation detained several high-ranking military officers including Sergei Surovikin who was detained on June 28, 2023. Surovikin headed the Aerospace Forces, the Russian Military Police, the Group of Forces in Syria, and starting from On October 8, 2022, he had become the commander of all Putin's forces in Ukraine. On July 15, 2023, the Russian military command fired the commander of the 106th Guards Airborne Division (VDV), Major General Vladimir Seliverstov, who had expressed his discontent about conditions in areas where forces are defending against operations. Ukrainian counteroffensive.

Seliverstov's dismissal is part of an ongoing purge of unruly commanders and expresses the corrosion of the chain of command of Putin's army in Ukraine. On July 13, the commander-general of the 58th Combined Arms Army Ivan Popov was dismissed on charges of "insubordination" , then Colonel-General Mikhail Teplinsky was dismissed, and later the commander of the "Vostok" battalion Alexander Khodakovsky. The High Command of the occupying army began to replace commanders they perceived as insubordinate with loyal figures.

Sergei Surovikin and Vladimir Putin
Sergei Surovikin and Vladimir Putin

The whereabouts of both Surovikin and Popov are currently unknown, both soldiers are missing. The regime also punished Lieutenant General Andrei Gurulev, a Russian State Duma deputy and former deputy commander of the Southern Military District. Russian authorities arrested on July 14, 2023, a former Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) officer, Colonel Mikhail Polyakov, who ran several popular Telegram channels.

On July 21, 2023, Russia's Deputy Minister of Digital Development Maxim Parshin was arrested on charges of "bribery" stating that the FSB is also fighting to gain control of the Telegram social network, and control of the Russian Federation's social networks. The crisis within the regime has also expressed itself in a battle for control of the information space and secret information between the different factions of the oligarchy that controls the Russian Federation. Following the arrest of Boris Kagarlisky, the regime arrested on July 21, 2023 Igor Strelkov, former Minister of Defense of the Donetsk People's Republic and founder of the "Club of Angry Patriots" (APC), a veteran of the Russian army and former officer of the Federal Security Service (FSB) who played a key role in the annexation of Crimea and in the Donbass War as an organizer of militant groups of the Donetsk People's Republic. It is within this framework of purges, expulsions, and "wave of arrests" that Boris Kagarlisky has been arrested.

           Boris Kagarlisky: From "Decoupling" to the harsh reality of Putin's dictatorship

Law enforcement forces transported Kagarlitsky to Syktyvkar, a remote city 1,000 kilometers north of Moscow. The court hearing was held in private the next day, and even Kagarlitsky's lawyer was unable to attend due to a shortage of airline tickets. The charges against Boris Kagarlitsky are based solely on one of his Telegram posts, in which he discusses the Ukrainian attack on the Crimean bridge on October 8, 2022, where there is no justification for such an arbitrary detention. Various leftist groups reacted to Kagarlitsky's arrest with a public campaign in his defense and numerous publications, pamphlets and meetings are being planned.

Kagarlitsky was jailed in 1982 along with other members of a group of "Young Socialists" who opposed the Stalinist dictatorship of the Soviet Union (USSR). In recent years, Kagarlitsky has suffered various arrests and sanctions for his activism, such as in 2020, when he organized a demonstration against the reform of the Russian Constitution that allowed Putin to be re-elected to his fifth presidential term. Or in 2021, when he used social networks to call protests against electoral fraud. In May 2022, Boris was labeled a "foreign agent" , however Kagarlitsky did not flee the country and did not leave the public sphere, responding that the decision to charge him was political:"I categorically disagree with the charges I face ... The statement I'm accused of dates back to October of last year. I mean, it took them 10 months to incriminate me, even though it all came out on the internet."

Kagarlitsky 's arrest has sparked a heated debate about solidarity and whether Kagarlitsky deserves it, given his previous statements that in 2014 when the Maidan Square revolution took place in Ukraine, he was an enthusiastic supporter of the annexation of Crimea. by Putin in 2014 and by pro-Russian separatist movements in the Donbas, and saw some progressive "anti-imperialist" features in those events. The website he ran, Rabkor, did the same, arguing that "the way to end the civil war in Ukraine is through... (Kiev's recognition of) defeat in its war against the rebellious southeast ," i.e., Kagarlisky supported the"people's republics" created by Putin in Donbas.

At this time, Kagarlitsky became a frequent guest on state television, commenting on Russia's military operations in the Donbas, and his new environment came to be dominated by people associated with Russia's so-called "patriotic left ," which often involved conservative and pro-oppression Ukrainian positions. Kagarlisky supported the "Decoupling Theory" which grounds the actions of Putin's oligarchy as a confrontation between "the global periphery and the global center ".

In this analysis, Putin became a kind of vanguard of the anti-imperialist struggle, supposedly helping the Global South to free itself from the hegemony of the West.Kagarlitsky also expressed his hope that the Russian regime would end neoliberalism and transform into a more progressive system. But by 2017 it began to become clear that all the "Decoupling" quackery was unrealistic and that such a position was simply left-wing support for the Putin regime. Kagarlisky began to review his views and began to support demonstrations against the oligarchy that controls the Russian Federation.

He clashed with political leaders who applauded the Russian police's fierce crackdown on youth protests that raised the need to overthrow Russia's top officials and Putin himself. Kagarlitsky also responded to Putin's remarks that purported to portray Russia as a "besieged fortress" as ridiculous self-justifications by a corrupt regime. In 2020, he supported the large protests against Lukashenko in Belarus and called for solidarity with his neighbors. In 2021 he supported protests in defense of opposition leader Alexey Navalny , who had been detained upon his return from abroad, and called for his release, and when Putin began his full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

Kagarlitsky immediately took a stand against the aggression, calling it a sinister adventure by the regime and has posted anti-war content from his YouTube channel and Kagarlitsky's Rabkor website. Kagarlitsky's activities became dangerous for the authorities because they created rallying points for a wide range of opposition to the war, and specifically for those who remained in Russia.

Despite the fact that Kagarlitsky has not reneged on his previous positions, we must fight for his freedom. Regardless of his past political positions with which we disagree, to defend Kagarlisky's freedom is to deny all legitimacy to the actions of the dictatorship of the capitalist oligarchs. Kagarlisky's adherence to the "Decoupling" theory" shows the disaster to which that theory leads and the high price paid by those who support it. But neither the wrong positions nor the mistakes of the past matter when he faces a dictatorship like Putin's, beyond the fact that many do not forgive him for his past behavior, but now he is arrested for his actions against war. And that deserves international solidarity.

NATO delays and hinders Ukraine's counteroffensive

As of June 8, 2023, the course of the war has completely changed, and it is now Ukraine that has the offensive, expelling the occupiers from its territory. Every day the forces liberate territory, expropriate war material, and infrastructure supported by a structure of millions of people who provide support to the actions of the Ukrainian army. In the occupied territories, partisan organizations have sprung up that sabotage, attack, and act as spies to indicate precisely where the bombardments against installations of the occupying troops should be carried out. Contrary to what the imperialist governments of Joe Biden of United States, Emanuel Macron of France, or Olaf Scholz of Germany declare every day that are shown as suppliers of arms and resources to Ukraine, the reality is very different.

The main obstacle that the Ukrainian army encounters in its task of National Liberation is not Putin's troops, nor the weaknesses of the Ukrainian army, but the deliberate action of NATO in refusing to provide the Ukrainian troops with the necessary weapons. NATO has been following the perfidious policy of refusing to provide Ukraine with weapons when reality requires it, or belatedly, giving Putin's troops time to recondition, recover from their defeats, and fortify themselves, which results in a extension of the war, and a greater number of deaths of the people of Ukraine. ´Very serious works have emerged that demonstrate this reality of NATO policy, but these works do not come from anti-NATO Marxist or anti-imperialist circles, but from NATO supporters themselves.

The work of Brady Africk, an analyst in the Department of Foreign and Defense Policy Research at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) in a publication in The Washington Post on July 31 demonstrates with satellite imagesthat delays in military support are prolonging the war and costing the lives of Ukrainian soldiers. Brady Africk's work testifies that NATO's policy of refusing to provide the necessary weapons hinders the successful advancement of the Ukrainian Defense Forces. He is surprised that the criticism of NATO's policy comes from neoconservative institutions such as AEI, which have historically been bastions of NATO's defense, but the reality is more compelling than any ideological position.

Brady Africa recalled that on September 4, 2022, Ukraine requested Western tanks, but received them only six months later. During those 6 months the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation managed to strengthen power in the captured territories and built hundreds of kilometers of fortifications. In the city of Tokmak in the Zaporizhzhia region, the Russian occupiers managed to barricade all major roads for two months. When the tanks were delivered to Ukraine, according to satellite data, the city was already surrounded by the fortifications of the invaders.

This situation opened a political crisis between NATO and the Ukrainian government. On July 11, when NATO rejected Ukraine's membership, Zelensky called the decision of the imperialist leaders "absurd" : "This means that a window of opportunity is being left open to negotiate Ukraine's NATO membership in negotiations with Russia. And for Russia this means a reason to continue terror ," added the Ukrainian president. From La Marx International we strongly oppose the Zelensky government's policy of joining NATO because it means a loss of sovereignty for the Ukrainian people.

We point out that the policy of denying Ukraine entry into NATO, as well as the belated and limited provision of weapons is a slap in the face of the capitalist government of Ukraine, and the pro-capitalist leadership of the Ukrainian army. This prompted the statement of General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, General in Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, who on July 14, 2023, in a report for the Washington Post, clearly stated that Ukraine's ammunition supply is limited, and that troops Putin shoot three more times a day.

Valerii Zaluzhnyi denounced in that report that the NATO governments, alleging fears of intensifying the war with Russia, have placed a condition for the delivery of long-range missiles and other material that they have provided so far: they cannot be used to attack Russian soil . Zaluzhny stated that he is completely against such a NATO policy: "To save my people, why do I have to ask someone for permission on what to do in enemy territory?" Zaluzhny makes clear the sinister policy of NATO denying resources to Ukraine, or sending them belatedly, while Putin carries out daily genocide against the civilian population : "For some reason, I have to think that I am not allowed to do anything there.Because? Because Putin... will use nuclear weapons? Children who are dying don't care."

For what reason was this crisis opened between the imperialist governments of NATO and the government of Ukraine? Why does NATO accept into its midst countries like Latvia, which are small and not at war, and does not accept Ukraine? Why does NATO send weapons late and limited? For two reasons. The first is that the Ukrainian army is a National Liberation army.

It is an army that is rejecting the occupation, the killing, mass kidnapping of children and torture of an occupying army. It is an army that is defending the right to national independence. The character of being a National Liberation Army makes it an army with a popular base, which has the active support of millions of workers and popular sectors, which accepts and permanently collaborates with partisan and guerrilla activities.

Although it is a bourgeois army, with a bourgeois leadership, that character permeates all its actions, including reserving the right to make decisions on its own account, receive weapons from where it best suits it, and dispose of that weapon as it sees fit without imposition. from another foreign government. NATO will never accept into its midst a country with an army of these characteristics.

Hence the statements of Valery Zaluzhny to the Washington Post: "This is our problem, and it is up to us to decide how to kill this enemy. It is possible and necessary to kill on its territory in a war. If our partners are afraid to use their weapons, we will kill with our own. " And even as sections of NATO oppose Ukraine's retaking Crimea, even as some Western officials privately worry about what Putin's response would be if Ukrainian troops ever arrived to the territory Zaluzhny declares: "As soon as I have the means, I will do something. I don't give a damn, no one will stop me"

This is also how the statements by Oleksiy Danilov are understood , on the air of the telethon on August 1, 2023, where he made it clear that Ukraine is not going to ask other countries for permission on how and where to use weapons that were produced on its territory. This was stated: "We will not leave these terrorists alone until they leave the territory of our country. We will not ask anyone how to use weapons that are produced on the territory of our country to destroy the aggressor where we deem it necessary, be it Moscow . , whether in other populated areas, whether in St. Petersburg... We will not ask anyone's permission for this"

The second reason why NATO sends weapons late and limitedis that no imperialist government is in favor of the fall of Putin. And as we have seen, the Ukrainian advance, and the defeats have opened a huge crisis in the regime of the capitalist oligarchy of the Russian Federation. The fall of that regime is a huge blow to capitalism globally, since Putin has managed to consolidate an immense region of the world for capitalist profits for decades based on consolidating a prison of peoples that is the Russian Federation. The fall of the Russian Federation is not a policy of NATO, nor of global imperialism, which is why, objectively and beyond its intentions, NATO's strategy collides and contradicts the strategy of the government and the Ukrainian army.

Free Boris Kagarlisky!

We Marxists fight for the military triumph of the Ukrainian people, and for the fall of Putin's dictatorship. As part of that fight we are for the Freedom of Boris Kagarlitsky regardless of the differences we have with him in relation to his past positions. We must fight for your freedom from Kagarlisky as part of our battle in defense of democratic freedoms and against the actions of the dictatorship of the capitalist oligarchs. But neither the wrong positions nor the mistakes of the past matter when facing a dictatorship like Putin's, which is why the fight for his immediate freedom requires and deserves the broadest international solidarity.

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