Say No To Imperialist War! Let Us Meet Imperialist Wars with Revolutionary Wars!May 31, 2022
Say No To Russian Attack On Ukrainian People! Rise To Fight to Stop And Reverse It Now!
Editorial Board, 27th Feb 2022
Russian military attack on Ukraine is but an outcome of a smouldering Imperialist Conflict of a very complicated nature that has been continuing between Russian imperialists on the one hand and the US/NATO on the other, almost since the collapse and disintegration of the erstwhile Soviet Social Imperialism in the late 1991. Russia’s past is linked to this very Soviet Social imperialism, once the most ferocious super power whose global empire collapsed and its vast territory disintegrated completely in 1991 giving rise to 15 independent countries and republics. The present day Russian imperialism is but a shadow of its past i.e. it is much weakened as compared to its past. Nevertheless, it is an imperialist country led by big monopolies whose main ambition is to establish worldwide hegemony of its own and thus regain its lost territories and past imperial glory. We can see it has been slowly recovering from its weaknesses on economic front and has already regained its military strength and prowess in recent years, particularly since Putin, who belongs to the time of Soviet social Imperialism, came to power with openly stated imperial ambitions. We can see its enhanced striking power in its direct assault against NATO-backed Georgia in 2008 and also against the US-backed Ukraine in Crimea in 2014 showing its bold imperialist intentions loud and clear. It also showed its imperialist power to openly counter the US/NATO combine through direct actions in Syria in recent past through its bases in black and Mediterranean Sea. This is an open hint to the US/NATO forces and their allies that Russia will no longer tolerate its encirclement in the east. It is for fulfilling this end that it is engaged in serious warship maneuvers with the US and the UK via Ukraine in the black sea. These things amply prove that it has the same expansionist ambitions as the US or any other imperialist power of the world. We therefore can’t run away from this conclusion that although the Russian military attack on Ukraine is provoked by the threats of US-led NATO’s expansion to Russian Borders jeopardising its security on the east; and although US/ NATO combine is the main culprit in fomenting this whole behind-the-scene episode of present day Russian invasion on Ukraine, yet it is not to be forgotten that what Russia has resorted to is an imperialist military attack, and it is no way for the benefit of the people belonging to either Russia or Ukraine. This military intervention is only for the sake of those benefits that are to be served to the Russian big capitalist-imperialist monopolies. Therefore, the conflict raging over Ukraine joining or not joining NATO is a conflict between two imperialist camps for capturing territories and hence there arises no question of supporting the Russian military attack, no matter whatever be the provocations from the US and NATO. We therefore demand immediate cessation of violence and military attack on Ukraine.
Given this nature and history of conflict between the US/NATO and Russia on the question of future of Ukraine, the fact that Russian military intervention in Ukraine has come as a response to the ever rising US/NATO’s fascist threat to its security on eastern borders makes no sufficient reasons for supporting the Russian military invasion on Ukraine. Similarly, the fact that the political regime in Ukraine is a fascist regime also doesn’t make it incumbent on us to support the Russian attack which is basically an imperialist attack i.e. an attack with imperialist ambitions and plans, even though outwardly it may look like a step taken in self-defence, demilitarisation and defascisation of Ukraine as well as in the light of severe Russian security concerns on the eastern borders where the US-led NATO forces and their allies have been cementing their positions close to Russian borders to encircle Russia in future from more than one directions and sides. The detailed and complete history of the conflict proves this beyond doubt. It is highly interesting to note here is that some of the CPRF (Communist Party of Russian Federation) MPs are now saying that they had supported the Putin’s proposal of military intervention thinking that the Army was being sent to protect Russian speaking people of Donetsk and Luhansk of Donbas region and not to attack the whole of Ukraine and capture it. They feel having been cheated by Putin. But for the CPRF leader Gennady Zyuganov this act of cheating is a usual thing in politics and not a matter of principle, and accordingly he stands by Putin even if it is now amply clear that Putin is on imperialist trail.
A Brief History Of The Conflict
The Ukrainian crisis that has taken a decisive turn on 24th of Feb 2022 towards the final retreat of diplomacy and the beginning of military confrontation between Russia and Ukraine, hasn’t appeared all at once. It had been in the making for over more than a decade. A detailed study of how it grew in present form is quite illuminating and proves both – the imperialist nature of this conflict as well as the US/NATO being the main perpetrator of this conflict and agents of provocation.
In 1989, after the fall of the Berlin Wall in late-1989, when the US needed Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev’s cooperation to ”help ease the way for German unification”, Mr. Gorbachev was assured that “there would be no extension of NATO’s jurisdiction one inch to the east.” But, as expected, the US didn’t keep its promise and after the USSR broke up into 15 independent countries in the end of 1991, the newly independent Baltic and central European states were allowed to join the US-led NATO, even though this expansion took NATO very close to the Russian borders in the east. Later, NATO adopted an ‘open door’ policy. Any country could join NATO without any restriction. That is why we see that beginning from 1999, 14 new members were added. This is the reason that Russia is now demanding to re-establish pre-1999 status. Later, more such developments took place, when in 2008 at the NATO summit, at US President George Bush’s behest, the door of NATO was opened also for Ukraine and Georgia, even though France and Germany were conscious of Russian concerns and opposed when a time frame of their entry was being defined and decided.
So a solid ground for a serious future crisis on the issue of Ukraine was thus laid in 2008 itself. The first ever repercussion of this came in 2008, itself when Russia led an intervention in Georgia “on the grounds of protecting the Russian minorities” and snatched its northern provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The second intervention came in 2014, in which she annexed Crimea which is vital for Russia as control on its peninsula provides her Black Sea naval forces an access not only to the Mediterranean but also to her bases (at Latakia and Tartus) in Syria. Thirdly, Russia also intervened in Russian-dominated Donetsk and Luhansk in the Donbas region.
In response to these Russia-led repercussions, the US/NATO did two very important things that alarmed Russia to a new state of emergency security concerns at its borders with Ukraine as well as in the black sea. Firstly, in 2019, UK concluded a cooperation agreement with Ukraine to develop two more naval ports, one on black sea and other on the sea of Azov. Secondly, NATO raised Ukraine to the level of an Enhanced Opportunity Partner in 2020 after which British and US began to increase the number of their warships in the Black Sea. Both of these US/NATO moves were dangerously alarming for Russia that saw in these moves extremely potential threats to its security. The Russian monopolists became restless to challenge these moves at whatever cost.
Actually, the Russian imperialists’ grievances against the US/NATO were accumulating since the very beginning i.e. since 1999 itself, the year in which NATO’s bombing of Serbia took place. Russia resented and made her grievances publicly known but couldn’t do anything to intervene in this. They were also opposed to the US interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, but again they could do nothing to stop it. They saw with restlessness and anger that the US unilaterally withdrew from the ABM Treaty (Anti-Ballistic Missile ABM Treaty) in 2002 and at same time took up missile defence deployments in Poland and Romania. Russia had too much objection to it as she perceived it as highly offensive against its security, but again could not do anything except showing resentment.
After the incidents of 2014, France and Germany were alarmed at Russian restlessness and therefore had started a separate channel of European diplomacy to address Russian security concerns. This proved to be the last diplomatic efforts to assuage Russian feeling related to her severe security concerns. France and Germany together initiated talks involving four countries France, Germany, Ukraine and Russia ”under the Normandy format” that finally led to the Minsk agreements, in 2014 and 2015. The overall aim of these two Minsk agreements was to achieve a situation of conflict prevention on the basis of an agreement on security concerns between Ukraine, Russia, the two separatist regions of Luhansk and Donetsk and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Even this had failed to deliver desired results.
France and Germany both tried to revive these agreements before Russian military attacked Ukraine. But despite the best possible efforts of French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Schulz, who took up back to back diplomatic visit to Moscow and Kyiv in the heat of intense display of diplomacy during the last days efforts to avoid military conflict between Russia and Ukraine, to revive this Normandy Format, these agreements couldn’t be revived. Russia was then in no mood to relax the tension and retract.
One thing is extraordinarily noteworthy in these threatening moves taken up and initiated by Russia. Russia through this war has clearly hinted that she is hell bent on establishing full control on the Sea of Azov. Therefore she won’t like to retract from war as she is feverishly seeking to build a coastal corridor to the Crimean Peninsula along the Black Sea coast. This will also restrict Ukraine to Odessa and its within. In this particular move, Russia’s intention is to extend her control up to the regions of Syria. This clearly explains the imperialist ambitions of Russia.
Such a determined move from Russia naturally came as highly unexpected and highly threatening for the Baltic states and central European states, the new members of NATO. This has made the Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania (Baltic states) as well as Poland and Romania (central European states) lose their nerves, while on the other hand, the foreseeable victory of the Russian imperialists in this war has probably brought cheers on the faces of those who have eagerly waited all these three decades to see the US/NATO having been brought on their knees. It may also have brought happiness to those who longed to see formidable challenge emerging from some quarters against the most heinous and aggressive marauders of the present time, the US-led NATO and their nefarious fascist partners in Ukraine as well as elsewhere in the world. It nevertheless amounts to an imperialist military intervention and aggression that is primarily led by the very purpose of providing opportunities to Russian monopolists for securing super profits/maximum profits by enlarging their sphere of loot and plunder beyond the Russian territories.
So, it is clear that whatever be the arguments about its own self-defence as well as the defence of the peoples of Donetsk and Luhansk; whatever be the arguments about the Russian efforts to finish the fascist political regime of Ukraine which is otherwise the sole responsibility of the Ukrainian masses led by the proletariat; whatever be the arguments of ”de-militarisation” and ”de-fascisation” of Ukraine, they are all but lame excuses for the Russian Imperialists to carry out their military offensive.
At the present moment, the attack is being carried out in the whole of Ukraine. Bombing is being done in almost all important cities of Ukraine including Kyiv where even street fighting between Russian and Ukrainian military is going on. Ground attack has also started almost all over Ukraine. Innocent people are being killed and their properties destroyed. Kyiv is just a few days away from its defeat. In all these attacks, whether from air or ground, it is the unarmed and common Ukrainians including Ukrainian proletariat, who generally prefer peace to war, have been killed in hundreds. Many more will be killed and the common Ukrainians will have to suffer far more devastations and destructions if the war continues and spreads in more areas and regions of Ukraine. Lenin’s thesis that Imperialism means war is once again being proved correct, not only by this war alone, but also by these constantly pouring ugly facts that the common people of many other regions and countries of the world are also being killed in the wars perpetrated by the other imperialists particularly the US imperialists and its puppet.
What Is The History Of NATO?
It was launched after the Second World War by the US imperialism in collusion with all the imperialist countries of Europe to crush and contain the rising strength and influence of the then socialist-communist camp led by the mighty Soviet Union. For this, the US-led imperialist camp launched a cold war that also meant military actions to crush the socialist camp in the name of defending democracy. After the Khrushchevite capitalist roaders usurped the leadership of CPSU as well as the Soviet state, they turned the great socialist Soviet Union into a social imperialist super power that started contending as well as colluding with the other imperialist powers, particularly the US imperialism, for world hegemony. Thus Cold War that was started to slowly crush and contain the socialist camp kept aggravating in the form of intra-imperialist conflicts between two imperialist war blocks – NATO and WARSAW. When the Soviet Union collapsed and disintegrated in 1991, the former socialist countries of Eastern Europe and members of Warsaw Pack joined NATO. And thus came the end of the cold war. But the end of cold war did not culminate into disbanding of NATO, even while Warsaw wad disbanded. NATO was not dissolved rather strengthened and armed with nuclear arms. It was declared to be further continued and expanded in the whole world. Thus arrived a period of the last three decades in which NATO forces did all types of inhuman heinous acts of violence against countries, people and mankind in an unrestricted manner as there was no formidable force remaining on the Earth to counter it. The communist and working class movement had already entered into the mode of historical retreat thus putting up no formidable challenge whatsoever against the US imperialism, its allies and NATO.
Call To The People And The Proletariat Of The World
It must not be forgotten that the capitalist class as a whole has always shown great admiration for wars and other such calamities, simply because they see in them extraordinary opportunities to maximise their profit. Surprisingly, this has been also openly acknowledged in a recent article published in the Washington Post which is owned by one of the world’s richest capitalists, Jeff Bezos. Just the same trend is being witnessed when we see that Air India, now privately owned by Tata, has doubled the flight fare to carry the stranded Indian students back from war-torn Ukraine to India.
Who will bear the brunt, including the economic burden, of this war? It is primarily the proletariat and the common people of Russia and Ukraine as well as of the whole world who will bear the brunt, including the economic burden, of this war with their blood and sweat. So far as the expenditure incurred in this war is concerned, it will be compensated, as has been done in all the previous wars, by resorting to more extensive plunder of the common people’s labour and property. People will have to suffer many more problems as prices will skyrocket and the problem of unemployment will further deepen as well as enlarge. Economic insecurity of the people will lead to the uncertainties of their life. Common people will have to suffer the most.
But it is not only the economic burden that the people of the world will have to bear. This war, if its spreads to other parts of the world, will also instigate the governments of all countries to intensify their attack on democratic rights by clamping emergency on the people as a result of which the people’s democratic rights, in whatever stunted form they are still remaining, will also be snatched. We can see that Ukrainian regime has already proclaimed emergency to lock the voice of the common people. Not only Ukraine, there are countries in the vicinity of Ukraine such as Lithuania, where emergency is being declared thus snatching the people’s democratic rights right away.
We also firmly believe that imperialists and monopolists have never and nowhere stood for independence of small and oppressed nations or for their right to self-determination, have never fought for the liberty of the people and the downtrodden or for the liberation of the proletariat as against the fascist exploitation and strangulation that is often let loose on it. Imperialists and monopolists may claim to do such things to garner public opinion in their own favour i.e. in the favour of their definite war motives, but these are only pretensions behind which they hide their imperialist ambitions. No matter what the Russian imperialists today claim and say about the so called noble aims of their military act in Ukraine, we must not harbour any doubt about their real intentions which are but imperialist in nature and aimed at extending the sphere of their own imperialist plunder beyond the Russian territories. This will further enhance the level of imperialists competition to redivide the world into their respective sphere of influences and will certainly lead to more such wars and acts of aggression. Every such act will go on accumulating and produce a big push towards a new world war, if not checked right now. The only way out to save the humanity from this impending catastrophe of world war is through proletarian revolutions which will overthrow the capitalist-imperialist world order, the very root cause of all such wars and aggressions.
We therefore call upon the people and the proletariat of the world to condemn the Russian aggression in Ukraine in the harshest of words. We also appeal to one and all in the world, particularly the working class of the whole world, to strongly raise their voice against this imperialist offensive and also against all other such acts of imperialist-led violence being instigated and perpetrated by the US/NATO and their allies in other regions and parts of the world, such as in Syria, Yemen and Somalia where American puppet regimes in Israel and Saudi have been constantly bombing and killing innocent people ever since Russian imperialists attacked Ukraine. We also appeal to the proletariat as well as the other toiling sections of people of Ukraine and Russia not to get carried away by the nationalist-chauvinist feeling that is being spread and fostered by the bourgeoisie of the both the countries to garner public opinion and support in their own war efforts.
Let us demand immediate cessation of all type of imperialist violence being perpetrated on Ukrainians as well as on the people belonging to other countries where the US imperialists or their allies are launching attacks. We must also demand disbanding of NATO and all other such military agreements and packs. We must stand for independent peoples’ struggles led by the proletariat against the blood thirsty monopolies and bourgeois classes so as to overthrow capitalism, the very basis of imperialism and imperialist wars. Let us together strengthen the class struggle against imperialist wars so that the final outcome of such struggles is socialism and an exploitation free as well as an oppression free society, without which imperialist wars can’t be eliminated forever.
We are opposed to the imperialist conflict in Ukraine there is no doubt about it, but this is not enough at this point of time. We must clearly say that the present face of the imperialist conflict in Ukraine is the worst ever consequence of the new ugly situation shaped after the overthrow of socialism which however took place well before the collapse of the Soviet Union. It also reminds us of this fact that the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 was only the last outcome of the revisionist take over of the socialist Soviet Union from within by the Khrushchevite and later Brezhnevite agents of capitalism and imperialism after the death of comrade Stalin. It teaches about the shape of things in the absence of socialism and struggle for socialism.
We are also of the view that what is happening now in Ukraine is the result of fierce competition of the monopolies linked with the US and the EU with those of capitalist-imperialist Russia for the sake of control over markets, raw materials, and transport networks of the country which also reflect the overall contradictions deeply inherent in the capitalist-imperialist world order and which is aggravating every day. This is bound to aggravate more in the context of the new situations emerging out of the Russian military intervention and attack on Ukraine. These are their real pursuits but they conceal it in the name of so many things ranging from ‘defence of democracy’ to now very popular imperialist-led slogan of ‘one’s right to choose their alliances.’
At this juncture, let us also not forget to condemn and denounce in the harshest possible words the fascist and nationalist forces active in Ukraine and its political regime that are fiercest anti-communist, launch every now and then persecutions of communists and discriminate as well as lead armed attacks on the Russian-speaking populations in Donetsk and Luhansk regions in Donbas for demanding independence. We also clearly see a highly condemnable plan on the part of the US/NATO to utilize the reactionary and fascist political forces of Ukraine for their pursuit of establishing control over market, raw materials and transport network there i.e. for the implementation of their imperialist plans.
We finally express our solidarity with the communists, the proletariats and the peoples of Russia and Ukraine. We are pleased to note that the Confederation of Labour in Russia (KTR), ‘as a part of the international trade union movement, considering its direct responsibilities to the working people of Russia, Ukraine and the whole world’ has opposed the war and demanded cessation of military action. We completely stand on their side and urge them to strengthen their struggle against national chauvinism, the ideological weapon of all bourgeoisie to subvert the anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist struggles. We have complete faith that the peoples of both countries want to live in peace with each other and hence they must jointly fight against their rulers who want to drench the soil of their countries with blood of our own brethren. We know that they would finally realise that they serve no interest of their own in siding with either Russia or Ukraine or with the US/NATO i.e. one or another imperialist alliance whose main purpose is to serve the anti-people interests of their own monopolies. The interest of the working class requires us not to fall prey to any of the illusions being fostered by both the camps. Let us all, the workers and toilers of the whole world together strengthen our class solidarity and chart out our own independent path of revolutionary struggles against monopolies-led imperialist war so that capitalism-imperialism is one day overthrown and the very root source of war is eliminated. This is the only path left for the common people to get rid of the imperialist wars, no matter how long it takes to materialise. Let us meet imperialist wars with revolutionary wars!