“Imperialism is capitalism in that stage of development in which the dominance of monopolies and finance capital has established itself; in which the export of capital has acquired pronounced importance; in which the division of the world among the international trusts has begun; in which the division of all territories of the globe among the biggest capitalist powers has been completed....
“... when the whole world had been divided up, there was inevitably ushered in the era... of particularly intense struggle for the re-division of the world....”. (V.I. Lenin. Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, Foreign Languages Press, Peking, 1970, pp. 106, 160).
After the defeat of Soviet social-imperialism and a series of shocks and serious challenges Russian capital was able to raise Russia to the level of a classic imperialist power, and take its place as one of the leading world powers, with all the problems and ambitions of this status, including active participation in the struggle for the redivision of the world.
The conclusion that this is an era “of particularly intense struggle for the redivision of the world”, pointed out by VI. Lenin in Imperialism,... in 1916 and confirmed by the experience of the two world wars, is just as relevant today.
Imperialism in the struggle for the redivision of the world cannot exist without war, including the real danger of a world war.
The scene of fierce fighting between US imperialism and imperialist Russia has become now, in particular, the territory of Ukraine.
“...an essential feature of imperialism is the rivalry between several Great Powers in the striving for hegemony, i.e., for the conquest of territory, not so much directly for themselves as to weaken the adversary...” (V.I. Lenin, Imperialism,... p. 109).
Russian capital plays an important role in the economy of Ukraine; it has had and has close mutual industrial, commercial and other ties and, therefore, it is quite natural that it seeks to retain and expand its influence in order to further subordinate the Ukrainian economy to its interests. Consequently, Russian capital will inevitably use all means to protect its interests against competitors. In Ukraine, the competitors of Russian capital are the capital of the countries of the European Union, but first and foremost, the claimant to the role of the world’s only superpower, US imperialism, which sees in Russian imperialism its serious and dangerous competitor and opponent, and therefore it will seek to oust it and weaken its position.
According to the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine (see the statement of the head of Fiscal Service of Ukraine I. Bilous of August 1, 2014), of the two hundred largest companies in Ukraine every tenth company is owned by Russian capital. In particular, among the biggest assets of Russian capital in Ukraine are such companies as Prominvestbank, which facilitates the flows of many of the largest enterprises in Ukraine, Sberbank of Russia, Rosatom, Gazprom, metallurgical holding Industrial Union of Donbass (ISD), “Lukoil-Ukraine” and others.
Some of the big capitalists, representing Russian business, and their sphere of influence in the economy of Ukraine as of January 2013 were: Vagit Alekperov, Viktor Vekselberg, Alexander Babakov and the company “Eurasia Group” – www.epravda.com.ua.
The Odessa refinery and “Karpatneftekhim,” is a part of the largest Russian corporation “Lukoil” headed by Vagit Alekperov. In 2012, it established itself as a contender for the development of a number of oil and gas deposits in the Ukrainian shelf of the Black Sea.
At the time, Viktor Vekselberg owned five regional gas groups in Ukraine, but then sold them to “Gazprom.” Today, together with the Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, he controls the Zaporozhye aluminum plant.
The original “specialization” of Alexander Babakov and Konstantin Grigorishin in Ukraine was electric power. According to Ukrainian experts, the company “VS Energy International,” controlled by Babakov, owns shares in “Kherson Regional Energy,” “Zhytomir Regional Energy,” “Kirovograd Regional Energy,” “Chernovtsy Regional Energy,” “Odessa Regional Energy,” “Khmelnitsk Regional Energy “ and “Zakarpatie Regional Energy.”
The metallurgical company ISD operates on the territory of Donbass. 49.9% of the shares of that company are owned by Ukrainian businessmen, but the controlling share belongs to investors of Russian capital, represented by the corporation “Evraz Group.”
As of October 1, 2014, Russia ranks second in terms of foreign direct investment in Ukraine, after the countries of the European Union.
In addition to economic interests, Russian imperialism has its own military and political interest in Ukraine. In particular, these interests are most clearly seen by the joining of Crimea to Russia. Although Crimea became part of Russia as a result of a popular referendum, after its declaration as an independent state and, it would seem, in accordance with the right of nations to self-determination, however, this took place under the cover of the armed forces of Russia without the consent or Ukraine. The Crimean bridgehead not only greatly strengthened the military position of Russia on the Black Sea, but it equally weakened the military and political position of the US in that region. In addition, in the case of recognition of the victory of the militia, even with the entry of Donbass in Ukraine with the rights of broad autonomy, there may emerge prerequisites for the appearance of the pro-Russian enclave there, which, respectively, will weaken the influence of the US and Western competitors in other areas of Ukraine.
Consequently, Russian imperialism is not currently interested in fomenting any military conflicts on the territory of Ukraine and would be deeply interested in at least a freeze on military conflicts on the territory of Donbas. We drew this conclusion as a result of the analysis of the present interests of large Russian capital. It is due to these class interests that the peaceful rhetoric of Russian bourgeois authorities in respect to Ukraine in general and its charitable attitude towards the oppressed masses of Donbass should be understood: sending humanitarian convoys, the welcome of refugees on Russian territory, providing free medical care to the wounded children and so forth. However, the future fate of the oppressed masses of Donbass is of absolute indifference to the Russian authorities – because until now the Russian bourgeois government has not legally recognized the emergence of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic; during a series of successful militia offensives these offensives were stopped under the pressure of the bourgeois authorities in Russia, as the armed oppressed masses of Donbass frightened not only the Ukrainian bourgeoisie, but also the entire imperialist reaction, including Russian reaction. The Russian bourgeoisie did not render effective aid from the organization’s own financial system to the independent republics of Donbass; it did not help in the reconstruction of factories, mines and the national economy as a whole, and so forth.
As of October 1, 2014 direct investments of the leading countries of the European Union occupy first place by a wide margin in the list of investors in Ukraine, excluding off-shore regions; Russia holds second place and the United States is in third place (direct US investments are commensurable with its investments in Poland). From this we can conclude that the capital of the countries of the European Union is interested primarily in the preservation and stability of its economic positions in Ukraine and the strengthening of their political influence. Therefore, the EU is not interested in fomenting large-scale military conflicts on the Ukrainian territory.
US imperialism, in turn, is interested in maximizing the weakness of its competitors, in the first place, the Russians, not only in Ukraine, but also throughout Europe. Therefore, US imperialism is interested in rekindling the animosity between the European Union and Russia and getting them to fight each other, especially in Ukraine and in its border areas. Therefore, at the moment, US imperialism is interested in fomenting war hysteria in Ukraine and in the resumption of active military clashes in Donbass.
Ukrainian Maidan, under the pretext of fighting the so-called oligarchs, and based on mass popular discontent with the then-existing regime, overthrew the pro-Russian Yanukovych regime. At the time of the coup d’état in Ukraine in February 2014, the EU member states and their emissaries in Ukraine were more openly active in its support. This was in the interests of European capital, which sought to establish a pro-European regime in Ukraine and thereby strengthen its own political position. At the time of the coup d’état in Ukraine, US imperialism acted no less actively, but behind its European allies, as always trying to stir up the fire by proxy. The interests of US imperialism in the Ukraine consisted, firstly, in maximizing harm to its Russian rival, surpassing or even displacing it from this bridgehead to maximize its losses, and secondly, to capture the Ukrainian market with the maximum benefit for itself, even at the expense of its European allies.
However, Russian imperialism struck back, annexing the Crimea like lightning and openly supporting the anti-Maidan protests in Ukraine. The annexation of Crimea, first and foremost, was a serious blow to the plans and interests of US imperialism in its struggle against its Russian rival and sharpened the confrontation between these two imperialist powers.
Kiev’s Maidan declared its loyalty to the political principles of European bourgeois democracy and Western liberal-bourgeois values. These slogans were quite consistent with the dreams and aspirations of the petty-bourgeois masses in Ukraine, particularly of the bourgeois intelligentsia. Therefore, the petty-bourgeois masses voluntarily formed the basis of Kiev’s Maidan.
“The petty bourgeois ‘driven to frenzy’ by the horrors of capitalism is a social phenomenon which, like anarchism, is characteristic of all capitalist countries.” (Lenin. “’Left-Wing’ Communism, An Infantile Disorder,” Foreign Language Press, Peking, 1970, p. 17).
However, the practical core of Maidan was the militias that were well-trained, paid and armed beforehand. Who trained these militias and for what? These militias were trained by Western organizations of Maidan on the territory of certain European Union countries, in particular, on the territory of the Baltic countries and Poland. The need for such detachments came mainly out of the fear that the Ukrainian special forces might prevent a coup.
These militias were not ideologically homogeneous. Among them stood out pro-fascist groups that persistently imposed on the population the rabid ideology of Ukrainian nationalism. Why did the bourgeois organizers of the Ukrainian Maidan choose the ideology of rabid nationalism? In Ukraine, a tough fight was sharpening between the two imperialist predators, Russia and the USA, which were supported by one or another group of the Ukrainian big bourgeoisie. Ukrainian nationalism enabled the political circles of the US, EU and Ukrainian to create propaganda in the minds of the Ukrainian public of Russia as the natural enemy of the Ukrainian people. However, the initiators and promoters of the fascist ideology did not take into account the effects of this propaganda in Ukraine itself, creating an anti-fascist movement and real practical resistance under the internationalist slogan “Fascism will not pass!” Why did a significant part of the Ukrainian petty-bourgeois masses quickly adopt this pro-fascist ideology, including the raising up of the bloody fascist executioners Bandera, Shukhevych and others to the level of national heroes of Ukraine? The nationalist ideology was attractive to the petty-bourgeois masses of Ukrainian nationality in that it allegedly allowed them to raise their material standards and meet their narrow-minded ambitions, not only at the expense of their own labour and their real social significance, but also due to the oppression of people of other nationalities. The nationalist fervour does not allow the Ukrainian public to notice that a significant part of the population of Donbass and other regions are citizens of Ukraine, in particular, of Russian nationality and that the road to the nationalist prosperity will inevitably be watered with blood and littered with the corpses of the followers of Bandera and Shukhevych. How realistic is the establishment in Ukraine of a state system of outright fascist dictatorship? The imperialist powers of the West, including the US, are not interested in the establishment in Ukraine of a state system of outright fascist dictatorship, since the protection of a fascist dictatorship on their part would discredit the so- called democratic values of these powers. The Russian imperialists too are not interested in the establishment of an open fascist power in Ukraine, as this would complicate the presence of Russian capital in Ukraine and of Ukrainian capital in Russia. In turn, the Ukrainian bourgeoisie – both pro-Western and pro-Russian – cannot go against the interests of their imperialist “partners.” However, the danger of a fascist coup in Ukraine cannot be unconditionally dismissed. On the territory of the Donbass, weapons were in the hands of the oppressed masses, who are successfully resisting the aggression both of the militant nationalist groups as well as of the regular army of Ukraine. The armed oppressed masses and their successes in the fight against the regular army drive fear not only into the Ukrainian bourgeoisie, but into the bourgeoisie of Russia, Western Europe and the United States. Therefore, in the event of a threat of the development of the national liberation struggle into a class struggle, the bourgeoisie could utilize the establishment in Ukraine of a fascist dictatorship, based on nationalist militias, since for the bourgeoisie the class enemy in the form of the armed oppressed masses is much worse and more dangerous than any bourgeois competitor or squabbles and problems among the bourgeoisie. We should not forget the lessons of the establishment of the fascist dictatorship in Chile.
The mass destruction of monuments to Lenin in Ukraine is explained not by hatred of Russians or Russia. In the 1990s the Russian bourgeoisie also desecrated monuments to Lenin, Dzerzhinsky and other legendary heroes of the proletarian revolution of 1917. This class barbarism is explained by the fierce hatred of the ruling bourgeoisie towards the proletarian revolution and the fear of the inevitable dictatorship of the proletariat – both in Ukraine and in Russia. During the Great Patriotic War both the Russian and the Ukrainian peoples defended the achievements of the proletarian revolution and the socialist fatherland from the onslaught of the most reactionary forces of capital – the fascist invaders. The desecration of the legendary history of the Great Patriotic War and the monuments to its heroes is again explained by the prevailing fierce hatred of the Ukrainian bourgeoisie and enraged petty bourgeoisie to the proletarian revolution.
Today the anti-fascist movement in the Ukraine, which originated in the Donbass, in Odessa and Kharkov, is a reality, and is expanding to the entire country, albeit slowly. Thus, the oppressed masses are opposed to the spread of fascism. If in the early days of Maidan the nationalist militias, with their determination, organization and perseverance, inspired the Ukrainian inhabitants with confidence and hope for a quick victory, now the victory of Maidan has been seemingly accomplished and become a reality, but the ideas and expectations of Maidan turned out to be a fiction – instead of a rise in prosperity came the collapse of the Ukrainian currency, a sharp rise in the cost of living, rampant banditry and lawlessness. In the governing bodies began the domination of foreigners, which is contrary to nationalist ideas; all Ukrainian “oligarchs” are alive, healthy, successful and “rule” for the sake of personal gain and so forth. As practice has shown, for the time being the weapons in the hands of the oppressed masses of Donbass are not a threat to the bourgeoisie of Ukraine, Russia, the United States or any other country. Why is that so? To date, the Russian bourgeoisie has skilfully and successfully neutralized any class initiative on the part of the armed workers on the territory of Donbas. Russian propaganda, which the oppressed masses of Donbass exclusively trust, directs the attention of the population of Donbass on the need for reconciliation with the Kiev bourgeois aggressors, supposedly as the only way out for the entire population of the Donbass in the current situation, that is, it is acting as a peacemaker, distracting the oppressed masses of Donbass from class issues.
The armed militias of the Ukrainian nationalists, considered the heroes and hope of Maidan, have by now completely discredited themselves; they have degenerated into gangs of hired killers, rapists, robbers and executioners, repeating the fate of Bandera during the Great Patriotic War. What other reasons have now forced the Ukrainian bourgeoisie to tolerate the nationalist militias and use their services? First, the efforts of Russian imperialism, aimed at neutralizing any initiative of the working class of Donbass, can only be unreliable and short-lived, while a forced peace, imposed with the participation of Russia, will accelerate the development of the class consciousness of the oppressed masses. In that case, armed and with combat experience, the oppressed masses of Donbass will represent a danger to the class of oppressors. To neutralize them, one may need to stall the peace agreements, which can be used by the nationalist militias that are supposedly uncontrollable by the Kiev government. Second, the deteriorating socio-economic situation in the country could again provoke another mass Maidan. In this case the forces of nationalist militias would once again lead Maidan and divert the discontent of the oppressed masses from the social class struggle in order to fight for the interests of the bourgeoisie in the next redivision of spheres of influence. Third, growing anti-fascist movement that originated from below could develop into a class struggle, because fascism is a product and a servant of finance capital. Therefore, the bourgeoisie will seek to mislead and neutralize the antifascist movement, channel it into a practical struggle with the nationalist parties and their militias, but not against the class masters of these nationalists. Fourth, the deteriorating socio-economic situation in the country and rising unemployment will increase the workers’ struggle for their vital rights. For the brutal suppression of the workers the well-trained militias can be employed, who allegedly have no relation to the existing bourgeois authorities and allegedly execute the will and defend the interests of only a particular capitalist. For this role, the most suitable are the nationalist militias and death squads like “Aydar,” “Dnepr” and “East” of the Ukrainian “oligarchs”. And so on.
“Comrades, fascism in power is... the open terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinistic and most imperialist elements of finance capital.... Fascism is not super-class government, nor government of the petty bourgeoisie or the lumpen-proletariat over finance capital. Fascism is the power of finance capital itself. It is the organization of terrorist vengeance against the working class and the revolutionary section of the peasantry and intelligentsia. In foreign policy, fascism is jingoism in its crudest form, fomenting bestial hatred of other nations....
“The development of fascism, and the fascist dictatorship itself, assume different forms in different countries, according to historical, social and economic conditions and to the national peculiarities and the international position of the given country. In certain countries, principally those in which fascism has no extensive mass basis and in which the struggle of the various groups within the camp of the fascist bourgeoisie itself is fairly acute, fascism does not immediately venture to abolish parliament, but allows the other bourgeois parties, as well as the Social-Democratic Parties, to retain a certain degree of legality.... Before the establishment of a fascist dictatorship, bourgeois governments usually pass through a number of preliminary stages and adopt a number of reactionary measures which directly facilitate the accession to power of fascism. Whoever does not fight the reactionary measures of the bourgeoisie and the growth of fascism at these preparatory stages is not in a position to prevent the victory of fascism, but, on the contrary, facilitates that victory.” (Georgi Dimitrov, “Report to the VII World Congress of the Communist International, August 2, 1935,” in The United Front, Proletarian Publishers, 1975, pp. 1013. “).
After the coup in Ukraine in 2014, the country formally maintained a bourgeois parliament. However, the Communist Party of Ukraine (KPU) was not allowed to participate in the elections to the Parliament, and later it was put under a lenient ban. What is the main reason for the ban on the KPU? At its core, the KPU is a revisionist party and has nothing to do with communism except the name, which does not matter. Like the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF), it expresses bourgeois interests and takes up bourgeois positions. Unlike the KPRF at this time, the KPU found itself between two groups of large capital warring with each other and was an inconvenience to both parties. In this situation, it was useless even as a toothless bourgeois opposition. This was the main reason for its lenient ban.
Let us look particularly at the armed confrontation in the territory of Donbass. The main principal cause of the war in this region is a clash of interests between Russian and US imperialists for spheres of influence, with the participation of different groups of the Ukrainian bourgeoisie and Ukrainian citizens on both sides. All other reasons are the result of the inhabitants being influenced by bourgeois propaganda in order to divert them from the main cause. Why did the vast majority of the population of Donbass, including the workers, take up arms or supported the armed struggle against the Kiev aggressors? First, in the territory of Donbass, Russian capital and its associated group of Ukrainian capital largely dominates, while the Kiev authorities are mainly linked to the imperialists of Western Europe and the United States. Consequently, the employers of the oppressed masses of Donbass are the Russian or pro-Russian bourgeoisie. Second, Ukrainian nationalism, kindled by the Kiev authorities, unwittingly rallied the Russian-speaking population of Donbass and in this respect it oriented them toward Russia. Third, the common state border with Russia creates favourable conditions for concrete practical assistance from Russia to insurgent Donbass, at the present and in the future. Having talked of concrete practical assistance to insurgent Donbass from Russia, we should not forget that the war in the Donbas is, first and foremost, the result of a fierce fight between Russian and US imperialists for spheres of influence, and that Donbass is the victim of this struggle. Therefore one must talk about aid to insurgent Donbass from international progressive forces. This concretely can and should go to humanitarian, financial, diplomatic and informational assistance, to the admission of refugees, the treatment of the wounded and sick, the restoration of the destroyed factories, mines, public facilities, residential buildings and so on. One can even justify sending volunteers to Donbass and so forth, but in any case one should not urge Russia to introduce its troops into Donbass – as some irresponsible people in Russia and in Donbass are persistently provoking. At this time, the introduction of regular forces of any foreign state onto the territory of Ukraine and Donbass can only be a dangerous provocation; it would really push humanity to the outbreak of a world war. Fourth, the Kiev authorities, in order to quell public discontent in Donbass used its regular army with all kinds of weapons, including combat aircraft and modern heavy ground weapons (which were not used in other regions of the country), and groups of nationalist thugs. Fifth, the Kiev regular army and nationalists’ battalions inflicted their main blow on homes and social facilities, on industrial enterprises, denying workers the possibility of peaceful labour and their families of their livelihood. The victims of their aggression were thousands of civilians, including children; in the occupied territories the Kiev aggressor conducted looting, violence against civilians, killings, torture and so forth. Consequently, the residents of Donbass were forced by Kiev’s armed aggression to respond with armed resistance in order to defend their families, their homes and their existence. They had and have no other way.
What form of state-administrative arrangement is most appropriate for the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) – as part of Ukraine, as part of Russia, or as an independent state?
The answer to that question can definitely not be given for consideration or final decision to Russia, Western Europe, the US or Ukraine. The inhabitants of the DPR and LPR won their independence with great sacrifice and with arms in hand. Therefore their further destiny they must decide themselves. However, we will try to evaluate the above three options for the future state-administrative arrangement of the DPR and LPR – there are no other options in this situation.
In the structure of Ukraine. The DPR and LPR can enter only under their special status – federation or confederation. However, the current president of Ukraine has repeatedly stated in public that Ukraine would not allow any federation on its territory. Therefore, this option is clearly rejected by Ukraine. The entry of the DPR and LPR into the structure of Ukraine under other conditions does not give any guarantee that state terror , including physical elimination, imprisonment or deportation, will not be used against the population of these republics on charges of separatism. Of particular note is that in the DPR and LPR there are deposits of shale gas. The technology for its extraction is environmentally dangerous – see http://svpressa.ru/politic/article/87568/. Consequently, there should not be people in the territory of these deposits. The exploitation of shale gas deposits in the area is claimed by the United States and its associated bourgeois circles of Ukraine.
In the current situation the DPR and LPR will not be able to become a part of Russia under any law for one reason – Russia did not and will not agree to include these territories in the structure of its state. Russia will not risk further aggravating its relations with the US imperialists because of some regional conflict. Consequently, the DPR and LPR have no chance in their lives of counting on the Crimean option.
The DPR and LPR have actually already won and declared their independence. Therefore, we can talk only about legal recognition (like that of South Ossetia and Abkhazia) of the independent states of the DPR and LPR or their federation. In this case, these republics will be able to determine their future destiny. This option is the only one acceptable to the people of the DPR and LPR and has already been chosen and legitimized by popular referendum.
Are the Minsk Agreement of February 12, 2015, the actual betrayal by Russia in relation to the DPR and LPR and the diplomatic recognition by Russia of its defeat in the struggle against US imperialism on the territory of Donbass?
By defending their vested interests in the territory of Donbass from the encroachment of their Western competitors, the Russian imperialists actively supported the dissatisfaction of the people of Donbass with the results of the coup in Kiev and approved the establishment of the people’s militia to repel the armed nationalist gangs. In response the new Kiev authorities used the regular army against the people of Donbass, with air and artillery strikes on residential areas and social facilities. Thus began large-scale military operations in the territory of Donbass. Having organized resistance to the aggressors, on the territory of Donbass a popular referendum was held in which, by the will of the overwhelming majority of the population, the DPR and LPR were declared, and organs of power were chosen. Inspired by the success and hope for help from Russia, the militia repulsed the Ukrainian army and finally went over to active attack. There was a real threat of rebellion in other areas of Ukraine. Of course, this alarmed the imperialists of Western Europe and the United States, and they unleashed the persecution of imperialist Russia on the international arena. However, of particular concern and fear to all of these imperialists, including Russia, was the existence of weapons in the hands of large numbers of workers of Donbass and their successes in the fight against the regular army of Ukraine. It has forced the imperialists of these countries and the bourgeoisie of Ukraine to jointly seek a remedy to this class threat. The imperialists of Russia, who were the most trusted by the residents of Donbass, took the initiative. As a remedy Russia proposed the drawing up of this document, actually hindering the initiative of the militias and of the DPR and LPR. The so-called Minsk Agreement appeared, approved by the leaders of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine. The leaders of the DPR and LPR were only allowed to participate in the working groups, ostensibly because of their non-recognition at the international level.
To answer this question, let us consider a number of fundamental points of the Minsk Agreement of February 12, 2015.
The Minsk Agreement does not call into question the mandatory entry of Donbass into the structure of Ukraine, and it makes no mention of a federal structure for Ukraine. This legalized the non-recognition and elimination of the DPR and LPR (see points 1, 2, 4, 5, 9, 11, 12). In this document, there is no particular opinion on the part of Russia on the fate of the DPR and LPR, that is, Russia unreservedly supported this decision. Moreover, the Russian leadership actually refused the official request of the leadership of the DPR in the spring of 2014 for the inclusion of the DPR and LPR into the structure of Russia.
As evidenced by point 11, constitutional reform should be carried out on the initiative of the Kiev authorities and only under their control. Participation in such reform by the representatives of Donbass was reduced to the level of a consultative voice.
According to point 10, the disarmament of all illegal groups in fact applies only to the militias of Donbass, as the illegal armed groups of nationalists were already officially legalized and consequently will not disarm.
Point 5 on the pardon and amnesty for militias and all civilians of Donbass, whom the Kiev authorities call separatists, states that the authors of the Minsk Agreement, including Russia, consider the militias and civilians of Donbass to be criminals, although they defended their homes from the Kiev aggressors and nationalist gangs at the price of their lives and deprivation.
There is no doubt that the war in Donbass is not in fact the result of a revolutionary situation in the region and that the militia took up arms not because of the struggle against their class oppressors. The war in Donbass is the result of the struggle of different groups of capital at all levels for the redivision of spheres of influence, and the fight of the militias is a defensive struggle against the bourgeois Kiev aggressors, who tried to establish the dominance of US capital and the Kiev bourgeois authorities in the area by force of arms. Under any option of the administrative-state arrangement of the DPR and LPR, the oppressed masses of Donbass definitely will be under the yoke of one or another group of the bourgeoisie, including their own. The struggle of the oppressed class of Donbass with its class oppressors is inevitable in the future, as in any other class society, and therefore it makes sense for the workers of Donbass to securely store weapons that are today in their hands.
The above points of the Minsk Agreement show that bourgeois Russia not only did not accept the DPR and LPR into the structure of their country, but did not even recognize their existence. Through the Minsk Agreement, bourgeois Russia unconditionally gave over the heroic people of Donbass to the violence of the Kiev aggressor and its nationalist gangs.
The Minsk Agreement shows that the Russian imperialists are losing the fight for Donbass to the US imperialists. With such an arrangement of their interests in Donbass, Russian capital will be implemented in agreement with the Kiev authorities, and the Kiev authorities, oriented to the West, are more concerned with the interests of the US.
We do not advise any naive trust in the good words or sworn promises of any bourgeoisie or bourgeois authorities!
The struggle of the US imperialists and the Russian imperialists in the territory of Ukraine for the redivision of spheres of influence, as well as in other similar cases, weakens both opposing sides, and provides a practical confirmation of the general decay of capitalism. And this, in turn, points to the fact that the world is entering an era of wars of national liberation and proletarian revolutions. The proletariat of any country must not stand on the side of any oppressor. Therefore, the proletariat should not support either Russian or US imperialism in this conflict. The weakening of the world of capital is objectively beneficial to the revolutionary proletariat. Therefore, in any event the proletariat should evaluate this situation from the standpoint of the advantages to the revolutionary cause of the proletariat.
One of the features of the Kiev Maidan is the massive participation in it of the urban petty-bourgeois masses. Many of them were politically organized by their own party and saw in Maidan a struggle for bourgeois democracy and against the dictatorship of the bourgeois “oligarchs.” However, the workers did not participate in Maidan, and gave no support to it. Why was that? The Ukrainian workers do not have their own class political vanguard, and their unions are focused only on intra-occupational social struggle. Besides, the demands of Maidan did not meet the class interests of the workers, and the social interests of the workers are usually resolved at the level of the enterprise or profession. Nevertheless, we urge the use of any similar Maidan for revolutionary class agitation, but not to support either one or the other bourgeois group.
Another feature of the Kiev Maidan is that its core is made up of previously-trained bourgeois militias. The vast majority of these militias promoted Bandera ideology, that is, fascism. Its promotion gave rise to the appearance of anti-fascist movement in the entire territory of Ukraine under the slogan “Fascism will not pass!” The organized Ukrainian workers participating in the anti-fascist movement do not accept the fact that the struggle of the trade unions is focused only on the resolution of their local self-seeking problems, and they do not yet have their political class vanguard. We welcome Ukraine’s anti-fascist movement and the slogan “Fascism will not pass!” However, we draw the attention of the participants in the anti-fascist movement to the fact that the bourgeoisie will try to direct the antifascist struggle into the channel of a practical struggle with the nationalist parties and their militias, but not against the class masters of these nationalists – the financial “oligarchs,” that is a dead end. We call special attention to this fact and focus their efforts on class agitation, including anti-fascist agitation, in the enterprises, strengthening their ranks and exposing the demagogy and tricks of the bourgeoisie.
The war in Donbass is definitely the result of the struggle of the imperialists of Russia and the US for the redivision of spheres of influence and their self-seeking class interests. However, in this war on the one side is drawn the vast majority of the population of Donbass, and on the other side the regular army of Ukraine and the nationalist forces. The population of Donbass is involuntarily protecting the interests of the Russian imperialists and the related bourgeois circles of Ukraine. The regular army and the nationalist groups are openly fighting for the interests of the US imperialists and the West and the related bourgeois circles of Ukraine. The population of Donbass is not homogeneous in their social and class relations. The bourgeois circles of the DPR and LPR are fighting for their own selfish interests and those of imperialist Russia, and the militias were forced to voluntarily take up arms in order to protect themselves, their families, their homes and their work from the Kiev aggressors. Therefore, the struggle of the militias is defensive and just. Although the militia fighters should not forget that every bourgeoisie is corrupt and capable of betrayal.
We call upon the progressive forces and the organized workers of all countries to fully support the armed struggle of the population of the DPR and LPR against the Kiev aggressors and the pro-fascist gangs of nationalists.
We call upon the progressive forces and the proletariat of all countries to expose the treacherous essence of the so-called Minsk Agreement of February 12, 2015, in relation to the interests of the oppressed masses of the DPR and LPR and to brand imperialist Russia with shame for the betrayal of the oppressed masses of the DPR and LPR to the imperialists of the USA, Germany, France and the reactionary bourgeois authorities of Ukraine for their aggression against Donbass, for the mass murder of civilians, the destruction of cities and inhabited areas, for the torture and abuse of prisoners and civilians, and so forth.
In this article we set the task to fundamentally assess the current
political situation in Ukraine and to shine the light on the class
positions of some specific issues, including the annexation of Crimea
by Russia and the aggression of Kiev against Donbass. We do not set
ourselves the task of considering in detail the state of the workers’
movement in Ukraine, but it is important to note that the working class
in Ukraine does not yet have its political vanguard and is organized at
the level of trade unionism, that within the bourgeois framework it is
unable to take advantage of the struggle for its narrow social
interests without going over to the revolutionary class struggle. The
Russian workers’ movement today is not much different in class terms
from the workers’ movement in Ukraine. Therefore, the Russian working
class was unable to fulfil its internationalist class duty towards the
oppressed masses of Ukraine.