On the Situation in Ukraine

Bikram Mohan


Lenin’s theory of imperialism, as the highest stage of the development of capitalism, demonstrated the intrinsic need of capitalism to engage in imperialist wars. In contrast to Kautsky and other defenders of social-chauvinism, Lenin clearly identified the First World War as an imperialist war. He was also very clear as to what should be the Bolshevik position regarding imperialist wars and how these are intrinsically connected with the private ownership of the means of production:

“And this summary proves that imperialist wars are absolutely inevitable under such an economic system, as long as private property in the means of production exists” V.I. Lenin, Preface of the French and German editions of “Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism”. Lenin’s Selected Works, Progress Publishers, 1963, Moscow, Volume 1.

Lenin’s theory of imperialism was further developed by Stalin during the era of socialist construction in one country and the post-war period, which saw countries leave the international system of capitalism and establish People’s Democracies. Some argued that because of the outcome of the Second World War and the contradictions between the capitalist and socialist camps, the contradictions among capitalist countries would no longer lead to imperialist wars. Stalin demonstrated that capitalist countries will continue to fight for markets with other capitalist countries, including resorting to wars and as such:

“To eliminate the inevitability of war, it is necessary to abolish imperialism” J.V. Stalin, “Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR”. Foreign Language Press, Peking, 1972.

This categorical statement leaves little room to question the inevitability of wars as long as capitalism in its imperialist phase continues to exist. Today, the system of capitalism is undergoing a new wave of economic and political crises that have been exacerbated by the inability of capitalism to fix the core causes of crises. The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly aggravated the economic crisis of capitalism and has extensively affected the position of the toiling masses. With this the growth of inter-imperialist contradiction becomes inevitable, where it appears that the likelihood of open military confrontation among imperialist powers is becoming a reality. The military conflict in Ukraine can be viewed as a de-facto confrontation between imperialist powers, where the toiling masses of Ukraine are on the receiving end of the aggression of imperialist powers.

Many previously argued that with the collapse of the revisionist system in the period of 1989-1991, leading to the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991, the rationale for the existence of NATO would no longer exist. Not only did NATO not dissolve, but it has been expanding all over the world, particularly in Eastern Europe. NATO has continued to engage in wars of aggression and has been ramping up its confrontation with the Russian Federation and China. In particular, NATO has been systematically expanding towards the borders of the Russian Federation. The United States and some of its Eastern European allies, including Kyiv’s regime, have been ramping up their confrontation with the Russian Federation for years.

The imperialist character of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

It is essential to the Marxist-Leninist forces of the Russian Federation to recognize the imperialist and aggressive character of the so-called special military operation in the Ukraine. The latter is an imperialist act of aggression intended to safeguard the economic interests of Russian capitalism in Ukraine. Putin’s regime has no real concern for the suffering of Russian speakers at the hands of Ukrainian right-wing and neo-fascist nationalism. Neither the annexation of Crimea nor the support (in whatever form) of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics in the East have any purpose other than undermining Ukraine as an independent state and securing markets and raw materials for Russian companies in that country. Of particular importance to the Russian Federation is to preserve the dependence of Ukraine and other countries on Russian energy supplies.

Putin’s neo-liberal model of capitalism is in severe crisis. This has been aggravated by Western sanctions imposed following the annexation of Crimea and following COVID-19. Putin’s economy is in irreversible decline and as such, Russian capitalism needed a war, even if provoked by NATO expansion to the East and Kyiv’s regime confrontational stand. Following 30 years of devastating reforms, vast layers of the Russian toiling masses are showing sympathy towards the Soviet past. Of particular importance to the modern Russian ethos and national pride is the victory over Nazi Germany and European fascism during the Great Patriotic War. The latter epitomizes the greatness of the Soviet Union as a state of workers and peasants. Despite being a visceral anti-communist, Putin has been forced to adopt subliminal pro-Sovietism in his propaganda. Remembrance of the Soviet victory over fascism has become central to Putinism today.1 This is a contradiction that emerges because of the weakness of Russian capitalism. However, this subliminal pro-Sovietism and appeals to the prevalent anti-fascist sentiment of the Russian toiling masses are being used to wage an imperialist war. The so-called special operation is allegedly intended to “demilitarize” and “de-nazify” Ukraine. Indeed, as will be seen below, right-wing nationalism and neo-fascist ideology are prevalent in the Ukrainian army; Russian speakers have for years been on the receiving end of Russophobic and fascist aggression. That said, Putin’s regime is in no moral, ethical or political position to de-nazify the Ukraine, as his true intentions are to subdue a country and impose its economic rule. As a matter of fact, Putin himself has connections with neo-fascist organizations, such as the Wagner group and Russian right-wing nationalist organizations. Putin is a conscious anti-communist and his ideology is intrinsically anti-Soviet. His liberal attitude towards Soviet symbolism and Soviet history has sparked speculation of a potential U-turn in his ideological views. This is most definitely not the case, as he is using the restoration of pro-Soviet sentiments opportunistically for his own political purposes.

Nonetheless, Putin is waging a war with a subliminal pro-Soviet message as a central element to his war propaganda. As the Russian military gains are painfully slow and it is becoming evident that the Ukrainian campaign has become protracted, Soviet symbolism is emerging more and more often and with greater intensity. The red flag of victory,2 which boasts the hammer and sickle, is appearing more often on the ground. The Russian media does not seem to shy away from the fact that the red flag of victory is emerging in cities and population centres where the Ukrainian armed forces have been expelled.3 Russian cosmonauts at the international space station rolled out the red flag of victory in outer space, which carries strong symbolic value.4 With this Putin is trying to rally the Russian population around the idea that this war is a just one waged against fascist aggression in Ukraine, which is supported and nourished by the West. Putin is selling himself as the saviour of Russia against the aggression of European fascism. To a certain degree, he is subliminally positioning himself to be revered as much as Stalin is in today’s Russia. Here it is of great importance to underline that Putin’s ideology and political goals have nothing to do with the glorious past of the Soviet Union of Lenin and Stalin.

Putin’s regime has allied itself with the heirs of the revisionist CPSU, which is primarily represented by the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF).5 The CPRF builds its pro-war rhetoric around the need to uproot fascism and Western aggression in Ukraine,6 thus openly siding with the war effort. More so, the CPRF insists that not concluding the military operation in Ukraine would have severe consequences for Russia.7 Revisionism is always on the side of capital and ultimately against the interests of the working class, regardless of the historic epoch or stage of development. Today the CPRF is on the side of Russian capital, as much as modern revisionism was against the working class and socialism in the Soviet Union and other countries of the Eastern bloc. It is essential for the Marxist-Leninists in Russia to expose this relationship and the nature of this social-chauvinist position. This act of aggression against Ukraine is not in the interests of the Ukrainian and Russian working classes. This war has led and continues to inflict massive destruction on infrastructure, livelihood and many deaths among the civilian population and armed forces. The economic impact of the war is being born by the toiling mases, where the sharp increase in inflation has hit the most vulnerable. All these sacrifices are being made for the benefit of the few among the Russian bourgeoisie and not for the benefit of the working class, nor will it bring the restoration of the socialist Soviet Union any closer.

The Marxist-Leninists need to adopt the Bolshevik position vis a vis this war. There should be no ambiguity when it comes to characterizing this war. Appealing to the pro-Soviet and anti-fascist sentiments of the Russian toiling masses is dishonest and duplicitous, and it should be exposed as such. Putin and the revisionists are misappropriating Soviet symbolism and misusing the aspirations of the vast layers of the toiling masses for social justice, peace and brotherhood of nations that the Soviet Union of Lenin and Stalin provided ever so successfully. The Marxist-Leninists need to explain to the working class and the toiling masses that beneath this symbolism are capitalist relations of production and an imperialist war. For as long as the means of production remain in private hands; as long as the state does not nationalize the main means of production and undertake socialist industrialization, the toiling masses will continue to suffer poverty and exclusion.

The Russian Federation and other former republics of the Soviet Union have emerged as some of the weakest links in imperialism today. The need of Putin’s regime to resort to Soviet symbolism and Soviet anti-fascism to substantiate the war represents a contradiction within itself. It exemplifies an important shift in the sentiments of the Russian toiling masses. Concurrently, the neo-liberal model of economic development in Russia is failing to meet the aspirations of the Russian people and is under severe strain from sanctions. This represents another pivotal contradiction. The war in Ukraine will only accelerate the demise of capitalism in Russia. The revisionist CPRF will not be in a position to save capitalism, as its vision for Russia does not deviate from the neo-liberal vision. It will reduce itself to the restoration of Soviet symbolism. The Bolshevik forces will offer a different path of development, where the aspirations of the toiling masses will be realized through nationalization of the main means of production and socialist industrialization. That said, first they must get rid of the capitalist regime. Bolshevik forces do not stand on the side of the imperialist war even if this war is using Soviet symbolism. Supporting the war effort is tantamount to supporting the destructive character of imperialist aggression and has nothing to do with the struggle to re-establish the Soviet Union of Lenin and Stalin.

Right-wing and neo-fascist nationalism of Ukraine’s regime.

It is important to set the record straight regarding the character of the nationalism that defines the Ukrainian regime and the politics that it pursues. Former President Yanukovych’s decision not to sign the European Union–Ukraine Association Agreement, which would have signified a significant step towards integration with the EU, triggered a revolt. The Euromaidan revolt was driven by right-wing and ultra-nationalist groups and organizations with the support of the US and the EU. The revolt is regarded by Putin as a coup d’état that ousted Yanukovych who had to flee to Russia together with some of his ministers and was replaced with an interim government. Following elections, Petro Poroshenko took office in June 2014, leading to a significant change against Russia, Russian speakers, and military confrontation in the East of Ukraine.

An important milestone in the evolution of the Ukrainian regime towards right-wing and neo-fascist ideology was the enaction of the so-called decommunization laws in May 2015. The first law pertains to “Condemning the Communist and National Socialist (Nazi) Totalitarian Regimes and Prohibiting the Propagation of their Symbols”. The second law pertains to the “Legal Status and Honouring of the Memory of the Fighters for the Independence of Ukraine in the 20th Century”.8 These laws represented a turning point in that communist symbolism was criminalised whereas political leaders and organisations based on fascist ideology, who perpetrated atrocities against Poles, Russians and Jews and collaborated with Nazi Germany, were glorified.9

Kyiv’s regime considers anti-communist and right-wing nationalism as the new norm and collaborationist organizations and their leaders as national heroes. In doing so, Kyiv’s regime and its Western allies are making every possible effort to re-write history by decoupling right-wing nationalism and its vision of the Ukrainian national idea from its violent, racist and pro-Nazi past. These efforts are intended to confuse those who do not understand the essence of fascist ideology and confuse it with a particular type of symbolism and antisemitism. The West argues that a government that is led by an individual of Jewish descent makes it ok to integrate right-wing Russophobe nationalism and neo-Nazi organizations into the core resistance against Russian aggression. The fact that Zelensky boasts his Jewish descent while calling the Azov battalion patriots and heroes makes glorifying neo-Nazi organizations the more repulsive.10

It is essential to explore the true significance of the so-called decommunization laws. Why are they necessary to the Ukrainian oligarchy? Are these decommunization laws just a question of historical debate and worldviews or do they pursue a much more far reaching agenda? The fact of the matter is that Ukraine, together with Moldavia, is the worst performing economy of Eastern Europe. Neo-liberal reforms have led to the de-industrialisation of Ukraine.11 The Ukrainian toiling masses face large-scale unemployment, low salaries, declining purchasing power, crumbling social benefits and ailing infrastructure.12 Under these conditions the working class is being exposed to the ideas of right-wing nationalism and neo-fascist views. The so-called decommunization laws are a powerful instrument to expose the toiling masses to these views.

In view of the severity of the economic crisis and the failure of Ukrainian capitalism, the oligarchy is exposing the Ukrainian toiling masses to the Russophobic views of right-wing nationalism. Right-wing Ukrainian nationalism historically originates from the Western regions of Ukraine.13 The notion is that Russians and Ukrainians are far apart and that Russians and Russian culture are a threat to Ukrainian statehood.14 That said, one should be very careful not to fuel the Russian chauvinist view of Ukraine as a lesser culture or nation. Such is the narrative used by Putin’s regime to undermine the independence of Ukraine as a separate state. The Marxist-Leninists should expose the national-chauvinist character of the revisionist narrative, as it is concealed by neo-Soviet phraseology.

It is very important to consider the imperialist confrontation in Ukraine in a larger historical context. The armed conflict in Ukraine and the rise of neo-fascism are not coincidental, but rather the result of a concerted effort that has been ultimately instigated by the European Union and the United States. Apart from NATO’s expansionism and aggressive attitude, one cannot underestimate the adoption by the European Parliament in April 2009 of a resolution on “totalitarian crimes”. Here “Nazism, Stalinism and fascist and Communist regimes” have a “common legacy”. This type of analogy comes from the playbook of Goebbels’s propaganda and it displays the level of perversity and cynicism that Nazi propaganda was notorious for. This is deeply offensive to the millions of Soviet citizens and of other nationalities who perished for the liberation of Europe from Nazi oppression and from the physical liquidation of entire nations. The adoption of this resolution coincided with the rise of pro-Soviet and pro-Stalin sentiments, most prominently among the Russian toiling masses, and it is likely to be a reaction to this notorious process. Nevertheless, and regardless of whether this may or may not be a coincidence, this resolution has further spurred the rise of Russophobic and neo-fascist sentiments in the continent, most notoriously in Eastern Europe.15

The re-emergence of neo-fascism and anti-communism in Europe is a form of revanchism for the victory of the Socialist Soviet Union over fascism. Right-wing ideology and anti-communism have become commonplace in Europe, where they have become integrated into the spectrum of political sentiments that are tolerated and even insidiously promoted. In fact, the integration of these political tendencies has shifted the political spectrum that the European ruling elites operate in to a different plane of operation. Social-democracy has also adopted variants of this narrative. It is fallacious to argue that neo-fascist sentiments are an issue of a minority of extremist organisations and that these are not influential in the big scheme of things. Their presence in the political spectrum of European politics is an inherent part of the overall imperialist strategy to absorb new markets, displace other imperialist powers, such as Russia, to avert proletariat revolutions by institutionalising anti-communism as the official ideology. Importantly, the ideology prevalent in Europe and the US is suited to manipulating public opinion in favour of waging imperialist wars. Stalin gave a classical characterisation of fascism and its multi-dimensionality that remains valid to this day:

“Firstly, it is not true that fascism is only the fighting organisation of the bourgeoisie. Fascism is not only a military-technical category. Fascism is the bourgeoisie’s fighting organisation that relies on the active support of Social-Democracy. Social-Democracy is objectively the moderate wing of fascism. There is no ground for assuming that the fighting organisation of the bourgeoisie can achieve decisive successes in battles, or in governing the country, without the active support of Social-Democracy. There is just as little ground for thinking that Social-Democracy can achieve decisive successes in battles, or in governing the country, without the active support of the fighting organisation of the bourgeoisie. These organisations do not negate, but supplement each other. They are not antipodes, they are twins. Fascism is an informal political bloc of these two chief organisations; a bloc, which arose in the circumstances of the post-war crisis of imperialism, and which is intended for combating the proletarian revolution. The bourgeoisie cannot retain power without such a bloc. It would therefore be a mistake to think that “pacifism” signifies the liquidation of fascism. In the present situation, “pacifism” is the strengthening of fascism with its moderate, Social-Democratic wing pushed into the forefront.” Stalin, in “Concerning the International Situation”, Works, Vol. 6, January-November, 1924, pp. 293-314.

The Ukrainian armed forces and law enforcement structures engaging in military operations are the only ones in the world that have organically integrated neo-fascist and neo-Nazi armed organizations. These include para-military and military organisations, such as “Dnepr”, “Azov”, the “Right Sector”, “Aydar”, “Kievskaya Rus” and others.16 & 17 Following the victorious rise of the Euromaidan movement, these organizations grew in numbers and resources, which include support from the Ukrainian oligarchy and foreign sources. These organizations were integrated into the structures of the armed forces and law enforcement and further grew within them, while they were allowed to retain their idiosyncrasy as organizations.18 As such, these organizations get vast financial support from Kyiv’s government and have formalized into formal divisions within the armed forces and law enforcement. They operate as elite forces, similar to the SS battalions within the Wehrmacht in Nazi Germany. They enjoy great ideological influence on the Ukrainian armed forces and other law enforcement agencies.19 It is very difficult to conceive today’s Ukrainian military effort, especially in the Donbass, without these elite forces.20

Ukraine has become the spear of neo-fascism and anti-communism in Europe. The rise of neo-fascism in Ukraine, which includes the systematic desecration of the Soviet past and the victory over fascism, has been instigated and financed by the European Union. Kyiv’s government has very little regard for Ukrainians, as it is willing to use all its human resources for a proxy war with Russia on behalf of European and U.S. imperialisms. Kyiv’s regime serves the interests of Western Imperialism and has been pivotal in instigating the armed conflict. So much for the European values of “freedom” and “democracy”. European fascism has raised its ugly and duplicitous face one more time.

The tasks of the Marxist-Leninists and the progressive forces.

Marxist-Leninist forces should never forget the attitude of the Bolsheviks towards the imperialist war, and how Lenin exposed the positions of social-patriotism. In 2015 Lenin wrote:

“During a reactionary war a revolutionary class cannot but desire the defeat of its government.

“This is axiomatic, and disputed only by conscious partisans or helpless satellites of the social-chauvinists. Among the former, for instance, is Semkovsky of the Organising Committee (No. 2 of its Izvestia), and among the latter, Trotsky and Bukvoyed, and Kautsky in Germany.”

“The phrase-bandying Trotsky has completely lost his bearings on a simple issue. It seems to him that to desire Russia’s defeat means desiring the victory of Germany.

“A revolution in wartime means civil war; the conversion of a war between governments into a civil war is, on the one hand, facilitated by military reverses (‘defeats’) of governments; on the other hand, one cannot actually strive for such a conversion without thereby facilitating defeat.” Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [197[4]], Moscow, Volume 21, pages 275-280.

Today’s revisionists have allied themselves with Putin’s regime in waging an imperialist war that is killing Russians and Ukrainians in the tens of thousands and inflicting irreparable damage to the livelihoods of tens of millions of people. All this unspeakable suffering is in the name of the narrow economic interest of Russian imperialism in the area. Despite the sprawling Soviet symbolism, such as the Soviet flag of victory, this war has nothing to do with the war waged by the Soviet Union against Nazi Germany. By contrast, Marxist-Leninist forces should relentlessly uphold Bolshevik positions with respect to the imperialist war by openly calling the conflict imperialist. Marxist-Leninists should not be afraid of exposing the treacherous role of revisionism, the heirs of the revisionist CPSU, and now these work hand in hand with the Russian oligarchy against the interests of the toiling masses. The restoration of the Soviet Union of Lenin and Stalin will not emerge because of a victorious imperialist war. Much to the contrary, the restoration of the Soviet Union of Lenin and Stalin will only follow from the consistent implementation of Bolshevik slogans. In a similar way that the First World War accelerated the advent of the social revolution, the imperialist war in Ukraine will accelerate the social revolution in Russia and other former republics of the Soviet Union. The re-emergence of pro-Soviet sentiments among the Russian toiling masses is a great victory in its own right, but it is not a sufficient condition for the restoration of the Soviet Union of Lenin and Stalin. Most certainly, waging an imperialist war with Soviet symbolism will not bring about the Soviet Union; it only strengthens Russian capitalism. Marxist-Leninist forces in Russia and other former Soviet republics need to connect the slogan of the restoration of the Soviet Union with the anti-capitalist struggle of the working class. The latter inevitably goes through exposing the war in Ukraine as an imperialist war. This needs to be done unambiguously. The Marxist-Leninist forces are on the side of the toiling masses, not on the side of social-chauvinism in its many variants.

Progressive forces in Western imperialist countries need to make every possible effort to stop the war effort. The cost of the war will always be borne by the toiling masses. The war is nothing but a means to enhance corporate super-profits at the expense of the toiling masses, whose purchasing power continues to drop. Progressive forces need to expose the true nature of anti-communism and anti-Sovietism. These constitute the core of neo-fascist ideology. Being tolerant towards this type of ideology opens the door to imperialist wars. The toiling masses of Western imperialist countries have nothing to profit from imperialist wars. Progressive forces need to strive for the dissolution of NATO. NATO is the biggest threat to security in the world.

Down with the imperialist war in Ukraine!
Long live the Soviet Union of Lenin and Stalin!


1. The movement “Бессмертныйполк” (immortal regiment) was created in 2012 with the intention of glorifying those fallen in the struggle against fascism during the Great Patriotic War. The movement today holds rallies in commemoration of the victory in every major city of Russia and beyond. It now uses a lot of Soviet symbolism. It is fair to say that millions of people participate in these actions.

2. The flag of victory is the official symbol of the victory of the Soviet Union over Nazi Germany. It was one of the flags hoisted over the Reichstag in May 1945. Under Yeltsin, the hammer and sickle were replaced by a yellow star. Under Putin and according to Russian law the original flag of victory is to be used during victory parades.

3. Members of the Russian military hoisted the red flag of victory over the memorial of the Great Patriotic War in the city of Kherson, https://iz. ru/1323340/2022-04-20/nad-memorialom-v-khersone-rosgvardeitcy-vodruzili-znamia-pobedy. Similarly, in Melitopol https://www.vesti.ru/article/2721070

4. https://ria.ru/20220429/pobeda-1786051011.html

5. The official statements of the CPRF in English can be found at https://cprf.ru

6.  The CPRF is a staunch supporter of the war. As indicated by its general secretary, Gennady Zyuganov, that war “is an operation for liberation. Therefore, it cannot be conducted as a military operation. Because in a military operation troops are surrounded, then liquidated, and that would have been the end of it. But here you need to uproot Nazism with a scalpel, while inviting all citizens to contribute to this operation.” https://www.kp.ru/daily/27370/4562979/

7. https://www.dp.ru/a/2022/04/06/Zjuganov_o_posledstvijah_ne

8. “One of the four bills in the package, On the Legal Status and Honouring of Fighters for Ukraine’s Independence in the Twentieth Century,” covers a long list of individuals and organisations from human rights activists to guerrillas accused of ethnic cleansing. It would allow veterans of the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), followers of Bandera, to receive state benefits, and rules that to deny or disrespect their role in fighting for Ukrainian independence is an unlawful “desecration of their memory”. In “Ukraine to rewrite Soviet history with controversial ‘decommunization’ laws,” see https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/20/ukraine-decommunisation-law-soviet

9. “The problem rather arises from the fact that, at the same time, since 2006 and especially since 2014, Ukrainian official memory policies have been heroizing leading representatives of the two organizations—the OUN(B) and UPA—that are considered most responsible for these mass-killings.…

Yet today, the leaders and members of the war-time OUN-UPA are promoted by many Ukrainian governmental institutions, major political commentators, and certain civil society organizations as impeccable ‘fighters for liberation.’

“The issue today is that most of Ukraine’s memory politicians remain in a state of cognitive dissonance regarding the different aspects of the history of Ukrainian nationalism. They dissociate the OUN-UPA’s fight for independence from the organizations’ war crimes during World War II. Not only ultra-nationalist, but also numerous pro-Western and otherwise liberal Ukrainian politicians and intellectuals deliberately distinguish between the heroic aspects and the “dark side” of the OUN-UPA’s battle against foreign rule. In support of this imagination, an array of Ukrainian historical publicists offers various apologies, justifications, and moderations for the Ukrainian war-time ultra-nationalists’ murderous actions against civilians. Recalling practices of selective national remembrance in other countries around the world, many Ukrainians today ignore, relativize, or downplay the OUN’s radical ideas, terrorist methods, and murderous practices. Similarly, to the behaviour of other self-ascribed patriots around the world, Ukrainians who consider themselves ‘nationally aware’ prefer to focus on the exceptional courage, patriotism, and sad fate of the majority of the UPA’s soldiers and the many tragic moments of their extraordinary anti-Moscow insurgency.” Andreas Umland, “Why Warsaw should go soft on Kyiv”, Harvard International Review, Vol. 39, No. 2, Global waters: Oceans of opportunity and strife (Spring 2018), pp. 52-57.

10. “Also at the request of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine I decided to confer the title of Hero of Ukraine upon Colonel Baranyuk Volodymyr Anatoliyovych, Commander of the 36th Separate Marine Brigade, and Major Prokopenko Denys Hennadiyovych, Commander of a separate detachment of special purpose ‘Azov’. For courage, for effective actions to repel enemy attacks, for the defence of the hero city of Mariupol.” https://www.president.gov.ua/en/news/zmistovni-peregovori-pro-mir-i-bezpeku-dlya-ukrayini-yedinij-73661

11. “The deindustrialization in Ukraine has been observed for several years in a row. We are talking about the loss of entire sectors of the economy that produce products with high added value. First of all, I would mention mechanical engineering – the rocket and space complex, aircraft building, shipbuilding, and transport engineering. About 72% of Ukraine’s export products today belong to the category of raw materials – raw materials of the agro-industrial complex, mining and metallurgical complex and some semi-finished products.

“The corresponding structure of the economy creates huge threats. First of all, because the raw material-based economy is not capable of creating the required number of modern jobs. There is not a single example of a high quality of life for citizens, a high level of real incomes, wages and, as a result, high solvency in economies of this type.

“Finally, the deepening of deindustrialization leads to the loss of the most important thing in the state – human potential, labour resources. At least 8-9 million Ukrainians today are looking for their livelihood abroad – this is not only a reaction to low wages, but also a manifestation of the degradation of the economy as a whole.

“The deepening of deindustrialization, the transformation of Ukraine into a raw materials appendage of developed economies, an exporter of cheap labour can lead to the fact that no more than 15-17 million people will remain on Ukrainian soil, as predicted by the World Bank and other international experts.” Anatolii Kinakh in “Former Prime Minister of Ukraine on the threatening situation in the Ukrainian economy and industry”, https://uspp.ua/ru/inicziativi/position/m-teriaem-tsele-otrasly-konomyky.

12. “Today, with a high degree of probability, we can state that it was the collapse of the planned economy and the neoliberal reforms imposed by the West that led not only to the deindustrialization of the country’s economy and the massive impoverishment of the vast majority of the population of Ukraine, but also to an increase in social tension as a result of the activation of the extreme right movements, unleashing civil confrontation and military conflicts that marked the beginning of 2014.” V.A. Butkaliuk, “Position and prospects of the working class in the Ukraine in the conditions of the modern crisis of neo-liberalism”, https://cyberleninka.ru/article/n/polozhenie-i-perspektivy-rabochego-klassa-ukrainy-v-usloviyah-sovremennogo-krizisa-neoliberalizma

13. “Symbolically, he [Stephan Bandera, our note] was even posthumously awarded a Hero of Ukraine medal by Viktor Yushchenko at the end of his presidency. On the other hand, eastern and southern parts of the country were widely critical of the rising popularity of Bandera, which was consistent with the Soviet/ Russian perception of World War II. Instead, people in Donbass and Crimea usually held a positive attitude towards communism and its impact on contemporary Ukraine, cultivating symbols and traditions of the former USSR. This rupture was even more paradoxical, as nationalist proponents of Bandera typically support integration with the European Union. At the same time, the Russian-speaking minority were much more interested in enhanced collaboration with Moscow.” Miron Lakomy, “The game of Ukraine: Conflict in Donbass as an outcome of the multi-layered rivalry”, Politeja, No. 45 (2016), pp. 279-316.

14. “A regional divide exists concerning attitudes toward these historical nationalist organizations in Ukraine. A majority of the respondents in Galicia have positive perceptions of the Bandera faction of the OUN and the UPA (63% and 59%, respectively). A minority of Ukrainians not only in the East, the South, and the Centre but also in the historic Western Ukrainian regions of Volhynia, Bukovyna, and Transcarpathia have positive attitudes toward the OUN-B and the UPA. One-third (36%) of the respondents in Transcarpathia, 25% in Volhynia, 16% in Bukovyna, 19% in Kyiv, and 12% in other Central regions (Cherkasy, Chernihiv, Khmelnytsky, Kyivregion, Kirovohrad, Poltava, Sumy, Vinnytsia, and Zhytomyr Regions) express favourable opinions of the OUN-B. Such views were shared by 0% of the residents of Crimea, 2% in Donbas, and 3% in other regions in the South (Kherson, Mykolaiv, and Odessa Regions) and 3% in the East (Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv, and Zaporizhzhia Regions). Views of the UPA are similar.” Ivan Katchanovski, “Terrorists or national heroes? Politics and perceptions of the OUN and the UPA in Ukraine”, Communist and Post-Communist Studies, June/September 2015, Vol. 48, No. 2/3 (June/September 2015), pp. 217-228

15. “Central and Eastern Europe is witnessing another surge in the presence and activities of paramilitary organizations. These can be found not only in Ukraine, where their presence due to the armed conflict is understandable, but also in EU and NATO members like Czechia, Estonia, and Poland, which are enjoying long-term peace. This development can to some extent be explained as a grassroot, civil-society reaction to major changes and developments in the security environment.” Matej Kandrík, “The Challenge of Paramilitarism in Central and Eastern Europe” (https://www.jstor.org/ stable/resrep26757)

16. A summary of the rise of the so called “Azov” battalion both militarily and politically can be found in https://shron1.chtyvo.org.ua/Maltsev_Vladislav/Fenomen_Azova_Kak_ukraynskye_natsyonalyst_staly_vlyiatelnoi_polytycheskoi_syloi_ros.pdf?PHPSESSID=sao5649c73uvenephi9htlhf

17. Alexander Clapp “The Maidan Irregulars” The National Interest, No. 143, Chinese Statecraft (May/June 2016), pp. 26- 33.

18. “The data that has been accumulated since the first report by the Foundation for Democracy Studies provides ground to conclude that torture and inhumane treatment inflicted by the Security Forces of Ukraine (SBU), by the Ukrainian armed forces, the National Guard and other formations within the Interior Ministry of Ukraine, as well as by illegal armed groups, such as Right Sector, have not only continued but are gaining in scale and are becoming systematic.” In “War crimes of the armed forces and security forces of Ukraine: torture and inhumane treatment”, Second report. OSCE supplementary human dimension meeting, April 2016, PC.SHDM.NGO/17/16.

19. “Kyiv officials walk a thin line of outwardly condemning illegal armed groups in Ukraine and passively supporting pro-Ukrainian militias that wield significant power and fighting forces. The Ukrainian government continues to work to unify these groups under either the Ministry of Defence or Interior, despite recent confrontations and lack of desire to integrate. In April 2015, the Right Sector’s leader, Dmytro Yarosh, was appointed as an advisor to the Ministry of Defence in a move to consolidate the group within the ministry by giving it a seat at the table. Ultimately, officials hope that integrating all militias under the command and control of the government will achieve unity of effort against a common enemy – Russia. These groups are credited with seeing Euro Maidan through to the end and defending Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression; however, as the war goes on they represent a glaring threat to the central government”. Joshua P. Mulford, “Non-State Actors in the Russo-Ukrainian War”, Connections, Vol. 15, No. 2 (Spring 2016), pp. 89-107

20. According to different sources, the “Azov” battalion accounted for up to 50% of servicemen in arms defending Mariupol during the siege that ended in May 2022.

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