The War in the Chechen Republic:
Russian Great Power Chauvinism.

The bourgeois-fascist Russian regime has again bloodily attacked the Republic of Chechenia. From the petty bourgeois point of view this war is seen as an internal conflict for the liquidation of armed terrorist formations within the Russian Federation, or as Russian propaganda now calls them, armed bands of international Islamic terrorism. This view of the bourgeois propaganda seeks to treat this flagrant aggression as a legitimate act of defence of the integrity of Russian territory against the forces of international terrorism. To substantiate the arguments of bourgeois propaganda, the media shout about the existence within the 'Islamic bands' of mercenaries from other countries, Arabs, Albanians, Blacks, Ukrainians and Russians. At the same time bourgeois propaganda tries to show conscientiously that the mercenaries are being trained in Sudan, Palestine, Munich, London... The Russian bourgeois circles assert that Russian planes are bombing oil centres, factories, terrorist training bases, that the strikes are carried out with the most precise accuracy that the Russian intelligence services permit. They claim that the refugees are fleeing their homes threatened by groups of Islamic terrorists, that the population of the Chechen Republic are rushing to receive the Russian troops as liberators who are freeing the territory from the belligerence of the 'terrorist groups.' That is, they are using the same bourgeois propaganda methods as the imperialists boasted of in their aggression against Iraq and the Balkans. The petty bourgeois 'patriots' have no doubt that it was people of 'Caucasian nationality' who were guilty of violent outrages in Buinaksk, Moscow, Volgodonsk, and who are preparing a campaign of terror throughout Russia. In conclusion, the Russian bourgeoisie has declared that the haven of international terrorism in the Chechen Republic will be liquidated. The Prime Minister of Russia, Putin, asserts that 'we are going to get rid of the terrorists'. In this way the Russian bourgeoisie is trying to control society and justify its criminal aggression against the Chechen Republic. It is a fact that this vicious and slanderous campaign coming from the bourgeois press could not fail to alarm our society. Since when have these exploiters, parasites and murderers of the Russian proletariat been concerned about the sufferings and plight of the people? Such na´vetÚ of the petty bourgeoisie was very expensive for the German petty bourgeoisie which adopted chauvinist postures during the Second World War!!! These 'patriots' in actuality became cannon fodder for German fascism and only served to cover the 'conquered' territories with their bodies.

There is no need to repeat that the Russian bourgeois fascist regime is directly linked to international capital headed by U.S. imperialism. This is no secret to all the peoples of Russia. This fact is indignantly denounced by the newspapers of the 'opposition'. One of the richest deposits of oil in Russia lies in the territory of the Chechen Republic. The gas pipelines to the south run through the Chechen Republic. In addition labour power in Russia is one of the cheapest, which is therefore very lucrative for the bourgeoisie. Taking these facts together, it is not hard to conclude that the territory of the Chechen Republic enters into the sphere of interest not only of the gas and oil monopolies of the Russian bourgeoisie but also of international capital. These days the puppet government of the bourgeoisie has proclaimed the militarization of Russia. The misnamed 'opposition' press, in turn, consciously persists in its campaign to instigate 'patriotic' bourgeois feelings among the petty bourgeois masses. To what is this due? In our country two bourgeois groups are contending with each other: Circles of the openly comprador bourgeoisie, who are parasites on the natural resources of the country, selling them off cheaply. Concealed under the slogans of bourgeois 'patriotism,' exploiting the Russian working class to unthinkable levels and also parasites on the natural resources of the country through arms sales, the military-industrial complex. Both sectors of the Russian bourgeoisie have an anti-popular, fascist, traitorous and comprador character. Cheap raw materials, markets, capital and cheap labour power are needed for the enrichment of the bourgeois parasites. The war in the Chechen Republic is the result of the struggle between these two sectors of the Russian bourgeoisie for the monopoly of the exploitation raw materials, the control of the oil and gas pipelines. It is precisely this reason that explains the unusual tension created around the aluminium industry in Siberia, the high-quality coal of the Kuzbass, etc.

The struggle over new sources of raw material will lead in the future to new armed conflicts on the territory of Russia and other republics of the former Soviet Union. The militarization of Russia prepares the conditions for new predatory wars. The tendency of the bourgeoisie to bring up a working class that is docile and enslaved to its purposes leads inevitably to a fascist dictatorship in Russia, to the increasing exploitation of the working class and still more to the increasing impoverishment of the popular masses. In a similar manner diverse imperialist interests faced each other in Iraq, Kosova, Kurdistan, the Middle East and other parts of the planet which has resulted in bloody wars of aggression. These local armed conflicts are a manifestation of the continued tendency of international capital towards a wider armed conflict, a third world war for the struggle over spheres of influence. The growing militarization of Russia and the aggressive character of its bourgeoisie convert the danger of the approach of a global conflict into a threatening reality. The victory of one or another bourgeois group over the others will not bring the Russian popular masses their economic and political independence. The oppression exercised by one group of the national and international bourgeoisie would be replaced by the oppression and exploitation of another bourgeois group. Not too long ago the Russian bourgeoisie that today calls itself the 'opposition' armed to the teeth General Dudaev (first president of the Chechen Republic. Note of the translator) to safeguard their oil interests. Another sector of the Russian bourgeoisie that came to power afterwards resolved to snatch the Chechen profits from its competitors. In this way the war in the Chechen Republic began. Today the struggle of these groups interested in Chechen oil is manifested in this war. It is precisely these interests that the Russian regular troops, on the one hand, and the armed Chechen groups, on the other, are defending with their blood. The real losers in this bloody war are the Russian and Chechen people. Under the capitalist regime these wars are interminable. These wars will never bring peace and freedom to the Russian and Chechen people!!

The way out of the oppression to which the people of Russia and the Chechen Republic are subjected will come only by force, not the force of the Russian or Chechen bourgeoisies, each of which represents the interests of one or the other mafia group. Only the Russian and Chechen proletariat can become that force. The road toward freedom of the labouring masses of Russia and the Chechen Republic is the proletarian revolution which will lead to the liquidation of the regime of capital at all levels and in all the nations on the territory of Russia and the Chechen Republic!! A few years ago the city of Grozni (capital of the Chechen Republic. Note of the translator), at that time populated in its majority by civilians, was the object of the most savage aggression by the Russian regular troops. As result many innocent people died, people of different ethnic groups, women, children, the elderly... At that time, the armed Chechen groups not only were not liquidated, but some of them were temporarily recruited into the armed forces of the Russian Ministry of the Interior. Therefore it was not 'terrorism' that was the objective of the murderous plans of the Russian army. The aggression against the Chechen Republic constituted an act of large-scale flagrant terrorism against the civilian population living in the republic, as the result of the struggle between various bourgeois sectors for control of the natural wealth of the republic. On October 14, 1999, Russian regular troops under cover of night tried to seize by force the cellulose factory at Vyborg (in the Leningrad region. See Proletarskaya Gazeta Nos. 4 and 5. Note of the translator) using firearms against the unarmed workers who were guarding the facilities. This act of supreme cowardice against the unarmed workers of the factory was carried out to force through the privatization of the factory which had been declared a people's factory by the work collective. Again we have before us an act of flagrant terrorism by the repressive apparatus of the bourgeois state. Both bloody acts show in a clear way that the capitalist system, in accord with its essence, is a social-class form of terrorist violence against the working people. Without terror directed against the oppressed people the system of exploitation objectively cannot exist. These flagrant acts of social-class terror against the exploited masses are not considered criminal by the bourgeoisie. The bourgeoisie does not worry about the legal aspects of these criminal acts, since the bourgeois system is criminal in essence. Consequently, the proletariat should remember that any attempt on its part to question the slave-like oppression and barbaric exploitation to which it is subjected will encounter ferocious resistance on the part of the bourgeoisie, without regard to means or subtleties.

It is necessary to review an important particularity of the war in the Chechen Republic. The forces of capital which are behind the Chechen bourgeoisie carry out and continue to carry out exploitation against the working masses of this republic. The Russian bourgeoisie in this case is trying to impose its control by force, that is, it has become the direct aggressor against the Chechen Republic. The bourgeoisie of the Chechen Republic has manifested on numerous occasions its desire to bring into effect the independence of the Chechen Republic from Russia. The desire for independence of the Chechen Republic has been ignored by the Russian bourgeoisie. The desire of the bourgeoisie of the Chechen Republic to bring independence into effect is legitimate. Any attempt to prevent this by force has a reactionary character and is against the interests of the Russian and Chechen proletariat. The aggression of the Russian troops cannot be justified in any way by the acts of terror committed on Russian territory. The slanders and treacherous provocations have always been tools in the hands of the bourgeoisie in its fight for the preservation of its class rule. The German bourgeoisie acted in the same way when they burned the Reichstag building before the Second World War. Therefore the acts of terror committed in Russian cities should be attributed to the secret service of the Russian bourgeoisie, which were necessary to provoke the aggression against the Chechen Republic. In this case the war in the Chechen Republic in fact ceases to be an internal Russian conflict and becomes a war of national liberation on the part of the Chechen Republic, and an act of aggression on the part of the Russian troops. Therefore in this concrete case our sympathy, the sympathy of the proletariat is on the side of the Chechen Republic which is being subjected to an armed aggression on the part of the Russian armed forces. The world and Russian proletariat must demand the immediate withdrawal of the Russian troops as aggressors and invaders of the Chechen Republic. Proletarian internationalism is characteristic of the class-conscious proletariat which is opposed to all national hatred and oppression. Chauvinism and the nationalist aggressiveness are advantageous to the bourgeoisie and are instigated by it, and they find their social base among the petty bourgeoisie whose future position has been aggravated by the crisis of monopoly capitalism. The source of any war on the planet today is private property and the tendency of the parasitic bourgeoisie to try by all means to seek the maximum profit without taking account of the lamentable consequences that it brings with it. Capitalism in its imperialist phase is the source of war!

'Proletarskaya Gazeta', No. 5, Leningrad, 1999.

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