Translated from Proletarskaya Gazeta [The Proletarian Newspaper], Issue 38 of July 2015, and also available in Revolutionary Democracy.
Translated by Polina Brik, Edited by Kevin Connolly, September 2018
War and State Terrorism on the Territory of Ukraine as a Manifestation of Confrontation of the Imperialist Powers, Mainly the United States and Russia, for Redistribution of Spheres Influences
“Imperialism is capitalism at that stage of development at which the dominance of monopolies and finance capital is established; 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 monopoly possession of colonies and, consequently, of particularly intense struggle for the division and the redivision of the world.”
– V.I. Lenin, Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, Part VII
After the defeat of Soviet social-imperialism and a number of shocks and serious tests, the Russian capital was able to raise Russia to the level of classical imperialist power and take its place as one of the leading world powers with all the inherent problems and ambitions, up to the active participation in the struggle for the redivision of the world.
Conclusions on the advent of the era of “particularly intense struggle for the division and the redivision of the world” made by Lenin in the work Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism in 1916 and confirmed in practice through two world wars are equally relevant at the present time.
Imperialism in the struggle for the redivision of the world cannot exist without wars, even under a real danger of unleashing a world war. The territory of Ukraine has become the arena of the fierce struggle between US and Russian imperialism.
“…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 and undermine his hegemony.”
– V.I. Lenin, Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, Part VII
Russian capital plays a significant role in the economy of Ukraine, the two countries have had close mutual production, trade and other ties, and therefore it will be quite natural to strive 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 from the encroachments of its competitors. On the territory of Ukraine, Russian capital is in competition with the capital of the countries of the European Union, as well as its first and foremost competitor – United States, which claims to be the world’s only superpower, claims to be a serious and dangerous competitor and adversary to Russian imperialism and will therefore seek to pressure Russian capital and weaken its positions.
According to the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine (See the statement of the head of the Fiscal Service of Ukraine I. Bilous on August 1, 2014), every tenth company of the two hundred largest companies in Ukraine is owned by Russian capital. In particular, among the largest assets of Russian capital in Ukraine are such companies as Prominvestbank, which serves the flows of many of the largest Ukrainian enterprises, Sberbank of Russia, Rosatom, Gazprom, ISD metallurgical holding, Lukoil-Ukraine and others.
Let’s name some large capitalists representing Russian business and indicate their sphere of influence in the Ukrainian economy as of January 13, 2013: Vagit Alekperov, Viktor Vekselberg, Alexander Babakov and Evraz Group (https://www.epravda.com.ua/).
Headed by Vagit Alekperov, the largest Russian corporation “Lukoil” bought the Odessa oil refinery and “Karpatneftekhim.” In 2012, it declared itself as an applicant for the development of a number of oil and gas fields on the Ukrainian shelf of the Black Sea.
Viktor Vekselberg at one time owned five regional gas industries in Ukraine, but then sold them to Gazprom. Today, together with the Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, he controls the Zaporozhye aluminum smelter.
The electric power industry was the original “specialization” of Alexander Babakov and Konstantin Grigorishin in Ukraine. According to Ukrainian experts, the company VS Energy International, controlled by Babakov, owns shares in “Khersonoblenergo”, “Zhytomiroblenergo”, “Kirovogradoblenergo”, “Chernivtsioblenergo”, ”Odessaoblenergo”, “Khmelnitskoblenergo” and “Zakarpattyaoblenergo” [regional energy suppliers in Ukraine].
There is a metallurgical company “Industrial Union of Donbass” on the territory of Donbass. 49.9% of the shares of this company belong to Ukrainian entrepreneurs, but the controlling stake belongs to the investors of Russian capital, the representative of which is the corporation Evraz-Group.
As of October 1, 2014, Russia ranks second after the EU countries on the volume of direct investments into the economy of Ukraine.
In addition to economic interests, Russian imperialism has its own military and political interests on the territory of Ukraine. In particular, these interests most clearly confirm the fact of the Crimea joining Russia. Although Crimea joined Russia as a result of a nationwide referendum, after its declaration by an independent state and seemingly in accordance with the right of the nation to self-determination, it nevertheless happened under the cover of the Russian armed forces and without the consent of Ukraine. The Crimean bridgehead not only significantly strengthened Russia’s military positions on the Black Sea, but, to the same extent, weakened the US military and political positions in this region. In addition, in case of recognition of the victory of the militia, even if the Donbass enters the Ukraine with the rights of broad autonomy, there may be preconditions for the appearance of a pro-Russian enclave here, which, accordingly, will weaken the influence of the US and Western competitors in a number of other territories of Ukraine.
Consequently, Russian imperialism is not interested in fomenting any military conflicts on the territory of Ukraine at the moment and is vitally interested in at least freezing the military conflict on the territory of the Donbass. This conclusion was made by us as a result of an analysis of the interests of large Russian capital at the moment. It is precisely these class interests that explain the peacekeeping rhetoric of Russian bourgeois power towards Ukraine as a whole and its charity towards the oppressed masses of Donbass: the dispatch of humanitarian convoys, the reception of refugees in the territory of Russia, the provision of free medical care to wounded children, and the like. However, the future destiny of the oppressed masses of the Donbas is absolutely indifferent to the Russian authorities – in fact, until now the Russian bourgeois authorities have not legally recognized the emergence of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic; during a number of successful offensives of the militia, these offensives were stopped under the pressure of the bourgeois power of Russia, since the armed oppressed masses of the Donbas inspire fear not only of the Ukrainian bourgeoisie, but of the entire imperialist reaction, including the Russian one; the Russian bourgeoisie did not render effective assistance in organizing its own financial system of the independent republics of Donbass, did not help in the restoration of factories, mines and the national economy as a whole, and so on.
As of October 1, 2014, direct investments by leading EU countries occupy the second place in the investor table in Ukraine, without taking into account offshore zones (the second place), the United States is on the third place (direct investments of the USA are commensurate with Poland’s investments). It can be concluded from this that the capital of the EU countries is primarily interested in maintaining its economic position in Ukraine and in strengthening its political influence. Consequently, the European Union is not interested in fomenting large-scale military conflicts on Ukrainian territory.
US imperialism, in its turn, is interested in weakening its competitors as much as possible, first of all – Russian competitors, not only in the territory of Ukraine, but also in the whole European space. Therefore, US imperialism is interested in fomenting enmity and forcing the EU and Russia to fight each other, primarily on the territory of Ukraine and in the regions bordering it. Consequently, US imperialism is interested in fomenting military psychosis in Ukraine and in resuming active military clashes in the Donbas region.
The Ukrainian Maidan, under the flag of the fight against the so-called oligarchy and relying on the mass discontent of the population by the existing regime, overthrew Yanukovych’s pro-Russian regime. At the time of the coup d’état in Ukraine in February 2014, the most open activity in its support was shown by the states of the European Union and their emissaries in Ukraine. This fully corresponded to the interests of European capital, which sought to establish a pro-European regime in Ukraine and thereby strengthen its political positions. At the time of the coup d’etat in Ukraine, US imperialism acted no less actively, but behind the back of its European allies, as always, trying to rake the heat with someone else’s hands. The interests of US imperialism on the territory of Ukraine were, firstly, to maximally damage the Russian competitor by squeezing or even ousting him from this bridgehead with the maximum losses for Russia, and secondly – to seize the Ukrainian market with the maximum benefit for American capital, even at the expense of the interests of their European allies.
However, Russian imperialism struck back, immediately annexing the Crimea and openly supporting anti-Maidan speeches on the territory of Ukraine. The annexation of the Crimea, first and foremost, became a serious blow to the plans and interests of US imperialism in the struggle against the Russian rival and aggravated the confrontation between these two imperialist powers.
The Kiev Maidan proclaimed the fidelity of European bourgeois democracy and Western liberal-bourgeois values. These slogans fully corresponded to the dreams and aspirations of the petty-bourgeois masses of Ukraine, especially the bourgeois intelligentsia. Therefore it was precisely the petty-bourgeois masses that voluntarily formed the basis of the Kiev Maidan.
“A petty bourgeois driven to frenzy by the horrors of capitalism is a social phenomenon which, like anarchism, is characteristic of all capitalist countries.”
– V.I. Lenin, “Left Wing” Communism: An Infantile Disorder, Part II
However, the well-prepared, paid and armed detachments of militants became the practical core of the Maidan. For what and by whom were these militant groups prepared? These detachments of militants were prepared in advance by the western organizers of the Maidan in the territory of some EU countries, in particular, in the territory of the Baltic countries and Poland. The need for such units came mainly from fears that the Ukrainian special forces could prevent a coup d’état.
These militia groups were not ideologically homogeneous. Among them, pro-fascist detachments stood out, who persistently imposed on the population the ideology of rabid Ukrainian nationalism. Why did the bourgeois organizers of the Ukrainian Maidan prefer the ideology of frenzied nationalism? On the territory of Ukraine, the fierce struggle of two imperialist predators, Russia and the USA, intensified which relied on certain groups of the large Ukrainian bourgeoisie. Ukrainian nationalism allowed the political circles of the United States, the European Union and Ukrainian propaganda to create in the minds of the Ukrainian philistine an image of the blood enemy of the Ukrainian people personified in Russia. It is true that the initiators and propagandists of the pro-fascist ideology did not take into account the consequences of this propaganda within Ukraine itself, creating an anti-fascist movement and real practical resistance under the internationalist slogan “Fascism will not pass!”. Why did a significant number of the Ukrainian petty-bourgeois masses quickly adopt this pro-fascist ideology, up to the rise of the bloody fascist executioners Bandera, Shukhevych and their ilk to the level of national heroes of Ukraine? Nationalist ideology turned out to be attractive to petty-bourgeois masses of Ukrainian nationality in that it allegedly allowed them to raise their material level and satisfy their philistine ambitions not at the expense of their own labor and their real social significance, but at the expense of oppression of representatives of other nationalities. The nationalist frenzy did not allow the Ukrainians to notice that a significant part of the population of Donbass and several other regions are Ukrainian citizens, in particular, with Russian nationality. Neither did they notice that the road to nationalist prosperity will inevitably be bloodshot and strewn with corpses of the followers of Bandera and Shukhevych. How realistic is the establishment of a geniune fascist dictatorship in Ukraine as a state system? The imperialist powers of the West, including the United States, are not interested in establishing a frank fascist dictatorship in Ukraine as a state organization, since the patronage of the fascist dictatorship on their part would discredit the so-called democratic values of these powers. The imperialists of Russia are also not interested in establishing an open fascist power in Ukraine, since this could complicate the presence of Russian capital on the territory of Ukraine and Ukrainian capital on the territory of Russia. In turn, the Ukrainian bourgeoisie – both pro-Western and pro-Russian – can not go against the interests of their imperialist “partners.” However, the danger of a fascist coup d’état in Ukraine can not be dismissed unconditionally. On the territory of Donbass, weapons were in the hands of the oppressed masses, who successfully resist the aggression of both nationalist militant groups and the regular Ukrainian army. The armed oppressed masses and their successes in the struggle against the regular army drive not only the Ukrainian bourgeoisie into fear, but also the bourgeoisie of Russia, Western Europe and the United States. Therefore, in the event that the national liberation struggle threatens to grow into a class struggle, the bourgeoisie may well use the establishment of a fascist dictatorship in Ukraine, relying on nationalist militant groups, since for the bourgeoisie its class enemy of the armed oppressed masses is much more dreadful and dangerous than any bourgeois competitor and intraclass bourgeois interfightings and problems. Let us not forget the lesson of establishing a fascist dictatorship in Chile.
Mass destruction of monuments to Lenin in Ukraine is not due to hatred for Russians and Russia. In the nineties, the Russian bourgeoisie in Russia also sneered at monuments to Lenin, Dzerzhinsky and other legendary heroes of the proletarian the revolution of 1917. This class barbarism is explained by the fierce hatred of the ruling bourgeoisie towards the Proletarian Revolution and by the fear of the inevitable dictatorship of the proletariat – both on the territory of Ukraine and Russia. During the World War II, both Russian and Ukrainian peoples defended the gains of the Proletarian Revolution and the Socialist Motherland from the invasion of the most reactionary forces of capital – the fascist invaders. The glamor over the legendary history of the World War II and over the monuments of its heroes is again explained by the fierce hatred of the now dominant bourgeoisie in Ukraine and the bourgeois anger toward the Proletarian Revolution.
The anti-fascist movement in Ukraine, which originated in the Donbas, Odessa and Kharkov, although slowly, spreads across the entire country in the present day. Thus, there is a counterbalance to the spread of fascism on the part of the oppressed masses. If during the first days of the Maidan nationalist groups of militants instilled confidence and hope for a quick victory by their determination, organization and perseverance, now the victory of Maidan seemed to have come true, but Maidan’s ideas and expectations turned out to be a fiction – instead of improving well-being, the Ukrainian currency collapsed, followed by a sharp rise in the cost of life, rampant banditry and lawlessness, the leading bodies began the dominance of foreigners of the lowest sort – which contradicts nationalist ideas. All Ukrainian “oligarchs” are alive, healthy and successfully “reign” for the benefit of personal gain and the like. As practice has shown, weapons in the hands of the oppressed masses of Donbas do not pose a threat to the bourgeoisie of Ukraine, Russia, the United States and any other country. Why? To date, the Russian bourgeoisie competently and successfully neutralizes any class initiative by armed workers in the territory of the Donbass. The Russian propaganda, which the oppressed masses of Donbas exclusively trust, directs the attention of the population of Donbass to the need for reconciliation with the Kiev bourgeois aggressor, supposedly as the only way out for the entire population of Donbass in this situation, that is, acting as a peacemaker distracts the attention of the oppressed masses of Donbass from class problems.
Armed fighting detachments of Ukrainian nationalists, considered heroes and the hope of the Maidan, have now completely discredited themselves, having degenerated into a gang of hired assassins, rapists, robbers and executioners, repeating the fate of Stepan Bandera during the World War II. What other reasons make the Ukrainian bourgeoisie now tolerate the nationalist militia groups and use their services? First, the efforts of Russian imperialism aimed at neutralizing any class initiative of workers in the Donbas may prove to be unreliable and short-lived, and the peace imposed with the participation of Russia will accelerate the formation of the class consciousness of the oppressed masses. In this case, the armed and combatant oppressed masses of the Donbas will be a danger to the class of oppressors. To neutralize them, it may be necessary to disrupt peace agreements, for which the alleged armed forces of the nationalists, allegedly uncontrolled by the Kiev government, can be used. Secondly, the worsening social and economic situation in the country can again provoke another mass Maidan. In this case, the detachments of nationalist militants will be able to head the Maidan again and withdraw the discontent of the oppressed masses from the social-class struggle to fight for the interests of the bourgeoisie in the next redivision of spheres of influence. Thirdly, the antifascist movement that has arisen from below and keeps growing may turn into a class struggle, for fascism is a product and servant of financial capital. Therefore, the bourgeoisie will seek to disorient and neutralize the anti-fascist movement, directing it into the channel of practical struggle against nationalist parties and their militant groups, and not against the class bosses of these nationalists. Fourthly, in connection with the worsening socio-economic situation in the country and the growth of unemployment, the workers’ struggle for their vital rights will grow. To harshly suppress workers, well-trained militants can be used, allegedly having nothing to do with the existing bourgeois power and allegedly fulfilling the will and defending the interests of only a particular capitalist. For this role, the nationalist detachments of militants such as the punitive detachments “Aidar”, “Dnepr”, and “Vostok” of the Ukrainian “oligarchs” are most suitable. And so on.
“Comrades, fascism in power was correctly described … as the open terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinistic and most imperialist elements of finance capital. Fascism is not a form of state power “standing above both classes — the proletariat and the bourgeoisie”…. No, fascism is not a power standing above class, 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 most brutal 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 broad mass basis and in which the struggle of the various groups within the camp of the fascist bourgeoisie itself is rather 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 modicum 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, The Fascist Offensive and the Tasks of the Communist International in the Struggle of the Working Class against Fascism, “The Class Character of Fascism”
After the coup in Ukraine in 2014, the country formally retained the bourgeois parliament. However, the Communist Party of Ukraine was not allowed to vote in this parliament, and in the future it was gently banned. What is the main reason for the CPU ban in Ukraine? In its essence, the Communist Party of Ukraine is a revisionist party and has nothing in common with communism, except for its name. Like the CPRF in Russia, it expresses bourgeois interests and occupies bourgeois positions. Unlike the Communist Party at the moment, the CPU was between two large groups of capital struggling with each other and created inconvenience to either side. In the current situation, it turned out to be unsuitable even as a toothless bourgeois opposition. This was the main reason for its soft ban.
We will dwell particularly on armed confrontation in the territory of Donbass. The main principle cause of the war in this region is the clash of interests of the imperialists of Russia and the United States for the redistribution of spheres of influence with the participation of various groups of the Ukrainian bourgeoisie and the hands of Ukrainian citizens on both sides. All other reasons are either the consequence of the main, or are imposed on the average person by bourgeois propaganda with the aim of distraction from the main cause. Why did the overwhelming majority of the Donbas population, including the workers, take up arms or support an armed struggle against the Kiev aggressors? Firstly, the Russian capital and the associated groups of Ukrainian capital predominate on the territory of the Donbass, and the Kiev government is mainly oriented towards the imperialists of Western Europe and the United States. Consequently, the Russian or pro-Russian bourgeoisie is the employer for the oppressed masses of the Donbas. Secondly, Ukrainian nationalism, kindled by the Kiev authorities, involuntarily rallied the Russian-speaking population of Donbass and made it focused on Russia. Thirdly, the common state border with Russia creates favorable conditions for concrete practical assistance from Russia to the insurgent Donbas, in the present and in the future. Having said about practical assistance to the rebellious Donbas from Russia, we should not forget that the war in the Donbass is, primarily and importantly, the result of the tough struggle of the imperialists of Russia and the United States for redistribution of spheres of influence, and the Donbas is a victim of this struggle. Therefore, it is necessary to talk about helping the warring Donbass from the international progressive forces. At the same time, it can and should be specifically about humanitarian, financial, diplomatic, information assistance, the reception of refugees, the treatment of the wounded and sick, the restoration of destroyed businesses, mines, social facilities, houses and so on. One can even justify sending volunteers to the Donbas and the like, but in no case should Russia be forced to introduce its troops into the territory of the Donbas – something that persistently provokes some irresponsible persons in Russia and the Donbas. The introduction into the territory of Ukraine or the Donbass of the regular troops of any foreign state can now become a dangerous provocation, which really pushes humanity to unleash a world war. Fourthly, the Kiev authorities used the regular army with all kinds of weapons, including combat aircraft and modern heavy ground weapons (which was not available in other regions of the country), and the thugs of nationalist detachments to suppress the discontent of the population of Donbass. Fifthly, the Kiev regular army and battalions of nationalists inflict major blows on residential houses and social facilities, on industrial enterprises, depriving workers of the opportunity of peaceful labor and their families to live; thousands of civilians, including children, became victims of their aggression; in the occupied territories, the Kiev aggressors are engaged in robbery, violence against the civilian population, murders, torture and the like. Consequently, the inhabitants of the Donbass are compelled to respond to armed Kiev aggression with armed resistance, defending their families, their homes, their existence. There is no other choice.
What form of state-administrative system is most acceptable for the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic: to remain in Ukraine, become part of Russia, or an independent state?
The answer to this question clearly can not be given for consideration or a final decision neither to Russia, nor to Western Europe, nor the United States, nor Ukraine. Residents of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic at the cost of great sacrifices and with weapons in their hands won their independence. Therefore, they must decide for themselves their own destiny. Nevertheless, we will try to evaluate the above three variants of the further state administrative system of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic – there are no other options in this situation.
The Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic can remain on the Ukrainian territory only under condition of their special status – federation or confederation. However, the president of today’s Ukraine has repeatedly stated publicly that Ukraine will not allow any federation on its territory. Consequently, this option is unequivocally rejected by Ukraine. The entry of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic into Ukraine on other terms does not give any guarantees that the state population will not be used against the population of these republics on charges of separatism, including physical destruction, deprivation of liberty or eviction. It should be especially noted that there are shale gas deposits on the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic. The technology of its extraction is environmentally dangerous (http://svpressa.ru/politic/article/87568/). Consequently, no residents should remain on the territory of this deposit. The United States of America and the associated bourgeois circles of Ukraine are applying for the development of shale gas deposits on this territory.
The People’s Republic of Donetsk and the Luhansk People’s Republic will not be able to enter Russian territory on any grounds for a single reason – Russia has already disagreed and will not agree to include these territories in its state. Russia will not risk further aggravating its relations with the US imperialists because of some kind of private conflict. Consequently, the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic have no chance in their destiny to count on the Crimean variant.
The Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic have in fact already won and proclaimed their independence. Therefore, we can only talk about the legal recognition (of the type of South Ossetia and Abkhazia) of independent states of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic or their federations. In this case, these republics will be able to determine their own fate. It is this option that is the only acceptable for the peoples of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic and has already been selected and legitimized by their national referendum.
Are the Minsk agreements of February 12, 2015 the actual betrayal of Russia in relation to the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic and Russia’s diplomatic recognition of its defeat in the fight against US imperialism in the territory of the Donbass?
Defending its mercenary interests in the territory of Donbass against the attempts of Western competitors, the Russian imperialists actively supported the discontent of the population of Donbass with the results of the coup d’etat in Kiev and approved the creation of a national militia to repel armed nationalist gangs. In response, the new Kiev authorities used a regular army against the population of Donbass, causing air and artillery strikes against residential areas and social facilities. Thus began large-scale military operations in the territory of the Donbass. Organized to repulse the aggressors, a nationwide referendum was held on the territory of the Donbass where the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic were proclaimed by the will of the overwhelming majority of the population, and the authorities were elected. Encouraged by the successes and the hope for assistance from Russia, the militia rebuffed the Ukrainian army and, finally, moved into an active offensive. There was a real threat of the spread of the uprising to other territories of Ukraine. Of course, this alarmed the imperialists of Western Europe and the United States, and they unleashed a baiting of the imperialists of Russia on the international level. However, the special concern and fear of all these imperialists, including the Russian ones, caused the presence of weapons in the hands of a considerable mass of workers of the Donbass and their success in the fight against the regular army of Ukraine. This is what made the imperialists of these countries and the bourgeoisie of Ukraine jointly seek an antidote to the class threat. The initiative was taken up by the imperialists of Russia, who were most trusted by the people of Donbass. As such an antidote, Russia proposed the development of a document, actually deterring the initiative of the militia of the DPR and LPR. So-called Minsk agreements appeared, approved by the heads of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine. The heads of DPR and LPR were allowed only to participate in the working groups, allegedly because of their non-recognition at the international level.
To answer this question, we will consider a number of principal points of the Minsk agreement of February 12, 2015.
The Minsk agreements do not call into question the mandatory entry of Donbass into Ukraine, and they do not mention the federal structure of Ukraine. Thus, the non-recognition and liquidation of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic are legalized (see items 1, 2, 4, 5, 9, 11, 12). In this document, there is no special opinion on the part of Russia regarding the fate of DPR and LPR. This means that Russia unconditionally supported this decision. Moreover, the official appeal of the leadership of the DNR in the spring of 2014 on the inclusion of DPR and LPR in Russia, was factually rejected by the Russian leadership.
Constitutional reform, as indicated in paragraph 11, will have to be carried out on the initiative of the Kiev authorities and only under their control. Participation in this reform of the representatives of Donbass is cut to the level of an advisory vote.
The disarmament of all illegal groups, stipulated in paragraph 10, actually concerns only the militia of Donbass, since illegal armed groups of nationalists are already officially legalized and, therefore, they will not be disarmed.
Point 5 of the Minsk Agreement on the pardon and amnesty of the militias and the entire civilian population of Donbass (“separatists”, as they are called by the Kiev authorities) suggests that the authors of the Minsk agreements, including Russia, consider militias and civilians in the Donbas as criminals, although they defended their lives and basic needs from the Kiev aggressor and nationalist gangs.
There is no doubt that the war in the Donbas is not, in fact, a consequence of the revolutionary situation in this region, and the militia took up arms for their weapons, not because of the class struggle. The war in the Donbas is a consequence of the struggle of different groups of capital at all its levels for the redivision of spheres of influence, and the struggle of the militia is a defensive struggle against the Kiev bourgeois aggressors who are trying to establish by force the domination of US capital and Kiev’s bourgeois power in this territory. Under any variant of the administrative and state structure of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic, the oppressed masses of the Donbas will definitely fall under the oppression of a particular group of the bourgeoisie, including their own. The struggle of the oppressed class of Donbas with the class of oppressors in the future is inevitable, as in any other class society, and, consequently, it makes sense for the workers of the Donbas to reliably preserve the weapons that are in their hands today.
The above points of the Minsk agreement show that bourgeois Russia not only refused the territories of DPR and LPR, but did not even recognize their existence. Bourgeois Russia unconditionally gave up the heroic people of Donbass to the massacre of the Kiev aggressor and his nationalist gangs through the Minsk agreements.
We do not recommend to naively trust any oaths and good promises of any bourgeoisie and bourgeois power!
The struggle of the US imperialists and the imperialists of Russia on the territory of Ukraine for the redivision of spheres of influence, as in other similar cases, weakens both opposing sides and is a practical confirmation of the general decay of capitalism. And this, in turn, indicates that the world enters the era of national liberation wars and proletarian revolutions. The proletariat of any country should refuse to join sides of either oppressor. Therefore, the proletariat should not support either the imperialists of Russia or the US imperialists in this confrontation. The weakening of the world of capital is objectively beneficial to the revolutionary proletariat. Therefore, the proletariat must evaluate any events from the standpoint of the benefits to the revolutionary proletarian cause.
One of the features of the Kiev Maidan is the mass participation of urban petty-bourgeois masses in it. Many of them were politically organized by their own parties and saw a means of fighting for bourgeois democracy and against the dictatorship of bourgeois “oligarchs” in the Maidan. However, the workers in the Maidan did not participate and did not render any support to it. Why? Ukrainian workers do not have their own class political vanguard, and their trade unions are oriented only to intra-professional social struggle. In addition, the demands of the Maidan did not meet the class interests of the workers, and workers usually solve their social interests at the level of their enterprise or profession. Nevertheless, we call for the use of Maidan for revolutionary class agitation, and not support either one of the bourgeois groups.
Another feature of the Kiev Maidan is that its core was made up by the bourgeoisie prepared by militant groups. The overwhelming majority of these militants propagandized the Stepan Bandera ideology, that is, the fascist one. Their propaganda gave impetus for the emergence of an anti-fascist movement throughout Ukraine under the slogan “Fascism will not pass!”. Organized Ukrainian workers do not take part in the anti-fascist movement because the struggle of their trade unions is focused only on solving their local selfish problems, and they do not yet have their class political vanguard. We welcome the anti-fascist movement of Ukraine 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 struggle of anti-fascists to the channel of practical struggle against nationalist parties and their militant groups, and not against the class masters of these nationalists – financial “oligarchs”, that is, to a dead end. We call to pay special attention to this fact and direct our efforts to class agitation, including anti-fascist, at enterprises, strengthening our ranks and exposing the demagogy and contrivances of the bourgeoisie.
Unequivocally, the war in the Donbass region is a consequence of the struggle of the imperialists of Russia and the United States for the redistribution of spheres of influence and for their selfish class interests. However, in this war, on the one hand, the overwhelming majority of the population of Donbas is involved, on the other hand, the regular army of Ukraine and nationalist detachments. The population of Donbas unwittingly defends the interests of the imperialists of Russia and the bourgeois circles of Ukraine associated with them. The regular army and nationalist groups are openly fighting for the interests of the US and Western imperialists and the bourgeois circles of Ukraine associated with them. In the socio-class relation the population of Donbass is not homogeneous. The bourgeois circles of DPR and LPR are fighting for their own selfish interests and for the interests of the Russian imperialists, and militiamen were forced to voluntarily take up arms to protect themselves, their families, their homes and their work from the Kiev aggressors. Therefore, the struggle of the militia is defensive and just. Although it should not be forgotten that all bourgeoisie are corrupt and capable of betrayal.
We call on the progressive forces and organized workers of all countries of the world to fully support the armed struggle of the population of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic with the Kiev aggressors and pro-fascist gangs of nationalists.
We call upon the progressive forces and the proletariat of all countries of the world to expose the treacherous essence of the so-called Minsk agreements of February 12, 2015 in relation to the interests of the oppressed masses of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic and to brand the shame of the imperialists of Russia for betraying the oppressed masses of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic; the imperialists of the USA, Germany, France and the reactionary bourgeois power of Ukraine for their aggression against the Donbas, for the massacres of civilians, for the destruction of cities and towns, for the torture and abuse of prisoners and civilians.
In this material, we set the task of fundamentally assessing the political situation in Ukraine and highlighting it from the class positions some specific issues, including the annexation of Crimea by Russia and the aggression of Kiev against the Donbass. We did not set ourselves the task of examining in detail the state of the workers’ movement in Ukraine, but fundamentally noted that the working class of Ukraine does not yet have its political avant-garde and is organized at the level of trade unionism, that is, closed to the bourgeoisie for the narrow social interests without entering a revolutionary class struggle. The working-class movement of Russia today differs little in class terms from the workers’ movement in Ukraine. Therefore, the working class of Russia was unable to fulfill its class internationalist duty to the oppressed masses of Ukraine.