Neither Russia-China nor NATO! Down with imperialist Great Powers in East and West!
1. Media both in Russia as well as in the Ukraine are full of speculation about the outbreak of a new war in the Donbass region. Tensions have escalated in the recent months. Since 1 January, 21 Ukrainian servicemen have been killed in action. On 3 March the military commanders of the “Donetsk People’s Republic” (DPR) announced that they would launch pre-emptive strikes in defense against “Ukrainian terror”. Both sides have sent massive military reinforcement to the region.
2. The background to the recent escalation is the political events in the Ukraine in 2014/15 which resulted in a bloody civil war. In spring 2014 a reactionary pro-Western government came to power as a result of the right-wing Euro-Maidan movement. This has been a reactionary movement which included fascist forces, and which was instigated and controlled by U.S. and European imperialism in order to weaken Russia’s regional hegemony. The subsequent civil war in the Donbass region of Ukraine has been a reactionary conflict between the Ukrainian government (acting as proxy for Western imperialism) and the Donbass insurgents (acting as proxies for Russian imperialism). The latter were led and controlled by a reactionary red-brown alliance of forces like far-right monarchist Strelkov, Stalinists, pro-Moscow “left” Borotba, and various pro-Russian fascists forces. This civil war was brought to an end by the so-called Minsk II accords in February 2015.
3. In the last few months, both Kiev as well as Moscow have shown determination to alter the relation of forces to their advantage. The bourgeois government of President Volodymr Zelensky is increasingly adapting to right-wing, war-mongering forces. In February 2021, the Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council sanctioned Viktor Medvedchuk – a key contact man of Putin to Kiev – and banned broadcasts by three pro-Russian television channels owned by his ally, Taras Kozak. The army has deployed tanks, armored vehicles, anti-aircraft systems and rocket-propelled grenades near Donbass. In addition, there are increasing calls by public figures to launch a surprise attack on Donbass similar to the Azeri success against the Armenian forces in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.
4. Both France as well as Germany stated their support for the Ukraine. Likewise, U.S. President Joe Biden used a first official phone call with Zelenskiy on 2 April to offer staunch support in Ukraine’s standoff over Russian troops near its border.
5. Russia made also clear that it is determined to alter the current status-quo so that it could consolidate its control over the Donbass region and weaken Ukraine’s government. Analysts close the Kremlin call for the deployment of Russian peacekeepers similar to the “solution” of the recent Karabakh war. Some Russian military specialists call for the ousting of the Ukraine from the Azov Sea and moving Russian forces to the Dnipr. Leaders of the DPR are calling for the official annexation of the Eastern Ukraine to Russia. There has been also a significant Russian military build-up near eastern Ukraine.
6. The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) and its comrades in Russia strongly denounce the reactionary war-mongering on both sides. The governments of Russia as well as of the Ukraine pursue reactionary goals. Russia is an imperialist Great Power which strives for domination of the region. It is a close ally of China, the second-largest Great Power aside of the U.S. While the Ukraine is a semi-colonial capitalist country, its government acts as a proxy for U.S. and European imperialism. It is unthinkable that it could enter a military conflict with Russia without close coordination with EU and U.S. imperialists. The recent statements of Washington, Berlin and Paris only underline this fact. The RCIT therefore advocates a defeatist position on both sides in this conflict. None is the “lesser evil” for the working class and the oppressed people.
7. It is crucial that socialists in Russia as well as in the Ukraine oppose all military efforts as well as chauvinist war-mongering of their respective governments. Socialists in Russia have to denounce the reactionary character of Russian imperialism. They must sharply condemn any form of Great Russian patriotism and the ideology of “Russkij Mir” (“Russian World”). This chauvinist ideology advocates the concept of a Great Russian world which includes large regions outside of Russia (like e.g. the Ukraine). Hence, it is an ideology which aims to legitimize Great Russian expansionism.
8. The RCIT reaffirms its unconditional support for the liberation struggle of the Chechen people and their desire to constitute an independent state. Likewise, we support the right of national self-determination – including separation – for all national minorities in Russia.
9. We strongly denounce all those “communists“ and “Marxists” who side with Russian imperialism under the fig-leaf of “anti-imperialism”. Reformist Stalinists like the KPRF, the RKRP and the OKP as well as various Trotsko-Revisionists (like IMT) either deny the imperialist character of the Russian state or the portray the struggle of Moscow’s proxies in Donbass as a “progressive anti-fascist liberation war”. In any case, they act as Great Russian social-patriots.
10. Likewise we condemn those reformist forces which directly or indirectly back the aggression of the Ukraine government or of its Western imperialist backers. We point out that the Spanish PCE and IU – Ex-Stalinist parties which are affiliated to the “Party of the European Left” (LINKE in Germany, PCF in France, SYRIZA in Greece) – are part of the Sanchez government and as such directly involved in the political decision-making of the imperialist European Union.
11. We call revolutionaries to join the RCIT in the struggle against all Great Powers, in solidarity with the liberation struggles of the working class and the oppressed people and for international socialism. Such a struggle requires the creation of a new Revolutionary World Party. Join us in building such a party!
* Down with the Warmongering in Russia and Ukraine!
* In Case of Military Conflicts: No Support for Any Imperialist Camp – Neither Russia not Ukraine/NATO!
* No to any Imperialist Sanctions!
* Workers and Oppressed – Unite against the Great Powers in East and West!
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We refer readers also to the following documents of the RCIT:
RCIT: Military Escalation between Russia and Ukraine at the Kerch Strait. Down with the Reactionary Warmongering on Both Sides! 28 November 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/military-escalation-between-russia-and-ukraine-at-the-kerch-strait/
Petr Sedov (RCIT Russia): On the Donbass Uprising in Spring 2014. A necessary correction of our assessment of the early phase of the “anti-fascist” Uprising in the Eastern Ukraine, July 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/reconsidering-the-donbass-uprising-in-spring-2014/
Michael Pröbsting: The Uprising in East Ukraine and Russian Imperialism. An Analysis of Recent Developments in the Ukrainian Civil War and their Consequences for Revolutionary Tactics, 22 October 2014, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/ukraine-and-russian-imperialism/
Michael Pröbsting: Anti-Imperialism in the Age of Great Power Rivalry. The Factors behind the Accelerating Rivalry between the U.S., China, Russia, EU and Japan. A Critique of the Left’s Analysis and an Outline of the Marxist Perspective, RCIT Books, January 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/anti-imperialism-in-the-age-of-great-power-rivalry/
Michael Pröbsting: Russia as a Great Imperialist Power. The formation of Russian Monopoly Capital and its Empire – A Reply to our Critics, 18 March 2014, in: Revolutionary Communism No. 21, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/imperialist-russia/