The Progressive Chimera of Opportunists and Revisionists and the National Liberation War of the Ukrainian People and Nation
From the platforms of the opportunists and revisionists, the defense of lackey governments or even second-rate imperialist powers has been propagated for a long time, as if this were an effort in the anti-imperialist struggle.
On the basis of this defense, we will limit ourselves here to delineating revisionism pure and simple, since it replaces the concept of class struggle with geopolitics and considers governments lackeys of Russian imperialism or Chinese social-imperialism, such as Venezuela, Cuba, etc., as anti-imperialist, while the people, especially the workers and peasants of these countries continue to be oppressed on all sides of the inter-imperialist struggle. In this regard, there are countless works from the classics of Marxism, from the great Lenin, Chairman Mao Tsetung to Chairman Gonzalo, which we must turn to for a better understanding. The theoretical struggle here will not be the focus, however, but the full and concrete demonstration of some facts that dismantle the opportunist arguments that the civil war in Ukraine and the current Russian invasion of that country could be progressive.
The recent invasion rekindled the ‘anti-imperialism’ the revisionists, who found themselves obliged to come out in defense of imperialist Russia in its nefarious goals of partitioning the region. However, this ‘anti-imperialism’ that takes the side of the reactionary Russian or Chinese governments in the struggle with the US and EU imperialists has already been accentuated since 2014, when Ukraine’s lackey government was overthrown by the US and EU coalition.
Regarding the correct analysis of the current conflict, which has jumped to the stage of a predatory war, we recommend the recent AND , “The imperialists beat the drums of war that they cannot yet unleash ”, which reads “ The plan of Yankee imperialism, operated for at least 20 years, in addition to stationing troops in certain positions in Eastern Europe, is to encircle Russia with its anti-missile defense system, capable of neutralizing Russian atomic war capabilities. Since the mid-2000s, the Yankees have managed with the European Union, through NATO, in collusion and struggle, to install their defense system on the continent, heading east ( … ) As Chairman Mao Tsetung analyzed, in the 1960s, a a new world war, although inevitable, will only occur when there is no other way to continue the partitioning of the world. For now, the disputes between the imperialists will necessarily be expressed as their invasions and wars against the oppressed nations, exacerbating what is the main contradiction of the time and the present.” However, we must go back to the history of the invasion, specifically to 2014, to analyze some key points that underlie the current situation and understand the ongoing war of aggression from its roots.
We must start from the consideration that more than seventy years ago the capitalist restoration took place in the former USSR, the loss of power by the Soviet proletariat that led to the establishment of an ultra-reactionary regime at home and a social-imperialist regime abroad. That is, in the words of the great Lenin when referring to the position of the traitors of the Second International who justified their defense of the imperialist governments, voting the war credits, during the First World War, of being “socialist in words and imperialist in fact”. A situation that turned the former socialist republics that made up the USSR into mere satellites (semi-colonies and spheres of influence) of the nascent Russian social-imperialism centered on the tsarist chauvinism of “ great mother Russia ”, going through the collapse of its backward state monopoly capitalism against the fierce competition the situation of the world capitalist market, to take the situation of Russia of the last decades, in which its imperialist bourgeoisie, through the rise to power of the Putin clique, began to fight to prevent its semi-colonies from passing to Yankee rule. And given the reality that was being imposed by the Yankee offensive to drag such countries into its domain, destabilizing the pro-Russian governments and even promoting subversive actions, such as the deposition of the Yanucovich government in 2014.
What followed this coup was a process of territorial division and the beginning of a Civil War, mainly in the east, known as the Don Basin (Donbass). The fact that this resistance initially had at its base among popular militias with a strong nationalist sentiment towards the Soviet Union and in the anti-fascist sentiment in a good part of the population – who are heirs of the war against Nazi-fascism, under the direction of the great Stalin – led to the a childish and deluded left seeing in the conflict a progressive chimera, even an ongoing socialist revolution or, at the very least, an anti-imperialist war, adopting the official discourse of Russian imperialism that it was exclusively about “fighting the Nazis” and, generalizing it, that the Ukrainian people would be Nazis, and thus justify their subjugation.
Nevertheless, the course of the 2014 conflict, in less than a year, demonstrated that on the basis of Russia’s inter-imperialist struggle with the US and the EU, the necessary and possible, albeit late, war for the national liberation of the people through the counter-restorationist struggle pending since the capitalist restoration of the late 1950s, what happened was the co-option of this purpose by Russian interests, imposing defeats on the people and capitulation to the war of national resistance. All of this is supported mostly by reactionary ideologies of nostalgia for the Russian empire, Christian-Orthodox fundamentalism, bourgeois nationalism, Russian social-chauvinism and even Nazi-fascism, ideologies widely spread and sheltered by the current Russian regime, as a way of fighting “Western liberalism” . All this objectively brings this war, which today is jumping to the stage of a war of aggression and prey by Russian imperialism, much closer to civil wars in Chechnya, Bosnia, etc., in defense of ‘spheres of influence’, than a war of national liberation against the imperialist invader, even if led by bourgeois nationalist forces or by the national (middle) bourgeoisie, as in Palestine, for example. Let’s get to the facts.
The Yanukovych government was a lackey government of Russian imperialism
Yanukovich was a politician formed by the Russian reaction since the beginning of the current century, when it was already fighting for the partition of the Donbass territory from the rest of Ukraine, as a way of creating a buffer zone there, or in the worst case of its ‘Finlandization’. * that could stop the advance of NATO, which in turn, began to accelerate the absorption of former members of the USSR. After failed separatist attempts in the mid-1990s, he ran as a candidate in the mid-2000s to become governor of the region. Subsequently, victorious in the 2010 electoral farce for the post of President, he immediately proceeded to carry out orders from Moscow. Decisions that signaled more autonomy for the provinces of the Don, strongly intensified the contradiction with the imperialist bourgeoisie linked to the EU and also some Russian oligarchs in struggle and collusion with Vladimir Putin. The final straw for the latter was the decision to veto joining the European Union, seen by the Russians as a step towards NATO membership and by Yankee and EU imperialism as the shortest path to strangling Russia, neutralization of its atomic power and its subjugation, a situation without which Yankee imperialism cannot maintain its status as a single, already questioned, hegemonic superpower.
The worsening of the living conditions of the masses and the worsening of the imperialist crisis since 2008 pushed masses to the streets by the millions at the beginning of the last decade across the globe, which potentiated popular mobilizations. The Ukrainian masses, lacking a revolutionary vanguard, were initially directed towards the overthrow of Yanukovych, an already demoralized and weak ruler, widely seen as Putin’s doormat, and then towards the formation of a governmental military junta aligned with the “West”.
The Euromaidan military coup
In the course of the demonstrations, there was a rise of far-right paramilitary forces, armed and used as a figurehead in the siege of Maidan Square. These Nazi-fascist forces, which Yankee and EU imperialism used to seize power, gained participation in the established regime and a certain autonomy to carry out their Nazi-fascist, eugenics, anti-immigrant, anti-communist and terrorist policy, to seize and clean up the Ukraine of communists and all sorts of ethnic minorities, seen as pests to be extinguished, and put an end to any popular resistance. Gradually, however, as the Russians controlled their rebels, Ukrainians in Kiev did the same to some neo-Nazi groups, increasingly decreasing their institutional participation.
However, claiming that fascism was born or died there, or that it is exclusive to Ukraine, is just a repetition of the official speech of Moscow or Kiev. The truth is that as a result of the general crisis of imperialism, particularly its aggravation and entry into a new phase of unprecedented crisis in 2008, neo-Nazi groups and right-wing nationalist radicals sprang up across western and eastern Europe, as well as in Russia, fueled by the chauvinist and nostalgic discourse from the era of ancient empires and, particularly in this region, of the tsarist empire and even of a remote Ukrainian empire, stimulated by the very propaganda of the respective reactionary governments.
Rise of the rebel movement
The so-called rebel movement was strengthened precisely in the provinces of Donetsk and Lugansk (borders with Russia) shortly after the coup that deposed Yanukovych, as a continuation of the Russian imperialist intervention policy and aimed at its ultimate objective being the separation and independence of Donetsk and Lugansk, installing there mercenaries, spies and Russian officers who had already fought in Chechnya, Bosnia, Georgia and others to lead the militarization of the resistance fronts. As already mentioned, that it was part of the plan of Russian imperialism drawn up decades ago and that it now saw a chance to materialize, revealing Russian and US collusion for the division of the territory. Quite contrary to the innocent and childish view of the western opportunist left that the expulsion of the Nazi-fascists would be the great cause. This being part of the speech that Putin uses now to invade Ukrainian territory. The defeat of the Ukrainian reactionary army and the creation of a popular government and the reunification of the entire national territory, with the right to self-determination of oppressed peoples and nations living in the territory, this would be the program of any communist revolutionary, but this was never concretely stated in the post-socialist era. Nor is it now that, due to the lack of the proletarian vanguard, the revolutionary united front of the people does not rise up, as it should, to unravel with the Zelensky government, to call upon the members of the armed forces to revolutionary patriotism and to create a guerrilla army in the midst of combat, to wage a true war of national liberation, transforming the resistance into a people’s war of liberation to expel the invader and depose the Zelensky government, lackey of Yankee imperialism and the EU.
Right at the beginning of the conflict, Putin took advantage of the great patriotic feeling towards the extinct USSR and the anti-fascist feeling, stimulated this in the population of the region, encouraging and arming rebels to fight the “Ukrainian Nazis”. Many masses threw themselves into the fight bravely and heroically, as proof of the development of the revolutionary situation to take the fight of counter-restoration as a revolution from new democracy and uninterrupted to socialism, since the condition of Ukraine, with the capitalist restoration of the USSR, of semi-colony of the social-Russian imperialism and then Russian imperialism, returned the country to the conditions of the economic and social backwardness of the period prior to 1917, however under the conditions of the development of present-day imperialism. Even international brigades were formed, in imitation of the heroic internationalist brigades in the civil war in defense of the Spanish republic, when anti-fascist sentiment united masses from all over the world for the revolution in that country. However, in the absence of a proletarian leadership in Ukraine, with the bourgeois restoration, which applied an independent and class policy, dependent on Russian weapons and money that became revolutionary and anti-fascist, the war did not develop as a revolutionary war, but as a war by proxy under the command of the Russian imperialists of the struggle in Donbass and now of the Yankee imperialists and the EU. The bitter experience that when the proletariat and the popular masses launch themselves into combat under the leadership of the bourgeoisie end up becoming a bargaining chip on the imperialists’ negotiating tables and invariably ends with their defeat, is proved here once again and fully by the Russian invasion.
Anti-Fascist and Anti-Nazi-Fascist Struggle Among the Rebels
Even the discourse of “fighting the Nazis” and “popular revolution” began to fall apart when, in 2014, even on the side of the rebels, they swarmed with fascist battalions. Such as Eurasian Youth Union, Imperial Russian Movement, Slavic Union and the Movement Against Illegal Immigration. Others also include the ‘Svarozhich’, ‘Rusich’ and ‘Ratibor’ battalions, which had swastikas or the colors of the Russian empire in their symbols and the ‘Interbrigades’, with members of the openly neo-Nazi group, the ‘Other Russia’.
Finally, the first governor of the “People’s Republic of Donetsk”, Pavel Gubarev, revealed himself to be linked to the far-right party, the Russian National Union, linked to the Russian Orthodox Army, a separatist group.
It is also impossible to deny the influence on the conflict of groups led by the so-called “Fourth Political Theory”, a type of Russian fascism, a metaphysical and idealist theory created by Aleksander Dugin, an orthodox guru candidate for the new Rasputin.
The truth is that even in the beginning, when there was the formation of combat brigades more aligned with libertarian ideals, whether leftist or socialist, among these, the international ones, they were never the majority or even formed important sectors that were politically active in the conflict.
In the end, the Russophile imperialist ideology emerged hegemonically dominant in eastern Ukraine, expressed in the symbology, culture and politics proclaimed by the governments of the so-called people’s republics.
Purges in the rebel ranks and the FSB
The leaders of the rebels gradually revealed themselves as fractions of the Russian bourgeoisie, also in the in internal struggle in the newly created territories. The biggest example is the rebel general Igor Strelkov, enthusiastically hailed as a popular and revolutionary leader by the petty-bourgeois and opportunist left, later revealed with documents leaked by hackers that he was a Russian spy for the FSB (replacement for the KGB), who gained notoriety and, after the purge, promoted within the rebel forces, returned to Russia, where he became a chief politician of a nostalgic party of the Russian empire that seeks the annexation of all Eurasia.
And as Russia, at the time, reached armistice agreements with the Kiev government, the unification under a single command of all militias was then demanded, putting Russian interests at odds with the local leaders and warlords who formed and spread their control and power, including entire territories where the black market was controlled, or even with those of more idealistic commanders who still envisioned a complete victory over the central government, reuniting the country.
One by one these rebel commanders, considered irreducible or even some who called themselves ‘socialists’, were killed in circumstances not of combat, but of ambushes, attacks and almost all within the rebel lines themselves, at times when the Ukrainian army or the paramilitary militias no longer had any chance of penetration. Such were the cases of Alexander Bednov of the ‘Batman’ battalion, who according to his comrades was killed at the behest of Plotnitsky, who took over as president of the Lugansk Republic. Popular rebel commanders such as Givi (with a guided missile directly on his desk), Mozgovoy (bomb attack), Dryomov (from the Cossack battalion, openly opposed to the Lugansk government, whom he considered “corrupt” and “pro-oligarchic”, killed in a bomb attack), Zakharchenko (then president of the Donetsk Republic, killed in a bomb attack after operating post-Minsk military actions) and Motorola (bomb attack). The latter later had his cell phone conversations leaked in which he claimed to be pursued by the FSB. All these and many others, with strong evidence of executions carried out by the Russian secret service, as a way of freezing the conflict.
The republics of Donetsk and Lugansk as buffer zones
From the very beginning of the pro-Yankee and EU military coup in Ukraine, its ethnically and culturally Russian population, in the absence of a proletarian revolutionary alternative and fearing persecution and discrimination, deluded themselves with the belief that a Russian military intervention would liberate Ukraine. The Russian government has had to publicly explain why they would not do such a thing several times, with propaganda on the networks, claiming to be irresponsible, while arming the rebels to guarantee the “independence” of Donetsk and Lugansk from the Kiev central government.
One of the reasons is that an advance on Ukrainian territory should be saved for the moment when Russia needs to invade Ukraine in a “legal” way, with the recognition of independence and the consequent “request for help” from the Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk to the Russian government, thus allowing entry into half of Ukrainian territory. Until then, it would be used as blackmail for a possible invasion. Furthermore, a march to Kiev should be justified insofar as the provocations on the Donbass border with other capitals provoked actions against the “independent republics”, thus justifying, under the discourse of fighting the Nazis, the siege of the central government. This was fully confirmed by the current invasion, in which the procedure used was exactly this one and Russia’s security before Ukraine’s entry into NATO. The difference is that the entry into Donetsk and Lugansk and the march to Kiev took place almost continuously, according to the calculations made for the current situation, among other things, the need to expand the Donbass border and overthrow the regime of Zelensky, negotiating a new puppet government.
None of this absolutely denies that, from the point of view of the inter-imperialist contradiction, this is a defensive move by Putin. This in relation to the siege of NATO and Yankee imperialism. On the other hand, it does not deny that from the point of view of the contradiction between nations/oppressed peoples and imperialism, it is an imperialist offensive as a war of aggression, for repartition.
Therefore, the only truth is that territorial division within a reactionary war is a historical trauma and a crime against the peoples of the world. As well as the succession of reactionary puppet governments, as happens daily on the African continent and with great frequency in Asia and Central America; and which are now returning to Europe, in no case represent progressive advances in the lives of the masses, much less steps towards socialism. The positive thing that can be extracted from this whole situation is that, as it is a result of the deepening of the general crisis of decomposition of imperialism, the contradiction between oppressed nations and peoples against imperialism is enormously exacerbated, which will throw masses more and more into violent clashes against the established order and the foreign invader. The masses, already experienced in the deception, betrayal and capitulation of the imperialists’ lackeys as soon as the collusion agreements between them prevail, will know how to distinguish all their enemies and raise their conscience.
Although Zelensky’s government has appealed to the people to repel the invasion of Russian imperialism and has even distributed weapons to citizens willing to resist, it plays with the masses like cannon fodder, since it defends, first and foremost, not the interests of the nation and Ukrainian people, but the interests of European and Yankee imperialists. Without a revolutionary proletarian vanguard, while resisting the invasion, the Ukrainian people necessarily have to work to organize this vanguard. The task of the patriots, democrats, revolutionaries and communists in Ukraine is to take the correct line to develop their resistance and push forward the reconstitution of the militarized communist party, through establishing the anti-Russian united front and within it, through the management of unity and struggle, expand the organization of the resistance with the construction of its anti-Russian national liberation guerrilla army, unravel positions with the Zelensky government, lackey of the European Union and US imperialists, forcing it to dispose of state resources to meet its needs and create its own control zones. The time will inevitably come for the government to capitulate through agreements of national subjugation, be it the partitioning of its territory separating the “people’s republics” of eastern Ukraine and demilitarization itself, or others seriously harmful to the people, or in the face of the expansion of war power, siege and occupation of vital positions in the functioning of the Ukrainian state, either by the government’s own decision or forced by the inter-imperialist collusion of the Yankee/EU with Russia. In such a situation the communists in Ukraine must unravel their position and agitate the masses and the army in the national resistance to reject any surrender agreement, denounce the partition plots of the Yankee/European/Russian imperialists who, united, will turn against the resistance, transforming the war of resistance in a people’s war of liberation to democratic revolution and uninterruptedly to socialism, reuniting their historically formed territories.
* ‘Finlandization’ refers to the fact that Finland, one of the longest borders with Russia, after the defeat by the Soviets in World War II, in which it fought on the side of the Nazis, became a ‘neutral’ country, in an agreement between Russia and Western powers not to join NATO.