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Volume I, Number I, March 2022

Special Supplement on Ukraine Crisis

Dear Friends, 

This is the special bulletin on Ukraine crisis specifically focus on the origin of conflicts and anti-fascist movement started in 2014 and the state repression which ultimately resulted into the continuing situation in Ukraine. The full-fledged issues of “The Spark”, its fundamental principles and objective will be released soon.

                                                                                                         —Editorials Board


The current crisis in Ukraine is the consequence of a US-NATO-backed coup that overthrew the constitutionally elected government of Ukraine and installed a puppet regime representing Western imperialist interests, regional oligarchs and neo-Nazis in February 2014. The new government then launched a war against the People’s Republics in Eastern Ukraine which has cost at least 10,000 lives, have taken on a more genocidal character. More than a million have become internally displaced persons while nearly two million are refugees in Russia. This terrible fact was never reported in Western media and its fraternal media houses all over the world. 

  Moreover, the Western media collectively target President of Russian Federations Vladimir Putin. In their vocabulary, "Putin is a 'cruel dictator', hungry for conquest and bombardment, opposed to democracy”, and "NATO forces are the guarantors of democracy”. Nothing is said about NATO military alliance pumping tons of deadly weapons and NATO advisers into Ukraine for eight years.

  The Ukrainian establishment could have avoided this conflict by negotiating with the people in the South-East of the country. Ukraine's refusal to 

implement the constitutional changes envisaged by the Minsk agreements for the access of the Donetsk and Luhansk Republics to autonomy within Ukraine, the constant indiscriminate attacks on the civilian population of these republics, as well as the refusal to declare the neutral status of Ukraine finally led to the escalation of the conflict.

In such circumstances, the Russia’s Special Military Operation started on February 24, 2022 was a response to a call for help from the newly recognised Donbas people’s republics to retaliate the attacks that they have sustained over the past eight years. 

In reality, it is the Ukrainian government that has started the war against its own people in Donbass with the support of the NATO, US and the EU.

Therefore, the current scenario should be seen in the context war waged against Donbass since the last eight years and massacre of the population in the region.

Unfortunately, many anti-war organizations and even some groups that describe themselves as communists have bowed to the intense pressure of imperialist propaganda and taken positions of denouncing Russia or drawing an equal sign between the US/NATO and Russia. Hence, there appeared divergent and conflicting perspectives among the Social-Democrats, Socialists, even a major section of Marxist-Leninists regarding the Russia’s Special Military into Ukraine. They can be classified in to following categories:

1. Russia as sole responsible for current crisis:  There are certain parties believed that “Russia was in the wrong, was committing war crimes and should immediately leave Ukraine”. For instance, the Japanese Communist Party strongly condemns Russia’s Special Military Operation as Russia's aggression against Ukraine and demanded that Russia must immediately cease military operations. According to their press release on February 24, 2022, it stated as: “The Japanese Communist Party strongly condemns this act as it is an obvious act of aggression infringing on Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and in violation of the United Nations Charter and international law. The JCP demands that Russia immediately stop military operations and return the troops to Russia. The JCP calls on the international community to unite against Russia's invasion of Ukraine and persuade Moscow to desist from further military operations in Ukraine.”  

However, the press release says nothing about NATO, US and EU and their involvement in the Ukraine crisis. Furthermore, nothing is said about the incident stared from 2014 onwards. It seems that the perspective hardly differs from the policy makers of NATO member states. 

2. Concerned about NATO Expansion but Peaceful Means to Resolve: Various communist parties across the world including ruling Communist Parties in China, Cuba Vietnam and Laos have held accountable NATO for its eastward expansion main cause of tensions between Ukraine and Russia and called on the two countries to de-escalate tensions and resort to peaceful negotiations to end the conflict. However, they differ from one another in certain aspects.  All these ruling Communist Parties have issued a statement about the current situation in the Ukraine that whilst calling for peace – neglected the term ‘Neo-Nazi’ entirely. 

The ‘opposition’ to NATO and calls for ‘dialogue’ and ‘diplomacy’ between Russia and Ukraine, which has never happened in spite of of Minsk Agreement because of Neo-Nazi regime of Ukraine implemented the instructions of NATO. Similarly, nothing is mentioned about the war in Donbass. One can understand, these parties being the ruling parties and their compulsion by international law.

3. Unconditional Support to Russian Intervention: The Communist Party of the Russian Federation was at the forefront of the current mobilization agenda, initiating the recognition of the DPR and LPR. At the same time, the whole incident is that now the Communist Party of the Russian Federation has actually merged with the authorities in its militaristic rhetoric, fully supporting the special military operation of Russia on the territory of Ukraine. They have ultimately failed to identify the class character of Russian state under President Putin. It indicates the clear reflections of degeneration of the party to classical form of social democracy.

The Communist Party of Russian Federation should recognize that the real and complete “Denazification” of Ukraine can only take place under the leadership of proletariat and oppressed masses of Donbass, Ukraine and Russia but not by the bourgeoisie of Russian Federation. 

4. Theory of “two imperialisms” clashing over Ukraine 

There exist several Internationals of communist and workers parties around the world and all most all they have articulated their perspectives on Ukraine crisis. They portrayed the conflict as an ‘inter-imperialist struggle’ between Russia and NATO which should be opposed, and further suggest workers should remain neutral, since both sides are as bad as each other. For example, the join declarations signed by Communist and Workers’ Parties argued: “No to the imperialist war in Ukraine!”  Similarly, the "INITIATIVE" currently involves 30 Communist and Workers' parties from European countries also noted that “Imperialist conflict concerns the fierce competition between USA-NATO-EU and capitalist Russia for market shares, the energy transport routes, and the spheres of influence” 

The conflict in Ukraine is not an inter-imperialist conflict. There is the dominant imperialism a central core, which consist of the USA and England; an outer core, Europe including Germany and France; and the periphery the new Eastern Europe nations, which does not benefit from imperialism.   Post-Soviet Russia under President Putin has emerged a modern capitalist country. It is a regional power like Brazil, India, South Africa and Iran with huge inherent of nuclear weapons from Soviet Union along with an exporter of oil, gas and modern weapon systems. Russia on certain occasion had to ally itself with other countries in opposition to Western imperialism at large.

There exist huge disparities among the two camps as mentioned. At the one hand we see the huge alliance of Western Imperialism under the banner of NATO-WTO-WB-IMF having wider implications not only Europe but all over the world. It also includes the certain countries earlier being part of Warsaw Pact and the USSR. In other words, there is just one superpower, that is, United States-led NATO and its satellites with hundreds of foreign military bases around the world. On the other hand, we see it is only capitalist Russia challenging the Western Bloc, without any support from other Post-Soviet Republics and not even its own military bloc-the CSTO. The forces are asymmetrical in this contest. Russia and the US may have comparable nuclear arsenals, but Russia in other aspects such as economy and political support, seems lagging behind Western Bloc. There is no comparison between the Russian military operation in Ukraine and the US wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen.

From 1990s onwards Russian Federation never sought Ukraine to be in its sphere of influence rather it wished to see Ukraine to be neutral and Non-aligned in international power structure particularly in Europe. Further, the leadership of Russian Federation since Yeltsin never dragged or forced Ukraine to join any military block or even any political and economic bloc led by Russian Federation. As a result, Ukraine was never been part of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and CSTO. Only for a short time, Ukraine has taken part in CIS but its presence was at minimal lever and subsequently withdrew from it.  

In this case, it is not "two demons" clashing over Ukraine, but one: US imperialism and its Atlanticist partners for world domination.  Of course, Russia is pursuing its own interests in this conflict, but the war waged by the Ukrainian authorities with the rebellious region has opened the door to this possibility. 

The Internationals equally blamed Russia for the current conflicts, although the Russian leadership for a long time refrained from interfering in the military conflict, providing humanitarian assistance to the Donetsk and Luhansk republics. The contradictions between alliance of Western imperialism at one side and Russian capitalism on other has unquestionably exaggerated the ongoing inter-power struggle between the neo-Nazi leadership and anti-fascist armed movement of Donbass in Ukraine. 

However, the present crisis cannot be seen only through the prism of contradiction between imperialist and a capitalist power but there involves other contradictions in Ukraine society which have tremendous influence. For instance, contradictions among the ruling classes with regards to transnational capital and local capitals; contradictions among the regional bourgeoisie; ruling class alignment with Western institutions and CIS countries; divergent opinion among the ruling classes on Ukrainian Identity-culture, nationality and language; confrontations between the NATO-backed Neo-Nazi regime of Kiev and Anti-Fascist resistance movement of Southeastern Ukraine, Ukraine's boycott of the Minsk agreements has been going on for seven years now, all these factors have equally contributed the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

At the same time, war waged by Neo-Nazi Ukrainian Regime backed by NATO against Donbass has practically vanished from the analysis of various leftist and communist organizations, as well as certain individual comrades.  The history of the last one hundred years and specifically the events after “Orange Revolution of 2004” in the Ukraine is ‘ignored’ by Left parties when analysing this situation. Now is an extremely important moment in order to bring Donbass into the orbit of everyone's attention, to talk about the crimes of the Ukrainian authorities since 2014.

The current crisis can be looked at from various dimensions but the main focus is the conflict in Donbass.

The Dynamics of Ruling Classes of Ukraine

The conflict in Ukraine has manifold dimensions – international, political, socio-economic, cultural, and ideological – that interact in complex ways. Having become an independent state in 1991, Ukraine faced a multitude of challenges in its foreign and domestic policy as well.

In order to understand the current Ukraine crisis, it is important to identify the level of capitalist development and the nature of its ruling classes that emerged after the end of the USSR. The Ukrainian oligarchs, who still dominate Ukraine politics, became rich by taking hold of large sectors of the Ukrainian economy during the rapid privatizations after the fall of the so-called "fall of communism" in 1991. In Ukraine, oligarchy represents an exceptional combination of multiple forms of capital (industrial, financial, commercial) with direct control over the levers of state power. In 1995, the transfer of the formerly state-run natural-gas imports to private firms became another main source of rents. 

The influence of oligarchs has increasingly come to be seen as a central feature of the political regime. Since the time of President Kuchma, the oligarchs active in Ukrainian politics did not act individually, but instead formed regional networks (so-called clans) that united based on consensus on economic and political factors. The internal contradictions among different oligarchic blocs (Dnepropetrovsk, Donbass and Kiev) and shifting from one bloc to another resulted into coloured revolutions. Out of three regional power blocs, two major blocs dominated Ukraine’s political scene between the early 1990s and 2013 and can be referred to by their regions of origin: Dnipropetrovsk and Donetsk – industrial centers. Ukrainian oligarchs irrespective of their region and language, uncontrolled by the national state, are, by contrast, under strict control of the Western elite. Simultaneously, it also been seen that over the decades, stating from Kravchuk to Zelensky via Kuchma and Yashchenko, all of them have presided over de-industrialisation, technological decline and general impoverishment of Ukraine. Since powerful oligarchs save their money in the West, they are extremely dependent on it.

As mentioned, the economic heterogeneity of this rising regional ruling class power bloc has its corresponding ideology is expressed as a mixture of three major aspects: pro-European sentiment (close cooperation with EU and US), nationalism(based on interest of oligarchs which demonize Soviet and Russia as colonizer) and also reliable on neo-Nazism forces.

The Maidan Coup d’état

Maidan is the pro-EU movement which took its name from the central square of Kiev, where it held protests in late 2013 and early 2014. In February 2014, a NATO-backed coup overthrew the elected government of Ukraine and installed a neo-Nazi regime representing, local oligarchs, elites and Western imperialist interests. The new government launched a war against the rebellious Donbass mining region in mid-April 2014, which to date has cost at least 13,000 lives. This ‘Maidan’ coup in 2013 like ‘Orange’ coup in 2004 was a classical form of ‘colour revolutions’ in post-soviet space. Popular protests were saddled by West-funded trained professionals, neo-Nazi and neo-fascists of the Right Sector and the Svoboda Party. 

The Maidan protests were motivated by the U-turn by taken by Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych when he decided to suspend the EU’s association agreement with Ukraine, which included an agreement on a deep and comprehensive free trade zone. It was a change of elites rather than a revolution: it didn’t create the potential for radical structural and institutional change.  Its essence lies in the exploitation of popular sentiment of people by external forces pursuing their own interests. Students and intellectuals of the Ukrainian upper classes and diaspora were trained in regime change methods, including the manipulation of Western “human rights” rhetoric and social media.  Here, local discontent among those disillusioned by Ukraine’s capitalism and attracted to possible access to work in the EU definitely played a role. The coup that took place in Ukraine was not a liberation movement of the working people. Some oligarchs have been replaced by others. 

The United States alone invested more than five billion dollars towards the activities of non-governmental organizations, so that via the media, completely under their control, they would manipulate the consciousness of the people of Ukraine, doing everything in order to pit them against their brotherly Russian people for the purpose of conquest and subjugation of Russia.

All of these capitalists, of course, rely upon the continuous exploitation of the Ukrainian working class and other oppressed masses. The new government, which included Neo-Nazi and fascist elements, immediately made a deal with the IMF to get emergency loans and avoid a sovereign default. The Marxist organization, Borotba (Struggle) was one of the first political forces that stood against Euro-integration. 

The new Ukrainian President Zelensky, who came to power in 2019 like his predecessor also declares that Ukraine is democratic, ignoring its laws suppressing the Russian language, and ignoring the violence against the civilian population in Donbass, fundamental aspects of the current reality that are ignored by the Western media. Ethnic Russians have been persecuted for the past eight years – even through systematic extermination in some regions. 

The Russian language has been criminalized in entire cities where the population does not speak Ukrainian. The Russian language and literature are prohibited in public schools both in the format of disciplines and the language of instruction. In addition to the prohibitions and persecution of Russian culture, Russophobia in Ukraine has become an ideology for reformatting the population: through propaganda, condemnation, ridicule.

As well as rewriting history. Thus, the term "Great Patriotic War" is banned in Ukraine, since officially the USSR is equated with Nazi Germany. All symbols of the Great Patriotic War are prohibited, their publication in any media format, even on a social network, is considered a criminal offense. Ukrainians are ordered to be "ashamed" of the victory over the Nazis.

Twenty-first Century Fascism in Ukraine 

Speaking about the situation that has developed in Ukraine today, one should not forget that the actions of the Nazi regime also contradict the fundamental interests of the Ukrainian people. Ukraine is a classical example of twenty-first century fascism.  Over the past eight years, Ukraine has turned into a real fascist state. Neo-Nazis played a key role in the 2014 coup: they killed and intimated police and they occupied important buildings.  Since 2014, the Ukrainian authorities have been pursuing a consistent policy of glorifying Ukrainian collaborators and collaborators of Nazism. With the support of State institutions, numerous manifestations of neo-Nazism and xenophobia have become an integral part of public and political life in Ukraine. 

Ukrainian far-right parties like Svoboda and Right Sector have viewed themselves as the ideological successors of OUN and UPA. The OUN remained a marginal force until the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. Under the leadership of Stepan Bandera, the OUN entered western Ukraine and attempted to form an independent pro-German state in June 1941. After the defeat of Germany, Ukrainian nationalists set up the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) and fought against Soviet rule until the mid-1950s.

The OUN-UPA was de facto rehabilitated in 1991 when Ukraine became independent; streets were names after Bandera, Shukhevich and their cronies; monuments were erected. In January 2010, in the last days of his presidency, Yushchenko made Bandera Hero of Ukraine which caused objections from President of Poland Lech Kaczyhski, international Jewish organizations and the European Parliament.

Svoboda party was the most significant and popular of such organizations. Svoboda was founded as the Social National Party of Ukraine (SNPU) around the time when Ukraine became independent in 1991. It combined radical nationalism and neo-Nazi features, which were exemplified by its name and its use of modified “Wolfsangel” as the party symbol. However, the party changed its name in 2004 to Svoboda, which means Freedom in Ukrainian. Members of the Svoboda party took up several positions in the new government, including as one of the deputy prime ministers and the prosecutor-general. Several more top officials in the post-Maidan government, including the national security and defense secretary and the minister of education, had a far-right political background. 

Other the most active is the Azov Battalion. The battalion was initially led by Andriy Biletsky who was a Member of Ukrainian Parliament from 2014 to 2019.Biletsky has a long history of involvement in the Ukrainian neo-Nazi group. In 2008, he established the Social-National Assembly of Ukraine (SNA) which later joined Right Sector along with other neo-Nazi groups. Right Sector accepts non-Ukrainian volunteers who are of Russian, Belarusian, Polish and Georgian origin. In contrast, the Svoboda Party has identified language as the primary cultural marker of the Ukrainian national identity. The oligarchy has sponsored the development of various neo-Nazi groups and their union under the brand “Right Sector.” Oligarchs indirectly finance them and the acknowledged leader of the Right Sector several occasions. Despite some resistance, the Ukrainian government has managed to integrate the battalions into the structures of the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of the Interior and the National Guard.

The then President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko signed a package of laws on May 15, 2015. These laws revise Ukrainian history to essentially delete the Soviet era, and hail soldiers who fought in the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, slaughtering “tens of thousands of Poles in one of the most heinous acts of ethnic cleansing in the history of Ukraine.” 

Anti-Fascist Uprising in Crimea & Donbass 

People of eastern, and south - eastern regions of Ukraine and Crimea that reject Bandera fascist ideology, its outspoken pro-American & anti-Russian direction, have rebelled, demanding the opportunity to speak their native language, and also favoured friendly relations between Ukraine and Russia. Many of these eastern cities in Ukraine rose up in resistance against the NATO-backed coup in 2014. Resistance to the NATO-backed coup, popularly called as “Anti-Maidan” came from the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine.

On March 16, 2014 in Crimea, in spite of active counter-propaganda and the desire to prevent the referendum from the new Ukrainian Neo-Nazi government, a referendum on the status of the republic was held. The population of the Republic of Crimea in the national referendum almost unanimously declared – they want to live as part of Russia. In favour voted 96.77 % of Crimeans who turned out to vote. On March 17 the session of the Supreme Council of Crimea, which summed up the referendum adopted the Resolution "On the Independence of the Crimea", according to which Crimea was proclaimed "an independent sovereign state - Republic of Crimea, where the city of Sevastopol has special status", an official application for membership of the Crimea in the Russian Federation was framed. Subsequently, on March 18, 2014, a truly historic event took place - the return of Crimea and Sevastopol city to Russian Federation.

Thus, historical justice has triumphed: the will of the people of Crimea overturned a voluntarist decision made by Khrushchev, adopted in 1954 on the transfer of Crimea from the Russian Federation to Ukraine SSR, a decision taken without consulting the people, and without their consent.  Wilder is the situation with Sevastopol. This city has always been Russian, and was a naval base of the USSR, was never part of the Crimean region, and subordinated to the Soviet government and the Ministry of Defense.

Crimea, Kharkov, Lugansk, Donetsk, Odessa have resisted the Nazis and have not given them a chance to seize power in their regions and establish Nazi order. Communists in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions stood at the forefront of the fight against the Ukrainian Neo-Nazi and their foreign patrons. In the cities of southern and eastern Ukraine, the leftist Union Borotba (Struggle) is one of the groups organizing anti-fascist resistance.

In Kharkov the protest movement started as a campaign to protect the local Lenin monument. Thousands of people, men and women, young and old, workers, jobless, students and engineers were on duty near the monument day and night. Sometimes, fascists attacked them with sticks and rubber bullets. On April 6 and 7, 2014 after massive unrest anti-Maidan activist seized the administration and proclaimed a Kharkov People’s Republic. Although pro-independent sentiment in the region was strong but the supporters of an independent republic suffered a defeat. Ukrainian police regained control of the administration building and later detained 65 protesters. But in most areas, protests have been suppressed by use of Armed Force and repression of dissent. 

And only the people of Donbass (the Donetsk and Lugansk regions) rebelled against ultra-nationalism and fascist methods of imposing the will of those who had seized power on Ukraine. Using the universally accepted UN principle of the right of peoples to self-determination, guided by the UN Charter and the practice of creating many states of the world, the rebellious people in Donbass Region proclaimed the creation of Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics. At a national referendum, with a turnout of 75%, by a majority of votes – 90% – the people of Donbass approved of the creation of the DPR and LPR. Since the first days of the creation of the Peoples’ Republics, the Communists have risen to the forefront of the founders, defenders and builders Statehood. 

In the Donbass, the popular response took the form of an armed struggle, and the Ukrainian state did not stop bombing the population of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics.

Fascist Massacre in Odessa and Repression on Left

Odessa has been among the southwest Ukrainian cities swept by protests since the Maidan coup. At the end of March 2014, thousands rallied in the city, challenging the legitimacy of the coup-imposed government and demanding an autonomy referendum. They had been peacefully protesting in Odessa against the fascist measures of the Kiev government and collecting signatures for a referendum on a Federal Ukraine. A massive mob led by fascist Right Sector, surrounded, stormed, and burned the House of Trade Unions in Odessa killing 39 demonstrators in the building. 

On May 5, 2014 Svoboda and Fatherland that dominate the illegal coup government — banned elected members of the Communist Party of Ukraine (KPU) from participating in the Rada, or parliament, after KPU leader Petro Symonenko denounced the Odessa massacre on the floor.

Communist Party leader Petro Symonenko survived an assassination attempt on May 16, 2014. A group of 30 neo-Nazis tried to ambush Symonenko as he left a television debate in Kiev. The fascists threw Molotov cocktails at his car as he escaped. Symonenko had announced his withdrawal from the May 25, 2014 presidential elections in the wake of the Odessa massacre, military attacks on Donetsk and Lugansk, and the illegal ban on Communist participation in parliament.

After the killings in Odessa, the brutal persecution of communists, even the prohibition of the very existence of communist parties, one can talk of the establishment of an illegitimate, criminal regime that can only be described as fascism. The headquarters of the Communist Party was set on fire and burned to the ground. The US-backed Neo-Nazi regime in Kiev has declared war on the communist and socialist left in the rebellious southeastern region and throughout the country.

On December 16, 2015, Kiev District Administrative Court declared banning the activities of the Communist Party of Ukraine (KPU) throughout the country. The District Court judgment considered that the CPU had failed to conform with the controversial law “On the condemnation of Communist and National Socialist (Nazi) totalitarian regimes in Ukraine and prohibition of promoting their symbols”.  It was an attack on all communists, socialists, anti-fascists and anyone who dares speak out against the regime. Similarly, Ukrainian left-wing organization, Borotba (Struggle) offices were destroyed and partly occupied by fascists.  The communist purge initiated by former Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko has continued in the country under Volodymyr Zelensky as well.

Due to repression by the Kiev authorities against Union Borotba and other left-wing and patriotic organizations, many activists were forced to leave the territory of Ukraine. Therefore, it was extremely difficult for leftist forces opposing fascism in Ukraine to work in the territory controlled by the Kiev government, in particular, for the most active left organizations.  

Under such conditions, cells of Union Borotba and other left-wing, anti-fascist organizations operate semi-underground. The organization is now able to work only on the network principle — as a network of small, autonomous groups that direct agitation, propaganda and organization, as well as protect themselves from attacks by neo-fascist combatants.

Class Struggle in Donbass: People’s Republic or Soviet Republic

At first, the Donbass rebellion assumed the form of a national-liberation movement directed against the nationalistic, neo-Banderian regime. They were not organized in any kind of political party. It was people who took over the regional administration building. There were various trends and organizations including communists, members of the Party of Regions, and leftist movements equally contributed this movement. The most dominant is the pro-Russian patriotic forces backed by Russian Federation and its ruling classes. The second trend was the alliance of all Leftist forces including Communists and socialist movement "Borotba" (Struggle). 

From the very beginning, the movement displayed anti-capitalist sentiments, shared by its patriotic and left elements. They included nationalization of the oligarchs’ property, redistribution of incomes in favour of toilers, introduction of planning and giving power to the people. According to the leader of Ukrainian socialist movement "Borotba" (Struggle) Sergei Kirichuk, “There is a wide spectrum of ideas among them. The largest group is the pro-Russians, who mainly want independence from Ukraine and think that Donbass should become part of Russia. But there are also many leftists who primarily see the war as a battle against the oligarchs. One of the most famous rebel leaders is Alexei Mozgovoi, who says he wants to unite the whole of the Ukrainian people against the oligarchs and build a people’s state.”  In both Lugansk and Donetsk, the leaders of the republics declared the need to fight against fascism and for the interests of the working class. Despite of the massive participation of workers in historical events, it did not make them proletarian in spirit. In the absence of class consciousness of the workers as well as revolutionary vanguard party, the movement came under the influence of “the left wing of the bourgeoisie”. Such an organization did not exist in Donbass in 2014. 

With the beginning of the movement, the leadership of the Donetsk Regional Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine (KPU) not only failed to understand the essence of the historical moment, the need to work with the masses, to explain to the proletariat its class interests, but openly sabotaged the work of ordinary communists. The Central Committee of the CPU, unable to control the situation in the People’s Republic of Lugansk and the People’s Republic of Donetsk, dissolved Luhansk and Donetsk regional organizations together with its structural units. The former party organizations of the Communist Party of Ukraine completely disintegrated in these new People’s Republics. Unfortunately, the then leaders of the Donetsk regional organization of the Communist Party of Ukraine did not support the initiative of many party activists to create the Communist Party of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR). Nevertheless, most of the Communists in the area then joined the CPLNR and CPDPR. As a result, the Communist Party has been created in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Boris Litvinov was proclaimed leader of the party

In such circumstance, the Ukrainian Left has faced several contradictions simultaneously in Donbass. The major contradiction was the unity among all the forces to defend People’s Republics and fight against onslaught of Ukrainian Armed forces. The second one was the contradiction between the proposed road to Socialism in Donbass and preservation of regional ruling oligarchies backed by Russian ruling classes. Third, of course, lack of class consciousness and iron discipline Communist Party. Stanislav Retinsky, Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Donetsk People’s Republic (KPDPR) acknowledged that “In the Donbas, the driving force was the petty bourgeoisie, which relied on the proletariat. The workers also participated in the protests, not as a class, but as opponents of the coup in Kiev. Of course, anti-oligarchic slogans were heard in the Donbas. But this protest was not the result of a protest against exploitation as such, but against the fact that the Ukrainian oligarchs supported the «Euromaidan.” Therefore, the Communists of the Donbass from the first days worked among the masses and explained their class interests.” 

Despite of all these limitations, there were two units formed exclusively of communists: one in the Vostok Battalion and another one in the Prizrak Brigade. Alexey Mozgovoy , founder of “Ghost” Brigade. It was the first Militia unit created in Novorossia. Brigade Commander Alexei Mozgovoi, who was ideologically a communist though not a member of the party, and he played an important role. Mozgovoi and four other Ghost Brigade members were assassinated on May 23, 2015.

Of course, this revolt is not yet a socialist revolution. The uprising leaders are representatives of the petty and middle bourgeoisie leaning good relations with Russia, to strengthen friendship and brotherhood between the two nations. However, any development of the movement from anti-fascist national liberation into a socialist direction was discouraged by none other than patriotic forces backed by Russian ruling classes. Russia’s goals and aspirations in the struggle against Neo –Nazi Ukraine on its border may overlap with those of the antifascist, working-class-rooted struggle in Donbass, but it would be mistake to assume they are the same. Hence, the contradiction between capitalist Russia and the revolutionary state-in-formation in Donbass and other areas of Southeast Ukraine sharpen during the course of class struggle in Donbass.

Sergei Kirichuk, leader of Ukrainian socialist movement "Borotba" (Struggle) articulated, “Putin would never allow a socialist revolution in the Donbass. If the socialists gained power in eastern Ukraine, they could inspire a similar social revolution in Russia, because many people there are also dissatisfied with capitalism’s injustices. Putin will therefore do everything possible to crush the radical forces in eastern Ukraine, which demand social change.” Further, the Russian government would not have welcomed a revolution in Donbass that is moving in the direction of socialism.

One should not forget that on May 7, 2014 President Putin had asked the protesters in Donetsk and Lugansk to postpone their polls and seek dialogue with Ukrainian authorities, but the request was rejected by people of Donbass. It was Russia which prevented the people’s republics from radically expanding their sphere of control in the late summer of 2014, which refused to officially recognise Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, imposed on them ‘Minsk Agreements’.

Victor Shapinov one of the leaders of Ukrainian socialist movement "Borotba" (Struggle) noted that “But Russia is not a socialist or even a democratic country. It tries to use this movement for its own goals. Also, Russia tries to impose ideological views on the movement that are harmless to capitalism, for example, Russian Orthodox religion and Russian nationalist ideas.” For eight years the people’s republics of Donbass has been at war with Ukraine for its independence. 

NATO Pushes Ukraine to War with Russia

Over the past two decades of the 21st century, the aggressive nature of imperialism has sharply increased. The US-NATO committed bloody aggressions against Yugoslavia (1999), Afghanistan (2001), Iraq (2003), Libya (2011), Syria (2011), with the death of many hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians, with the destruction of the economic potential of the countries - victims of aggression.

In 1990, then-U.S. Secretary of State James Baker made an agreement with Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev that NATO would not expand east beyond Germany's borders, in exchange for the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact. Once the Warsaw Pact had disappeared, 14 Eastern European countries joined NATO and then proceeded to surrounding Russia with NATO states, placing weapons and bases in Poland, Romania, Slovakia and other countries directed at Russia.  The Cold War against Russia has been going on for many years; this is not a phenomenon of today. Russia has repeatedly issued requests and warnings about what it considers necessary security guarantees in connection with NATO expansion and the military threat this poses to its own borders.

Ukraine joining NATO is an “existential threat” to Russia, in that it makes precarious Russia’s position and her existence as an independent nation. NATO is waging war today in Ukraine, by sending arms and advisors and supporting foreign fascist volunteers.

Misinterpretation of Soviet History

Russian President Vladimir Putin devoted half of his speech to slanderous attacks on the Lenin, Stalin and Soviet power. Putin once again showed an absolute lack of understanding, or, more correctly, unwillingness to understand that the Soviet power was the political foundation of the USSR.  In a speech to the Russian nation, Putin claimed that "Ukraine was created by Lenin." 

The truth is that the October Revolution had the great merit of liberating the nationalities that had been oppressed by Tsarist Russia, which Lenin called a "prison of the nations", and denied all rights to ethnic minorities. In the Soviet era, the right of the Ukrainian nation to self-determination operated and existed with a guarantee. This guarantee took the form of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic as one of 15 constituent republics of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. It possessed all the appropriate collective national rights up to and including the right to secede.The right of the Ukrainian people to self-determination has never questioned, but the people living in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions have exactly the same right. 

Tasks Ahead

Before the start of Russian military operations, the army of Ukraine had been shelling the territory of the Lugansk and Donetsk People's Republics for eight years. Russia was drawn into this war by NATO, the US and the EU. We recognize that it is Neo-Nazi Ukrainian leadership backed by the United States and NATO that are the main cause of the conflict. 

No one can be interested in a war, especially not a war between such close and fraternal peoples as the Russians and the Ukrainians. 

We stand in full solidarity with the people of the Lugansk and Donetsk People's Republics who are fighting against fascist Bandera regime in Kyiv backed by the US, EU and NATO.

We believed that true peace; fraternal  

cooperation and prosperity between Russia, Ukraine and  

Donbass can be possible only in the radical transformation in these countries under the leadership of Marxist-Leninist party based on class struggle and Socialism.

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