1) Once again, the European continent is under the threat of a full-scale war. As soon as the bloody war in the territory of the former Yugoslavia began to fall into oblivion, the inter-imperialist contradictions and the desire for expansion once again place Europe on the brink of the abyss.
2) The weakening of US imperialist hegemony is opening the way to a completely different world. Russia as a new imperialist power is trying to recover part of what was lost in the 1990s and position itself for the future as a privileged associate of the thriving Chinese imperialism. Meanwhile, US imperialism, with Biden as president, is increasingly aggressive and is trying to recover under the slogan “America is back”.
3) NATO’s continued expansion to encircle Russia, its ever-increasing presence in the Black Sea, the US military buildup in Greece since the Joint Defense Agreement, the sale of high-tech weapons to Ukraine by Great Britain and Turkey and the provocation of part of western imperialism attempting to incorporate Ukraine to NATO feed the possibility of a bloody outcome in the region.
4) Russian Imperialism, having achieved significant success in the race for the latest weapons systems, has designated the territory of the former Soviet Union as a sphere of its “vital interests.” A mixture of fear over the deterioration of friendly regimes in its area of influence and the advance of NATO on the one hand, and its expansionist aspirations on the other, are leading Russia to an increasingly active intervention in its neighboring countries. More recently, CSTO troops under the leadership of the Russian army carried out an act of aggression against the people of Kazakhstan, taking advantage of the panic of the authoritarian-bureaucratic regime in the face of the workers who rebelled against the deterioration of their standard of living and the lack of democratic freedoms. Before that, Russian imperialism also played a key role in suppressing the social protests of the Belarusian people against the cynical falsification of the 2020 presidential elections by the authoritarian-bureaucratic Lukashenka regime. The obstacle to the establishment of complete and total control of Russian imperialism over the territory of the former USSR has been Ukraine. The US intention to incorporate it to NATO is a provocation that has reinforced Russia’s intentions.
5) Bourgeois Ukraine, weak compared to Russian military might and extremely dependent on both internal oligarchic groups and external support from Western imperialism, in the opinion of the Kremlin leaders, would be a meal they could take without much difficulty. Nonetheless, the reinforcement in the military field that NATO is carrying out in recent weeks is making Russia doubt the possible results and opens the possibility of an agreement.
6) The excessively optimistic expectations that, in our opinion, the Kremlin elite has been having is based on a series of factors. Among them, first of all, the increasing dependence of the countries of the European Union on Russian gas supplies. The EU countries’ rejection of their own coal generation and the phasing out of the nuclear power sector has objectively made many key EU countries dependent on Russia and its Gazprom. Germany already refuses to provide its airspace for the supply of defensive weapons to Ukraine in order to “not anger Russia,” and they believed that this trend would predominate. However, as pressure from the US increases, the rest of the European powers begin to align themselves with the White House.
7) It should also be noted that the bourgeois authorities in Ukraine have been pursuing a harsh anti-social and neoliberal policy for many years, leading the majority of the working people to a situation of extreme poverty. In such a situation, the appeal of the Ukrainian authorities to the patriotic feelings of the citizens of Ukraine and the calls to fight against the threat of Russian occupation continue to meet a quite hidden resistance. But it is present and more massive in the south and east of Ukraine, where Russian imperialism is trying to create a base for itself, demagogically using the slogan “protection of the Russian-speaking population”. Of course, here we are not talking about any “protection of the Russian-speaking population,” but only about a pretext for the implementation of imperialist aggression against Ukraine.
8) Unfortunately, many segments of the left movement in the former Soviet Union have been influenced by Russian narratives that call on workers to exclusively fight “their capitalism” and ignore external Russian imperialist aggression. However, this call is just a manipulation in the hands of the Russian imperialist bourgeoisie. The experience of the internationalists of the “Zimmerwald Left” in 1915 shows very clearly that the call to the socialists of each of the belligerent countries to concentrate their struggle against their own bourgeoisie was directed precisely at the socialists of the imperialist countries. Transferred mechanically, a similar call to Ukrainian socialists means, in practice, cynically calling them to ignore Russian imperialist aggression and abandon any attempt to resist it.
9) The International Socialist League calls on the workers of the world and especially the Russian working class to oppose the occupation of Ukraine promoted by their government and to prevent it from becoming a battlefield for the imperialist powers! We are well aware that Ukraine has become a hostage in the game and competition of the world’s leading imperialist powers. We perfectly understand all the cynicism and pettiness of US and Western imperialism, which now play the “defenders of Ukraine” before the international community, fearing to lose their decisive control over the economy of a weak country dependent on peripheral capitalism. We are well aware that neither of imperialist camps defend the interests of the Ukrainian people, but exclusively their own geopolitical interests. The Ukrainian working class must have no illusions about these “friendly” imperialisms and their true intentions, and demand the withdrawal of NATO from all of Eastern Europe.
10) Only a radical left socialist turn in Ukrainian and world politics will give the workers of all countries the preconditions to gain control of their own destiny. Under conditions that world capitalism persists in its imperialist phase, the threats of external military expansion will persist and multiply. But now the most urgent tasks have to do with confronting a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine and this possibly becoming a new bloody war in the interests of imperialist interests.
Our socialist slogans of the present moment:
• No to Russian imperialist aggression against Ukraine!
• NATO and Western imperialism out of Eastern Europe!
• Immediate withdrawal of Russian troops from the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine, as well as from Crimea, to make way for a process of self-determination in those regions!
• Russian workers: resolutely join the international struggle to prevent an imperialist aggression against Ukraine and confront your own government!
• Ukrainian workers: unite to confront the aggressions of Russia and throw out the puppet capitalists of US imperialism who rule over you!
• Let us strengthen the international solidarity of the working class of the whole world with the Ukrainian brothers and sisters of the proletarian class! Let us reject the shedding of proletarian blood in the interests of the imperialists!
January 29th, 2022