Sunday, March 27, 2022

No to NATO, No to War!

We are in the middle of a hate-campaign not seen since the dark Cold War days of the McCarthy era, We’re being swamped with hysterical anti-Russian propaganda to justify sanctions and more military aid to the Ukrainian fascists.
    Though the Biden administration has ruled out direct US intervention in Ukraine some imperialist politicians on both sides of the Atlantic are still calling for “no-fly zones” and other direct NATO involvement in a conflict that could set the whole of Europe ablaze and possibly even trigger a nuclear war.
    They serve the war lobby within the United States – the so-called “deep state” that represents the most venal and aggressive sections of the American ruling class that seek to dominate the entire world in the name of “globalisation” and the “new world order”. They’re also served by sinister forces within the labour and peace movement that have long acted as cheer-leaders for NATO and neo-colonialism.
    Some like Sir Keir Starmer and the Blairites openly embrace NATO and US imperialism while the fake lefters who pose as socialists essentially argue that peace is only attainable on imperialist terms.
    Now, more than ever, is the time for a clear call from the anti-war movement for an end to the fighting and a just and lasting peace in eastern Europe. This can only come with a neutral and de-Nazified Ukraine that recognises the independence of the Donbas republics, Crimea’s decision to join the Russian Federation and equal rights for all the people of the regions of the Ukraine.

Stand by the Seafarers

The mass dismissal of hundreds of P&O ferry workers reflects the reality of the world we live in today. Sacking workers to make way for cheaper scab labour was the norm in Victorian days when unions were barely legal and Management’s “right to manage” was the mantra of all the mainstream parties of the day. But it was more or less outlawed by legislation and agreed terms that the unions won through their industrial muscle in the decades that followed the Second World War.
    This all ended with the Thatcher era that followed Labour’s historic election defeat in 1979. The new Tory government launched an employers’ offensive that outlawed collective bargaining and a roll-back of most of what the working class had gained in the 20th century.
    There’s been no real fight-back. The venal approach of the careerists and bureaucrats and the decline of the genuinely militant left sabotaged any real resistance within the labour movement as a whole.
    It’s true that the storm of protests that followed P&O’s decision to summarily sack 800 workers has forced Management to offer redundancy terms that they hope will buy off some of the dismissed sea-farers. But the communist call must be to support the demand for the unconditional and immediate re-instatement of all the sacked staff and help the campaigns that the workers and their unions have launched to take on P&O and force them to do it.

Monday, March 21, 2022

For a just peace in Ukraine

The conflict in Ukraine has rightly heightened fears of escalation that could take Europe and possibly the world to the brink of nuclear war. But the cause of peace is not helped by those in the anti-war movement who blame the Russians for the crisis, ignore the legitimate demands of the people of the Donbas and fail to recognise that this war began in 2014 when the legitimate Ukrainian government was overthrown by fascist gangs supported by Anglo-American and Franco-German imperialism.
    The hidden hand is always at work amongst the fake left within the peace and anti-war movement who essentially argue that peace is only attainable on imperialist terms. We saw this time and time again over Serbia, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Palestine, and now we’re seeing it over Ukraine. Others, like Jeremy Corbyn, recognise the dangers of a nuclear conflict and understand that NATO’s aggressive expansion over the last 30 years has played a role in sparking the current conflict. But they still call for an unconditional Russian withdrawal from Ukraine – which is also the demand of US imperialism and its lackeys.
    The communist stand must be for a just peace in Ukraine – for a neutral and de-Nazified Ukraine that recognises the independence of the Donbas republics, Crimea’s decision to join the Russian Federation and equal rights for all the people of the regions of the Ukraine.

What a difference a day makes…

…and a week is a long time in politics – as a former Labour prime minister, the now largely forgotten Harold Wilson, once put it years ago.
    A few weeks ago the ‘Partygate’ crisis could have brought Boris Johnson down. Now it has been forgotten – drowned in an avalanche of anti-Russian hysteria in the bourgeois media in support of imperialist sanctions that has led to a Welsh orchestra dropping music by Tchaikovsky from a concert because of the Ukraine war, the possible collapse of Chelsea football club and even the dumping of the Meerkats from a long-standing ad campaign for British financial services.
    The Ukraine crisis has certainly given Johnson a new lease of life as he potters around eastern Europe pretending to be Winston Churchill and crawls to the House of Saud to get them to boost oil production to put a lid on the now soaring price of oil on the spot market.
    Labour still has a fourpoint lead over the Tories in the opinion polls, but the Tory supporters will now close ranks around Johnson at the local elections in spring whilst Labour flounders under the moribund leadership of Sir Keir Starmer.
    The Conservatives certainly have nothing to fear from Starmer, who has little or nothing to offer the workers his party claims to represent and spends most of his time rooting out what’s left of the Corbynistas in the Labour rather than campaigning to end the austerity regime that can only get worse in the post-Covid climate. The Tories now clearly believe they can maintain or even extend their hold on local government at the council elections in May. Whether this will benefit Johnson personally is another matter.
Johnson is a constant source of embarrassment to Tory campaign managers who never know what the next indiscretion may bring. The Remainers want him out to clear the way for a new campaign to re-establish good relations with the European Union, and he remains an obstacle to restoring the ‘special relationship’ with US imperialism that leading members of the ruling class believe is essential to preserve their interests across the globe. Johnson will go but only, it seems, when the grandees are good and ready for it.

What is happening in Ukraine?

by Vyacheslav Tetekin

Member of Central Committee of the CPRF

There is a war in Ukraine

Outwardly, it looks like an armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine. All political forces, including Left, have spoken out about these events. The range of assessments: from humanistic-emotional ("people are dying, stop the war") to purely class ("The West is pushing two oligarchic regimes"). In fact, this conflict has deep roots. When analysing the situation, we must consider both the national content of the class struggle and the class content of the national struggle.

What is Ukraine?

The territory of present-day Ukraine until the middle of the 17th Century was a sparsely populated space, contested by neighbouring countries. By the beginning of the 20th Century the lands of present-day Ukraine were divided between Poland, Austria-Hungary and Russia. After 1917 revolution some of these lands temporarily declared independence. In 1922 however, they joined the USSR as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. So Ukraine gained statehood, although limited.

Ukraine was an agricultural country

To ensure its development in 1918 at the suggestion of Vladimir Lenin six Russian industrial regions including Donetsk and Lugansk, which had never been part of Ukraine, were transferred to Ukraine. In 1939 Galicia (Western Ukraine) was annexed to Ukraine, previously part of Poland. The current territory of Ukraine is the result of its entry into the USSR. It consists of disparate pieces: from Galicia (Lviv) with a strong influence of Catholicism to Eastern Ukraine, which strongly gravitates towards Russia.

Socialist Ukraine developed powerfully

Aircraft and rocket building, petro-chemistry, electric power industry (four nuclear power plants) and defence industries were added to the extraction of metal and coal. As part of the USSR Ukraine received not only the bulk of its current territory but economic potential making it 10th largest economy in Europe. Ukrainian politicians were dominant in the Soviet leadership. Khrushev, Brezhnev and Chernenko ran the USSR from 1953–1983.
    After the collapse of the USSR in December 1991, Ukraine became an independent state for the first time in its history. But this destroyed centuries-old economic integration with Russia. The ‘market’ model led to the de-industrialisation of Ukraine and a sharp drop in the standard of living of the population. On the basis of predatory privatisation, an oligarchic class arose.

Now it is the poorest country in Europe

The level of corruption and social differentiation is of the highest in the world. The manufacturing industry, except metallurgy, is practically destroyed. The economy rests on Western loans and money transfers from migrant labourers who left for Europe and Russia in search of work (about 10 million out of 45 million people), basically qualified specialists. The degradation of human capital has reached its limit. The country is on the verge of a national catastrophe.
    The population of Ukraine is strongly dissatisfied; however this dissatisfaction with pro-Western authorities is manipulated in such a way that each time even more pro-Western forces win the elections. In February 2014, a US- and NATO-backed state coup was carried out in Ukraine. The US State Department has publicly stated that it has invested $5 billion in its preparation.

Neo-Nazis came to power

These are, first of all, people from Western Ukraine (Galicia), which for centuries was under the rule of Poland and Austria-Hungary. Extremely nationalist, anti-Semitic, anti-Polish, Russophobic and anti-Communist sentiments are historically strong there. After Hitler's invasion of the USSR, German troops were greeted in Western Ukraine with flowers. SS divisions were formed there and fought against the Red Army. Local nationalists, led by Hitler's admirer Stephan Bandera, set about exterminating the Jewish population. In Ukraine about 1.5 million Jews were killed – one fourth of all Holocaust victims. During the ‘Volyn massacre’ in 1944 about 100,000 Poles were brutally murdered in Western Ukraine. Bandera’s men fought Soviet guerrillas and burned alive men, women and children in hundreds of villages in Belarus. Ukrainian nationalists who served as guards in German concentration camps became notorious for monstrous cruelty.
    After the war from 1945–1953, the USA and UK supported anti-communist and anti-Soviet rebels in Western Ukraine who unleashed terror against the civilian population. During these years Banderas killed about 50 thousand civilians. This is the nature of these forces – descendants and followers of fascists – who came to power after the 2014 coup. The traditions of anti-Polish, anti-Semitic and anti-Russian terror are very strong amongst the neo-Nazis who now really govern Ukraine. At least 42 opponents of the Nazis were burnt alive in the Trade Unions building in Odessa on 2nd May 2014.

It is an alliance of neo-Nazis with oligarchic capital

Banderas (like the SS stormtroopers in Germany) serve as a shock detachment of big business. The only difference is that the Banderas refrain from outright anti-Semitism, having established a class unity with the local oligarchy. The Banderas tightly control every move of state power, constantly blackmailing it with the threat of a coup. On the other hand, the policy of Ukraine is determined by the US Embassy in Kiev.
    The nature of the current Ukrainian state is an alliance of big capital and the state bureaucracy, relying on criminal and fascist elements under the full political and financial control of the USA.
    After 2014, Nazi ideology was implanted in Ukraine. The ‘Day of Victory’ over fascism on 9th May was cancelled. Ukrainian fascists – organisers and participants in the atrocities during the second world war – are officially recognised as national heroes. Every year torch-lit marches are held in honour of fascist criminals. Streets and squares are named after them. The Communist Party of Ukraine operates underground. Intimidation and political assassinations of politicians and journalists became the norm. Monuments to Lenin and everything related to the memory of life in the USSR are being destroyed.
    At the same time, an attempt began forcibly to assimilate the Russian population of Ukraine with the suppression of the Russian language. An attempt to introduce Afrikaans instead of English in South Africa led to the Soweto uprising in 1976. The same thing happened in Ukraine. An attempt to transfer school education from Russian into Ukrainian gave rise to powerful resistance in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

People took up arms

In May 2014 a referendum was held there, in which 87 per cent of citizens voted for independence. This is how the Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics (DPR and LPR respectively) arose. After several unsuccessful attempts to invade the LPR–DPR, the Nazis from Kiev switched over to terror. During eight years of shelling from large-calibre guns, more than 13,000 civilians, including children, women and elderly people were killed in the Donbas republics with the complete silence of the world community.
    The Communists of Russia take an active part in the defence of the LPR–DPR. Hundreds of communists are fighting the Nazis as part of the troops of the people's republics. Dozens of communists died in this struggle. In eight years the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) sent 93 convoys with humanitarian aid to these republics with a total weight of 13,000 tons and received thousands of children for rest and treatment in Russia. During all these years the CPRF, headed by Gennady Zyuganov, demanded that the leadership of Russia recognise of the independence of Donbas.
    In March 2015 at the initiative of Russia (with the participation of Germany and France) the Minsk agreements were concluded, which provided for the special status of the LPR–DPR within Ukraine. Ukraine however, evaded their implementation. With the support of the USA, Kiev was preparing to crush the LPR–DPR by force of arms. The USA, UK and other NATO members provided training for the Ukrainian army. They constructed over 30 major military installations in Ukraine, including 15 Pentagon laboratories for the development of bacteriological weapons (cholera, the plague and other deadly diseases). Ukraine with its four nuclear power stations and huge scientific-technical potential is able to construct an A-bomb. This intention was publicly declared. There was a danger of deployment of US cruise missiles. The situation in Ukraine increasingly threatened Russia's security.

In December 2021 Russia proposed to the USA to talk about non-expansion of NATO

The USA and NATO ignored the proposal. In January 2022 Russia warned that it would be forced to take additional measures to protect its security. At the same time it became known that Ukraine had concentrated 150,000 servicemen and Nazi battalions in Donbas. Kiev, backed by the USA, was preparing to regain control over Donbas through war this March.
    On 22nd February President Putin announced the recognition of the independence of the LPR–DPR. On 25th February the Russian Armed Forces operation began
    Russia is not going to occupy Ukraine. The purpose of the operation is the liberation of Ukraine from the Nazis and its neutrality (refusal to join NATO).
    The tactics of the Russian troops are, whilst attacking military facilities, to minimise the casualties amongst the civilian population and Ukrainian military, and to avoid destruction of civilian infrastructure. They are brotherly people. We will continue to live together. However, the Bandera Nazis use the most disgusting tactics of the German fascists, using civilians and their houses as human shields. They install artillery and tanks in residential areas, forbid citizens to leave war zones, turning hundreds of thousands of people into hostages.
    This nefarious Nazi tactic is not condemned in the West. It is the USA, waging an information war through the media controlled by them (only Russia Today resists), that are interested in the war. The USA strikes not only at Russia but also at Europe.
    The NATO war against Yugoslavia in 1999 was a means of destabilising the European Union (EU). Today the USA’s main goal is to prevent Russian gas supplies via the Nord Stream-2 pipeline to force Europe to buy more expensive liquefied gas from the USA, thereby sharply weakening Germany and other EU countries. The volume of trade between Russia and the EU is $260 billion per year whilst with the USA it is $23 billion – 10 times less. Therefore the sanctions imposed at the request of the USA hit, first of all, Europe. The events in Ukraine are yet another American war for control of the world.
    By the way, the claims about global nature of boycott of Russia are false. BRICS countries (Brazil, India, China and South Africa), constituting 43 per cent of the world population, did not support sanctions. China is the fist and India the third biggest economies of the world. Sanctions were not supported by Asia (excluding Japan and South Korea with their US military bases), by the Middle East, by the largest countries of Latin America and by the majority of the developing world.
    For 30 years I have been one of the most active critics of the domestic and foreign policy of the Russian elite. In its class character, the oligarchic-bureaucratic power in Russia is not much different from the power in Ukraine (except without fascism and full US control).
    In those unfortunately rare cases when the leaders of Russia pursue a line that meets the historical interests of the country and the people however, the principle of ‘automatic’ criticism is hardly appropriate.
    I have long argued that sanctions will have a beneficial effect on getting rid of Russia's imposed dependence on the West in various areas of life. The Russian government is already taking the first steps in this direction. The task of the left forces is to vigorously encourage the authorities to change not only foreign policy, but also the socio-economic course, which does not correspond to the interests of the people.

Monday, March 14, 2022

Ending the war

Back in the “good old days” the rich lived in palatial mansions surrounded by armies of servants while kids crawled up chimneys and millions of workers lived in hovels. The British Empire spanned the globe. Britain and the other European powers carved up Africa and most of Asia to loot and plunder and anyone who dared to oppose them was inevitably dubbed insane. There was the “Mad Mahdi” who held the red-coats at bay for a few years in the Sudan, the “Mad Mullah” who led the Somali resistance to British and Italian colonialism and the endless “Mad Fenians” who, like all the rest, were clearly “mad” to think they could take on the might of the British imperialism and win.
    It still goes on today. Saddam Hussein was “mad”, So was Muammar Gaddafi and now we’re told the same about Vladimir Putin. Even the self-styled papers of record that hardly anyone reads these days repeat these childish jibes which, if it were true, would make any future negotiations with the Russian leader pointless. But in the end there will have to be talks and these talks, whether the imperialists like it or not, will have to accept that the only way to end the fighting is to agree to a neutralised Ukraine and Crimea’s accession to the Russian Federation along with recognition of the independence of the Donbas republics.

Free the Kononovich brothers

Two leaders of a Ukrainian communist youth movement have been arrested on trumped up charges of spying for Russia and Belarus. Alexander and Mikhail Kononovich were arrested in Kiev on Sunday 6th March. Mikhail Kononovich is the first secretary of the Leninist Communist Youth Union of Ukraine.
    The Kononovich brothers are known anti-fascist campaigners. Both have long been targeted by the fascist gangs and the secret police. No one has seen them since, This constitutes a flagrant violation of their human and political rights – a reality that, sadly is nothing new in Ukraine. It's been happening since the fascist coup of 2014, which was supported by Anglo-American and Franco-German imperialism.
    The Leninist Youth is the youth wing of the still semi-legal Communist Party of Ukraine but the party’s website and email channels were blocked by the regime at the start of the Russian intervention.
    The World Federation of Democratic Youth has called for a global campaign to put pressure on the Kiev regime to free the brothers. Demand their immediate release. Express my concern about the state of their health. Make it clear that any harm to the lives of Alexander Kononovich and Mikhail Kononovich will be the responsibility of the Government of Ukraine.
    This demand should be raised with local MPs as well as the Ukrainian embassy in London.

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Defend RT!

The Russia Today (RT) news channel was forced off the air this week by the Johnson government in a move that follows similar measures against Russian media outlooks throughout Western Europe. Though still available online the Russian television station can now no longer be accessed on any of our TV platforms. Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries says “the Russian dictator will now find it harder to spread his disinformation and lies” but banning RT is, in reality, a sign of weakness by the bourgeoisie that have taken us to the brink of all-out war in Europe over Ukraine. Now European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has decided to ban RT across the European Union. But Europe's largest association of journalists has, quite rightly, blasted the move.The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), which represents 320,000 journalists across Europe, has called the European Commission President's decision "counterproductive" and questioned her right to make it.
    EFJ General Secretary Ricardo GutiĆ©rrez said: "This act of censorship can have a totally counterproductive effect on the citizens who follow the banned media. It is always better to counteract the disinformation of propagandist or allegedly propagandist media by exposing their factual errors or bad journalism, by demonstrating their lack of financial or operational independence, by highlighting their loyalty to government interests and their disregard for the public interest”. He said the EU had no right to grant or withdraw broadcasting licences, which was the "exclusive competence of (individual) states."
    RT was never a major player on the British scene. Its niche UK audience was put at around 2.5 million viewers compared to the 6.4 million prime time viewers claimed by the American CNN, Fox and MSNBC stations and way behind the immense reach of the BBC and the other mainstream TV channels. But the fact that RT is seen as a threat to the war propaganda of the British government and the European Union shows what little confidence they themselves have in the credibility of the nonsense their own media is churning out at the moment.

Stand by the Donbas!

John McDonnell has been criticised for pulling out of a Stop The War rally after being told he would be kicked out of the Labour party if he spoke at the meeting.
    The man who was once Jeremy Corbyn’s second-in-command caved in to Starmer’s threats and left it to Corbyn to speak alongside Tariq Ali and other Stop the War Coalition leaders at the meeting in London on Wednesday.
    John McDonnell is no friend of the Russian Federation. Only last week he was marching alongside his friends in the “Ukraine Solidarity Campaign” to protest against the Russian intervention while the rest of the Stop the War leadership, including Corbyn, are all calling for an immediate cease-fire and an unconditional Russian withdrawal from Ukrainian territory. But this isn’t enough for Starmer. He wants total support for whatever comes out of the White House and, at the moment, that doesn’t include a cease-fire.

We say US/NATO hands off Russia! Stand with the communists of the Donbas and the anti-fascist resistance in Ukraine!

Wednesday, March 09, 2022

Proud to be a Communist in the 21st Century

by John Maryon

A contribution to the joint NCP-RCPB-ML seminar held recently in London

Karl Marx and Frederick Engels cooperated to publish the Communist Manifesto in1848. It was at the time of the Industrial Revolution when industrial cities were being and millions flocked from the countryside to seek work in the new factories. It was also a time of harsh exploitation by the bourgeoisie who accumulated great wealth from the surplus value created by the workers. The Communist Manifesto examined the development of nature, society and productive forces and proved the necessity for a class struggle. A struggle that would not only lead to a redistribution of wealth through various forms of public ownership. It would also serve to change the aspirations of the proletariat and the social relations within society itself.
    Today the those dark satanic mills may have gone but sweat-shops, with low pay and appalling working conditions, still exist where capitalism flourishes. Often the owners are to be found living in luxury near their tax havens. Grim polluted factories, with a dangerous work environment and employing children, are no longer to be found in Britain but we do have low pay and zero hour contracts forcing workers to rely on food banks. In former times agricultural labourers were forced to carry out hard manual labour, almost from dawn to dusk, but today their equivalent may be NHS staff. Some qualified ambulance workers may still be working 15 hours into a shift. And although the workhouse may be a thing of the past homeless people today can be left to die cold, lonely and frightened in some mean dark street.
    Capitalism still exists to enslave many parts of the world and remains powerful and influential. It is however in terminal crisis facing irreconcilable contradictions, as predicted by Marxists, leading to booms and slumps Cycles of inflation, unemployment and business failures occur but the main burden will always be carried by the workers. Imperialist rivalry increases with great hostility to the socialist countries bringing with it the constant danger of war. Communists today have an essential and vital role to play, in educating and organising the working class, to fight for improved wages and working conditions while maintaining the struggle for world peace.
    We now live in the digital age, an era of quantum physics and instant communication, but the fundamental nature of capitalism has not changed. The class struggle must continue and it is the duty of communists to lead it. Tinkering with a failed system by Social Democrats will achieve nothing. Communists believe that a revolutionary change is essential with full commitment to the class struggle.
    It can take courage to be a Communist. A situation similar in some ways to young men refusing to enlist for the First World War. Incessant propaganda by the bourgeois media creates an image in people's minds of communists being dangerous red monsters with evil intent. Others with alternative views such as anarchists are also tarred with the same brush by being presented as only wanting to destroy. A good communist must be able to stand tall and proud, be fair and honest and work hard to gain the trust and respect of his fellow workers.
    Communists may stand side by side with others to fight for a common cause. Whilst they may not agree with all the other parties honest held views those opinions will be respected and discussed. Communists will join with allies to form a broad front when it is expedient to do so.
    We will never abandon our core values or commitment to the scientific philosophy of Marxism Leninism. Communists will strongly resist the negative influence of a number of trotskyist organisations and also expose the treachery of the pseudo-left. Throughout the Labour movement there are individuals who while pretending to be progressive follow a reactionary agenda of their own. They emerge at critical times to oppose the workers struggle, make false claims against the socialist countries and some apparently have no qualms about stabbing their leader in the back.
    Communists will endeavour to equip the working class with the knowledge and confidence necessary to establish state power and build a socialist society. For centuries the poor, oppressed and disadvantaged have fought for justice and equality. Now in the modern world, with the rise of organised labour and the development of scientific socialism, it is possible to not only dream of a better world but to build it.
    Marxists realise that in the real physical world there is constant change. It is important to learn lessons from history and adapt to new conditions as they arise in order to meet new challenges that may lie ahead. There is no point however in re-fighting the ideological battles between Stalin and Trotsky of over 100years ago. This is merely a last ditch attempt by some Trotskyists to gain some relevance in the modern world.
    Communists respect an individuals sexuality and oppose any attempt to discredit or hassle others. We regard ourselves as all citizens of the world and are totally opposed to racism, social segregation or any persecution of ethnic minorities. We seek to build a beautiful new world based upon equality with the establishment of real human rights; something that is impossible in a capitalist society.
    Communist party members are committed to democratic centralism. This ensures that factional disputes, which would weaken the movement, are avoided. Policies are discussed fully and openly following which a vote is taken. The policy then becomes binding on all comrades.
    The struggle of the working class is international. Communists are true internationalists realising the importance of working together to coordinate their struggles with multi-national cooperations. There is also the question of aid in the form of material or military assistance given by powerful states to weaker one's being bullied by imperialism. In Afghanistan it is reported that a number of people have been forced to sell their kidneys to buy food. The US has frozen the nation’s assets but China has stepped in to provide aid including medicines. This is the kind of action that makes me proud to be a communist in the modern world.

Saturday, March 05, 2022

Joint Statement: Victory to the anti-fascist forces of Donbass and their allies!

Victory to the anti-fascist forces of Donbass and their allies! U.S./NATO hands off Russia!

The NATO-funded Ukrainian Neo-Nazi Azov Battalion and other far right Ukrainian nationalists have slaughtered many thousands in Donbass in last 8 years.

On February 24, the anti-fascist Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, together with the Russian Federation, launched a military action with the goal of “demilitarization and denazification” of Ukraine. It is in the interest of poor and working people, anti-war and anti-imperialist forces in the U.S. and other NATO countries, to take an unambiguous position in solidarity with the anti-fascist forces. The real war danger comes from US and NATO forces surrounding Russia. The government in Kiev is their proxy, with no regard for the people of Ukraine.

In March 2014 British foreign secretary William Hague lied to the House of Commons when he said that the removal of Viktor Yanukovych was in accordance with the Ukrainian constitution, saying “It is wrong to question the legitimacy of the new authorities.

In fact, Yanukovych’s removal met none of the Ukrainian constitution’s provisions: there was no special commission of the Rada, no review by the Constitutional Court, and the Rada passed a bill removing Yanukovych from office with a simple majority of 328 votes, 10 short of the two-thirds majority laid out in the Ukrainian constitution. No doubt Hague was “badly advised” by his Foreign Office advisors!

Over the past 8 years Ukrainian military and US-backed fascist battalions incorporated into the National Guard killed 5,059 people in the Donetsk People’s Republic, including 91 children (figures obtained from Donetsk last week), so the figure for both the anti-fascist republics is probably around 8-9,000 people including well over 100 children.

This war began in 2014 when Ukraine launched the “Anti-Terrorist Operation” (ATO), just over a week after the CIA Director John Brennan visited Kiev to meet senior Ukrainian intelligence officials to “foster mutually beneficial security cooperation”. This was an all-out modern military offensive with tanks, artillery, missiles and aircraft. The ATO was still ongoing when the Russian intervention began last week, in fact it was being rapidly stepped up.

Millions of Ukrainians have been driven into political or economic exile since 2014, over two million now living in the Russian Federation alone. Many fled as a result of fascist death threats.

Up to 100 anti-fascists were murdered by fascists and nationalists at the Odessa Trade Union House Fire on May 2, 2014. No-one knows exactly how many, since there has never been any investigation.

Where was the media hysteria, and the calls for peace from the left and the peace movement, when men, women, children and the elderly were being bombed and shot by snipers in the Donbass for the past eight years?

Since November, the U.S. has pushed Kiev to a new murderous invasion of Donbass, while claiming that the real threat was from Russia. The U.S. rejected Moscow’s just demands to guarantee Ukraine’s neutrality. Russia recognized the independence of Lugansk and Donetsk on Feb. 21 –eight years after the people of Donbass overwhelmingly chose independence in a referendum, rejecting the pro-Western/neo-fascist coup government in Ukraine.

Washington and NATO deliberately and methodically pushed the Donbass republics and Russia into a corner, from which there were only two options: submit or fight back.

The People’s Militias of Donetsk and Lugansk are fighting to drive back the Ukrainian Armed Forces, including neo-Nazi battalions armed and trained by the U.S., Canada and NATO, that constantly threaten the lives of their residents. The anti-fascist military action, forced on Donbass and Russia by the Western imperialist powers – principally President Joe Biden and the U.S. government – has exposed confusion and equivocation in the anti-war movement, even among socialists and communists.

Modern capitalist Russia is not an imperialist country. It had no means to become one after the counter-revolution in the USSR. It is a regional power akin to India or Brazil, primarily an exporter of commodities, not capital. To maintain its independence, Russia had to ally with other countries in opposition to imperialism. Ukraine’s coup regime, by contrast, is a pawn of U.S. imperialism that has been waging a brutal war on its neighbours for eight years and offered itself as a base for NATO aggression against Russia.

Our responsibility is to stop U.S. imperialism and its wars in all forms, and to stand in solidarity with those who fight against U.S. domination.

· Victory to the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics and their allies!

· Justice for those murdered in the Odessa Trade Union House Massacre!

· Solidarity with the anti-fascist underground and exiles of Ukraine!

· U.S./NATO: Hands off Russia! Get out of Ukraine and Eastern Europe!

· Dismantle the imperialist NATO war machine – bring all the troops home now!

This statement is endorsed by: Communist Party of the Donetsk People's Republic, Consistent Democrats, Cumpanis (Italian communist journal), International Ukraine Anti-Fascist Solidarity, Movement for People's Democracy (USA) New Communist Party, Party of Communists USA (PCUSA), Posadists Today, Socialist Fight, US Friends of the Soviet People and the Zimbabwe Communist Party. It is adapted from a fine statement by the Socialist Unity Party / Partido de Socialismo Unido (USA).