No 1609 12th May 2022
Distraction and destruction twin aims for ruling class’s NATO war on Moscow, lyingly presented as an attack by Russia but instigated by western installed Ukrainian fascists, stooges for Washington. Setbacks for the Kiev Nazis (so far) expose CIA lies about an “incompetent” Russian army and the sick and demented Western psyops and media campaign of Goebbels “warcrimes” accusations against Russia (while ignoring Kiev death-squad fanaticism and atrocities). Huge new NATO funding and interventions confirm the war’s reality as the next stage in the West’s desperate World War Three plans to escape capitalism’s terminal inflationary Catastrophe. Defeat for US Empire but no support for Moscow’s Bonapartist anti-communism. Leninist revolutionary theory vital need
Sudden colossal increase in Washington’s warmongering “arms and aid” for the Ukrainian Nazis’ war on Russia brings the crisis fears of the US Empire imperialist ruling class more sharply into focus than ever before.
The US Congress’ voluntary addition of another $6bn on top of President “Joe” Biden’s already requested $33bn financial support and weapons supply package for nazi-NATO’s Kiev stooges underlines the ruling class desperation as the monopoly capitalist system faces economic meltdown and political collapse.
So too does the demented belligerence of the US-stooge Tory leaders, trying to outbid each in warmongering postures as their sleaze, corruption and incompetence threatens to engulf a British economy which is not just moribund but near to total collapse, outcompeted by most of the major powers and potentially one of the first to go under as the whole world capitalist system implodes.
So too the stampeding into NATO membership of Sweden and Finland, long posing as “neutral” (though in practice collaborators with Nazism, especially during the Second World War) and now openly joining the Western aggression in East Europe under the upside-down lie that the aggressive alliance is “just for defence”.
But the urgent lessons for the working class to be drawn from these extraordinary escalations are not only missed by the fake-“lefts” of all shades, but deliberately obscured, even by those claiming “revolutionary Marxist” credentials.
These petty bourgeois dilettantes all fear the full-on class war implications of the unfolding Catastrophe of the monopoly capitalist order now driving increasing numbers into total penury and desperation, not just in the ruthlessly exploited Third World but even in the richest countries (one million at least in Britain now facing outright no-food destitution daily) and about to get much, much worse.
The lesson they are offering (inadvertently obviously) is in the total uselessness of the entire spectrum of pretend “leftism” – and not only that, its utter cravenness and treachery.
Many have capitulated outright to the West’s unprecedented deluge of upside-down fascist propaganda lies painting the Swastika toting Kiev regime as the “good guys” and the Russians as monsters, from the usual Labourites and “official trade unionism” to most of the Trots and some revisionists.
They openly side with Washington warmaking reaction and its world domination tool NATO; many more do the same but sneakily, hidden behind useless “No to War” social-pacifist nostrums and “withdrawal” calls on Moscow, or with “even-handed” condemnations for both sides, dressed up as “Leninist defeatism” (it is anything but) with added, purely academic, posturing about “fighting the enemy at home” (see last two EPSRs) even though they do nothing about leading any such domestic class war revolutionary struggle either (never mentioning revolution in day-to-day politics).
A few oddball Trots and museum Stalinist revisionists avoid being so obviously exposed in their class-collaboration and make some (correct) effort to stand against the hurricane of the Goebbels psyops big lie onslaught and stampeded middle-class opinion, but then spread just as much confusion by support for Putin’s Bonarpartist oligarch-gangster-serving backwardness, at least in the east of Ukraine.
As further explored below that can only cause major confusion whether or not Moscow survives.
Defeat for the NATO guided Kiev Nazism is certainly what is needed by the working class everywhere, in Russia, in Ukraine (West and East) and throughout the world.
And if Moscow is the means by which it happens then well and good.
But Putinism runs a restorationist state which is capitalist itself and thereby part of the problem in the full picture of the descent into world war, which is caused by the contradictions in capitalism itself and its unstoppable crisis collapse.
Putinism needs overturning too – but only when the time is ripe.
Right now Russia’s sometime apeing of imperialism is not the main enemy which by a long chalk is the great coalition of Western imperialists led by (and mostly arm-twisted by) the overwhelmingly dominant position of US led monopoly capitalism.
Defeat for the imperialist conspiracy which set in train this stinking fascist onslaught against the Russian speakers in eastern Ukraine and increasingly obviously against Moscow itself, (and China behind that) could have shattering implications for the entire monopoly capitalist order, already reeling from disasters in the Middle East like Iraq, Syria and Yemen and Afghanistan too.
It is a fundamental of Marxist understanding that blows, setbacks and humiliations for the ruling class will be the great door opener for the revolutionary understanding urgently required to lead the ever growing but still anarchic world revolt which will – and must – bring down the entire rotten, degenerate exploitation system of monopoly capital, out of time and now dragging the whole world to devastating economic Slump, ecological disaster and world war destruction because of its own internal contradictions.
Historically it is just such chaotic and barbaric turmoil which has created the conditions for revolution, in 1917 and in the great extension of the world revolution (socialist and anti-colonialist) during and in the wake of the Second World War.
It does not matter how defeat and failure for Western bullying come about, anything and anywhere from “jihadist revolt” and “terrorism” (despite their sometimes backward and even reactionary notions); from “rogue state” mavericks like Saddam Hussein in Iraq, or Bashar al-Assad in Syria; from mass street revolt like Egypt’s Arab Spring (and suddenly Sri Lanka now); or from Vladimir Putin’s confused Bonapartism, still servicing billionaire oligarchs and deluded by its own Greater Russian imperialist forays (eg in Mali, Kazakhstan, joining imperialism’s meaningless “war on terror”) but pushed into struggle because of the Catastrophic failure of this rotten and foetid class domination system.
Leninism does not need to support any of the confused notions behind the great upheavals that imperialist tyranny increasingly drives the masses to, as repeatedly explained by the EPSR - but it equally does not remotely join in the condemnations and moralising which pour out of the fake-“left” to denounce the great rising tide of resistance and rebellion and which have found renewed volume since 9/11 and in every “terrorist” or mass revolt incident since.
Exactly the opposite – it accepts that these are embryonic revolutionary turmoil but needs to strive even harder to win world understanding for the conscious overthrow of capitalism that such discontent and hatred of oppression really needs for its leadership to end the entire system, establishing the firm power of the working class.
That crucial class war Leninist science as yet is still missing, as is the purpose-built trained cadre party of constant polemical debate that can keep correct theory constantly developing – not least because the way is blocked by the non-stop opportunism and treachery of the great swamp of fake-“lefts”, reformist (Labourite), Trot and revisionist.
All are now thrown into complete turmoil by this lurch in the capitalist crisis into further brutal and vicious war (as explored below). All need exposing and battling with to re-establish revolutionary world science, against their opportunism and complacency.
Defeat is the immediate issue now.
The West’s problem is that it is losing.
At stake is not just the Ukrainian war, deliberately provoked by CIA coup skulduggery and NATO aggression, pulling the strings of the Nazi-Kiev government to force Moscow’s hand, but the world prestige and power of imperialism across the board.
The imperialists know very well that much more is in question that just the future of Ukraine, or even East Europe.
That is why Biden’s requested intervention is on a staggering scale, up by a factor of more then ten from the already huge $3bn support in military aid given so far to keep this proxy war underway.
(And why pathetic Britain, reeling from foodbank, homelessness and inflationary destitution for millions, is allocating another ill-affordable £1.5bn to keep the war going – a contemptuous modern repetition of the “guns not butter” slogan from the First World War).
The Americans’ now $40bn is a huge sum to divert from a domestic US economy already hammered by inflationary meltdown, rapidly oncoming Slump conditions worse than the 1930s (on top of the relentless decline in working class living standards for the last 40-50 years anyway and the obscene ever-augmenting wealth for the ultra-rich) and ever more debilitating trade war pressures, not least from Europe (one of the hidden targets for the US in pushing this European located war with most of the sanctions, damage and refugee burdens to be borne by its major trade competitors in the EU).
And it is a huge sum to pile on top of the accelerated inflation and massive world shortages being added to (but not caused) by the economic sanctions war – with colossal international hostility and resistance to the West also multiplying rapidly.
Such massive escalations in US funding for the war (and from the pathetic has-been British “Empire” ruling class) indicate a frenzy to keep this sick war degeneracy going, as the tide of unprecedented Goebbels hate propaganda against Russia begins to falter and the military momentum behind imperialism’s NATO aggression stalls badly.
Militarily at least the war propaganda is completely hollow.
Far from trapping Moscow in a “new Afghanistan/Vietnam” as the reactionary establishment has been hoping, it is the Kiev government stoogery which is facing a complete rout – whatever is alleged on now blanket Goebbels coverage and the non-stop interviews with unelected General “Sir” Blatherington Smythe and Lord Admiral Ponsenby Pompous etc etc on the state owned BBC and the daily distortions in the rest of the grovellingly compliant media dutifully pumping out whatever poison the intelligence agencies feed them (not least the “liberal” Guardian at the forefront with twisted lies and hate-mongering).
The real situation is spelt out by one of the better and more neutral bourgeois sources, former US marine intelligence office and weapons inspector Scott Ritter:
...Few analysts — including this author — expected serious resistance to last more than a month. Indeed, General Milley had briefed Congress during closed-door briefings in early February that a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine could result in the fall of Kiev within 72 hours.
There were several reasonsFirst the extensive preparation that had been conducted by Russia The movement of hundreds of thousands of troops along with their equipment and the logistical means to sustain both men and material in combat is not a trivial exercise, and Russia had been engaged in military drills which stretched out over the course of several months, perfecting such logistics. The Russian military is led by officers who excel in staff work and preparation,
Doctrinally, the Russian military was configured for the kind of warfare it had prepared for, where its overwhelming advantages in mass and firepower were optimized to produce the very battlefield results anticipated by most observers — the destruction of enemy defenses in depth with massed fire, followed by an aggressive armored assault that penetrated deep into the enemy rear areas, sowing confusion and disruption leading to the rapid loss of combat effectiveness on the part of those being attacked.
A Russian-Ukrainian war was always going to be primarily a ground war; neither the Ukrainian Air Force nor its Navy was expected to put up a sustained, viable resistance. While the Ukrainian Army had been trained and equipped as a virtual NATO proxy force since 2015, the reality was that it had undergone a rapid expansion from 2014, when it could field some 6,000 combat-ready troops, to its pre-military operation composition of some 150,000 soldiers organized into 24 brigades. The expectation that Ukraine would be able to perfect anything more than basic battalion-sized combined arms operations (i.e., the coordinated employment of maneuver forces with artillery and air support) was wishful thinking.
The following analysis is sourced from publicly-available reporting by journalists embedded with the Russian military and the forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic, as well as Russian Ministry of Defense briefings and statements made by the Ukrainian side.
Within the first week of the Russian operation getting underway, it was clear  many of the assumptions were flawed and/or misplaced.
Moscow had opted not to employ its forces according to standard doctrine, opting instead to take a light approach, which appeared to be born from a concerted effort to minimize civilian casualties and harm to civilian infrastructure that itself was derived from a fundamental misunderstanding of the reality of the situation on the ground in Ukraine.
The reported purging of 150 officers from the 5th Department of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), responsible for operations in the so-called ‘near abroad’ (which includes Ukraine), along with the arrest of Sergei Beseda, the former head of the department, suggests that Russia had suffered a failure of intelligence.
statements by Russian leadership suggesting that the Ukrainian military might remain in its barracks and that civilian leadership would not interfere with Russia military operations  proved to be fundamentally off target, [perhaps] from Ukrainian security services false reports fed back.
Columns of Russian troops, advancing boldly into Ukraine without the kind of attention to route security and flank protection that would normally accompany offensive operations, found themselves cut off and annihilated by well-prepared Ukrainian ambushes. Moreover, instead of folding under pressure, the Ukrainian Army — both regular and those from the territorial forces — stood their ground and fought, using hand-held anti-tank weapons— US-made Javelins and British-made NLAWs— to great effect. It was, , a Turkey shoot, and the Ukrainian government made effective use of combat footage obtained from such encounters to great effect in shaping global public opinion about the effectiveness of Ukraine’s defenses.
However, the limitations of the Ukrainian armed forces did not allow it to turn its impressive tactical victories into positive operational and strategic outcomes. Despite costly initial setbacks, the Russian Army pressed home its attack, achieving impressive gains in the south, where Russian forces operating out of Crimea secured the strategic city of Kherson and advanced on the equally important city of Mariupol. There, they joined with Russian and allied forces from the Donetsk Republic to surround the Ukrainian forces defending Mariupol, eventually trapping the survivors, numbering several thousand strong, in the reinforced concrete underworld of the Azovstal steel factory. Further north, Russian forces, together with the forces of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics, advanced westward to drive Ukrainian forces from their prepared defenses to gain control of the totality of the territory encompassing the Donbass region [a primary objective].
...to accomplish this Russia carried out extensive supporting operations, which included a diversionary advance toward Kiev designed to fix Ukrainian forces in place and divert reinforcements away from the eastern front, as well as an amphibious feint off the coast of Odessa for the same purpose. For a diversionary attack and/or feint to be operationally viable, it must be believable, which means the forces carrying out the mission must be aggressive in the execution of the diversion, even under unfavorable conditions.
The Russian advance on Kiev was done by a force of some 40,000 men operating on two axes, one heading south, the other pushing southwest from the direction of Chernihiv. The ground advances were preceded by several air assaults targeting airfields in the vicinity of Kiev.
Whether or not Russian intelligence had indicated that Kiev was ripe for a coup de main, or the Russian paratroopers and special forces conducting the assaults were too aggressive in selling the attack, or a combination of both, the reality was that Kiev was well defended by a mix of regular army and territorial forces.
Russian forces advanced on Kiev, launching probing attacks that penetrated the northern suburbs and threatened to surround the city from both the east and west.
[But] 40,000 men, no matter how aggressively employed, cannot take, and hold, a city of some three million inhabitants defended by a mix of 60,000 regular, reserve, and territorial soldiers.
But this was never their task.
“These actions [i.e., the advance on Kiev],” Colonel General Sergey Rudskoy, the first deputy chief of Russia’s General Staff, announced during a briefing on March 26, “are carried out with the aim of causing such damage to military infrastructure, equipment, personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, not only to tie down their forces and prevent them from strengthening their grouping in the Donbass, but also not to allow them to do this until the Russian army completely liberates the territories of the [Donetsk People’s Republic] and [Lugansk People’s Republic].”
...The so-called “Battle for Kiev” is a clear-cut example of the difference between perception and reality. The Ukrainian position is that its forces decisively defeated the Russian military on the approaches to Kiev, forcing not only a retreat, but also a complete re-design of the strategic objectives of the special military operation. ...echoed unquestioningly by a compliant Western media,  and political and military leaders in Europe, Canada, and the US.
One of the major outcomes of this Ukrainian “victory” was  an increase in both the amount of money allocated to supplying Ukraine with weapons, as well as the quality of the weapons themselves, as the West shifted away from an emphasis on light anti-tank weapons to more conventional armor and artillery.
But this makes no sense says Ritter:
The reality, was that the Russian Phase One inflicted near-fatal damage to the Ukrainian military, killing and wounding tens of thousands of soldiers while destroying the vast bulk of Ukraine’s heavy weaponry — the artillery, tanks, and armored fighting vehicles critical to waging modern combined arms warfare. The reason Ukraine requested more tanks, armored vehicles, and artillery from its Western suppliers is that it had depleted its available stocks.
But equipment was the least of Ukraine’s worries. A military is only as good as its ability to logistically sustain its forces while in combat, and one of the primary objectives of the Russian Phase One campaign was to destroy Ukraine’s fuel and ammunition storage facilities and degrade Ukrainian command and control. The result is that while Ukraine held onto Kiev, it did so at an enormous cost in overall combat effectiveness.
Russia was able to withdraw from the Kiev front and undergo a period of rest, rearmament, and reorientation while the Ukrainian military remained under pressure from incessant Russian aerial attack and bombardment from precision-guided cruise missiles and Russian artillery.
[Around Kiev] Ukraine was left holding territory which no longer served any useful purpose for the Russians. Russia was able to redeploy its forces to better support its prime objective, the seizure of Donbass, leaving the Ukrainian forces in Kiev frozen in place.
The battle for Mariupol is another example where perception management clashed with ground-truth reality. The narrative surrounding the present fate of Mariupol is very much a tale of two cities. From the Ukrainian perspective, the city continues to be held by a heroic cadre of fighters who are tying down tens of thousands of Russian forces who otherwise could be redeployed elsewhere, supporting the Russian main effort against Donbass. So long as these defenders hold out, the Ukrainians contend, the vital land bridge connecting Crimea and the Russian Federation will be at risk.
Russia, however, has already declared victory in Mariupol. While conceding that a few thousand defenders remain dug into the Cold War-era bunkers underneath the Azovstal steel factory, Russia says that these forces serve no meaningful military value. Indeed, rather than sacrifice Russian troops to dig the Ukrainian forces from their underground lairs, President Putin directed the military to seal off the Azov facility and wait the defenders out.
There is no doubt that the presence of Ukrainians in the Azovstal factory represents a propaganda victory for Ukraine. But the reality is that the city of Mariupol has fallen to Russia; while the Ukrainian defenders, possibly accompanied by thousands of civilians, waste away as their food supplies diminish, the rest of Mariupol is beginning the task of rebuilding a shattered city where an estimated 90% of the buildings have been damaged or destroyed in brutal street-to-street fighting. The Russian land bridge is intact, and the Russian offensive against Donbass is proceeding without delay.
...military aid being provided to Ukraine will not have any discernable impact on a battlefield where Russia is asserting its dominance more and more each day. Not only is there not enough equipment being provided. Hundreds of armored vehicles cannot replace the more than 2,580 that have been lost by Ukraine to date, nor can dozens of artillery pieces offset the more that 1,410 artillery tubes and rocket launchers destroyed by the Russian military.
against the Russians in Donbass  the Ukrainians lack any meaningful artillery support of their own, are at the mercy of the Russian artillery and rocket launchers that pound their positions day in and day out, without respite.
Russian troops have abandoned advances by unprotected columns and convoys; now, they...isolate the Ukrainian defenders, pound them with artillery, and then carefully close in and destroy what remains with infantry supported by tanks and armored fighting vehicles. The casualty ratio in this fighting is unforgiving for Ukraine, with hundreds of soldiers lost each day in terms of killed, wounded and surrendered, while Russian casualties are measured in scores.
Not only can Russia maneuver virtually at will along the front as it closes with and destroys the Ukrainian defenders, but Russian troops also operate with absolute freedom in depth, meaning that they can pull back to refit, rearm, and rest without fear of Ukrainian artillery fire or counterattacking forces. The Ukrainians, meanwhile, remain pinned down, unable to move without fear of being detected and destroyed by Russian air power, and as such doomed to be isolated and destroyed by Russian troops in due course.
There is virtually no hope of reinforcement or relief for the Ukrainian forces operating on the front lines; Russia has interdicted the rail lines that had served as the conduit for resupply, and the likelihood of any Ukrainian forces which have received heavy weapons provided by the West reaching the frontlines in any discernable strength is virtually zero.
This is the state of play entering the third month of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine — if the operation extends into a fourth month, the battlefield will look vastly different. The battle for Donbass and eastern Ukraine is all but over.
No wonder the West has shut down Ritter’s Twitter account – and the vaunted “freedom to speak” promises from its new owner, the ultra-reactionary mega-billionaire Elon Musk, richest man in the world are unlikely to unlock it any more than the other social media; no wonder too that crude and outright censorship has been established in Europe for the Russia Today channel and any other pro-Western or even neutral media outlets carrying information other than the gross lies and disinformation directed by the Western intelligence agencies.
Bourgeois “freedom and democracy”, for which risible ultra-hypocrisy the Ukrainians are allegedly fighting,(!!!) is strictly for show and is never going to allow anything seriously favourable for the working class to be heard (even if working class outlets could find sufficient funds in the first place).
Fake-“left” campaigns for “freedom of speech” play into this censorship by fostering the delusion that such “democratic persuasion” is achievable under capitalism.
But setbacks will shift things.
And there are cracks of doubt appearing even in the overtly pro-NATO bourgeois commentaries, reading between the lines after the usual obligatory anti-Russian blame hatred and “war-crime” exaggerations and outright fabrications have been edited out:
The longer this war rages on, the more Ukrainians will flee their homeland, and the more devastation will be wrought upon their homes, cities, industry and economy. Yet the west’s current approach of supporting Ukraine’s war aim of defeating the aggressor, and providing arms for that purpose while pointedly avoiding direct military intervention, is guaranteed to prolong the war. Russia’s progress may be slowed, but it’s highly unlikely to be stopped, far less pushed out of Ukraine, and in the meantime the grinding destruction  will continue.
No day goes past without some senior western politician proclaiming that Ukraine will be “successful” and that Russia is “failing”. This is certainly morale-boosting. But it is clearly nonsense.
The fact is, day by day, more towns and cities are destroyed and then fall to the Russians. In two months, the area under Russian control – originally just the breakaway parts of Donbas – has grown to perhaps five times the size. If Russia continues to suffer “defeats” at this pace, then in another two months the entire south of Ukraine will be in ruins, cities such as Odesa will resemble Mariupol, and thousands upon thousands more Ukrainians will have died.
Worse, as the war goes on, and more towns are destroyed, it becomes less likely that Ukrainians who have fled to other countries will ever return, because they will have no homes or workplaces to come back to. How many citizens of Mariupol will ever return? If Russia’s aim was to exterminate the Ukrainian nation, then the west’s approach is helping to do just that.
Surely, if the lives of Ukrainian people are our concern then the west has to do something to stop the war – now. Encouraging the Ukrainians to continue, however just their cause, is merely making their country uninhabitable.
The trouble is, there are only two ways to stop the war quickly, and neither is palatable to most western leaders.
One would be for Nato to enter the war and make a quick, massive and decisive strike to cripple Russia’s invasion forces. [...]
The risk – of a third world war – is obvious, and it’s why the west refuses to intervene directly.
The other option is to persuade Putin to implement an immediate ceasefire, by inviting Russia to comprehensive peace talks. Western leaders are disinclined to parley with a butcher such as Putin. But they did it with Serbia’s Slobodan Miloševi? ?, only months after the massacre at Srebrenica, and the result was the Dayton agreement that put an end to the war in Bosnia in 1995.
To get Putin to the negotiating table at all, everything would have to be up for discussion – including Ukraine’s borders, Russia’s age-old security concerns, perhaps even the very logic of basing today’s international frontiers in that part of Europe on what were internal borders in the USSR, drawn up by communist leaders precisely to prevent Soviet republics and regions from being viable independent states. The outcome of the talks does not need to be predetermined. The important thing is to talk rather than fight.
Western leaders cannot bring themselves to broach these matters, which would seem to reward Putin for attempting to redraw the map by force. They would rather fight – or more accurately, let Ukraine fight, in the hope of defeating Russia. But if one thing is certain it is that Putin will never accept defeat. He is already too deeply invested in this war to back off with nothing to show for it. If western leaders think that their arms-length encouragement of Ukraine will bring about a Ukrainian military victory, then they are fatally misreading Putin’s intentions and resolve. For Ukraine’s sake, we need to stop him now, one way or the other, before nothing is left of the country we want to protect.
Angus Roxburgh is a former BBC Moscow correspondent and former consultant to the Kremlin.
‘We will keep going further and faster,” snarls the foreign secretary, Liz Truss, in her Mansion House speech on Wednesday, “to push Russia out of the whole of Ukraine.”
Even Crimea? Yes indeed, growls the defence secretary, Ben Wallace, on Sky News a day later. Ukraine’s territorial integrity “of course, includes Crimea”.
Beat that, Truss. “The war in Ukraine is our war,” she woofs. “Heavy weapons, tanks, aeroplanes — digging deep into our inventories, ramping up production. We need to do all of this.” She then throws out a general invitation, to Georgia, Moldova and the western Balkans, to join Nato.
Golly. Over to you, Ben? Wallace, promising war-crimes tribunals, is not to be outbid. To pre-empt Russian attack, it would be “legitimate under international law” to hit targets within Russia itself. And “Britain is assisting and finding artillery for Ukraine”. Losing his nerve momentarily, he adds that at present British-sourced weaponry is “mainly” being used within Ukraine.
By now Truss is on fire. “There must be nowhere [sic] for Putin to fund this appalling war,” she continues at the Mansion House. “That means cutting off oil and gas imports once and for all.”
Once and for all? Lest there be doubt, she lets reporters know (The Times, April 28) that “it is understood that Truss is determined that any settlement is agreed on unfavourable terms to Russia in order to deter another invasion”. Truss, we report, “is pushing for Russia to pay reparations”.
Reparations? Good God. Like what we did to Germany after the First World War in the calamitous Treaty of Versailles? Rub the whole Russian population’s nose in it? In this 21st-century bidding war the competition is getting intense. Any advance on reparations? You, sir, the balding gentleman in the Ministry of Defence? No? No reparations? Going, going . . . gone! Reparations — to the blonde lady in King Charles Street.
This auction of bellicosity is no way to conduct an undeclared Tory leadership contest against the background of a hideous European war.
Everybody should be treading on eggshells: including columnists.
I see now the aggression in columns I wrote when this invasion began, and think my words, in retrospect, careless.
“Words matter,” writes Sir Roderic Lyne (for four years our ambassador in Moscow) in The Times on Thursday. “[British ministers’ words] are gifts to Vladimir Putin and his propagandists.” Sir Roderic sees ministerial rhetoric, and the strategy it implies, as driving iron into the soul of a nation . . . “[leaving] Europe’s largest country as a perpetual and embittered enemy”. But Lyne’s intelligent hesitation is lost in a wind that’s been blowing ever more strongly in recent weeks: a wind in which there’s more than a whiff of belligerence.
I notice the birth of a new orthodoxy: the hindsight-induced belief that at the start of this war virtue reposed in those who cried “Forward!” while those who cried “Steady on!” should now hang their heads in shame. Ben Wallace has attracted around himself a media and political circle, orbiting his not-inconsiderable ego, who promote, to his career advantage, that view. Examples are dug up of parliamentary colleagues who resisted his proposals for urgently arming Ukraine long before the threat of Russian invasion became a reality. Not to be left out, friends of Sir Michael Fallon, a previous defence secretary, have been telling journalists that Fallon’s warnings about Russia and Ukraine, too, were not acted upon. Friends of Wallace have been busier. Disgracefully, they have publicly blamed senior civil servants and the intelligence services for curbing Wallace’s attempts to send more weaponry, earlier, to Kyiv.
These stories may well be true. But it’s so often the job of Whitehall and of British intelligence to urge caution.
Besides, in history “Steady on!” has not always been wrong. It would have been wrong in the 1930s; right before Suez; right before the Vietnam war; wrong before the first Gulf war; right before the invasion of Iraq; and right before the Libyan intervention. If (for instance) you think it’s obvious that we should, or obvious that we should not, pile in to the defence of Taiwan if China invades, then full marks for your certitude, but forgive the rest of us some hesitation.
Wallace should know better than to be upping the ante now. A steadying hand can hardly be expected from Truss as her only hope of leading her party is to maximise the support of the crazies on the Tory benches. Anyone can bark of freedom and make speeches about standing tall in the world, and Truss barks for Britain. Anyone can talk like a soldier and win admiration for hot speech, and Wallace is well-placed to. But in circumstances of mortal danger, mature candidates for No 10 will recognise a geopolitics that is tinder dry — and put away the matches.
This hesitation by reactionary former Tory MP Mathew Parris reflects the shift in consciousness that the impact of real events will have and increasingly as the crisis deepens.
The impact on proletarian minds across the planet is already colossal.
Hundreds of millions are wide open for the revolutionary understanding that will eventually lead the greatest upheaval in history to overturn this stinking and ever more degenerate imperialist system.
And their governments have known this from the beginning, refusing to join the West’s pretences that there is “universal” opposition to the war. Whatever token votes are forced out of them by the bullying of the US-stooge United Nations they have remained either neutral, or even in favour Moscow, and certainly refusing to join in the trade and financial embargoes.
Only the imperialist countries make up the supposed “international community” with its arrogant judgements and hypocrisies.
Such countries as India have even upped their trade:
Russia’s state-run oil giant Rosneft has reportedly sold a large shipment of crude to India as the South Asian nation keeps boosting energy imports from the sanctions-hit country.
Indian Oil Corp (IOC), the country’s top refiner, purchased 700,000 tons of Russian Urals crude, two traders familiar with the matter told Reuters, adding that Rosneft had allocated seven cargoes loading from the Baltic ports of Primorsk and Ust-Luga between May 15 and 31 to India.
Shipments of Urals crude to India have risen since the launch of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, Refinitiv Eikon data shows, as Ukraine-related sanctions push Russian exports toward Asia.
In December, IOC and Rosneft signed a term contract for supply of up to two million tons of Urals oil until the end of the current year.
Earlier this week, the EU authorities unveiled a sixth batch of sanctions targeting Moscow over its offensive against Ukraine. The latest measures include an embargo on Russian crude oil imports within six months.
In April, India reportedly asked state-run energy companies to evaluate the possibility of acquiring a 19.75% stake, which was previously owned by UK-based energy giant BP, in sanctions-hit Rosneft.
But Biden’s escalation and the increasingly obvious NATO interventions with intelligence, psyops propaganda, and covert troop and “special forces” participation inside Ukraine with all the concomitant troops and weapons build up in every other NATO country around the Russian borders suggest the above nervous commentaries may already be too late.
But the scale of the aid, out of all proportion to supposed support for “plucky little Ukraine” makes it increasingly difficult to continue the pretence that the war is done for “humanitarian reasons” and defending “freedom and democracy” (especially as all contrary opinion is shut down and blanket censored).
The notion there is an ounce of genuine “concern” suddenly being shown for ordinary people by the cynical and ruthless imperialist order is the sickest of sick jokes in itself of course.
Capitalism’s crisis blitzing has already slaughtered and tortured millions over the last two decades alone, completely wiping out country after country, on top of the routine world control coups, interventions and wars which have butchered, starved, and bombed tens of millions since World War 2 (Vietnam, Korea, Indonesia, Latin America, Africa etc) and hundreds, if not thousands of millions during its eight century rise, massacred, maimed, bereaved, starved, abused and enslaved.
There is not and never will be anything but ruthless and tyrannical exploitation by capitalism’s bourgeois ruling class for the 99.9% of the masses, smoothed off only in the richest of countries temporarily in boomtimes with crumbs from the superprofits sweated from the Third World, to provide better wages and reformist social gains like the NHS (but all rescinded, dismantled and privatised when crisis really bites as the austerity hammered working class knows already and the complacent petty bourgeoisie is beginning to find out and will face full-on in the near future as inflation lets rip and the recession, now being warned of by the fat smugness of the bourgeoise, throws millions on the dole (and with even dole payments in doubt once the economic hurricane is really blowing)).
Ritter and similar commentators standing for some kind of objectivity are still not Marxists however and his assessment does not begin to see this war in the world crisis context and class war reality needed to understand it.
In that wide and long view, the Ukrainian war is not the main issue to be understood, except inasmuch as it happens to be the focal point for the latest phase of the general imperialist warmongering underway obviously since 1999 (the blitzing of little Serbia followed by Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Yemen, Syria etc etc and with much more threatened) and all the way back to Margaret Thatcher’s Malvinas aggression, the first Gulf war, Yugoslavian break up skulduggery, and the US floundering in Lebanon and Somalia and the constant genocidal onslaughts by US attack-dog Zionism on the Palestinians and the Middle East.
It is the capitalist crisis itself, which needs to be emphasised, the deepest and most intractable breakdown in all history of the profit making system and all class domination before that (slavery, feudalism etc), about to show its full Slump savagery, far beyond the Depression years of the 1930s and heading for all-out world war of inconceivable horrors and extent.
The war’s immediate purpose is distraction, heading attention from the incurable crisis collapse of the capitalist order, the great Catastrophic breakdown which the EPSR’s Leninist theory alone has consistently warned of for decades against non-stop ridicule, petty bourgeois philistinism and complacency, smug anti-communism or revisionist woodenness of the entire 50-shades-of-pink fake-“leftism”.
It is not a “happy accident” that Boris Johnson’s sleaze, arrogant Covid “partygate” contempt, Brexit disaster and failure to “level up” (as if!!!) is off the hook because of “war priorities” – the heat has deliberately been turned up under the Ukrainian fascist war on the east which has been kept simmering on the back burner (already killing 14,000) since the CIA-controlled 2014 Maidan fascist coup, for just the moment when it is needed.
The greater purpose however is destruction, of as much capital as possible.
The only way out the monopoly capitalist system knows to overcome its gigantic crisis breakdowns, routinely caused by the unsolvable contradictions of a system based on production for private profit, is war and universal devastation.
The ruling class needs to wipe out the great, ever-mounting “surpluses” which increasingly cannot find investment opportunities to make a profit (see economics box, Marx’s Capital and 100 volumes of Marxism-Leninism), because of the gigantic contradictions inherent in this system.
Necessarily it is driven by competition to organise production on an ever more worldwide socially coordinated basis, in the giant multi-national monopoly corporations which began appearing at the end of the nineteenth century, but still appropriating (stealing) the “surplus” product of the great mass effort for the private benefit of an ever tinier number of “owners” (see Lenin’s Imperialism the highest stage of capitalism, and Bukharin’s Imperialism).
Each bourgeoisie, still tied up in the national entities which originated in the middle-ages to provide then newly emerging capital wider, freer markets than feudal fiefdoms would allow, aims to impose the devastation on its rivals, invoking all the chauvinist hatred and divisiveness needed to pull the masses in behind (such jingoism being one of the greatest enemies of working class understanding) exactly as the non-stop anti-Russian demonisation is doing.
Whoever is left standing will then be able to invest again once there is no other serious competition, just as the US was able to do in the wake of the Second World War (privately and through state directed funds like the Marshall Plan - usefully helping suppress the revival of rivals by controlling their economies too - initially).
The insane aggression of the Liz Trusses and other sleaze ridden and vicious ruling class elements, now reaching certifiable levels in all directions (war hysteria, scapegoating hatred, racism and arrogant Slump cuts and poverty impositions) expresses the total threat to mankind represented by this sick barbaric and long out of time class domination, ready to take the world to the edge of extinction rather than give up the sweet life of privilege and power, greater than anything known in history from decadent Roman emperors, to the Mongol conquerors of China or the god-like Pharaohs.
Such is the “free market” and its “democracy” which will always come to such a point of disintegration and inhumanity.
Imperialism has already brought the world to such horrors three times (Franco-Prussian war 1870, First World War and the Second World War) each time the crisis collapse worse than the last.
The “necessary” war to “solve” the crisis this time by destroying the great mountains of capital accumulated during the longest, most extensive and intensive boom time ever seen must also be on a scale never seen before, along with the environmental, ecological, and physical damage of a rapacious plundering that respects no boundaries.
It is this incurable crisis breakdown – rotten ripe long before Ukraine or the Covid pandemic (as the great Global Credit collapse showed thirteen years ago) – which is shaking the US dominated world imperialist order to its foundations.
After decades of instability, in regional and sectoral crises, “Black Mondays”, bank meltdowns and currency failures a collapse far greater than the 1930s Depression is imminent tearing all world trade to shreds and imploding economies, destroying already austerity ruined and harassed lives on a mass scale and creating turmoil, rebelliousness and upheaval everywhere.
The “mighty dollar” itself is now on the edge of imploding and the supreme world dominance of the USA is going down with it – as the EPSR has long suggested, despite the complexities of understanding how it would come about.
So above all this war needs to be understood as the next phase in World War Three, deliberately set going by imperialist blitzing on Serbia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, threats and siege sanctions against many more (Cuba, Myanmar, China, Russia) and continuously unrolling for the last 20 years non-stop, and initiated against Russia now by calculated provocation.
That is a perspective completely different to the “really its a war on Russia” or even “China is the real target” explanations offered by the (very) few pundits and the tiny minority of fake-“lefts” not entirely capitulating to the unprecedented tsunami of total psyops LIES and Goebbels inversions about non-existent “Russian massacres, atrocities and rapes” pumped out by the Western media and drowning or suppressing all rational debate since February.
Certainly those encirclements are part of the Empire’s plans as it faces ever intensifying battles for the shrinking world markets and are certainly part of Pentagon and allied planning, including continuing determination to wipe out workers states like China, Cuba or North Korea and every pale shadow of communism still lingering afterwards such as the socialist nostalgia in oligarch-gangster dominated Russia – as well as in “rogue state” anti-imperialism like Venezuela or Ethiopia.
They may all be targeted as part of the further ramping up into world war.
But limiting the issues to such a mechanical view of imperialism’s drive for domination and “which side to be on” still leaves the working class without the understanding it needs of the total breakdown of capitalism which cannot be overcome, whatever happens to Putin’s armies etc, except by revolutionary class war to end capitalism for good.
Thinking workers should also stand clear of the “defencist” positions taken by revisionists like the Lalkar/Proletarian, Socialist Fight, the New Communist Party and Posadists.
As already declared it leads on to support for Putinism, which is not part of the answer for the world’s masses either, but part of the problem.
War emerges unstoppably from capitalism itself and will never be ended until capitalism is ended as Lenin insisted. The Kremlin’s philistine rejection of Leninism, its greater Russian nationalism, Orthodox Church superstitious mumbo-jumbo and continuing management of the Russia economy in the interests of oligarch thugs and carpet-bagging billionaires is a hamstringing obstacle in its fight now and in the unlikely event it was to triumph over the gargantuan power of the US, would still leave the world filled with the same contradictions (all else being equal which implies the rest of the world somehow remained static – which is inconceivable).
Restorationist Russia is capitalist despite the forced balancing act Putinism treads to head off the legacy of past communist expectations with some social provisions; and in the age of imperialism it cannot but jostle for position as an imperialist power.
Its billionaires (oligarchs) are as venal and exploitative as any others – and have “exported capital” now lodged in banks and vaults in the tax-havens of the world, and making profits (or trying to, inasmuch as the problem facing world monopoly capitalism in general is the ever decreasing availability of profitable investment openings - the cause of the crisis as Marx explains - see economics box).
As said above that does not mean taking an “even-handed” line of “defeat for our own ruling class”, or “defeat for both sides”, the sophistry used by some of the Trots to avoid taking a stand against the US empire (and nothing but posturing anyway since none of them are actually realistically organising for any such revolutionary bringing down of “the enemy at home” anyway).
Groups like the Sparts and others pretend they are following Lenin’s defeatism in World War One, when the major imperialist powers were fighting for a re-division of the now fully occupied colonial world (see EPSR No 1607).
The war was not in the interest of the working class he said (as national-liberation wars could be eg).
Instead it opened up the opportunity for class war/civil war revolution if the ruling class should be defeated. Each working class should therefore defy supposed “patriotism” and call instead for defeat for its own ruling class.
But the world has moved on; since the end of the Second World War the main power on the planet by an exponential factor or two is the gigantic economic and political might of the US with military bases and intelligence networks everywhere (including in all its rivals).
And the relentless monopolisation of capitalism intensifies that singular power constantly.
There is no comparison between Russia’s restorationism (especially under its Bonarpartist balancing) and world imperialism, with its “allies” herded in behind topdog power, the USA.
Even handed Trot application of Lenin’s defeatism now means overwhelming advantage to the US – and woodenly applied Spart “Leninism” leads nowhere else, just like all its analyses (like its acceptance for a year of the Polish Solidarnosc counter-revolutionary movement fostered by the CIA, as a “genuine trade union” – only retracting its error a year late, when the stench of reaction and Vatican money had become too strong - see EPSR 1206 28-10-03).
Setbacks and humiliation for the great power, are what is needed however they are administered.
They may well come economically as well as through blows inflicted militarily.
So far at least, the Western campaign of economic sanctions, attempting to isolate the Russian economy – and in fact outright stealing of its resources in the form “freezing assets held in the West” has been failing:
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Wednesday noted Russia’s success in resisting Western sanctions, expressing his regrets about the fact.
“So far, we see that Russia, unfortunately, is coping well with the sanctions,” he told reporters, adding that in order to “correct” the situation, Warsaw would work on developing new penalties.
Moscow has confirmed the failure of the plans by ‘unfriendly’ nations to “strangle Russia economically.”
“Step by step, using all sorts of pretexts, sometimes just without any pretexts, they introduced new restrictions,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday, adding that Moscow successfully warded off the sanctions strike, withstood it, and did not crumble.
Russia will respond to rough and often clumsy restrictions with greater openness to entrepreneurship, honest partnership, respect, and the reliable protection of business owners and conscientious investors, Putin said.
The Russian president instructed the government to continue working on anti-crisis measures and strengthen control, ensuring the smooth operation of the domestic market.
Meanwhile, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced on Wednesday that the EU was working “intensively” on a new plan to hit Moscow.
“The sixth package of sanctions will come in due time. We’re working intensively on it,” von der Leyen said, adding, “We are working hard not only to get rid of the coal, as we have done already, but also we are working on the topic of oil.”
As noted with India, the embargoes and blockades are backfiring in multiple ways, both in the impact on Moscow, and on the impact that they are having on the Western countries, particularly in Europe but also world wide.
Far more detailed analysis is required but the whole shake-up in trade relations might have hugely unforeseen consequences.
Far from paralysing the Russian economy the sanctions in some aspects been aiding it, because of the massive hike in oil and gas prices caused by embargoes.
And the shutdown of many Western corporate investments in Russia - Macdonald’s eg – might have long term consequences too if Moscow is driven to take over the assets and perhaps develop them as nationalised industries as voices are demanding.
Forced trade in other currencies than the dollar, or via gold transfers indicates an greater upheaval to the post-war order dominated by Washington’s direct and stooge structures like the Federal Reserve, the IMF, the World Bank and USAID.
That might start raising all kinds of questions about the capitalist exploitation and consumerism which has been given free rein within post-Soviet Russia.
The memories of seven decades of socialist existence within the society, albeit nearly four decades on since the steady if uninspired (because revisionist led) USSR, are still significant.
The dire Russian CP still gets a fifth of the vote (in the teeth of all the stitch-ups and media control Putin’s circle imposes) not because its appalling revisionist softness is going anywhere but because a significant part of the population wants it to be going somewhere back towards communism.
Putin’s dumb reactionary “openness to entrepreneurship” is obviously an obstacle too.
But that a wish is for Leninism remains, albeit the RCP is not making it conscious in the slightest, is clear enough from the newly liberated Donbass - shaking off the Ukrainian pro-Western intimidation for communism (drawing the nastiest of anti-communist sneers from - guess who - the Guardian liberals, laced with outright poisonous jibes against the population for being “manipulated” (unlike the Western world then dominated by a billionaire press and the psyops brainwashing bucketing out of every orifice?????)):
Last week a familiar figure returned to the main square of the seaside town of Henichesk. Dressed in a three-piece suit, and sporting his familiar goatee and moustache, Vladimir Lenin was back on his pedestal. A statue of the Bolshevik leader had been erected outside the town’s main council building. Flying from the roof were the Russian and Soviet flags. All in time for Lenin’s 152nd birthday on Friday.
Henichesk, however, is not in Russia. It is – or was, until Vladimir Putin’s invasion – a sleepy settlement in southern Ukraine. The town of 20,000 people has a house of culture, a long strip of beach and a Vegas-themed hotel. It also has new imperial masters: Russians. They arrived from Crimea on 24 February in armoured vehicles, rolling past a shimmering landscape of lagoons and dunes.
Despite the wishes of its residents, Henichesk may soon become part of a so-called “People’s Republic of Kherson”. According to Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Moscow is planning to hold a sham independence referendum in the southern oblast, or province, possibly as early as Wednesday. Grateful local voters will express their desire to “break away” from Ukraine.
That, at least, is the script. It is a model Moscow last used in 2014, when it instigated and armed a pro-Russia separatist rebellion in the eastern Donbas region. It staged pseudo-votes in the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk, both of which became “people’s republics”. The Russian army is now seeking to grab further Ukrainian territory and to expand the “republics”.
Putin’s fuzzy war aims evolved last week after his unsuccessful attempt to seize Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv. There is now little talk of his original objective: to “de-Nazify” and to “de-militarise” Ukraine and its leadership. Instead, Russian generals speak openly about conquest. The invasion has become a grandiose colonial project to reshape Europe’s map and to steal Ukraine’s coast.
The new apparent goal is to create a land corridor stretching from the separatist east along the sea of Azov to Crimea. This would include the Black Sea ports of Odesa and Mykolaiv, future targets once the battle for Donbas is won. The corridor would link up with Transnistria, a breakaway Soviet-style territory in Moldova that is already home to Russian “peacekeepers”.
In the meantime, the Kremlin is consolidating control in Henichesk and other southern areas. Its tactics are intimidation, and co-option for those willing to serve Russian interests. Ukrainian officials, activists and journalists are being arrested. Some disappear. In the city of Kakhovka hostages are beaten and tortured with electric shocks in a police station, according to Ukraine’s human rights ombudsman.
This sour propaganda by one of the paper’s most calculating anti-communist writers, repeating uncritically every lurid and unsubstantiated assertion from the axe-grinding Ukrainian “authorities” (read - fascists) hoping to stampede more money and weapons from the West, now smacks of loser hatred.
That may not last – clearly the West is desperate to pile in further NATO weaponry and money to try and turn the situation around; reports from a few visiting anti-imperialist journalists like Steve Sweeney, speaking at a CPGB-ML Victory day meeting last week, suggest Western special forces are already operating inside Ukraine.
But so far the sacrifices of the Russian troops against the Kiev fascists and their Western backers have shaken the propaganda onslaught.
Not only the military “experts’” wishful thinking and deliberate defeatist disinformation is being exposed, and is notably off the front pages because even petty bourgeois public opinion is becoming fatigued and less convinced.
Also undermined is the parallel deluge of insane topsy-turvy lies, bucketing out of every media orifice in an astounding waterfall of Goebbels inversions, lurid exaggerations and mostly outright big lies about “massacres” and “rapes” and “deliberate targeting of civilians”, on a scale which is unprecedented, even by the grotesque standards of the past such as the non-existent “babies tipped from incubators in Kuwait”, Muammar’s Gaddafi’s “viagra rape squads”, Saddam’ Hussein’s” 300,000 in mass graves” (never found despite plenty of thuggery over the years) and “Weapons of mass destruction” (also never found).
Another example is the infamous Gulf of Tonkin incident in which a North Vietnamese reconnaissance approach by two small torpedo boats to the US fleet off the Vietnam coast was lyingly declared to constitute an “attack”, providing a justification for a major bombing run on North Vietnam and the launching of all-out bombing and Agent Orange chemical war by the US killing 4 million.
Or remember this:
Bourgeois hypocrisy’s Goebbelsian peak has been reached over the alleged ‘rape camps’, run by Bosnian Serbs against Muslim women, simultaneously appearing in all the world’s media just like a new CIA or German BND propaganda campaign would be expected to, – even down to the weird apology that
‘this story is not like the reports from Romania of 80,000 killed around Timosoaria in 1989 by Ceausescu when it turned out in fact that only a few hundred people died in the civil war struggles’.
It is in fact exactly like that anti-communist garbage. And why would any individual journalist doing the ‘rape camp’ story in 1992/93 feel personally obliged to apologise for a universal 1989 Western Goebbels stunt anyway? Only if this new ‘story’ came from the same factory as the earlier one, - and a thousand more anti-communist myths since 1945 such as the Tiananmen ‘massacre’ where precisely no one died at all on the square, and no more than a couple of dozen in all China, despite the scale of the petty-bourgeois counter-revolution against the dictatorship of the proletariat. [EPSR No 680 21-12-92]
The figure for the 1989 Tiananmen counter-revolutionary attempt in Beijing is now cited as around 300 (still not the 10,000 routinely lied about since and half of those workers state policemen and army attacked by the anarchist “pro-democracy” anti-communist demonstrators, whose provocations were seeking violence and “blood” before the Square was cleared - with no deaths - and in nearby streets afterwards see EPSR book Vol 16 China).
The list of such lies goes all the way back to “German troops skewering Belgium babies on their bayonets” in WW1 and especially in the anti-communist epoch of non-stop brainwashing since the 1917 revolution.
Dozens of such fables have been concocted by the psyops machine currently, including the outright nonsense of the Mariupol theatre and the maternity hospital “bombings”, all unproven, based on lurid allegations by the fascists and heavily coached witness accounts appearing days after the supposed “warcrimes”.
Most notorious is the supposed Bucha “civilian killings” which it rapidly became clear were carried out by the Ukrainian military “cleansing squad” sent in 2 days after the Russian withdrawal from their Kiev feint. The death squads shot dead those Ukrainians wearing white armbands who had remained, either tolerating or fully supporting the Russian military (contrary to another outright Western propaganda lie that the population has been “united” against their arrival).
The re-occupation sequence, with no bodies found or reported in the first two days and then suddenly “discovered” is spelt out in a YouTube interview with Ritter ().
Another is the alleged “satellite images of mass graves” near Mariupol, visited by anti-imperialist journalist Eva Bartlett:
On April 23, I joined RT journalist Roman Kosarev on a visit to the location, in the town of Mangush. What I saw were new, orderly grave plots including some still empty – an extension of a cemetery that already exists. No mass pit. Many of the graves have placards with the names and dates of birth of the deceased when available, and the remaining plots were numbered according to burial...
...Boichenko, the article notes, “called the site the ‘new Babyn Yar,’ referring to one the largest mass graves in Europe located in the outskirts of Kyiv, where 33,000 Jews where killed by Nazis in 1941 during World War II.”
This is ironic on several levels. A mayor who is whitewashing the neo-Nazis who have run amuck in his city – notably those from the Azov Battalion, who have used civilians as human shields, occupied and militarized civilian infrastructure, point-blank executed civilians – is comparing an alleged (non-existent) mass grave to a Nazi massacre of WW2.
Meanwhile, the Kiev regime has re-written history, making WW2 Nazis and their collaborators heroes of the nation. The most notorious example being the World War Two figure Stepan Bandera.
Boichenko’s other alarming claim was that the alleged “mass grave” was “the biggest war crime of the 21st century.” ...In reality, the site has around 400 individual plots, including nearly 100 empty ones. The 9,000 bodies and “biggest war crime of the 21st century” were unverified claims made by a mayor who fled his city, promoted by media which down the page admitted they could not independently verify the claims – but by then, the damage had been done.
While walking around the site, two men responsible for burials arrived, and when presented with the former mayor’s accusations of mass graves they vehemently rejected the claims.
“This is not a mass grave and no one is throwing bodies into a pit,” one told me.
And this allegation was anyway undermined by another barmy story just a fortnight previously that the Russians were “bringing in mobile crematoria to ‘hide the bodies’” – begging the question as to why they would need “mass graves” anyway?
Obviously no “satellite images” have emerged of the non-existent ranks of crematoria which would have been required, working night and day for weeks and weeks to dispose of the alleged “thousands” of civilians.
Such is the effect of 100 years of anti-communist brainwashing and philistine anti-theory that petty bourgeois voices will declare that “this is all just conspiracy theory” (despite the counter-evidence) and that “even if they exaggerate there cannot be smoke without fire; they don’t just make things up”.
Really? They did in Kosovo in 1999 when the Albanian KLA gangsters coerced and coached entire villages into outright lies about non-existent “Serbian war crimes” (EPSR No 998 12-05-99) and around numerous “genocides” which never happened or were something else entirely such as the Rwanda Tutsi-Hutu two-way butchery in 1994 (see eg The politics of Genocide by Herman and Peterson).
And as archives now officially admit (decades later) they did far more than just lie in the horrifying anti-communist slaughter in Indonesia with up to three million dead (a figure even now downplayed):
Shocking new details have emerged of Britain’s role in one of the most brutal massacres of the postwar 20th century.
Last year the Observer revealed how British officials secretly deployed black propaganda in the 1960s to incite prominent Indonesians to “cut out” the “communist cancer”.
It is estimated that at least 500,000 people linked to the Indonesia communist party (PKI) were eliminated between 1965 and 1966.
Documents newly released in the National Archives show how propaganda specialists from the Foreign Office sent hundreds of inflammatory pamphlets to leading anti-communists in Indonesia, inciting them to kill the foreign minister Dr Subandrio and claiming that ethnic Chinese Indonesians deserved the violence meted out to them.
The British wanted the Indonesian army and militias to overthrow elected president Sukarno’s government. He and Subandrio were considered to be too close to the PKI and communist China, and Britain wanted to end Confrontation, the low-level military and political campaign launched by Sukarno and Subandrio against the Malaysian Federation.
The newly discovered pamphlets, dating from the mid-1960s, targeted the leftwing foreign minister, repeatedly challenging the anti-communists to kill Subandrio, describing him as Sukarno’s pet “cockerel”. The propagandists reserved special venom for Subandrio. “The Army has only pulled out a few of the cockerel’s many feathers, they haven’t even clipped its wings,” the pamphlets complained. The bird needed its “neck wrung; and the whole of Indonesia will rejoice”.
Hundreds of pamphlets were also sent to Muslim anti-communists, claiming agents of communist China would take over Indonesia. Following an abortive coup in which six generals were kidnapped and murdered, which the army blamed on the communists, “it was inevitable” that “many innocent Chinese would suffer in consequence”, one covert British pamphlet claimed. “We may deplore the unbridled fury” unleashed on Indonesia’s Chinese, but “we realise that for the most part they only have themselves to blame”.
The British also wrote the script for a ghoulish radio broadcast, purportedly from the dead generals whose bodies had been dumped in a well. “Worms may feed upon our rotting flesh,” cried the dead generals “but our voices have become the voices of the Nation’s conscience.” “Oh Subandrio!” they shrieked, “Do you not think that a hangman’s rope is too easy a way out for such a man as you?”
Immediately after the coup attempt, General Suharto took control of the Indonesian army and oversaw the massacres of the anti-communist purge. Over the next months, the rightwing, pro-west Suharto usurped the ailing Sukarno. He was appointed acting president in 1967 and then president the following year. His dictatorship lasted for 32 years.
Lenah Susianty, whose father was arrested and detained in the crackdown said: “The whole Chinese community in Sukabumi bore the brunt for a long time.” Susianty, who is now on the board of the Indonesian human rights organisation Tapol, added: “They were afraid to say anything and had to silently bear extortion, harassment and other ill-treatment from others in the society. They were an easy target because they were considered as ‘communists’.”
Soe Tjen Marching’s father was also tortured and imprisoned for two-and-a-half years because the military suspected him of being a member of the PKI. Now a lecturer at Soas University of London, she says that the targeting of the Chinese community in 1965 had “a huge part in sustaining suspicion as well as discrimination between Chinese and non-Chinese in Indonesia. It is therefore urgent for the British government to apologise”.
In October the Observer revealed the first hard evidence that British officials secretly deployed black propaganda in the 1960s. The material purported to come from exiled nationalist Indonesians. In fact it was written by Foreign Office psychological warfare experts working from a comfortable chalet in Singapore in cooperation with MI6. For five decades the Foreign Office has denied any involvement in the murders.
As the massacres started in October 1965, British pamphlets called for “the PKI and all communist organisations” to “be eliminated”. The nation, they warned, would be in danger “as long as the communist leaders are at large, and their rank and file are allowed to go unpunished”.
At least 500,000 people were massacred, and some estimates go as high as three million. These included ethnic Chinese, many who were killed by Muslim and other militias.
Steve Alston of Tapol yesterday said his organisation was “appalled that the British government engaged in a disinformation campaign to incite violence”.
The grovelling and compliant Western media meanwhile hides and distorts all the evidence of the gross repression and terror imposed by the Nazi nationalism in Ukraine including deathsquad killings of Russian sympathisers and speakers, many arbitrarily deemed “traitors” and summarily shot. One Channel 4 News interview by anti-communist Lindsey Hilsum with a Ukrainian from the east calmly listened to him describe how after the war Russian speakers would have to be “expelled” - raising not an eyebrow at this outright call for ethnic cleansing.
The West is no less fascist as all this complicity makes clear.
And it cannot be “de-nazified” as Moscow suggests, a lingering revisionist idiocy stretching right back to Stalin’s retreat from Leninism apparent as early as the “anti-fascist” Popular Front disaster of the Spanish Civil War – there is no “non-aggressive imperialism” and no peace loving or reasonable democracy in capitalism (EPSR Perspectives 2002).
Only class war ending of the whole of capitalism will suffice. Build Leninism.
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Sinn Féin electoral triumph cements victory of the revolutionary national-liberation war (deliberately obscured by snail’s pace progress built into the Good Friday Agreement)
Low turnouts and fragmented votes in local elections confirm yet further the steady collapse of the bourgeois “democracy” fraud, and the almost universal contempt and distrust held by the working class and increasing sections of the petty bourgeoisie for the mountebanks, liars, self-seeking careerists and opportunists who purport to “represent” their interests but do nothing to challenge the capitalist crisis and its plunge to Slump and war.
Barely a single vote from the few still with residual illusions in the electoral racket (a cover for bourgeois dictatorship) was cast positively, as scattershot outcomes demonstrate; London votes were not for Labour but to express contempt for the sick degeneracy, sleaze and arrogance of the Tories – outside London the same contempt was rightly turned on the Labourites, losing Hull for example.
Ditto for the Green votes, etc all as much part of the crisis wracked system (as the German Greens have shown, even more gung-ho for arms buildup and Ukrainian fascism than the conservatives).
Only Ireland’s north bucked the trend in the high turnout and a storming first time overall victory for the Sinn Féin nationalists, a massive humiliation for the ruling class and proving once and for all the EPSR’s understanding of the giant victory achieved by the Sinn Féin/IRA armed national-liberation war and the defeat of British imperialism in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. But SF support for “Stop the War” condemnation of Russia reveals its petty bourgeois limits (more next issue).DH
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