May Day Statement of the Rakovsky Center for the peoples of Eurasia, the Mediterranean and the world: Mobilize to stop the imperialist drive towards world war and nuclear annihilation!
Mobilize to stop the imperialist drive towards world war and nuclear annihilation!
War against imperialist war in Ukraine! Not expansion but dissolution of NATO!
Down with capitalist restoration, for Socialism! For a new Union of Soviet Socialist Republics of free and equal peoples, without oligarchs, capitalists or bureaucrats, from Lisbon to Vladivostok!
1. The International Socialist Center Christian Rakovsky greets the May Day celebrations and actions of the working classes of the region and the whole world and wishes all national contingents of the international proletariat a successful period of struggle against capitalism, imperialism, rising fascism, and the prospect of world war. Unfortunately, the working classes are going through very difficult and challenging times: the profound economic crisis that started with the global financial crisis of 2007-2008 is continuing to take its toll on the workers and the poor. After the ravage caused by the pandemic, blown out of proportion as a result of the policies of bourgeois governments around the world, it is now the threat of war and its economic consequences that once again have brought the world to the edge of the precipice.
2. The war in Ukraine is not a war between Russia and Ukraine. It is a proxy war waged by the Ukrainian army and the Nazi paramilitary bands on behalf of NATO against Russia. Everything demonstrates this with crystal clarity. It is the result of NATO’s expansion into fully thirteen countries within the last quarter of a century, with new countries being targeted in Northern Europe (Sweden and Finland) and Southern Europe (Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia and possibly Azerbaijan). The intention to integrate Ukraine into NATO is the last drop that provoked war, for this implies the threat of hitting Russia’s capital city with nuclear missiles in a matter of minutes.
From day one of the war, it is the military inventory of NATO countries that has been mobilised against Russia. The Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg admitted on the occasion of the meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers on 6-7 April that, in his own official words, “NATO allies have supported Ukraine for many years, we have trained tens of thousands of Ukrainian troops, who are now on the front, fighting the Russian invaders, and the NATO allies have also provided different kinds of equipment over many years…. So, NATO was actually quite well-prepared when Russia invaded Ukraine for the second time, and on the day of the invasion, we activated our defence plans, deployed thousands of additional troops in the eastern part of the Alliance. Now there are 40,000 troops under NATO command in the eastern part of the Alliance. And there are more US troops in Europe, 100,000 in total, and other Allies have also increased their presence.” Let us add that these include the 101st Airborne Division of the US Army, the foremost elite division for the swiftest action into foreign territory, stationed on the eastern border of Poland. For good measure, it was this division that Biden visited when in Poland at the end of March.
Since the beginning of the war, the US has sent more than 4 billion dollars-worth of arms to Ukraine and adopted a larger package amounting to 13.6 billion dollars for other kinds of aid to that country. Anti-aircraft Stinger missiles, anti-tank Javelins and other sophisticated weapons are what lie behind the fallen Russian helicopters and the wrecked Russian tanks. Great Britain has provided 350 million pounds-worth of armaments, as well as humanitarian and economic aid. Germany is sending anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles as well as weapons from the inventory of the former Democratic Republic of Germany, which Ukrainian soldiers can use more easily. Turkey has contributed its Bayraktar drones. The Greek government made the harbours in Thessaloniki and Alexandroupolis in Northern Greece a vital channel to send NATO armaments to Ukraine. And on and on.
It is the war machine of US/NATO/EU imperialism using Ukrainians as cannon fodder fighting Russia until the last drop of Ukrainian and Russian blood.
3. It is now becoming clear, as Jens Stoltenberg said in the wake of the Foreign Ministers’ meeting, that NATO hopes that this war will be here “for the long haul”. NATO is intentionally prolonging the war.
The reasons are many: this war gives NATO the possibility of observing and examining every move of the Russian armed forces and determining its weaknesses and strengths. It provides imperialism with the opportunity to wear Russian fighting capacity thin. The longer the war lasts the more outrage will be stoked among the peoples of at least the Western countries against Russia and the more will it be isolated. It gives them the opportunity to harm Russia’s economy through sanctions and isolation. Hence, despite the crocodile tears being wept for the plight of the Ukrainian people, it is in fact NATO that is prolonging the war by working against the success of the negotiations between Russia and Ukraine. NATO is driving the people of Ukraine to death, to destruction of its cities and to annihilation of its infrastructure and its economy.
Anyone who looks at the negotiations timetable with unprejudiced eyes will see that it is NATO that is preventing the quick success of the negotiations process. Throughout the month of March there were many technical meetings between the two sides and two senior-level meetings in Turkey, one in Antalya on the 10th March and one in Istanbul on 28-29 March. The Ukrainian side gradually came to accept the main demands of the Russian side. On the 28th, right before the Istanbul meeting started, it was none other than Zelensky himself who agreed to concede Ukraine’s neutrality and renounced NATO membership, as long as several countries would act as guarantors for its security. In return, Russia stated that it would withdraw its troops from the Kyiv front. Thus, agreement was almost palpable.
On the 6-7th April, NATO foreign ministers met. They even invited their Pacific allies such as Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as the prospective new members Sweden and Finland for consultations. It was at the end of this meeting that Stoltenberg dropped his “long haul” line, when only a week ago the positions of the two sides had so much converged. Is it a coincidence that since that meeting of foreign ministers and the visit paid by Boris Johnson to Kyiv on the 10th April, negotiations have completely stalled?
Anyone who finds an exaggeration here should lend an ear to the foreign minister of a NATO country who revealed the truth of the matter a few days ago. Mevlut Çavuşoğlu, the Foreign Minister of Turkey had this to say on Turkish television on 20th April, word for word: “After the Istanbul meeting, we were expecting an agreement quite soon. But when we went to the NATO meeting [of foreign ministers] we understood that this was not going to be the case… There are some NATO member countries who do not desire to see this war end”. When the presenter asks “And why?” Çavuşoğlu replies “They want Russia to be weakened, to fall back and perhaps to bring down Putin.” “And what happens to Ukraine?” asks the presenter. “Precisely” says the Turkish minister, “this is what we told them. Who will pay the price? Not you!”.
Precisely! It is the NATO leadership, in particular the United States and Britain, that are causing the death and destruction of the Ukrainian people. Those within the left who keep harping on peace and human life and displacement of millions had rather draw the lesson and at least point their finger on the real culprit!
Let us add, for good measure, that the Washington Post, a newspaper owned by Jeff Bezos and one that has a close relationship with the US government had also commented, on 5th April, that “For some in NATO, it’s better for the Ukrainians to keep fighting, and dying than to achieve a peace that comes too early or at too high a cost to Kyiv and the rest of Europe.”
4.The world is moving, as a whole, towards a catastrophic situation as a result of the threat of world war between nuclear powers. For eyes that wish to see, this last incident has laid bare the true dynamics behind this entire process. We need an urgent reassessment on the left and among workers parties and in particular those movements that come from a revolutionary Marxist origin. Cease the policy of an “equidistant” attitude or of neutrality or even pro-NATO/anti-Russian stance regarding the war! Whoever does not see the long hand of NATO in this war will be acting as the handmaid of imperialism. For a united front of anti-imperialist forces and working-class parties and organizations! For a new anti-war Zimmerwald Conference!
5. But this is not the only threat that is leading the world into a calamity zone. Fascism or rudimentary forms of it are on the rise in all corners of the world, from Brazil to India, from the United States to France. These movements all feed on the desperation of working people face to the profound economic crisis, reflecting in its turn the historic decline of the capitalist mode of production. They offer the people false solutions that divide the working class in each country along lines of racism and chauvinism. The year 2021 was the year when the quasi-fascist, fascistoid, and openly fascist forces came out in violent forms. The 6th January storming of the Capitol in the US, the 21st April declaration of putschist generals in France, supported by Marine Le Pen, the attacks by Modi’s hordes on the Communist Party of India-Marxist locals and members in the state of Tripura and the storming of the headquarters of the largest union confederation of Italy, the CGIL, by the fascist bands of Casa Pound all indicate a boldening of fascism in many countries.
Marine Le Pen may have once again lost to Macron in the second round of presidential elections, but this is still not the end of the story. The mere fact of more than 40 per cent of the electorate of France voting for a fascist in disguise is an event of momentous importance. It should not be neglected that the so-called far-right vote (Le Pen, Zemmour, and Dupont-Aignant) was the highest of any political family (around 33%) even in the first round of the election. Add to this the victory of Viktor Orbán in Hungary and the entry of Vox into a coalition government with the right-wing mainstream PP in an “autonomía” of Spain (Castilla y León) for the first time and one can see that fascism or its allies are running high everywhere. There is an entire fascistic international movement that is organising, particularly on the continental scale in Europe.
We must win back the working class to real class politics and refuse the division of the working class between its “native” and “immigrant” components. We must join forces in a united front of workers to push back fascism. We must organise in every locality to confront fascism in the language that it understands best!
6. The complex web of problems that besets the geography of the former Soviet Union and of Eastern Europe cannot be solved by those forces that feed on the restoration of capitalism across this region. The Bonapartist Putin leadership is now adding new dimensions to the already incendiary contradictions fanned by imperialism. The clear Russian chauvinism expressed by his famous speech in which he attacked Lenin’s national policy naturally raises suspicion and fear throughout this entire geography and thus plays into the hands of imperialism in its quest to create Quisling regimes in the countries of the region. What is as important is that he has continued in his own style the restorationist policies of his predecessors, which render the Russian economy entirely dependent on imperialism. The ease with which imperialism has frozen a large part of the foreign reserves of the central bank of Russia is testimony to the vulnerability of the country within the international capitalist system. The myth of a “Eurasian” policy that can counter and conquer Western imperialism is an empty shell.
It is by countering the anti-communist policies of the Putin regime in a genuine manner that the bases for a durable solution to the problems of the region, in particular of Russia and Ukraine, can be laid. Imperialism cannot be defeated and threat of world war, including nuclear war, averted under the leadership of Putin and his ilk, serving the narrow interests of the so-called oligarchs, who are none other than former Soviet bureaucrats created by the policies of shock treatment of the West.
The only road to salvation and peace is the revolutionary mobilization of the working class internationally, including in Russia and Ukraine, equipping them with a revolutionary internationalist strategy, perspective and organization, for the overthrow of capitalist imperialism which threatens to bury us in the ruins of its crisis, for international socialism, the establishment of a new Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the strict basis of the equality of nations, in order to march hand in hand with other unions and federations of nations in the mould of Soviet republics in other regions towards universal communism!
Stop making the Ukrainian people cannon fodder for the interests of imperialism!
Fight the policy of imperialist countries to prolong the war for their own benefit!
No to sanctions against Russia! No to armaments! No to occupation!
Stop NATO expansion in Eastern, Northern and Southern Europe!
Sweden and Finland, keep out of NATO, the enemy of the international working class!
Workers of NATO countries, exit NATO, but also fight for the dissolution of NATO and the dismantling of US bases!
Recognise the right to self-determination for the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics!
Not a single penny, bullet or soldier for NATO’s war!
War on imperialist war! The enemy is at home!
Down with capitalist restoration that opened the door to imperialism, war, and colonization of the former Soviet space!
Fight the rise of fascism wherever it rears its head!
For a new anti-war Zimmerwald Conference!
For the refoundation of the revolutionary International of Lenin and his comrades!
For world socialist revolution!
International Socialist Center Christan Rakovsky
RedMed Web Network
DIP (Revolutionary Workers Party, Turkey)
EEK (Workers Revolutionary Party, Greece)
RPK (Russian Party of Communists, Russia)
ASU (Association Soviet Union, Russia)
MTL (Marxist Workers League, Finland)
ROR (Renaissance Ouvrière Révolutionnaire, France)