In the interest of proletarian internationalism and the forging of an international anti-imperialist front in view of the threat of an imperialist 3rd World War, the Editorial Board of The Red Flag has decided to reproduce the «Theses on the War» adopted by the Russian Maoist Party concerning the invasion and occupation of Ukraine by Russian imperialism. We do not agree with all of the views presented in this document, but view it as a generally positive contribution to the struggle against the imperialist war. However, we emphasize a key point which is necessary to grasp for the Russian comrades in order to correctly handle the struggle against the war:
Russia is currently in the grip of one of its worst economic crises since the 1st World War. Tens of thousands have been arrested by the reactionaries and there are daily demonstrations across the country against the imperialist war of aggression against Ukraine. There are serious divisions emerging withing the ruling class itself. There is the potential of new stirrings in the national liberation movements of Chechnya, Dagestan and other internal colonies of Russian imperialism. At the same time, Chinese social-imperialism is strengthening its position, so as to exercise hegemony over the Russian people in the event that Russia loses the war and ceases to be a superpower. For all of these reasons and more, the Russian communists must immediately and everywhere in the country, particularly in the labor movement and among the oppressed nationalities, raise the only correct slogan: «Class against class! War against war!».
The only correct policy in the present moment is real, active preparation for transforming the imperialist war into revolutionary civil war, into class war, which must be grasped as a type of people‘s war specified to the conditions of an imperialist country such as Russia — keeping in mind the particularities, such as the relative size of the peasantry and the presence of internal colonies and external ones (such as Belarus, the Donbass and other parts of Ukraine, a part of Moldavia and two parts of Georgia). In a word, the Russian Maoist Party should not stand idly by and talk about the unjustness of the war — it should concretely prepare to initiate armed struggle within the shortest possible period of time, while at the same time intensifying its political work among the deepest and lowest masses. In the face of the fascist rule of the new Tsar Putin, the Communist Party must raise the deep-felt demand of the Russian working class and people — that only the counter-restoration of socialism can save Russia.
CLASS AGAINST CLASS! WAR AGAINST WAR!
LONG LIVE THE JUST STRUGGLE OF THE UKRAINIAN PEOPLE AGAINST RUSSIAN AGGRESSION!
LONG LIVE THE JUST STRUGGLE OF THE RUSSIAN PEOPLE AGAINST THE FASCIST RULE OF THE NEW TSAR!
WE CALL ON THE COMMUNISTS OF RUSSIA: PREPARE THE SECOND OCTOBER!
THE RED FLAG
Proletarians of all countries, unite!
THESES ON THE WAR
Russian Maoist Party
The Red Flag
THESES ON THE WAR
In the current conflict, the Russian Maoist Party takes a consistent anti-war and anti-imperialist stance against the warmongers on both sides (NATO/EU and Russia), against Russia‘s imperialist aggression in Ukraine (the infamous «special military operation» that they cannot even call a war), against the civil war in Ukraine (between Ukraine and the Donbass) in the form of an «anti-terrorist operation». Our position was adopted unanimously after a democratic debate.
1. If the recognition of the People‘s Republic of Donetsk and the People‘s Republic of Lugansk by the Russian Federation had been a genuine act of support for the residents of the Donbass, it would have taken place back in 2014. However, eight years of silence and indifference, which the «protectors» today accuse the opponents of the war of displaying, were precisely on the account of Russian imperialism, which used the war in the Donbass as a trump card to put pressure on Ukraine, which had fallen out of its zone of influence. The words about the Russian Government‘s alleged support for the «national liberation movement» in Eastern Ukraine are as fake as its promises not to attack neighbouring States, not to raise the retirement age, and so on. And a regime that aims to destroy the right of nations to self-determination and dreams of reviving the Russian Empire cannot, by definition, be a defender of the oppressed (by the way, what about the recognition of Kosovo, Transnistria and Artsakh?). The longer the bloodshed in the Donbass continued, the more convenient it was for Putin‘s regime to blame its neighbours and prepare full-scale aggression instead of finding a peaceful solution in eastern Ukraine.
2. In eight years, the People‘s Republic of Donetsk and the People‘s Republic of Lugansk have transformed from genuine people‘s republics into puppet entities completely dominated by Russian capital, with a Russian-style political space, only in a more radical form, and with all-powerful paramilitary formations. Indeed, the Kremlin wants them not as free democratic states, but as «gray zones». And their «recognition» was part of the Special Operation to take over all of Ukraine and turn it into the same thing.
3. Apparently, the Kremlin is hoping for a Blitzkrieg that will culminate in the establishment of a puppet regime in Kiev. However, this «denazification» operation will lead to a strengthening of nationalist and anti-Russian sentiments in the occupied country, turning it into an analogue of Yugoslavia in the 1990s. It should be recalled that NATO‘s invasion of Yugoslavia in 1999 was also «justified» by the need to overthrow the Miloşević regime, which had bombed Kosovo. They even called it a «humanitarian intervention».
4. Western imperialism, with its sanctions against the Russian Federation, refuses military aid to Ukraine despite Kiev‘s «political» support, apparently fearing the aggressor‘s nuclear status and Putin‘s unpredictable actions if cornered by more decisive measures with the start of an open war. U.S. imperialism and especially the E.U. are likely to adopt a wait-and-see approach, forcing the Kremlin, which is oppressed by «soft» economic sanctions, to be accommodating on their terms in the long run with respect to the hydrocarbon trade. It is possible that in the long run negotiations will begin along the lines of «gas at our price in exchange for Ukraine with your administration». That is, in such a scenario Ukraine would again become a victim of collusion between imperialists.
5. Those Leftists who now support Russian aggression are making a mistake. They are making the same mistake as those who rejoiced in the deaths of civilians in the geopolitical carnage in the Donbass in recent years. It is possible that if the current adventure is successful, Putin and his bureaucratic-capitalist regime, which has declared itself the «true» decommunizer of Ukraine, will not only dismantle statehood and sovereignty in one country, but will also seek to restore the Russian Empire 2.0 in other «historic» areas. Given this, it is obvious that Russian imperialism is not interested in «denazification» but in the enslavement of peoples. What this will look like can be seen in the situation of the working masses in Russia, where police violence, the normalization of torture, the dismantling of remaining rights and freedoms, censorship, the de facto destruction of the autonomy of national republics, the imposition of clericalism, discriminatory archaic values such as the attack on feminism, the crushing of human rights movements, and systemic hostility to migrants, together with the acquiescence of the extreme Right, are the order of the day. In other words, to believe that the Russian Federation is truly «denazifying» Ukraine is like casting out the devil with Beelzebub.
6. The true communists today are those who consistently advocate democratic peace between Russia and Ukraine, instead of being parrots of Kremlin imperialism. The building of a mass anti-war movement must become one of the main points of the activities of all Leftist and progressive forces to advance the working people and oppressed peoples of Russia and Ukraine in the struggle against aggression, for the smashing of despotic orders and to build a new world without wars, capitalists and oppressors. But the Kremlin‘s social-chauvinist support in any form is a contribution to the impoverishment of Russians, because under sanctions the oligarchs will wage war, presumably save on spending on the people, dismantle the infrastructure and develop the regime into a 1970s analogue of Right-wing Latin American dictatorships with caveman anti-communism, torture, kidnapping and murder of dissenters, and so on.