Boris Kagarlitsky: Fate of Donetsk is being decided in Kharkov

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal has published several views from the left on developments in Ukraine HERE. For more by Boris Kagarlitsky, click HERE.

By Boris Kagarlitsky, translated by Renfrey Clarke for Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

May 3, 2014 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The preliminary outcome of the revolt in south-eastern Ukraine can be described as an unstable equilibrium. Attempting to crush the Donetsk republic with the help of their armed forces, the Kiev authorities have met with defeat. The army, as expected, has refused steadfastly to wage war on its own people, and the forces of the Right Sector and National Guard have clearly been insufficient to cope even with the militia, not to speak of the mass of protestors.

There is no basis, however, for speaking as yet of victory for the Donetsk Peoples Republic. While Kiev’s “maximum plan” has consisted of quickly restoring control over Donetsk and Lugansk, its “minimum plan” has rested on restricting the open insurgency to these two provinces. It is this minimum plan which, however ineptly, is being implemented.

The militia members succeed from time to time in seizing new buildings or in raising the republic’s flag over new populated areas. These small victories raise the spirits of the resistance and in a minor way improve its tactical situation, but do not create the conditions for a strategic breakthrough.

The Donetsk and Lugansk activists would do well to recall Lenin’s much-cited formula to the effect that “defence is the ruination of a revolt.” Their actions, however, are based on a particular view of the situation, a view that is organically present not only in the movement’s leaders, but above all in a substantial section of the masses in the Ukrainian south-east. The insurgents are convinced that all they need to do is to hold out for a certain time, and Russia will then come to their aid; if this does not take the form of direct military intervention, some other mechanism will be found.

Unfortunately, every passing day since the beginning of the revolt has shown how illusory these hopes are.

In the thinking of the activists of Ukraine’s “Russian Spring” there is no particular gap between the Russian authorities, the Russian elite and society in general; the latter is perceived as completely uniform apart from a small number of liberal oppositionists, isolated within their own country. It is striking that while these activists have an excellent grasp of the contradictory nature of the political and social order within the Ukrainian state, they fail to see the identical contradictions in the fraternal country.

South-eastern Ukraine, meanwhile, has become an obvious hostage to these contradictions. Official Moscow lacks both the desire and the resolve to resort to active intervention. The maximum program of the Moscow leaders consists of holding onto Crimea, and the patriotic slogans about Slavic brotherhood are of value primarily as a tool of internal propaganda. In no way do they represent a strategy for the foreign policy of a state whose elite survives by selling the country’s national resources to the West. Of course, the Russian oligarchs would be agreeable to taking the enterprises and resources of the Ukrainian south-east under their control. But for the present, the price of this undertaking (both political and directly financial) and the associated risks are too high, and most importantly, are increasing day by day. Even if a section of the Russian elite harbours such plans and ambitions, these have now clearly been postponed. In any case, the people who make up the Russian leadership are not politicians but bureaucrats and public relations specialists, people who simply do not have either the experience or the inclination to make risky decisions that radically alter the situation. None of these people can even imagine how they would need to act under the conditions of massive crises and revolutions.

The Crimean leaders seized the initiative, and in practice, forced Moscow to agree both to the forms and also to the rapid tempo of integration, leaving the Russian bureaucrats not only without alternatives, but also without time for reflection. The situation is different in the remaining provinces of the Ukrainian south-east.

Representatives of the Donetsk republic and of the movements of the Ukrainian south-east show up constantly in Moscow, where they are received warmly and with goodwill. Meetings for them are organised with journalists and Duma deputies. Then they are sent home empty-handed. The individuals through whom official Moscow expresses its support for the “brother people” do not decide anything, and do not even take part in discussions on important questions. They are simply used to transmit propagandist formulae, and do not shape the political agenda.

Moscow cannot, of course, publicly cut off its support for the Donetsk republic. That would be a disaster in terms of domestic politics and propaganda, and the potential for disaster will be greater to the degree that today’s Russian authorities manage to build up their ratings in the course of the Ukrainian turmoil. If the revolt is smashed while Russia does nothing, the effect will automatically be to provoke mass indignation. The problem, however, lies in the fact that it is impossible to calculate everything in advance. As they try to manoeuvre and win time, the Russian authorities risk missing the crucial strategic moment when the situation flies out of control, and they are forced simply to reconcile themselves to the outcome whatever that might be.

The paradox lies in the fact that this strategic turning point will not necessarily result from some initiative by Kiev. As the rebels try to ensure that the strategic initiative finishes up in their hands, they cannot afford simply to wait for decisions by the Kremlin.  To the contrary, they need to create a new situation through their own actions, determining in advance what these decisions will be.

A breakthrough in the development of the struggle in south-eastern Ukraine will only occur when the largest regional centres, above all Kharkov and Odessa, join in the movement. Clearly, the authorities in Kiev understand this perfectly, since they are using all available means to try to maintain their control over these regions and to seal them off from the Donetsk republic. The experience of the past few days has shown that for mass protests to develop in these centres, the slogans of brotherhood with Russia and of defending the Russian language will be completely inadequate on their own.

A broadening of the social base of the uprising will depend on its program, on the goals and slogans that it advances. Against the background of an inexorably worsening economic situation, only demands aimed at satisfying the urgent needs of the masses can serve to mobilise the huge numbers of people who now sympathise with the rebel republic, but who are not ready to stand beneath its banner.

It is perfectly possible to put forward an anti-oligarchic social program today, and such a program does not even have to be exclusively left-wing or socialist. It is enough to call for nationalisation of the property of those Ukrainian oligarchs who have openly associated themselves with the Kiev regime, and to demand that these assets be directed toward the solving of social problems, toward investment in health care, education and the development of infrastructure.

In conditions of revolutionary crisis, moderation ceases to be a pragmatic virtue. To the contrary, it turns out to be suicidal. The more moderate the leaders of the Donetsk and Lugansk republic now show themselves to be, the fewer hopes they have of drawing into struggle new masses of people outside the borders of their regions. Needless to say, such actions are liable to alarm the Moscow bureaucrats who keep a constant watch over the interests of “their own” oligarchs. But as noted earlier, it is precisely the Moscow politicians who have now finished up hostages of the Ukrainian situation. If the revolt shifts to a more radical course, the authorities in Moscow will be forced to beat their breasts and voice their approval. In the same way, they were obliged in the case of Latin America to come to terms with Hugo Chavez, even though the social measures being implemented in Venezuela caused them no particular delight.

The activists and leaders of the Donetsk republic will soon have to decide – whether to perish while keeping their eyes fixed on Moscow, or to have a chance of victory through basing themselves on the social interests of their own population. They still have time to make this choice. But as each day passes, this time is running out.


Neo-Nazi terror in Odessa: more than 40 killed, hundreds injured

On May 2, 2014, under the pretext of the so-called march ‘For unity of Ukraine’ (that was dated to football match ‘Chernomorets’ – ‘Metallist’) – the paramilitary squads of Ukrainian nationalist were brought together to Odessa from all over the country. They arrived by buses and by trains. From the very beginning – when they just started to gather on ‘Sobornaya’ square – among ordinary ultra-right fans too many well-equipped paramilitaries could be seen. They had shields, helmets, bats, traumatic and service weapons. Mostly - men about 30-40 years old who were evidently not football fans. Some of them had shields where it was written: ’14-th hundred of Maidan self-guard’. And these nationalist paramilitaries became the main striking force of bloody massacre of Odessa residents on ‘Kulikovo pole’ square.

In total there were more than thousand of nationalists that participated in the march and the slaughter that followed it. Local residents of Odessa were the minority among them, while the majority – far-right paramilitaries that were brought together there. They could be identified in particular by dialect (not typical for Odessa region), however many of them openly acknowledged and told where they came from. Local Odessa fans of ‘Chernomorets’ team have left the march at the moment when clashes started – they came just for traditional march to the stadium and when they realized that ‘visitors’ and provocateurs led them to beat local people – the majority of ‘Chernomorets’ fans (identified by black-blue scarves of Odessa club) – immediately left the so-called ‘peaceful’ march.

At the same time ‘guest-militants’ were not going to the stadium. Their aim was to terrorize the city-residents and to unleash violence against the activists of the movements opposed to Kiev junta. The action of nationalists from the very beginning had not a peaceful nature, since they were preparing to start a massacre.

There were just a few policemen, although the personnel of only local Odessa police was able to control a crowd of a thousand people and, therefore, prevent pogroms and murders. As it turned out, the majority of police officers were ordered to guard the building of Internal Affairs Department. Thus, the whole city was delivered into the hands of neo-Nazi paramilitaries. Although, it is not surprising given the fact that the current Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov has long and close connections to neo-Nazi groups, that are included into the ‘Right Sector’.

When the column of nationalists marched along Grecheskaya street - a few (some 200-250 people) activists of local Odessa militia tried to stop them. But soon the opponents of nationalists were pelted with stones, bottles and stun grenades. There were heard gunshots. The activist of "Borotba" Ivan has got a gunshot wound into the belly from a military weapon. Then activists and members of Odessa militia tried to escape in the shopping centre "Athena" in the ‘Greek’ square. A crowd of far-right nationalists demanded to start a carnage against them. The far-right paramilitaries started immediately to prepare Molotovs on the square in order to set fire to the shopping center with barricaded Odessa militia members inside it. Police officers managed to save the lives of activists as they drove police cars directly to the entrance of the shopping centre.

Then the crowd of nationalist headed to the square ‘Kulikovo Pole’, where there was a camp of opponents to Kiev junta. Activists of ‘Borotba’, along with other activists and ordinary Odessa residents, were on duty that day in the protest camp. In total there were some 200 people in the camp and half of them - women and elderly men.

Neo-Nazis began to pelt the tent camp with Molotovs and set it ablaze. Activists from the protest camp were forced to retreat to the nearby building of ‘House of Trade Unions’.

When trying to kill Odessa residents, ultrarights set ablaze the ground floor of the ‘House of Trade-Unions. And the fire spread rather quickly over the building.

People began to jump out of the windows of the upper floors - trying to escape the fire. But on the ground, they were finished off by nationalist paramilitaries. Thus, our comrade - a member of "Borotba" union Andrew Brazhevsky – was killed. Deputy of regional council Vyacheslav Markin (a fellow of the leader of ‘Borotba’ Odessa Alexey Albu) was also brutally killed the same way when he jumped out of window. Over 40 activists were burnt alive, poisoned by smoke or were murdered by the Nazis while trying to escape from a burning building. Fortunately, most of our comrades managed to escape alive. Some of our comrades, including the leader of Odessa "Borotba" and city council deputy Alexei Albu were severely beaten by bats and kicked. They have numerous bruises, broken bones and head injuries.

The massacre in Odessa was organized by Kiev junta so that to intimidate the population that is discontent with the new regime, and so that to eliminate the active fighters against new regime. The evidence of it is the fact that far-right militants were brought together and well-equipped. Moreover, the police inaction as well as the fact that attack of ultra-rightists in Odessa was synchronized with the "anti-terrorist operation" in Slavyansk – are also the evidence of it.

Kiev junta has openly set a course toward violence and carnage against their political opponents. And the tools of this brutal violence are neo-Nazi militants – those who act closely with the secret police, who are well-armed and being financed by the oligarchy.

The massacre in Odessa reveals that Kiev regime of nationalists and oligarchs is rapidly grows into the outright terrorist dictatorship of the fascist style.

The council of ‘Borotba’ union, May 3, 2014

BOROTBA is totally discredited in Ukraine as a Kremlin front

We, the collectives and members of Ukrainian leftist and anarchist organizations, announce that “Borotba” union is not a part of our movement. During the whole time of this political project’s existence, its members tended to be committed to the most discredited, conservative and authoritarian “leftist” regimes and ideologies, which do not represent the interests of working classes in any way.…


Pro-Russian thugs beat up Ukrainian unity demonstrators – except on Russian TV and what Russian TV won’t show about the events in Odessa ---and the BOROTBA UNION ignore.

Ukrainian and western media sources are unanimous in reporting that “pro-Russian separatists attacked a rally in support of Ukrainian unity” in Donetsk on Monday and seriously injured a number of the rally participants. The pro-Kremlin channel Life News presents an entirely different story. It claims that «a peaceful rally in support of federalization turned into riots in Donetsk.” It then asserts that “according to witnesses the assailants chanted nationalist slogans. They were in sports gear and hid their faces behind black masks. It was reported also that Maidan supporters threw grenades at self-defence activists.”

Other strictly pro-Kremlin channels have also reported “clashes” and people injured, while deftly avoiding any mention of head-banging activities by those pro-Russian militants they call the «homeguard”. This means also omitting the fact that up to seven of the pro-unity demonstrators have been taken hostage. NTV’s Anastasiya Litvinova reports, for example, a mass brawl “in which local homeguard activists and unidentified masked individuals took part” These individuals armed with iron shields and bats are supposed to have appeared when “the crowd (of demonstrators for Ukrainian unity”) suddenly moved in the direction of the administration which is presently controlled by supporters of federalization”. There is a suggestion at the end, citing locals, that the trouble was provoked by nationalist-leaning football fans. The footage on Life News, Rossiya 24 and NTV should possibly be checked against that shown during a rally in Kharkiv which did involve nationalist-leaning “ultras” football fans.

The following description of the events on Monday is provided, together with videos, on the Donetsk-based website OstroV. “Men in camouflauge gear blocked the peaceful procession for a united Ukraine. Sounds like gunshots were heard and some explosions. The people with Ukrainian symbols dispersed. A fight began, people ran away into courtyards. They caught up with them and beat them up.

“Russia, Russia”, the assailants with shields chanted.".

Video footage of these same young men with sticks chanting “Russia!” heading for the attack can be found here

InfoResist reports that as of late Monday evening 25 people are known to have been injured, and seven been taken hostage by the pro-Russian militants. (On Tuesday morning former Interior Minister and presidential aide, Yury Lutsenko informed journalists that five hostages had been released. He did not mention any still remaining captive).

Reuters news agency, Guardian, Gazeta Wyborcza and numerous other non-Russian sources saw and reported much the same version of reality. One that the viewers of Russian television channels will simply not see. Over the last two days the main television station and TV tower have been seized by pro-Russian militants. They just happened to have a specialist with them and the equipment to swtich from Ukrainian to Russian channels. This was exactly the pattern in the Crimea two months ago. There too, though on a lesser scale, journalists, civic activists and any supporters of Ukrainian unity came under attack. Those who still dare to come out onto the streets in cities like Slovyansk are beaten, terrorized, abducted and in at least three cases, one as yet unidentified, murdered.

EU countries are continuing to link a third tier of sanctions with open invasion by Russian troops. This is despite the clear link between the rhetoric, spymania and aggression from the militants and the tone and content of Kremlin-controlled news reporting. Everybody knows that a quiet directive from the Kremlin would change Russian television coverage overnight.

At present there are only directives, first in the Crimea, now in Donbas, for ensuring that a much wider audience is fed a diet of overt lies and distortions, aimed at convincing citizens of those regions that the authorities in Kyiv are the oppressor, EuroMaidan supporters - “fascists” and that “protection” is to be found elsewhere. No prizes for guessing where.

The slander against Borot'ba which you posted above is, as you well know, taken from a fake website established by the Ukrainian security service called AKU-Kiev. The real AKU anarchist organisation did not post this. The German comrades of Antiimperialistche Aktion have posted this on their Facebook, which I am reposting here at LINKS:

Antiimperialistische Aktion

ACHTUNG! Vor den Geheimdiensten!
ATTENTION! Secret service activity!

Seit Monaten versuchen westliche Geheimdienste die Meinung über die Linken in der Ukraine zu beeinflussen. Dafür gibt es spezielle "Linke Ukrainer" die für den deutschen Staat und westliche Geheimdienste arbeiten. Sie sind dazu abgestellt die Meinung über die Linken in der Ukraine hierzulande zu beeinflussen und zu verfälschen. Es handelt sich hierbei nicht um Linke, sondern um Geheimdienstoperationen! Leider gibt es vereinzelt sogar Linke, die auf diese Propaganda hereinfallen! Wir haben hier unter dem Aufruf zu einer Gedenkdemo für die in Odessa gefallenen Genossen einen Post mit einem Fake-Account festgestellt, der versucht Propaganda gegen die Organisation Borotba zu verbreiten. Bitte fallt nicht auf solche Verleumdungstaktiken des BND herein! Wir kennen die Agenten und ihre Aktionsweise und werden sie nicht durchkommen lassen!

Hier ist ein Beispiel für Verleumdungen dieser westlich gesteuerten Geheimdienstler:…

For months, Western intelligence agencies try to influence the opinion of the Left about the Ukraine. There are special "left ukrainans" working for the German government and western intelligence agencies. They are working to influence and distort the opinion about the Left in the Ukraine. They are not leftists, but intelligence service members! Unfortunately, there are even a few leftists that fall for this propaganda! We have found here under the call for a memorial rally for the fallen in Odessa a post by one of these agents! It was posted with a fake account trying to spread propaganda against the organization Borotba. Please do not fall for such slander tactics of the BND! We know the agents and their mode of action and do not let them get away!

Here is an example of this slander by west controlled secret service members:…

I am not, by the way, accusing you of being one of those agents. Just a warning though about posting slanders against those fighting Ukrainian fascism.

Sure SV, we are all going to believe a Ukrainian conspiracy theorist like Shekovstov that Ron Paul and co. are behind exposing the fascists and ultranationalists of the EuroMaidan. Sure we are.

Now that the pro-Western imperialist "comprador bourgeoisie" (that's your definition) have launched military action against the heart of the Ukrainian working class in the Donbass, how are you now going to prettify the actions of this American puppet government?

Remember it was the American Victoria Nulands and friends who picked this government of the "national bourgeois revolution" (again, your definition, not mine).

But at least you serve as a true representative of the so-called liberal left intelligentsia, and we thank you for saying openly in your political posts here what the revolutionary Marxists have been arguing for years is the real program of this social group in Ukraine and Russia. Tail end the bourgeois and give a veneer of democratic liberalism to western imperialism.

No need to say anything more, except that the multi-national working class of the Ukraine is the only agent which can lead the peoples of the Ukraine to their social liberation from all imperialisms. Politically impotent liberals like yourself will end up in the camp of the reactionaries.

Scratch a liberal, a fascist bleeds.

Shekhovstov is a Russian born and raised in the Crimea. His "conspiracy theory" is based on research, fact and experience. He pays no attention to Kremlin imperialist propaganda as do people like Mr Lyons, who seems to think Putin has something to do with the ideals of 1917.
Mr Lyons also seems unable to back his claims about Germans or AMericans "picking" the Kyiv government with any facts or research, and , he seems to know next nothing about Ukraine. Like Mr Karglitsky, before writing nonsense he should do some reading. They both should start with Ivan Dzuiba

The "compradour" bourgeoisie in Ukraine are pro Russian. Whether or not the anti Russian Ukrainian oligarchs become a national bourgeoisie and begin investing for development rather than engaging in theft and primitive accumulation remains to be seen.

Thanks to 200 years of Russian colonialism what there is of a "Ukrainian" working class is small and unorganized. And, regardless of the ethnic origins and political orientations of workers, the one thing that anyone familiar with Ukraine knows is that the Russian neo Nazi Black Hundreds who are the Kremlin's local agents in destabilizing Ukraine, have nothing to do with any working class. They are what Marx would have called the lumpen-proletariat.

Revolutionary Marxists condemn Stalinism. Like Marx Lenin and Trotsky they realize there is a difference between a ruling colonialist bourgeoisie and a colonized dominated bourgeoisie and that national liberation in colonies -- where, unlike in independent countries, imperialism is the greater threat than fascism-- involves a necessary temporary alliance with the latter.

Presumably Mr Lyons does not know that the communists and the nationalists in China BOTH fought Japanese imperialism and its Manchuko stooges.

Leading the "peoples of Ukraine" to liberation "from all imperialisms" Mr Lyons does not seem to realize, includes condemnation of the Russian neo Nazi's in Ukraine as well as phony Stalinist front groups like BOROTBA.

Those like SV who assume what other people know or do not know are afflicted with the disease which N. Dymetryshen described as the "termerity of ignorance".

Unfortunately, SV's ignorance extends far beyond any personal character flaws into the field of near and far historic events.

1.Victoria Nuland, American Undersecretary of State for European Affairs, in an intercepted phone conversation with the American ambassador in Kiev,which was disseminated world wide, and which given your interest in Ukrainian affairs you could hardly not have heard, both discusses the personell which will compose the present Kiev junta, in addition to making the point that it will be the Americans, and not the European Union- whom she advises to "fuck off"- who will have the last word as to the composition of the government.

2. The same Ms. Nulands, giving testimony to the American senate's committee on foreign affairs, boasted about the $5 BILLION USD funnelled into Ukraine by various organisations of American foreign, including the National Endowment for Democracy, as having its desired outcome in the establishment of a democratic regime.

These two examples of direct interference into Ukraine's affairs, and of which you are well aware (or if not, then shame on you as to any claim of scholorship),have been broadcast far and wide, yet the supposed defenders of Ukraine national independence say not a word.

Why, because like you, they wish to tie Ukraine to the coattails of Euro-AMerican imperialism hoping that a bourgois democratic regime will emerge, that somehow a capitalism in decline will rescue Ukraine so that it can be just like, well mabe not like the Germans, but like the French. This is what you said in your previous post outlining your political program for national development: we hope imperialism will be nice to us because if it isn't there might be a real Euromaidan.

SV, hope is never a plan.

Now, to the issue of the allaince of the working class with the bourgeois in the struggle for national independence. Let me be absolutely clear here, I do not accept the proposition that Ukraine has a status of colony or semi-colony. To compare compare modern capitalist Ukraine to a pre-1948 China with huge feudal and semi-feudal relationships in the countryside is taking the notion to an extreme which breaks the bounds of all credulity. Therefore, I reject the premise upon which all your arguments are based as being historically nonsensical.

But, for the sake of argument, suppose you are right. What then is the real history of the Marxist position on the question. There are two great and utterly antagonistic positions on this question. One holds that the proletariat must subordinate its struggle to that of bourgois democracy in the national liberation struggle. Thus, the Chinese Communist Party was ordered by the Comintern to join the KMT, the Chinese nationalist organisations and to cease organising class struggle in the cities, where the newly emerging bourgois and petit bourgois classes were in the act of formation.

The second position was that the bourgoisie, because of its links and integration into imperialism, was incabable of leading a genuine struggle against its imperialist masters and thus was not able to complete its own historically defined tasks.

The first position was the one you support, given your post. This was the position taken by Stalin and Kamanev, amongst other in the Comintern. It was based on the Stalinist theory of the bloc of four classes in the national democratic revolution.

How did it work out? Well in 1927, barely two years after Stalin ordered the CCP to enter the KMT, the Nationalists turned on them and massacred thousands of CCP cadre in Shanghai and elsewhere. It was after this event that the CCP and its faction led by Mao, in order to save what was left of the CCP, made the long march into the countryside. During the struggle against Japanese imperialism, the Nationalists spent more time trying to wipe out the CCP then fighting the Japanese. We all know how that story ended. It was only after the CCP broke with the Nationalists and their comprador backers, and waged the national liberation struggle using its own methods, that genuine national liberation was achieved.

The Maoists adopted, in practice, the position which said that in the age of imperialism, the national bourgeois of the colonial and semi-colonial countries are unable to carry though the fundamental task of the bourgeois democratic revolution. This was the position of Lenin, Trotsky, Tukachevsky, Preobrashensky, and many other leading Russian and Ukraine communists. They were right, Stalin was wrong.

And it was for holding this position, as well as the right for the self-determination of Ukraine, that the Stalin purges of the 1931-33 period fell most heavily upon the Ukrainian party, where the revolutionary Marxists, including the Borotbaists (the left split from the Ukrainian Socialist Revolutionary party who joined the UCP in 1921) had a strong presence.

The development of the capitalist relations of production have made the traditional bourgeois notion of the nation state a strait jacket within which a new world is struggling to be born. I believe that only the working class of Ukraine can guarantee its social and cultural development, not a small group of robber barons linked to either American or Russian imperialism, but only through a federated system of workers' states, such as originally appeared after the 1917 revolution in Russia and the defeat of the Tsarist empire.

In 1917, there appeared not one but five socialist republics in Ukraine: one on Donetsk, one in Kryvy Rog, one in Odessa and two in the present central and central west. Perhaps the future of Ukraine, at the level of territorial boundries, will follow such a path again.

I have also talked with my colleagues about who should rule Ukraine. When these conversations appear on the net not doubt those like Mr Lyons will quote them to say I "picked" Ukraine's government. Why does he not also fulminate against Putin's appointments to the Yanukovich government and his interference in Ukrainian affairs? Shame on him

Mr Lyons talks about Stalin and Kamane and the Stalinist theory of the bloc of four classes in the national democratic revolution. And who formulated the 1920 Comintern position? There were no borotbists by 1931 nor did they ever w join the UCP in 1921, the Stalinist purge was in 1937 and had nothing to do with national issues.

Mr Lyons understanding of history beggars belief alongside his refusal to understand Ukraine remained as much of a Russian colony after 1919 as before 1917 --regardless of the "good years" between 1923 -1929. He even calls present-day neo feudal Ukraine where most economic activity is still barter in the shadow of mafia bosses "capitalist"!!! And who if not Lenin dissolved all those "soviet republics" born of Russian colonialism and ordered they be subordinated to one Soviet government in Kharkiv? Perhaps he also thinks Ireland was not a colony.

This is not the place for elementary history lessons. Mr Lyons is obviously someone who looks but whose pro Russian biases do not allow him to see. Does this man actually think neo liberal corporate capitalism could exist if its directors and owners had not first been able to take over control of and then use in their interests the world's nation states! And what does he think enforces the IMF WB SAPs?

I never ceased to be amazed how those who never had to live under it think it is wonderful to exist on the coattails of Russian imperialism.

Most of what I read on this topic falls into the simplistic dicotomy "Putin vs West" and the real revolutionary movement in the east is simply forgotten (even by some so called left revolutionaries) ... It is very refreshing to read such an enlightened analysis!
I have written a lot on the topic too and I share many of your views (in Portuguese)