VANGUARD - Expressing the viewpoint of the Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist) For National Independence and Socialism • www.cpaml.org
Russian imperialists – out of Ukraine!
(An abridged version of this statement was distributed at a Ukrainian community rally yesterday)
Twelve months ago today, Russian imperialism committed an unforgivable act of aggression against Ukraine.
According to Putin, the aggression was to be a “special military operation”, implying a quick and limited action.
Instead, the invasion met resistance and the “special military operation” became an all-out war that has lasted for a year.
We know Putin’s justifications for his aggression.
•NATO had repeatedly broken assurances given to Russia that it would not expand eastwards after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.
•Under the guise of targeting Iran, the US had deployed missiles in countries that bordered Russia.
•Ukrainian authorities had rejected secession by Russian-speaking Ukrainians in the Donetsk region and used military force to prevent their secession.
•A well-organised neo-Nazi movement had been present at the 2014 Maidan revolt and was prominent in parts of the Ukrainian military forces. The US helped direct the revolt. (1)
These were things that Putin could have fought diplomatically and politically in various international forums including the United Nations. He could have used UN Responsibility to Protect (R2P) protocols of the UN to defend ethnic Russians in Ukraine from what he alleged were crimes of genocide. (2)
Putin’s dream of a gas-led Russian economic recovery
He also needed to thwart Ukrainian President Zelensky’s relentless campaign against the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany.
Prior to this pipeline coming into operation, Russian gas had been piped across Ukraine, earning that country $2 billion a year in transit fees from Russia’s Gazprom.
The US had placed sanctions on Nord Stream 2 to support Ukraine, but later lifted them after protests from Germany. Nord Stream 2 promised to double the quantity of Russian gas delivered to Germany; Putin aimed to defeat Ukraine quickly, so that he could not only sell natural gas safely and monopolise the European energy market, but also re-establish the “glory” of imperial Russia in the international community and maintain its identity as an imperialist country.
Unable to win a quick victory, the Russian ruling class has tried to destroy the resistance of the Ukrainians by targeting civilian centres such as residential complexes, school and hospitals. It attacks energy and water supplies as part of its war on the people. These are crimes for which Putin must pay.
US dream of a war-led and gas-led economic recovery
The other imperialist bloc, headed by the US, provides enough weaponry to Ukraine to enable it to withstand Russia’s aggression. Whether it will supply enough for it to win remains to be seen – the longer the war draws out, the greater the profits to be made by US and other Western arms manufacturers. US imperialism is fighting the Russians by proxy – using Ukrainians to avoid the disaster of having another endless stream of US body bags coming home to grieving parents.
Respected US investigative journalist Seymour Hersch has provided evidence of US responsibility for the undersea explosions that tore apart the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. With little sense of irony, the online Markets Insider reported on August 14 2022 “Energy traders are making a killing exporting US natural gas to Europe as prices soar - with some single shipments bringing in $200 million.” It reported that the US was sending 60% of its natural gas exports to Europe – up from less than 20% a year ago.
On December 20, 2022 Reuters reported that “…the United States will remain the primary supplier of LNG to Europe for at least 2023. This will likely generate even greater revenue for U.S exporters after a record 2022, which totaled $35 billion through September, compared to $8.3 billion over the same period in 2021, U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data shows.”
In this conflict, there is no “good” imperialism – neither Russian nor Western.
Ukraine needs to defeat the tiger that has burst in through the front door, while keeping out the wolves that lurk around the back door.
We hope that the Ukrainian working class will establish its leadership in the resistance and guarantee Ukrainian independence through a socialist state. Our comrades in Ukraine, including the Koordinazionnyj Sowjet Rabotschewo Dvizhenija (Coordination Council of the Workers Class Movement), Ukraine face not only an invasion by Russia but an assault by Zelensky on trade unions, socialists, communists and even liberal democrats via political party bans.
Nothing is more precious in this war than the aim of Ukrainian independence and freedom and self-determination for all of its peoples.
Ukraine for the Ukrainians, not for the Russians, and not for the US and NATO.
(1)See the transcript of the notorious Victoria Nuland -Geoffrey Pratt phone call where Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State directs when and how moves should be made against the elected Yanukovych government, and says in relation to European Union diplomatic moves, “Fuck the EU”. (Ukraine crisis: Transcript of leaked Nuland-Pyatt call - BBC News )
(2)There is reliable evidence that diplomatic negotiations that had been occurring between Ukraine and Russia were sabotaged by US state actors.