The first hundred days since Russia launched its military operations in Ukraine have shown two things. First, it is clear that the US and its allies hoped to use the war to destroy Russia’s ability to defend itself against imperialism. The second is that imperialism’s plans to defeat Russia ran into big problems. Russia is clearly winning the war in the East. The surrender of Mariupol, an 80% Russian/Russian-speaking city that saw horrendous massacres in 2015 and then years of occupation by the Nazis Azov, is a major victory for Russia and the people of Donbass.
The Russian army, with its allies from the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, is on a widespread advance west of Donetsk and Lugansk, and in the process of taking Sievierdonetsk, with smaller towns and villages nearby, encircling large numbers of Ukrainian troops. Entire battalions are surrendering and refusing to fight. Zelensky is trying to pass a law authorizing Ukrainian officers to summarily execute such soldiers.
Once the East is consolidated, the main military objective must be Odessa, another mainly Russian-speaking city, which suffered terrible massacres – the May 2014 Trade Union House massacre, where 42 died and many more were wounded. Odessa is occupied by Nazi detachments as brutal and sinister as those in Mariupol. If Odessa is liberated, that would make Ukraine landlocked and would be a strong incentive to sue for peace. Along with joining up with neighboring Transnistria, which is also targeted by NATO.
The war drive plunged Western economies into chaos. Financial and energy sanctions against Russia have considerable effects around the world, exacerbating inflation and even food shortages. This is putting enormous pressure on workers; the “cost of living” crisis that imperialism created caused enormous discontent and suffering.
Russia is the world’s leading gas producer. Western Europe needs its gas, as do many other countries. Russian insistence on payment in rubles by “hostile” countries blunted sanctions; it recovered, and the ruble is now the best performing currency worldwide. Which threatens the US with a run on the dollar and its collapse as a reserve currency. Germany, Italy and France have struggled with US sanctions. The blunting of sanctions is massively helped by the Eurasian economic bloc with China, Iran, etc., centered on the China-led “One Belt One Road” infrastructure project.
Russia must be supported in its war against imperialism!
When Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine on February 24, 2022, it created a dividing line between Marxists who quickly accommodated themselves to the imperialist war drive against Russia and those who recognized that the events in Ukraine were part of the long term agenda of Western imperialism to subordinate Russia and open up its resources for exploitation. The attempts to expand NATO eastward, including into Ukraine, are part of the US war plans to position advanced weaponry, including nuclear weapons, close enough to Russia so that it can launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike and “win” a nuclear war. It poses an existential threat to Russia and its working class
Some of the groups that stood against the war impulse began to organize. A “Marxists Speak” event was held denouncing the war. Groups and individuals from North and South America, Oceania, South Asia, East and Southeast Asia, Africa and Europe fought for this perspective around the May Day declaration and contingents.
The links between the struggle against imperialism and fascism were highlighted at a May 14 event to commemorate the USSR’s Victory over Nazism Day. Those who engage in these initiatives are, as the Bolshevik Group of South Korea observed, “the most courageous and revolutionary parts of the world proletarian movement”.
This happened during the most acute war hysteria at the beginning of the war. The defeats that imperialism and its proxies have already suffered, along with the economic consequences, have somewhat dissipated the Russophobic hysteria that initially cowed many in the labor movement. It is now noticeable that even a layer of formerly left-wing social democratic militants see the case for defeating imperialism and defending Russia and Donbass. This raises the need for all these forces to organize themselves politically, on an internationalist and revolutionary basis, to fight to overcome these threats to the future of humanity.