Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
Translation of the statement by the Iranian Revolutionary Marxists’ Tendency calling for a workers’ third front against Russian and American imperialism.
On the Russian military invasion of Ukraine
On February 24th 2022, Russia launched a large-scale and comprehensive attack on the Republic of Ukraine, an event which was not that unexpected. The development of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine began a long time ago and pointed to an eventual war. Apparently, the attack began after a proposal in the Duma on the immediate diplomatic recognition of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic. The autonomous movement in these two regions began eight years ago and they have been at war with the central government of Ukraine since then.
On the one side, there is Russia, which under the guise of defending the people of the two newly established republics has sent its army and tanks to these two countries, attacking the population regardless of nationality or language and extending its attacks to Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. On the other side, there are the United States and its western allies in NATO, which have stepped forward to defend the oppressed people of Ukraine. But are any of their official statements true?
The internal contradictions of the world capitalist system, in spite of its general connections, are deepening day by day and approaching a more volatile level as the global crisis of capitalism intensifies. The contradiction between America’s declining power and the aggressive capitalism of Russia and China has put the redistribution of world markets on the agenda. China is invading Taiwan’s airspace and pursuing more antagonistic policies towards the Asia-Pacific nations and Russia is attacking Ukraine.
On the one hand, with this attack Russia is seeking to strengthen its position against NATO. On the other hand, it needs to exploit the cheap labour power of Ukraine, especially the two newly established republics that already suffer from high unemployment. This war creates an opportunity for the Russian state to contain the internal political and economic crisis. At the same time, it attempts to divert the internal public discontent towards a foreign enemy. The war also boosts the arms industry and the military, creating a temporary upturn in the economy – albeit for a short time.
The United States and its western allies, in spite of claiming to defend human rights, are in fact seeking to strengthen NATO’s capabilities in response to Russia’s interventionist policies. They also want to maintain the current balance in the world’s markets. As part of this, the western countries are defending a government whose record over the past eight years has been riddled with human rights abuses, suppressing the working class and revolutionary forces, oppressing national minorities, along with widespread economic, political and administrative corruption. By letting the neo-fascist forces of the Azov Battalion to operate, this regime officially allows the suppression of any voice of dissent and freedom, but also to protect and preserve a government of millionaires such as President Zelensky and big business owners.
All these facts clearly demonstrate that none of the parties involved in this war pay any attention to the interests of the workers and toilers. This war has nothing to do with the dispossessed classes. The workers and toilers, regardless of language and nationality, are harmed on both sides of the conflict while the rulers exploit their patriotic and nationalist sentiments, using the people as cannon fodder to secure their own interests.
In the conflicts between various capitalist blocs, the workers have no choice other than to turn their guns on the internal enemy, their capitalist government. Today, the slogan of turning the war into a revolution – and propagating this idea – has become the main task of all revolutionary Marxists around the world. Defending one capitalist bloc against another, under any guise – such as defending the homeland, defending the smaller and weaker capitalists, or the lesser evil, against a more powerful force – is nothing but deceiving the toiling masses. In our view, it is a completely wrong and unprincipled stance.
The workers and toilers need their own independent front. A front consisting of all the toilers of Russia and Ukraine. Only then, can they turn a foreign war into a civil war for seizing power and establishing governments of workers’ councils. The recent anti-war demonstrations in cities across Russia and Ukraine shows that this potential force exists. With the international help and support of the workers’, communist and progressive forces it can be strengthened.
Autonomy and independence are matters that only nationalities can decide by themselves. Any autonomy engineered by any imperialist forces has no meaning other than total slavery. The historical experiences of the past few decades in the former Yugoslavia, Syria, Iraqi Kurdistan and many other places have clearly shown that such support cannot be relied on; because whenever the interests of the capitalists demand, they will not hesitate to sacrifice their former allies.
We, as revolutionary Marxists, propose an alliance of nationalities under a socialist banner as the third front against Russian and American imperialism. We believe that the national question can only be resolved after the destruction of the current capitalist system and establishing a socialist government. The final decision falls on the shoulders of the nationalities: not America and its allies, nor Russia and its supporters! The imperialist states are not concerned about the needs and rights of the people. Their aim is to protect the interests of capitalists.
Down with imperialism!
Long live socialism!
Iranian Revolutionary Marxists’ Tendency
26th February 2022