• 29 abr 2022

    Ukraine: The longer the war goes on, the more barbarism gets worse


The longer the war goes on, the more barbarism gets worse

Masses 662 – Editorial – April 17th, 2022


Two facts have recently stood out. Russian troops broke the siege of Kiev, and concentrated on eastern Ukraine, in the Donbass region. And negotiations for a peace agreement broke down.

The decision by Putin and his military command to renounce the takeover of the Ukrainian capital signaled recognition that achieving this objective would widen and deepen the war. And the biggest problem would be how to sustain the military occupation of the country.

The United States has done everything, according to the political conditions in Europe, to make the war last longer. The bleeding of the Ukrainians will become the form of economic and social laceration in Russia.

The crack in the post-World War II world order is wide open, and it tends to widen with the need for imperialism to maintain and advance the trade war. The best for US directives would be if Ukraine were to join the European Union for good, and become a member of NATO, without Russia reacting. If so, the United States could concentrate its economic, political, and military forces on the siege of China.

The end of the long occupation of Afghanistan and the cooling of interventionism in the Middle East were aimed at this strategy. This was accompanied by military escalation in the Indo-Pacific region, driven by the Alkus agreement between the United States, England and Australia. The creation of a fleet of atomic submarines to control the South China Sea, through which a powerful flow of goods takes place, brought to light the militaristic tendencies of the trade war, which, in turn, has reflected the expansion of the process of decomposition of world capitalism.

China threatens the economic supremacy of the United States, and it has also been forced to strengthen itself militarily. Russia is important because it has vast oil and metal resources. With the former Soviet republics, it constitutes a powerful complex of natural resources. Ukraine has become a key country for the penetration of finance capital into the vast territory formerly controlled by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). It was not enough for imperialism to militarize Eastern Europe, which had come under the control of the USSR as a result of the Second World War, in the form of people’s republics. It was and is necessary, for the interests of imperialism, to dismantle Russia’s ascendancy over the region.

Germany took advantage of the commercial advantages with the collapse of the USSR and the acceleration of the capitalist restoration process in Russia and in the set of ex-Soviet republics, especially in terms of gas. But the particular interests of this European economic power ended up in conflict with the general interests of imperialism. This is why pressure is mounting for the German government to be more offensive in supporting Ukraine.

The United States and England did not take long to resort to violent economic-financial measures, aimed at blocking the flow of oil and gas, and thus suffocating the Russian economy. It was concluded that, without hitting the revenues from commodity exports, the other measures, by themselves, do not shake Putin’s government, which continues to have the support of the population. Zelensky’s demands are growing, at the behest of Biden, for Germany to free itself from energy dependence on Russia. The European Union discusses ways to achieve this war goal. The election of Macron is awaited, to see if it is possible to obtain a more offensive position from Germany.

The United States is inclined to send more sophisticated weapons to Ukraine. Finland and Sweden contribute to the orientations of US and British imperialism, waving their way towards joining NATO. It is symptomatic that they have abandoned the old position of neutrality. It is another indication that the partition of the Second World War is exhausted, and that the United States, in order to maintain its dominance, needs wars. They will not be able – for now, it seems – to turn Russia’s intervention in Ukraine into a European war, but the seed is planted. Therein lies the basis for the difficulties in shortening the war and establishing an agreement that, even if provisional, suspends Ukraine’s entry into NATO, keeps it demilitarized and subject to the orbit of Russian influence, as is the case with a significant part of the former soviet republics.

The fundamental problem lies in the crisis of revolutionary leadership. The war conducted by capitalist interests divides the working class and pits one people against another. If it does not turn into a civil war, aimed at constituting revolutionary governments, against the governments, the capitalist class and the bourgeois oligarchies, there is no way to defeat imperialism and end national oppression. That possibility does not exist. But the class-conscious vanguard has to work under this historical strategy, to take steps towards overcoming the crisis of leadership.

The programmatic positions and the set of banners of the Liaison Committee for the Reconstruction of the IV International* establish the safe path of proletarian internationalism. Let’s fight for the end of the war! Let’s fight the barbarism of the war of domination!


*English translation for “Comitê de Enlace pela Reconstrução da IV Internacional” – CERQUI