• 08 maio 2022

    Two months of war: US steps up its offensive against Russia

Declaration of the Liaison Committee for the Reconstruction of the IV International* (CERQUI)

To workers and oppressed youth

Two months of war

US steps up its offensive against Russia

Only the struggling working class can face imperialism and barbarism

April 26th, 2022

CERQUI denounced that the United States showed a clear interest in blocking a peace agreement and prolonging the war as long as possible. The concentration of forces in the Donbass region, the sinking of the mighty warship “Moskva” of the Black Sea fleet and the constant supply of sophisticated weapons indicated Russia’s difficulties in defeating Ukraine’s resistance. Any reason is used for not reaching an agreement. This is demonstrated by the recent meeting between António Guterres, Secretary-General of the UN, and Vladimir Putin, President of Russia.

US imperialism, which leads the steps of Zelensky’s government, has been sustaining the continuation of the war with a vast worldwide campaign of isolation from Russia and economic crushing; as well as abundant funding, arms shipments and training to the Ukrainian military. The longer the war lasts, the greater the material and lives destruction  are, the more Russian forces will be hit and weakened. The prolongation of the war worsens the economic situation in Europe and throughout the world. Germany’s heavy industry entrepreneurs and unions urged the government to stop the war and not move forward with sanctions, as they could cause damage to the economy that would take a long time to repair.

The United States and its European alliance have not, so far, needed to intervene directly. The strategy of awaiting the impasses of the war and relying on the resistance capacity of the Ukrainian forces is bearing fruit for imperialism. Biden believes that it has become possible to secure a position of superiority for Zelensky in the negotiations, so as not to accept Russian control over the Donbass region. Spokesmen for the US government say that a defeat for Russia is possible. Although this is not the result of the war’s outcome, imperialism is counting on Russia’s economic and military weakening.

Biden’s decision to send weapons of greater destructive power – such as tanks, missiles, fighter-bombers and drones – corresponds to an escalation phase of the war, whose danger of extending beyond the borders of Ukraine and Russia is posed. It is symptomatic that the Pentagon has met with captains of the military industry – among them, Lockheed Martin Corp and Rayton Co – to promptly supply the armaments that will supply the Armed Forces of Ukraine. It fulfills an old demand from the United States for Europe to bear NATO’s costs and increase its military budgets. The escalation in arms increases in the midst of the war, and may continue to be stimulated in the next period when the US trade war with China, which has been ongoing for some time, is expected to be more offensive.

The exhaustion of the division of the world in the Second World War, the overproduction and the growth of financial parasitism have created a situation of confrontation between nations, which resembles a pre-World War II situation. The conflagration in Ukraine was and is being driven and potentiated by US interventionism, which counts on NATO as a European and global armed wing. The United States has already spent $2.6 billion in weapons, and now Biden has raised that to $3.7 billion. The European Union contributed US$ 1.6 billion. These official data are enough to verify the commitment of imperialism, to carry out the directive of making Ukraine cannon fodder, in the face of a desperate Russia with the advance of  NATO military siege and the growing loss of control of the former Soviet republics. The meeting of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin with Zelensky on Ukrainian soil was a gesture of support for the continuation of the war and discarding negotiations for an immediate agreement.

As the war reaches two months, the Pentagon’s goal is to exhaust Russia’s economic and military capacity as much as possible. It is certain that Russia is paying dearly for the war. Its extension will increase the weight of human and military losses, which will end up becoming a factor of political crisis within Russia. Imperialism hopes that there will be a split in the oligarchy that has supported the Putin government since before the war, and that pressure from the petty bourgeoisie will rise. Europe is also paying dearly for the war, whose economy is weakening.

The intensification of bombing and the dismantling of resistance in Donbass – whose dramatic symptom has been the Russian siege of the Azovstal steel-metallurgy complex in Mariupol and the demand for the surrender of the 36th infantry and the Azov battalion, originating from fascist paramilitary groups – have been hanging in the balance in favor of Russia. Everything indicates, however, that if Russian forces do not quickly control Donbass, the arrival of sophisticated weapons could make it even more difficult for Putin to annex the region. That’s what the United States hopes will happen.

Middle-class demonstrations in Western Europe against Russia did not thrive. It is quite likely that governments are not feeling the need for mobilizations, which could pave the way for demonstrations against the United States and NATO. The war and economic-financial sanctions are already reaching the small and slow recovery, after the fall caused by the long time of the virulent pandemic. High inflation has caused significant losses for the exploited. It is quite likely that the working class and other workers will react sooner than can be predicted. And they will face the war and its catastrophic consequences. The combination of stagnation and high inflation fuels latent revolt tendencies among workers.

The fact that the re-election of Emmanuel Macron, in France last April, on the 24th , was not easy, worried the European Union authorities, who feared the victory of the nationalist far-right, represented by Marine Le Pen. Macron has been playing a leading role in the US alliance. Abstention in the second round was 28.2%, 2.8% higher than in the 2017 elections. Macron, therefore, was re-elected by a low margin of votes, considering the sum of abstentions with Le Pen’s votes. Macron won 58% of the vote, Le Pen 42% and abstentions 28.2%. His government was marked by large demonstrations of the “yellow vests” and by workers’ strikes, which reacted to the labor and social security counter-reforms. The bourgeoisie, across Europe, will inevitably continue to unload the economic crisis and the disintegration of capitalism onto the masses, who will have to move.

The disasters of the pandemic are linked and potentiated with the disasters of war. The exploited, disorganized and atomized, however, have not been able to react to the war with their own program, policy and methods of struggle. But the political and ideological blocks that prevent the breaking of inertia or near inertia clash with the most elementary needs of the working class and the other exploited. The elementary claims have everything to converge with the banners of struggle against the war of domination, which is developing in Ukraine. This is the most likely way of fighting the oppressed against the bourgeoisie and its governments. Direct action and independent organization are the conditions for the working class to put an end to the war, which has lasted two months, and which, for the time being, there is no prospect of ending it.

The leadership crisis shows itself in its entirety, in the face of a war that marks a substantive change in world relations, determined by the powers, with the United States at the forefront. The Liaison Committee for Reconstruction of the Fourth International* has been carrying out a systematic campaign around the set of banners: end of the war; dismantling of NATO and US military bases; revocation of economic-financial measures against Russia; self-determination, territorial integrity and withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine. This indecomposable set of banners allows the revolutionary vanguard to fight for the unification of the Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, European and world-wide working class. A step taken along this path favors the work of the Marxist-Leninist-Trotskyists, aimed at overcoming the crisis of leadership, which materializes in the struggle to rebuild the World Party of the Socialist Revolution, the Fourth International.

The conflagration in Ukraine is based on capitalism in the imperialist phase of decomposition, which is one of wars, revolutions and counter-revolutions. It has its roots in the destruction of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), which rose as a world citadel of class struggle and instrument of the transition from capitalism to socialism, which began with the Proletarian Revolution of October 1917. This is why Russia, in an advanced stage of restoration of capitalism, cannot fight an anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist war of liberation, and cannot stop exercising national oppression over the former Soviet republics. At the same time, Russia, weakened by the dissolution of the USSR, has to give way to financial and multinational capital. Self-defense, promoted by the means and methods of national oppression, thanks to the conservation of the military power achieved by the USSR in the Second World War, is not capable of preventing the advance of the imperialist siege.

In these conditions of disintegration of capitalism, wars, revolutions and counter-revolutions, the Marxist foundations of the world revolution and the program that is synthesized in the strategy of the United Socialist United States of Europe, erected by the Russian Revolution, the constitution of the USSR and the building of the Third International from Lenin’s time emerge. The counterrevolutionary significance of the Stalinist revisionism of Marxism-Leninism and the destruction of the Soviet organization and the historical importance of the struggle led by Trotsky against the expropriation of the working class by the Thermidorian bureaucracy and the historical setback imposed on the conditions in which the political revolution, conceived by Marxism-Leninism-Trotskyism, could not take place. The advance of the Stalinist counter-revolution also corresponds to the defeat of all its revisionist conceptions that failed: that it was possible “to build socialism in one country”, that there was a “democratic imperialism”, that it was possible to “peacefully coexist with this imperialism”. History has dramatically demonstrated that its policies lead to capitalist restoration.

The USSR was eventually dragged along by the restorationist forces and succumbed. Russia had no other way to go than to submit to world capitalism. Only the working class can fight this destructive path of the historic achievements of the October Revolution. Based on the experience of the restoration process itself, the collapse of the USSR, the wars of national oppression and the inability of the counterrevolutionary bureaucracy, linked to the Russian bourgeois oligarchy, to contain the siege and advance of imperialism on the former Soviet republics, on the basis of this experience the program and achievements of the socialist revolution will be taken up again. That is why it is very important that the vanguard understand the historical laws that led to the war in Ukraine, and fight under the banners that, in fact, unite the world working class, and in particular the Russian, Ukrainian and European ones.


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