• 22 jun 2022

    Three months of war in Ukraine: Destruction, deaths and aggravation of the world crisis

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

Three months of war in Ukraine

Destruction, deaths and aggravation of the world crisis

To conquer peace, it is necessary to put an end to the presence of NATO and US military bases in Europe.

June 7th, 2022

The US decision to hand over even more powerful weapons to the Ukrainian government will worsen the conditions of war. Imperialism acts in the sense that Russia’s defeat is set. Although nothing indicates this possibility for the time being, such an objective only corresponds to the calculation of Pentagon strategists to prolong the military confrontation as long as possible.

The use of long-range, precision, hyper-sonic Himars missiles by the Ukrainian Armed Forces will require a broader, more destructive and lethal response from Russia. It doesn’t matter if the United States promises that the Ukrainian government has committed itself not to extend the war beyond its borders. The key is that the new weaponry will drive the escalation of confrontation, destruction and deaths. This is the way to go beyond the milestones in which the Russian offensive to control Donbass and the respective Ukrainian resistance is being developed.

It is clear that the Pentagon intends to use Ukraine as a laboratory for the Lockheed Martin’sHimars, which costs $5.6 million. For such high expenditures, Biden counts on $33 billion. The ostensible interventionism of US imperialism in defense of Ukraine’s accession to NATO was the main factor that led Putin to decide on a military invasion, on February 24th.

At the time, the dimension that the war would take was not known. But, it was soon observed that it would be long, destructive and bloody. The Russian troops would not only face an economically and militarily weak country – with due proportion – but also face a broad imperialist alliance, under the direction of the United States and its armed wing in Europe, NATO. Putin and the General Command of the Armed Forces could not use maximum destructive capabilities – we are not referring to atomic weapons – to impose a quick victory.

The political limits of a war are given by the world situation and the conditions of the forces in confrontation. The former USSR and then Russia accumulated hard war experiences, Afghanistan (1979-1989) and Chechnya (1991-1996). One fact is that the United States promotes destruction and killing in Iraq; another would be for Russia to do the same in Ukraine.

The imperialist alliance set up a political siege around the world, and especially in Europe, to strengthen the military action of the Russian Armed Forces. Even so, the Zelensky government and the US alliance made a fuss about an alleged massive execution of prisoners by Russian soldiers – allegedly because it has not been proven. The political campaign, to condemn Russia and free the United States, European powers and the puppet government of Ukraine from responsibility for the conflicts that led to war, was mounted by an entire structure of Western states, to reach all latitudes of the world.

Political propaganda in gigantic dimensions served as a smokescreen not only to present imperialism as a lover of peace, human rights and Ukraine’s independence against Russian tyranny, but also to justify sending arms and financial resources to the Zelensky government, as well as to justify the sanctions measures against Russia, hitherto unknown for their scope and their deleterious consequences for the Russian and world economy. Putin government’s demand, in essence, consisted of limiting the siege of NATO, which would be strengthened with the inclusion of Ukraine and would threaten the security of Russia, after having violated all the agreements that NATO would not extend beyond  Germany. It was an old issue, which came from the “Cold War”, and which took on increasing proportions with the disintegration of the USSR, the centrifugal tendencies that resulted in the rupture of the unity of nationalities and the advance of capitalist restoration.

The economic forces of imperialism, taking advantage of the failure of the policy of “socialism in one country” and of “peaceful coexistence” with imperialism, played a decisive role in the regressive process of revolutionary transformations, which began with the October Revolution of 1917. Their interests could only prosper, after the Second World War, with the liquidation of the USSR, carried out by the bureaucracy itself, heir to Stalinism, divided, corrupted and completely decomposed. That is why it aggravated on an unthinkable scale the national oppression suffered by countless nationalities. The constitution of new national borders in Eurasia, previously covered by unity, although battered by the bureaucratization and authoritarian centralization of the Kremlin, greatly facilitated the penetration of economic-military forces, driven by the United States and the European Union, under the guard of NATO.

Imperialism gradually gained ground, starting with the assimilation of East Germany, the reintegration of the former people’s republics of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet republics of the Baltic. Russia’s intervention in the separatist conflict in the former Soviet republic of Georgia highlighted the more general tendencies of confrontations fueled by the projection of imperialist forces in Eurasia. These trends manifested themselves in the Ukrainian crisis in 2014, and which eventually gave way to the current war.

Since the world crisis of the 1970s, the United States found itself in the contingency of tightening the siege of the USSR. NATO has proved instrumental in achieving this objective. Since then, the trade war has been intensified, motivated by the exhaustion of the partition of the world established at the end of the second world conflagration. The productive forces, rebuilt under the leadership of the United States, began to clash with capitalist relations of production, as had already occurred at the outbreak of the First World War.

The European powers delayed as much as they could the American offensive to submit Ukraine to NATO. The disintegration of the USSR had paved the way for their capital, trade agreements and, above all, the guarantee of supply of oil and gas at a competitive price. Germany was one of the winning nations. The European powers believed that there was no reason to put Russia against the wall, using NATO. Faced with the progression in the economic field, opened up by the process of capitalist restoration and dismantling of the USSR, they understood that it did not require a frank military offensive, except on the part of England, which lost world projection and became a spearhead of the United States in Europe.

The three years of fierce world crisis, from 2007 to 2009, under the conditions of China’s emergence as an economic power, raised the trade war to a higher level. The two sides of the clashes of economic interests focused precisely on China and Russia. Both were built in opposition to world capitalism and North-American domination on the basis of proletarian revolutions. And both entered the capitalist restoration process, adapting to the pressures of the world market and financial system. While the interests of imperialism, in particular those of the United States, were to some extent served, the mask of peaceful coexistence, mutual interests and the multipolar global order remained. This when advancing with its military bases in the world. Its own crisis, decomposition, and economic disintegration opened the way for the transformation of trade warfare and military wars.

The US war against Iraq in 2003 signaled a significant change in the world order. The intervention in Afghanistan (2001) had already indicated the deep war tendencies embodied by US imperialism. Even so, China and Russia have placed themselves behind imperialism, under the justification of fighting Islamic terrorism. It didn’t take long for this alignment to prove to be conjunctural and unsustainable. The United States, by becoming the epicenter of the world crisis, intensified the trade war and military interventionism. Multinationals and finance capital need to break Russia’s control over a significant portion of natural resources, especially oil and gas. This has resulted in a territorial dispute, which involves the former Soviet republics.

It is in this context of the worsening world crisis and the violent trade war that the war in Ukraine came to be. And that the war tendencies around China, involving Taiwan and Hong Kong, are potentiated. Biden justifies sending more advanced weapons to Zelensky’s government, saying he does not intend to enable Ukraine to attack beyond its borders. And that he does not want to “prolong the war just to make Russia suffer”. This farce cannot hide that the United States has used and is using Ukraine as a cannon fodder for its expansionist goals in Eurasia. The pressures for Finland and Sweden to join NATO in the middle of the war are another factor that the siege of Russia will continue to advance, regardless of the agreement that may be made. Prolonging the war is an explicit interest of the United States. What has been causing criticism and fissures within the United States and the European alliance. The powerful effects of the war on the world economic crisis, which was barely recovering from the impacts of the health crisis, are being felt globally. The perspective is for the recession to resume, with the United States at the forefront. The masses bear the brunt of unemployment, the rise in the cost of living and the devaluation of the workforce.

The problem is that the European and world working class has not awakened to the deeper meaning of the Ukrainian war, which corresponds to the warlike tendencies embodied by imperialism, responsible for the two world wars. This dormancy reflects the serious crisis of leadership, which took shape with the Stalinist degeneration of the Workers’ State, the liquidation of the Third International, the advance of the capitalist restoration process and the collapse of the USSR.

Now the exploited are faced with impoverishment and misery. The need to defend themselves collectively, with their demands, method of struggle and independent organization grows. It is very important to reveal to the proletariat and the oppressed majority the responsibility of the United States and its alliance for the war and its prolongation, without neglecting to condemn the national oppression exercised by restorationist Russia on the former Soviet republics.

The CERQUI has been systematically campaigning for an end to the war, under a set of interconnected banners: dismantling of NATO and US military bases, revoking all sanctions against Russia; self-determination, territorial integrity and withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine. It affirmed and affirms that only the united working class can defeat the barbaric offensive of imperialism, put down the servile policy of the oligarchic government of Zelensky, conquer the self-determination of Ukraine and fight all forms of national oppression exercised by Russia.

Faced with the US policy of prolonging the war and the Russian government’s determination to control part of Ukrainian territory by armed forces, it is not possible to reach a peace that removes the dangers of NATO’s siege of Russia and that ensures  territorial integrity of Ukraine, as an expression of the oppressed nation’s right to self-determination.

The CERQUI calls on the working class and the class-conscious vanguard to fight against the prolongation of the war, and for a Peace without imperialism and NATO. For the unity of the European and world working class under the strategy of the proletarian revolution and the Socialist United States of Europe.

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