Washington is funnelling further arms to Ukraine, hoping to prolong the war and advance their own imperialist interests. Cynical talk of ‘defending democracy’ and ‘self-determination’ is just propaganda, designed to conceal their true aims.

Washington is funnelling further arms to Ukraine, hoping to prolong the war and advance their own imperialist interests. Cynical talk of ‘defending democracy’ and ‘self-determination’ is just propaganda, designed to conceal their true aims.

In a shock announcement, Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov recently told Russian state media: “NATO, in essence, is engaged in a war with Russia through a proxy and is arming that proxy.”

In an uncharacteristically angry tone, he accused NATO of fighting a proxy war by supplying military aid to Ukraine, just at a time when western defence ministers have gathered in Germany for US-hosted talks on supporting Ukraine through what one US general called a “very critical” few weeks.

The chief aim of the US-sponsored talks was to coordinate mounting security assistance to Kyiv that includes heavy weaponry, such as howitzers, as well as armed drones and ammunition.

“The next several weeks will be very, very critical,” Milley said. “They need continued support in order to be successful on the battlefield. And that’s really the purpose of this conference.”

This would mark a significant intensification of the war in Ukraine, which explains the fury with which it has been met in Moscow.

When asked about the importance of avoiding a third world war, Lavrov said: “I would not want to elevate those risks artificially. Many would like that. The danger is serious, real. And we must not underestimate it.”

But the Zelensky clique in Kyiv was jubilant. Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, said that this showed Moscow had lost its “last hope to scare the world off supporting Ukraine”.

“War means war,” Lavrov warned.

The new weapons of war

In reality, the measures already taken by the Americans against Russia would at any time in the past have been seen as acts of war. The imposition of sanctions was intended to cripple the Russian economy.

Clausewitz said that war is only the continuation of politics by other means. Washington has a new variant on this idea. Nowadays, economics is only a continuation of war.

US imperialism has turned trade into a weapon of war. In the good old days, when the British Empire had a problem, they sent a battleship. Nowadays, the Americans send a letter from the Department of Trade.

But their much-vaunted sanctions have failed to bring the Russian economy to its knees and have had no effect whatsoever on Putin’s war plans.

Insofar as it has had any effect, it has been to push most Russians behind Putin and the war. When one young woman in Moscow was asked who was responsible for rising prices, she answered without hesitation: “Those who imposed the sanctions”.

Moreover, sanctions are a double-edged weapon. They have already done very serious damage to the fragile fabric of world trade, disrupting supply chains, causing shortages of many key products, and driving up prices.

Naturally, the Americans are supremely indifferent to the shortage of oil and gas in Europe. They have their own not inconsiderable supplies. But others are not in the same comfortable situation.

The USA is putting heavy pressure on countries like Germany to end its dependence on Russian oil and gas. But despite all the claims to the contrary, Germany cannot find suitable alternative sources at sustainable prices.

And, as we know, principles are principles, but business is business. As for renouncing all use of Russian oil and gas, Germany’s reply brings to mind the celebrated words of Saint Augustine: “Lord, make me chaste – but not yet…”

Meanwhile, the war is not going well for Ukraine. The Russians are concentrating their forces for an all-out offensive in the Donbass, and Mariupol has effectively fallen.

Zelensky’s desperation

Zelensky

Not long ago, the imperialist propaganda machine was insisting that Ukraine was winning the war on all fronts. But the facts point in a different direction.

If Russia wins the battle of the Donbass, it would be a decisive blow for Ukraine. That is why Zelensky continually puts demands on his friends in NATO for more weapons, including tanks, heavy artillery, and even modern fighter jets.

What he would really like (he has repeated this many times) is for NATO to intervene directly: either by sending troops to fight alongside his army, or at least to establish what is known as a ‘no-fly zone’ over Ukraine.

The beleaguered Ukrainian president is increasingly indignant at the fact that his friends in Washington are prepared to fight to the last drop of Ukrainian blood, without engaging in any fighting themselves.

And his frustration is increasingly finding a public expression in his speeches, in which he constantly repeats his desire to speak directly to Vladimir Putin (“the only man who can stop the war”).

Finally, Joe Biden has decided to act. He is determined to show ‘strong leadership’, irrespective of the consequences.

US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin was dispatched to Kyiv where he met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and other top officials. On Monday, speaking in Poland, he assured everyone that the US wants “to see Ukraine remain a sovereign country, a democratic country able to protect its sovereign territory”, which is very nice.

But he also said rather more than he intended concerning the real war aims of US imperialism, that is: “We want to see Russia weakened to the point where it can’t do things like invade Ukraine.”

“The first step in winning is believing that you can win,” and both the US and the Ukrainians “believe that we – they – can win, if they have the right equipment, the right support,” he said; “and we're going to do everything we can and continue to do everything we can.”

One notes with interest the Freudian slip, immediately corrected by the US Defence Secretary. He said it was important that “both the US and the Ukrainians believe that we – they – can win.”

The word ‘we’ clearly refers to the US, while the Ukrainians are added as an afterthought. And there can be no doubt whatsoever as to which thought was uppermost in Mr. Lloyd Austin’s mind.

Cynical policy of US imperialism

It is all very clear. At bottom, this is not a war between Russia and Ukraine. It is a proxy war between Russia and the USA.

Issues like democracy, human rights and national sovereignty are not of the slightest interest to the imperialists, except as cheap propaganda points. But they are very interested in prolonging the war, irrespective of all the human suffering, since they hope that it will serve to weaken Russia.

Unlike the imperialist hypocrites, the working class in the West feels genuine sympathy for the terrible sufferings of millions of poor people in Ukraine. They donate money, clothes and food, which they cannot afford, to help the victims of war. They open their houses and share whatever they have with homeless refugees. And this is to their credit.

But it is one thing to express solidarity with the victims of war. And it is another thing altogether different to support, directly or indirectly, the cynical policy of imperialism, which is exploiting the misery of millions of men, women and children, deliberately prolonging the conflict for its own selfish interests.

Self-determination?

Lenin Image fair use

The key element in the argument of the pacifist warmongers is that we must defend the sovereignty of Ukraine, that is to say its right to self-determination. Since that is the usual excuse for backing Ukraine in the present war, we will deal with that first.

The matter is presented in the following way: The Ukrainian people have the right to self-determination. Ukraine is a sovereign state. Its sovereignty has been violated by a brutal invasion launched by a powerful and aggressive neighbour. We must therefore take the side of the victim against the aggressor.

The question is posed as a simple black and white issue. It is furthermore backed up by repeated references to alleged war crimes and atrocities.

But for Marx, Engels and Lenin, the national question was never a panacea – a sort of blank cheque that could be cashed in by anybody under any circumstances.

What is the Marxist attitude to self-determination? The writings of Lenin deal with this important issue in great detail, and still provide us with a sound foundation to deal with this most complicated question.

Lenin’s arguments are generally known. But as Hegel once remarked, what is known is not necessarily on that account understood. In fact, the most ‘well-known’ propositions are frequently misunderstood on account of the very fact that they are so familiar that their real content has been completely overlooked.

As Hegel pointed out, and as Lenin often quoted, the truth is always concrete.

The first mistake is to imagine that we must defend self-determination in all circumstances, as a fixed and immutable principle. But such an idea has nothing in common with Marxism and it makes two fundamental mistakes.

The right of nations to self-determination is a democratic demand, and Marxists support it, as we support any other democratic demand. But the support for democratic demands in general has never been considered by Marxists as some kind of Categorical Imperative.

Democratic demands are always subordinate to the general interests of the working class and the struggle for socialism.

It is always necessary to evaluate the concrete conditions and to learn to distinguish between what is progressive and what is reactionary in any given movement.

Progressive or reactionary?

The national question can have either a progressive or a reactionary content, depending on the concrete circumstances, the international context, and the implications it has for the class-conscious workers and the relations between the classes.

All these concrete factors must be carefully considered before we can take a position regarding a particular national struggle. Such struggles can, of course, play a progressive role – as was the case of the struggle of the Polish and Irish people for independence in the 19th century, or the fight for the independence of the enslaved colonies in more recent times.

But not every national struggle has a progressive character. And very frequently, the national question can be used as a cover for the most reactionary purposes.

In contrast to people like Proudhon, Marx and Engels gave due consideration to the national question, however, they always considered it as subordinate to the ‘labour question’. That is, they always considered it exclusively from the point of view of the working class and the socialist revolution.

Thus, while they gave support to the struggle of the Polish people for independence, since that struck a blow against Russian tsarism, the main bulwark of European reaction, Marx and Engels refused to support the national struggle of the South Slavs and Czechs, precisely because they saw behind them the hand of Saint Petersburg.

Like Marx, Lenin had a very flexible position on the national question, which he always approached from the standpoint of the general interests of the proletariat and the international revolution.

Lenin on war and the national question

Lenin’s writings on war and the national question set forth the basic Marxist position on this subject, which he developed in a very rich, all-sided and dialectical manner.

Yet even the slightest glance at the literature of groups that today lay claim to the heritage of Lenin is enough to convince oneself that nobody reads Lenin any more; and if they do read his articles, they do not understand a single word.

Dialectics, as Lenin explained many times, deals with phenomena in an all-sided way. To abstract a single element in a complex equation, and to counterpose it to all the other elements in that equation, is a childish misuse of dialectics, known to the history of philosophy as sophism.

Such abuses lead to errors of the crassest type in logic. And in politics, and particularly the politics of the national question, they lead directly to the defence of reactionary positions and the complete abandonment of socialism.

This is shown very clearly by the war in Ukraine. Here we see how the complete failure of so-called ‘Marxists’ to understand the Marxist attitude towards war has led them to abandon the class position altogether.

But the attitude of Marxists to war cannot be determined by sentimental considerations, much less by the hysterical propaganda by which the imperialists seek to conceal their real aims.

There is one specific case where Lenin makes it clear that you do not support the right of nations to self-determination: He regarded the demand to support self-determination (even if it was justified in and of itself) as a monstrous suggestion if it meant dragging the big powers into a war.

In 1916, he recommended to the Poles that they subordinate their struggle for self-determination to the perspective of revolution in Russia and Germany:

“To raise the question of Poland's independence today,” he wrote, “under the existing relations of the neighbouring imperialist powers, it is really to chase after a utopia, to descend to narrow-minded nationalism and forget that a necessary premise is an all-European or at least the Russian and German revolutions.” (LCW, The Discussion on Self-determination Summed Up, vol. 22, p. 350, my emphasis AW.)

Did that advice sound abstract and utopian to many people at the time? No doubt it did. But history showed that Lenin was one hundred percent correct. It was only the Russian Revolution that created the conditions for the establishment of an independent Polish state, whereas every other attempt had ended in disaster.

Likewise, in relation to the struggle of the Serbs against Austria during World War One, Lenin wrote the following:

“In the present war the national element is represented only by Serbia’s war against Austria (which, by the way, was noted in the resolution of our Party’s Berne Conference). It is only in Serbia and among the Serbs that we can find a national-liberation movement of long standing, embracing millions, ‘the masses of the people’, a movement of which the present war of Serbia against Austria is a ‘continuation’. If this war were an isolated one, i.e., if it were not connected with the general European war, with the selfish and predatory aims of Britain, Russia, etc., it would have been the duty of all socialists to desire the success of the Serbian bourgeoisie as this is the only correct and absolutely inevitable conclusion to be drawn from the national element in the present war. However, it is this conclusion that the sophist Kautsky, who is now in the service of the Austrian bourgeoisie, clericals, and militarists, has failed to draw.

“Further, Marxist dialectics, as the last word in the scientific-evolutionary method, excludes any isolated examination of an object, i.e., one that is one-sided and monstrously distorted. The national element in the Serbo-Austrian war is not, and cannot be, of any serious significance in the general European war. If Germany wins, she will throttle Belgium, one more part of Poland, perhaps part of France, etc. If Russia wins, she will throttle Galicia, one more part of Poland, Armenia, etc. If the war ends in a ‘draw’, the old national oppression will remain. To Serbia, i.e., to perhaps one per cent or so of the participants in the present war, the war is a ‘continuation of the politics’ of the bourgeois-liberation movement. To the other ninety-nine per cent, the war is a continuation of the politics of imperialism, i.e., of the decrepit bourgeoisie, which is capable only of raping nations, not freeing them. The Triple Entente, which is ‘liberating’ Serbia, is selling the interests of Serbian liberty to Italian imperialism in return for the latter’s aid in robbing Austria.”

This is quite clear. If we take the struggle of the Serbian people for self-determination against Austrian imperialism in isolation from the general international context, we would have to support the Serbs.

But in the context of a European war, which reduces itself to a fight between different groups of imperialist robbers, and in which small nations become merely the small change of this or that imperialism, we cannot give support.

In particular, we should remember what Lenin said about the impermissibility of supporting the struggle for self-determination if that meant dragging the workers of Europe into a general war.

And at the present moment in history, in what way could the extension of the Ukrainian conflict into a general European conflagration – or even a world war – possibly serve the interests of the workers of Europe and the world socialist revolution?

We leave that to our readers to decide. The truth is always concrete.

Ukrainian self-determination

Azov

Do we support Ukrainian self-determination? Of course, we do. Do the Ukrainian people have the right to decide their own future as an independent state? We answer unequivocally: Yes, they do have such a right. They have proved their right to exist as a separate state for a long time.

But that does not exhaust the question. Let us now ask another question. Do the Ukrainians have the right to oppress people of other nationalities who live on their national territory? For example, do they have the right to impose discriminatory laws against the many people in Ukraine who speak Russian as their first language? To that question we answer equally emphatically in the negative.

Let us remind ourselves that one of the first measures adopted by the nationalist Ukrainian regime that came to power after the Maidan coup was to impose all manner of discriminatory laws directed against Russian speakers. It was this, more than anything else, that led to the uprising in Donbass, which ended in the breakaway of the two rebel areas in the east.

The rapid rise of fascist and other extreme Ukrainian nationalist movements also caused alarm in Crimea, where the majority consists of Russian speaking people, who do not feel any particular affinity to Ukraine.

That ended in the breakaway of Crimea, which, despite all the propaganda about Russian annexation, was supported by the great majority of the inhabitants of that region and approved subsequently in a referendum.

Thus, the victory of nationalism in Ukraine immediately had the effect of the loss of a significant part of its territory. They later attempted to regain the lost lands in the east by a vicious campaign of shelling that killed thousands of people. This fact has long been ignored or downplayed by the western media, but it has played a significant role in detonating the present invasion.

A struggle of living forces

It is difficult to say how the war is progressing. The information of the military situation in the media is so sparse as to be almost non-existent. And the constant predictions of Russian defeats must be regarded with caution.

The latest shipment of arms, including modern weaponry from the US may provide some relief to the Ukrainian side, but it will scarcely make up for the crushing superiority of the Russian forces that are now concentrated in Donbass. The outlook for the Ukrainian forces there is not very bright.

But war is a struggle of living forces. And in a broader sense, the Russian side may be facing more serious difficulties. In the final analysis, the weight of Russia, its great industrial strength and bigger population must eventually prevail. But war is never a simple question, and there can be yet many complicating elements.

The question of morale can play a crucial role. According to all the available evidence, the war has the support of the big majority of people in Russia. For the present, at least, Putin’s position seems secure.

However, according to my sources in Russia, the highest levels of support are to be found among the older layers of the population, whereas support among young people is only about 30 to 40 percent. But it is among that layer that the future conscripts will have to be found to fight in Ukraine.

For all these reasons, Putin may have to settle for the conquest of a large slice of territory in the Donbass and along the coastal region. That may be considered a success of sorts, but it will fall short of a complete victory, and it will have negative consequences for the working class of both countries.

Terrible damage will have been done to the centuries-old sense of brotherhood and solidarity between the Russian people and the people of Ukraine. The moods of mutual mistrust, bitterness and suspicion will not be easy to eradicate. And on such poisonous soil, the extreme chauvinists on both sides can draw new strength and become even more aggressive and arrogant.

Those are the reasons why we oppose this war. Whatever the final result, the balance sheet from the standpoint of the working class and the socialist revolution will be negative. 

Nevertheless, all history shows that the fog of war will eventually lift. The class question will again come to the fore, creating favourable conditions for the re-emergence of the class struggle in both Russia and Ukraine.

Can we support Zelensky?

Uncle Sam2 Image In Defence of Marxism

The reactionary nature of Putin’s regime is quite clear. But that of the Ukrainian side has been systematically concealed by the propaganda machine. The fascist bandits of the Azov brigade, who Washington not long ago wanted to put on the list of terrorist organisations, are now being presented as heroic freedom fighters and even defenders of democracy.

As for the so-called Ukrainian democracy: that is more apparent than real. Let us remind ourselves that one of the reasons why NATO delayed accepting Ukrainian membership was because of a ‘democratic deficit’.

And the sovereignty of Ukraine? That too is a myth. The war has shown clearly that the Zelensky regime is entirely dependent on foreign masters. The Americans pay the bills and supply the weapons by which they hope that the Ukrainians will fight to the last drop of their blood to defend the interests of US imperialism against its enemy, Russia. And who pays the piper will always call the tune.

The present regime in Kyiv is entirely at the mercy of US imperialism. For all his bravado and bold speeches, Zelensky can do nothing and decide nothing except what is dictated to him from Washington. And Washington has decided that it is better for Ukraine to continue to bleed to death in order to weaken its principal adversary, Russia. The lives and suffering of the Ukrainian people simply do not feature in its calculations.

This is a power struggle between US imperialism and Russia. Only a fool or a rogue could ever deny that. Sadly, there are not a few of both kinds – especially in what used to be called ‘the Left’.

The clear deterioration of Ukraine’s position on the eastern front means that Zelensky continues to press his demands, seemingly oblivious to the consequences for the rest of the world. As Lenin once said, a man standing on the edge of a precipice does not reason.

Playing with fire

The risk of an all-out war in Europe is something which the Americans and their European allies have, up until now, found too terrifying to contemplate. At this point, the interests of western imperialism and the Zelensky regime were beginning to drift apart.

For all the hypocritical propaganda and crocodile tears about the sufferings of the poor Ukrainian people (very genuine sufferings, of course), they had (and still have) no intention of putting themselves at risk.

Let us remind ourselves of the fundamentals. The capitalists do not wage war for patriotism, democracy, or any other high-sounding principles. They wage war for profit, to capture foreign markets, sources of raw material (such as oil), and to expand spheres of influence.

A nuclear war would signify none of these things, but only the mutual destruction of both sides. They have even coined a phrase to describe this: MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction). This is a matter that ought to sober up even the most deluded minds.

But some minds seem to be more deluded than others. Joe Biden – never the sharpest brain in Washington – appears to be suffering from some of the symptoms of advanced senile decay. He is evidently haunted by the vision of ex-President Trump, whose megalomania habitually expressed itself in bouts of macho-man assertiveness – to the evident horror of his advisers.

Biden’s attempt to step into his predecessor’s outsized shoes do not look particularly convincing from the PR point of view. But the words spoken by the President of the world’s most powerful nation will inevitably have far-reaching effects – and not all of them foreseen by the man who uttered them.

To accuse the President of the Russian Federation of being a war criminal was not quite in the acceptable tradition of diplomacy or presidential good manners. After all, sooner or later, Uncle Joe will have to sit down at a negotiating table with the very man he has accused of being a criminal.

Even Zelensky understands that much. No wonder the White House officials immediately fell over themselves to say that he did not really mean what he said. The next day he said it again. That there’s real fighting talk, partner!

Now loudmouth Joe has gone several steps further, provoking Moscow to the very limit of its tolerance. The results will not be long in forthcoming.

But what will they be? The Americans have pushed things to a point where Russia will be compelled to respond. On several occasions Putin has reminded the West that Russia possesses both nuclear weapons and the power to send them over great distances.

It has become customary in the western media to portray the Russian leader, not only as a war criminal, but also as a man who is completely deranged. But whatever else one might say about the man in the Kremlin, he is not insane, and is capable of making rational judgements. The same cannot be said about the present occupant of the White House.

The likelihood of Russia resorting to nuclear weapons any time soon is very small. But they have already warned that the promised deliveries of sophisticated weapons by NATO will mean that they will be targeted.

That was predictable and spelled out by Lavrov, who said: “These weapons will be a legitimate target for Russia’s military acting within the context of the special operation.”

And Russia can step up its war effort in many ways rather than entering a course that might lead to World War III.

What that means in practice, only time will tell. But as the Bible says: “Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned?”

The question naturally answers itself.

Vladimir Putin – Stalin’s heir

JosephStalin

Some foolish people have the illusion that somehow Putin represents a progressive force in the world. That is the height of stupidity. Is the present Russian state a bourgeois state? Of course it is!

Russia is now a capitalist regime, dominated by a rapacious oligarchy that has grown fabulously wealthy by appropriating all the wealth created by the Soviet working class. It is ruled by a gang of thieves whose only interest is to feather their own nest at the expense of the Russian people.

After three decades, nothing is left of what was progressive in the old Soviet Union. The wealth of the people has been stolen by a pack of thieves, and at its head stands a man who imitates the worst aspects of the rotten tsarist regime and its Stalinist heir.

But at least Stalin, in the final analysis, rested on the historic conquests of the October Revolution: a nationalised planned economy. But now that last vestige of the socialist past has been liquidated.

Does Vladimir Putin represent the interests of the Russian or Ukrainian working class? Not in the slightest degree! He stands for the interests of the corrupt and voracious oligarchy who he provides with a central point of support and who, in turn, keep him in power.

From such a poisonous regime, nothing progressive is to be expected. And foreign policy is merely the reflection of domestic policy. This must be kept firmly in mind when we come to analyse the present situation.

Let us remind ourselves of the very words that Lenin used in his conflict with Stalin, who he likened to “that really Russian man, the Great-Russian chauvinist, in substance a rascal and a tyrant, such as the typical Russian bureaucrat is”. These words are a very accurate description of the man who now sits at Stalin’s desk in the Kremlin.

How does Vladimir Putin propose to resolve the ‘Ukrainian question’? By the same means he uses to solve every problem: by brute force. This former KGB agent is, in that sense, a faithful disciple of Stalin.

If the Russian workers were in power, the entire situation would be different. By sweeping away the rule of a corrupt and degenerate oligarchy and establishing a genuine workers’ democracy, Russia would once more act as a beacon, encouraging the workers of Ukraine to throw off the yoke of their own thieving oligarchs and their political puppets.

But Putin’s regime can have no power of attraction for the people of Ukraine. On the contrary, Putin is driving them into the arms of reactionary nationalism.

Robespierre once famously remarked “nobody likes missionaries who come with bayonets”. He said that at a time when the Great French Revolution was still in a healthy and progressive phase. But all that changed under Napoleon, whose oppressive rule provoked a general upsurge of nationalist revolt in Europe, which played a key role in his final downfall.

There is no need to accept the obviously malicious accusations of the hired western media about alleged Russian war crimes. Nor should we accept at face value everything the same lying media says about the alleged failures of the Russian military campaign.

But a Bonapartist regime can only wage war in a Bonapartist manner. It is not hard to imagine that quite a number of problems in Russia’s Ukrainian campaign are connected to the endemic corruption, cronyism, and inefficiency of that regime.

A genuine Red Army would combine the armed struggle with a class appeal to the Ukrainian working class. But there is very little sign of that. This means that the Ukrainians will continue to offer resistance. The war will be unnecessarily prolonged and bloody.

For a class position!

For us the most important questions is: which class and, in whose interest, is the war being waged? This is the essential question that must be answered as a prior condition for taking a principled class position.

To depart a single millimetre from the class position is to enter into a slippery slope that leads inevitably to the swamp of betrayal and reaction. We forget this elementary fact at our peril.

In the days immediately following the outbreak of the war, I wrote the following:

“It goes without saying that Putin and the oligarchy that he serves are the enemies of the Russian workers. And his support base has been steadily declining, which was obviously one of the reasons why he decided to play the card of invading Ukraine. It is also true that that may well backfire on him at a certain stage.

“However, any suggestion that the reactionary imperialists can in any sense, shape or form, defend the interests of the people of Russia, Ukraine, or any other country is a despicable lie and a deception of the people.

“The Ukrainian people have learned from painful experience just how much the promised help and solidarity of NATO and the West was worth when the decisive moment arrived. They see the Ukrainian people as mere pawns in a cynical game; cannon fodder that can be usefully sacrificed in order to bring discredit upon Russia, without costing them the life of a single soldier.

“No trust whatsoever should be placed on these gangsters. And that is particularly true for workers and socialists in the West.

“The task of fighting against the reactionary gang in the Kremlin is the task of the Russian workers alone. Our task is to fight against our bourgeoisie, against NATO, and against American imperialism – the most counterrevolutionary force on the planet.”

Our opposition has nothing in common with the disgusting hypocrisy of the imperialists. And however reactionary Putin may be, his crimes are as nothing compared to the infamous brutality of US imperialism, whose hands are forever stained with the blood of countless innocent victims in every part of the globe.

On 11 March, I wrote the following:

“It is NATO – especially the Americans and British – that pushed the Ukraine into the present conflict with Russia for their own ends, and then cynically stood back and watched as the Ukrainian people drowned in a sea of blood. They were responsible for this unnecessary war – and they are now responsible for deliberately prolonging it in their own cynical interests.

“Our sympathies are entirely on the side of the suffering Ukrainian people, who are the innocent victims of this cynical game of great power politics. But the sufferings will only end when the war itself is brought to an end. Those who continually press them to continue fighting, when they know perfectly well how this will end and have not the slightest intention of lifting a finger to help militarily, are no friends of the Ukrainian people. They are your worst enemies.”

I see no reason to change one word of this today.