Since the counter-revolution in the Soviet Union and other socialist countries we have witnessed the advance of the long-held NATO strategy of recolonising eastern Europe, fragmenting and breaking up federal states, such as Russia and Yugoslavia, and, most importantly, isolating and marginalising Russia.
Russia under Yeltsin was subservient to the wishes of the principal imperialist powers, the United States and the European Union. These power blocs have long cherished the dismemberment of what was the old Russian empire—not that they believe in the freedom of nations but rather to impose their own economic and strategic interests on the newly “liberated” peoples.
Anti-Russian sentiment is a very old feature in western ideology. The Bolshevik Revolution struck panic and terror into the heart of the ruling class around the world; and now we have Putin’s Russia being the bogeyman.
Putin is no friend of working people, either in Russia or anywhere else, but he is not completely in the pocket of the Western powers. He asserts and defends the interests of the Russian state, of the Russian elite and their strategic interests and ambitions. This brings him at certain times into conflict with western imperialism.
Events in Ukraine are a lesson for those who are prepared to learn them: how imperialism implements its strategy of destabilisation, subversion, and arming reactionaries, with compliant media spreading their version of events. This is the same strategy being applied in Syria, Venezuela and certain countries in Africa and that was applied in Libya to such horrendous effect.
What has also been exposed is the role of the so-called “social media.” These are not the democratic “space” that so many believe. They are now a weapon used by imperialism to influence public opinion and in particular that of young people. They are a godsend to the agents and provocateurs working for Western economic and political interests.
From the very beginning of the colour-coded “revolutions” the strategy has been to break up one country after another, stirring up national and religious tensions and extreme nationalist forces.
In Ukraine they are attempting to split the people along linguistic grounds, a people who have lived together for hundreds of years. This strategy is aimed at both weakening Ukraine internally and breaking it away from its historical relationship with Russia, thereby ensuring that NATO military bases, including American tactical missiles, can be stationed right up to the Russian border.
The western strategy has a number of important components:
- securing a military foothold in Ukraine, including missile systems capable of launching nuclear weapons into the heart of Russia;
- pushing the Russian naval fleet out of the Black Sea;
- gaining access to significant natural resources and controlling a significant food source for Russia;
- isolating and surrounding Russia and further encouraging its fragmentation and weakening, part of the global strategy of surrounding Russia and China.
The ruling oligarchs in Ukraine are obviously divided about what is in their best class interests. Some have close ties with the Russian oligarchs; others have strong economic interests and investments in western Europe.
Much has been made by the media of Viktor Yanukovich’s luxurious life-style; but is it any different from that that of our own oligarchs—O’Brien, Smurfit, O’Reilly, and the rest? We are never allowed to discuss their wealth, how they accumulated it or how they spend it.
As events now unfold in Ukraine, only the very naïve believe that western ruling elements are standing up for democracy and human rights. There is a grave danger of a wider military confrontation. The fascists within the coup government have publicly declared their intention of building nuclear weapons or “dirty” bombs.
Not all the protesters were fascists; but the fascists provided the cutting edge and the physical violence that has now secured them four seats in the interim government. The fascists of Ukraine are old allies of German interests. These are the same forces that fought internally against Soviet power, carrying out assassinations and sabotage from 1917 right up to the late 1950s. Ukrainian fascists were active collaborators with the Nazis when fascist Germany invaded the Soviet Union, and they slaughtered thousands of anti-fascist partisans.
The EU, and in particular Germany, as well as the United States, had no qualms about encouraging the fascist elements, as they knew from the first “orange revolution” that the middle and professional classes could not deliver what western strategy desired. As they have done time out of number, they resorted to the fascists to secure the necessary muscle for creating the destabilising conditions that suit their interests.
The EU has promised economic assistance to whatever government emerges, provided it is subservient. And we know from our own experience what EU “assistance” means: the imposing of a savage debt burden, massive cuts in public services, the privatisation of public companies and services, additional taxes and levies, as well as the complete loss of political and economic sovereignty.
The EU has crucified the Greek, Portuguese and Irish people with the savage austerity packages. No money was to be found for bailing out the peoples of Greece, Cyprus, Portugal or Ireland but plenty for bailing out the banks and global finance houses. With friends like these, who needs enemies? Only a fool would believe that the EU is an honest broker in the events in Ukraine.
The unfolding events have also exposed certain tensions between the competing interests of the EU and the United States, with the leaked tapes of the US ambassador outlining the US strategy to outmanoeuvre the Germans and get their own person in.
One must sympathise with the Ukrainian people, living under capitalism and the rule of pernicious oligarchs, which has resulted in great suffering for all the peoples of the former Soviet Union, with the robbery of state property and the loss of social provisions established under socialism. They have have seen nearly 90 per cent of all industries once publicly owned now privatised, and the same with natural resources. The majority of the people have been impoverished to enrich a handful of oligarchs, who have stashed their wealth in western banks.
The people of Ukraine may want greater personal and political freedom, but they are looking in the wrong place. The European Union will not provide freedom or greater economic equality or social justice. It can only supply gross inequality, the increased plundering of Ukraine’s natural resources, political subservience, and involvement in the aggressive military bloc of NATO.
Among the lessons that the left needs to learn from the events in Ukraine are that the EU is not a benign force, some sort of balance against the aggressive United States: it is driven by the needs of European monopoly capitalism and its global interests. The EU’s democratic credentials are shallow, a mere façade to cover its real class nature. For those who consider themselves of the left, the pressing need is to realise that the EU cannot be reformed or transformed but must be challenged, defeated, and broken up.
The same strategy of creating instability and subversion is now being applied to Venezuela. Western forces believe that if they can bring down the government of Venezuela they can roll back the people’s social and economic gains instituted by progressive governments in a number of Latin American countries, with the ultimate prize of overthrowing and defeating socialist power in Cuba.
To build solidarity with Cuba and Venezuela is now a priority for everyone who believes in democracy and social justice. The Cuban people have suffered nearly six decades of subversion and destabilisation by the imperialist powers, in particular the United States. We need to do everything we can to prevent them implementing their anti-people strategies.
Communist Party of Ireland