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The presidential elections in the Ukraine have generated a few more episodes in the unending anti-Ukrainian campaign in Russian TV. The hosts of the various different channels ridiculed the fact that the problems most felt by Ukrainians are being openly discussed, as well as the mutual accusations between the two candidates which reached the 2nd round, Poroshenko e Zelenskiy. They did the same about the debate held on a crowded soccer field, about the dates for debates, and even about the urine tests both candidates took to discard the use of illegal substances, thus happily finding the neighbouring country to be “in a mess”.

Written by the Internationalist Workers Party (MezhRP) – Russia

Indeed, things are not like that in Russia: could we even imagine a situation where in a crowded stadium, while being broadcasted across the country, an opposing candidate (what does that mean, anyway?) asked Putin, “how is it, Mr. President, that you raised the minimum age for retirement claiming there were no resources, while the oligarchs hit new profit records?”; “explain, Mr. President, why the food is more costly every day and reaching the end of the month is getting harder, while your friends in government and the same oligarchs make fortunes exploiting the natural resources of the country and receiving huge public funding?”; “why, Mr. President, does half of what is earned with the oil exports goes to foreign banks?”; “how, Mr. President, did half of the biggest public bank in the country, the Sberbank, get in the hands of US investment funds?”; “why, Mr. President, did you give over to Kadyrov[1] a whole slice of Ingushetia?”; or maybe “How was this thing of getting into a war with the Ukraine?”.

No, among “us”, in Russia, there is no such Ukrainian “mess”. In Russia, there is “order”. In public we discuss nothing, everybody has the same opinion. His Majesty sits on the throne for 20 years already and shows no signs of wanting out. He debates with no one. The so-called “opposition” candidates, who take part in the so-called “elections”, with their usual poker faces, never criticize the “winner of the elections”, who is already previously known. After all, one does not spit in the same plate he eats from. Neither does the great leader submit to urine tests, after all, he is the “symbol” of the nation! In Russia we work more and more, we receive less and less, we live worse and worse, and as a bonus we all live with a gag in our mouths! Try to complain louder than in one of the conversations whispered between two people in the corridors and soon very responsible officers of the competent organ will explain you… that Russia is not the Ukraine! That it is better to stay at home and shut up, eating pasta with nothing and watching through the television how everything goes from bad to worse… in the Ukraine.

The truth is that the anti-Ukraine campaign of Russian TV unmasks by itself its own Goebbelian propaganda of the last 5 years. Dozens of candidates taking part of the Ukrainian electoral campaign, including some pro-Russian ones (amidst a Russian military offensive against Ukraine!!), an actual campaign, with polemics and denunciations, that discusses the most important questions of the country, with open debates held in soccer stadiums and broadcasted across the country… a direct demonstration of the democratic freedoms conquered by the country after the 2014 revolution, leaving no stone unturned among the lies that “the fascists took power in Kiev”, lies needed by Putin to justify before the Russian people the war against the Ukraine and the annexation of its territories. Lies which, let us not forget, have been parroted by Stalinism and its satellites around the globe, accomplices of Putin in his policy of defeating the Ukrainian revolution.

The massive voting in the entire country for candidates who defend Maidan 2014 (even if this defence is only in words) also unmasks once and for all every lie about the so-called “coup” in the Ukraine, that is, that the toppling of the then-ruling government was a result of “American manoeuvres” instead of the result of the struggle of the Ukrainian people in the barricades of Maiden. Nothing is farther from the truth. The Maidan of 2014 remains the unifying banner of the immense majority of Ukrainians in these elections, and the accusation of a “coup” was an invention of Putin to slander and vilify the Ukrainian Revolution, so that the Russians did not follow the example of their Ukrainian brothers, since there is ample reason for that.

The voting across all Ukraine in candidates opposed to the Russian occupation, who called this the most important open wound of the country, is in itself a clear indication that the Ukrainians do not and will not forgive Putin for the annexation, as well as clear indication of their intention of defending their country against the Russian aggression.

The utter defeat countrywide of the pro-Russian candidates Boiko e Vilkul (who were defeated even in the Russian-speaking regions, like Odessa and Kharkov [2]), as well as the fact that the winner Zelenskiy, who is Russian-speaking, reveals in vibrant colours the general mood of the Ukrainians and the difficulties Putin has in his attempt of dividing the country between East and West, between Russian and Ukrainian speakers.

Just as the pro-Russian candidates, those identified with the traditional Ukrainian political elite were also defeated. Yulia Timoshenko did not even reach the 2nd round and Petro Poroshenko, current president and oligarch, was soundly defeated by the “not-politician” Zelenskiy, who got three fourths of the vote on the 2nd round. The wide democratic freedoms in the Ukrainian elections, the clear victory of a candidate who is neither an oligarch nor connected with the traditional Ukrainian political elite and who fights (at least in his words) against it, shows the political crisis of the country’s bourgeoisie, which cannot be understood outside the framework of the Ukrainian Revolution.

It is evident that the triumph of Zelenskiy, who played the part of the candidate “against everybody”, will not satisfy the will of Maidan and the Ukrainian people. Though he won as the “new”, as a candidate “outside the system” and at times even echoing the spirit of Maidan in his speeches against the oligarchs, he will not question the Ukrainian capitalism, that is, the control of the country by the oligarchs. The interests of the oligarchs can be summed up as the maintenance of their business, for which they need Western credit on one hand and the normalization of the relations with Russia, that is, Putin, on the other. As such, the Ukrainian oligarchs are the managers of colonization of the country by the Western capital and at the same time are not interested in any coherent resistance against the Russian occupation of Crimea and the Donbass. The Ukrainian oligarchs are obstacles situated directly on the path of the realization of the main demand of the Maidan, which is an..

United and independent Ukraine.

This is why Zelenskiy, when he does not question the control of the oligarchs over the country, may just go on selling it, manoeuvring in the narrow space between the interests of the oligarchs, Putin’s aggression, the process of imperialist colonization and the pressure from below, by the people, which we continue getting poorer, suffering the effects of having part of their country occupied and the ransacking by oligarchs and foreign capital. There is no way out for the country without freedom from Russian occupation and the nationalization of the wealth currently in the hands of the oligarchs and the foreign capital. And thus, it is necessary to continue the 2014 revolution.

Due to the lack of an alternative of the working class, the revolution of 2014 gave over power to the Ukrainian bourgeoisie. And thus it remains unfinished. This lack of alternative is still the fundamental problem of the Ukrainian Revolution. Even with a the democratic freedoms conquered, there was a not single candidate of the Ukrainian elections that represented the interests of the working class. This is the result of the “Ukrainian left”, which was already tiny in 2014, vanished after either supporting the hated government of Viktor Yanukovich, toppled by the masses, or simply abstaining from the process, looking out the window while hundreds of thousands of people marched on Kiev’s streets.

Other than their “own” enemies represented by the Ukrainian oligarchs, the Ukrainian workers and people have right now a main enemy, Putin, who not tyrannizes over the Russian people with an authoritarian regime centred on the FSB [3] and defends the interests of the Russian oligarchs, but also leads a war against the Ukraine and her revolution, taking over the border regions with his “little green men” and “gentle people”[4] and annexing Crimea and the Donbass. Putin dealt a blow to the Ukrainian Revolution and at the same time, using the lack of immunity on the part of the Russian workers against great-Russian hysteria and chauvinism, managed to gather support to his regime inside the country, in a moment in which the trust in his across Russia began to drop due to the constant worsening of living conditions.

By the way, it was on the patriotic wave of the “Crimea is ours!” campaign that he managed to approve the raising of the retirement age against the working class. If European imperialism submits the Ukraine on the financial aspect, intensifying the dependent character of the country, in the case of Putin it is directly a war, with thousands of bodies, hundreds of thousands of refugees and occupied territories. War is war, after all.

In such conditions, the central task of the Ukrainian revolution, the first condition for the independence of the country, is liberation from the Russian occupation. Russia has the 2nd greatest army in the world. For the Ukraine to defeat in a purely military capacity Russia is not possible today. In order to turn the Ukraine into Putin’s Vietnam it is necessary that the Ukrainian revolutionary process crosses the borders and spreads across Russia. The liberation of the occupied territories requires inevitably that the oligarchical regime of Putin/FSB be toppled: the fall of the regime that today, with its bear hug, leads the impoverishment of Russian workers, who due to this also need his toppling, is impossible without their direct participation. The liberation of the Ukraine from Putin’s occupation, thus, is fused together with the liberation of Russian workers from the oppression of the regime of Putin, the FSB and their oligarchs.

And on the other hand, the maintenance of the occupation of the Ukraine leads to deeper enslavement of the Russian workers by “their” regime, which represents the common misfortune of the workers of both Russia and the Ukraine. Thus, by annexing the Ukrainian territories, Putin has welded together the fates of the Russian and the Ukrainian revolution into a single revolution. He thus has made it harder for the Ukrainian people to conquer a united, independent the Ukraine, but at the same time he has made his own life harder, since now he has not only to keep the Russian workers passive amidst adverse economic conditions, but also to face the danger of the Ukrainian workers, who for a long time now have abandoned any passivity.

And for all of this, the Ukrainian Revolution is also our revolution, of us Russian workers, of whose success and continuation depends also our own liberation. That is why, in the matter of Putin’s war against the Ukraine, we, the Russian workers and people as a whole, must be totally on the side of the Ukraine and her revolution, against the police regime of Putin, the FSB, and the oligarchs, enslavers of the Ukrainian and of us Russians.

[1] Kadyrov is the President of Chechnya, and Ingushetia is a republic which borders Chechnya.

[2] These two candidates were only highly voted for in the regions of Lugansk and Donetsk, the two that are partially occupied by Russian mercenaries.

[3] Federal Security Service, the political police, heir to the KGB

[4] “Little green men” and “gentle people” was the jocose form which Putin used to refer to the Russian mercenaries in the region, while hypocritically denying their presence

Translated by Miki Sayoko