Sat Sep 30, 2023
September 30, 2023

Two months of fierce resistance against the Russian invader

Two months have passed since Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine. Russia’s enormous military superiority and the speed of its advance during the first days raised the probability of a quick and overwhelming victory, without much cost for the invaders. That dynamic was reversed however and, now, the reality is different. No one can predict the end of the war.
By Daniel Sugasti
Things did not go according to the expectations of Putin and his clique of oligarchs. Their plans crashed, first of all, against the fierce, sometimes desperate, resistance of the Ukrainian people. A resistance, armed or unarmed, from a population that became fully involved in the defense of its national independence.
The fundamental reason – not the only one, of course – why Ukraine continues to exist as an independent nation after two months of being invaded by the second largest military power on the planet, is the willingness of the Ukrainian people to fight. They face the Russian troops without the necessary weapons and endure all kinds of hardships and barbaric acts on behalf of the aggressor, such as the executions of civilians and mass graves in Bucha, Mariupol, or the air attack on the Mariupol Theater – despite the fact that the word “children” could be seen from the air -, or the bombing of the Kramatorsk train station – where hundreds of people trying to flee from the war were crowded together.

These atrocities confirm that Putin’s war, in addition to an act of conquest, employs tactics of extermination of the nation of Ukraine.
Russian failure in Kiev
After weeks in which the assault on Kiev was announced as imminent, the hard resistance and counter-offensives of the Ukrainian Army and popular militias, in addition to a string of logistical and communication problems in Russian ranks, led to an unexpected announcement by the Kremlin: Putin’s troops would withdraw from the periphery of Kiev and from the north and northeast of the country, to concentrate on a “second phase” of the war, the so-called “liberation” of the Donbas.
Russia’s retreat in the face of countless problems in attacking and taking the Ukrainian capital, which would have meant practically the definitive victory, constitutes an important partial conquest of the oppressed nation. Putin was defeated in his first onslaught against Kiev.

Russia’s tactical shift intensified the brutality of the siege of the port city of Mariupol, on the shores of the Sea of Azov. Incessant artillery shelling left the city in ruins, with nearly 100,000 civilians trapped in it, without drinking water, food, medicine, heating, and surviving underground. The conquest of Mariupol, as is known, is important for the Russians as it would allow them to link to Crimea, Ukrainian territory annexed by Russia in 2014, with the areas controlled by pro-Russian separatist mercenaries in Donetsk and Lugansk.
In the midst of the battle for Mariupol, a second Ukrainian victory resounded: the sinking of the missile ship Moskva, flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. This further strengthened Ukrainian morale and showed the world both the determination of the defenders and the fragilities of the attackers.
The sum of setbacks prompted Putin to appoint Aleksandr Dvornikov, the “Butcher of Syria” as the new commander of Russian forces in Ukraine.
In recent days, the Kremlin announced the conquest of Mariupol, despite the fact that there are still pockets of Ukrainian resistance, mainly those entrenched in the Azovstal steel factory, a redoubt of 11 square kilometers. About 2,000 defending soldiers are resisting there together with about 1,000 civilians, according to Ukrainian sources. After repeated ultimatums, all rejected by the Ukrainians, Putin ordered to abort the attacks on the steel plant, but to tighten the siege so that “not a fly could get through”, that is, to starve and thirst them. However, on Saturday, April the 23rd the Russians resumed heavy artillery fire on the steel plant. In any case, the non-surrender of the last defenders of Mariupol, in the midst of a dramatic situation, prevented Putin from being able to present a resounding victory.
However, Russian control of Mariupol is a heavy blow for Ukraine, since it loses an important outlet to the sea and complicates any plan to regain its sovereignty over the Donbas region.
The battle for the Donbas region
The fighting in the east will be brutal and protracted. Russia has repositioned and concentrated its troops for a full-scale attack. Ukrainian soldiers are more experienced and their morale is high. But they lack heavy and technologically advanced weapons. Nor do they have fighter jets to contest control of the skies with the Russians. Despite their rhetoric of “solidarity” with Ukraine, neither NATO nor any government delivered the weapons needed to improve the country’s defense, let alone reverse the course of the war.
Putin cannot afford any more setbacks. He needs a landslide victory. It is now known that the Russian intention in this “second phase” of the war is to control all of eastern and southern Ukraine, all the way to Transnistria, a pro-Russian separatist region of Moldova. This was admitted by General Rustam Minnekayev. This puts under the spotlight, in addition to the whole Donbas region, Odessa and Mikolaiv, two southern cities under Ukrainian control.
The battle for the Donbas region is decisive and will intensify the horror of war. A resounding victory for Russia may revive its plans to take over the entirety of Ukraine. A stalemate or a defeat of the invaders will open another dynamic in the conflict.
No trust in Zelenski or imperialism
The Ukrainian people, who have shown impressive social strength, have no reason to entrust their fate to the bourgeoisie and puppet government of US and European Union (EU) imperialism presided over by Zelenski. Sooner or later, the government of the oligarchs will sabotage the popular resistance and capitulate to Putin, probably ceding Ukrainian territory.
The war, on the other hand, has shown that the hypocrisy of imperialism knows no bounds. Ukraine receives praise and speeches of support from the imperialist governments, but the fact is that that country did not receive any heavy weaponry, not even a fighter plane. That is why the demand to all governments, imperialist or not, for an unconditional shipment of heavy weapons to Ukraine remains an inescapable and decisive task at this time.
Workers’ convoy to Ukraine
It is urgent to redouble efforts to ensure solidarity with the Ukrainian resistance. In that sense, between April and May, the Workers Convoy of the International Trade Union Network of Solidarity and Struggles will go to Ukraine to bring humanitarian aid and strengthen ties with the class resistance in the country against the Russian invasion. In several countries, sectors of the working class took up collections to show active solidarity with their Ukrainian class brothers and sisters. The Convoy is an initiative that takes up the best of the internationalist tradition of the workers’ movement, an act of solidarity that deserves the support of any socialist, democrat and defender of human rights and the right to national self-determination of the people.

We call for the banner of support for the Ukrainian resistance to be taken up at events and marches on May Day, the international day of the working class.
Unfortunately, a broad sector of the so-called left supports Putin (like Stalinism and Castro-Chavism) or remains equidistant, raising pacifist slogans, such as the deceitful “No to War”, a generality that equals aggressors with the attacked, and the rejection of the demand for arms so that Ukraine can defend itself.
The IWT-FI, for its part, will remain in the front line of support for Ukraine occupied by Putin’s troops. Only by supporting the Ukrainian resistance can NATO, the US, the EU and Zelensky’s own oligarchic government, incapable of facing the struggle against the Russian aggressor to the last consequences, be fought and unmasked.
Workers of the world, unite in support of the Ukrainian resistance!
For the defeat of the Russian troops!
Long live the Ukrainian resistance!
No trust in the USA, EU, or NATO!
For the dissolution of NATO!

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