YESTERDAY President Putin put himself forward not just as the defender of Russian speakers in Ukraine, but as the Guardian of Order in the area.
After warning that he would defend Russian speakers who are under attack from Ukrainian fascists, following their EU-US-backed coup in Kiev, he also addressed a situation that has seen a massive outburst of anger in the working class, especially in the east and south of the country.
There, the administrative buildings in Donetsk and in many other regions have been stormed by thousands of workers, led by self-defence groups which have swept the Maidan gang who were guarding them into the gutter.
The Ukrainian working class is now on the march and is deeply conscious of where it has come from. It played a major role in the 1917 Russian Revolution, in the struggle against the ‘Brown Plague’ in the Second World War, and now is fighting the conspiracy to drive it into the arms of the EU’s bankers, via a fascist-led coup.
Workers have told astonished western journalists, ‘This is our 1917’.
Putin himself warned yesterday that experts were warning that Ukraine was undergoing a revolution, and that the nation that came out of it would not be the same as it was before it, similar to the way Russia transformed itself during and after the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917.
In this situation, Putin sought to project himself as the representative of the force that would keep order and prevent chaos.
He emphasised that Russia will not go to war with the people of Ukraine, but will use its troops to protect citizens if radicals in power in Kiev now try to use violence against Ukrainian civilians, particularly ethnic Russians.
He conceded that the Ukrainian people had a legitimate reason to protest against Yanukovych’s power, considering the overwhelming corruption and other faults of his presidency.
He sympathised with some of the Maidan demonstration members, who were genuinely outraged with the situation in Ukraine, but warned that what is happening now may be a replacement of one group of crooks with another, citing the appointments of notorious oligarchs by the Kiev regime, in the last few days, to run eastern Ukraine provinces.
He agreed that Yanukovych is powerless in Ukraine, but legally speaking is the legitimate president of the country. At the same time, he did not see any political future for Yanukovych.
Putin stressed that the Russian government is currently engaging with the self-proclaimed government of Ukraine with the goal of preserving economic ties between the two countries.
However, any normal relations would only be possible after Ukraine has fully legitimate branches of government, Putin said. He considers that he has no counterpart in Kiev now, so he personally has no partner to communicate with.
The Russian president stressed that Russia wants to see equal participation of all citizens of Ukraine in defining the future of the country. The resistance to the authorities in Kiev, which is evident currently in the eastern and southern Ukraine, shows clearly that Kiev does not have a nationwide mandate to govern the country.
Putin is in fact demanding that history be rewound back to February 21, 2014. This was when Yanukovych surrendered to the Foreign Ministers of France, Germany and Poland, and signed a deal, with Russia as a witness, that agreed to a national unity government, the end of the clashes and the withdrawal of the riot police, a return to the 2004 constitution, and early elections and presidential elections.
The EU-US-backed fascist gang ripped up the deal the moment the riot police were withdrawn and seized the power, with the western democracies cheering them on.
They have only been foiled by the insurrection of the Ukrainian workers.
Putin will not be able to wind the clock back, and the working class will not even attempt it.
It must take to its heart the lessons of 1917 and build its soviets, involve the youth and the soldiers and sailors at its centre, and organise the struggle for a Soviet Ukraine by bringing down the EU-US backed coup regime in Kiev and taking the power.
This will be a giant step forward towards the reconstitution of the USSR by revolutionary means, and a big victory for the world socialist revolution.