THERE could not be a greater contrast between the policies of the Ukrainian governing parties to join the EU and NATO as rapidly as possible, and the opposition of the Ukrainian working class to both bodies, and its support for Russia.
In fact, both countries, Russia and the Ukraine, allow NATO troops in under the terms of the misnamed ‘Partnership for Peace’.
The Ukrainian right wing openly used NATO to put pressure on Russia, while Putin was hoping that the US and Russia would put the ‘Cold War’ behind them and draw closer in the ‘war against terror’.
They have grown closer all right but not in the way that Putin hoped.
NATO has advanced rapidly eastwards and has now recruited the Baltic States as well as Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Romania and Bulgaria.
In fact Nato missiles are now in place, pointing eastwards, right on the borders of Russia.
NATO is also seeking to recruit the Ukraine, Georgia and Azerbaijan. This will mean it will be entrenched on Russia’s borders from the Baltic Sea to the Caspian Sea.
The reason for these aggressive tactics is crystal clear. The US and the EU are desperate to seize resources of oil and gas, and some of the biggest are in the Russian Federation.
As the US Vice President Dick Cheney made very clear with his threatening remarks against Russia on his recent tour of the Baltic States, the US has the oil and gas resources of Russia in its sights.
The Russian Stalinist bureaucracy is hoping that the US can be mollified. The working class of Russia and the Ukraine knows better that NATO and the capitalist states that have built it are its mortal enemy.
The working class of the Ukraine, Belarus and Russia are now on guard against NATO. Thus, when a NATO ship entered the Crimean harbour of Feodosiya last Saturday it got a welcome it didn’t bargain for.
Thousands of workers massed to prevent the ship unloading its cargo of arms and ammunition, and showed their anger at NATO personnel being allowed to travel around the town. They then locked the gates of the port and refused to let vehicles in or out, while chanting ‘No to NATO’.
Nataliya Vitrenko, a Ukrainian socialist leader, told the crowds that NATO wanted to build a base in the Crimea.
She said: ‘NATO is an enemy. We know for sure: it’s an enemy.
‘The enemy wants to capture our country. The enemy wants to turn us into an enemy of Russia. This is why they need Ukraine.
‘They need a beachhead. They want to torpedo Russia from Ukraine’s territory. By lopping off Crimea, they want to add an insult to Russia’s injury.’
In fact, the working class of the Ukraine is determined not only that NATO shall not pass, but that capitalism will not be restored in the Ukraine.
In the recent general election the biggest party was anti-NATO, anti-EU and pro-Soviet.
It was even more so in the presidential election in Belarus, where the Stalinist incumbent, Lukashenka, beat the restorationist candidates heavily.
The working class in the states of the USSR is moving to the left, and has been greatly encouraged by the recent revolutionary events in France, the removal of Berlusconi and the undermining of Blair and Bush.
They now can see that they are a part of a worldwide working class that is beginning to use its strength to defend its interests as part of the world socialist revolution.
There is now a rapidly rising interest, particularly amongst the youth of the Soviet states, in Trotskyism, the Leninism of today, and the struggle to build the Fourth International, the world party of the socialist revolution. Stalinism, and the theory of socialism in a single country, have revealed their full counter-revolutionary content, and the hour of the Trotskyist movement is fast approaching.