YESTERDAY, Russian president Vladimir Putin announced that he had ordered the Russian military to carry out a special operation in the Donbass region in response to a request by the independent People’s Republic of Donbass.
The request for military aid by the Donbass workers comes after eight years of continual attack on them by the regime in Ukraine – a regime installed in 2014 by a US-backed coup which toppled the democratically elected president Yanukovych.
In an address to the Russian people, Putin explained the reasons behind the decision to finally intervene militarily to protect the people of Donbass and to safeguard Russia from the plans by world imperialism to organise a war of conquest.
Opening his address, Putin said: ‘Today, I again consider it necessary to return to the tragic events taking place in the Donbass and the key issues of ensuring the security of Russia itself.’
Putin then went on to say that: ‘For thirty years we have persistently and patiently tried to reach an agreement with the leading NATO countries on the principles of equal and indivisible security in Europe,’ before lamenting that all these attempts to reach agreements with imperialism have failed and the NATO ‘military machine is moving and, I repeat, is coming close to our borders’.
All the promises given 30 years ago that imperialism would not move an inch militarily to attack Russia were worthless, as Putin has now been forced to concede. Putin referred back to the situation that confronted the Soviet Union in 1941 when Nazi Germany launched its invasion and war of extermination on the country.
The USSR was left completely vulnerable and unprepared for an invasion that cost millions of lives because Stalin put all his faith in a pact with a non-aggression pact with Hitler.
Putin, who remains the political heir to Stalin and the belief that at the end of the day it is possible to peacefully coexist with imperialism, has belatedly recognised the criminal folly of trusting a word from the US and its allies.
However, Putin refuses to draw, and is incapable of drawing, the necessary conclusions from this recognition. Instead, he clearly believes that this show of force in the Ukraine will result in some form of compromise with the Western powers.
Possibly, he believes it will force them to concede a pro-Russian government in the Ukraine headed by another Yanukovych figure.
Russia has every right to defend its borders and prevent Ukraine from being turned into a jumping-off point for an imperialist invasion of Russia.
However, even a protracted military action will not provide the security of Russia from imperialist war.
Putin ignores the fact that, gripped by a historic crisis, capitalism is in no position to offer any concessions but is driven to try and reconquer the world through wars to regain the countries of Russia and China that it was kicked out of by revolutions in the 20th century.
There can be no purely military solution to the crisis and the determination of the ruling class to defend its profits through wars and invasions.
The only force that can put an end to imperialist wars forever is the working class rising up and overthrowing capitalism in its final death agony.
The working class in Britain, Europe and the US is already being forced to bear the brunt of the war against Russia as the crisis has caused havoc in the energy supplies, pushing the price of oil and gas to unprecedented highs.
Workers are expected to passively accept being forced not just into fuel poverty but into outright destitution in order to save a capitalist system that is on its last legs and deserves to perish.
There has never been a better time for the working class across the world to take action by organising general strikes to bring down their governments and go forward to take power.
Only socialist revolution can end imperialist war. The burning issue of the day is to build sections of the International Committee of the Fourth International prepared to lead the struggle for power and the victory of the world socialist revolution in every country.