FOLLOWING the illegal Ukrainian presidential election – called to try and legitimise the imperialist-inspired coup – the billionaire, Petro Poroshenko, wasted no time in ordering all-out war to smash the anti-coup forces in eastern Ukraine.
On Monday, fighter jets and helicopters pounded Donetsk airport and the surrounding area killing an estimated 50 self-defence fighters and an equal number of civilians.
This was the response of the imperialist-backed Kiev regime, brought to power and sustained by the fascists of the Right Sector, a murderous attack against the working class of eastern Ukraine who have refused to accept Ukraine being carved up and destroyed by imperialist powers.
Poroshenko made his plans quite clear in his first speech after claiming the presidency when he promised to put down the armed struggle in the east in ‘hours’ saying, ‘The anti-terrorist operation cannot and should not last two or three months. It should and will last hours’, and likening the self-defence forces in Donetsk and Slavyansk to ‘Somali pirates’.
This uncompromising declaration of war against the Ukrainian working class in the eastern region was met with a call for ‘dialogue’ from the Russian Stalinist bureaucracy.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday: ‘We shouldn’t miss the chance that we have now to establish an equal dialogue of mutual respect considering the vote that has taken place, the results of which Russia is ready to respect.’
He added that the military strikes against the east would be a ‘colossal mistake’ and could threaten the resumption of dialogue.
The fact is that Poroshenko is only willing to talk to Putin on the basis that he is free to continue a campaign of slaughter in the east of Ukraine. He is prepared to drown the region in workers’ blood to satisfy the demands of his US and IMF paymasters and Putin and Lavrov are prepared to turn a blind eye to this, in their desperation to seek some kind of dialogue and compromise with the Kiev stooges and their imperialist masters.
By announcing before the elections that he would recognise the legitimacy of the result, Putin in effect gave recognition to the fascist-led coup that overthrew the elected presidency of Yanukovych, delivering a stab in the back to the working class.
Now Putin and Lavov are signalling that they are willing to negotiate a deal over the bodies of the Ukrainian workers and fighters who refuse to bow to the coupists and fascists of Kiev.
This attempt at collaboration will not halt the attacks and it will not offer any protection to Russia from the predatory intentions of the imperialists. On the contrary, this weakness by Putin – underlined by the withdrawal of Russian troops from border positions – can only strengthen the forces of reaction.
Already the demand for Ukraine to join NATO has been made and now Georgia is being touted as the next member.
The Ukrainian working class and the Russian working class must advance on the basis of demanding that Putin stop all this collaboration, that he must refuse to recognise the legitimacy of the fascist-led coup and insist that the military onslaught is halted immediately or the Russian army will intervene to chase the imperialist stooges out of Kiev and send them scuttling back to Washington, Brussels and London.
If the remnants of the Stalinist bureaucracy in Russia will not act to defend the Ukrainian workers, it must be overthrown by a political revolution of the working class backed by the army that will nationalise the property stolen from the state by the oligarchs, and restore rule through workers’ and peasants’ soviets.
This will be a giant step forward towards restoring the USSR by revolutionary means as well as a great advance for the world socialist revolution.
The world reality is that capitalism is in the grip of its greatest-ever crisis which threatens to plunge the whole of the planet into massive crises and great new wars.
The only way out of this crisis for humankind is through the building of the Fourth International, with sections in every country, to complete the work begun by the great 1917 Russian revolution by overthrowing capitalism and imperialism on a world scale and bringing in worldwide socialism.