RUSSIA IS UNDER FULL SCALE ATTACK with oil prices now down to $60 a barrel and the Saudis and the Gulf states saying that they will not act to correct the fall until the oil price reaches $40 a barrel.
At the same time US organised sanctions are targeting the Russian economy, with President Obama poised to unleash a new bloc of sanctions calculated to collapse the ruble and bankrupt Russia.
The Central Bank of Russia on Monday night increased its key interest rate to 17 per cent in order to try to curb inflation and defend the ruble, which hit a historic low of 64 rubles against the US dollar in Monday evening trading.
The decision followed a 10 per cent drop in the price of Russia’s ruble on Monday, the biggest drop since 1999 bringing its total year-to-date loss to more than 50 per cent.
The interest rate hike is the sharpest since the 1998 crisis, which saw rates higher than 100 per cent and Russia defaulting on its debt.
The Russian ruble continued to hit new lows on Tuesday falling to 71 per USD, double the price it cost in the beginning of 2014. Against the euro, it stood at 89.
The Russian stock market also went haywire, dropping more than 15 per cent as of 2:30pm Moscow time, after it dropped 11 per cent the day before. Sberbank, the country’s largest lender, lost 17.77 per cent, and VTB, the second biggest bank, fell by 14.29 per cent. State-owned oil and gas companies Gazprom, Rosneft, and Surgut also saw shares plummet.
There is not the slightest doubt that US imperialism has now transferred its regime change drive from the Ukraine to Russia itself, and is seeking to bring down the Putin regime from the right, so as to complete the drive to restore capitalism and wipe out all of the gains of the Russian revolution, opening up Russia to being sold off in lots to the various imperialist powers to try to resolve the current crisis of imperialism.
It is resuming the drive that was unleashed with the resignation of Gorbachev in 1991 and the rise of Yeltsin, when shock therapists appeared, backed by the US, to try to restore capitalism in 100 days, starting with a tank assault on the Supreme Soviet.
The Russian workers resisted the onslaught and Putin was brought forward to check the oligarchs and prevent a political revolution of the working class to restore the power of the Soviets and drive out the thieving oligarchs.
In the course of this action oligarchs who were open US agents and refused to kow tow to the Kremlin were exported abroad.
Putin assumed an uneasy stance with one foot on the pro-Kremlin oligarchs and the other foot on the working class, a very perilous balancing act, helped by his early statements in support of the Soviet Union.
His response to the current US imperialist drive has been to decide on an amnesty for the emigre oligarchs and invite them to return home with their ill-gotten gains.
He is actually calling back the forces that the US imperialists want to install in his place.
Putin is an enemy of revolutions of all colours, including red, and refuses to call the working class out to fight imperialism.
In fact the way forward is for the working class to organise a political revolution to renationalise all of the oligarchs properties, and put them back under state ownership and workers’ management.
The political revolution of the working class will bring back rule through soviets and restore the state monopoly of foreign trade.
The only way to defeat the imperialist attempt at counter revolution is to rekindle the revolutionary fervour of the 1917 revolution.
However the crisis cannot be resolved just from within Russia itself.
Capitalism is a world-wide system, and is now in its greatest ever world-wide crisis, this is why it is attacking Russia. The gains of the Russian and Chinese revolutions will not be secure until imperialism is smashed world-wide. The Fourth International must be built all over the world to lead the developing world wide socialist revolution to the smashing of world capitalism and the bringing in of world socialism. This is the way forward!