We were shocked to hear that our comrade Vladimir Sirotin has died in Moscow at the age of 50.
Vladimir was born in Kharkov (Eastern Ukraine). His lecturer parents encouraged him to think critically. In a sketch of his life he wrote: ‘I was very interested in the question of the nature of Soviet society. I realized early on that it was not socialism of any kind. At first I thought that the USSR [was] a special formation, a new class society. . . Later, during my student years, I came to the conclusion that it was state capitalism.’
Vladimir graduated from the Institute of Culture. For a brief period in the late 1980s and early 1990s he was able to publish his work openly in Moscow News and other periodicals. Then the door to official publication was again closed to him and he was able to obtain only irregular employment.
Besides the analysis of Soviet society, Sirotin had two special areas of interest – the rights of children and adolescents and (in recent years) the struggle against Russian nationalism and fascism. Some of his translated writings on the first theme can be found at stephenshenfield.net (see ‘Research & Analytical Supplement to JRL, Special Issue No. 45’ under ‘Archives’).
Vladimir reached the conclusion that his views coincided with those of the World Socialist Movement. He contributed two guest articles to The Socialist Standard: ‘The Myth of Soviet “Socialism”’ (November 2009) and ‘Xenophobia in Russia’ (January 2010). He joined the SPGB in 2013.