Russian Tensions

May 2024 Forums General discussion Russian Tensions

Viewing 15 posts - 4,126 through 4,140 (of 5,177 total)
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  • #239923
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    And if Putin who has mishandled and mismanaged the invasion is then replaced by the ambitious Prigozhin, ALB?

    #239924
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster
    #239926
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    The legality and illegality of the war explored

    The Ukraine War and International Law

    #239928
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    Further to my earlier comment on Putin’s tentative hold on power

    https://thehill.com/policy/international/3837575-former-putin-aide-coup-a-real-possibility/

    Abbas Gallyamov, Putin’s former speechwriter predicted that a military coup was possible for the country in the next year, pointing to a deteriorating economy and the growing unpopularity of the war in Ukraine.

    #239930
    ALB
    Keymaster

    How could Putin be overthrown and replaced by Prigozhin? Russia is far from being a democratic state but it still has procedures that would not allow this. Putin was elected president and the Russian parliament was elected too. The elections weren’t fair but there is no reason to suppose that the result represented what most people wanted.

    If Prigozhin attempted to use his private army to stage a military coup he would come up against the much more powerful
    and disciplined regular armed forces. In fact they are the only force that could overthrow him. As long as they remain loyal to him he is safe.

    The only way he would go would be if he resigns or is forced to resign. There would then have to be another presidential election which I doubt would Prigozhin would win.

    The possibility of Prigizhin staging a coup is just NATO propaganda or psychops.

    Russia could no more be ruled by armed force alone than could Britain or the USA.

    #239932
    pgb
    Participant

    In trying to understand something as complex as war I guess there will always be many different meanings given to it. Robbo for example gives his own unique account in seeing Russia’s war with Ukraine as merely “a squabble between capitalists”, or “a squalid capitalist war” fought by “equally obnoxious regimes” headed by “equally repulsive, corrupt capitalist war lords”, “corrupt business men” and “sociopathic warmongers”. Could it ever be worse? I can only imagine he gets to this position because of an immovable conviction that the state in a capitalist society is a capitalist state, run by capitalists or agents of capitalists. And since the interests of capitalists are always dead opposite to the interests of workers (the class war after all), therefore the workers fighting in the Russia- Ukraine war are not acting in their own interests but only in the interests of capitalists. In this scenario, Robbo is bound to view Putin as a capitalist and of course Zelensky has to be a capitalist too. In fact neither are capitalists. Nor is there any credible evidence that they are acting at the behest of capitalists or in the broad interests of capital. This is what comes of a crude reductionist reading of Marx’s materialism and class analysis, where everything political is determined by economics.

    Every Marxist I know of has long ago accepted that political regimes in capitalist societies have an autonomy that cannot be reduced to class interests, class conflict or other socio-economic tensions. Politics produces evils of its own, specific to the exercise of power – something amply demonstrated by Putin and his “power vertical”. Zelensky is no paragon of liberal democratic virtue, but it is absurd to see Zelensky in the same light as Putin. The upshot of all this is that Robbo’s analysis serves to put out of sight the most basic fact about the war in Ukraine on which judgment about its rights and wrongs must rest: Putin made an unprovoked attack on Ukraine. Putin was the aggressor, Ukraine the victim of that aggression. No doubt Robbo would say that it was the Ukrainian state that was attacked, and because it is a capitalist state it’s not worthy of the support of the workers (people of Ukraine). But when states are attacked it is individuals (workers) who are challenged, not just in their lives but in the things they value most, including their political associations whatever we may think of them.

    Always consistent, Robbo finds it “dumb beyond comprehension” that workers risk losing their lives, becoming seriously wounded, or having their homes destroyed, all for the sake of a “tacky cloth called a flag”. Here again, the only meaning Robbo gives to workers taking up arms to defend their common life is to say that they are “heeding the call of a capitalist regime”. Maybe they are. But they may also be heeding the call of their conscience in believing it right to defend their lives when it’s their lives and the lives of others that are directly threatened. What’s incomprehensible about that?

    #239934
    TrueScotsman
    Blocked

    “Further to my earlier comment on Putin’s tentative hold on power

    Former Putin aide: Coup a ‘real possibility’”

    All-in’s speculation is so divorced from reality you may as well be asking if the empress of the moon people prefers hard or soft boiled eggs. Here’s another prediction for you: there will be no coup against Putin.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by TrueScotsman.
    #239936
    TrueScotsman
    Blocked

    “Putin made an unprovoked attack on Ukraine.”

    You may disagree with the Kremlin’s decision to launch its SMO but to call it “unprovoked” is an egregious falsehood. The very phrasing you use is not your own but a brain-worm conceived in the bowels of a neo-con think tank and going on to infect your credulous mind through mainstream media. Don’t believe me? Search for the phrase on the net and witness the tens of thousands of hits.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=russia+unprovoked+invasion&oq=russia+unprov&aqs=chrome.0.0i512j69i57j0i512l2j0i22i30l2.8479j0j7&client=ms-android-samsung-ss&sourceid=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8

    The US has been diligently working at provoking this conflict for years. How do we know this? Because they published a manual on doing so and spent billions ensuring its success. The RAND report on “Overextending and Unbalancing Russia” sets out the strategy play by play. Read it for yourself and then tell me Russia was “unprovoked”.

    https://english.almayadeen.net/articles/blog/rand-report-prescribed-us-provocations-against-russia-predic

    https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR3063.html

    “Putin was the aggressor”

    No, the US/NATO and its proxy fascists in Kiev were the aggressors. They’d been slaughtering Russian speaking Ukrainians in Donbass for years knowing full well this would provoke the Kremlin into coming to their aid. Scott Ritter has written a cogent argument that Moscow acted legally when it launched its SMO.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/scheerpost.com/2022/04/01/russia-ukraine-the-law-of-war-crime-of-aggression/amp/

    “Ukraine the victim of that aggression.”

    They are, of US/NATO/Kiev fascist aggression.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by TrueScotsman.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by TrueScotsman.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by TrueScotsman.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by TrueScotsman.
    #239937
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    #239945
    robbo203
    Participant

    For a liberal who seems to think that an obnoxious autocratic regime like the Zelensky regime is somehow worth defending, PGB certainly exhibits in abundance that peculiar liberal trait of sneering at a principled socialist opposition to capitalism´s wars on the grounds that things are oh-so-much-more complex and convoluted than us simple-minded socialists imagine. He airily declares; “this is what comes of a crude reductionist reading of Marx’s materialism and class analysis, where everything political is determined by economics”. Except of course in PGB´s case, there is no class analysis of anything. He is above that sort of thing.

    No doubt, political factors do impact the economic situation and I have never denied this. Patron-client networks are a good example, these are a feature of both the Russian and Ukrainian regimes, both of which have been noted for their high levels of endemic corruption according to the Transparency index. (Ukraine comes in at number 122 out of 180 countries, and Russia at number 136). There is a revolving door between politics and economics and their respective actors. But that is no excuse to completely dismiss a Marxian class analysis of the situation in the way that PGB does in true liberal fashion.

    PGB declares

    “Robbo is bound to view Putin as a capitalist and of course Zelensky has to be a capitalist too. In fact neither are capitalists. Nor is there any credible evidence that they are acting at the behest of capitalists or in the broad interests of capital”

    Actually, whether Putin or Zelensky as individuals are capitalists is not important to the thesis that a capitalist regime acts primarily in the interests of a capitalist class. In the Soviet Union, according to his daughter, Stalin left his desk with unopened envelopes stuffed with money. As a dictator, he didn’t need the physical cash. Political influence easily converted into economic power. For what it is worth, Zelensky´s personal fortune has been officially disclosed as being $8.2 million (though what it is unofficially worth in a corrupt country like Ukraine is anyone´s guess). I suppose that would qualify as just about scraping into the bottom runs of the capitalist class. Putin´s personal wealth is likely to be much greater and Forbes did an analysis of this some years ago which produced different estimates according to which explanatory model you use – the highest estimate amounting to $200 billion (https://www.ceotodaymagazine.com/2022/03/how-rich-is-vladimir-putin/). There is strong evidence that Putin has an equity stake in various properties here in Spain, for example as I have mentioned before.

    But, as I said, the argument that both regimes act essentially in the interest of the capitalist class does not depend on the leadership of these regimes being capitalist themselves. It is the very nature of capitalism itself that these regimes seek to administer that requires them to do this. They must serve the interest of capital upon which their tax revenues depend amongst other things.

    PGB asserts_ “Nor is there any credible evidence that they are acting at the behest of capitalists or in the broad interests of capital.” To which I respond – BULLSHIT!. The very fact that a class of exceedingly rich and obviously capitalist individuals exists is proof positive of this fact. They exist because these capitalist regimes allow them – nay, actively encourage them – to exist.

    No doubt PGB, like the liberal he is, will say that I am just being “reductionist” here. But I invite him to imagine what would happen if these regimes took steps to economically eliminate this class for example through punitive levels of taxation. What would happen is capital would drain out of the country. Political regimes around the world clearly don’t relish the prospect of capital flight. On the contrary, they go out of their way to attract foreign capital even to the extent of muzzling local trade union movements to ensure a compliant local workforce that would be suitably attractive to foreign investors. The state is a pimp for capitalism. Nothing to do with the class war, eh, PGB? Would saying there was a class war going on be too reductionist for your ever-so-sophisticated liberal outlook?

    Finally, I cannot let PGB get away with this liberal balderdash:

    “Always consistent, Robbo finds it “dumb beyond comprehension” that workers risk losing their lives, becoming seriously wounded, or having their homes destroyed, all for the sake of a “tacky cloth called a flag”. Here again, the only meaning Robbo gives to workers taking up arms to defend their common life is to say that they are “heeding the call of a capitalist regime”. Maybe they are. But they may also be heeding the call of their conscience in believing it right to defend their lives when it’s their lives and the lives of others that are directly threatened. What’s incomprehensible about that?”

    Where to begin in deconstructing this gibberish? Perhaps most obviously if you are a “Ukrainian” worker so intent upon defending your life in the face of an approaching army why not do what sheer commonsense tells you to do and get the hell out of this situation? I have far more respect for the refugees than for the deluded patriots who feverishly imagine they have a “common life” to defend in the form of the “imaginary community” called “Ukraine”. What is so different about their common life from that of the equally deluded “Russian” soldier who feverishly imagines “Ukrainian” workers are his mortal enemies? Where is the sense in “defending your right to live” by very clearly putting your life at risk? It is indeed, “dumb beyond comprehension”.

    No PGB – what you are defending is the sick death cult of nationalism for the sake of that peculiarly perverse product of capitalism – the nation-state – that you so fondly identify with. This in clear opposition to the Marxian idea that “workers have no country” – a sentiment you might have heard of since you claim to have had contact with many Marxists No socialist worth their salt would regard your views with anything but the uncompromising hostility they so richly deserve.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by robbo203.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by robbo203.
    #239955
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    PGB asserts_ “Nor is there any credible evidence that they are acting at the behest of capitalists or in the broad interests of capital.”

    Once again I refer to my earlier post that drew attention to the trigger for the Maidan protests and overthrow of Yanukovych. His decision against the Parliamentary majority not to sign the political association and free trade agreement with the EU.

    Ukraine’s oligarchs were divided. Those with closer Russian connections seeking the Euroasian Economic Union mainly in the industrialised Donbas and the more agricultural western Ukraine that saw their market being with the EU. For example, Rinat Akhmetov initially supported the Donbas separatists as he owned the steelworks in Mariupol.

    #239956
    pgb
    Participant

    Leaving aside your shrill rhetoric Robbo, I am wondering if I have read you correctly regarding your view that workers defending their common life against an invader are all “deluded patriots” who would show more common sense if they simply fled from the conflict. The fact that they don’t is to you “dumb beyond comprehension”. It had me thinking that what you find so wrong and incomprehensible is not that they are fighting as such, but that they are fighting under a national flag as a military arm of the state, and it is that which you find so appalling. This is a view I would associate more with anarchists than socialists, but that’s not important here. So what would you say if workers self-organized, independently of the state, to form fighting groups in a defensive war as in Ukraine? I am thinking of organized resistance fighters in France fighting against German invaders in ww2. Or what about anarchist militias in the Spanish Civil War? It’s a question that has particular relevance regarding the Russian war in Ukraine because Ukraine has a fairly impressive record of worker self organisation and political activism. Clearly, such non-State fighters would not be “deluded patriots” fighting under a “tacky cloth called a flag”. So what would they be in your view, and how would you evaluate their behaviour in terms of your socialist beliefs?

    #239957
    robbo203
    Participant

    PGB

    You go on about this “common life” Ukrainian workers are supposed to share with each other by which I presume you mean some vague abstraction that differentiates them from say, Russian workers. What precisely is it? It seems to be the subtext of what you are saying is nationalism. You are endorsing a nationalist worldview and of course, as a socialist, I vehemently oppose that – “shrilly” or otherwise. How could any socialist not do so?

    As for your distinction between workers who organise militarily outside of the state and workers who enlist to fight for their capitalist state against some rival state – yes superficially there would appear to be some difference insofar as the former might not be motivated by nationalist sentiments. But in reality, how much traction would this distinction have? As a parallel, look at the relationship between the Wagner Group and the Russian military for example.

    Your “non-state fighters” would need to coordinate with your “state fighters” not just over strategy and the provision of weaponry but also, military objectives. The current Ukrainian regime has as its objective the eviction of all Russian forces from what it regards as its national territory, including Donbas and Crimea. How could your non-state fighters go along with this without giving credence and legitimacy to nationalist propaganda and the spurious concept of the “sovereign nation-state?

    But, apart from that, I stand by my claim that it is dumb beyond comprehension to organise militarily to resist an invading army intent upon wiping out all resistance. You are not asserting your “right to live” but making it far more probable that your life will be extinguished. That’s not sensible. Far better to become a refugee and I couldn’t give a flying fuck about jingoistic claptrap about this being the “coward’s way” out. Such language is reminiscent of the First
    World War generals comfortably ensconced in their headquarters miles away from the Front, giving the order to execute some poor shell-shocked squaddie who lost the will to fight any longer. I have nothing but contempt for people who use this language.

    The same is true of the invading army. I have infinitely more respect for the Russian soldiers who deserted having asked themselves why the hell they were fighting against and destroying the lives of, ordinary Ukrainian workers with whom they had no quarrel whatsoever. They are more likely to desert when they are not being shot at by deluded nationalists on the other side.

    This is the thing about this despicable death cult called nationalism. It divides workers from each other and mortally weakens our ability to challenge capitalism

    #239960
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Ukraine has a fairly impressive record of worker self organisation and political activism.

    What’s the evidence for that except perhaps for Makhno over a hundred years ago (and that was peasants rather than wage-workers)?

    #239963
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    Another hypocrisy

    The EU will launch a humanitarian de-mining programme in Ukraine worth €25m, the bloc’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, has confirmed.

    https://www.eeas.europa.eu/eeas/ukraine-eu-supports-de-mining-liberated-areas-additional-%E2%82%AC25-million-programme_en

    De-mining is “crucial to save the lives of civilian population”, Borrell wrote on social media.

    The Ukrainian army injured scores of Ukrainian civilians when it fired thousands of illegal mines across the city of Izium last year, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has alleged. The mines, similar to those allegedly used by Ukraine against civilians in Donetsk, were found near schools and kindergartens.

    https://www.hrw.org/news/2023/01/31/ukraine-banned-landmines-harm-civilians

    While HRW believes that Russia has also used these mines, Ukraine’s “moral high ground has been compromised” by the latest findings.

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