March 2023 › Forums › General discussion › Russian Tensions
- This topic has 4,569 replies, 34 voices, and was last updated 1 hour, 27 minutes ago by Bijou Drains.
February 3, 2023 at 2:14 pm #239967pgbParticipant
AJJ, I have looked up the earlier post you mention (# 228121?) and assume you are referring to Yanukovich reneging on his initial intention to sign the trade and cooperation deal with the EU, and it was this that triggered the Maidan protests in 2013 and the eventual overthrow of Yanukovich. You refer to Ukraine oligarchs as “divided” – some looking to the EU, others to their industrial assets in the Donbas. But what has this to do with the current Russian war in Ukraine? There are always economic factors in play in any war, but that doesn’t make Russia’s war in Ukraine a capitalist war fought in the interests of capital as I believe you are inferring. To me, the most significant thing about the events you mention is the impact they had upon Putin. Putin saw it as a devastating loss to which he quickly responded by taking over Crimea and annexing it to Russia – a decision which made him a hero in the eyes of just about evervone in Russia. Perhaps this emboldened him in believing he could achieve the same when he invaded Ukraine a year ago. It’s turned out to be an error of catastrophic proportions.February 3, 2023 at 2:20 pm #239970
Albeit, an individual author rather than an organisation’s statement, this anarchist anti-war statement makes a number of valid points that many of us can recognise, although the potential actions of the anti-war movement are optimistically inflated.
https://libcom.org/article/british-anarchism-succumbs-war-feverFebruary 3, 2023 at 3:50 pm #239974
PGB – As you say there are economic factors in any war and Marxists usually highlight these as the root causes of a conflict – the control of the State to benefit its ruling class’s interests.
But to openly declare that people should sacrifice and suffer for the capitalist class – the oligarchs – won’t arouse much sympathy and isn’t a vote winner.
So to mobilise support the conflict is phrased in ideological and identity terms ie nationalism and patriotism.
Was the Russian-speakers a problem prior to 2014? I don’t think it was. Why did it become one?
To polarise the working people into pro-EU and pro-Russia to reflect the different economic interests of the ruling class.
Think Brexit here.
Why did Putin draw the red line of NATO expansion at Ukraine and not earlier with the Baltic nations? Militarily it was an equal threat but was it economically?
People tend to forget that Russia initiated a trade war prior to 2014 to pressure Ukraine into an economic pact with it – the Eurasian Economic Union, a race to the bottom for Ukraine as it competes with the various former Soviet countries that were more Third World.
Some Ukrainian oligarchs would then face the influence of Russian oligarchs encroaching on their markets while other Ukrainian oligarchs saw the advantages of closer ties with the Russian economy.
I suggest that economics was the main instigation for the war – and caused the divisions within UkraineFebruary 3, 2023 at 3:52 pm #239975
“It’s turned out to be an error of catastrophic proportions.”
Erm, in case you hadn’t noticed, Russia is winning. It is grinding NATO’s military assets to dust, has won the world, minus “the west” to its cause, fifth columnists within the country have revealed themselves or fled, Putin’s popularity at home is off the charts, much of the world, witnessing the shameless theft of Russian foreign reserves is turning away from the dollar and thus weakening the US, Russia has annexed huge swathes of resource rich territory, grown its population and all at the cost of less than 20-30,000 lives. Remind me, what’s this “catastrophic error” of which you speak?February 3, 2023 at 4:00 pm #239976
As a personal aside, when I decided to become an ex-pat, I seriously considered re-settling in Crimea (Yalta, to be precise) then part of Ukraine and Edinburgh had a consulate.
A work colleague visited Ukraine to monitor the elections in 2006 and discouraged me by pointing out the number of corrupt police he kept encountering. Not sure where he was actually based in Ukraine but his warning was enough that I chose not to go and picked India, Kerala, on the recommendation of some Indians I worked alongside.February 3, 2023 at 4:09 pm #239977
TS – “all at the cost of less than 20-30,000 lives.”
TS ensures that he is not one of those lives lost, as he cheer-leads the “special military operation”…oops, I nearly said the war.
“All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting.” – George OrwellFebruary 3, 2023 at 4:30 pm #239978
“Russia has annexed huge swathes of resource rich territory, grown its population and all at the cost of less than 20-30,000 lives. Remind me, what’s this “catastrophic error” of which you speak?”
TS inadvertently exposes the capitalist motives behind this sordid capitalist war – resource-rich territory indeed! But note the callous capitalist calculus at work here. Russia´s imperialist annexation has come “at the cost of less than 20-30,000 lives”. It’s like 20-30,000 lives don’t really matter, they are expendable from the standpoint of those who hope to benefit from this annexation.
Incidentally, where does he get this figure of 20-30,000 lives lost (I presume he is referring to “Russian” lives). Russian official propaganda? The latest figures according to NATO propaganda is that approaching 200,000 Russian soldiers have lost their lives in this human tragedy. Which is the more accurate figure? I suspect neither TS nor anyone here really knows for sure….
.February 3, 2023 at 4:52 pm #239979
“Albeit, an individual author rather than an organisation’s statement, this anarchist anti-war statement makes a number of valid points that many of us can recognise, although the potential actions of the anti-war movement are optimistically inflated.
That’s a very good article, Alan. I note also its criticism of the suggestion put forward by PGB here that socialists (or anarchists) should organise to defend themselves independently of the Ukrainian state to militarily resist Russian imperialism. In practice that would not happen. These groups would simply be absorbed into the command structure of the Ukrainian military and end up fighting for the self-same deluded nationalist cause of the latter
We often attack those naive romantic Leftists who want to overthrow the modern capitalist state by violent means as engaging in a suicidal fantasy. It’s the same when confronting an invading army. It’s sheer stupidity to put your life at risk and for no good purpose whatsoever. Better to become a refugee or stay if you must but drop the heroics. Who cares what tacky piece of cloth called a flag you end up living under anyway? Better alive than deadFebruary 3, 2023 at 5:17 pm #239980
Robbo – “The latest figures according to NATO propaganda is that approaching 200,000 Russian soldiers have lost their lives”
Are you making the same mistake as the EU’s Usula Von Der Leyden conflating casualty figures with deaths?
Just saying before TS uses it as a signal to discredit all the postsFebruary 3, 2023 at 5:52 pm #239983
“Are you making the same mistake as the EU’s Usula Von Der Leyden conflating casualty figures with deaths”
Not saying I agree with the figures Alan but this is what the Independent newspaper reported
“Nearly 200,000 Russian troops have been killed in Ukraine, US officials say
Top US official said last month that casualties on both sides were ‘significantly well over 100,000 now’ ”
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/ukraine-war-russia-death-toll-b2274969.htmlFebruary 4, 2023 at 4:48 am #239993
“Are you making the same mistake as the EU’s Usula Von Der Leyden conflating casualty figures with deaths?”
Van der Liar didn’t make a mistake. She momentarily forgot her role as chief EU propagandist and let the truth slip. But you run with the Guardian’s slapdash cover story. She “misspoke”. Lol. Whatever floats your boat.February 4, 2023 at 7:49 am #239994ALBKeymaster
I didn’t know that there was a village in Ukraine named after the anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti who were murdered by the US state in 1927. Apparently it has just been captured by Russian forces:
How much the Ukrainian nationalists think of this name and tradition can be seen by their renaming of a street in one of the cities — changing it from Vanzetti St to the name of the notorious Azov Battalion:
Ironically, with its new name it is indeed “a street for murderers”.February 4, 2023 at 2:55 pm #240009Bijou DrainsParticipant
Tinky Winky said “Russia has annexed huge swathes of resource rich territory, grown its population and all at the cost of less than 20-30,000 lives. Remind me, what’s this “catastrophic error” of which you speak?”
There we have, fully exposed, the anti working class rhetoric of TW. The mineral wealth and resources annexed will not of course be used for the benefit of the vast majority (working class) of that population, any more that it was used for the benefit of the working class when it was part of the Ukraine.
What is catastrophic asks TW, the catastrophy is the families bereft following the deaths of their loved ones, the children who have lost their fathers and perhaps mothers, the mothers and fathers grieving the deaths of their beloved children, the long term impact of these deaths on all of the family, the post traumatic stress left on the survivors, the impact of children and family living with those who have suffered PTS, the destruction of houses and resources created by working class people through their hard work, to name just a few catastrophic consequences. All of this to enrich the already fabuloously rich.
He has also exposed by his own words what has really occured. The Oxford English Dictionary defines “Annex” as meaning “add (territory) to one’s own territory by apropriation”. Of course as Marxists, we are only interested in ensuring that the expropriators are expropriated.
Surprisingly though, TW has actually stumbled oafishly across a relevant “fact”, however typically he has misinterperated that “fact” as could be expected.
Tinky Winky has stated that the number of Russian Deaths is in the 20,000 to 30,000 deaths. This is probably an underestimation, as the deaths are continuing as we speak. Other estimates of 200,000 deaths are probably equally wide of the mark.
If we, for argument’s, sake work on a death toll of 35,000 (probably quite a conservative number) and compare this to war casualties in recent conflicts, it is clear that this death toll for one year of conflict is very high.
The estimated US deaths in the Korean War was 36,516 deaths over 3 years. An attrition rate of 12,000 deaths a year
The estimated death toll in the Vietnam War was 58,220 deaths over the roughly 10 year span of direct US involvement an attrition rate of 5-6,000 deaths a year
The official Soviet death toll for the Soviet Afghan war was given as 14,453 with estimates rising up to about 26,000 deaths during a 10 year campaign an attrition rate of perhaps 2,000 deaths per year.
That means the death rate that TW has agreed has occured in less than one year is greater than the combined yearly average deaths of the US deaths in Korea and Vietnam and the Soviet deaths in Afghanistan.
Considering the fact that the Vietnam and Afghan Wars led to lots of political instability in the US and USSR and the facts that no official NATO lives are being lost, that Russia doesn’t seem to be making any great progress in their offensives, being pushed back on several fronts and at least at the moment the Ukraine doesn’t seem to be about to over run, the situation might actually be one that US NATO are generally happy about.
Yes they have lost a lot of weapons, but for them the up sides are that the majority of NATO countries are upping their military budgets, the fuel crisis appears to have passed without major issue, they are likely to have Sweden and Finland added to their coalition, there is always the possiblity of war weariness arising in Russia and they get the chance to test out their weaponry without losing lives to NATO forces, whilst Russia is also losing miliary hardware, but is also losing soldiers and suppport infrastructure.
Given this, some elements of the NATO alliance and their general staff, may actually see this whole bloodbath as something positive. Unfortunately this will not be the case for the workers who pay for this fiasco with their lives and their limbs.
February 5, 2023 at 2:54 am #240021
- This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by Bijou Drains.
“What is catastrophic asks TW, the catastrophy is the families bereft following the deaths of their loved ones”
Soldiers are killed in wars. It’s the risk one takes for signing up for such work. Though the deaths are tragic for the families involved its hardly “catastrophic” for Russia as was the suggestion made by the original poster.February 5, 2023 at 7:48 am #240023
“Soldiers are killed in wars. It’s the risk one takes for signing up for such work. Though the deaths are tragic for the families involved its hardly “catastrophic” for Russia as was the suggestion made by the original poster.”
What an admission that the capitalist nation-state couldn’t care a stuff about the lives of ordinary workers who it treats as mere cannon fodder! That’s a good enough reason for workers not to care a stuff about the cause of nationalism and the spurious reasons it gives for encouraging workers to put their lives at risk for the sake of odious capitalist warlords like Putin or Zelensky
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