WSPUS and the Ukraine

March 2023 Forums World Socialist Movement WSPUS and the Ukraine

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    Countercurrents, an Indian based progressive website, has published Stephen Shenfield’s article on the Ukrainian situation

    War beckons in Ukraine


    Stephen Shenfield’s article is excellent.

    In it is mentioned Khrushchev’s transfer of Crimea from Russia to Ukraine. How did this transfer come about? What motivated it? According to the following, it was a machination generated by K’s struggle with Malenkov: buying off a fellow ruler so as to get on his good side in said struggle:

    ”The transfer of Crimea to the UkrSSR also was politically useful for Khrushchev as he sought to firm up the support he needed in his ongoing power struggle with Soviet Prime Minister Georgii Malenkov, who had initially emerged as the preeminent leader in the USSR in 1953 after Joseph Stalin’s death. Having been at a disadvantage right after Stalin’s death, Khrushchev had steadily whittled away at Malenkov’s position and had gained a major edge with his elevation to the post of CPSU First Secretary in September 1953. Nevertheless, the post-Stalin power struggle was by no means over in early 1954, and Khrushchev was trying to line up as much support as he could on the CPSU Presidium for a bid to remove Malenkov from the prime minister’s spot (a feat he accomplished in January 1955). Among those whose support Khrushchev was hoping to enlist was Oleksiy Kyrychenko, who had become first secretary of the Communist Party of Ukraine in early June 1953 (displacing Leonid Mel’nykov, who had succeeded Khrushchev in that post in December 1949) and soon thereafter had been appointed a full member of the CPSU Presidium. In 1944, when Khrushchev himself was still the Communist Party leader in Ukraine, he reportedly had suggested to Stalin that transferring Crimea to the UkrSSR would be a useful way of winning support from local Ukrainian elites.[2] Regardless of whether Khrushchev actually did bring up this matter with Stalin (the veracity of the secondhand retrospective account is uncertain), it most likely reflects Khrushchev’s own sense as early as 1944 that expanding Ukraine’s territory was a way of gaining elite support in the republic. In particular, Khrushchev almost certainly regarded the transfer of Crimea as a means of securing Kyrychenko’s backing. Khrushchev knew that he could not automatically count on Kyrychenko’s support because the two of them had been sharply at odds as recently as June 1953, when Kyrychenko endorsed Lavrentii Beria’s strong criticism of the situation in western Ukraine — criticism that implicitly attacked a good deal of what Khrushchev had done when he was the leader of the republic in the 1940s. Khrushchev hoped that the transfer of Crimea to Ukraine would dispel the lingering tensions from this episode and thereby help to solidify Kyrychenko’s support in the forthcoming showdown with Malenkov.’



    That process was explained by Enver Hoxha in one of his collected works

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