Statement regarding contemporary Russia

Today, because of the war in Ukraine, the question of the nature of modern Russia has arisen, and therefore we believe it is important that we are clear in our assessment of Russia from the dissolution of the Soviet Union onwards, so that no confusion can occur as to where we communists stand. Russia is undoubtedly a capitalist power, of that much there is no doubt, and as a capitalist power we believe that it must be destroyed so that the proletariat can build its state in its place and begin the journey towards socialism, and communism thereafter, but it has become clear that there is not the same unity when it comes to Russia as an imperialist nation or as a reactionary state, therefore a brief historical review will do well to clear up any errors that may be made about this.

We will divide the history of modern Russia into the following periods 1991-93, 1993-2000 and 2000 onwards. The three periods we will basically characterize by: the loss of political independence and Russia’s entry as an oppressed nation, Russia as an American semi-colony and finally the exit from the ranks of the oppressed nations and the advance towards establishing itself as an imperialist hegemon. In this analysis we will emphasize the Leninist conception of imperialism; the highest stage of capitalism. We will further emphasize the view that imperialism as a stage means that every capitalist society will tend towards imperialism, either as an oppressed or oppressor nation. That is, being part of the imperialist system is the norm, the common and stable (relatively speaking) for capitalist states. This is not to say that a capitalist state cannot be outside imperialism, they can, but it will only occur temporarily and mainly as a transition from oppressed nation to imperialist nation.

Just such a transition was what Russia went through during the first turbulent years under Yeltsin. After the coup and counter-coup in the Soviet Union in August 1991, power in the union ended up in the hands of the most reactionary group of people whose only goal was to create a capitalist society in which they were the only ones who would be enriched. This was, of course, not very popular with the Soviet population, but due to the failure of the Communists to direct discontent against the reactionary forces, the Union was dissolved and after two years of struggle, the last elements of the Soviet state were crushed. During this struggle, the Russian bourgeoisie allied with the American bourgeoisie, giving the American bourgeoisie the means to buy up and rob everything the Soviet people had built up over the previous 70 years. This made Russia economically dependent on the European and American imperialist powers. An economic dependence that led to political dependence and thus Russia fell from being an important part of one of the world’s two superpowers to a dependent and oppressed nation.

But Russian dependence was conditional on one thing and one thing only: that cooperation with the Russian bourgeoisie continued to serve their interests. Because Russia remained a military superpower and its nuclear arsenal had not disappeared, without the cooperation of the Russian bourgeoisie, American imperialism would not be able to impose itself on Russia. This collaboration extended over five years, during which the Russian bourgeoisie was united in their goal of plundering the Russian people on behalf of the Americans. The collaboration is best exemplified by the now released documents which bear witness to Yeltsin’s subservience to the US President. But unity is temporary and struggle and strife are permanent, especially for a class as cannibalistic as the bourgeoisie, and when Russia went bankrupt in 1998, the Russian bourgeoisie split into two: the minority who survived the bankruptcy with their shares in American companies and the majority who were forced to give up their assets in America in order to survive. This manifested itself in a political crisis in which Yeltsin’s support crumbled, manifested in the distrust of any prime minister proposed by the president. After four failed candidates, Vladimir Putin was proposed as a candidate, as he, unlike his predecessors, was considered to be part of the majority group and could therefore be a compromise that would maintain American interests in Russia. But the crisis only deepened, and Yeltsin’s presidential post was put into uncertainty, again Putin was promoted as the compromise candidate by the Americans, a move that was not agreed upon by the American bourgeoisie, and when the administration changed in the US government, the compromise policy in Russia was put on hold. With the change in the Russian bourgeoisie and with an uncompromising American imperialism, the course was set for Russian capitalism to establish itself as an imperialist power.

From the turn of the millennium onwards, Russia has been moving towards gaining its own imperialist sphere by the use of its military muscle: first to secure its internal changes and then to secure foreign markets. When exactly the dividing line for this transition is hard to say, but we can safely say that in the Russian neighborhood Russia has been interfering at least since 2008: Georgia and Armenia, and that since 2015 Russia has been interfering abroad: in Syria, for example. This is not to mention the more overt actions, such as the annexation of Crimea, the interference in Kazakhstan and of course the war of annexation in Ukraine, which is still unfolding. The Russian market and influence has also spread peacefully across Europe, especially through oil and gas exports, as well as its financial banks in Eastern Europe. It is therefore clear to us that Russia today is an imperialist power on the rise, which despite its weaknesses is trying to exploit the decline of American imperialism to its own advantage.

It is important for us to point out that the bourgeoisie ruling Russia today is the same, or a fraction of the same, bourgeoisie that ruled Russia under Yeltsin. The change occurred in what was profitable for them and then they changed allegiance, that this led to Russia becoming its own imperialist power belongs to the accidental and necessary development of history: accidental that Russia just went bankrupt that year and had the opportunities to develop that it had, but a necessity that the Russian bourgeoisie would betray the American imperialists as soon as it suited them best, and a necessity that Russia had to develop its own imperialism since it broke away from the American.

Our task, as it has always been for communists in the age of imperialism, is to overthrow imperialism, first and foremost our own, but this cannot mean that we can support imperialism that opposes our own. Likewise in Russia, it is the task of communists to do away with Russian imperialism, which is precisely why Russian reaction has cracked down so hard on communists who oppose it and been so lenient with those communists who have gone along with

Russian imperialism. In Ukraine the struggle is twofold, first against the Russian occupying power and then against the collaborationist government selling out the country to American and European imperialists. These tasks may seem insurmountable, but sneaking around them is not done and with enough determination and stubbornness any mountain can be moved.

So let’s get started:

Against Danish imperialism and it militarization! Don’t let them exploit the war!

Against Russian imperialism and its war against the Ukrainian people!

For the independent rule of the proletariat and the downfall of imperialism!

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