Russia

Putin: a model of reactionary politics

Author: 

Anne Field

The report of Britain’s official Owen Inquiry into the 2006 murder of former Russian security service agent Alexander Litvinenko was published on 21 January. It attributed responsibility for the murder to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.

The report of Britain’s official Owen Inquiry into the 2006 murder of former Russian security service agent Alexander Litvinenko was published on 21 January. It attributed responsibility for the murder to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.

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Syria: continuation and containment of war

Author: 

Simon Nelson

The US Government will deploy a group of special-ops forces to northern Syria to help the “Syrian Democratic Forces” (SDF), the multi-ethnic opposition that the US has positively “vetted”, and is now willing to publicly arm and support.

The continuation and containment of the war in Syria now appears to be the main goal of the US and coalition forces.

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US and Russia talk on Syria

Author: 

Simon Nelson

David Cameron, following US policy, is calling for Bashar al-Assad to take part in an transitional arrangement for a “moderate” regime in Syria.

Cameron has not, so he says, changed his view that Assad must to, or that he should be tried for war crimes. But there has been a policy shift.

At the UN General Assembly Russia and the United States agreed to look for a diplomatic end to the Syrian civil war. How long or whether Assad remains in power is the dividing line between the two powers.

At the UN General Assembly Russia and the United States agreed to look for a diplomatic end to the Syrian civil war. How long or whether Assad remains in power is the dividing line between the two powers.

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Class struggle and Marxism in Russia

Viktoria and Sergei, activists in the Workers’ Platform, a Russian Marxist group based in Perm and Kaluga, talked to Solidarity.

Solidarity: what are the conditions like for activists?

Viktoria: In Russia, in the economy, there has been a process of neo-liberal reforms. There is a lot of discontent as the regime puts on pressure and repression. But we are still able to organise workers in independent trade unions.

An interview with Viktoria and Sergei, activists in the Workers’ Platform, a Russian Marxist group based in Perm and Kaluga.

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Europe's far right gather in Russia

Author: 

Dale Street

“The fascists are not in Ukraine, they’re meeting here!”, “Nazis licking Putin’s ass, OMG!” and “We don’t need foreign fascists here, we’ve nowhere to put our own!” read protestors’ placards outside the St. Petersburg Holiday Inn on 22 March.

The hotel was hosting the “International Russian Conservative Forum”, organised by the “Russian National Cultural Centre, The People’s Home”, a flag of convenience for members of the Russian “Motherland” party (Russian-nationalist, far-right and pro-Putin).

The composition, location and themes of a recent conference in St Petersburg underline a growing alliance between Putin and the European far right.

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Death of a troublesome neo-liberal

Author: 

Dale Street

Exactly a year to the day after Putin commenced his annexation of the Crimea, Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was murdered in Moscow on 27th February.

Nemtsov was certainly no critic of Putin from the left.

In the early 1990s he had been Governor of the Nizhny Novgorod region. He pursued aggressive neo-liberal and privatisation policies, winning the admiration of Margaret Thatcher when she visited the region in 1993.

Death of Boris Nemtsov is linked to rise of Russian nationalism. Analysis + Russian Open Left statement.

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Ukraine after the debacle

Author: 

Marko Bojcun

The debacle at Debaltseve in the days following the Minsk 2 accords has given rise to two major developments.

The Ukrainian government is seeking a European Union police mission to help it hold the line against the separatists and their Russian backers; and seventeen volunteer battalions have established a joint leadership and headquarters to make them a more effective fighting force.

Both developments stem from the same recognition of the military inferiority of the Ukrainian side facing an adversary that is ready and willing to press forward into new territory.

Greater military capacity, from within Ukraine or from without, cannot on its own prevent further defeats and losses of territory by the Ukrainian side unless Russia stops backing the separatists.

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Stop whose war?

Author: 

Dale Street

The Stop the War Coalition (SWC) and the Solidarity with the Antifascist Resistance in Ukraine (SARU) campaign are staging a protest about Ukraine in London on Sunday 22 February.

In the course of 2014 Russia annexed Crimea, encouraged and organised separatist agitation in the south-east of Ukraine, invaded Ukraine in late August, and consistently provided the separatists with some of the most modern munitions and weaponry available.

SWC and SARU have therefore decided to picket – the US Embassy!

The Stop the War Coalition and Solidarity with the Antifascist Resistance in Ukraine are staging a protest about Ukraine in London on Sunday 22 February.

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Ukraine peace deal fails

Author: 

Dale Street

As we go to press on 17 February, fighting continues in the south-east of Ukraine despite the “peace deal” agreed in Minsk on 12 February.

The “peace deal” had been negotiated by the German, French, Russian and Ukrainian heads of state. Representatives of the so-called Donetsk and Lugansk “People’s Republics” (DPR and LPR) had also been present in Minsk, but not directly involved in the negotiations.

The evidence of the first few days of the peace deal is that it will prove no more viable than its predecessor.

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