Less than two months ago Richard Brenner (Workers Power) and Alan Freeman (Socialist Action) and other Western leftists were feted in the Hotel Yalta-Intourist by Russian fascists and ultra-nationalists at a conference to boost Russian imperialist designs in Ukraine.
The same initiative met again on 30-31 August, but dispensed with the left-wing decoration.
Members of the following European fascist or far-right organisations were invited to the conference:
British BNP, French National Front, Hungarian Jobbik, Belgian Vlaams Belang and National-European Communitarian Party, Bulgarian Ataka and Bulgarian National Movement, Italian Lega Nord and Forza Nuova, Polish Samooborona and Falanga. Ex-BNP leader Nick Griffin was also invited.
It is unclear how many responded to this particular invitation. But Russian fascists, the pro-Russian separatist leaders and European fascism are bound together by a common ideology. Hostility to the USA, hostility to the EU, hostility to “decadent” liberal values, hostility to globalisation, and support for a “New World order” based on nationalism.
The first conference produced a “Declaration” (full of anti-fascist and anti-war verbiage, designed for an international left-liberal audience) and a “Manifesto” (to wipe Ukraine off the face of the earth, or at least to reduce it to the segment of Ukraine ruled before World War 1 by Austria).
Almost all of the leading figures in the “People’s Republics” (prior to a recent change of leadership, probably ordained by Moscow) are members of, or linked to, Russian fascist organisations.
“Prime Minister” Borodai, military commander Strelkov-Girkin, and “People’s Governor” Gubarev are all members of the Izborsky Club, a fascist “think tank” headed by Russia’s leading fascists: Alexander Dugin and Alexander Prokhanov.
Gubarev is also a former member of the fascist Russian National Unity (RNU) organisation. RNU members are currently fighting for the separatists in Ukraine (bit.ly/rnu-uk), alongside French fascists (bit.ly/fr-ukr).
Andrei Purgin (DPR deputy prime minister), Oleg Frolov (member of the DPR “parliament”), Konstantin Knyrik (head of the “South-eastern Front Information Centre”), Oksana Shkoda (DPR “General Headquarters Representative”) and the late Alexander Proselkov (former DPR deputy foreign minister) all have fascist connections.
In 2006 they attended a “summer camp” of political training run by the fascist Eurasian Union of Youth (founded by Dugin) and emerged as leading figures in the “Donetsk Republic” organisation set up the same year.
A challenge to debate
This letter has been sent to the Workers’ Power group.
As you will be aware, Workers Power and the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty have taken radically different positions in relation to the current conflict in the south-east of Ukraine.
If we understand the position taken by Workers Power correctly, this can be summarised as:
The current situation in Ukraine has been “largely provoked by the aggression of the NATO and EU axis.”
The Kiev government “was handpicked by US and EU representatives and brought to power by the armed force of the fascist Svoboda and Right Sector militia.”
That government is “the political tool of the IMF and western imperialism, the Right Sector and Svoboda their mailed fist.”
The forces combating the government and pro-government forces constitute “the anti-fascist resistance” in Ukraine.
Workers Power now finds itself allied with Stalinists in Britain (“Solidarity with the Anti-Fascist Resistance in Ukraine”), as well as defending the collaboration of socialists with fascist-cum-Russian-ultra-nationalist forces (the recent international conference in Yalta, attended by one of your comrades).
We think that there would be a political-educational value in holding a public debate to argue out our differences concerning the current situation in Ukraine in more detail. These issue, about political perspectives in Europe, are of importance for the wider left.
Dale Street and Cathy Nugent, on behalf of the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty