By Satyaki Chakraborty
The Communist parties of the world, mainly those of the western countries, including the United States, Britain, France and Germany, are facing difficult choices after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s official declaration of attack against Ukraine on February 24. Earlier, the western parties, especially of USA have been exposing the NATO and US machinations in Ukraine and found some justification in Russia’s advance actions near the border.
But after February 24, the scenario changed completely as the parties did not expect such sudden aggression by the Russian side defying international norms. These parties finally came out with statements condemning Putin’s misadventure but at the same time pointing out that the NATO and the US president had to share the responsibility for precipitating the present war situation.
The CP of USA in its statement issued by the highest body, the National Board, called on the US people to demand the Biden administration change course immediately. War is never an acceptable solution and must be rejected in the strongest terms. At the same time the Party called on Russia to withdraw troops. All sanctions must be ended and borders secured and respected. Significantly, the CPUSA statement mentioned that Russian invasion of Ukraine threatens catastrophic consequences.
According to the statement, there is no doubt that the longstanding attempt by U.S. imperialism and NATO to bring Ukraine into the military alliance has heightened tensions. In the recent period, this effort along with providing military supplies combined with Cold War rhetoric is a backdrop to the crisis. A lasting peace is not possible unless Ukraine remains outside of NATO. Further Russia’s ruling circles have their own national designs and the outbreak of the war will only make matter worse.
President Biden has been following a policy of conceding of many demands of the working class including the right to form unions in some key areas of the industries. All these have been welcomed by the trade unions. Bernie Sanders who plays an important role in policymaking under Biden administration always identified Putin as authoritarian along with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Turkish Prime Minister. He has been critical all along of Putin’s hyper nationalism. At the same time the war mongering moves of NATO.
The US Communist Party is taking into account the stand of the Sanders group in arriving at its decision and therefore the attack on President Biden has not been that forceful. Already President Biden’s popularity is waning and the Democratic Party is not all that strong to face the midterm elections in November this year with confidence. It seems that the US communists are cautious during this period and they will focus more on their demand for ending the war immediately and solution through negotiations.
The Russian Communist Party (CPRF) leadership led by Gennady Zyuganov issued a statement on Ukraine on Tuesday calling for settling the crisis through talks as soon as possible.
“We sincerely hope for an early cessation of hostilities and a political settlement through negotiations. And we are contributing to this as much as possible,” the statement reads. The CPRF has not condemned Putin’s attack on Ukraine and also did not make any mention of Putin’s derogatory remarks against Lenin and Bolsheviks in his speech on February 21 justifying the Russian recognition to the two provinces of Ukraine as independent.
The Russian CP leader Zyuganov is facing protests in the party and already many CP members have come out against highly anti communist remarks of the Russian President.
The Communist Party of Britain, has called for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine, a halt to all military operations, and the beginning of negotiations to bring about a just settlement of the Ukraine question.
Where necessary and by agreement, UN peacekeeping forces should be stationed in Ukraine to protect communities from further attack. Western governments in the organiation should reverse their withdrawal of observers from the country.
Sanctions against Russia will not only make any progress more difficult. They will also damage the well-being of the peoples of Russia, Ukraine, and the rest of Europe including Britain, while making Europe more dependent on energy supplies from US corporations and Middle East dictatorships.
As regards the situation inside Russia, the official Communist Party of Russian federation led by Zugyanov supported the Putin misadventure and virtually endorsed the call of the Russian President on the basis of hyper nationalism.
But this was not a unanimous decision of the leadership, it seems. A few senior leaders of the CP disagreed to this official line and spoke for immediate withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine. (IPA Service)