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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain


Russians sweep through Ukraine

by our European Affairs correspondent

THE RUSSIANS are sweeping through Ukraine in a lightning campaign that began with a wave of air raids on Ukrainian military bases all over the country on Thursday. The imperialists are stepping up their efforts to diplomatically isolate the Kremlin and piling on more economic sanctions against Russia. But at the UN Security Council an American call for the immediate withdrawal of all Russian troops was vetoed by Russia with People’s China, India and the United Arab Emirates abstaining.

Ukrainian puppet president Volymyr Zelinsky now says he’s ready to discuss the Russian demand to keep out of NATO in return for a cease-fire. But many in the Kremlin doubt his sincerity or even his ability to deliver on any of his promises these days. Proposed peace talks in Minsk, Warsaw and even Tel Aviv have come to nothing due to Ukrainian intransigence and now the Russians are swinging to the view that the only answer is regime change.

On Friday Russian President Vladimir Putin called on the Ukrainian army to “take power into your own hands” saying it would be easier to come to an agreement with them rather than the regime he dismissed as a “gang of druggies and neo-nazis”.

This was echoed by opposition Ukrainian MPs who are calling on Zelinsky to resign amid reports that he’s fled the capital, Kiev, which is rapidly being encircled by Russian troops. The ‘Opposition Party – For Life’ which has 44 seats in the Kiev parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, says Zelinsky should go to pave the way for a new government that can start peace talks with the Russians,

response

The Russian intervention was a response to a call for help from the newly recognised Donbas people’s republics to end the constant shelling that they’ve endured over the past eight years.

Putin said that the goal of the operation is “to protect people who have been subjected to abuse and genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years, and for this we will seek to demilitarise and de-nazify Ukraine, as well as bring to justice those who committed numerous bloody crimes against peaceful residents, including citizens of the Russian Federation,”.

The leaders of the two Donbas republics that broke away from Ukraine after the fascist coup in Kiev in 2014 said they were “eternally grateful” to the Russian Federation for recognising their independence and protecting their freedom and the lives of their citizens. Cuba, Syria, Venezuela and Nicaragua have now joined Russia in establishing diplomatic relations with the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics.

On the front the Donbas militias, now known as the Novorussian army, have broken through the Ukrainian lines and they are advancing to liberate the rest of the region while Russian forces are moving largely unopposed through the countryside north of the Crimean peninsula.

In Ukraine some soldiers are heeding Russian calls to surrender. Others are simply deserting and going home. Anti-fascist action has also been stepped up amid reports of sabotage by “Russian agents” and “masked men” hunting known Nazis and Right Sektor leaders to bring them to justice at tribunals when the war is over.

Meanwhile pro-imperialist groups held “peace” protests in Moscow, St Petersburg and a number of other cities across Russia largely for the benefit of the Western media that ignores the mass support for the intervention on the Russian street. Russia’s major communist parties, including the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) that leads the opposition in the Russian parliament, are backing what CPRF leader Gennady Zyuganov called “the steps taken that aim to guarantee peace in Donbas and to secure Russia against increasing threats on the part of the USA and NATO”.