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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain


by our Eastern European affairs correspondent

RUSSIAN TROOPS are beating back the Ukrainians whose much vaunted southern offensive that began on Monday is already running out of steam. Although the Ukrainians managed to capture a couple of villages along the front-line, their big push is already being dismissed as a “miserable failure” in the Kremlin whilst Kirill Stremousov, the deputy chief of the regional administration in the liberated south, said: “Kherson will never return to the control of the Nazis, no matter what they promise, no matter what they do.”

But whilst the fighting rages around the liberated city of Kherson, international atomic energy inspectors are attempting to cross the battle lines to reach the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant that has come under continuous Ukrainian shelling in recent weeks.

Scores of tanks and armoured vehicles were destroyed and over a thousand Ukrainian troops killed in the first day of the botched offensive, which the Russians say was personally ordered by the Ukrainian leader against the advice of his own high command. “The effective actions by the Russian forces destroyed 48 tanks, 46 infantry fighting vehicles, 37 other armoured combat vehicles, eight pickups with heavy machine guns and more than 1,200 Ukrainian servicemen in one day,” the Defence Ministry in Moscow said.

In Kiev it is said that General Zaluzhny, the commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, was opposed to the offensive as he believes defensive tactics to be the most advantageous at the moment whereas large-scale offensive operations can only lead to the loss of accumulated reserves and weapons.

But President Zelensky is looking for victories to justify the import of vast amounts of NATO arms, put the war back on the front-pages of the Western media and push the imperialists to increase their support to Kiev.

The Zelensky ‘counter-offensive’ is the latest in a long line of strategic operations that the Ukrainians claim to have launched, with little or no success, since May. On Monday Ukrainian presidential advisor Alexei Arestovich announced the start of measures to “liberate” Kherson and other southern territories from Russia. On Tuesday, he was already urging his countrymen to “calm down” and stressing that any “gains” would not be “quick nor easy”.

“What appears like ‘stalling’ to you, to the [commander in chief] is probably a planning stage which has its own logic and rhythm, including pauses and a change in direction to focus on the main efforts. So many shouted ‘we believe in the Armed Forces of Ukraine’. Well the time has come to believe,” he said.

Back in the Donets basin Russian communists are holding talks with the communist leaders in the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics. A Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) delegation held talks with the Lugansk League of Communists and the Communist Party of the Donetsk People’s Republic this week to strengthen co-operation between Russia and the Donbas republics.

The Russian Federation has long assisted the people of the Donbas in their struggle, and this is supported by the independent efforts of Russia’s political parties. The ruling United Russia party has set up 37 humanitarian centres in Donbas and the liberated territories and at least 10 more will appear in the Lugansk people’s republic in the near future. More than 400,000 people have received aid in these centres and many others have been helped by the humanitarian convoys organised by the CPRF. The Russian communist convoys started in 2014 when the Donbas rose up against the fascists. The next, 101st convoy of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, will leave Moscow on 6th September.