Correspondence from Russia and Ukraine

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One of the most terrible effects of the counterrevolution which drowned the revolution of October 1917 in blood, was the complete isolation of the handful of revolutionaries in the USSR who survived the gulag and the raids of the GPU and the KGB (which also managed to bury the theoretical contributions of the Russian Communist Left). When the disintegration of the USSR began to raise the iron curtain imposed by the Stalinist bourgeoisie, it was important that revolutionaries in the West and in the countries of the ex-USSR should try to rebuild their contacts, exchange their experience and their ideas, so that the revolutionaries in these countries can return to their place in the international movement of the proletariat. This is why the ICC has taken part, since 1996, in the conferences organised by the Praxis group in Moscow (and in Kiev in 2005), and conducts a regular correspondence with several groups and contacts in Russia and the Ukraine. We have already published several articles from this correspondence on our Russian language web site. We have also begun the publication of a Russian language print publication, Интернационализм (Internationalism), in order to improve the exchange of ideas with comrades who do not have access to the Internet.

We know that this work requires enormous patience on all sides. The language barrier and translation is already a major difficulty; the ideas of the Communist Left from which the ICC draws its heritage are little known in the ex-USSR; similarly, the ideas developed by the comrades in these countries are often strongly marked by the specific experience there and are unfamiliar to readers in the West. The two articles that we are publishing here are the fruit of this long-term work: the first, is an extract from our correspondence with a comrade from Voronezh (a town on the river Don to the south of Moscow) and contains our response to his arguments in favour of self-management; the second, is an article by a comrade from the Ukraine on the presidential elections in 2004 which overthrew the regime of Leonid Kuchma.