Ukraine: Two years of imperialist confrontation, two years of barbarism and destruction

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On 24 February 2022, Russia launched a "special operation" against Ukraine, intended as a Blitzkrieg[1] from the north and east, with the intention of changing the government in Kyiv and occupying the Donbas, Zaporijjia and Kherson. In response, the Ukrainian state declared the military mobilisation of the population and a democratic campaign was launched among the major Western powers to support the defence of Ukraine. All this suggested that this was just a "limited" operation, like the occupation of Crimea in 2014.

Today, on the other hand, the situation is more like what Rosa Luxemburg described at the beginning of her Junius Pamphlet on the First World War: “The trains full of reservists are no longer accompanied by virgins fainting from pure jubilation. They no longer greet the people from the windows of the train with joyous smiles… The cannon fodder loaded onto trains in August and September is moldering in the killing fields of Belgium, the Vosges, and Masurian Lakes where the profits are springing up like weeds Cities become piles of ruins; villages become cemeteries; countries, deserts; populations are beggared; churches, horse stalls. Soiled, dishonoured, drenched in blood, covered in filth; this is what bourgeois society looks like, this is what it is".

The war in Ukraine displays all the characteristics of imperialist war in the decadence of capitalism, and in particular in its period of decomposition.

War tends to become permanent and thus expresses the tendency of war to become the way of life of capitalism.

Since the First World War (4 years), and especially after the Second World War (5 years), war has not ceased, causing far more death and destruction overall than in the two world wars: Korean War (3 years; although it was falsely halted by an armistice signifying a temporary suspension and not a termination of war); Vietnam (20 years); Iran-Iraq (8 years); Afghanistan (20 years); Iraq War (8 years); Angola War (13 years); 1st and 2nd Congo War (1 year and 5 years)... Today, there are an estimated 183 armed conflicts in the world since the end of the Second World War.

The war in Ukraine has been going on for almost two years[2] and is now in a state of stagnation following the failure of the Ukrainian counter-offensive, which can only be a prelude to further escalation. Indeed, since the Russian occupation of Crimea in 2014, the war in Donetsk has not ceased. But beyond that, through the clash between NATO's extension to Moscow's doorstep and the Russian Federation's resistance to this pressure, the confrontation is laying the foundations for persistent and escalating fighting: "Ukraine has built an impressive fighting force with tens of billions of dollars' worth of aid, extensive training, and intelligence support from the West. The Ukrainian armed forces will be able to hold at risk any areas under Russian occupation. Further, Kyiv will maintain the capability to strike Russia itself, as it has demonstrated consistently over the past year​. Of course, the Russian military will also have the capacity to threaten Ukrainian security. Although its armed forces have suffered significant casualties and equipment losses that will take years to recover from, they are still formidable. And as they demonstrate daily, even in their current sorry state, they can cause significant death and destruction for Ukrainian military forces and civilian alike".[3]

The war in Ukraine also confirms the trend towards greater direct involvement of the central countries of capitalism in imperialist warfare. Indeed, this war signifies the new return of war to Europe since 1945, already at work in the Balkan war of the 1990s. It also pits Europe's two largest countries against each other, including the world's second largest nuclear power.

What's more, this war directly involves the major European powers[4] and the United States, which are helping to finance it and send weapons and military training[5] . So it's hardly surprising that this war is raising the spectre of a world war:

"Before the Russian invasion, many believed that the wars between the great powers of the 21st century, if they were to take place, would not resemble those of the past. They would be fought with a new generation of advanced technologies, including autonomous weapons systems. They would take place in space and cyberspace; the presence of soldiers on the front lines would probably not matter much. Instead, the West had to admit that this was a new war between states on European soil, fought by large armies over territories of several square kilometres. And this is just one of the many ways in which the invasion of Russia is reminiscent of the two world wars. Like those wars, this one was fuelled by nationalism and unrealistic expectations of how easy it would be to overwhelm the enemy. Fighting took place both in civilian areas and on the front lines, ravaging towns and driving people from their homes. The war consumed enormous resources and the governments involved were forced to call on conscripts and, in the case of Russia, mercenaries. The conflict has led to a search for new and more lethal weapons, with the risk of dangerous escalation. This situation is also felt in many other countries".[6]

A total war

Another characteristic of wars in decadence (and all the more so in the current final phase of decomposition) is that they require the mobilisation of all the nation's resources and the enrolment of the entire population at the front or in the rear. The media insisted that in both Russia and Ukraine, while the war was going on at the front, life in the rear continued as normal in Moscow or Kyiv. This is only half the truth. It is true that, particularly in Russia, it was mainly Wagner mercenaries and the Kadyrovtsis who were sent to the front[7] , and that conscription has for the moment carefully avoided places where the proletariat is concentrated: "The Kremlin has had disproportionate recourse to recruiting soldiers from Russia's poorest regions, made up of a large population of ethnic minorities, including those from formerly rebellious republics such as Chechnya, and provinces such as Buryatia and Tuva. In Tuva, for example, one in every 3,300 adults died fighting in Ukraine (compared to Moscow, where the figure is 1 in every 480,000 adults)".[8]

It is also true that it is necessary, as far as possible, to maintain production: in Ukraine, for example, companies have the right to 'save' up to 50% of their managers and skilled workers from conscription (in return, they make it easier to recruit the other 50% by threatening them with dismissal) and that both governments have an interest in maintaining a semblance of 'normality' at the back.

But the war was above all a total war, with barbarity raging on the front lines and among the civilian population. From the very first day of the war, Zelenski forbade adult men of fighting age to leave the country, but this did not prevent hundreds of thousands of them from accompanying the 8 million Ukrainian refugees abroad and tens of thousands from fleeing the mobilisation clandestinely. In Russia too, since the partial mobilisation of September 2022, the government has been able to enlist any citizen of fighting age, which immediately led to around 700,000 men fleeing the country, and no doubt more later.

On the front line, "Western intelligence agencies have estimated that during some of the heaviest fighting, Russia has recorded an average of more than 800 deaths and injuries per day, and Ukrainian officials have acknowledged peaks of 200 to 500 casualties per day on the Ukrainian side. Russia has already lost more soldiers in this war than in ten years of fighting in Afghanistan".[9]

According to official American sources, in mid-August this year the New York Times estimated the number of dead, wounded and maimed in the war at around 500,000, including 70,000 dead and 120,000 seriously wounded on the Ukrainian side[10] , where more reliable data is available. According to Ukrainian sources, Russian troops are being re-supplied by released convicts who have been blackmailed into going to war. The officers despised them and sent them to die on the front line without bothering about the wounded, let alone the dead.

As for the civilian population, since the first Russian assault, mass graves of murder and torture have been discovered in the suburbs of Kyiv, then in Bucha, with evidence of hundreds of summary executions and rapes of women and children, which have been exploited to the hilt in order to boost anti-Russian war propaganda. The incessant bombardments are destroying people's homes and basic infrastructure, and causing an incessant number of casualties. Entire towns, such as Mariupol, have been completely destroyed. The rain of missiles does not stop, not only on the eastern front, but also in Kyiv. Railway stations (Kramatorsk, April 2022), cafés and restaurants, hospitals, maternity wards, power stations and even nuclear power stations like Zaporijjia have been seriously threatened.

Every day, tens of thousands of shells are fired by both sides[11] , sowing terror and destruction when they explode, but also when they fail to explode, because they remain a threat that can continue to kill and maim. The cluster bombs supplied by the United States in recent months, as their name suggests, explode at the same time as they seed the whole area with explosives. Ukraine is now one of the countries with the most landmines in the world: anti-personnel and anti-tank mines, which explode when stepped on, but also when cars or buses carrying fleeing civilians pass by. Retreating Russian troops lay mines all over the place and set traps by leaving explosives on corpses in abandoned houses, and the Ukrainian army mines the front line to prevent the Russians from advancing. Mines are dropped by missiles or drones everywhere:

"Some 174,000 square kilometres of Ukraine are suspected of being contaminated by mines and unexploded ordnance. This is an area the size of Florida, or around 30% of Ukrainian territory. This estimate takes into account areas occupied by Russia since its full-scale invasion, as well as areas reclaimed from the Kharkov region in the east to the outskirts of Kyiv, such as Bucha. According to Human Rights Watch, mines have been identified in 11 of Ukraine's 27 regions.”[12]

Not to mention the ecological consequences of the war, which we have already referred to: "Chemical factories were bombed in a particularly vulnerable country. Ukraine occupies 6% of European territory, but contains 35% of its biodiversity, with some 150 protected species and numerous wetlands".[13]

This is the image recently painted by journalists in Kryvyi Rih, a major industrial centre near Zaporijjia, the country's 7th largest city: "The queues outside the recruitment offices have disappeared. Today, everyone knows what the daily life of a soldier is like. It is no longer rare to see soldiers mutilated by the war on the outskirts of bus stations in medium-sized towns”.[14]

But the main victim of the war has been the working class. Workers' families were bombed in the rear and they were recruited from the factories to go to the front, subjected to blackmail for dismissal, rather like Russian convicts. What's more, once they were mobilised, they lost their wages, which they exchanged for the meagre monthly pay of 500 euros given to soldiers at the front. In addition, the state has abandoned insurance for the wounded and maimed. For those who remain at work, in July 2022 the Rada (the Ukrainian parliament) approved the suspension of most of the laws governing the labour code, arbitrarily granting freedom to company management in wage negotiation and dismissal.

The economy at the service of war

In the imperialist wars of decadence (and also of course in its current final phase of decomposition), war is not at the service of the economy, unlike in the ascendant period of capitalist expansion in the 19th century, when colonial wars enabled the global expansion of capitalism, or when national wars provided a framework for capitalist development. In the present period, the economy is at the service of war[15] and this is confirmed by the war in Ukraine, starting with Russia.

In his end-of-year interview, Mr Putin boasted of a 3.5% increase in production in Russia, but this figure largely reflects the increase in war production:

"The Kremlin is throwing the household furniture out of the window by increasing its military budget by 68% between now and 2024. The defence industry is preparing to rapidly supply the front line. An investigation by the Ukrainian media outlet Skhemy, based on satellite observations, shows the construction or expansion of several key factories in the Russian military-industrial system. In the aerospace sector, these include the Gorbunov factory in Kazan (production of Tu-16, Tu-22 and TU-160 bombers), the Irkutsk factory (Su-30 fighters) and the Ekaterinburg factory (engines and gearboxes for Mi-24 and Ka-52 military helicopters). Others, specialising in mechanical engineering at Doubna (Kh-22, Kh-55 and Kh-101 missiles) and Kronstadt (Orion and Helios military drones), as well as Kalashnikov (ammunition for Zala, Lancet and Italmas marauders), have also developed their industrial facilities".[16]

According to official figures, the population's income has fallen by 10% over the last decade, and the country's economic situation is reminiscent of that of the Stalinist USSR at the time of the collapse of the Eastern bloc, of which economic stagnation and backwardness were precisely a major cause:

"The country's economy is stagnant, with few sources of value other than the extraction and export of natural resources. The whole system is riddled with corruption and dominated by state-owned or state-controlled enterprises, all of which are inefficient, and international sanctions limit access to capital and technology. Russia struggles to develop, retain and attract talent; the state underfunds scientific research and bureaucratic mismanagement hampers technological innovation. As a result, Russia lags far behind the US and China on most indicators of scientific and technological development. Military spending has stagnated over the past four years and the population is expected to shrink by ten million by 2050."[17]

The war also had a major impact on the economies of the major European powers. The United States used the war, which it helped to start, not only to "bleed" Russia and make it more difficult to form an alliance with China[18] , but also to impose on the European powers its policy of sanctions against the Russian Federation and its financing of the war in Ukraine.

Up to now, we have taken stock of almost two years of this war without differentiating between the characteristics of wars in decadence or of their final phase of decomposition; but at this stage, there is an important difference to point out, namely the tendency towards "every man for himself", the difficulty of the United States in imposing discipline on its allies and, at the same time, the impossibility for the latter to free themselves from American tutelage, and therefore the impossibility of consolidating an imperialist bloc. What the media call the "West", as opposed to the "Global South", is not a continuation of the American bloc confronting the Eastern bloc during the Cold War, but a game of dupes in which each side defends its interests against the others; it is nothing less than what is actually happening in the "Global South" too.

At the start of the war, France and Germany in particular tried to maintain a dialogue with Putin and to avoid the US policy of dragging the Kremlin into a war of attrition; but in the end they had to comply with sanctions and the financing of the war. In total, the amount spent by the EU on military aid to Ukraine alone is estimated at €5 billion. Macron had to go from claiming that NATO was "brain-dead" to contributing around €3 billion to finance the war and send arms to Ukraine, not without resistance, because its military aid ranks fifth, even behind Finland or Slovakia.

But it is undoubtedly for Germany that the sanctions and the war have had the greatest impact: “Prior to the invasion of Ukraine, Europe imported 45% of its gas from Russia, with Germany particularly resistant to decades-long US warnings that such a dependence on a single ideologically hostile power was foolish. Duly, once the war started, Putin resorted to using gas supplies as a weapon of war. From June 2022, gas supplies through Nord Stream 1, the 745-mile pipeline from the Russian coast near St Petersburg to north-east Germany, were cut to 40% of normal. Russia first cited technical problems. By July, the supply had fallen further down to 20% with Gazprom blaming ‘routine maintenance and faulty equipment’. By late August, with gas prices spiraling, Nord Stream 1 was not transporting any gas at all.” [19] . Then there was the sabotage of NordStream 2, first politically by the EU, then by blowing it up[20] . Germany had to reorganise its energy sources, with threats of rationing. In retaliation, Scholz declared a Zitenwenden (change of era) in the country's security policy, meaning a policy of intensive rearmament. This policy is being followed by all EU countries, with a 30% increase in defence spending from February 2022.

For its part, the United States has spent around 250 billion dollars worldwide on armaments and financing the war, and the Biden administration is currently trying to save another 60 billion dollars at all costs. Nevertheless, the US government has benefited economically from the sanctions and energy cuts, which have enabled it to export its own resources.

At the international level, the blockade of grain exports from Ukraine (one of the world's four main grain producers) and of maritime traffic in the Black Sea have caused famines in Africa and, together with arms spending and other unproductive expenditure, have contributed to the rise in inflation, particularly in food prices. All this, in addition to the rise in energy prices and the considerable increase in military budgets, is being passed on to the workers in the form of sacrifices and a marked deterioration in their living conditions.

The irrationality of war in times of decomposition

Groups in the proletarian political milieu in the Bordigist (the various Internationalist Communist Parties) and Damenist (the Internationalist Communist Tendency) traditions defend the view that imperialist war allows the beginning of a new cycle of accumulation. However, at the end of the Second World War, the Gauche Communise de France, from which we descend, drew the conclusion that, in the decadence of capitalism, war only leads to the destruction of the productive forces:

"War was the indispensable means for capitalism to open up the possibilities of further development, at a time when these possibilities existed and could only be opened up by means of violence. In the same way, the collapse of the capitalist world, having historically exhausted all possibilities of development, finds in modern warfare, imperialist warfare, the expression of this collapse which, without opening up any possibilities of further development for production, merely engulfs the productive forces in the abyss and accumulates ruin upon ruin at an accelerating rate."[21]

And this war is full confirmation of that:

"Today, the war in Ukraine cannot have directly economic objectives. Neither for Russia, which launched hostilities on 24 February 2022, nor for the United States, which for more than two decades has taken advantage of Russia's weakening following the collapse of its empire in 1989 to push the extension of NATO right up to the borders of that country. If Russia succeeds in establishing its control over new parts of Ukraine, it will be faced with huge expenditure to rebuild the regions it is ravaging. What's more, in the long term, the economic sanctions being put in place by Western countries will further weaken Ukraine's already sluggish economy. On the Western side, these same sanctions will also have a considerable cost, not to mention the military aid to Ukraine, which already runs into tens of billions of dollars. In fact, the current war is yet another illustration of the ICC's analyses of the question of war in the period of decadence of capitalism, and more particularly in the phase of decomposition that constitutes the culmination of this decadence".[22]

Indeed, as Putin himself has just stated, "Ukraine is incapable of producing anything"; in fact, the Ukrainian economy was already very weak before the war. For example, after independence from the USSR in 1991, production fell by 60% and GNP per capita by 42%; with the exception of precisely the east - which is now the main theatre of war - Kyiv and the northern oblasts, the main production is agricultural. Today, infrastructure such as the Crimean bridge has been destroyed, entire towns are in ruins, and in some places that were major concentrations of workers, factories are now producing at only 25% of their capacity.

The situation in the energy production and supply sector is indicative of the state of the country. Four nuclear power stations have been shut down, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) estimates the cost of destruction in this sector alone at 10 billion euros, which has plunged 12 million people into energy poverty: "Last winter, Ukraine suffered power cuts and heating cuts throughout the country. Hospitals were deprived of electricity or had to resort to their own generators. By April, Ukraine's electricity production capacity had been reduced by 51% compared to just before the Russian invasion, according to the UNDP".[23]

There is a shortage of basic manpower, particularly in technology and research, most of whose workers have fled the country or been conscripted to the front: "Many male professors and students have joined the army. Some 2,000 professors and researchers have been unable to continue their work. In some universities, 30% of professors have gone abroad or to the other side of the country. Sixty-three institutions are reporting a shortage of teaching staff".[24]

In these conditions, it is difficult to imagine a reconstruction which would initiate a new cycle of accumulation, and even less so in the perspective of a lasting installation of war in Ukraine. Imperialist war in the decadence of capitalism already presents, in itself, this aspect of permanent destruction as a way of life for capitalism; but in its phase of decomposition, and particularly in recent years, this irrationality takes on a higher, scorched-earth character on the part of the various imperialist parties.

In this war, Russia is destroying infrastructure and production and is in the process of exterminating the population of the territory it claims (the Donbass). While one of its main objectives was to prevent NATO's presence on its borders, on the one hand it has pushed Sweden and Finland to apply to join, and on the other, instead of Ukraine's "neutrality", it finds itself confronted with a militarised country armed to the teeth, equipped with the most modern technology supplied by all the NATO countries.

The United States, which pushed Putin to start the war in order to "bleed Russia dry" and weaken its possible alliance with China, is faced with the prospect of accepting a possible defeat by Ukraine (supported by NATO and primarily by the United States itself). This would mean weakening their image as the world's leading power in the eyes of their allies, or leading to an escalation of the war with unforeseeable consequences in the event of NATO's direct involvement in the conflict, or the use of nuclear weapons. At the same time, instead of the war being a show of force that would have imposed discipline on all its rivals and second- and third-rate powers, the United States is faced with war in the Middle East, Israel's defiant attitude and the possibility of other regional powers such as Iran becoming involved in the conflict. And while it has so far been able to assert its interests in Europe, the various EU powers have embarked on an arms race that may one day enable them to resist these pressures. This situation is not lost on American analysts:

"A prolonged conflict would keep the risk of escalation - either Russia's use of nuclear weapons or a war between NATO and Russia - at a high level of alert. Ukraine would become completely dependent militarily and economically on Western support, which would ultimately pose budgetary problems for Western countries and readiness problems for their armies. The global economic consequences would persist and the US would be unable to devote its resources to other priorities, while Russia's dependence on China would increase. A long war would also weaken Russia, but the benefits do not outweigh the costs."[25]

On the battlefield itself, this tendency towards irrationality is expressed in the tendency to reproduce on a small scale sieges such as Stalingrad during the Second World War or Verdun during the First World War[26] , as in Bakhmut or Mariupol, where, on the pretext of the more or less strategic value of the place, systematic destruction was carried out, with the attendant loss of life and injuries (in Bakhmut, it is estimated that hundreds of thousands were seriously injured and over 50,000 killed).

The situation of the working class

The Ukrainian working class has been very weakened by the deindustrialisation that followed the disintegration of the USSR and by the weight of the ideological campaigns that sought to drag it into the struggles between factions of the bourgeoisie during the "Orange Revolution"[27] (2004), the Euromaidan protests (late 2013) and the Crimean war (2014). The February declaration of war was not fought by workers' mobilisations, but by the mass flight of refugees. Although there have recently been women's demonstrations in Kyiv calling for the return of soldiers from the front, and the Zelenski government is having serious difficulties recruiting soldiers, we should not expect a workers' response to the war.

As far as Russia is concerned, despite the information blackout, it seems that the proletariat in the main industrial concentrations is suffering less directly from conscription and bombing, but more and more from the intensification of exploitation and repression in the workplace, as well as from the loss of purchasing power. Its response to the situation remains an unknown for the moment; but what is clear from the evidence so far is that it will need some time to mature.

It is therefore inappropriate to expect the proletariat of either of the two countries concerned to respond in such a way as to put an end to the war.

On the other hand, the current struggles of the world proletariat in the main countries are not the product of a protest against the war either. The world proletariat was able to stop the First World War, but its revolutionary struggle in Russia and Germany was not directly the product of a response to the war, but of the development of its struggles for demands and its consciousness in the face of the collapse of capitalism. As soon as the German bourgeoisie succeeded in separating the struggle against the war from the revolutionary struggle at the rear, “peace” was used against the revolution.

Today, since the summer of anger in Great Britain[28] , workers in the main countries have begun a dynamic of struggles in defence of their living conditions, confirmed in particular by the struggles against pension reform in France and the struggles in the United States (in the automobile, health and education sectors, etc.). Struggles have developed despite the war in Ukraine, and the involvement of various countries in financing and sending weapons to the war is beginning to fuel reflection on the relationship between sacrifice and war within the proletariat.

Hic Rhodes, 29.12.2023


[1] Blitzkrieg; German term for a rapid, energetic military campaign aimed at a clear victory that avoids the possibility of total war (Wikipedia).

[2] According to a study by the University of Uppsala (Sweden) based on conflicts between 1946 and 2021, 26% of wars between states end in less than a month, and 25% in a year; but it also shows that if the conflict lasts more than a year, it tends to drag on for at least a decade.

[3] An Unwinnable War”, article by Samuel Charap, (RAND Corporation), published in Foreign Affairs Vol 102, Nº 4, July/August 2023. The author was a member of the US State Department's policy planning team during the Obama administration.

[4]The bloc has provided military assistance to Ukraine - the first time that European institutions have directly provided military assistance (including lethal aid) to a state, on top of finally ending their resistance to getting involved militarily in support of a third state at war.", "'No turning back' How the Ukraine war has profoundly changed the EU”, the Guardian, September 30, 2023.

[5] 18 EU Member States train Ukrainian soldiers (according to the Guardian, idem).

[6] How wars Don't End” article by Margaret MacMillan, Emeritus Professor of International History at Oxford, published in Foreign Affairs, July/August 2023.

[7] The soldiers of Chechen leader Kadyrov

[8] The Treacherous Path to a Better Russia”, article by Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Erica Frantz, published in Foreign Affairs July/August 2023. Andrea Kendall is Senior Fellow and Director of the Transatlantic Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. From 2015 to 2018, she was Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Russia and Eurasia at the National Intelligence Council, part of the US Federal Intelligence Directorate. Erica Frantz is an associate professor of political science at Michigan State University.

[9] “How wars Don’t End” article by Margaret MacMillan, Emeritus Professor of International History at Oxford, published in Foreign Affairs, July/August 2023.

[10] “Growing doubt in Ukraine”, Le Monde Diplomatique, English Language edition, November 2023..

[11] One of the journalists who witnessed the siege of Mariupol right up to the end recounts that "at one point, people didn't know who to blame for the bombing, the Russians or the Ukrainians" (A harrowing film exposes the brutality of Russia's war in Ukraine, Vox - Voxmedia, about a documentary on the capture of Mariupol).

[12] "There are now more landmines in Ukraine than almost anywhere else on the planet", Vox (Voxmedia)

[13] Iryna Stavchuk, Ukrainian Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources, published in "Les guerres contre nature", Le Monde 11 June 2022.

[14] “Growing doubt in Ukraine”, Le Monde Diplomatique, English Language edition, November 2023.

[15] See the Report on the International Situation to the Conference of the Gauche Communiste de France, July 1945, extracts published in “50 years ago: the real causes of the Second World War”, International Review 59

[16] "L'industrie d'armement russe monte en puissance », Le Monde, 4 November 2023.

[17] “The myth of Russian decline”, by Michael Kofman and Andrea Kendall-Taylor (Center for a New American Security), Foreign Affairs, November/December 2021.

[18] See Significance and impact of the war in Ukraine; International Review 169, 2022.

[19] "'No turning back': how the Ukraine war has profoundly changed the EU", the Guardian, September 30, 2023.

[20] It has now been established that this sabotage was of Ukrainian origin, although it is not clear whether it was carried out with the government's consent (see Le Figaro international).

[21]  Report on the International Situation to the Conference of the Gauche Communiste de France, July 1945, extracts published in “50 years ago: the real causes of the Second World War”, International Review 59, ibid

[22] Militarism and decomposition (May 2022), International Review 168, May 2022.

[23] “Ukraine fears another plunge into cold and darkness”, headlines the Washington Post, Wednesday 11 October 2023.

[24] “Ukraine, the education system takes a stand”, article by Qubit, a Hungarian scientific journal, published in Courrier International 1275, 23-29 November 2023

[25] According to the study by the University of Uppsala (Sweden), referred to in note 2.

[26] The expression "bleed to death", used by Hillary Clinton to describe the United States' objective vis-à-vis Russia in this war, was used by Erich von Falkenhayn, the German Chief of Staff, during the siege of the fortress of Verdun in the First World War against France, which he wanted to force to exhaust its forces. The failure of the German offensive resulted in carnage, with the loss of 750,000 men (killed, wounded and missing), including 143,000 Germans and 163,000 French.

[28] The struggles of the summer of 2022 in Great Britain, which, under the slogan "enough is enough", marked a break with 40 years of passivity after the defeat of the miners' strikes of 1983, have been called the “summer of anger”; this term refers to the struggles of 1978-1979, which were referred to as the winter of discontent.


World-wide class struggle or capitalist devastation