We are publishing a statement produced by the KRAS, an internationalist anarchist group in Russia, and signed by various other groups and individuals. We think that it responds to the elementary duty of internationalists to oppose imperialist war not by supporting one camp against the other, but by supporting the interests of the international working class against all its exploiters, and by denouncing the nationalist hysteria which the rulers always try to stir up when war threatens or breaks out.
We don’t think, as the statement implies, that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine could spark off a third world war. The conditions for such a conflict are absent in the present period: the constitution of stable imperialist blocs and a defeated working class in the major capitalist countries.
Nevertheless, the conflict does express a grave deepening of world-wide imperialist tensions and a further descent of capitalism into chaos and militarism. And yet – in apparent contradiction with the idea that this conflict could be the precursor of a worldwide conflagration – the statement also gives the impression that a central motivation for Russia’s actions is to divert or forestall a proletarian response to the crisis. Nationalism is indeed used in this manner during any war situation, but it is not the danger of class struggle which pushes the bourgeoisie towards war: rather the opposite is the case.
Despite these criticisms, we want to affirm our solidarity with the comrades of KRAS and those in Ukraine who have signed this statement, since they are facing a particularly difficult situation: an atmosphere of rampant nationalism, ubiquitous state repression against dissenters, and the unofficial violence of the gangs of the ‘new right’, which is just a reheated version of the old fascism.
The power struggle between oligarchic clans in Ukraine threatens to escalate into an international armed conflict. Russian capitalism intends to use redistribution of Ukrainian state power in order to implement their long-standing imperial and expansionist aspirations in the Crimea and eastern Ukraine where it has strong economic, financial and political interests.
On the background of the next round of the impending economic crisis in Russia, the regime is trying to stoking Russian nationalism to divert attention from the growing workers’ socio-economic problems: poverty wages and pensions, dismantling of available health care, education and other social services. In the thunder of the nationalist and militant rhetoric it is easier to complete the formation of a corporate, authoritarian state based on reactionary conservative values and repressive policies.
In Ukraine, the acute economic and political crisis has led to increased confrontation between “old” and “new” oligarchic clans, and the first used including ultra-rightist and ultra-nationalist formations for making a state coup in Kiev. The political elite of Crimea and eastern Ukraine does not intend to share their power and property with the next in turn Kiev rulers and trying to rely on help from the Russian government. Both sides resorted to rampant nationalist hysteria: respectively, Ukrainian and Russian. There are armed clashes, bloodshed. The Western powers have their own interests and aspirations, and their intervention in the conflict could lead to World War III.
Warring cliques of bosses force, as usual, force to fight for their interests us, ordinary people: wage workers, unemployed, students, pensioners... Making us drunkards of nationalist drug, they set us against each other, causing us forget about our real needs and interests: we don`t and can`t care about their “nations” where we are now concerned more vital and pressing problems – how to make ends meet in the system which they found to enslave and oppress us.
We will not succumb to nationalist intoxication. To hell with their state and “nations”, their flags and offices! This is not our war, and we should not go on it, paying with our blood their palaces, bank accounts and the pleasure to sit in soft chairs of authorities. And if the bosses in Moscow, Kiev, Lviv, Kharkiv, Donetsk and Simferopol start this war, our duty is to resist it by all available means!
No war between “nations” - no peace between classes!
KRAS, Russian section of the International Workers Association
Internationalists of Ukraine, Russia, Moldova, Israel, Lithuania
Anarchist Federation of Moldova
Fraction of the Revolutionary Socialists (Ukraine)
Declaration was supported by:
Workers Solidarity Alliance (North America)
An Internationalist from USA
Anarcho-Syndicalist Initiative of Romania
Libertarians of Barcelona
Left Communists and Internationalists from Ecuador, Peru, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Uruguay and Venezuela
Workers-Communist Initiative (France)
Leicester group of Anarchist Federation (Britain)
An Internationalist from Ireland
French-speaking Anarchist Federation (FAF)
International of Anarchist Federations (IFA)
Union workers and precarious of Clermont-Ferrand CNT-AIT (France)
“World Revolution” (Croatia)
A Libertarian Socialist (Egypt)
World in Common network
The statement is open for signature