[Marxism] Fwd: “We should recognize that there are other imperialisms”: A Marxist dissident explains what the left gets wrong about Russia - Salon.com

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Apr 6 06:59:00 MDT 2015

Socialist activist Ilya Budraitkis tells Salon that it's time to abandon 
illusions about Putin's Russia

Q: You say a lot of people buy into the Russian government’s propaganda 
on Ukraine. Here in the United States some parts of the left seem to 
have bought into this too. They think Maidan was basically a Nazi coup 
backed by Europe and the United States and they kind of ridicule the 
idea that Russia has inflamed the conflict by supporting the separatists 
in the East. Can you comment on that?

A: Of course, both the pictures of what is happening there are very 
simplified. So firstly, it’s not true that it was a fascist coup in 
Ukraine because a “coup” is an action of a small, organized, armed group 
of people. [In Ukraine] the “coup” . . . had the clear support of 
hundreds of thousands of people. Even if you don’t like it you should 
recognize that it was a real huge movement with the big support of the 
population of Ukraine. I have no sympathy with the Ukrainian government 
that you have now, but for me it’s quite clear it can’t be reduced just 
to a Western plot. There were some deep social contradictions in 
Ukrainian society that led to this moment.

Of course, in any situation like this you have the interests: American 
interests, European interests, Russian interests, and so on. But these 
interests can work effectively only if you already have some problems 
within the country. And that is true also for Crimea and the East of 
Ukraine; you also can’t say that it’s just the result of Russian 
military intervention. I knew very well even a few years ago what kind 
of feelings most people in Crimea had toward Russia. So for me it was 
clear that a total majority of them want to be part of Russia. It was 
clear for everyone 10 years ago, even 15 years ago, that you have some 
serious cultural split in Ukraine between the West and East.

And of course what happened after Maidan with this language law from the 
new government, it was a kind of provocation. But at the same time you 
can’t imagine that this kind of terrible military confrontation that you 
have in Eastern Ukraine was possible without Russian participation. For 
those on the American Left who believe that there is some “anti-fascist” 
partisans operating in the East of Ukraine, I really recommend reading 
some books about other guerrilla movements, like Che Guevara or whatever 
they like. It’s the first [anti-fascist] partisan movement in the 
history, in Eastern Ukraine, which has more arms and more modern arms 
than the army who they confront.


More information about the Marxism mailing list