Art by Yousef Amairi

Art by Yousef Amairi
the struggle continues

May 14, 2015

Meeting of Communist Parties in Donbass: The struggle against Fascism is an integral part of the struggle against capitalism! from CP Greece 08.05.2015

 from KKE (CP Greece)

On the 5 May 2015, a meeting of communist parties and organizations was held in the Donbass region in order to exchange views about the situation that is being formed in Southeast Ukraine and the tasks of the communists.

The meeting was held at the invitation of the Russian Communist and Workers’ Party and the Communist Workers’ Organization of Lugansk and the Communist Party of Donetsk, communist and workers parties from certain republics of the former USSR, as well as representatives of the KKE and CP (Italy) took part.

The KKE was represented by Elisseos Vagenas, member of the CC of the KKE and Responsible for the International Relations Section of the CC of the KKE, at the meeting.  The intervention of the KKE at the meeting of CPs in Donbass can be found below:

On the eve of the 70th anniversary of the Antifascist Victory


“ We thank you for your invitation to take part in today’s meeting of CPs and from this podium we want to express, first of all, our solidarity with the communists of the region, who are active in particularly difficult and unprecedented conditions,. Our presence here is a practical demonstration of our solidarity.

Our meeting today is being held in between two important dates: May 1, the international day of the working class, which is linked to the struggles of the workers for their rights and political power, and also a few days before May 9, which this year is the 70th anniversary of the end of the 2nd World War and the Antifascist Victory of the Peoples.

Who would have expected a few decades ago that we would be here on the territory of the former USSR and that such enormous social gains, like work with rights for all, free education, free healthcare, social security, the certainty about the future, and many other things would be lost to the workers? Who would have expected, a few years ago that these areas would return to an era when parliaments would ban the dissemination of communist ideals and symbols, indeed, just a few days before May 1 and the 70th anniversary of the Antifascist Victory? Who would have expected that we would find ourselves in these parts and hear once again the sound of artillery and automatic weapons and see rivers of blood being shed? Who would have expected that openly fascist forces would parade in Kiev, tearing down Soviet memorials and that similar forces from Russia and other European countries would hold a congress in Leningrad, which reaction has now renamed “St Petersburg”.

On overestimating the results of the 2nd World War

For many years the mistaken view that the Antifascist Victory in the 2nd World War decisively changed the correlation of forces between the forces of capital and labour was also prevalent in the international communist movement. This view was based on the victory of the USSR, the emergence of socialist countries in Eastern Europe, the victory of the revolution in China, and the formation of states in the 1950s and 1960s that broke the shackles of the colonial system and established economic, political and military relations with the USSR. The international correlation of forces was overestimated and was considered to be in favour of the USSR and socialist countries. Indeed they pointed to certain technological achievements, such as the acquirement of a nuclear arsenal and intercontinental missiles. At the beginning of the 1960s, A. Gromyko, the Foreign Minister of the USSR from 1957 to 1985 and B. Ponomariov, member of the PB of the CPSU and responsible for the International Relations Section of the CPSU from 1955 to 1986, assessed that: “ The construction of high precision intercontinental missiles and space rockets, the launching of the first satellites and the sending of a rocket to the Moon, all demonstrate the enormous achievements of the Soviet country in the most important spheres of science and modern technology, and amongst other things military science. The appearance of the intercontinental missile has made the USA’s relative strategic invulnerability a thing of the past. The strategic correlation of forces has changes in favour of the socialist camp.”[1]

The developments refuted these assessments in a tragic way. The resolution of the 18th Congress of the KKE on socialism contains the following assessment:” Both sections of the communist movement (in power or not) overestimated the strength of the socialist system and underestimated the dynamic of the post-war reconstruction of capitalism.”[2]

Utopian positions, opportunist policies developed on this terrain  regarding the “peaceful transition”, “stages”, “the non capitalist path of development”, about international and regional “security systems”, “international law”, the “democratization” of imperialist unions, like the EU, pacifist generalizations about the “dissolution of NATO”, without raising the issue of each country leaving it etc, which unfortunately still influence CPs.  Even now, when the role of the UN is being revealed, which sometimes operates actively in support of the imperialist aggression in various corners of the planet and at other times remains a “spectator”, due to the sharpening of the inter-imperialist contradictions, as it does in the case of Ukraine, which constitutes the new “border” between the imperialist unions of NATO and the EU on the one side and Russia and the Eurasian economic and political-military unions being formed on the other.

On the causes of the conflict in Ukraine

Comrades, this is the reason why in our estimation the developments unfolding here, in the region of Donbass, have their roots in the overthrow of socialism and the dissolution of the USSR. The current conflict in Ukraine is being waged on the terrain of capitalism. The means of production have once again become privately owned, they pass from one business group to another, which in conditions of monopoly capitalism are inextricably linked to capitalist states and even have the support of unions of capitalist states. In this framework we saw the open intervention of the USA, EU, and NATO in Ukraine, in the context of their competition with Russia over the control of raw materials, pipeline networks, transport routes and market shares. This is a competition being waged with every means available: political, diplomatic, economic and even military. We do not forget the Leninist saying that “war is the continuation of politics by other violent means”. Consequently, the USA and the EU have no hesitation in supporting, financing and training even fascist forces in Ukraine.

The stance of the KKE

The KKE, from the very first moment, denounced the imperialist intervention in Ukraine, anti-communism, the utilization of the fascist monster, which then and now is a creation of the capitalist system, emerged from the bowels of the system, and is not something alien to it, as they want to present.  Fascism is used as the spearhead of capitalist power against the labour movement and also as tool of the bourgeoisie to co-opt the people in its efforts to achieve geopolitical goals in the framework of strengthening its position in the global imperialist “pyramid”. This does not mean that the USA and EU, which support the reactionary Kiev government and even fascist forces, like the “Right Sector”, are fascist and “export fascism”. They supported such forces, not only in Ukraine, but also earlier in the Baltic countries. They also supported such forces further back in the past e.g. Britain’s support for the Metaxas dictatorship in Greece. They do this in order to serve their plans against their competitors.

The KKE denounced the participation, initially of the ND-PASOK government and then later of the SYRIZA-ANEL government, in the EU-NATO plans in the region, which include sanctions against Russia amongst other things.

Our party, in addition, expressed its solidarity with the communists of Ukraine, who are being persecuted. It denounced the anti-communist legislation. It carried out mass demonstrations and protests at the Ukrainian Embassy in Athens. It raised these issues in the EU parliament and in the national parliament.

Even further, it expressed its solidarity with the people of Ukraine who are faced with a war with thousands of victims. We stressed that the real dilemma for the people of Ukraine is not for them to choose between the two capitalist inter-state unions. That is to say, between the capitalist inter-state union of Europe, the EU, or the inter-state capitalist union of Eurasia, which is being established by Russia. In our assessment, these unions are not formed in order to serve the workers’-people’s interests, but to advance the interests of capital. Of course, the capitalists may fight amongst themselves. One section may assess that its interests would be better served through the country’s integration into the EU and another one that its profitability would be served by linking up to the Eurasian Union. The capitalists can have such dilemmas and the corresponding controversies. However, this has nothing to do with the workers. We stressed in our statements that the workers have their own flag, their own interests, which do not coincide with the interests of any section of the bourgeois class or imperialist power. The interests of the working class and other popular strata are to be found in the socialization of the means of production, the central planning of the economy, workers’ power. This is their flag, which they must never lower, but must ferociously defend. Particularly here, on the terrain of the former Soviet Union, where the workers experienced the great, historical achievements of socialism and know what socialism means, where even the bourgeois mass media accept that in the opinion polls when the question “when did you live best?” is put, the large majority state that they lived better in the years of socialism.  And this is despite the slander and mud thrown at socialism, not only by Ukrainian politicians, like Prime Minister Yatsenyuk, but also by Russians, like the journalist Svanidze, who has many prime time programs on Russian state television.

On the situation in Donbass

We understand very well what dangers the vindictiveness and the hatred of this section of the bourgeoisie that governs in Kiev entail for the people of the region.  We know that this section is supported by the USA and the EU and seeks to eliminate all political forces that hinder the assimilation into the EU and NATO, even the national and linguistic minorities, especially those that are considered to be seeking an alliance with the capitalist Russia.

At the same time we see the new structures of power which were formed in the so-called “People’s Republics” are bourgeois ones and the relations of production remain capitalist. We note that the power has been transferred from Ukrainian oligarchs to the local bourgeoisie, which is closely connected with Russia. It characteristic that the new governments of the People’s Republics in Donetsk and Lugansk continued to send to Central and Western Ukraine the coal extracted from the coalmines of Donbass. Although the people of the republic of Donbass have been left with no coal during winter, they supplied the territories which are controlled by Kiev. The taxes from the enterprises that are still operating in Donbass were also given to Kiev. In addition, the owners of the enterprises were collecting war taxes from the working people of Southeast Ukraine,  for the so called operations against terrorism!

The above-mentioned demonstrate, once again, that the power will either be in the hands of the bourgeois class or in the hands of the working class. There is no intermediate “left”, “patriotic” or “anti-fascist” power.

Our party expresses its solidarity with the struggle of the working people in Donbass and generally in the Ukraine and assesses that this struggle, just as the struggle against fascism, for the defense of workers’ rights and people’s gains cannot be detached from the struggle against the monopolies, against capitalist exploitation and power, it must not slide into allying with bourgeois and opportunist forces that seek to save the parliamentary form of the capitalist dictatorship. The goal of the people’s alliance as a social alliance with an antimonopoly-anti-capitalist direction, as a working class-people’s opposition against bourgeois power should not change its direction or its content. Only in this way can the people’s struggle safeguard its prospect.

This is not an issue related to the correlation of forces, but it is an issue that arises from the timeliness and necessity of socialism, from the fact that we are still in the era of the passage from capitalism to socialism, which was heralded by the Great October Socialist Revolution. Despite the counterrevolutions, the character of our era has not changed, because the basic contradiction of capitalism between capital and labour remains, as do all the social impasses of capitalism. The only solution is the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism. Of course, we must take into account the correlation of forces, which today is very negative, but not in order to give up on the tasks of the CP, but so we can improve our arguments and tactics, which must be integrally linked to our strategy.

On the stance of the communists in conditions of the sharpening of the inter-imperialist contradictions

Especially today, when the economic crisis has sharpened the competition and the contradictions between the capitalist states and their various imperialist alliances which are becoming increasingly aggressive against the peoples in order to reinforce their geopolitical position, for the division of the markets, the control of the energy resources and the transport routes.

It is very important that there exist communist forces, like Lenin’s party, that do not align with any imperialist power. There must be communist forces in the frontline of the struggle for the workers’-people’s rights, against fascist terror and imperialist war, against the monopolies and capitalism. That will not fall into the “trap” of supporting an imperialist power, regardless of pretexts, or into the “pothole” of pacifism. For this reason Lenin’s positions continue to be relevant: “In such conditions, the slogans of pacifism, of international disarmament under capitalism, of arbitration, etc., are not only a reactionary Utopia but the down-right deception of the toilers, intended to disarm the proletariat and to divert it from the task of disarming the exploiters.

Only a proletarian communist revolution can lead humanity out of the deadlock created by imperialism and imperialist wars. No matter what difficulties the revolution may have to encounter and in spite of temporary failure of waves of counter-revolution the final victory of the proletariat is inevitable.” [3]


[1] A. Gromyko-B. Ponomariov:”The history of the USSR’s foreign policy”, v.2, 1945-1985

[2] Resolution of the 18th Congress of the KKE: “Assessments and conclusions on socialist construction during the 20th century, focusing on the USSR. KKE’s perception on socialism.”

[3] «Programme of the Russian Communist Party (Bolshevik)”. 1919

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