Italian Anarchists on Ukraine War


The war currently unfolding in Ukraine is more than just another military conflict, and it is not simply a dispute over resources. Rather, it is a crucial chapter of a wider rivalry between blocks of capitalist countries battling for control over the world. Economic, military, and technological supremacy, together with the global geopolitical equilibrium, are at stake in this conflict...

For the first time since World War II, a symmetric war is being fought in Europe, with a real risk of nuclear escalation. It is also the first ever direct conflict between Russia and NATO, involving the major nuclear powers of the world (Russian Federation, USA, UK, and France).

 War is the most radical form of oppression wielded by states and capitalists against the exploited.

This war, which began in 2014 with the attack against the Russian-speaking communities of Ukraine, fits in the larger strategic context of NATO expansion in Eastern Europe. This expansion reached the “backyard” (and, economically, the commercial space) of a militaristic and authoritarian power which is not willing to tolerate any disorders within its sphere of influence, as the brutal repression of the revolts in Kazakhstan in January 2022 demonstrate.

The most dramatic consequences are suffered directly by the Ukrainian people and by the conscripted Russian youth, but other peoples are indirectly affected. Africans have to endure the increase in the price of wheat and the exacerbation of regional conflicts, while the exploited in the West are subjected to a growing militarisation of their territories and a worsening of their living and working conditions.

Since 2014, Ukraine has seen the deployment of ferocious anti-Russian and anti-popular reforms, which have become even stricter after the Russian invasion of February 24, 2022: the abolition of Russian as second language in south-eastern Ukraine; the exclusion from the elections of political parties with alleged ties to Russia; the repression against members of the Russian Orthodox Church; the decommunisation laws with sentences of up to 10 years of detention for the crime of “communist propaganda”; the celebration of war criminal Stepan Bandera, complete with official ceremonies and memorials; the inclusion of Pravy Sector and Svoboda Nazis in the armed forces, starting from the National Guard and the creation of the infamous Udar and Azov battalions; the violence, attacks, rapes, homicides, and bombings against the people of Donbass (roughly 14,000 deaths between 2014 and 2022, including hundreds of children); the horrible massacre of Odessa of the 2nd of May 2014, when unarmed protesters calling for the independence from Ukraine, who were hiding in the local union building, were slaughtered and burnt alive by a crowd of armed Nazis escorted by the police. These authentic provocations–which attacked the Russian state’s international prestige and internal approval by targeting part of the Ukrainian population–are the root of the war.

Since 2014, Ukraine has become a sort of feud of the United States, a state tailored to multinational corporations and western capital–something that the United States and their allies had not achieved even in countries that they directly invaded and had military control over, such as Iraq. As an example, already in 2020 Zelensky abolished the moratorium preventing the sale of Ukraine’s fertile black soil, effectively handing over millions of hectares to the cultivation of Bayer-Monsanto’s GMOs, while at the beginning of the Russian invasion the collective agreements negotiated by unions ceased to apply to companies with less than 200 employees (which is the vast majority of Ukrainian companies), and strikes and protests were banned.

Saying this does not at all mean buying into Russian propaganda about the “special military operation” aimed at the “denazification” of Ukraine. Then the Russian-Chinese bloc cannot have a global emancipatory role. When a State is fighting a war, that State is waging war also on its own people, and particularly against its own proletarians. War always reinforces the power of the ruling classes, strengthening the enslavement and exploitation of the oppressed.


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Vol 56, No. 16, Oct 15 - 21, 2023