Russia

In the last week of September, the editor of marxist.com, Alan Woods participated in a speaking tour organised by the supporters of the Russian Marxist tendency, the Rabochaya Demokratiya (Workers’ Democracy) group.

Ten years ago this month in Moscow (on October 3 and 4) the “White House” (as the Russian Parliament building is known) was bombed, and hundreds of people were killed. This was the civil war between President Yeltsin and the Parliament (the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federation). Today the Russian authorities prefer not to remember those events, not just because of the bloody nature of what happened, but also because what happened back in 1993 questioned the legitimacy of the present Russian system.

Lenin was said to have stated that under Communism the toilets would be lined with gold. His prediction seems to have been realised in present-day Russia- though in a way rather different to that which he originally envisaged.

St. Petersburg - or Leningrad as it was known during Soviet times - is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, but it is having a difficult time now. In 1991 during the "anti-communist" rising the city got back its old name of St. Petersburg and with this name trouble was being prepared for its people.

On May 16, Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered his state of the union address. In comparison with the triumphal statements of the past, it displayed unusual frankness about the country's problems. The truth of the matter is that capitalism has been a nightmare for the Russian people and the position of the masses is not improving, but getting worse.

Clausewitz stated that war is the continuation of politics by other means. But in the present epoch peace is also the continuation of war by other means. As we predicted, the détente between Russia and America would not last for long. The underlying antagonisms flow from a real conflict of interest on a global scale.

Recently the State Duma passed a law on the private ownership of land. The redivision of land is beginning all over Russia. The collective farms and state farms that are situated near big towns are subject to the greatest danger. This article highlights the situation at one farm near Moscow.

On May 24, 2002, in the Kremlin's gilded throne room, Putin and Bush signed an agreement reducing long-range nuclear weapons by two-thirds over ten years. As part of the deal with NATO, Russia and America were supposed to cooperate in Bush's plans to build a missile defence shield once the ABM treaty is scrapped in June. Immediately afterwards, the formation of the "NATO-Russia Council" in which was Russia is supposed to participate was announced to the world. Such an agreement between the old enemies Russia and America would have seemed utterly unthinkable just one year ago. Suddenly, the world seemed a more secure place. However, as Alan Woods explains, the relations between...

On Wednesday May 8, Alan Woods interviewed Alexander Kuvaev, member of the Duma, and leader of the Moscow City Committee of the CPRF. There are several interesting features in the replies. In particular, the phrase we have cited in the title is a reply to Zyuganov who has stated publicly that, in his opinion, "Russia's Revolutionary days are over." Unfortunately, there was little time to develop the points raised, as the CPRF were busy with preparations for the big demonstration on May 9 (the anniversary of the victory of the USSR over Nazi Germany).

In bright summery sunshine, thousands of workers and young people demonstrated on the streets of Moscow today. The demonstration, organised by the CPRF and other Communist and Left organisations included a column of over two thousand young communists that united different youth organisations, including supporters of the Russian Marxist paperRabochaya Demokratiya, who played an active role in the preparations, distributing 12,000 stickers all over Moscow.

"The dogs bark; therefore, the caravan is moving!" (Old Arab proverb)

It is not my custom to respond to provocations or enter into polemics with insignificant sects who appear to have all the time in the world to insult each other. For such groups, this is what passes for political activity.

To view these you may need to install the DivX codec. The first is footage from the May Day demonstrations. It is from the bourgeois media, and shows the contingent from the Revolutionary Workers' Party on the march. Click here to play in Real Player or here to open the video normally. The second is footage of the protests in Voronezh on April 11. It shows the official demonstration called by the unions and the Communist Party. However the mood of the protestors was of tremendous anger,...

MOSCOW - Another horrific coal mine disaster has shocked the Russian public and angered coal industry workers. Early on January 18 an explosion and fire in the Tsentralnaya mine in Vorkuta, in the Arctic north of European Russia, claimed 27 lives. This followed a similar catastrophe on December 2, when 67 miners died in one of the pits of the Kuzbass coal region in Western Siberia.

MOSCOW - According to recently announced plans of the Russian government, 1998 is to be the year when the country's coal industry is gutted and cut up, with the most toothsome chunks ready for handing over to private owners. For scores of thousands of workers the result will be joblessness, with only vague, unreliable promises of retraining and resettlement.

The Presidential elections usher in a turbulent period in Russia and on a world scale. From the beginning of the process, we have followed it carefully through all its twists and turns. The present situation provides us with new and important facts which enable us to conclude that we are approaching a denouement. Nothing has been solved by the result of the first round. Yeltsin got 34.8%; Zyuganov, 32.1%; Lebed, 14.7%; Yavlinsky, 7.4%; Zhirinovsky, 5.8%, and all the others put together, a mere 5.2%.

"History knows transformations of all sorts." (Lenin)

The question of the class nature of Russia has been a central issue in the Marxist movement for decades. Now, with the collapse of the USSR and the movement in the direction of capitalism, this question assumes an even greater importance. How we approach this problem will be vital not only for training our cadres, but for our general work in the labour movement, and, at a later stage, for the building of a Marxist tendency in Russia.

We publish this article by Renfrey Clarke, the Moscow-based left wing journalist, about the present situation of the labour movement. We think the article not only provides us with a lot of information but also contributes to the debate about the challenges facing the Russian working class.

The July elections represent another turn in the situation in Russia. On the surface, the result was a massive victory for Russian capitalism. Despite the frightful collapse in living standards, crime, corruption and mafia capitalism, Yeltsin won. This was a heavy defeat for Stalinism, not socialism or genuine communism, but it will usher in a new period of convulsions for Russia. The underlying processes remain as contradictory and explosive as before. The result has resolved nothing.