Russia

On Sunday May 7, Vladimir Putin was inaugurated as President of Russia with all the pomp and ceremony of a tsar. Nothing was missing: twenty-one gun salute, goose-stepping soldiers with uniforms that seemed to have been borrowed from a Hollywood musical, and even the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church. Such empty show and tasteless pomp is very typical of the so- called New Russians--a class of upstarts and usurpers who are anxious to ape what they imagine to be the splendours of the western bourgeoisie. To students of history this will be quite familiar. The Thermidorian counter-revolutionaries in France also tried to ape the life style old aristocrats after they had sent...

During the methane explosion at the "Komsomolyets" mine in Kemerovo province 12 people were killed. This tragedy occurred soon after another terrible tragedy in the Donbass in the Ukraine. The Russian Marxist paper Workers Democracy (April 2000) blames the restoration of capitalism for these miners' deaths.

Ted Grant and Phil Mitchinson look at the reasons behind Yeltsin's sudden resignation and the implications of the new Putin regime for the future of Russia and international relations.

This document was written by Ted Grant together with Roger Silverman in 1967 to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Russian revolution. The article explains how Stalinism arose and clearly shows how even at that time the Stalinist bureaucracy was facing a serious crisis and confidently predicted its inevitable downfall at some stage.

The new war in Chechnya is a further evidence of a shift of power in Russia in the direction of the military. The generals are now clearly in the saddle. Not only are they deciding the war agenda in Chechnya, but they are doing so without regard to the opinions of the Kremlin clique. Boris Yeltsin is now an irrelevance.

An eyewitness report by Alan Woods which explains the effects of the Kosovo crisis in Russia and outlines the utter collapse of the"market reforms" in this country.

"The entire history of the international workers' movement in the twentieth century has furnished us with a wealth of material to show the way in which the working class and its organisations develop. From the study of the workers' movement over several decades, I drew the following inescapable conclusion: that when the mass of the workers enter the arena of struggle to change society, they inevitably gravitate, in the first instance, to the traditional mass organisations. The mass of the workers--and even the greater part of the advanced elements of the class--do not learn from books, but only from experience, and particularly the experience of great events. Where a strong and educated

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As the crisis in Russia deepens, all sorts of workers' committees are emerging: strike committees, salvation committees, etc. Some of them are soviets in all but in name. Renfrey Clarke interviews the Anzhero-Sudzhensk Workers' committee and finds out how workers democracy functions in practice.

Russia stands at the parting of the ways. The strategists of capital are facing a completely different situation from that which they had expected when the old Stalinist regime collapsed. They thought there would be a smooth transition to capitalism. That is not what they are getting. Ted Grant and Alan Woods provide a socialist analysis of why and what is the way forward.

The roar of hundreds of coal miners drumming their helmets on the pavement rolls like thunder up the glass and granite face of Russia's White House, the seat of government. Even more ominous is the repeated mass chant: "Resign! Resign!". Fred Weir reports from Moscow on the latest wave of militancy of Russian miners.

In a follow up on his previous article Renfrey Clarke describes the real reasons behind the recent coal mine "accidents" in Russia. 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.

In this article, Renfrey Clarke describes how the Yeltsin administration is preparing an all-out offensive against the miners, one of the best organised sections of the Russian working class. It also explains the steps being taken by the miners to defend themselves and the perspective of a generalised movement as other sections of the workers are also under attack.

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 supressed in the Western press about the current wave of strikes in Russia but also contributes to the debate about the challenges facing the Russian working class.

An eyewitness report on the effects of the attemps of capitalist restoration in Russia, the situation in the CP and perspectives for the labour movement based on Alan Wood's recent trip to Russia.

An analysis of the current situation in Russia, based on Alan Woods' discussions with trade unionists, left wingers, Communist Party members, and others during his recent trip to Russia. A first hand account of the debates in the Russian left and the beginning of the recovery of the labour movement.

This article by Ted Grant describes the wave of industrial unrest which shocked Russia during Autumn and Winter 1996, including a national day of protest called by the Federation of Independent Unions of Russia. Whether or not this wave of strikes signifies the start of a generalised movement or just a warning shot, we do not know yet. But it is clear answer to all the faint-hearts and sceptics who had written-off the Russian working class.