Earlier this year, my family joined a YCL protest outside the Ukrainian Embassy in London, campaigning against the banning of the Communist Party of the Ukraine by the neo-Nazi ‘Maidan’ regime operating out of Kiev. Following my blog article about this event, I was contacted by a representative of the Communist Party of Donetsk – an institution I did not know existed. He requested that the YCL write a short letter of support, and following discussions with myself, it was decided that I assist their magazine website (entitled ‘Forward’), and translate the Russian language articles into British English. I assumed this to be a good idea at the time, as although this individual could apparently read, write and speak English fluently, he seemed to be reticent at translating the longer texts, and I noticed that some of the words he used to translate Russian words into British English were out of context and often did not mean anything (particularly when a straightforward phonetic translation was used). Of course, being an ardent anti-fascist, I was willing to use my translation skills to good effect and my influence in the UK to try and get the viewpoint of the CPD more readily known. I contacted the CPB but received no official response (although the YCL of the CPB had protested the banning of the Communist Party of the Ukraine, this protest did not support the Communist Party of Donetsk, or the Donbass resistance to the neo-Nazi ‘Maidan’ military offensive into Eastern Ukraine). This is an understandable position for the CPB to take, as the neo-Nazi ‘Maidan’ regime, being as it is ‘pro-EU’, is viewed by the US, EU and UK as ‘legitimate’ and the only true government of the Ukraine. This means that In the US, EU and UK the Donbass resistance is presented in the mainstream media as ‘terrorism’ and a product of Russian neo-imperialism. The story is that when the neo-Nazi ‘Maidan’ regime rose to power in 2014, Russia used its influence to install puppet regimes in Eastern Ukraine (some even state that these regimes have their roots in Russian neo-Nazism!) I had a Russian pro-Soviet Facebook friend who stated to me exactly this same interpretation, and said that as a Communist he was not supporting Donbass as it does not represent a true Socialist movement amongst the people there.
Interestingly, I had first read about the neo-Nazi ‘Maidan’ regime in the New Worker newspaper of the New Communist Party NCP) in the UK. This group have been openly supporting the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk (which comprise Donbass), and taking protests to the streets in Britain. My personal view is that modern, capitalist Russia is being attacked by the capitalist West because it does not possess a Rothschilds central bank, and so its economy remains strong and outside the influence of the US. The EU, being an extension of US foreign policy in Europe wants to extend its control into Russia and thus integrate Russia into the US-controlled capitalist system. From what I have read on the CPD website, the Communist Party of Russia openly supports Donbass, but a number of Bolshevik-minded Russians refuse to accept a party that willingly participates in the liberal, democratic elections of the capitalist system, and so there is a disconnect. Certainly the ideology of the CPD, as witnessed in the ten or so articles I have read talk in the language of Marxist-Leninism, and apply an interesting and often precise dialectical interpretation to historical events in the Ukraine since 2014. As to the allegation of being pro-Russian, this is certainly true. The CPD has put out articles talking openly of being pro-Russian, but only in the language of Marxist-Leninist rhetoric. However, I would not say that this necessarily equates with being pro-capitalist Russia (capitalism and revisionism appear to be rejected), but it does seem to denote an underlying ethnic association. I have not seen any direct Russian involvement, and the fact is that Russia has not recognised the Republics of Donbass because they are ‘Socialist’. On the other hand, I have been reliably informed that Russia and China are continuously sending humanitarian aid to the region.
The conflict in the Ukraine began in 2014 as a battle between pro and anti-Russian capitalist forces, but has developed into an entrenched ideological battle between fascism and Socialism – with the added confusion of the fascists accusing the Socialists of being ‘fascist’! This seems like a straightforward Cold War disinformation campaign designed to hid the true facts of the matter, but it is curious that one CPD pro-Russian language text that I translated was not put out in English, but was replaced with a much more ‘Internationalist’ article calling upon all people around the world to acknowledge the anti-fascist nature of the resistance in Donbass. This is a different message to this, the original unpublished English translation I made:
Appeals and Slogans of the Central Committee of the CPDPR On the Day of International Workers’ Solidarity – May 1
– Long live May 1st – International Workers’ Solidarity Day!
– Workers of all countries, unite!
– Peace! Work! Socialism! Republic!
“Glory to the man of labour!”
– Let’s unfurl the Red Banner of Labour above the earth!
– Solidarity of peoples in the struggle for their rights is the basis of peace on Earth!
– Lenin’s precepts are true!
– The teaching of Marx is omnipotent, because it is true!
– Our Motherland – the USSR!
– The people of Donbass and the peoples of Russia have a common destiny, a single history, a single future!
“Our goal is to revive the Union of fraternal peoples, the Socialist System, to follow the path of renewed Socialism!”
– People of labour, strengthen unity in achieving the sovereignty of the Donetsk People’s Republic! Strengthening the power of the working people is the guarantee of peace and prosperity for our Republic!
“Capitalism is war!” Socialism is the future of the world!
“Let’s stop the national fascists – we’ll save Donbass, Ukraine, and the world!”
– No war in the Donbass! We wish peace to the people of Ukraine!
– Truth and justice – the policy of the Communists!
– The banner of peace is the banner of Socialism!
– The development and strengthening of the Party will determine the further strategy and tactics of the development of our People’s Republic!
“Down with NATO – the imperialist military bloc of murderers and robbers!”
“Down with capitalism!” Long live Socialism!
“Power is Labour!”
– Socialism – Yes! Nazism – No!
“For social justice!” For a decent life!
– Let’s nationalise strategic sectors of the economy!
– The restoration of domestic industry and collective farms in the countryside is the guarantee of the security of the Republic!
– The future of the Donetsk People’s Republic – in a society of social justice!
– Strengthening of local self-government is the guarantee of the development of our Republic!
– The Donetsk People’s Republic is building a socially just, international, peace-loving, socialist society!
– The Donetsk People’s Republic will be Socialist!
For whatever reason, the CPD did not want this article put out in English, but it is obvious that Donetsk is Socialist and not fascist from its wording, and is pro-Russian in the sense that Russia is the historical home of the Soviet Union. Instead of publishing this English text, I was instead asked to translate this text:
Appeal from the CPDNP to the Communists of the Whole World on the Occasion of May 1st!
Please accept our sincere congratulations on the occasion of International Solidarity Day of Workers! Today, when US imperialism has increased pressure throughout the world, the solidarity of all anti-imperialist forces is of particular importance. For four years, the people of Donbass have been heroically resisting the pro-American regime in Kiev, thereby expanding the anti-imperialist front alongside Venezuela, Syria and other countries.
The United States of America, which stands behind the backs of Ukrainian oligarchs and fascists, is not just an imperialist state, but a centre of world reaction, whilst Donbass, Syria, and Venezuela are fiercely fighting against this centre – thus providing an invaluable service to the future of World Socialist Revolution. After all, without a weakening of this centre, the victory of the Revolution on the periphery – the so-called ‘weak link’ – is impossible.
Communists are obliged to support all forms of anti-imperialist struggle, and to support all those who are resisting the United States. The more the centres of resistance, the weaker world imperialism becomes. As the great Revolutionary Ernesto Che Guevara said, it is necessary to create ‘many Vietnams’. In this regard, we call on all Communists to support the anti-imperialist struggle of Donbass, Syria, and Venezuela!
Proletarians of all countries, unite!
Central Committee of the Communist Party of the People’s Republic of Donetsk (CPDNR)
Admittedly, this is probably a better text for international dissemination, but it certainly downplays the Russian-friendly stance of the CPD. Having made this clear it is also important to state that every group of people are granted the basic right of self-determination and if the people of Donbass want to live in a Socialist State free of fascism, then they have every right to do so. They also have the right to view themselves as ethnically Russian. As matters stand, and due to Facebook intransigence and one or two other issues, my direct translation work with the CPD will come to an end shortly. I did ask about the possibilities of foreigners joining the CPD and was eventually told it was a good idea – but the matter was not mentioned again. I was also told that I was to receive a certificate (in the Russian language) in recognition of my translations – but yet again the matter was dropped with no further reference being made. On the whole we have thoroughly enjoined our time supporting the CPD and the DNR, although our contribution is miniscule, but the misunderstandings, assumptions and rather fluid nature of representing reality has left us in a position of withdrawing from direct contact with the CPD, and adopting our more usual position of fighting fascism from the default ‘Internationalist’ perspective. We admire and respect the people of Donbass, and are of the opinion that they are engaged in an anti-fascist war – a war started, financed and armed by the capitalist West.