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US-plaining is not enough. To the Western left, on your and our mistakes

Do not let half-baked political positions substitute an analysis of the situation. The injunction that the main enemy is in your country should not translate into a flawed analysis of the inter-imperialist struggle. At this stage appeals to dismantle NATO or, conversely, accepting anyone there, will not help those who suffer under the bombs in Ukraine, in jails in Russia or Belarus. Sloganeering is harmful as ever. Branding Ukrainians or Russian fascists only makes you part of the problem, not part of the solution. A new autonomous reality emerges around Russia, a reality of destruction and harsh repressions, a reality where a nuclear conflict is not unthinkable anymore. Many of us have missed the tendencies leading to this reality. In the fog of war, we do not see clearly the contours of the new. Neither do, as it seems, the American or European governments. 

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Partisans or Workers? Figures of Belarusian Protest and Their Prospects

Although Belarus is often referred to as a repressive state, the familiar ‘Parisian arsenal’ of tear gas canisters, water cannons, rubber bullets, and stun grenades was used here on a mass scale for the first time. Western technologies of violence were complemented by traditional post-Soviet police brutality: beating and detention of random people, torture, humiliation, and sometimes threats of rape in jail, the hunting down of journalists, etc.

None of the opposition leaders joined the crowd or made radical statements. The opposition movement turned out to be on the whole amorphous, without clear leadership at the top and any leaders from below. At the same time, the ruling elite showed no signs of a split, the security apparatus and the bureaucracy generally remained loyal, although there have been signs of hesitation at the lower and regional levels (with several state media journalists and police officers resigning).

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The Western Left Should Not Repeat the Mistake Ukrainian Protesters Did on Maidan

Source: Socialist Worker, Ireland The protesters that started gathering on Kyiv’s main square (‘maidan’) almost ten months ago were driven by a certain kind of ‘occidentalism’ (if I may introduce this term by analogy with orientalism). Europe, which stood as an epitome of Occident for them, presented a generalized image of Ukraine relieved from all […]