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No war on Ukraine: Ukrainians must decide their fate

The inter-imperialist conflicts we see between NATO and Russia (or the US and China, as well as many smaller conflicts) are ultimately rooted in national economic competition, which itself is an outgrowth of the competition inherent to capitalism. To finally wipe out the drive to war means ending capitalism altogether. But that is no excuse for an abstract position that the only thing we can do now is call for revolution, as some on the far left are doing. War enflames national divisions and is most damaging to working people. It needs to be resisted and ended immediately. It is the end of wars, especially when opposed from below, that can open space for continued class conflict and the further struggle for socialism in Ukraine and beyond.

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Background to the Geo-Economic Lineup of Russia / Ukraine and East-Central Europe

Based on all this, the ongoing conflict is between
– a richer (and of course very considerably larger) Russia that turns its economic performance into life spans of its population with relatively low efficiency (sort of like a state afflicted with what I would call a quasi-resource-curse), and
– a poorer (and, obviously, less gigantic–although by no means “small”–) Ukraine whose Life Expectancy figures are considerably higher than those of Russia, reflecting a less terrible linkage structure turning the country’s moderate per capita GDP into life spans for its population.

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Do Russians Want War?: Moscow on the First Day of the Invasion

Translated from the Russian original in Moskvichmag.ru. Editorial note: In the absence of meaningful sociological data, it is difficult to know what ordinary Russians think of their country’s war on Ukraine. (In pro-Kremlin media, of course, it is not a war but “a special operation,” “the defense of Donbas,” etc., and the accompanying imagery reflects […]

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A Russian Invasion of Ukraine Could Destabilize Russia’s Political Order

The U.S. and U.K. officials and media have long been warning against the “imminent” Russian invasion of Ukraine. Whatever the prospects of such an invasion are, it also raises an important question about the character of the Russian political regime and how the invasion may change it.

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A Color Revolution or a Working-Class Uprising?: an Interview with Aynur Kurmanov on the Protests in Kazakhstan

LeftEast gratefully acknowledges Zanovo-media, where this article was originally published in Russian. Today all post-Soviet mass-media and TV channels are riveted to the protests that suddenly engulfed Kazakhstan. To some they arouse hope, to others – horror and rejection. There are contradictions and different interpretations of what is happening: righteous people’s protest, clan wrangling, conspiracy […]

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The Conflict between Russia and Ukraine Is Neither Bluff nor Ultimatum

First published in French on December 30 in Révolution Permanente. Translation for LeftVoice by Scott Cooper. Moscow is amassing 100,000 troops on its border with Ukraine, whose government is seeking to lean on NATO to counter Putin. But even if Russian military intervention is central to that country’s defense, it is a very risky option. Are […]

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How to start a gender transition in Russia

Note from LeftEast editors . We reprint Jeremy Morris article, which appeared on his own Postsocialism website. This is a short post ‘answering’ my own question on Twitter: What is life really like in Russia for transgender people seeking to transition when they interact with the very ‘medical gaze’ of the state? A medical commission […]

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Russia as vanguard: Authoritarian neoliberalism and surveillance capitalism

This article takes up the problem of Russian neoliberalism – how to understand the relationship between the social state and neoliberal economic reforms/governmentality (which often seem contradictory). In turn, this relationship tells us about the alignment of state, digital governance, and capital interests in Russia. Based on long term ethnographic participant observation, my research has […]

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#ЗаЧтоСидитМедведев: Why Was the Russian Poet and Leftist Kirill Medvedev Arrested?

Today is day five of the 10-day sentence Kirill Medvedev, along with Moscow-based urban activists Anastasia Borisyuk and Fyodor Neronov received for “resistance to the lawful demands of police officers.” A week ago, together with a number of concerned citizens, they were inspecting the construction of a premium-class apart-hotel on the historical Sretenka Street, where […]

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Strategies of resistance among queer people in the USSR

Note from LeftEast Editors: This article was originally published in Russian by the DOXA Journal. It was translated from the Russian by Michael Baker and edited by Arina Gundyreva. Today, queer people in Russia are forced to oppose systematic discrimination, occasionally even forcing them into emigration. In the USSR however, with closed borders and absolutely […]