Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

March 28, 2014

Night of the Long Knives in Ukraine?

Filed under: Ukraine — louisproyect @ 7:50 pm

Ernst Röhm, a Nazi leader who died in the Night of the Long Knives

Although I would never go so far as Jaron Lanier or Evgeny Morozov in finding fault with the Internet, I continue to be dismayed by the intellectual laziness it breeds—particularly when it comes to the sort of “talking points” advanced on matters such as Syria or Ukraine. In tandem with the steady decline of the print medium, especially books, and the shorter attention span of the average adult fed on a diet of Hollywood blockbusters, cable TV and video games, you see, for example, a virtual ocean of articles on 9/11 making identical points most of which originate on a smaller core of truther websites. It does not seem to matter much to a conspiracy-minded blogger that they are repeating points made by thousands of other bloggers. There seems to be some sort of comfort in being part of  a herd.

Much of the garbage that has been dumped into the Internet about Ukraine since last November share the conspiratorial mindset of the 9/11 truthers. In fact Global Research, a website that is ranked 4,525 in the USA (by comparison, CounterPunch is ranked 10,522), is both a 9/11 truther outlet as well as a prime purveyor of RT.com wisdom. While the World Socialist Website is not quite into the 9/11 nonsense, it too can be relied upon to serve as sounding board for the Kremlin. (It is ranked 35,687—whew, that’s a relief.)

This morning as I checked WSWS.org, a daily task that might be equated to emptying the garbage or flossing my teeth, I noticed a talking point that has begun to reverberate through the pro-Putin left prompted by the police killing of a Right Sector goon named Alexander Musytchko:

The circumstances of Musytchko’s killing recall the Röhm putsch through which Hitler eliminated the leadership of the SA storm troopers in 1934 after they had fulfilled their task, rather than any move towards the rule of law.

As expected, Global Research ran an article making an identical point: Ukraine’s “Brown Shirts”. Recalling Nazi Germany’s “Night of Long Knives”

And bringing up the rear is Alex Jones’s Infowars, a website cherished equally by 9/11 Truthers, the more intellectually challenged “anti-imperialists” and mouth-breathing American fascists: Ukraine’s Night of the Long Knives.

Call me old-fashioned, but when someone brings up the Night of the Long Knives, my tendency is to apply some historical rigor. As it turns out, I had written something about this incident in an article on the Goldhagen thesis, a Zionist-inspired attempt to make German anti-Semitism practically genetic in nature. My goal in the article was to historicize Nazism, which required looking at the wing of the Nazi led by Gregor Strasser that took Hitler’s anti-capitalist rhetoric a bit too seriously:

From 1934 to 1936, every expression of Nazi radicalism was suppressed. After the working-class was tamed in 1933, the petty-bourgeois supporters of a “People’s Revolution” were purged from the government one by one. The real economic program of the big bourgeoisie was rearmament. Any pretense at “rural socialism” was dispensed with and the Third Reich’s real goal became clear: preparation for a new European war. It needed coal, oil and other resources from Eastern Europe. It also needed to channel all investment into the armaments industry, which could act as a steam-engine for general capitalist recovery. In brief, the economic policy of the Nazi government started to look not that different from Franklin Roosevelt’s. It was World War Two, after all, that brought the United States out of the Great Depression, not ineffectual public works programs.

The purge of the most famous Nazi radicals, the Strasserites, was absolutely necessary in order to rid the movement of its plebeian aspects. Analysis of the Nazi Party has often tilted in the direction of portraying it as a mere tool of capital. The reality is more complex. The Nazis were a grass roots movement that targeted the workers movement, but there was a important anti-capitalist dimension as well. The explanation for the anti-capitalist component is simple. The capitalist class in Germany was despised. The ruin of the economy could be attributed to the Treaty of Versailles, the Jews, strikes, etc., but at a certain point one could not let the bourgeoisie off the hook. Too many of the petty-bourgeois supporters of the Nazis had deep resentment to one or another bank that had foreclosed on their farm or businesses.

“Radical Perspectives on the Rise of Fascism in Germany, 1919-1945” (edited by Michael Dobkowski and Isidor Wallimann, Monthly Review, 1989) contains an interesting article “The NSDAP: An Alternative Elite for Capitalism in Crisis” by John D. Nagle. Nagle takes up the question of the nervousness of the big bourgeoisie with respect to the street-fighting, fanatical Nazi movement. One of the biggest anxieties was over the possibility that the Nazis represented a form of “national Bolshevism.” The Nazis called for the break-up of department store chains and railed against the big banks and insurance companies. They advocated a “People’s Revolution” in contradistinction to the proletarian revolution of the Marxist parties. However, the bourgeoisie is wary of any kind of revolution and preferred to see a stable Bonapartist government such as Hindenburg’s in power.

Hitler tried to reassure the big bourgeoisie in two ways. In private talks with the elites, he said that he had no intention of dismantling private property. And in June 1930 he threw Otto Strasser and his followers out of the Nazi party. Yet the influence of the Strasserites remained strong. Throughout the 1932 elections, the Nazi militants continued to employ anti-capitalist rhetoric.

Despite these measures, the ruling class continued to distrust the Nazis. It continued to fear the street-fighting army of the Sturmabeilung (or SA). In the early 1930s, its leader Ernst Rohm claimed not only military authority but political authority as well. The SA had attacked meetings and demonstrations of the left, but it had also attacked bourgeois parties as well.

Eventually the fears of the ruling class were assuaged and Hindenburg the Bonapartist decided to turn state power over to Hitler. Nagle suggests that the Protestant Church was a key factor in improving the public image of the Nazi party. The bourgeois press also began to view the Nazis as the only hope in the fight against Bolshevism. Once the Nazis took power, however, the dangers to the capitalist system from this party were no longer taken seriously. Hitler’s economic policy was conducted in close consultation with the ruling circles of big business and plebeian threats to the capitalist system were rooted up.

Now the fact that none of these conditions exist in Ukraine hardly matters to the Putinite herd. When the cops kill a neofascist leader, it automatically translates into the Night of the Long Knives. I understand that this should be obvious to anybody who has not drunk the Putinite Kool-Aid, but let me try to spell out the differences.

To start with, the present government of Ukraine is not fascist. It is instead neoliberal having much in common with a host of others across Europe, including Germany. Or maybe it would be more accurate to draw an analogy with the coalition government that ruled Austria from 2000 to 2005. It was made up of representatives from the Austrian People’s Party, a center-right formation very similar to the German Christian Democrats, and something called the Freedom Party of Austria. Does this Freedom Party ring a bell? It should. That was the party led by Jörg Haider that was exactly like Svoboda in Ukraine, a rightwing populist party that evoked fascist and anti-Semitic themes in its propaganda but that eschewed the sort of street violence true fascists like the Golden Dawn use. Suffice it to say, Austria survived the six years of the Freedom Party holding important government posts with no ill effects. This is not to minimize the role of parties like Haider’s or Svoboda, only to remind you that the mere presence of their representatives in government posts is not a sign that a new Third Reich is in the offing. The reason that the Kremlin is anxious to make comparisons with the Third Reich is obvious. It is designed to frighten the herd into a stampede. “Run for your lives, the Nazis are coming!”

A cool and dispassionate look at Germany in the summer of 1934, when the purge of the Strasserites occurred, will reveal very major differences with Ukraine today. To start with, Germany had become a full-fledge dictatorship with the elimination of a free press, parliamentary democracy, and the constitutional rights that prevailed during the Weimar Republic.

The Reichstag Fire occurred a year later. While there is a tendency to blame the Nazis for staging a “false flag” operation, the evidence indicates that a Communist acting alone was responsible. In any case, the fire was used as an excuse to crack down on German democratic rights, just the way that 9/11 was. The Communist Party was banned and its leaders arrested, including their Reichstag deputies.

Does anybody think that anything like this is about to happen in the Ukraine? It probably doesn’t matter. A lot of the analogies with Nazi Germany are not put forward in an effort to clarify things but to muddy them. The section of the left making these lazy and stupid comparisons has obviously lost the ability to think clearly.

Now in terms of repression, it would be good if these people would apply the same passion and energy to examining the entire record, and not just the material that serves their propaganda agenda. For example, I doubt that this will be of any interest to Alex Jones, Michel Chossudovsky or the idiots who run WSWS.org:

Wall Street Journal, March 18, 2014 5:50 p.m. ET

Killing of Crimean Tatar Activist Raises Fears in Community

By Philip Shishkin

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine— Reshat Ametov, an ethnic Tatar, was last seen alive on a central square here two weeks ago, protesting the Russian occupation of Crimea.

On Tuesday, family and friends, along with hundreds of strangers, attended his funeral. His naked corpse had been found three days earlier buried in a shallow, hastily dug ditch. The father of three, including a newborn girl, had been handcuffed and blindfolded. His head was wrapped with duct tape.

“He is the first Crimean Tatar who lost his life for the territorial integrity of Ukraine,” said Artur Sotsky, a young man attending the funeral.

Mr. Ametov’s killing, while unsolved, raises questions about hundreds of pro-Russian militiamen and various affiliated irregulars, whose chain of command and identity appear blurry.

A police official declined to comment on what he called a continuing murder investigation.

At least 14 people, including journalists and anti-annexation activists, have gone missing in the region, according to an estimate by ATR, a Crimean Tatar television channel.

Mr. Ametov, a 39 year old construction worker, was angry over the Russian incursion into Crimea. His wife, Zarina Ametova, said he told her that there was a national mobilization going on, and that he wanted to go to the Simferopol’s draft office to report for duty.

He had a highly developed sense of injustice, friends and relatives say, at one point holding a hunger strike in a dispute with a local administration that left his house without electricity for a year.

There was no Ukrainian mobilization in Crimea. Later that day Mr. Ametov was seen on television video on a central square, where self-defense militiamen were guarding the headquarters of Crimea’s regional government.

“He told his friends that he was there to protest,” says Teifook Gafarov, a Tatar lawyer who represents the family. “There is a video of him being led away from the square by self-defense guys.”


  1. I’m sorry Louis, I keep forgetting that the current “government” in Ukrane was installed following a lawful election.

    No one is seriously arguing that the government is overtly fascists. The fact which cannot be evaded, however, is that neo-Nazis and proto-fascists spearheaded the violent overthrow of a democratically elected government (however flawed). Furthermore, only the willfully deluded believe that Russia would allow NATO (the obvious endgame) to build bases in the traditional pathway through which the West has invaded for centuries. Really, who the fuck didn’t see this coming from a mile away?

    Comment by Bill J. — March 28, 2014 @ 9:34 pm

  2. Gosh, Bill J., thanks for illustrating the point I made in the first two paragraphs.

    Comment by louisproyect — March 28, 2014 @ 9:39 pm

  3. This guy has the Putinite Left’s number:


    Comment by John B. — March 28, 2014 @ 10:18 pm

  4. Some jackass from RT emailed me about 5 years ago inviting me to take part in a panel discussion. No thanks, I told them. I have no use for RT or Iran Press TV. I don’t mind al-Jazeera that much but generally speaking the left has no voice on cable TV.

    Comment by louisproyect — March 28, 2014 @ 10:39 pm

  5. An elected government was overthrown? So what.

    Comment by Dave — March 28, 2014 @ 11:18 pm

  6. @ Dave

    Well you see, no one elected the current putchists. That’s what.

    Comment by Bill J. — March 28, 2014 @ 11:48 pm

  7. Here is a sample of the garbage from Global Research and Michel Chossudovsky:
    Beneath the rhetoric, in the real World of money and credit, the IMF has several related operational objectives:

    1) to facilitate the collection of debt servicing obligations, while ensuring that the country remains indebted and under the control of its external creditors.

    2) to exert on behalf of the country’s external creditors full control over the country’s monetary policy, its fiscal and budgetary structures,

    3) to revamp social programs, labor laws, minimum wage legislation, in accordance with the interests of Western capital

    4) to deregulate foreign trade and investment policies, including financial services and intellectual property rights,

    5) to implement the privatization of key sectors of the economy through the sale of public assets to foreign corporations.

    6) to facilitate the takeover by foreign capital (including mergers and acquisitions) of selected privately owned Ukrainian corporations.

    7) to ensure the deregulation of the foreign exchange market.

    Cheers, ken. I hope that this garbage is widely recycled.

    Comment by ken — March 28, 2014 @ 11:57 pm

  8. Ken, you don’t need to go to Global Research to find this out. This has been reported on widely in the bourgeois press.

    Comment by louisproyect — March 29, 2014 @ 12:05 am

  9. Lots of governments are elected, or should I say, were elected. Batista, Somoza, Marcos…the list is endless. I must admit I am having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that people who consider themselves to be socialist, communist, Marxist, etc…, have completely caved when it comes to the right of the people of Ukraine to self-determination, at a time when solidarity really matters, that is, in the heat of the battle. Yes, the government was pushed aside, and again I say, so what? Why do so many people have such a hard time seeing that the major player in this event are the working masses of Ukraine themselves (and their supporters in Russia and throughout the world). Why is it so hard for people who claim a Marxist heritage fail to understand that what’s important is the struggle of the oppressed in Ukraine, the workers, farmers and the middle-class, those who fight for national dignity and NOT the first governing entity that arose in the wake of this struggle. The first government to emerge from the February revolution in Russia in 1917 was a capitalist government intent on resuming the war. Likewise, what was germane was the Petrograde female garment workers and the peasant soldiers, the workers at the bench, the students, the intellectuals, the shop-keepers, who were in the process of settling accounts in a thorough manner. It is absolutely incomprehensible to me that so many seemingly well-versed individuals have completely swallowed the Russian propaganda of the Klepto-police regime of Putin and have, at the same time, totally forgotten or ignored everything they once knew about the historic progressiveness of the struggle for the rights of oppressed nations for self-determination, without which the struggle for socialism is utterly impossible.

    Comment by Dave — March 29, 2014 @ 12:16 am

  10. “The most indubitable feature of a revolution is the direct interference of the masses in historical events. In ordinary times the state, be it monarchical or democratic, elevates itself above the nation, and history is made by specialists in that line of business – kings, ministers, bureaucrats, parliamentarians, journalists. But at those crucial moments when the old order becomes no longer endurable to the masses, they break over the barriers excluding them from the political arena, sweep aside their traditional representatives, and create by their own interference the initial groundwork for a new régime. Whether this is good or bad we leave to the judgement of moralists. We ourselves will take the facts as they are given by the objective course of development. The history of a revolution is for us first of all a history of the forcible entrance of the masses into the realm of rulership over their own destiny.”

    Leon Trotsky. History of the Russian Revolution.

    Comment by Dave — March 29, 2014 @ 12:44 am

  11. And Ukraine is not a fascist country, either.

    Comment by Dave — March 29, 2014 @ 12:56 am

  12. “ineffectual public works programs”

    So ineffectual that the US continues to rely on the flood control, hydroelectric and bridge and roadworks from that period almost a century later with nothing of substance being built in the time since.

    Comment by Mikey — March 29, 2014 @ 7:46 am

  13. Yes Putain is vile and his Russia is a nightmare. The invasion of Ukraine is worse than disturbing and also presages the assumption by Russia of a more aggressive and imperialistic role with regard to the states of the former U.S.S.R.

    Does this mean, however, that the struggle of the Ukrainian anti-Russian forces is the Revolution tout court, or that their ultra-nationalists are wearing the white hats of the dialectical moment as opposed to the black hats of the Russian ultra-nationalists?

    In the long run, nationalism itself is reactionary, and when combined with capitalism will breed fascism no matter who its practitioners are. Consider the Irish Republican Army. Or the Ku Klux Klan for that matter.

    Are we going to consider Southern white folks a “people” and yearn for the fulfillment of their national aspirations? Sherman should have set fire to the whole stinking South and not just that little piece of Georgia. But I digress.

    It seems to me that social justice on the international scale and the breaking of the ages-old chain of blows as it descends from generation to generation depends on the so-called advanced countries’ somehow achieving tat least he beginnings of socialism.

    If this can’t happen, maybe the whole story should be left to Cormac McCarthy–or Henry Kissinger.

    Comment by Fred Byatt — March 29, 2014 @ 3:17 pm

  14. How long until the Ukrainian ‘masses’ start whining about not getting free gas ?

    Comment by jeff — March 30, 2014 @ 3:11 am

  15. “Yes Putain is vile and his Russia is a nightmare.”

    Comments like these are just useless pablum. Putin has had a long stretch of sustained popularity in Russia for a reason. Things have improved a lot there since the 80’s and 90’s. His support is strongest in the working classes, weakest in the upper middle class. The majority of Russians don’t consider Putin to be a ‘nightmare’.

    Comment by jeff — March 30, 2014 @ 3:15 am

  16. Jeff, if he was so popular there would be no need to imprison bloggers, kill journalists, and curtail demonstrations.

    Comment by louisproyect — March 30, 2014 @ 3:21 am

  17. Louis, you’ve got access to Lexis-Nexis, so you might be more aware of there being more articles about Putin’s unpopularity in Russia, but just Googling his name and “popularity” turns up about a half-dozen articles on the first page from the MSM about how popular the man is in Russia.

    Yes, you’re right about the imprisoning, killing, and curtailing, but that doesn’t always translate into the price of beans (Reagan and Bush Jr. come to mind, despite the damage and death they inflicted on people in the US and around the world).

    Comment by Todd — March 30, 2014 @ 12:22 pm

  18. Yes, Putin is popular. But it is difficult to assess how popular he would be if a free press existed.


    Now, as Vladimir Putin sends troops into Crimea and hints at following up on this cruel gambit with further moves into eastern Ukraine, he is, step by step, turning back the clock on information. It is a move of self-protection. The latest step came on Wednesday, with the announcement that Galina Timchenko, the longtime and much admired editor of the news site Lenta.ru, has been fired, and replaced by Alexei Goreslavsky, the former editor of Vzglyad.ru, a site that is far more sympathetic to the Kremlin.

    The announcement came shortly after an agency called the Federal Mass Media Inspection Service (oh, Orwell!) warned that Lenta.ru was venturing into “extremism.” Lenta.ru had published an interview with Andriy Tarasenko, a leader of a far-right ultra-nationalist group, Right Sector. Part of the Kremlin’s pretext for the invasion of Ukraine has been to “protect” Russians from “fascists.” Tarasenko is an unlovely figure, but Lenta.ru was hardly endorsing him; the editors were guilty of nothing more than committing journalism. And now they are paying for it.

    Comment by louisproyect — March 30, 2014 @ 12:36 pm

  19. Louis, your propaganda assault on poor Vlad is becoming a little overheated with terms like ” cruel gambit” It’s almost as if you were writing copy for Western Media or the State Department. Putin may be reinforcing troops in Crimea but this is under treaty agreement and what “further moves into eastern Ukraine” are you referring to? Your segue from “cruel gambit” to “turning back the clock on information” falls flat since it requires us to stretch our imagination and believe Putin personally selects journalists for punishment.

    The Ukraine situation seems to be at least stalemated if not resolved for now so we should look at the next front of possible conflict instigated by our friends at NED and the CIA, Taiwan. There are many similarities there with other Western meddling, student demonstrators occupying government buildings protesting a trade deal with the PRC. If this conflict escalates there could be much greater negative consequences than in Ukraine especially if the independence forces are maneuvered into power.

    The US is playing an increasingly dangerous and desperate game where control may be the goal but chaos and destruction are acceptable outcomes.

    Comment by PeteM — March 30, 2014 @ 5:15 pm

  20. First of all, the term “cruel gambit” was not mine but the New Yorker’s. I cited it to show how Putin shapes public opinion through ham-fisted media control. Call it what you want, but those are the facts. In terms of my “propaganda assault” on Putin is concerned, I am not reflecting Nicholas Kristof but the Russian left that I have been in touch with for 5 years now. I don’t give a rat’s ass if Kristof writes attacks on Putin. I don’t put a minus where he puts a plus. I have no idea what your political background is, but I advise you to read or reread Leon Trotsky’s “Learn to Think”:


    In ninety cases out of a hundred the workers actually place a minus sign where the bourgeoisie places a plus sign. In ten cases however they are forced to fix the same sign as the bourgeoisie but with their own seal, in which is expressed their mistrust of the bourgeoisie. The policy of the proletariat is not at all automatically derived from the policy of the bourgeoisie, bearing only the opposite sign – this would make every sectarian a master strategist; no, the revolutionary party must each time orient itself independently in the internal as well as the external situation, arriving at those decisions which correspond best to the interests of the proletariat. This rule applies just as much to the war period as to the period of peace.

    Comment by louisproyect — March 30, 2014 @ 5:23 pm

  21. Louis wrote:

    “Yes, Putin is popular. But it is difficult to assess how popular he would be if a free press existed. ”

    True, it’d be a lot easier (even with a bourgeois press).

    “Part of the Kremlin’s pretext for the invasion of Ukraine has been to ‘protect’ Russians from ‘fascists.'”

    Heh! Yeah. Reminds me of all the hoopla about invading Afghanistan to protect the women from the men . . . .

    Comment by Todd — March 31, 2014 @ 4:48 pm

  22. It’s telling when you advise me to “learn to think” while you plagiarize the New Yorker and then claim to speak for the Russian Left.

    If you don’t want to reflect Western propaganda you must stop using their lexicon and sources to describe the conflicts in the world.

    I would love to learn more about the revolutionary party of the proletariat in Ukraine since there were huge numbers of this class involved in the Euromaidan demonstrations. Where are their leaders and programs vying for control of the new government? Or is this, as you stated earlier, a neoliberal putsch that will leave the proletariat powerless with new Western masters inflicting the austerities of Disaster Capitalism.

    Rereading the works of dead Russians may be interesting history but it offers little illumination of the present because of this major truth, they all failed miserably and turned a noble dream into an Authoritarian nightmare, we must be able to do better.

    Comment by PeteM — April 1, 2014 @ 6:02 pm

  23. Is a genuine revival of fascism possible where a serious threat to capital from a revolutionary left no longer exists? Is a genuine revival of fascism possible in a world where total war no longer seems possible? There is a powerful but disorganized left in the Greece of Golden Dawn, although not a revolutionary one, but not in the Ukraine of Svoboda and Right Sector. Nukes seem to make total war rather too costly a risk, even for fascists, and without them organizing for and winning total war – an essential mindset and framework for a fascist state – seems unlikely, especially in small, third-rate, non-imperial states. I don’t pretend to have the answer to these questions, but It seems to me that these questions and our attempts to answer them should inform our analysis of the current regime in Ukraine.

    Comment by John Riehle — April 1, 2014 @ 6:16 pm

  24. Rereading the works of dead Russians may be interesting history but it offers little illumination of the present because of this major truth, they all failed miserably and turned a noble dream into an Authoritarian nightmare, we must be able to do better.


    Yeah, well. I am all ears. If you ain’t into Trotsky, then who? Noam Chomsky? Michel Chussodovsky? Rachel Maddow? Peter Myers?

    Comment by louisproyect — April 1, 2014 @ 6:20 pm

  25. The Ukrainian government, weak and unstable as it is, is just like every other capitalist government on the planet today and behaves in much the same way. And just like every other capitalist government, they are terrified of the interjection of millions of laboring people into what they consider to be “their” process. No where in the world is the capitalist class in need of a bona-fide fascist movement (believe me, you will know one when you see it) for the simple reason that they are getting along just fine, with no serious resistance from labor (as of yet), in most parts of the world (save some places like Ukraine), within the confines of bourgeois democracy. The task before us is to oppose sanctions against Russia, which will most certainly target the workers and farmers of Russia, and support, if by only telling their story, the Ukrainian people who have appeared center stage and who are fighting the good fight for national dignity and self-determination. Out of this fight other fights will follow and more space will open up for our class. My suggestion would be that those who are sympathetic to the cause of the workers of the world should keep their eyes on the workers of the world and not become unduly burdened by power blocks of various countries as they seek influence, weak government formations, and various colorful (and rotten) personalities, etc… And I believe Trotsky was Ukrainian, not Russian, was he not?

    Comment by Dave — April 1, 2014 @ 7:59 pm

  26. Louis, I know it may be heresy but I look to the South not the West for inspiration since that is where Revolution actually exists and is growing. Some of the best writing has come from the critics/supporters of the Bolivarian Experiment who are trying to push it in a more horizontal, radical direction. Since most of these people write in Spanish and are not well known in the West I depend on Venezuelanalysis.com for translations.

    If you want to see what is possible under true Socialism read the new Venezuelan Labor Law, it is a truly remarkable document.

    Comment by PeteM — April 2, 2014 @ 3:39 pm

  27. […] Night of the Long Knives in Ukraine? […]

    Pingback by Left-White Solidarity? | Moorbey'z Blog — April 5, 2014 @ 10:43 pm

  28. Hi Louis, From my perspective you have slandered world socialist website and global research by belittling their correct comparisons to the Nazis. To being with, you state that the coup-installed government brought to power by Svoboda and Rightsector Brown-shirt violence is not fascist, and suggest that anyone comparing it to fascists is ‘lazy’ and off-base. You also belittle the idea that anything like the Reichstag fire as ‘false flat’ couild occur in the Ukraine. In your defence, you made these statements some time ago, before the terrible violence against East Ukrainians had ensued (hundreds of thousands of them are fleeing as I write), and before the ‘mysterious’ downing of the Malaysian aircraft provided the Reichstag style incident needed by the Kiev state and the U.S. to simultanously try to justify attacks on East Ukraine and Russia. Eric Sommer

    Comment by Eric — August 7, 2014 @ 1:50 pm

  29. I should add that you also belittled the idea that the treatment of labour in the Ukraine will bear any resemblance to Nazi represson of working peoples organizations. In fact, such repression has begun – the communist party headquarters was burned down, resistors were burned to death in the Odessa trade union hall, and other attacks are occuring.

    Comment by Eric — August 7, 2014 @ 1:54 pm

  30. Global Research has been publishing a ton of articles claiming that the downing of the Malaysian jet was a “false flag” operation. This is the same website that also published articles claiming that a “planned detonation” took place at the WTC on 9/11. Meanwhile, WSWS.org is infamous for accusing SWP leader Joseph Hansen, Trotsky’s bodyguard, as being a GPU agent sent in to Coyoacan to plan the assassination, an utterly bizarre and groundless accusation. If you want to defend the integrity of these websites, be my guest. It is a free country.

    Comment by louisproyect — August 7, 2014 @ 1:56 pm

  31. You talk about fascism in Ukraine while protests against the “anti-terrorist operation” in Donbass are taking place everywhere in the West without interference as the WSWS has reported. But what happens when antiwar protests are organized in Russia? Your problem is that you are a crypto-Stalinist. Just as the CP justified every action taken by Stalin, people like you, Global Research and WSWS do so today on Putin’s behalf. Lenin described Ukraine as Russia’s Ireland and vowed to remove Stalin from his post because of the Great Russian chauvinism you people propagate today.


    Russian anti-war activists kidnapped and seriously injured

    Organisers of a demonstration against the war in Ukraine in Petrozavodsk, Russia were kidnapped and seriously injured by unknown people in masks according to the Food Not Bombs group in the city.

    On 9th of March, along with the traditional Food Not Bombs action, demonstration “Against the war in Ukraine” supposed to happen in Petrozavodsk, for a peaceful solution of tense situation there and prevention of bloodshed continuation.

    On 8th of March evening, two organizers of the demo and one of their friend were attacked. Two cars arrived and a dozen strong men in masks immediately went to a fight. They were screaming “You f*cking want to give away our Crimea to Bandera people?”, “You will learn how to demonstrate, ***” and so on. After a quick but technical execution attackers got straight back into cars and drove away.

    The next morning, half an our before the demo, while leaving the house after cooking for Food Not Bombs four participants of the action and the demo were again attacked by unidentified masked men, beaten again and pushed into two cars and driven away. As it became known later they were taken to a forest, 40-45 km from the city. On the way they were told by attackers that they are going to dig their graves, all the way they were being beaten and abused. After arrival victims were taken out from the car one by one in different places(each one was followed by 3-4 masked people and after this car drove some distance), again beaten up and abused. Police batons and wrapped in polyethylene chains were used. Attackers were threatening to cripple or kill.

    Meanwhile, some unknown people came to the demo with provocative signs, irrelevant to the demonstration topic, made a photo and fled away, so the breakdown of the demo was clearly planned. Participants of the event, as well as other social activists, have very reason to fear for the safety of themselves and their loved ones.

    Right now people have stable health situation, except broken fingers, dislocated vertebrae and hematomas.

    Information was given straight from Food Not Bombs Petrozavodsk group.

    Please share this information.

    Comment by louisproyect — August 7, 2014 @ 2:23 pm

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