East Europe newsletter: news from the social movements and the left

Back to the Russian Empire   By WISOTZKY Fabian
Vladimir Putin’s version of history is little more than propaganda to justify his war aims
For the last two weeks, analysts have been puzzling over Russian president Vladimir Putin’s motives for launching the invasion of Ukraine. Ilya Matveev, a left-wing Russian sociologist, states that Putin’s motivations lie neither in economic nor geopolitical security interests, i.e. not in the West and NATO, since these factors do not explain the current turn of events. Reflecting critically on his (…)- Russia & Eastern Europe History (past)Anti fascist Campism vs InternationalismRussiaUkraine (eng)

Understanding Russia Today, w/ Simon Pirani [podcast]   By PIRANI Simon, Victors Children
Anyone trying to understand Russia in the context of the war unleashed by Putin and co. on Ukraine will find little of use in the mainstream media, and a lot of left media isn’t much better. This episode of the podcast Victor’s Children presents an interview with Simon Pirani about capitalism and politics in Russia today.
Victor’s Children · Episode 15: Understanding Russia Today
Simon has written extensively on contemporary Russia as well as on the Russian Revolution. He discussed (…)- Russia

Murky future. What would Putin do in case of his military defeat?   By HRYHORIEV Kostiantyn
The tenth of March, at 5 a.m. marked exactly two weeks since the start of a full-fledged Russian invasion of Ukraine, shamelessly dubbed a “special operation” by the Kremlin. The war continues right at this moment with countless civilian deaths in Kharkiv, Mariupol, Izium, and other Ukrainian cities, and with Russian tanks burning at the approaches to Kyiv. It is difficult to predict the final distribution of military forces or the wordings of a future peace accord, should one be reached. But (…)- Russia / PUTIN Vladimir

Why We Need a Post-Colonial Lens to Look at Ukraine and Russia   By BADIOR Daria
In a post-Soviet era we should consider how Russians continue to benefit from colonialism and imperialism in the realm of culture.
I was writing this article early on Friday morning in a safe place in Western Ukraine right at the time when Russian tanks with thermal imagers were shooting at the Zaporizhya nuclear power station, threatening nuclear catastrophe to the entire world.
At the same time, I was trying to come up with the right words to answer an email from Marion Dubois-Daras, (…)- Russia & Eastern Europe Culture (Eng)Feminism (Eng)RussiaUkraine (eng)USSR (Eng)

Ukraine: Notes from Lviv in times of war   By LIASHEVA Aliona
I am writing this text on the night of 7-8 March in Lviv. This is the fourth year of my living in Lviv, and I met the war here. It seems that my whole life has passed since my mother’s morning call. She told me that “we are being bombed.” My life and the lives of everyone around me have broken down and will not be the same as before. But we will live somehow. I would like to share with the readers of Commons my observations on how a new life emerges in my city. I know that the next breakdown (…)- Ukraine Sotsialnyi Rukh – Social Movement (Ukraine)Lviv (Lvov)

Ukraine: Introducing Sotsialnyi Rukh (Social Movement)   By Sotsialnyi Rukh (Social Movement) Ukraine
Sotsіalnyi Rukh (SR; The Social Movement) is a new left party being created by the working people of Ukraine. Recent events here have shown the lack of political subjectivity of working classes in the country and the need for a left-wing political force which would promote a socially oriented agenda.
During the 2013-2014 Maidan protests, a group of Ukrainian leftist activists had proclaimed “The Ten Points” of anti-capitalist and pro-labour demands countering the conservative nationalist and (…)- On the left (Ukraine)

Ukraine: the world’s defence giants are quietly making billions from the war   By BLOOM Peter
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has been widely condemned for its unjustified aggression. There are legitimate fears of a revived Russian empire and even a new world war. Less discussed is the almost half trillion dollar (£381 billion) defence industry supplying the weapons to both sides, and the substantial profits it will make as a result.
The conflict has already seen massive growth in defence spending. The EU announced it would buy and deliver €450 million (£375 million) of arms to the (…)- Ukraine RussiaNATOMilitary IndustryIsrael (Eng)TurkeyUSA (Eng)

Previously published articles…Ukraine’s occupied towns are facing a tough choice: collaborate or resist?
Interview with Denys Pankratov, organizer of the Crane Operators Union of the Lviv Region – Ukraine
A Ukrainian Socialist Explains Why the Russian Invasion Shouldn’t Have Been a Surprise
Russia: Community of Lomonosov university against the war
Ukraine: The Economic Consequences of the War
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