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Crisis in Ukraine

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022 plunged Europe into its most serious crisis since the end of the Cold War. But the conflict has also exposed longer-standing tensions within the broader regional security order, threatening war between nuclear powers. What will this mean for Ukraine and Russia, and their people whose history is perilously intertwined?

  • ‘Stop the War’ means ‘Death to the Dictatorship’

    The main goal of the war is to protect the Putin regime and its autocratic vassal states, like the Lukashenko dictatorship in Belarus, from the threat of revolution. This goal coincides perfectly with the elite’s dreams of rebuilding the Russian Empire, which requires enslaving Ukraine but Russian expansion will not end there.

  • An endgame in Ukraine may be fast approaching

    Even if Ukraine can somehow regain the initiative, it seems very doubtful that it could ever gain the degree of military superiority that it would need to achieve its stated political objective of restoring its 1991 borders. It would be unwise to say that that is impossible, but at present it’s very hard indeed to imagine how it could be done.

  • Buried trial verdict confirms false-flag Maidan massacre in Ukraine

    Ten years since the Maidan massacre, nobody is in prison for the murders and attempted murders of activists and police officers, or for shooting at foreign journalists. The silence on the part of those who deny the false-flag event, or who call these claims a “conspiracy theory” and whitewash the mass murderers of the far-right, is both deafening and revealing.

  • Next year in Ukraine, expect the unexpected

    War has so many variables that attempting to predict its every twist and turn is somewhat foolish. At some point, the balance of power in any given conflict may shift so overwhelmingly in favour of one side or another that one can safely put one’s head above the parapet and predict the outcome. But in the case of Ukraine, we are far from reaching that point.

  • A year later and things are very different in Moscow

    As Alexander Hill writes, Russia is a long way from being beaten and in many ways is in a stronger position today than it was at the end of last year. But getting that information out into the mainstream press is becoming more and more difficult—perhaps suggesting that the Western crusade against Russia, using Ukraine as a proxy, is not going to plan.

  • A decade after Euromaidan, Ukraine more fractured than ever

    A full reckoning of what transpired during Euromaidan requires one to look at both internal and external factors, namely the divisions that existed within Ukrainian society, the peculiar ideology of Ukraine’s pro-European liberal intelligentsia, and the manner in which Ukraine became a battleground for competing geopolitical interests.

  • Yasha Levine on the post-Soviet reconstruction of Ukrainian nationalism

    The end of Soviet Ukraine and the collapse of Soviet ideology created an identity vacuum. As Yasha Levine explains, the only alternative identity that was organized enough and developed enough to offer a solution in the midst of post-Soviet identity confusion and crisis was one that was developed by Ukrainian nationalists.

  • Ukraine’s worst enemies are those who demand Russia’s strategic defeat

    At this stage, argues Dimitri Lascaris, the humane and rational thing to do is to oppose the escalation of this war, and to advocate for mutual compromises to achieve peace. This is a war that Ukraine cannot win. The best that Ukraine can hope for is a bloody, horrific stalemate that will gradually sap the state’s remaining lifeblood.

  • What the life and death of Yevgeny Prigozhin tells us about modern Russia

    The Kremlin has no doubt learnt its lesson, and it is unlikely that it will ever again allow an individual to build a private army that can seriously threaten it. In this respect, while fitting a wider pattern, Yevgeny Prigozhin will probably prove to be a unique figure, destined to fascinate historians for centuries to come.

  • Correcting Mandel: Why arming Ukraine is the road to peace

    David Mandel and I share much more in common than our given name. We’re both French-speaking Anglophones who live in Montréal. We both consider ourselves humanists who want to help build a kinder, more democratic and socialist world. But while reading Mandel’s August 2 piece in this publication, it became clear that we profoundly disagree on how to get there.

  • Myths and reality about the Ukraine war

    However one views Russia’s invasion, argues David Mandel, to support pursuit of the war by Kyiv until victory, until all lost territory has been regained, and to call for Russia’s strategic defeat, is to support a profoundly criminal policy, since the goal is unrealizable. Its pursuit will not change the outcome of the war but will continue to destroy Ukraine.

  • NATO does not, and never did, ‘defend’ democracy

    A secretive alliance Canadians never voted to join that requires this country to defend faraway lands and funnel ever greater resources to warfare is typically presented by the media and politicians as a tool of democracy. Yet, very often, pro-NATO propagandists frequently ignore the alliance’s ties to undemocratic regimes and its efforts to silence its critics.

  • Ukraine and the pitfalls of foreign aid

    If Western states want to produce better results in Ukraine than they did in Afghanistan, they will have to think a lot more intelligently about what sorts of aid they give and how they deliver it. Simply put, giving money away in large quantities tends to produce perverse incentives that cause people to behave in ways that engender negative results.

  • Jens Stoltenberg’s global vision encourages conflict, militarization, and historical amnesia

    The global vision that Stoltenberg articulates encourages conflict and militarization while propounding a fantastical image of Western benevolence. He excuses every violent and illegal action taken by the US and its NATO allies since the end of the Cold War, for the purpose of making Russia’s invasion of Ukraine seem like a war crime of unprecedented criminality and scope.

  • The coup that never happened

    Those who were enthusiastically awaiting Wagner’s entry into Moscow are angry, offended, and demoralized. But Putin’s supporters are no less demoralized. The president, whom they considered a resolute and courageous leader, has shown himself to be weak and inconsistent. Ending the mutiny by agreement looks like a humiliating outcome for both sides.

  • Destroying eastern Ukraine to save it

    We can say No to NATO and Russia Out of Ukraine. We can oppose oligarchs in DC, London, Kyiv and Moscow. We can support the people of Ukraine and the people of Russia while condemning the war crimes of all governments. We can always find options other than war and we can always believe peace is possible.

  • They lied about Afghanistan. They lied about Iraq. And they are lying about Ukraine

    The playbook the pimps of war use to lure us into one military fiasco after another, including Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and now Ukraine, does not change. Freedom and democracy are threatened. Evil must be vanquished. Human rights must be protected. The fate of Europe and NATO, along with a “rules based international order” is at stake. Victory is assured.

  • Reconstructing Ukraine: Private capital floods in

    The aim of the Ukraine government, the EU, the US government, the multilateral agencies and the American financial institutions now in charge of raising funds and allocating them for reconstruction is to restore the Ukrainian economy as a form of special economic zone, with public money to cover any potential losses for private capital.

  • Who wants to be Mussolini?

    In his latest column, Boris Kagarlitsky casts his critical eye on the forces of right-wing populism in Russia today and its leading figures Igor Strelkov and Yevgeny Prigozhin. They may rail against corrupt elites, Kagarlitsky explains, but the change they seek is superficial, a mere changing of the guard; above all they fear the social transformation to which disorder is liable to give rise.

  • Russian liberalism’s false dawn

    Konstantin Bogomolov recently published an article denouncing his one-time ideological allies in Russia’s liberal intelligentsia for their attitude towards the Russian people and the war in Ukraine. Bogomolov was out to provoke, yet beneath its insulting rhetoric, his article contained a germ of truth about the prospects for Russia ever turning into a liberal democratic state.

  • Belgorod raid: Why are Russian neo-Nazis fighting Putin?

    The attacks on Belgorod provide some tactical advantages to Ukraine. On the other hand, they enable the Russian authorities to paint Ukraine as a “terrorist state” and strengthen Moscow’s propaganda narrative that Kyiv is in league with neo-Nazis. Rather than weakening support in Russia for the war, these attacks may therefore have the opposite effect.

  • Cancelling a culture

    Fortunately for Russian society, the crusade against classical culture and history initiated by the authorities is being thwarted by everyday practice, which is dominated by completely different trends. In the Internet age, censorship is extremely inefficient. A kind of cultural war has unfolded, in which one’s state acts as an occupying force, and citizens resort to guerrilla tactics.

  • Making sense of the senseless war in Ukraine

    War in Ukraine has been referred to as a “primer” on the Russia-Ukraine war, and that is the right description for it. Yes, “primer” has connotations of something a bit too basic and boring, but this book is not boring; it is concise, to the point, and the historical material it covers casts serious doubts on the mainstream interpretation of events.

  • Why Ukraine’s interest in Chinese-brokered peace worries the White House

    China’s recent pledge to send a peace delegation to Ukraine in the hope of resolving the country’s ongoing war with Russia is a hopeful sign the bloody conflict may soon come to an end. But the US’s general hostility to Chinese peace initiatives suggests there may be serious limitations to Ukrainian sovereignty. The choice between continuing the conflict, or suing for peace, may not be Kyiv’s to make.

  • Hypocrisy and war

    Neither the anti-NATO nor the anti-Putin faction is long on nuance or empathy. It’s as if each is fighting its own version of a proxy war, both invoking the claim of anti-imperialism. If these groups cannot reach agreement on a thoughtful and even-handed proposal for peace, the chances of the actual combatants doing so are slim indeed.

  • If Lula can call for peace in Ukraine, why not Canada’s left?

    Lula’s position on Ukraine and his opposition to military aid is not some aberration motivated by narrow personal or national interests. Left parties and movements across the Global South have articulated similar perspectives. The Canadian left ought to echo Lula’s principled stance. It is time to end the horrors in Ukraine and push for peace.

  • Broken windows and broken lives

    There is only one Russian political prisoner, Alexei Navalny, who is known in the West. In Russia itself, he is also the most famous among the many people who are behind bars for their political activities. But this creates a problem for many of the victims of Putin’s system, because their suffering is hidden from view by the single-minded focus on “prisoner number one.”

  • Russia and the emergence of the post-Western world

    Globally, the numbers pro- and anti-Russia are roughly even, but the tide seems to be drifting slightly in favour of the former. Russian foreign policy vis-à-vis the West is in tatters. Elsewhere, however, its diplomacy is proving quite effective. It is a fact with which the West sooner or later is going to have to come to terms.

  • How Western sanctions drove Belarus closer to Moscow

    A case could be made that what is wrong with much of contemporary Western foreign policy is that it’s so concerned about deontology that it’s lost all track of consequences. Full of good intent, determined to do what it is “right” by promoting democracy and human rights, we embark on policies that fail utterly to do any good and more generally do a lot of harm.

  • The tragedy of the war in Ukraine: a reply to Kagarlitsky

    Even if Ukraine were in some sense to win the war, what sort of sovereignty would the Ukrainian people, its working class, possess? What social forces would be dominant in this victorious Ukrainian state, where all opposition parties and media have been banned and whose reconstruction would depend entirely on American and European generosity?

  • The tragedy of war

    The defeat of the Russian army is now the only solution for our country which has been taken over by thieves and obscurantist reactionaries trying to destroy education and abolish remaining human rights, including the most basic ones that were upheld even under Stalin. Putin’s victory would be the worst disaster to befall Russia in modern history.

  • Bakhmut and the limits of historical parallels

    The fighting in and around Bakhmut won’t be another Stalingrad or Verdun, because what is taking place isn’t history repeating itself and nor can it be. It is important to remember that the use of historical parallels is not about the past as some sort of benevolent actor talking to the present, but often about political actors in the present trying to mobilize the past for their own ends.

  • Ukraine’s death by proxy

    There will come a time when the Ukrainians, like the Kurds, will become expendable. They will disappear, as many others before them have, from our national discourse and our consciousness. They will nurse for generations their betrayal and suffering. The American empire will move on to use others, perhaps the “heroic” people of Taiwan, to further its futile quest for global hegemony.

  • Self-determination in Ukraine should cut both ways

    For the West to be supporting the idea that Crimea should be recaptured and forcibly re-incorporated into Ukraine—without even attempting to find out whether their populations want that—is just another indicator of the sort of double standards than have and continue to undermine the credibility of Western diplomacy across much of the world.

  • We need statesmanship, not politics, to end Ukraine war

    Rather than eat some humble pie and break ranks with their equally deluded colleagues both at home and abroad, politicians like Joly would rather watch tens of thousands more be killed and wounded in fighting that is unlikely to fundamentally change the ultimate outcome of any future negotiations. It is our moral duty to try to help them see sense.

  • One year at war: no winners, but all are losers

    The brutal war in Ukraine is now in its second year with no serious prospect of ending. All the main parties remain committed to victory rather than a mutually acceptable settlement based on negotiations without preconditions. What follows is a preliminary assessment of the main parties’ relative gains and losses per their stated objectives.

  • Russia-Ukraine: the economics of one year of war

    Don’t expect a fast post-war recovery as happened after the Second World War with the US Marshall Plan. By the end of this decade, even if reconstruction goes well and assuming that all the resources of pre-war Ukraine are restored (eastern Ukraine’s industry and minerals are in the hands of Russia), then the economy would still be 15 percent below its pre-war level. If not, recovery will be even longer.

  • Don’t despair: the world order is changing, but it is not collapsing

    The war in Ukraine will end. Unfortunately, much more blood will be shed before that happens. But, as things currently stand, this local catastrophe should not be taken as an indication of a more general crisis. So far it isn’t, and most of the world is showing no inclination to do anything that might make it so. For that at least, we should be thankful.

  • Broad front or false front?

    On February 19, no fewer than 1,000 protestors converged in Washington, DC for the Rage Against the War Machine rally, in opposition to the escalation of US support for the war in Ukraine. Slickly packaged and backed by a motley of reactionary groups and individuals, the event was better marketed than attended, as an attempt at “left-right unity” against a heavily propagandized war.

  • Cold War realism: Lessons for Ukraine

    It is time to recognize the brutal truth of political realism, writes University of Rhode Island professor and author Nikolai Petro: that only Russia can guarantee Ukraine’s survival, or extinguish it. The question that anyone serious about ending this conflict should be asking, therefore, is this: what does Russia need to end its violence against Ukraine?

  • How the West brought war to Ukraine

    Policy makers in Washington and the European capitals—along with the captured, craven media that uncritically amplify their nonsense—are now standing up to their hips in a barrel of viscous mud. How those who were foolish enough to step into that barrel will have the wisdom to extricate themselves before they tip the barrel and take the rest of us down with them, it is hard to imagine.

  • Tanks not troops

    Prolonging the war with weapons shipments decreases the likelihood of a negotiated settlement as much as it increases the number of dead Ukrainians, precisely the group of people we’re being told these weapons are supposed to ‘save’ from Russain tyranny. There is no free market solution for peace when the military-industrial complex dictates our foreign policy.

  • Public opinion polls in wartime Ukraine: do they tell the full story?

    Wartime surveys in Ukraine are meaningful and revealing. But conjuring a transcendent Ukrainian general will in wartime from the findings of surveys funded by advocacy groups in government-controlled Ukraine demand skepticism. Ukraine is a large and diverse country, and the least we can do is acknowledge and respect its socio-cultural and geographic complexity.

  • Ukraine: the war that went wrong

    The plan to reshape Europe and the global balance of power by degrading Russia is turning out to resemble the failed plan to reshape the Middle East. It is fueling a global food crisis and devastating Europe with near double-digit inflation. It is exposing the impotency, once again, of the United States, and the bankruptcy of its ruling oligarchs.

  • The blurred reality of Russian patriotism

    One might be forgiven for thinking that Russia’s ‘creative classes’ are united in their opposition to Putin and the war. This isn’t actually the case. As in the country’s past, a powerful patriotic and nationalist movement coexists alongside the rather weaker liberal, pro-Western one. And it’s not just musicians and singers who are touting the patriotic line.

  • The Ukraine conflict as a world war

    We cannot view the Ukraine conflict in isolation, writes University of Manitoba professor Henry Heller. It is negatively impacting the global economy as well as international relations across the board. At a time when the world urgently requires more international cooperation and integration it has once again become divided into antagonistic camps.

  • Ukraine: the more war changes, the more it stays the same

    As the Russia-Ukraine war nears its first anniversary, what has become clear is that despite all the technological paraphernalia of modern warfare, over the past 100 years very little has changed in the way that large-scale armies fight one another. It’s still a matter of assembling the biggest possible force and firing off as much ammunition as your factories and stockpiles will permit.

  • At stake in Ukraine is the future of globalized capitalism

    The war in Ukraine is only one phase of a world-wide conflict that began earlier. In international relations, the driving forces are often obscured by surface occurrences, such as immediate military events and the din of apologetic or denunciatory rhetoric. What is at stake in Ukraine is not Ukraine: it is the future of globalized, neoliberal, financialized, US-ruled capitalism.

  • What can Nikolai Danilevsky teach us about today’s struggle between East and West?

    November 28 marks the 200th birthday of Russian philosopher, naturalist, and economist Nikolai Danilevsky. Relatively unknown in the West, Danilevsky is extraordinarily influential in modern Russia, and understanding his ideas is essential to grasping the essence of the current political conflict between Russia and the West.

  • Navigating the left’s Ukraine debate

    Sovereignty and self-determination are important concepts to keep at the heart of left analysis—and can help orient us in the confusion and misinformation surrounding Russia’s war on Ukraine. In this interview, Bill Fletcher Jr. and Elly Leary help navigate the left’s Ukraine debate, dispel misconceptions and historical delusions, and a point a way forward for the anti-war movement.

  • Biden’s foreign policy is sinking the congressional Dems—and Ukraine

    Biden believes that American credibility depends on NATO expanding to Ukraine, and if necessary, defeating Russia in the Ukraine war to accomplish that. Biden has repeatedly refused to engage in diplomacy with Russia on the NATO enlargement issue. This has been a grave mistake. It stoked a proxy war between the US and Russia in which Ukraine is being devastated.

  • The long, indecisive war in Ukraine is reshaping the political world map

    The Ukraine war is the third of these great pan-continental conflicts sucking in the rest of Europe and the US. Most European states are not directly involved in the military conflict, but they are fully engaged in political and economic warfare against Russia which is as important as anything happening on the battlefields.

  • As Ukraine war escalates, the climate movement goes AWOL

    NATO states and Russia are huge contributors to global emissions. We cannot resolve the climate emergency unless these emitters work cooperatively to transition their economies away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy. Obviously, there is no realistic prospect of achieving the requisite level of cooperation and mutual trust in a state of escalating war.

  • Financial war and its discontents

    It remains to be seen whether it is legally possible to confiscate and redistribute Russian funds. But even if it is, one may doubt whether it is wise. Little by little, such acts have the effect of sending a message that the international financial system is subservient to Western political interests, writes professor Paul Robinson.

  • It’s not progressive to label pacifists ‘Putin stooges’

    Resistance is essential, but at the moment the anti-war movement is not in a position to bring large numbers into the street to protest NATO expansion and Canada’s role in prolonging the conflict in Ukraine. But we should at least be challenging politicians where we can and chipping away at progressives supporting the continuation of this horrible war.

  • The unbalanced scales of international criminal justice

    In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, there are growing efforts to weaponize international criminal justice and human rights. Considering the wide ranging calls for the indictment of Russian political and military leaders by the ICC, it is important to remember where these international criminal courts came from, writes publisher and author Robin Philpot.

  • The great game in Ukraine is spinning out of control

    Zbigniew Brzezinski famously described Ukraine as a “geopolitical pivot” of Eurasia, central to both US and Russian power. Since Russia views its vital security interests to be at stake in the current conflict, the war in Ukraine is rapidly escalating to a nuclear showdown. It’s urgent for both the US and Russia to exercise restraint before disaster hits.

  • The Nord Stream pipeline explosions: a geopolitical whodunit

    The economic war reverberates around the world. Oil and gas are an integral part of the conflict. The pipeline sabotage has taken the war to a new level. It has opened a Pandora’s box of troubles and has endangered pipelines worldwide. It is clear who benefits. Yet with Western control of the narrative, the real culprit may never be identified.

  • Russia ups the ante in Ukraine

    It would be a rash analyst who dared to predict how this current war will turn out. About the only thing of which one can be confident is that it will continue for a long time yet—certainly many months, and perhaps even years, until the two sides reach a point of mutual exhaustion. Every war must end, but at present this one’s ending seems to be far out of sight.

  • Europe, more than Putin, must shoulder the blame for the energy crisis

    NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has sounded the alarm about “civil unrest” this winter as prices across Europe soar, even while demanding public money be used to send yet more weapons to Ukraine. The question is whether Western publics will keep buying the narrative of an existential threat that can only be dealt with if they, rather than their leaders, dig deep into their pockets.

  • Mikhail Gorbachev’s misunderstood legacy

    Mikhail Gorbachev meant well. An idealist, he believed in communism’s humanist potential. Realizing that communism’s practice fell short of its promise, he sought to do something about it. In the process, he unleashed hidden forces that destroyed the system he hoped to revive. For better or for worse, we are still living with the consequences today.

  • Ukraine and the politics of permanent war

    As the persecution of Julian Assange illustrates, the throttling of press freedom is bipartisan. This assault on truth leaves a population unmoored. It feeds wild conspiracy theories. It shreds the credibility of the ruling class. It empowers demagogues. It creates an information desert, one where truth and lies are indistinguishable.

  • Putin’s ‘ally’: a case of misreporting

    Were just one media outlet to have characterized Dugin incorrectly it would be a simple case of poor reporting. The fact that almost the entire Western press corps has done so is indicative of a more systemic failing. The impoverished picture one gets of the world as a result of this failing leads to ill considered policies, grounded in ignorance.

  • The rockets of summer

    At this point, the West appears to be sleepwalking toward Armageddon via a dangerous proxy war. By supplying precision munitions, training Ukrainians in their use, and sharing actionable intelligence, NATO is doing everything short of actually pushing the launch buttons. The West is essentially at war with Russia already. This is madness.

  • Status anxiety and the war in Ukraine

    States seek status, and those who have risen to the top feel a need to put anyone who might challenge them firmly in their place. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is such a challenge. Ever since the Maidan revolution of 2014, the West has determined that Ukraine lies within its own sphere of influence. By arguing otherwise, Russia is challenging the West’s honour.

  • Peace-minded Canadians deserve a voice in Parliament

    There are no good options available at this point in the Ukraine-Russia war. Except to warmongers and war profiteers, a negotiated solution with unpleasant compromises appears preferable to prolonging the fighting for years or risking the unthinkable. Millions of Canadians support peaceful solutions to the Ukraine war. A left wing party should be their voice.

  • The causes and consequences of the Ukraine war

    This is the full text of a speech given on June 16 by John J. Mearsheimer at the European Union Institute and published by The National Interest under the headline “The Causes and Consequences of the Ukraine Crisis.” Mearsheimer is the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago, and a regular commentator on European geopolitics.

  • Prairies ramp up potash production amid Russia sanctions blowback

    Fertilizer prices are extremely high, contributing to the ongoing global food crisis that has worsened in the fallout of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the short-sighted imposition of sanctions by Western countries. In particular, production of potash has been severely impacted by the war in Ukraine and the West’s stubborn aversion to negotiation and compromise in eastern Europe.

  • Ottawa must be honest with Canadians about troops in Ukraine

    Ottawa’s policies have aggravated tensions in Eastern Europe, writes author, activist and Canadian Foreign Policy Institute director Bianca Mugyenyi. To help ensure the conflict doesn’t escalate even further we need to start asking tough questions of our political leaders. At a minimum we should be told by our government if Canadian forces are on the ground in Ukraine.

  • West at inflection point in Ukraine war

    That’s where the actual inflection point lies today—whether the structural contradictions in the Western economies have matured into disorder. Putin sees the West’s future as bleak, hit simultaneously by the blowback from its own imposition of sanctions, and the resultant spike in commodity prices, but lacking agility to deflect the blows due to institutional rigidities.

  • Ukraine war: When you are in a hole, stop digging

    From the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Western media have systematically misrepresented developments on the battlefield. Time and again, major media organizations have cited military ‘experts’ from NATO armies and officials from Western governments to support the false claim that Ukraine is either winning the war or has battled Russian forces to a standstill.

  • The war in Ukraine has Canadian mining companies looking to Africa

    In the context of the Russia-Ukraine war and the profitable exploitation of battery metals, Canadian politicians have stressed the need to maintain and expand access to critical minerals in Africa. Such access will have the effect of keeping the continent as a crucial supplier of the minerals with which Canada and its allies hope to blunt the economic blowback of the invasion.

  • No way out but war

    The permanent war economy has destroyed the private economy, bankrupted the nation, and squandered trillions of dollars of taxpayer money. The monopolization of capital by the military has driven the US debt to $30 trillion. Servicing this debt costs $300 billion a year. We spent more on the military, $813 billion for fiscal year 2023, than the next nine countries, including China and Russia, combined.

  • The nerve centre of the resistance: an international conference in Lviv

    Last week, in Lviv, an international delegation met with labour organizers and activists. The Swiss weekly newspaper, Die Wochenzeitung, followed the proceedings. What questions are most preoccupying the country’s workers, and why are anarchists angry with parts of the Western left? The following is a report by journalist Anna Jikhareva from Lviv.

  • Who watches the watchers?

    With automated systems already trained on inaccurate data—Russia as the trial ground—“publisher classification” systems for analyzing, reporting, targeting and removing dissenting voices, accounts and publications set a dangerous precedent for tracking and blacklisting voices that challenge Canadian foreign policy online with accusations of “fake news.”

  • Is it time to admit that Canada is at war in Ukraine?

    While more details on the scope of Western involvement will likely emerge, there is enough information in the public record to conclude that, despite falling below the threshold of direct confrontation with Russia, Canada’s contribution of arms means that we are indeed at war in Ukraine. This reality is compounded by the other retaliatory measures Ottawa has wielded to destroy the Russian economy.

  • Is the US stalling urgent diplomatic efforts in Ukraine?

    Next to starting a war, the most reprehensible act would be keeping one going when more people will die with little hope the outcome will improve. Yet, there are several lines of evidence that suggest that the US is inhibiting a diplomatic solution in Ukraine. Years prior to the war, when diplomatic avenues were open to prevent war, the United States already seemed to be setting up roadblocks.

  • Russia at a turning point?

    At the end of the Cold War there was much debate between proponents of two models of the world’s future development. For Russians this debate reflected their own long-lasting dispute between Westernizing liberal determinists and conservative believers in distinct paths of civilizational development. The latter have won the day, and there may be no turning back.

  • Why Canada’s double standards on Russia-Ukraine matter

    If Canadian foreign policy had anything resembling a consistent concern for human rights and the demands of oppressed populations, Canada’s leaders would not remain silent as the Biden administration starves the Afghan population as punishment for the US defeat there. If such a policy existed, our leaders would also totally extricate themselves from any involvement in the Saudi-led war on Yemen.

  • Letters from Ukraine

    The following interviews are part of a weekly series conducted in English and translated into French by the French online media project Tous Dehors with “A,” a Ukrainian student from Kharkiv. They have also been published by Endnotes, a communist theoretical journal produced by a discussion group of the same name based in Britain and the United States. Reprinted here with permission.

  • Children are bearing the brunt of Russia’s war

    A UNICEF report from March 24 found that more than half of Ukraine’s child population has been displaced as a result of the invasion. Nearly two million kids have fled to neighbouring countries, while 2.5 million remain internally displaced. Within the country, 1.4 million people lack access to clean water, and almost half-a-million infants aged six to 24 months require complementary food support.

  • How the issue of Ukraine is playing out on the left

    A significant issue that has generated much heated discussion on the left is not over whether Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine is justifiable. Few, that is very few, say it is. Rather the key question is whether raising the issue of NATO enlargement distracts from the atrocity of Putin’s aggression. Indeed, some on the left accuse those who raise the issue of NATO of justifying the invasion.

  • Ukraine is at the centre of a superpower proxy war

    Framing Russian aggression as a disastrous escalation in a long-term proxy war is necessary both to accurately make sense of how and why this cataclysm is unfolding. For peace to be achieved, people living in NATO states first have to understand the role our governments have played in setting the stage for Russia’s brutal attack.

  • Revisiting our secret role in Ukraine’s 2004 Orange Revolution

    Ottawa’s primary objective in Ukraine has long been to promote neoliberalism and support Washington’s bid to create conflict between Ukraine and its powerful neighbour. While Canadians should sympathize with Ukrainians who reject Russian influence, and condemn Putin’s criminal invasion, we also need to consider Canada’s considerable role in this unfolding tragedy.

  • A realist take on the Ukraine war

    Realism is an approach to the study of international relations. Its main assumptions are that all nation states seek security within an anarchic international system, and that decision makers tend to act in a rational manner. This way of looking at the world can provide useful insights that cut through emotional responses and the distortions of propaganda.

  • Waltzing toward Armageddon with the merchants of death

    Peace has been sacrificed for US global hegemony. Peace could have seen state resources invested in people rather than systems of control. It could have allowed us to address the climate emergency. But we cry peace, peace, and there is no peace. Nations frantically rearm, threatening nuclear war. They prepare for the worst, ensuring that the worst will happen.

  • Guns n’ gas: the German government’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

    As Vladimir Putin amassed troops near the Ukraine border, Joe Biden pressured Olaf Scholz to cut natural gas imports from Russia. Yet Scholz put diplomacy before sanctions and sabre-rattling. Then came the turnaround: two days after Russia’s invasion, Germany cancelled the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and announced its largest rearmament program since the Second World War.

  • Stop this imperialist war

    We must press the war masters on all sides to negotiate for peace since there’s no social justice, no democracy, and no livable ecology for the common good on a war-levelled planet. But we must also wage a people’s war on class rule and oligarchs of all national stripes for it is the chaotic and soulless capitalist order that most fundamentally gives rise to modern imperial war in the first place.

  • Sanctions against Russia are hurting ordinary people in Central Asia

    While some observers may endorse sanctions against Russia as a humanitarian alternative to military action, the supposedly bloodless and “targeted” punishment of sectors of the Russian economy has already had wide-ranging effects on people inside and outside of Russia who have committed no crime, and who simply want the best possible life for themselves and their family.

  • Ukraine: How to avoid escalation and end the war

    The worst is still avoidable in Ukraine. If a settlement is to be found, the White House should urgently restore high-level dialogue with the Kremlin. The main goal must be to facilitate peace in Ukraine with a view to maintaining shared security in wider Europe and beyond—not to simply punish or isolate Putin and engage in full-scale financial war with Russia.

  • Chrystia Freeland’s ties to Ukrainian nationalists reveal a double standard

    Chrystia Freeland spoke at a rally against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 27, in which she was photographed holding up a scarf associated with a Ukrainian paramilitary organization that massacred thousands of Jews and Poles during the Second World War. Freeland, who has made her heritage a major focus of her political brand, could benefit from a serious lesson in optics.

  • No, opposing pipelines does not make you a Putin stooge

    When it comes to Canadian oil, the “Putinist” smear is only the newest stage in a series of attempts to discredit largely Indigenous-led anti-pipeline protest movements. And it’s not just the ramblings of Jason Kenney—one of Canada’s prominent think tanks has also endorsed that view, foreshadowing the character of the Canadian elite’s newest assault on land defenders.

  • Fifteen bad Ukraine narratives

    Especially when deepened by the fog of war, idiocy comes in many mutually reinforcing forms. Here, writer and social critic Paul Street examines fifteen bad narratives running around the intertwined media, Internet, and political cultures regarding the crisis unfolding in Ukraine to examine and get past some problematic thinking on Russia’s criminal invasion of its neighbour.

  • The Ukraine invasion and the peace movement

    Russia’s invasion of Ukraine should have been pretty straightforward at least on the surface. A large authoritarian nuclear power launches an all out assault on a vulnerable and militarily weak neighbour to recover its regional hegemony and eliminate any semblance of a political alternative. This should be a no brainer for peace activists, or so you would think. But that assumption has turned out to be wrong.

  • The greatest evil is war

    Yes, the Russians were baited. But they reacted by pulling the trigger. This is a crime. Their crime. Let us pray for a ceasefire. Let us work for a return to diplomacy and sanity, a moratorium on arms shipments to Ukraine and the withdrawal of Russian troops from the country. Let us hope for an end to war before we stumble into a nuclear holocaust that devours us all.

  • How Canada’s support for NATO expansion led to the Ukraine tragedy

    While Moscow’s violation of international law must be unequivocally condemned, we also need to be honest about the origins of this crisis, the most significant conventional warfare operation in Europe since the Second World War. Doing so is not to downplay Putin’s clear act of aggression, but to understand the geopolitical realities at play.

  • Russia: From sanctions to slump?

    Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is going to be costly for Russia and its people. Oxford Economics reckons it will knock at least one percentage point a year off Russia’s real GDP growth over the next few years. If that happens, the country will be in economic recession for several years. Whatever the case, once the war is over, Ukraine’s people will see little of the benefit.

  • The Russia-Ukraine War: Why the hawks prevailed

    The European continent is entering a new era of social and political divisions comparable to those of the Cold War. The possibility of further escalation is now closer than ever. Instead of building an inclusive and just international order, Russia and most European nations will now rely mainly on nuclear weapons and military preparations for their security.

  • Against Putin’s imperial war in Ukraine

    The members of LeftEast collective are aghast at the violent military aggression that has escalated into war in Ukraine. It threatens to cast our region into bloodshed of a scale that has not been seen in decades. We unequivocally condemn the Kremlin’s criminal invasion and call for the withdrawal of Russian troops back to the international border.

  • NATO, Russia and Ukraine: False pretexts for war

    Washington wants only one kind of development in Ukraine—similar to the one that it would like to impose on Russia—a neoliberal paradise that will allow Western capital complete freedom to do what it wants with Ukrainian land and resources. This will greatly intensify social inequality and have very negative consequences for most of the Ukrainian population.

  • Liberal messianism and the Ukraine crisis have turned Joe Biden into a Russia hawk

    The Biden administration is likely to continue to obstruct a multilateral European settlement with a new place for Ukraine and Russia in the continent’s security system. The Kremlin will conclude that more “tensions” are needed for moving the US toward comprehensive negotiations on the European and international order. Crisis bargaining has become the order of the day.

  • No, Canada shouldn’t be arming Ukraine

    Why would a progressive media outlet regurgitate talking points from the Conservative Party and hawkish media pundits about Canada arming the Ukrainian military? On January 31, The Tyee published an article echoing the call of former Conservative leader Erin O’Toole and many mainstream journalists for Canada to provide more weapons to Ukrainian forces in their standoff with Russia.

  • Pipeline politics and the Ukraine crisis

    Amid escalating tensions between United States, NATO and Russia, all eyes are on Ukraine. Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland describes it as “a struggle between democracy and authoritarianism.” But Nord Stream 2, a pipeline built to bring Russian gas under the Baltic Sea directly to Germany, is an integral part of the story.

  • Bombs and Waffles: the NDP and NATO in the twentieth century

    Long-time observers of the NDP should not be surprised at the internal disarray over Canadian support for NATO. According to Huron University College professor David Blocker, the party’s stance on Canadian involvement in the alliance has been the source of considerable debate and internal tension within the NDP and the left in Canada since the party’s founding in 1961.

  • Weakness and paranoia are behind the Western war scare

    What drives the Western war scare has more to do with the West itself than with Putin’s unpredictability. Domestic and foreign affairs of the last decade have left the West weak and deeply confused. This loss of confidence does a disservice to conducting a measured assessment of Russia’s foreign policy and motives in its relations with Ukraine.

  • Russia doesn’t count

    Ratcheting up tensions during a global pandemic is nothing less than a shoddy diversion; another symptom of the weakening of public discourse, now fueled by comic-book like personality-driven politics. What Russia and Ukraine both need is no different than that eternal human dream of everyone else everywhere: better living and hope for a brighter future for all citizens.

  • On Ukraine-Russia, don’t let war fever consume us

    War is in the air. As most everybody knows by now, Russia has assembled a formidable force at various locations near Ukraine’s borders. Satellite images of military equipment and amateur video of lines of tanks convey the menace. Diplomats are talking but some are also withdrawing from the Ukrainian capital. Few are neutral or nuanced about the crisis.

  • The hidden origin of the escalating Ukraine-Russia conflict

    The question of which side carried out the 2014 Maidan massacre is central to understanding the “bloodiest and most controversial hours of European conflict since the end of the Cold War,” and the main tipping point in the escalating conflict between the West and Russia over Ukraine. According to Ivan Katchanovski, the origins of the conflict are often misrepresented, omitted or even covered-up.

  • On NATO all parties agree—follow orders without question

    NATO’s proponents often claim it’s a democratic force, but in Canada’s case the alliance highlights the hollowness of our democracy. A healthy polity requires vigorous debate on important issues, but no major party opposes this country’s membership in the military alliance. In fact, the NDP has gone to great lengths to block members from expressing themselves on NATO.

  • The right-wing checkpoint for Canada’s intervention in Ukraine

    Canada’s policy of providing Ukraine military aid has been disproportionately shaped by both Ukrainian far-right nationalism and the domestic right-wing lobby in Canada. The far-right in Ukraine holds a degree of military power and a corresponding threat of violence that surpasses that of other comparable European ultranationalist organizations.

  • Debasing US policy discourse about Russia

    Baseless and reckless tropes about Russia, Cohen points out, have proliferated in the US political-media establishment during the new Cold War, and even more since Russiagate allegations began to circulate widely two years ago, in mid-2016. The worst of these tropes—in effect an incitement to war—is that “Russia attacked America during the 2016 presidential election.”

  • The beneficiaries of conflict with Russia

    The US arms and intelligence industries are the main beneficiaries of confrontation with Russia, closely followed by the hierarchy of the defunct US-NATO military alliance who have been desperately seeking justification for its existence for many years. For so long as the military-industrial complex holds sway, there will continue to be sabre-rattling and mindless military posturing.

  • Misinformation about Ukraine and Russia

    Since the overthrow of the Yanukovych government at the end of February 2014, the mainstream media en masse has attempted to whitewash the nature of the current interim Ukrainian government. With Ukraine now having Europe’s first government since Hitler’s time to include fascists in high-profile cabinet positions, one might wonder how their presence affects the operation of the state.

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