The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Murderous Escalation Continues

Aug 7, 2023

This article is translated from the August 4 issue #2870 of Lutte Ouvrière (Workers’ Struggle), the newspaper of the revolutionary workers group of that name active in France.

Drone strikes hit commercial buildings in Moscow the night of July 29—30 and again August 1. Without openly claiming responsibility for these attacks, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky declared, “Gradually, the war is returning to Russian territory … it is an inevitable, natural and absolutely fair process.”

If the current escalation remains limited, it was basically inevitable from the moment the war began. Russia’s capital has been targeted on several occasions, as have Russian territories next to Ukraine. The U.S. and its allies have been sending Ukraine increasingly devastating and offense-capable weapons, like aircraft, longer-range missiles, and cluster bombs. The U.S. still holds back from intervening directly, which sets a limit to its support for Ukraine. But clearly this limit can shift. Only a few months ago the U.S. was still refusing to send weapons that would let Ukraine hit Russian territory.

Meanwhile, Russia keeps bombing Ukraine’s capital Kyiv and other cities. Odessa suffered massive bombings the night of July 23, which destroyed a lot, including the historic cathedral. Russian mercenary Wagner Group based in nearby Belarus has considered incursions into Poland or Lithuania. Those countries quickly reinforced their own troops on their eastern borders.

This fratricidal war for the last year and a half has opposed the Ukrainian and Russian peoples, who were united by many ties until now. Given the brutality and contempt for ordinary people which characterize his dictatorial regime, Putin’s attempt at occupying Ukraine is his response to the pressure exerted by the imperialist powers. Led by the U.S., these powers have aimed at bolstering their grip on this region of the world ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The Russian and Ukrainian populations pay ever more dearly for this confrontation between brigands representing the interests of the ruling classes—the imperialist bourgeoisies on the one hand, and the bureaucrats and privileged Russians on the other.