What do the British left and Putin regime have in common?
It is their distorted vision of the situation in Ukraine and reliance on somewhat refined but essentially Soviet-style propaganda methods, in addition to supporting terrorism and Russian intervention in the East and South of Ukraine.
Despite ostensibly claiming they do not support the Putin regime, some British left are actually playing into the hands of Russian aggressive and expansionist politics. This support is grounded in the rigid and inadequate view on the contemporary Ukrainian situation, where the proponents of such view are still drooling over the century-old Marxist concepts about the plight of workers and peasants, that completely ignore the complexities of the situation in the East; as well as dwelling upon conspiracy theories about US influence, directly borrowed from propagandist discourse. Moreover, the openly Stalinist ideological background that emerges during the discussion with some of the left is evident not only in their lack of ability to have a polite and civilised conversation with their opponents, but also in their deep misunderstanding of the Ukrainian history. This is reflected in their denial of the magnitude and political nature of Holodomor. This is also reflected in their denial of the annexation of Crimea. The Russian intervention in Ukraine is something that the British left do not want or are unable to admit. However, blaming the mysterious ‘Ukrainian fascists’ for all the problems of the country is their key argument. This does not prevent the left from developing close contact with the highly controversial Borotba movement.
These people who talk so much about their solidarity with the ‘anti-fascist movement’ in Ukraine apparently do not even bother to check the facts they are so mindlessly repeating after the Russian media – despite the existence of rapidly developing and easily accessible fact-checking websites like http://www.stopfake.org/en/news/ and http://inforesist.org/en/. The main problem is that by doing so, the British left deprive the Ukrainian civic nation of its own agency, hence enforcing the authoritarian point of view on the conflict.
The British left are not helping Ukraine with their discussions. One of those took place recently, organised by SOAS Marxist Society, where speakers included Richard Brenner, Lindsey German (Stop the War Coalition, ex-SWP), Andrew Murray (Communist Party of Great Britain, Stop the War Coalition), Alan Woods (International Marxist Tendency) and Sergei Kirichuk (Borotba). Another one is scheduled to happen on Sunday, this time under the auspices of UCLU Marxists. The level of inadequacy of the speakers was way over the top at the last meeting – to the extent of ridiculousness. Hence, we suggest that this marginal political group can provide a nice empirical example of the work of Russian and left-wing propaganda.
(The text was written for a Facebook event aimed to counter left-wing propaganda: https://www.facebook.com/events/510049262429995/?source=1)