Category Archives: Former USSR

The Quest for the Truth About Stalin: Review of Yuri Zukhov’s “Different Stalin”

The following book review by Yuri Yemelianov was suggested to The Marxist-Leninist by a comrade, and was originally titled “The Quest for the Truth About Stalin: About the book by Yuri Zhukov ‘Inoi Stalin’ (‘Different Stalin’)“:   

The collapse of the socialist order in the Soviet Union and some other countries in Europe, the disintegration of the socialist bloc and the USSR were preceded by active Anti-Soviet propaganda. This propaganda was sponsored by the West and organised by the local Fifth Columns (in the USSR the most influential Fifth Columnists were such leaders of the CPSU as M. Gorbachev, A. Yakovlev, B. Yeltsin and others). The goal of the propaganda was to portray capitalism as a social system of freedom and respect for human rights and to depict socialism as a system of terror, human deprivation and misery. During the end of the 80’s and beginning of the 90’s many popular journals and magazines of the USSR and all TV channels spread lies about socialism and its history. The greatest distortions concerned Stalin’s period of the Soviet history. Using the false interpretations of the Soviet history made by N.S. Khrushchev at the XX CPSU Congress (1956) the enemies of Socialism bitterly attacked Stalin and his policies. Almost all the Soviet history was limited to the story of mass arrests and executions of 1937-1938. At the same time Stalin and his supporters were made responsible for gross violations of law, arrests and executions of many innocent people.

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Belarusian presidential elections: Western portrayals of Lukashenko’s government and the recent elections are a far cry from the truth

Lukashenko (center) with Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela, and Robert Mugabe, president of Zimbabwe

The following is from the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist):

The 19th of December 2010 saw presidential elections in Belarus, and with them came three very predictable things. The incumbent president, Alexander Lukashenko, won; the West declared the election fraudulent; and the Belarusian opposition staged a protest leading to arrests.

Western bourgeois media and governments would have us believe that these three outcomes were all the result of a non-democratic electoral process, involving election-rigging by ‘Europe’s last dictator’. The reality, as is so often the case, is very different.

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How the restoration of capitalism has destroyed Kyrgyzstan

The following is from the anti-imperialist journal, Lalkar, associated with the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist):

How the restoration of capitalism has destroyed Kyrgyzstan:
Ethnic conflict among the country’s poor has its root in the betrayal of socialism. Communism remains the answer.

The troubles in Kyrgyzstan came to the attention of the world on 6 April in Talas, which is in the north of the country close to the Kazakh border.

Recent events

An anti-government demonstration turned violent, and sparked off a series of further anti-government demonstrations, despite the authorities imposing a state of emergency on 7 April. The government responded by arresting many opposition leaders, and the opposition in turn retaliated by occupying the internal security headquarters and a state TV channel in the capital, Bishkek (formerly Frunze).

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New Stalin monument dedicated in Ukraine

The following article is from the bourgeois press service, AFP. See also Long Live the Universal Contributions of Comrade Joseph Stalin. For more photos, see the website of the Communist Party of Ukraine:

ZAPORIZHIA, Ukraine — Ukrainian communists on Wednesday unveiled a controversial monument to Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, despite angry criticism from nationalists.

About 1,000 supporters of the Communist Party, including many elderly World War II veterans bedecked with medals, cheered as the monument was dedicated in the southern Ukrainian city of Zaporozhia.

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Post-Soviet Russia: Death of a Nation

The following documentary film (in six parts) explores the consequences of the collapse of the Soviet Union for the Russian people. Whatever problems existed for Socialism in the Soviet Union, even during the period of revisionist leadership from 1956 to 1991, people were clearly better off. As Keeran and Kenny put it in their book Socialism Betrayed:

A brief review of the Soviet Union’s accomplishments underscores what was lost. The Soviet Union not only eliminated the exploiting classes of the old order, but ended inflation, unemployment, racial and national discrimination, grinding poverty, and glaring inequalities of wealth, income, education, and opportunity. In fifty years, the country went from an industral production that was only 12 percent of that in the United States to industrial production that was 80 percent and an agricultural output 85 percent of the U.S. Though Soviet per capita consumption remained lower than in the U.S., no society had ever increased living standards and consumption so rapidly in such a short period of time for all its people. Employment was guaranteed. Free education was available for all, from kindergarten through secondary schools (general, technical and vocational), universities, and after-work schools. Besides free tuition, post-secondary students recieved living stipends. Free health care existed for all, with about twice as many doctors per person as in the United States. Workers who were injured or ill had job guarantees and sick pay. In the mid-1970s, workers averaged 21.2 working days of vacation (a month’s vaction), and sanitariums, resorts, and childrens camps were either free or subsidized. Trade unions had the power to veto firings and recall managers. The state regulated all prices and subsidized the cost of basic food and housing. Rents constituted only 2-3 percent of the family budget; water and utilities only 4-5 percent… State subsidies kept the price of books, periodicals and cultural events at a minimum.

To look more closely at the causes of the collapse of the Soviet Union see Ludo Martens’ article, “Balance of the Collapse of the Soviet Union: On the Causes of a Betrayal and the Tasks Ahead for Communists“. This documentary clearly demonstrates what the complete restoration of capitalism has meant in a very concrete and material way.

Cuban Statement on South Ossetia

It can be difficult to get a clear perspective on what is happening in different parts of the world as events rapidly arise and escalate. This is especially true due to the distortions of the mainstream media, which without exception projects the propaganda of the ruling class. The controversy over the armed conflict involving South Ossetia is no different, as the U.S. backs its NATO puppet, Georgia, and Russia intervenes on behalf of South Ossetia. For Marxist-Leninists, there is much to take into account here, from the principle of self-determination, the question of the class interest of the different forces, and the role of imperialism and expansionism. This statement from Socialist Cuba gets right to the heart of this in expressing solidarity with South Ossetia and condemning the role of U.S. imperialism/NATO.
People hold posters reading "Peace for South Ossetian children!", "Hands off South Ossetia!" as they attend a rally in central Vladikavkaz, 30 June 2007.

People hold posters reading "Peace for South Ossetian children!", "Hands off South Ossetia!" as they attend a rally in central Vladikavkaz, 30 June 2007.

Official statement from the government of Cuba

CUBA defends peace as an indispensable prerequisite for the development of all the peoples of the world.

For more than 50 years, our people have been the victim of aggression on the part of U.S. governments, obliging them to invest countless resources and energy. They have been firm and tenacious in the defense of the country’s sovereignty and support the efforts of the UN and its struggle for peace.

One part of our territory has been occupied by force for more than 100 years and Cuba has never attempted or will attempt to use violence in order to recover it. Cuba’s foreign policy is known and acknowledged by the international community.

At this moment, a crisis is arising that is worrying the peoples, stemming from news of the fighting that has broken out in the Caucasus, on the border with southern Russia. Continue reading