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One year since the outbreak of the imperialist war in Ukraine:

Blood and tears for the peoples - profits for capital

The KKE firmly at the forefront of the struggle against the imperialist war

Twelve days before V. Putin announced the “Special Military Operation”, as he called the Russian military invasion of the Ukrainian territories, Rizospastis commented the statements of the US official Kurt Volker, who claimed that “Russia may annex one-third of Ukraine”, assessing that Ukraine could lose all access to the Sea of Azov and that a land passage could be formed connecting the Russian Federation with Crimea.

At the time, among other things, we noted the following: “We do not know whether the above statements by the US official indicated what the new borders of Ukraine will be, whether this is a compromise proposal of the USA to Russia regarding the partition of Ukraine —demanding something in return— or just an exercise of pressure on the current leadership of Ukraine. What we do know, however, is that in general the borders do not change without bloodshed and that the role of our country in these developments is of profound importance for our people.”(1)

Today, one year after the beginning of the conflict that is ravaging the peoples of Ukraine and Russia, we have witnessed tens of thousands (or, according to other estimates, hundreds of thousands) of dead and disabled people, as well as the total destruction of dozens of towns and villages. The border between Russia and Ukraine has indeed changed during the battles, since, in addition to most of the Donbas region (60% of Donetsk and 95% of Lugansk), Russia has managed to control Kherson (75%) and Zaporozhye (80%). All of those regions have been incorporated into Russian territory, based on Putin’s presidential decrees and despite his initial proclamations that the purpose of the “special military operation” is not to conquer Ukrainian territory. In total, the Ukrainian territories currently under Russian military control amount to 18% of Ukraine (compared to 27% in March 2022).

Indeed, the above “prophecy” of the US official was fulfiled as Russia has completely blocked Ukraine’s access to the Sea of Azov and created a land corridor of communication between its territories and Crimea, which it had annexed since 2014.

Russia’s Deputy Chairman of the Security Council and former President Dmitry Medvedev wrote gleefully on 3/2/23 that “the Ukrainian economy is rapidly turning into a stinking rotting wood”. As he describes, that is because Ukraine has already lost more than 40% of its national industrial capacity and about 15% of its pre-war GDP and now lacks access to over $12 trillion worth of raw materials, including 63% of its coal deposits and 42% of its metals. (2)


Who won and who lost?

The above representative of Russian capital is rubbing his hands at the fact that capitalist Russia, under the guise of anti-fascism and the threat of persecution against every voice of opposition within the country, has conquered and fully controls the Sea of Azov, as well as thousands of square kilometres of fertile land, mineral wealth and industrial infrastructure that belonged to Ukraine.               Furthermore, several million workers are put at the disposal of the Russian monopolies.

There are also other forces rubbing their hands:

•             The USA, since the US energy monopolies from now on will supply Europe with the most expensive liquefied natural gas. The USA has been given the opportunity for a relative ‘regrouping’ and further strengthening of the NATO “wasp’s nest”, which had been facing cohesion issues in the previous period.

•             The EU, which found another alibi to promote its “green growth strategy”, based on which the European energy monopolies profit —both those involved in “alternative sources” (solar panels, wind turbines, etc.) and the typical ones— and other sections of capital, such as the Greek shipowners, who have been making a fortune in the one year of war.

•             The capitalists of China, India, Brazil and other countries, who found a way to import Russian raw materials, especially oil, at half price, and are profiting from differences in the international market.

•             The Gulf monarchies, which have increased their “clientele”, and the bourgeoisie of Turkey, which plays the role of “mediator” and “hub” for interests and commodities for both sides.

•             All those capitalist states that have a developed war industry (USA, Russia, China, France, Germany, Turkey, Iran, etc.) that produces and tests on the battlefields new killing machines, profiting from the trade of death.

•             The bourgeoisie of Ukraine, which has further shielded its power. On the one hand, it has linked its own interests more closely to those of the other powerful capitalist countries of the Euro-Atlantic bloc, and on the other hand, it has fostered a climate of “unity” within the country, grafted with plenty of anti-communism, chauvinism, historical justification of the Nazi collaborators etc. in the name of “patriotism”, of the defence of the country’s territorial integrity, and of the recapture of territories.

Of course, the military conflict between the NATO forces and Russia continues, since its duration, the means used, and ultimately its the military–economic outcome will have a direct reflection on the gains and losses of each side.


Who have lost so far?

There are also sections of capital that have lost in this period. However, this is a natural development in capitalism, where there is intra- and trans-sectoral competition as well as uneven development and it is not possible for all the capitalist sections to win under conditions of anarchy and fierce competition, which are typical features of the capitalist economy even in times of peace.

However, the big losers in the one year of imperialist war are the peoples, who either pay for the extra profits of capital with the blood of their children, or out of their own pockets, since the war has skyrocketed high prices and inflation and eats away at the people’s incomes.


The modern “golden fleece”

From the very first moment, the KKE has unwaveringly shown our people the real causes of the war. As noted in the Resolution of the Central Committee of the KKE on the imperialist war in Ukraine: “The people of Ukraine have been paying the price for the competition and interventions over the division of markets and spheres of influence between on the one hand the USA, NATO, and the EU and the strategy of ‘Euro-Atlantic enlargement’ and on the other hand the strategy of the capitalist Russian Federation for its own exploitative plans against the peoples, aiming to strengthen its own imperialist coalition (Eurasian Economic Union, Collective Security Treaty Organization) in the former USSR region.” (3)

The KKE pointed out that “The Russian military intervention in essence marks the formal beginning of a war that has been prepared by a powder keg that has been storing up over time. The focus is set on the division of mineral wealth, energy, land, workforce, pipelines, commodity transport networks, geopolitical mainstays, and market shares.

Our Party rejected the pretexts used by the USA, NATO, the EU, including the Greek government, about ‘revisionism’, ‘democracy’, ‘freedom to choose allies’, etc., to support the reactionary government of Zelenskiy. It has shown that the trailblazers, who have made even certain formal provisions of international law into a dead letter, are the EU-NATO imperialists.

The KKE also rejected the pretexts of the Russian side, such as the invocation of anti-fascism, in order to promote the plans of its own monopolies in the region, taking advantage of the strong anti-fascist spirit of the Russians and of all peoples, who paid with millions of dead for the struggle against the fascist-Nazi German occupation and atrocity. (…) We do not forget that capitalist Russia itself, which is at the front line of anti-communism today, maintains friendly relations with far-right groups in many countries and that Russia’s leadership publicly praises the ideologists of Russian fascism”.


Proletarian internationalism against the imperialist massacre

The KKE, together with the Communist Party of Mexico, the Communist Party of the Workers of Spain, and the Communist Party of Turkey issued a Joint Statement of Communist and Workers’ Parties, which was immediately published (26/2/22) and so far is supported by 44 Communist Parties and 30 Communist Youth Organizations from all over the world.

In this very important Joint Statement it is highlighted that:

•             The dissolution of the USSR and the restoration of capitalism meant the dismantling of historic workers’ and people’s gains and brought the peoples of the USSR back to the era of class exploitation and imperialist wars.

•             The developments in Ukraine are taking place in the framework of monopoly capitalism and are linked to the plans of the USA, NATO, the EU and their intervention in the region, in the context of the fierce competition between those powers and capitalist Russia for control of markets, raw materials, and transport networks of the country.

•             The action of the fascist, nationalist forces in Ukraine, anti-communism, as well as the rhetoric against Lenin, the Bolsheviks and the Soviet Union to which the Russian leadership is resorting are to be condemned.

•             The peoples of the two countries (Russia and Ukraine), who had been living in peace and prospered together under the USSR, like all peoples, have no interest in siding with one imperialist or another, with one alliance or another that serves the interests of the monopolies.

•             The illusions spread by bourgeois powers that there could be a “better security architecture” in Europe with the EU’s intervention, a NATO “without military plans and offensive weapons systems on its territory”, a “pro-peace EU”, or a “peaceful multipolar world” are dispelled. Capitalism goes hand in hand with imperialist wars.

•             A call is made upon the people of the countries whose governments, especially through NATO and the EU, as well as Russia, are involved in the developments, to struggle against the propaganda of the bourgeois powers that push the people into the “meat grinder” of imperialist war under various false pretexts. It demands that the military bases be closed, that the military forces abroad return home, and that the struggle to free the countries from the imperialist plans and alliances such as NATO and the EU be intensified.

•             The interest of the working class and the popular strata imposes that the class criterion in the analysis of the developments be strengthened, that the workers’ - people’s independent path against the monopolies and the bourgeoisie be charted, for the overthrow of capitalism, for the strengthening of the class struggle against the imperialist war, for socialism.


The KKE takes multiform action against the imperialist war

From the very first moment, the KKE has made its crystal clear position known to the Greek people.

On 25 February in Athens, a mass rally and march took place from the Russian to the US embassy against the imperialist war and the participation of Greece in it, on the side of the USA-NATO-EU.

On 1 March, the GS of the CC of the Party, D. Koutsoumbas, speaking from parliament, elaborated on the Party’s positions, denounced the government and the other pro-NATO parties for the deeper involvement of the country in the war, and responded to the anti-communist distortion of history. He called upon the people to fight so that the US-NATO bases in the country be closed, that Greek weapons systems and military bodies not be sent into the conflict, that the struggle for disengagement from the various imperialist unions be strengthened, with the people truly holding the reins of power.

The KKE, by deeds and not only by words, has made its position clear to the people:

It organized a major campaign to inform the people throughout the country about the dangerous developments. On 1 April, it held a mass anti-war rally outside the parliament.

Our Party organized important mobilizations against the war outside the US bases in Alexandroupoli, Souda, Larissa, Stefanovikio, etc. It supported similar action taken by the trade unions and mass organizations of the country. It blocked roads, railways, and ports that were used by NATO forces. The communists were at the forefront of the anti-imperialist struggle and for this reason they were attacked by the repressive mechanisms of the bourgeois state, as happened in the port of Thessaloniki on 6 April, when the riot police dispersed the strike demonstration, arresting and dragging to court members of the CC of the KKE and the CC of KNE, a journalist of “Rizospastis”, and trade unionists.

On 7 April, the KKE was the only Party that refused to attend a speech delivered by Zelenskiy and a neo-Nazi of the Azov Battalion in the Greek parliament. The KKE’s seats were empty when all the pro-NATO parties warmly applauded them.

In the European Parliament, when ND, SYRIZA, and PASOK jointly supported the war frenzy of the European imperialists, calling for a massive increase in war support for Zelenskiy’s reactionary government, the KKE voted against it and denounced it to the people.

The Party, at the same time, assumed an important role as regards the ideological–political struggle inside the international communist movement, where great confusion reigns within the various parties. As G. Marinos, member of the PB of the CC of the KKE, noted in his speech at the 22nd IMCWP in Havana (28–30 October 2022), “The stance of the communists towards the imperialist war is a crucial issue. It is determined by the fact that in the era of imperialism, that is, monopoly capitalism, the wars waged by the bourgeois classes are unjust and imperialist. The peoples are called upon to condemn them, to strengthen the independent ideological, political, and mass struggle to overthrow the power of capital, to eliminate capitalist exploitation, to build socialism–communism. Any deviation from this principle objectively leads to alignment with the interests of the bourgeois classes, of one or the other camp of ‘thieves’, with painful consequences”.

Within the international communist movement, the KKE highlighted the Leninist conception of imperialism, which is not simply identified with aggressive foreign policy but is monopoly capitalism, and described its main features today. At the same time, it highlighted the historical lessons drawn by our Party concerning the struggle against fascism, which is given rise to by capitalism. In the words of B. Brecht “Fascism can be combated as capitalism alone, as the nakedest, most shameless, most oppressive, and most treacherous form of capitalism”. The KKE noted that the struggle against fascism should not be based on bourgeois forces or alliances with them, nor should it be separated from the struggle against the “womb” that gives birth to it.

Our Party, in coordination with several other parties, fought battles against the stance that shows support to bourgeois classes and imperialist unions, against those who distort and revise the Marxist–Leninist positions on war and imperialism, and highlighted the timeliness and necessity of socialism.


The electoral support for the KKE is a vote against the carnage that all other parties approve of

In the run-up to the upcoming parliamentary elections, workers must think about what king of message they will send with their vote.

Will they strengthen those forces (ND, SYRIZA, PASOK) that have turned Greece into a launching pad for imperialist war and those that have not made a single mobilization against the war (e.g. MERA25)? Or will they strengthen the KKE, which has struggled by words and deeds against the war, the targeting of the people, and the involvement of our country in the war?

Let them think: Immediately after the war broke out, that is a year ago, Germany sent military helmets to Ukraine, while today it is sending “Leopard” tanks. A year ago, the USA was pushing outdated equipment to Ukraine, then it sent the advanced HIMARS missiles, and now it is preparing to give the most up to date “Abrams” tanks. All of them (USA, NATO, EU) are now talking about strengthening Ukraine with air force as well. Both sides of the war (NATO and Russia) are also threatening to use nuclear weapons.

Those developments must be a voting criterion for the people.

The vote of conscious workers and young people will not add fuel to the fire of the imperialist carnage that threatens to swallow up other countries, but will strengthen the KKE, which struggles against the imperialist wars and shows the way out for the Greek and other peoples; the path of peace and socialism!


Eliseos Vagenas

Member of the CC of the KKE,

Heads of the International Relations Section of the CC of the KKE



1) On the escalation between Euro-Atlantic powers and Russia, “Rizospastis”, 12/02/2022,

2) Russian newspaper “Kommersant”, 3/2/2023

3) Resolution of the Central Committee of the KKE on the imperialist war in Ukraine, 12/03/22,


Published in Rizospastis, organ of the CC of the KKE, on 18–19/2/2023.