Boris Kagarlitsky

Boris Kagarlitsky

Boris Kagarlitsky discusses the domestic factors behind Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine and the role of the left in anti-war organising.

In the House of Trade Unions in Odessa on May 2, more people died than over several days of fighting in the Donbass in Ukraine's east. In Kramatorsk in the eastern Donetsk Oblast province on the same day, however, government forces also excelled themselves, killing 10 unarmed local residents who had tried to block the path of armoured vehicles.
The global political crisis ― a natural outcome of the continuing economic crisis ― finally made it to Russia last month before getting derailed by the country's traditional hibernation in early January. Nothing much happens in Russia between December 31 and January 13 ― and particularly not a revolution. While the organisers of the protest demonstrations headed for swanky resorts in Mexico and other sunny spots, their grassroot supporters were stuck in cold, dreary Russia. They retired to their cramped apartments to drink vodka and discuss the country's uncertain fate.
Following the April 23 death of Boris Yeltsin, various polling organisations conducted surveys on how Russians regarded his actions. Asked what they saw as Yeltsin’s main achievement, 33% of respondents answered: “He left office voluntarily in December 1999.” All his other achievements were within the statistical margin of error. The majority of those surveyed did not consider that Russia’s first president had any achievements at all.

During the first years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the general view was that Kazakhstan — a large Asian republic that stretches from the Volga river to China — represented one of the more fortunate parts of the former USSR, writes Boris Kagarlitsky.

BORIS KAGARLITSKY, ALEXANDER POPOV AND VLADIMIR KONDRATOV are members of the Socialist Party of the Soviet Union, an organisation of about 300 members, formed in July 1990. They spoke to Steve Painter and Jim Percy.

Subscribe to Boris Kagarlitsky