By Socialist Tendency in the Russian Federation
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Russia slides towards social crisis, say Russian socialists

Sanctions are having a devastating impact on working class people in Russia
Issue 2795
A McDonad's in Moscow Russia picture taken in early evening

A McDonald’s in Moscow. The corporation has stopped its operations in Russia (Picture: Wikimedia/Creative Commons)

Social collapse in Russia is close. To date, hundreds of international companies have left the Russian market and stopped or limited production in the country. They include BMW, Volvo, Honda, Ikea, Coca-Cola, Nike, HM, Amazon, Disney, Shell, McDonald’s, and many other corporations and firms. Hundreds of thousands of workers will now or soon be thrown into unemployment. 

At the same time, the average cost of one purchase in Russia increased by 11.6 percent. According to the Federal State Statistics Service, vegetables, cars, and household appliances are the most expensive. Official statistics say their price went up about 15 percent. And this is only for the first two weeks of the war.

The working class often suffers from sanctions against Russia. On the one hand, these may push it to support the president against the “hostile West”, on the other hand they may contribute to the start of strikes. But this, of course, will depend on the success of the Russian army at the front and from the depth of the crisis on the home front. 

Sanctions by foreign IT companies against ordinary Russian users only help censorship. Access to the Internet and electronic means of communication is vital, because only with its help can Russians receive objective information and make the right decisions. 

Against this background, Putin says that in order for Russia to get out of the crisis, it is necessary to give maximum freedom to business and honest initiatives. There are rumours that the property of Russian oligarchs confiscated by the West will, if possible, be bought out by Putin’s corporations. This indicates a redistribution of property within the Russian elite.

This whole social catastrophe is taking place against the backdrop of Russian troops’ execution of Ukrainian civilians, as well as the detention of activists at anti-war rallies in Russia. The police not only brutally dispersed the demonstrations, but also used physical violence and torture against the protesters. Audio recordings are circulating online of the torture police officers subjecting activists to at the Brateevo police station in Moscow. 

Russia also announced its withdrawal from the Council of Europe. This makes it impossible to file complaints about the violation of rights by the Russian authorities to the European Court of Human Rights. There is information about the imminent shutdown of the Internet in Russia. 

The liberal opposition simply cannot provide answers to the questions thrown up by this crisis. They justify liberal regimes and capitalism. There are no imperialist contradictions for them. And they explain the events taking place from the point of view of the personal qualities of certain leaders.

Modern Russia is not a revolutionary, but a counter-revolutionary imperialist state. And any attempts by Putin to close the economy in the era of developed capitalism will only lead to a social catastrophe. Under these conditions, the revolutionary socialists must unite their ranks even more closely and be ready for any scenario. Our fatherland is all humankind. 

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