Socialist Worker

Russia


US faces backlash over threat of war

11 January 2003
THE US has been caught out banging the war drum over North Korea. That threat has provoked such a strong public reaction that the governments of South Korea and Japan, both US allies, have distanced themselves from George Bush. The division of the Korean peninsula into two states is a relic of the Cold War. The US backed the South, while China and Russia at different times supported the North.

Backdrop to Dr Zhivago

23 November 2002
THE PETER and Paul Fortress in St Petersburg was once a prison but is now a museum. You can wander round its cells and see grainy photographs of its former occupants, political prisoners under the old Russian Tsars 100 years ago. A large number are women-revolutionaries usually from middle class backgrounds who braved torture and exile for their cause.

It was revolution

09 November 2002
THIS YEAR is the 85th anniversary of one of the most important and uplifting events of the 20th century. But you wouldn't know that from any of the papers or TV. The revolution in Russia in 1917 is an event hated by people who defend the system we live in. That's because the mass of people took their lives into their own hands. Historians who are hostile claim it was a conspiracy by a small bunch of revolutionaries called the Bolsheviks.

Russia's reign of terror in Chechnya

02 November 2002
OVER 100 people were killed by the gas which Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered to be pumped into the Moscow theatre siege last weekend. The horror of the siege's end gave a glimpse of the brutal methods used by the Russian state in Chechnya, methods which created the hostage crisis. Putin, along with Tony Blair and most of the British press, describe the Chechens as fanatical terrorists.

Beatrice Jones

26 October 2002
SOCIALIST Worker readers will be saddened to hear of the recent death of one of the paper's oldest readers. Beatrice Mary Jones was born into a fairly privileged family in August 1901. As a teenager she read about the harsh lives of working class people, and in 1917 her sympathy for the Russian Revolution led her aunty to declare her a "Bolshie".

Price for UN war

21 September 2002
THE US is using bullying and dirty deals to try and ensure that the United Nations does not oppose war. That underlines why opponents of the war must be clear and say no war, with or without United Nations backing. The five permanent members of the UN Security Council are the US, Britain, Russia, France and China. Any of these can veto a resolution backing war. Bush can rely on Britain. That leaves the three others.

A settling of accounts

13 July 2002
APOLOGISTS for Western capitalism have long sought to discredit the idea of socialism by pointing to the terror of Stalin's regime in Russia. It is now just over ten years since that system collapsed, but the message is the same-any attempt to build an alternative to capitalism is doomed to follow the path of the Soviet Union.

Privatised skies behind disaster

13 July 2002
A CHAOTIC privatised air traffic control system caused last week's tragic midair collision in southern Germany, not pilot error. Swiss authorities attempted to blame the pilot of the Russian plane which crashed into a cargo plane, killing 71 people-52 of them children. Air traffic control in Switzerland was privatised this year and handed to the Skyguide company.

Gripping read of a besieged city

22 June 2002
THE SIEGE, by Helen Dunmore, is a novel set in the winter-long blockade of Leningrad in Russia by Nazi forces during the Second World War. It has just come out in paperback. It follows the story of a young woman, Anna. Her mother died in childbirth. Now Anna works in a nursery, and cares for her five year old brother and ageing father.

A different kind of party altogether

08 June 2002
THE RICH and powerful always want to put us off the idea of revolution. They have consciously promoted the argument that in Russia the revolution led to terror and dictatorship, that Lenin led to Stalin. This idea has been encouraged for decades and by a wide range of people. Writers who supported the old Stalinist rulers of Russia continually promoted the argument that Lenin led to Stalin.

Doesn't Russia show socialism won't work?

01 June 2002
IN THE past people selling Socialist Worker would sometimes be told, "Get back to Russia." Today it would be more appropriate to turn this taunt on vendors of the Financial Times as Russia's suffering shows the horrors of market capitalism. But it is still important for revolutionaries to understand what happened in Russia. How could the revolutionary hope of 1917 to be turned into dictatorship by 1930?

Star Wars out

25 May 2002
GEORGE BUSH's plan to start a new nuclear arms race came a step closer last week. He and Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, did a deal that would allow the "Son of Star Wars" weapons system to be set up. This unity won't mean a more peaceful world.

No farewell to conflict

25 May 2002
GEORGE W Bush said that last week's agreement between the United States and Russia to cut the number of nuclear warheads they deploy would "liquidate the legacy of the Cold War".

In the Blue House: a bright tale of dark days

23 March 2002
If you are looking for an intelligent political novel you should definitely pick up a copy of In the Blue House by Meaghan Delahunt. It is a fictional account of the Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky's last years in exile in Mexico.

Outrage across the world at Bush's war drive

16 March 2002
Fear and anger has swept the globe after the revelations of George Bush's latest warmongering plans. Leaks from the US military's Nuclear Posture Review show plans to use nuclear weapons against China, Russia, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Syria and Libya. It seriously talks about more Hiroshimas, more Nagasakis, more wars which could destroy all life on the planet. And for Bush's gang it is now not a matter of if but when and how the war with Iraq will begin.

Celebrate uprisings of women workers

09 March 2002
'The working women's day of militancy." That was how the Russian revolutionary Alexandra Kollontai described the first ever celebration of International Women's Day in March 1911. That probably isn't how most people view International Women's Day, which is on Friday of this week, if they have heard of it at all.

Coming clean on a dirty war

11 August 2001
A FORGOTTEN war is raging on Russia's southern border. Russia is taking revenge on Chechnya for defeating its troops in the 1994-6 war. At stake is control over the oil-rich region of the Caspian Sea. Since Russia invaded Chechnya in October 1999 some 40,000 people have died and 400,000 have been made homeless.

Book: Life and Fate

27 January 2001
Vasily Grossman's novel Life and Fate has over 150 characters spread throughout war-torn Russia during the Battle of Stalingrad in late 1942 and early 1943. Grossman tells the story through the experiences of Soviet soldiers. The book also deals with the horrors of fascism. This is told in the most chilling way, as Nazi personnel build gas chambers and as a group of Jewish people are forced to journey to the camps.

Gushing anger

06 January 2001
THE BOOK Oil by US author Upton Sinclair was a bestseller when it was published in 1926. The story of the oil boom in California is told through the eyes of Bunny, an oil tycoon's son who has sympathies with workers. But the real hero is Paul, a committed socialist, who leads an oil workers' strike and returns from a visit to Russia full of excitement for what the Bolsheviks are doing.

Corporations' deadly trade

06 January 2001
A FORMER spy for the British secret service and a product of the establishment has written a brilliant novel that rails against the power of multinationals. John Le Carré is best known for books of British and Russian government intrigue during the Cold War like The Spy Who Came In From The Cold.

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