The assertion by most parties in the world communist movement that the war in Ukaine is no more than a “proxy war” between U.S. and western imperialism on the one hand and Russian imperialism on the other, in which one country – Ukraine – is little more than the staging ground for this clash is problematic to say the least. That Ukraine might have its own independent motives, desires, and interests doesn’t figure much in this framing.

To be fair, these parties are critical of Putin and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but it is more a footnote than a headline, more a buried subtext than the text, more an afterthought than a framing element. In the same train of thinking, the defense of Ukraine’s sovereignty finds a place in their analysis, but on a much lower register than the competiion and clash of rival imperialisms.

And if you still are unpersuaded by this analysis, they will immediately enjoin that Ukraine’s democracy and governing institutions are fradualent and empty; if anything in the hands of oligarchs and fascists.

This devaluing and displacing of Ukrainain sovereignty and democracy strikes me as a transparent, but in the end ineffective ploy, designed to derail any criticism of their position. But events on the ground in Ukraine, as well as their departure from a fundamental position of Marx, Engels, and Lenin, that is, nations have the right to self-determination. Noe of them considerd this right a tactical or secondary matter.

Such a political posture, it follows, has little to do with working class or socialist internationalism, not to mention political non-alignment.

Here are two articles on this subject that are well worth reading. One by a Ukrainian socialist that addresses some of these issues. The other is written by Bill Fletcher, Bill Gelligos, and Jamala Rogers.