To the people of Ukraine. Appeal of the 18th Congress of the CPRF

Dear people of Ukraine, brothers and sisters!

An abiding sense of worry has settled in our hearts. Trouble is knocking on the doors of every family. It brings the most terrible kind of conflict, a fratricidal conflict. An attempt is being made to set the Russian and Ukrainian peoples against each other, to sever our ties of kinship and friendship. Instigators always act in this way. They foment enmity and sneeringly watch the result.

It is no secret that there are a good many wicked people out there who sow discord and derive perverse pleasure from it. They stir the long-healed wounds, invent bizarre grudges and fan trifling quarrels. This is the hideous tactic to which provocateurs around the world resort. They go out of their way to set the Russians and the Ukrainians against each other, to convince them that they have always been incompatible, alien and hostile to each other.

All this is a crude and monstrous lie. For more than a thousand years we have been living together, sharing grief and joy, defeats and victories. Our ancestors stood shoulder to shoulder to defend their native land from the steppe hordes in the east and the sword bearers in the east. Each time they learned from bitter experience that only unity can ward off disaster from the native land. Our forebears saw how the mightiest enemy retreated when confronted with the fortress of friendship. They realized that the people’s strength is inexhaustible if it is united and courageous.

For many centuries Russians and Ukrainians were one whole in the family of Eastern Slavs. Since 882 Kiev was the political centre of the Old Rus. Later that role moved to Vladimir and Moscow because of the aggression of neighbours and the decline of the trade route “from the Varangians to the Greeks.” The invasion of Mongol tribes weakened the unity of Rus. The territory of modern Ukraine became part of the Catholic Rzeczpospolita. For several centuries forcible Polonization was conducted there. Ukrainian serfs were under triple oppression, economic, national and religious. The Polish pans treated Ukrainians as cattle, forbade them to speak their native tongue and levied taxes on them. Catholicism was forcibly imposed. After the attacks of the Crimean Khans, Ukrainian men and women were sold on the slave markets of Istanbul. This lasted until the brothers who had been forcibly separated became united again.

Already in Old Rus “The Lay of Igor’s Host” was a magnificent call for unity.

Our peoples have always been able to summon strength to cast aside small things for the sake of what was most important and great. Bohdan Khmelnitsky reminded the Pereyaslav Rada of the victims of the struggle against Rzeczpospolita. His call for the reunification of Ukraine and Russia was heeded.

The will of the two peoples for a common destiny helped them to stand their ground during the Swedish and Napoleonic invasions. The working people of Russia and Ukraine together accomplished the Great October Socialist Revolution. They fought the interventionists and White armies shoulder to shoulder. Their aspiration to throw off the capitalist yoke and live in a just society created the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, an equal association of working people.

The wisdom of our grandfathers and great grandfathers deserves admiration. Without harassing each other with fault-finding and petty grudges they presented the world with stunning discoveries. The Soviet era marked the pinnacle of the economic and cultural development of our peoples. Cohesion helped us to build the Dnieper Power Station and Zaporozhstal steel works, the Kharkov Tractor and Krivoy Rog metallurgical plants.

The Ukrainian SSR achieved an impressive growth rate. In 1940 its industrial output exceeded the 1913 level by 7.3 times. Heavy industry had grown by 11 times. Power generation had increased by 23 times. Azovstal, Novokramatorsk Machine Building Plant and other powerful enterprises were launched. All these successes were organized by the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks). In January 1941 the Ukrainian Communist Party had more than 560,000 members.

The next disaster again struck from the West. Europe, united under Hitler, saw the USSR as living space for the “super race.” By the autumn of 1942 the Nazis had completely occupied and dismembered Soviet Ukraine. The Romanian general governorship of Transnistria was formed between the Bug and Dnestr Rivers. Some western provinces were included in the Galichina District in the Polish Governor Generalship. The remaining part fell under the power of the Reichskommissariat headed by Gauleiter Koch.

Two hundred and thirty concentration camps and ghettoes were set up on the republic’s territory. During the occupation the Hitlerites annihilated more than 3.8 million civilians and about 1.5 million Soviet POWs. 2.4 million people were deported to work in Germany. One in every six inhabitants of Ukraine died. Nationalist elements were involved in atrocities. They carried out punitive operations and acts of sabotage in the rear of the Red Army. The heads of Uniat and Autocephalous Churches also collaborated with the occupiers.

Soviet Ukraine did not succumb to vicious anti-Soviet propaganda, mass murders and brutal terror. Under Communist leadership, 883 partisan units and more than 1700 resistance fighting groups were formed. Fighting the occupiers were The Young Guard, The People’s Guard, The Partisan Spark and other underground groups. All in all, more than 500,000 partisans and 100,000 underground fighters were active in the Hitlerites’ rear. They were led by S.A.Kovpak, A.N.Saburov, N.N. Popudrenko and A.S.Fyodorov. In the summer of 1942 the Ukrainian Headquarters of the partisan movement was set up under T.A.Strokach.

Ukrainian soldiers fought valiantly in the Red Army. Semyon Timoshenko, Mikhail Kirponos, Andrey Yeremenko, Yakov Cherevichenko and Fyodor Kostenko commanded fronts. Nearly two and a half million Ukrainians were decorated with orders and medals. More than two thousand became Heroes of the Soviet Union. Ace pilot Ivan Kozhedub, who shot down 64 enemy planes, was three times Hero of the Soviet Union.

Together we held out and won the most horrible of all wars. The Great Victory in May 1945 was achieved because we were united by a common country and common goals. Russians and Ukrainians, Belorussians and Moldavians, Azerbaijanis and Armenians, Kazakhs and Tatars, Uzbeks and Kirghiz, Tajiks and Yakuts, Georgians and Ossetians fought the enemy together near Moscow and Kiev, Minsk and Kharkov, Leningrad and Odessa, Stalingrad and Sebastopol.

The Nazis burned down 28,000 villages in Ukraine. About 10 million people were left without a roof over their heads. More than 16,000 enterprises were reduced to ruins. The enemy destroyed and looted 27,000 collective and state-owned farms, 32,000 schools, colleges and higher education establishments. But together, we coped with this problem too. We restored cities and villages, Dneproges and Donetsk coalmines. To separate Russians and Ukrainians then would have been as absurd as opposing Yuri Gagarin, a native of Smolensk in Russia, and Sergey Korolyov who was born in Zhitomir, Ukraine.

The post-war years saw economic and cultural flourishing of the great Soviet country. However, times changed. The treacherous destruction of the USSR was a tragedy for all the Soviet people. While it gained formal independence, Ukraine was thrown far back in other ways. The murder of our common Motherland went hand-in-hand with the fomenting of hatred. Millions of people who had lived in peace for centuries, suddenly “learned” that they were enemies. This wicked lie is based on a cynical calculus: nationalism, chauvinism, setting of peoples against each other is a sure way to distract attention from acute problems. Poverty, inequality and corruption, de-industrialisation and betrayal of national interests – all these evils can best be obscured by vicious nationalistic myths. Like horrible spells, they deprive people of memory and sometimes reason. Thus the Holodomor (Terror-Famine) and the glorification of Bandera, Melnik, Shukhevich and other criminals.

The 2014 government coup in Ukraine handed the government levers to the US political elite. Globalists are bent on eliminating the very possibility of a rapprochement between Ukraine and Russia. They persistently sow discord, exude the poison of anti-Sovietism and Russophobia day and night and do everything to spoil our relations.

Biden has promised Zelensky support “in the face of Russian aggression.” NATO has announced new plans to deploy 40,000 servicemen and 15,000 weapons and vehicles, including strategic aviation, near the Russian border. US Air Force and British military transport planes land in Kiev regularly. A new contract has been signed for the purchase of missiles for American FGM-148 Javelin complexes. US RQ-4 Global Hawk drones have long been making reconnaissance flights. Another NATO country, Turkey, is selling Ukraine its Bayraktar TB2 strike drones. If this is not preparation for a military clash, what is it?

The CPRF stresses that we do not confuse the Ukrainian people and the American puppets in Kiev. Zelensky will go, as have Yushchenko and Poroshenko. But the people will live on and it is our duty to do everything so that our historical brotherhood continues in the new generations.

We admit explicitly that the Russian leadership bears its share of responsibility for the attempts of the world oligarchy to encourage Fascism in Ukraine. Each of us shares part of the blame for our artificial separation. We together failed to safeguard the Soviet Union and what we did not see even in nightmares has become possible. Our children would not have vacations in Artek. They would not go together with student construction teams. They would not be friends and fall in love with one another, marry and have children who would be equally happy to speak their native Russian and native Ukrainian.

The intelligentsia too shares part of the blame for our not being together today. Where were the reciprocal Days of Culture in Moscow and Kiev at the turn of the century? Could one have imagined until recently that the opera “Zaporozhye Cossack Across the Danube” would not play on the Russian stage and the Alexandrov Ensemble would not perform its songs over the Dnieper Rive? That Maxim Rylsky, Pavlo Tychina, Oles Gonchar or Boris Oleinik would be portrayed as enemies of Alexander Tvardovsky, Konstantin Simonov, Mikhail Isakovsky and Mikhail Sholokhov?

A quarter century of anti-Sovietism and Russophobia brought dire consequences to our peoples. The forces that came to power in Kiev are hostile to Russia and absolutely alien to Ukraine. These people have been installed by curators from Washington and Brussels. They are hysterically waving the banners of national interests while trying to bring about a final split between Russia and Ukraine.

By fomenting hostility between our peoples global capital is moving towards its goal. Resorting to threats, bribery, and blackmail it uses colonial methods by setting neighbours against one another. This practice has long become the most hideous type of proxy struggle.

Today our peoples again face a common threat. Having turned Russia into a country of oligarchic peripheral capitalism, Washington dreams of weakening, destroying and colonizing it. As for Ukraine, it has already been turned into a semi-colony, Western governments, corporations and special services are having a field day there. The country is losing whatever remains of its industry. It is enmeshed in crippling agreements with the IMF and other “economic killers.”.

This ignominious lot led to fratricide in Donbass. Blood has been shed in the place where our Soviet people heroically fought the Nazi hordes. Thousands of people have been sacrificed to greed and hatred. Every ruined home and every dead child have been converted into dollars and euros to the joy of those who engineered this carnage.

Two years ago many were taken in by Zelensky’s promise to bring peace. However, being yet another puppet in the hands of the West and the local nationalists, he has no guts to challenge them. Russophobia is still raging in Ukraine. Russian-language schools and TV channels are being shut down. Those who come out for friendship between our peoples are persecuted. The attempts to ban the Communist Party of Ukraine make the Kiev regime akin to 20th-century Fascist dictatorships.

Behind the fresh escalation in Donbass lurks the shadow of Western puppeteers. They are frightened and angry. The ultra-right nationalists have suffered a defeat in the October 2020 elections. Working against heavy odds, the parties which favour cooperation with Russia, did well. The Anti-Russia project is again under threat.

It is not by chance that the new sharpening of the situation in Donbass is accompanied by another round of anti-Russian sanctions and threats from Washington. The “whip” is alternated with “the carrot:” Moscow is promised “forgiveness” if it makes concessions. These are fragments of one and the same mosaic, details of one and the same plan. The West wants to use Ukraine against Russia and both of them against China.

But for all the might of the world villains they have their own weak spot. They are afraid that the peoples will uncover their designs and will refuse to be hostages to adventures. That is why our opponents are anxious to bring about a clash between Ukrainians and Russians.

Dear brothers and sisters, it fell to us to live in a period of unnatural confrontation between two sisters, Russia and Ukraine. We, those who consider Russia and Ukraine to be their Motherland, are the last people not to know what could burn in this fire. The fire of war will devour the bountiful and beautiful land of Ukraine. It will devour the shared cradle of the Russian civilization. Our children will burn in it covering Ukraine’s fields with ashes. This fire will engulf our songs, our brotherhood, our kindred languages, Russian and Ukrainian. This fire will devour our favourite books: Pushkin and Shevchenko, Lermontov and Franko, Nekrasov and Lesya Ukrainka, Tolstoy and Kotsubinsky. Monuments to the heroes of the Great Patriotic War will disappear. And then Gogol’s genius will arise and ask us with the voice of Taras Bulba: “Well, son, did your Poles help you?”

The main obstacle on the way towards ending the war in Donbass is the Bandera-ish regime which is a disgrace to Ukraine, and its CIA headquarters. The “|friendly” presence of NATO troops in Ukraine, growing Russophobia, brainwashing in the Bandera spirit cannot but cause us pain and evoke our indignation. Our fathers and grandfathers were in the same trenches of the great war, left their signatures on the Reichstag and together admired the film “Only the Old Boys Go into Battle” with Leonid Bykov, a Dovzhenko studios production. And all this is part of our common indivisible treasure trove.

We appeal to the Ukrainian authorities: if you are indeed ready to serve your people, let us start vaccination together, and not fight each other. Let us save the lives and health of our brothers.

We appeal to you, Ukrainian mothers. Your image is much loved in Russia thanks to the song “My Dear Mother” (“Рiднаматимоя”). So embroider towels for your sons and see them off on a happy journey and not to a terrible fratricidal war. We Slavic women who never wanted war, can say it to our authorities. We can join hands and stand on the line of demarcation of fire and hatred.

We know that the blessed land of Donbass is capable of becoming a field of peoples’ brotherhood. We hope so much that the love and wisdom of the mothers and fathers of Ukraine will help you to understand that Donbass is not walking away from you but from Fascism. It is walking away from Bandera-like hatred and Russophobia. From rabid anti-Sovietism. It is following the road to which their ancestors, their history, their experience and conscience call Ukraine and Russia.

It matters,” said Shevchenko. “It matters to us,” we say today. The path towards reviving brotherhood will not be easy. It has many enemies. But not to prevail over this evil means to disappear from world history. It is only together that the Ukrainian and Russian peoples can avoid the worst. We have a common history and destiny. We can stride into a worthy future if we discern our true friends and identify our enemies.

Never say never.” Life and history go on. Let us give them a chance to follow the right road, the road of good, unity of the working people and brotherhood of peoples. Let us join forces to this end. In a tight embrace our peoples will regain true independence, become invincible and find the road to truth and justice.

Lenin stressed in his time: “We want a voluntary union of nations, a union that would not permit any violence of one nation over another, a union that would be based on complete trust, a clear consciousness of fraternal unity, on totally voluntary agreements. Such a union cannot be implemented at once; one has to work towards it with the greatest patience and caution, so as not to spoil matters, not to provoke mistrust, so as to get rid of mistrust left to us by centuries of oppression by the landowners and capitalists, private property and enmity over its divisions and re-divisions.

This is the stand of the CPRF today. This is the kind of work true communists are conducting today. Together with our Ukrainian comrades we are explaining to our peoples: all that they are trying to divide us with is external, superficial and alien. We are simply duty-bound to prevent internecine hostility and leave the time of discord behind us.

Our future is in unity.

Our happiness is in creative endeavor and friendship.

Together we will protect our future and the future of our children and grandchildren.