Eastern Europe

Polish high school students strike to demand end to in-person classes

By Clara Weiss, 14 October 2020

Schools have become the main vector for the second wave of the pandemic, with at least two teachers and one 20-year-old student dying over the past week alone.

State of emergency declared in Madrid as COVID-19 resurgence sweeps Europe

By Jordan Shilton, 10 October 2020

New daily infections in Europe Friday surpassed the 100,000 mark for the second day running.

Germany, France to sanction Russia over Navalny’s alleged poisoning

By Clara Weiss, 10 October 2020

Nothing published by the OPCW and the imperialist powers on the poisoning of Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny can be taken at face value.

EU summit backs herd immunity policy and sanctions against Belarus

By Johannes Stern and Alex Lantier, 3 October 2020

The European Council of EU heads of state met for two days in Brussels, Thursday and Friday, to discuss the bloc’s foreign and economic policy.

Russia prepares health care cuts as COVID cases rise

By Andrea Peters, 3 October 2020

The Kremlin’s proposed budget axes spending on health care and allocates 27 percent of all federal expenditures to the army, national guard and security forces of the interior ministry.

Ukrainian miners strike for better pay and conditions in defiance of the unions

By Jason Melanovski, 1 October 2020

Workers at the Krivoy Rog Iron Ore Company are carrying out a courageous strike in defiance of the union that puts them into direct conflict with the country’s entire ruling class.

Record growth of COVID-19 infections in Eastern Europe

By Markus Salzmann, 26 September 2020

The numbers of new COVID-19 infections in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania and Hungary are breaking previous records.

Russia’s opposition parties fail to win broad support in regional elections

By Andrea Peters, 19 September 2020

Kremlin-backed candidates held onto governorships and control of local parliamentary bodies in the 83 regions of the country where voting occurred.

Peace negotiations stall as ceasefire begins to fall apart in Ukraine

By Jason Melanovski, 19 September 2020

Ukraine’s far-right continues to oppose any negotiated settlement that could lead to the end of the six-year long civil war that has needlessly killed over 13,000.

Protests continue against Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov

By Markus Salzmann, 15 September 2020

For over two months, thousands of people have been marching in the streets of Bulgaria almost every day in opposition to Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.

Russia holds regional elections amidst growing political crisis

By Andrea Peters, 12 September 2020

Balloting in 83 regions ends Sunday, and Kremlin-backed candidates are facing challengers in a number of areas.

Lies in the Navalny case

By Peter Schwarz, 10 September 2020

The relationship between Germany and Russia has reached its lowest point since Berlin supported the pro-Western coup in Ukraine six years ago and Russia annexed Crimea.

Jan Kuciak murder case: Slovakian court acquits alleged masterminds

By Markus Salzmann, 9 September 2020

The court based the acquittal of millionaire Marián Kočner and co-defendant Alena Zsuzsová on a lack of evidence, despite a key witness providing incriminating testimony.

German imperialism and the strange case of Alexei Navalny

By Peter Schwarz, 5 September 2020

Politicians and media outlets in Western countries, and above all in Germany, have declared that Moscow is responsible for Navalny’s poisoning, and have escalated their calls for a confrontation with Russia.

Mass protests in Belarus continue as conflict between Russia and NATO intensifies

By Clara Weiss, 1 September 2020

The Kremlin has responded to the growing intervention by the imperialist powers in Belarus by stepping up its support for the Lukashenko regime.

EU imposes sanctions on Lukashenko as strikes continue in Belarus

By Alex Lantier, 29 August 2020

The imposition of sanctions is a clumsy and hypocritical attempt to maximize the EU’s influence in Belarus amid growing working-class anger against the Belarusian ruling elite.

Rattled by crisis, US-aligned Polish government steps up intervention in Belarus

By Clara Weiss, 27 August 2020

Warsaw is attempting to bolster the EU-backed opposition in Belarus, as the Belarusian president turns to the Kremlin in response to the strikes and mass protests against his government.

Ukrainian government turns against Lukashenko amid ongoing mass protests and strikes in Belarus

By Jason Melanovski, 26 August 2020

As a result of the growing working class protests within Belarus and Lukashenko’s turn to the Kremlin, the government in Kiev has turned against its former ally.

Lukashenko threatens military crackdown in Belarus as US initiates discussions with opposition leader

By Clara Weiss, 25 August 2020

The German financial newspaper Handelsblatt noted yesterday that the strike movement has brought the Belarusian economy to the brink of collapse.

Lukashenko regime, Belarusian opposition seek to stifle mass strike movement

By Clara Weiss, 22 August 2020

Whatever the tactical differences between the opposition and the government, they share a common goal: ending the strike movement as quickly as possible.

Russian oppositionist Alexei Navalny flown to German hospital after doctors dispute poisoning claims

By Andrea Peters, 22 August 2020

Russian doctors declared Friday that Navalny’s critical illness was caused by a metabolic disorder brought on by hypoglycemia, not poisoning.

EU demands integration of opposition parties into Belarusian regime

By Alex Lantier, 20 August 2020

The opposition parties represent only a dissident faction of the post-Soviet kleptocracy that rules Belarus and are hostile to the emerging movement in the working class.

Merkel, Macron call Putin as mass strikes escalate in Belarus

By Alex Lantier, 19 August 2020

Shocked by the eruption of workers’ anger in Belarus, Berlin and Paris hope Moscow can suppress it by brokering a deal between the regime and the official opposition.

Strikes spread in Belarus as EU, Washington step up pressure

By Andrea Peters, 14 August 2020

Belarusian workers across key industries have walked off the job in defiance of the government’s brutal crackdown.

The coronavirus pandemic and capitalism

Russia’s vaccine intensifies global struggle for profits and geopolitical advantage

By Barry Grey, 13 August 2020

Vladimir Putin’s announcement Tuesday that Russia has officially approved a COVID-19 vaccine has intensified the global conflict between national powers and pharmaceutical giants to be the first to mass produce and market a vaccine for the deadly virus.

Protests, crackdown follow Belarus elections

By Jason Melanovski and Andrea Peters, 12 August 2020

Western imperialism is seeking to exploit the Lukashenko government’s violent suppression of protests to fuel its war drive against Russia.

Belarus arrests 33 Russian military contractors ahead of presidential elections

By Jason Melanovski, 7 August 2020

The arrest of 33 Russian military contractors in Belarus makes clear that the long-standing ally of Moscow has become a new hotspot in the growing conflict between the United States and Russia.

US pushes fabricated claims of Russian hacking of virus research

By Barry Grey, 18 July 2020

The United States is most nakedly pursuing a nationalistic course, aimed at enriching American oligarchs and deploying the vaccine not as a means to save lives, but as a weapon against countries in the crosshairs of US imperialism.

Duda wins Polish presidential election after campaign attacking Jews, LGBTQ rights and Germans

By Clara Weiss, 14 July 2020

The fact that Duda and PiS could carry the day in the most right-wing election campaign in recent Polish history is above all the result of the policies of the liberal opposition.

Anti-Russia war fever spreads on Capitol Hill

By Patrick Martin, 1 July 2020

Without providing a shred of evidence, the corporate media, congressional Democrats and many Republicans are demanding US retaliation against alleged Russian targeting of US soldiers in Afghanistan.

The Salisbury Poisonings: Skripal drama framed as anti-Russian propaganda

By Thomas Scripps, 27 June 2020

The BBC’s three-part The Salisbury Poisonings uses drama as state propaganda and is designed to reignite the Skripal affair that dominated UK politics in 2018.

Beset by crisis, Kremlin holds “victory parade”

By Clara Weiss, 25 June 2020

The parade and the reopening of the economy have been timed to precede by one week the national referendum on constitutional changes proposed by Putin earlier this year.

NATO grants Ukraine enhanced status as US steps up military aid

By Jason Melanovski, 22 June 2020

Amid the most profound economic crisis since the Great Depression, the imperialist powers are responding to the growing class tensions by escalating their drive to war.

Yellow Star, Red Star

Capitalist counterrevolution and the rise of fascism in southeastern Europe since 1989

By Clara Weiss, 20 June 2020

Though fatally flawed by its equation of Stalinism with communism, and the author’s reluctance to discuss the social character of the restoration of capitalism, the book exposes the close relationship between capitalist counterrevolution and the rise of fascist forces.

Coronavirus pandemic in Poland: Silesian miners sacrificed for profit

By Bartosz Wyspianski and Martin Nowak, 16 June 2020

Nearly every day, almost half of the new infections in Poland can be found in Silesia.

Millions of Ukrainian migrant workers forced to search for employment in Europe under unsafe conditions

By Jason Melanovski, 11 June 2020

Despite little health or legal protections, Ukraine’s migrant workers are being forced to search for work in Europe’s farms and factories to avoid unemployment and social destitution.

Russia’s ruling class nervous over spreading global protests

By Andrea Peters, 10 June 2020

The Kremlin’s seeming smugness over the crisis gripping the United States seeks to mask deep-seated fears that similar mass protests could erupt in Russia.

Over 20,000 tons of diesel spilled in Russian Arctic river

By Clara Weiss, 6 June 2020

The catastrophe on the Ambarnaya underlies the dangers bound up with the “new scramble for the Arctic” by the major powers and corporations.

Sweeping attacks on migrant workers in Russia amid COVID-19 pandemic

By Andrea Peters, 3 June 2020

The Russian government is considering the creation of a vast database that contains foreign workers’ biometric information, health histories, legal and “social” status, and criminal records.

Coronavirus cases surpass six million globally

By Bryan Dyne, 30 May 2020

New epicenters in Eastern Europe, South America, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent are rapidly causing massive public health crises.

Russia ends federal COVID-19 shutdown measures as it surges to second place in infections worldwide

By Andrea Peters, 15 May 2020

There are now more coronavirus infections in Russia than anywhere else in the world, with the exception of the United States and Spain.

Russia: Two ministers, one deputy test positive for COVID as workers’ protests grow

By Clara Weiss, 2 May 2020

Just one day after Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin was hospitalized for COVID-19, the minister for construction, housing and communal services and his deputy also tested positive.

Coronavirus sweeps through Russian medical facilities

By Andrea Peters, 25 April 2020

Hospitals and clinics in several cities have been placed under quarantine, as COVID-19 infects staff and patients alike.

Ukrainian capital Kiev engulfed in smog from wildfires near Chernobyl

By Jason Melanovski and Clara Weiss, 18 April 2020

The fires expose the fact that the world’s worst nuclear catastrophe remains unresolved and continues to threaten the health of the population.

Amid war threats, Washington blocks UN resolution demanding end to sanctions

By Bill Van Auken, 4 April 2020

The Trump administration has brushed aside calls for an end to punishing sanctions against Venezuela and Iran, threatening both countries with military aggression.

Russian doctors, nurses protest against horrifying conditions in hospitals

By Clara Weiss, 4 April 2020

Nurses and doctors have walked off their jobs, pleading for medical and personal protective equipment, and renovations of dilapidated hospital buildings.

Ukrainian government uses coronavirus crisis to pass IMF-backed reforms

By Jason Melanovski, 19 March 2020

Ukraine’s ruling class is exploiting the devastating pandemic to escalate its attacks on the working class.

Russia’s coronavirus cases double in two days, as Ukraine reports first death

By Andrea Peters, 14 March 2020

COVID-19 is spreading in Russia and Ukraine, as the governments impose bans on travel and public gatherings.

Poland, Czech Republic close borders, shut down public life due to coronavirus

By Clara Weiss, 14 March 2020

Three decades after the restoration of capitalism and endless austerity, the health care system in Poland and the Czech Republic, as across all of Europe, is in a devastating condition.

Canada “at war” with Russia, high-level Ottawa conference told

By Roger Jordan, 9 March 2020

Canada’s Deputy Defence Minister told the conference that the Liberals’ 2017 National Defence Policy has been superseded by the surge in great-power strategic competition.

Coronavirus spreads to Poland, threatening to upend presidential elections

By Clara Weiss, 7 March 2020

The conservative Rzeczpospolita has warned that “chaos in the health care system could upend Polish politics and impact the outcome of the presidential elections in May.”

Ukraine government reshuffle brings in officials tied to US and ruling oligarchy

By Clara Weiss and Jason Melanovski, 7 March 2020

With the firing of the cabinet, President Zelensky is preparing a massive assault on the living standards of the Ukrainian working class.

War tensions mount in wake of strike on Turkish troops in Syria

By Bill Van Auken, 29 February 2020

Russia has sent two cruise missile warships to the Syrian coast as Moscow and Ankara continue to dispute the facts surrounding a strike that killed three dozen Turkish soldiers.

Slovenian journalist Blaž Zgaga: If Assange is extradited “the same can happen to any of us”

By Oscar Grenfell, 29 February 2020

”If journalists cannot write about war crimes allegedly committed by Western armed forces, what is the legitimacy of these democratic countries?”

Russia seeks to ease tensions with Belarus over energy dispute

By Andrea Peters, 25 February 2020

Russia will compensate Belarus $300 million to offset energy price hikes, as Moscow works to preserve its alliance with Minsk.

Ukrainian President Zelensky reshuffles staff amid political crisis

By Jason Melanovski, 21 February 2020

Underlying the reshuffling of Zelensky’s staff and the crisis of his government are intense conflicts within the Ukrainian oligarchy over domestic and foreign policy and growing class tensions.

Ukraine government plagued by political infighting

By Jason Melanovski and Clara Weiss, 31 January 2020

Sharp divisions are coming to the fore as the government is pressing ahead with mass privatizations and attempts to negotiate a settlement with Russia over the ongoing civil war in eastern Ukraine.

Erdoğan and Putin open TurkStream pipeline after Iran strikes US bases in Iraq

By Ulaş Ateşci, 11 January 2020

The opening of this strategic pipeline comes amid escalating conflicts over energy in the region and an esclalating conflict between the United States and Iran.

Russia, Ukraine reach last minute gas transit deal

By Jason Melanovski, 4 January 2020

The EU pushed for the Ukraine and Russia to accept a deal following the US announcement of sanctions against the Russian-German pipeline Nord Stream 2.

Hungary’s government continues its assault on democratic rights

By Markus Salzmann, 21 December 2019

Last week, the Hungarian parliament, dominated by the right-wing Fidesz party, passed bills that represent a further step towards dictatorial forms of rule.

Vadim Rogovin’s Bolsheviks against Stalinism 1928–1933: Leon Trotsky and the Left Opposition

A magnificent account of Stalin’s opponents in the USSR

By Andrea Peters, 21 December 2019

Stalin’s rise was neither foreordained nor a natural outgrowth of the October Revolution. The Great Russian chauvinist and bureaucrat secured power in ferocious conflict with the proletariat, peasantry and cadre of the revolutionary socialist movement.

Ukraine: Three-year-old boy killed in attempted political assassination by the far right

By Jason Melanovski, 7 December 2019

The killing of a three-year-old demonstrates that far-right forces in Ukraine are being given free rein to carry out targeted political assassinations.

Russia’s Gazprom offers Ukraine short-term gas deal

By Jason Melanovski, 21 November 2019

Disputes over gas and energy are central to the inter-imperialist conflicts over Ukraine and Russia.

Former US Secretary of State Kissinger points to danger of “catastrophic” conflict between US and China

By Nick Beams, 16 November 2019

Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has warned of an inevitable “conflict” between the US and China that “will be worse than the world wars that ruined European civilisation.”

Russia, Ukraine carry out high-profile prisoner exchange

By Jason Melanovski, 14 September 2019

The prisoner exchange was strongly backed by France and Germany with media reports suggesting that French President Emmanuel Macron, in particular, played a central role.

Former Ukrainian President Poroshenko faces charges over corruption and “high treason”

By Jason Melanovski and Clara Weiss, 24 August 2019

The new Zelensky government is making use of criminal charges to settle accounts within the ruling class—a well-trodden path in the fractional battles within the country’s oligarchy.

Merkel and Orbán: A sordid deal at the expense of refugees and democracy

By Peter Schwarz, 24 August 2019

On the 30th anniversary of the opening up of the Hungarian-Austrian border, Merkel and Orbán sang the praises of “freedom” while agreeing to closer military collaboration.

Questions continue over Russian nuclear accident

By Andrea Peters, 17 August 2019

The dangers associated with the rapidly accelerating global arms race are clear, even as questions remain over the nature of the nuclear explosion that occurred in Russia’s far north last week.

Ukrainian president Zelensky’s new party wins parliamentary elections

By Jason Melanovski, 25 July 2019

The result is a symptom of a deep social and political crisis and mass popular dissatisfaction with the political establishment.

Four men charged with murder based on bogus MH-17 investigation

By Clara Weiss, 24 June 2019

Charges against pro-Moscow separatists were laid based on an “investigation” influenced by the Ukrainian regime, that produced no proof of Russian involvement in downing flight MH-17.

US and Russian warships nearly collide in the Philippine Sea

By Kevin Reed, 8 June 2019

In an encounter coinciding with a visit to Russia by Chinese President Xi Jinping, a US warship nearly collided with a Russian destroyer on Friday in the Philippine Sea.

Ukrainian president seeks support from Western powers

By Jason Melanovski, 7 June 2019

Ukraine’s president met with EU and NATO officials this week, declaring his commitment to seeking membership in both organizations.

In naked sellout, union announces end to strike by 300,000 Polish teachers

By Will Morrow and Clara Weiss, 27 April 2019

The union is covering up the fact that it is ending the strike without meeting any of the teachers’ demands by claiming the strike is being “suspended.”

As union seeks to end walkout

Polish teachers speak out on why they are striking

By Will Morrow, 25 April 2019

The main teachers’ union has called for the suspension of the powerful strike to allow students to complete their exams.

The election of Zelensky in Ukraine and the way forward for the working class

By Clara Weiss, 25 April 2019

Comedian Volodymyr Zelenskyi won the Ukrainian presidential elections Sunday in a massive repudiation of the incumbent president and the imperialist-orchestrated coup that brought him to power.

Unions scramble to contain Polish teachers’ strike as 40,000 social workers prepare to stop work

By Clara Weiss, 24 April 2019

The teachers’ strike, the first nationwide walkout since 1993, is one of the largest strikes since the restoration of capitalism in Poland in 1989.

Landslide victory for Zelensky over Poroshenko in Ukrainian presidential election

By Jason Melanovski, 22 April 2019

The election results reflect the enormous hostility within the Ukrainian working class toward the right-wing nationalist policies of the Poroshenko regime.

National strike by Polish teachers enters fifth day

By Clara Weiss, 12 April 2019

The vast majority of Polish teachers remain on strike as the government refuses to make any concessions.

Polish teachers launch nationwide strike

By Clara Weiss, 9 April 2019

Over 86 percent of the country’s 400,000 teachers have joined the first nationwide strike of teachers in Poland in 25 years.

“Independent” union in Russia facilitates closure of Ford factory

By Clara Weiss, 8 April 2019

The Inter-Regional Trade Union Workers’ Alliance (MPRA) has blocked opposition to the US-based auto giant’s plans to close three factories and exit the passenger car market.

On the eve of the presidential elections

Ukrainian far right mobilized in inter-oligarchic infighting

By Jason Melanovski and Clara Weiss, 21 March 2019

Incumbent president Petro Poroshenko currently occupies third place in polls leading up to the March 31 election.

Anti-Semitic propaganda distributed at Polish parliament as government witch-hunts Holocaust historians

By Clara Weiss, 16 March 2019

The Polish government is engaged in an unprecedented witch-hunt of historians of the Holocaust and promotion of anti-Semitism.

Moldova election heralds political instability

By Andrei Tudora and Tina Zamfir, 6 March 2019

The election signalled the culmination of a protracted process of disintegration of the forces that defined the political establishment in Moldova over the last 20 years.

Greek parliament votes in support of Macedonia name change

By Katerina Selin, 30 January 2019

The Prespa agreement is aimed at paving the way for Macedonia’s rapid integration into NATO and the European Union.

Autoworkers strike in Hungary

By Markus Salzmann, 28 January 2019

Thousands of auto workers began a one-week strike on Thursday at an Audi plant in Györ, western Hungary.

Autoworkers strike in Hungary

By Markus Salzmann, 28 January 2019

Thousands of auto workers began a one-week strike on Thursday at an Audi plant in Györ, western Hungary.

Presidential campaign officially begins in Ukraine

By Jason Melanovski, 28 January 2019

The Ukrainian presidential election is dominated by pro-imperialist, right-wing candidates who are hated and despised by the overwhelming majority of the population.

Further protests against Orbán government in Hungary

By Markus Salzmann, 9 January 2019

On Saturday, in freezing temperatures, about 10,000 people demonstrated again in Budapest against the right-wing government of Prime Minister Victor Orbán.

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Tymoshenko tours Washington to garner support for presidential bid

By Jason Melanovski and Clara Weiss, 11 December 2018

The ultimate goal of Tymoshenko’s visit to Washington was to promise to continue with the United States’ militarization of the country and the Black Sea.

Ukraine: Poroshenko declares martial law to crack down on political and social opposition

By Jason Melanovski and Clara Weiss, 1 December 2018

The army has been put on high alert and the presence of police has been substantially increased in major cities.

Merkel backs Ukrainian provocations against Russia

By Peter Schwarz, 1 December 2018

Chancellor Angela Merkel has sharply attacked Russia at the German-Ukrainian Economic Forum, declaring that Putin is fully responsible for the present conflict.

Ukraine’s provocation in the Azov Sea

By Clara Weiss and Andre Damon, 29 November 2018

The Ukrainian military, with the support of high-level figures within the US state, has instigated a major international crisis ahead of this week’s G20 summit.

Thousands of Austrian metal workers on strike

By Markus Salzmann, 21 November 2018

Metal workers are striking for higher wages and against the tightening of labour laws by the right-wing government.

Ukrainian politician dies after fascist acid attack

By Jason Melanovski, 12 November 2018

The brutal killing of Handziuk and the ongoing cover-up are a stark exposure of the reactionary nature of the regime brought to power in the US-backed coup in 2014.

Ukraine’s depopulation crisis

By Jason Melanovski, 1 November 2018

More than a quarter-century after the dissolution of the USSR, emigration continues unabated in Ukraine as workers flee poverty and war.

Polish regional elections point to growing political instability

By Clara Weiss, 25 October 2018

The election results in Poland point to growing disillusionment with the right-wing PiS party and hostility toward the main parties of the pro-EU opposition.

Russia: Putin ally Kudrin pushes for rapprochement with the imperialist powers

By Clara Weiss, 13 October 2018

Underlying the push toward improving ties with imperialism are the growing class tensions in Russia itself.

Relations deteriorate between Hungary and Ukraine

By Jason Melanovski, 9 October 2018

Two of eastern Europe’s right-wing governments clash in a dispute over passports, language laws and military exercises.

Kremlin suffers defeats in regional elections

By Andrea Peters, 6 October 2018

The electoral upsets that took place in September come as evidence mounts of growing discontent with Russia’s ruling party.

New documents on Yeltsin-Clinton conversations further expose US “meddling” in Russian politics

By Clara Weiss, 22 September 2018

The Clinton Foundation has released hundreds of pages of documents about conversations between US president Bill Clinton and Russian president Boris Yeltsin.