The communist assembly took place in the new building of the State Great Patriotic War Museum. The heads of communist organizations of former Soviet countries stood when the Soviet anthem was played. Three flags were carried onto the stage where the presidium was seated: the ‘flag of Victory,’ the CPSU flag and the state flag of the Republic of Belarus.
Leader of the Belarusian communists Igor Karpenko read aloud a greeting from Alexandr Lukashenko, wherein, amongst other things, it was noted: “Today your parties, as before, stand for the ideas of socialist development, defend the rights and interest of the layman. I am sure that your efforts will continue to be aimed at fighting for justice and equality of opportunity, peaceful life, the right of nations to self-determination.”
The assembly appeared to resemble the party forums during the Soviet period. However, the scale was different. As such, when opening the forum, Gennadiy Ziuganov, who has been the head of the Russian CPSU since 2001, said that 119 members had been elected. At the last real CPSU assembly number 28 which was held iin 1990, there were 4,5 thousand delegates. Back then, to wit, there were more people in the presidium that there were in the entire assembly hall today.
There were less than ten people in the presidium today. However, two of them are laureates of the Star for Socialist Work. They are the former First Secretaries of the CC CPB Nikolay Sliunkov and Yefrem Sokolov.
I asked the organizers why another former First Secretary, Anatoliy Malofeyev, was nowhere to be found. They told me they did not invite him as he had ceased activity.
Later many things were reminiscent of the former Soviet forums. However, the people were different. Today it was not Suslov who awarded Brezhnev, but Karpenko who awarded Ziuganov, not Brezhnev who awarded Chenenko, but Ziuganov who awarded Symonenko. They event wanted to merit Mykolas Burokevičius, the former leader of Lithuanian communists who currently lives in Moscow. However, he did not come to the assembly, and therefore the party merit symbol was accepted by another famous Lithuanian communist Juozas Jermalavičius in his place.
There were flowers, bread and salt, and party songs…
The words, “and the battle continues anew” were disconcerting. Disconcerting because some of the delegates’ speeches whom, by the way, Gennadiy Ziuganov called “the most stable, honest and courageous” fighters for socialist metamorphoses, included immoderate opinions on what is happening now in Ukraine.
As such, the leader of the Russian and post-Soviet communists himself said: “the situation is especially troublesome now in Ukraine, where openly fascist tendencies are growing. In Ukraine the communist is now the main object of both cruel propagandist attacks and direst physical violence on art of the fascist sidekick Bandera. Because of blackmail and violence the communists were not allowed to work in the Ukrainian parliament. And the elections turned into total falsification and a farce. Six parties allegedly passed to the Verkhovna Rada, five of which are absolutely ‘brown’ in color. I am sure that Ukrainian communists will survive. And we will fully support them in the meantime.”
There is a threat to democracy on post-Soviet territory on part of the communists, thinks head of the Belarusian opposition party BNF Alexey Yanukevich. According to the politician, it has now taken a new shape: “There is a threat on part of Russian imperialism. It is definitely tied to the Soviet, communist heritage. And those who today, as before, call themselves communists and push forth communist ideas, are part of the so-called ‘Russian World.’ They support its expansion. And therein lies the threat. It is in the ideas, in those people who advertise them. Communism is no longer able to involve broad masses of society. However, its adherents, who gathered today in Minsk, work to resurrect the Soviet empire. And this is a threat to the independence of Belarus, and a threat to all the countries in our region.”
Meanwhile Ukrainian communist leader Petro Symonenko during his speech called the Ukrainian government “fascist in form, oligarchical in content and marionette in essence,” and the recent elections an instrument thanks to which this “oligarch-nationalist regime legitimized and fixated its government,” “a government which spreads fear, a government that stands solely on violence and which is based on armed troops of Ukrainian neo-Nazis (‘Right Sector, battalions Azov and Aydar), the government which is absolutely independent of the will and interests of the Ukrainian people, but is fully controlled by Washington and Brussels.”
Philosopher Vladimir Podgol thinks that communism, as before, reigns on the territories of both Belarus and Russia: “The dictatorship prevails. They only shed their skin in the shape of the Communist party and many millions of members. That’s all.”