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HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 April 13 - 19  > Shii: Russian Empire-originated hegemonism factor that lies behind Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
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2022 April 13 - 19 TOP3 [WORLD]

Shii: Russian Empire-originated hegemonism factor that lies behind Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

April 15 & 18, 2022

Inviting Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo as a lecturer, the Democratic Youth League of Japan (DYLJ) held an online seminar for students to learn about scientific socialism on April 17 at the JCP head office in Tokyo with about 750 students participating. The seminar was live streamed on YouTube and viewed at 150 locations across Japan.

In the virtual seminar, Shii received various questions regarding scientific socialism from the participants. One student asked Shii how he looks at Russia’s invasion of Ukraine from the viewpoint of scientific socialism.

In response, Shii introduced the fact that in 19th-century Europe, Marx and Engels firmly opposed hegemonism by the Russian Tsarist Empire and colonialism under British capitalism. Shii said that by rereading statements made by Marx and Engels, he discovered that the Putin-led Russian administration’s aggression against Ukraine is rooted in Russia’s hegemonism dating back to the Czarist era.

According to Shii, the Soviet Union, after the revolution during the days of Lenin, declared a policy of respecting every nation’s right to self-determination, which led to the independence of Poland, Finland, and other countries from Imperial Russia. However, under Stalin, hegemonism was revived in the Soviet Union. It repeated hegemonic acts, such as the annexation of three Baltic countries, unlawful occupation of Japan’s Chishima islands, and the invasions of Czechoslovakia and Afghanistan. Shii said, “The history of Russia’s hegemonism lives on in President Putin.”

Shii referred to Putin’s remark made at a press conference on April 12 that Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine share a common ancestry. He pointed out that this remark indicates Putin’s stance to stand on hegemonism which refuses to respect each nation’s right to sovereignty. He said that one of the major factors that drove Putin annex to Crimea and invade Ukraine is Russia’s policy of hegemonism which originated in the imperial tsarist era.

Shii said, “No country can be allowed to exercise hegemony. This is the position of Marx and Engels.”
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