burtsev.ru _________________________________________________________

From the investigative team of Burtsev.ru:

With the publication of this letter by the Editorial Board of Left.ru we open the international investigation into the political activities and connections of one Lisa Taylor and her organization - the International Solidarity With Workers of Russia (ISWoR) based in London. We invite letters with information and testimonies from Western activists. Our archive with the materials on the activities and connections of this organization can be accessed at http://www.left.ru/burtsev/iswor/index.html
We guarantee your anonymity, if requested.


By Tatiana Aparina, 
an editor of Russian weekly Left.ru, 
on behalf of editorial board 

23 Nov 2002
From:  Editor <inform@LEFT.RU>

Dear List members and moderators! 

Editorial staff of weekly Lef.ru ("Left Russia") has read Lisa Taylor`s
slanderous letters with calls to cancel our subscription to LABOR-L. My
comrades entrusted me, Tatiana Aparina, to answer her. We do not reply to
all postings by Lisa because publications of Left.ru tell about our deeds
better than words. The absurdity and ridiculousness of the accusations
advanced by Lisa Taylor against our newspaper are obvious for every honest
Russian reader who has ever read Left.ru. But unfortunately foreign comrades
have little information about our publication because of the language
barrier. Therefore Taylor`s slander stands a chance. 

But we have a proverb in Russia: "However long the rope may twist the end will
surely come". It means that every falsehood will be revealed sooner or later. The
fastest way to put the end to slander is to analyse it in public. So we
shall compare Lisa`s statements and views of our editorial staff expressed
in publications of Left.ru, though Taylor,  by reasons I will explain later,
wrongly addresses all her slanders about the content of Left.ru to one of
our authors, Vladimir Bilenkin, who is not a member of our editorial board. 

We are going to do this not only to destroy Lisa Taylor's lies about our newspaper,
but, first of all, to help foreign comrades to acquaint themselves closer with our weekly which shows struggle and problems of the Russian left. Below I cited the URLs of some of the best articles of Left.ru on the subjects mentioned by Taylor. Complete list of
them will be much longer, of course. 

Here are links to sites where you can find good Russian-English translators
on line, and all participants of the list LABOR-L can use them for translation of our articles to have their own opinion about them: 

So, let us begin. 
The first, the most abominable of Taylor`s lies is about "racism" of Left.ru and
our articles on Chechnya. She asks : "...when you stop publishing authors
that scapegoat the dark-skinned Chechen  people, who have suffered over
200000 deaths, (mainly civilians)..." , "Do you care for the Chechen people
as much as you "care" for the Palestinians? If so, why do you defend those
who call for their annihilation? " 

This slander does not survive even a quick look at our pages. See the latest issue of Left.ru, N 73, November, 7,  2002: http://www.left.ru 
(or www.left.ru/2002/23/index.html).The central part of the issue contains
five articles on the Chechen war and recent tragic events in Moscow: 

Irina Malenko. "Chechya: Russia`s pain and shame." 
Alla Nikonova. "The operation has ended successfully - the patient died." 
Maria Desiatova, Alexander Lebedev. "Chechen war in Tretyakovsky`s gallery." 
Worker`s Opinion: Vladimir Yan. "Hostages of the authorities" 

This quotation from Irina Malenko`s excellent central article expresses the main
sense and spirit of all these articles: 
"This article I am dedicating to my friend Layla. I hope that she is alive.
Forgive me, Layla - that I couldn't stop this madness. Forgive me that my
people have become blind. Nobody will ever make me hate the Chechen people.
We Russians need urgently to wake up and to liberate ourselves from those
who want our children, yours and mine, to hate each other. From those for
whom we made up a special, new word in the Russian language: "dermocrats"
("shitocrats''). For your sake as well as for our own". 
You can read this article completely in English at: 

And the main idea of the worker Vladimir Yan`s article is following: 
"Chechnya. The oil is on small depth here, cheap. The large crocodile
(Russian and foreign capitalists) have a great longing for taking it away
from the smaller one (Chechen lords). Boyars (rich men) fight, but their
villains` forelocks (the hostages and terrorists) rattle. Until capitalists
has power, people will be performers and victims of their stripping during
the sharing of prey. There is the only way to take power away from the
bourgeoisie -  to deprive it the source of  its might. It will take place if
the people who works on means of production (the plants, factories, bore
holes...) take them all in their hands". 

Then, in the 73d issue of Left.ru there is the statement of the editorial
board of Left.ru "A dirty racism at Rednews.ru" with our protest against
racist article by Shcherbatov placed on the Rednews.ru - "Soviet Russia": 

In conclusion, you can read the anti-racist article by Alexander Tarasov 
Fascism in ideology, ezhovshchina in practice.  N 31 (44) Left.ru November,
5, 2001:  http://www.left.ru/2001/31/tarasov44.html 

I think that will do about "racism" of Left.ru. 

The second Taylor`s falsehood. She says: "The left.ru site promotes
red-brown Russian parties, which stir up hate against Jews, gays, lesbians
etc... Lets begin with a simple example. The RKRP. Russian Communist
Workers Party. Do you deny that you regularly publish authors from this

The main, lovely knavish Taylor`s method of  "showing proofs"  is visible
well in this Taylor`s question. She says that Left.ru publishes the authors
from RKRP but she "forgets" to say that we publish them as object of
criticism if their articles content any reactionary views on mentioned
subjects. If we follow Taylor`s logic we should say that Fridrich Engels who
published in his book Anti-During large pieces of E.During`s works and
analysed erroneousness and harm of E.During`s ideas was not fighting against
During`s  theory of socialitet but promoting it!.. 

If we agree with Taylor`s strategy we will not be able to carry out real,
effective ideological and political struggle against reactionary phenomena
in the left movement. Taylor apparently believes that words have magic
power over the life. Her method means that we should say: "Go away, Devil,
don`t touch me! " And Devil of anti-semitism, fascism, Zionism, and
homophobia etc. will disappear! 

But in Left.ru we try to follow Fridrich Engels, not Lisa Taylor. To see
what exactly we regularly publish look, please, at the following articles: 

"Why Did We Publish the Article by Plotnikov? (About patriotism,
anti-semitism and human sexuality)" N7(20) March,19, 2001 

"What One Can Say about Jews in General? That This is a Nation of
Proletarian Revolutionaries - Leninists."   N11(24), April, 16, 2001 

"About Anti-Semitism, Homophobia and . . . Quackery."  N 12(25), April, 23, 2001 

"Shapinovism."  N 14(27), May, 7, 2001 

Two last texts contain rigorous criticism of articles, written by a member of
RKRP E.Shapinov, who advanced the theory of "progressive anti-semitism" and
another member of  the RKRP D.Yakushev, who defended him. Also some
non-progressive views by D.Yakushev on social causes and problems of
homosexuality are subjected to critique by means of the marxist method in the articles. 

Moreover, those articles strongly attacked the bureaucracy and anti-semitism, existing in the RKRP for a long time. The aim of this criticism was to help the ordinary members of
RKRP to clear their party of these harmful social infections. 

See also: "... Step forward!" (My Answer to Israel Shamir)   N 29(42), October, 22, 2001 
This is brilliant polemics with Israel Shamir, concerning the historical role of Jews
in revolutionary movement and struggle against fascism. 

All enumerated articles have been written - what a surprise for Lisa! - by the
chief editor of Left.ru Anton Baumgarten. 

You can also read the article on anti-semitism in the faction of CPRF in
the State Duma by Tatiana Aparina. "Ziuganov and Zhirinovsky Have Constructed a Reliable "Roof" for Anti-Semites in the State Duma."16 (29), May, 23, 2001: 

And also the article by Konstantin Kovalev: 
"There is Chingachgook in Kitchen-Garden and Uncle in Kiev." 

The third of Taylor`s falsifications - is about our attitude to Prokhanov and
Limonov. Lisa writes: "Lets begin with a simple example. The RKRP. Russian
Communist Workers Party. Vladimir, do you deny that you regularly publish
authors from this party? Would you like me to dig out each and every article by them? I will if you want, but Vladimir can do it more easily, he has the map of the site. I once
did a study of the antisemitic nature of this pseudo-communist party. 
Here is an extract from it: 
'The party boasts proudly of its regular contributions in Zavtra, the
ultra-racist journal headed by Prokhanov. Prokhanov, an admirer of the
writings of David Duke, recently met with Duke of the Ku Klux Klan at a
public meeting in which the fate of the white race at the hands of Jews was
lamented. Zavtra has also published an interview with Barkashov., leader of
the openly nazi Russian National Unity, in which Prokhanov expresses much
admiration for him.'" 

Well, it was happened with Prokhanov probably. It may be that some leaders
of RKRP like Prokhanov`s works. But how does it all concern Left.ru?! This
is real circus trick! Let Lisa try to find and present extracts from Left.ru
with support for Prokhanov and Limonov. But I am sure, she will not be able
to. As far as Limonov`s party, Prokhanov and also Zuganov concerned,
Left.ru published some well-argued articles by Konstantin Kovalev with the
analysis of the works and political activity of those persons and with the
unequivocal characterization of them as Russian nationalists and bourgeoisie's

"Our Sworn 'Friends.'" N 66, summer, 2002 

"The 'Imaginary Polarities' Have Now Seen In the Mirror of Revolution That They Are
http://www.left.ru/2002/22/kovalev72.html N 22(72), October, 23, 2002 

"Uncle Gena at the bride-show in front of Uncle Sam." 
http://www.left.ru/2002/12/kovalev62.html  N 12(62), May, 20, 2002 

The forth Lisa`s lie is about our publications on Stalin. She says: "...when
you stop publishing authors from parties who worship the mass murderer Josef

Please, see the following articles: 
Tatiana Aparina`s feature-story on the biography of A.G. Shliapnikov and The Great
October Revolution. N 9, November, 7, 2002 

Alexander Azarov. "Two political figures  -  two parties." 

Andrey Rostev. "Something About Forest and Trees in Art . . . and In Politics." 

Anton Baumgarten. "Shapinovism."   N 14(27), May, 7, 2001 

There is not one word of delight about Stalin`s terror in these articles. But
all the authors tell about the tragic destiny of the revolutionary forces of the
Russian working class, intelligentsia in their struggle against the petty-bourgeois elements and about the result of this process - extermination of the revolutionary Lenin`s party and the organs of proletarian dictatorship on the road to Stalin`s dictatorship. 

The fifth Taylor`s slander is about Left.ru`s stand on the Russian state and
internationalism. She says that we "plan to tell Russian workers that there
is no US working class, and that instead of international workers solidarity, they should struggle for a "pure" Russian people and a "pure" Russian state". 

What we really tell Russian workers about the Russian state and president Putin
you can read at: 

Tatiyana Aparina. "Who Lights the Stars (On the Law on Extremism)" N 15(65),  June, 22, 2002 

Tatiyana Aparina. "Goodwin - Great and Terrible, and Putin - Great and Beautiful."   N 31(50), December, 31, 2001 

Alexander Tarasov. "Nedopyosok Napoleon III (We Have Grown Baba-Yaga in Our
Own Collective)"   N 7(7), October, 22, 2000 

Igor Kuznetsov. "Come Out Against the Law, Accepted by the Enemies of the Workers!"
N 35(48), December, 17, 2001 

Konstantin Kovalyov. "Power is Getting Rid of Rosy Incrustations." Ch.1 
__________ Ch.2  http://www.left.ru/2002/10/kovalev60.html 

Anton Baumgarten. "Who Will Make the Armageddon?"   N21(71) 
The last text is the polemic answer to Israel Shamir concerning his incorrect
views on the tactics of anti-imperialist struggle and the working class' methods for emancipation. For Left.ru there is no one free of criticism, that is why we criticize Israel Shamir openly. But we also present to our readers the progressive ideas of his works. 

Even one quotation from this article by Anton Baumgarten is enough to
see the firm stand of Left.ru editors on the methods of the workers`
struggle against capitalists and their states: 

"Behind Shamir's grotesque jeremiads against the "Jewish exclusiveness"
there hides the unshakable belief in the "fateful" role of Jews in the
history of mankind.  Shamir is a messianic nationalist in reverse.  He
believes that only by stripping themselves of their "Jewishness" the Jews
will save the world.  That by chance, this world could be saved by someone
else (the neocolonial proletriat for one) is unbearable proposition for
Shamir. We live in the epoch of the incredible hightening of the national
feeling, of the increased taste for its mystique, and the nostalgia for its
irrevocable past.  I repeat: the nationalist premises of Shamir's political
philosophy are expressed in his belief in no less than the apocalyptic role
of the Jewish people in world history". 

And one more 

"I always thought of Israel Shamir as a courageous soldier in the fight on
the side of the oppressed Palestinian masses.  This is why I was so stunned
by his last statement that contradicts the clearly expressed will of the
Palestinian people to fight to the bitter end. Could it be that I was
mistaken?  I do not think so.  But things change.  The fewer illusions
remain for a just resolution of the contradictions created by imperialism and
the clearer it becomes that the "Palestinian problem" cannot be solved
peacefully -- the more frightful appears the perspective of this struggle
to its participants.  Even to those among them, like the veteran IDF paratrooper
Israel Shamir". 

The world will be rescued not by "conciliation".  Just the
"irreconcilability to ideas" of those "who press the buttons" will not stop
the future bombings and genocides. This can be done only by the
organization of the masses, who know, having experienced it on their own
skin, that there will be no mercy from their enemy; that they will have to
shed their blood for a life worthy of man, even just for life, and in the
process  to break many hands of those "who press the buttons". The
Armageddon that the imperialists are preparing for us can be stopped only by
the Armageddon that the oppressed masses will organize for them". (Trans. by
Vadim Stolz) 

As far as internationalism concerned, we have published a great deal of articles on this
subject. We not only speak abstractly about international solidarity of
workers of the different countries. We believe that it is not enough for
developing proletarian internationalism. We try to analyse the serious problems of social-imperialism that prevent workers from attaining internationalist consciousness and show the vital necessity for workers of any country to dissociate themselves from the organizations and ideology of their "native" bourgeoisies as well as from Western reformist, social-imperialist organizations like ATTAC. 

On this and similar matteres see the following: 

Michael Yates.  "Proletarians of All Countries, Unite!  Will the US Workers
Unite With Them?" 

"It Is Time to Tell the Whole Truth About AFL-CIO`s Activity Abroad." Resolution of
the Workers` Council of the AFL-CIO South Bay (San-Jose, USA) N12,
December, 14, 2000 

Anton Baumgarten. "'Anti-Globalism' or Anti-Imperialism?"   N4 (54), February,
9, 2002 

Anton Baumgarten. "The Barricade."  N 5(55), February, 18, 2002 

Anton Baumgarten. "The Protocols of Siberian Elders." N16 (66) July, 12, 2002 

Julia Mazetovich and Eric Vegner. "ATTAC is the Alternative Physician At
the Hospital Bed of Capitalism."  N 19(69), September, 18, 2002 

Tatiyana Aparina. "Cadging or fighting?"  N 23(73), November, 7, 2002 

Monica Brike, Til Baumann, N 23(73), November, 7, 2002 
"From Port-Alegri to Florence." 

Finally, somebody will hardly find another Russian site publishing so
many articles written by many different authors standing against
imperialism and revealing solidly all its modern aspects. We have special
headings "Imperialism", "Death to imperialism!" and fill them with articles
and news in every issue. You can see the titles and URLs of all these texts in
our article index: http://www.left.ru/ukazatel.html  

These are some facts that we offer against Taylor`s falsifications of the
ideological contents of Left.ru. 

Now everyone can see - though it may look like paradox but it is a fact: hating
German nazi and Stalin, Taylor follows in their footsteps.  Goebbels used to say: "The
more incredible the lie is, the more convincing it sounds". All Taylor`s statements
that we publish the articles filled with hatred to Jews, Caucasians, sexual
minorities and with love to red-brown parties and the Russian state, as well as
articles admiring Stalin`s terror, - this is all slander from the first
word up to the last one. The monstrosity of the accusations, presented
against the editors of  Left.ru resembles the accusations against the Old Bolsheviks at
the Moscow trials of the 1930s. Taylor, you were born too late to join the glorious
ranks of  public prosecutor Vyshinsky and his associates. Your talents will
not be used and known widely. My regrets to you, Lisa... 

But why Taylor slanders us? Why does she lie to the members of this list?  May
be because she does not know Russian?  No.  She has assistants (Mark Harris,
"Sergey Chekrygin") who know Russian and from who she knows well the real
content of Left.ru.  To understand Taylor's motifs, you need to know that
Left. ru publishes many anti-Zionist materials.  For example, we have translated
and published the famous book by Israel Shahak Jewish history, Jewish religion
http://www.left.ru/bib/shahak/shahak1.html that  tells about Jewish racism.
This book will help to fight Zionism in Russia.  This is very important,
because without the emigration of Russian Jews to Israel the Zionists will be much
weaker and the Palestinians much stronger.  We also publish articles by Norman
Finkelstein, Noam Chomsky and other Jewish internationalists and
anti-Zionists. Taylor calls all of them "self-hating Jews". We also publish
many articles about British imperialism and its oppression of Irish people.
Like many British lefts Taylor does not like this theme.  They like British
"workers" solidarity with the Chechen people, because there are British oil
companies who like the Caspian oil.  But they do not like Russian workers
solidarity with the Irish or the Scottish people. All this makes Left.ru dangerous.
The secret police wants to know who we are, they use provocateurs, we call
them Zubatovists (from Zubatovism).  They want to find out who are the editors of
Left.ru, who is Anton Baumgarten.  Taylor acts like Zubatovist agent-provocateur.
We believe that Taylor may work for the imperialists and Zionists.  And we
want to start an international investigation into her political connections, past and present. 

And in conclusion some words about our author Vladimir Bilenkin who sends us
his excellent articles sometimes - but unfortunately more rarely than we
would like him to do. As to Vladimir`s opinions on the subjects mentioned above, I only know that he would never cooperate with any newspaper if he feels an aversion for
articles published in it. I am sure that Vladimir is an internationalist, standing for the destruction of imperialism and all the capitalist states by means of proletarian revolution. And he does his best to draw this time closer. But why does Lisa Taylor libel him with maniac persistence? I can tell. 

In 2000 Steve Myers, a leader of ISWoR, and Stephen Kerr, a supporter of
this organization took and falsified their interview with the Co-Chairman of the
Russian Alliance of Trade unions "Defense of Labour" the  deputy of the
State Duma Oleg Shein. Vladimir unmasked their forgery in public. See his:
"Comments on the 'Translation' of Shein's Interview by his Interviewers."  

By the way, keeping in mind that forgery of Shein`s interview one can imagine what kind
of "evidence" will be presented by Taylor to those list-member who will "not
hesitate to get in touch" with her about "racism", "anti-semitism" etc. of
Left.ru. But surely, we do not mind that Taylor post the URLs of Left.ru articles with quotations from them in confirmation of her slanderous words.
We are responsible for our words and let her answer for hers. 

This is only one of the real reasons of the attack against Vladimir. Others
are the similar.  Vladimir's expose of Taylor's ISWoR as imperialist agents
is a unique investigation of this kind and is now known and recognized by all
leftists in Russia. 

I do not know all of Lisa Taylor`s aims, but spreading widely her lies about
Left.ru and demanding to remove our address inform@left.ru from LABOR-L Lisa objectively aspires to separate Russian leftists and the Western Left, to prevent them from cooperation and establishing international and anti-imperialist solidarity. I hope she will fail. The more she spreads her lies about us the more she unmasks herself.
Therefore our editorial staff seconds Vladimir`s proposal: do NOT remove Lisa Taylor from this list. 

We have a good proverb in Russia: "The caravan moves on in spite of dog`s
barking". So Left.ru will move on. 

And let us say some words concerning the reflections as "to close down or not
to close down" this list. Our editorial staff has been taking and translating the best
texts from LABOR-L for two years since we began publishing Left.ru. By this we let
Russian readersto learn about the ideas and the deeds of Western leftists. And
it is useful, in my opinion. And if Sam Lanfranco decides to close the list it will be very sad. More than 10-year history of LABOR-L shows its` necessity as well. We met many serious list-members on LABOR-L and we hope it will be developing and getting better. 

on behalf of the editorial board 
Tatiana Aparina, 
Russian weekly Left.ru

PS.  This letter will be published internationally. 

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