Mainstream media have presented Boris Nemtsov as an anti-Putin “liberal” oppositionist. In reality he was part of the oligarchy that began to emerge after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but had fallen out of grace with the main clique that took over. Here Artem Kirpichenok in St. Petersburg gives a very different point of view from within Russia.

The crisis in the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has now reached its very peak, with a feud erupting between long-time friends and close allies, former minister Zulfiqar Mirza and the party’s Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari. This struggle marks a bitter fight for the leadership involving Zardari’s and Benazir Bhutto’s own son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who has recently entered the political scene as PPP chairman. The party’s mass roots and support among the working class have been severely undermined by the extreme corruption of the leadership and many years spent in office carrying out pro-imperialist and neo-liberal policies. Here is Lal Khan’s take on these events.

A huge anti-privatisation rally was organised by the All-Pakistan WAPDA Hydro Electric Union of the Water and Power Development Authority in Islamabad on 18th February, 2015. Workers from all over Pakistan gathered in front of the Islamabad Press Club with red flags and banners against privatisation. This was the largest protest WAPDA has organised in recent times and the workers were determined to fight against this latest attack of the state against workers.

Newly released figures show that the Chinese economy in 2014 experienced its lowest economic growth since 1990. Furthermore, the International Monetary Fund downgraded its 2015 growth projection for China from 7.1% to 6.8%. According to the Financial Times, 30 out of China’s 31 provinces had missed their growth targets for 2014 – the only one which didn’t was Tibet, by far the country’s smallest regional economy.

At the beginning of January 500,000 miners in the nationalised coal industry in India went on strike against governmental plans to privatise coal mining. This monumental show of strength in defiance of the Coal Ordnance law is indicative both of the tensions within Indian society and the pressure that is being brought to bear on the leadership of the working class to put up a fight.

Despite all the Keynesian experiments and the monetary stimulus, China has failed to escape the global economic crisis. In 2014 its economic growth dropped to 7.4%, the weakest in 24 years. For the first time in 16 years growth missed the government’s annual target (7.5%).

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