Sent: Tuesday, December 09, 2003 5:32 AM
Subject: CWI Statement on Iily Budraitskis.

To: League for a Fifth International, International Bolshevik Tendency.

Attached please find the recent statement agreed by the IEC of the CWI at its recent meeting regarding Ilya Budraitskis from the CIS. We hope this clarifies for you the position of the CWI regarding IB and events in the Ukraine. This statement should be taken in conjunction with our previous statement of 29 August 2003 which fully explains the position of the CWI in relation to the Ukraine.

Tony Saunois
for the International Secretariat.


Committee for a Workers’ International

PO Box 3688,
E11 1YE
Tel: ++ 44 20 8988 8760
Fax: ++ 44 20 8988 8793

CWI Statement On Ilya Budraitskis

In September the IS of the CWI expelled seven CWI members from the Kiev Organisation for their role in organising financial frauds against left groups internationally. This followed a full investigation by the CWI. As the CWI statement on the Ukrainian section explained, the CWI had no knowledge of the fraud and is completely opposed to such methods.

In the weeks following, new allegations were made by some of these groups on the internet against comrade Ilya Budraitskis of the Russian section of the CWI. These accusations were repeated by Stalinist and sectarian groups in Russia.

The CWI has investigated these allegations. Ilya Budraitskis, member of the EC of the CIS Section and of the Russian National Committee, confirmed that while visiting the Ukraine he was drawn in to participating in meetings organised by the so-called "International Department" in Kiev. Ilya accepts his involvement was a serious mistake and deeply regrets his actions and the damage he has caused to the CWI in the CIS and internationally.

While Ilya accepts whatever disciplinary action the CWI sees fit to take in his case, he asks the CWI to consider allowing him to stay inside the CWI. Ilya confirms his loyalty and commitment to the ideas and methods of the CWI, which he agrees have nothing in common with the activities of the International Department.

The following points and recommendations from the IS are made after discussions between the IS, the Russian Committee and Ilya:

Ilya said he first heard about the activities of the International Department in January 2002 from Oleg and Boris, the main organisers of the frauds, while he was on a personal visit to Kiev.

In the summer of 2002, and again early in 2003, Ilya says he was persuaded to participate in meetings in Kiev with representatives from two groups (the International Bolshevik Tendency and the League for a Fifth International). These groups came to Kiev believing that they were meeting with members of their own organisation. To the first group, Ilya was presented as an activist from Kiev and the second group was told he was from Moscow. At these meetings, Ilya says, the current political situation in the Ukraine and Russia was discussed and there was also a criticism of other Trotskyist groups. According to Ilya, there was no discussion on finance.

In March 2003, Ilya says he was persuaded to go to Warsaw, together with Oleg and another member of the Kiev organisation, to attend a conference of the COFI-LRP group. Ilya was presented as a representative from Moscow. Representatives of the LRP groups from the USA and Germany also attended the conference. Ilya says he had no contacts with any Polish groups while in Poland. The main discussion at the conference was on current international events and included a report on the situation in Russia. There was sharp criticism of the position of other left organisations.

At the end of the event Ilya and the two participants from the Ukraine were compensated for the costs of their travel. In Ilya’s case this was the cost of a coach ticket from Kiev to Warsaw. In addition, he received $120 to compensate for money stolen from him by the Ukrainian customs when he crossed the border into Poland.

Ilya has assured the IS that this is the full extent of his involvement in the activities of the "International Dept". Apart from the payment of his travel costs and compensation for the money taken from him by the Ukrainian customs, Ilya says he received no other money from the groups he met and he was not motivated by the desire for personal gain.

He recognises that any financial assistance he received while visiting Poland is not the responsibility of the CWI. Ilya has given the IS assurance he will personally repay the organisers the money that was given to him to cover his travel to Warsaw and to cover the losses at customs.

Ilya bears full responsibility for his actions, which are completely alien to the methods and traditions of the CWI and damaging to the whole workers' movement. He does not attempt to justify his actions. He says he felt pressurised by close personal and comradely relations with the leading activists of the Kiev "International Dept" into participating and he was also curious to see what these groups represented. Ilya admits he made a serious political mistake and was totally wrong. He assures the IS that he was not motivated by any desire to gain money. He also asserts that he did not politically represent, in Russia or elsewhere, the views of these left groups.

Ilya has stated that he is in full support of the political programme and methods of the CWI, of which he has been an active member since joining seven years ago, at the age of 16. Ilya says he has spent practically all his adult life in the CWI, and he cannot see his political future in any way other than in the CWI.

The IS strongly condemns Ilya’s actions. However, the IS recognises, on the basis of our investigation and Ilya’s statements, that Ilya did not act as an organiser of the "International Department" frauds. Although Ilya was completely wrong to take any part in the activities of the ‘International Department’, he did not act as one of its instigators. The IS also takes into account Ilya’s full acceptance of responsibility for his actions and his commitment to devote his energy to building the CWI on a principled basis.

Taking these factors into account, the IS proposes the following disciplinary actions:

  • Ilya is removed from membership of the CIS EC and Russian Committee for a period of at least six months. After this time the issue will be rediscussed.
  • Ilya does not represent the CWI internationally in any way until otherwise decided by the CWI
  • In his work as part of the Moscow organisation Ilya works under the discipline of the Moscow Committee and other leading bodies of the section.

Ilya says he will accept any disciplinary action; however; he remains committed to building the CWI in any way he can.

Agreed by the IEC of the CWI at its meeting 19-24 November 2003.

Posted: 8 March 2003