Open Letter to the CWI
Photos of the Perpetrators
These materials are available in print in Proletarian Revolution No. 69 (Winter 2004).
October 2, 2003
League for the Revolutionary Party (LRP-U.S.) & Communist Organization for the Fourth International (COFI)
The Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI)
On September 4 we wrote to you regarding the criminal fraud perpetrated by CWI members in the former USSR on several organizations, including our own. We noted that you had issued a statement on August 29 condemning the fraud and announcing the expulsion of several Ukrainian members, notably Oleg Vernik. You have not responded to our letter or to any of the requests and queries in it. We also note that you have not replied to similar requests from other defrauded organizations. This lack of response calls into question your stated willingness to exchange information and cooperate with all those victimized by your former members.
We also note at this point that no statement on the fraud has yet appeared on your website. Yet articles by the charlatan Vernik continue to appear there without comment by you.
Your statement of August 29 indicated that the fraud was limited to Ukrainian CWI members, some of whom you have expelled, notably Oleg Vernik. One of our queries concerned the fraudulent “Igor” or “Ivan,” who presented himself to us and to others as a resident of Moscow. We asked whether you recognized and could identify this individual from Moscow.
Subsequently, photographs identified as that of your Moscow leader, Ilya Budraitskis, have appeared on the internet and in print (for example, in the Weekly Worker of September 4), and he is clearly the same person as “Igor” and “Ivan” who fraudulently misrepresented himself to our and other organizations. Yet as far as we know, you have not acknowledged that Budraitskis was part of the scam, nor taken any action against him, at least in public.
Moreover, we have now have in our possession a photograph taken at the October 1999 International Conference in Moscow sponsored by the Committee for the Study of Leon Trotsky’s Legacy, where Budraitskis presented a research paper. This photo shows Budraitskis together with Rob Jones of the CWI. It is certain that Budraitskis is the same person as “Igor” and “Ivan,” and that he is as guilty as the Ukrainian perpetrators of participating in this scam. In the next few days we will place this photo on our website.
Moreover, all the reports of the Ukrainian scam indicate that the Ukrainian “comrades” never directly asked their supposed Western counterparts for monetary aid. This is not true in the case of “Igor.” When we met him in April 2003, we were specifically asked to reimburse him for money that he claimed had been robbed from him by customs agents when he left Russia. There is no question that “Igor” – that is, Budraitskis – directly participated in robbery as well as in the political side of the criminal activity engaged in by the other perpetrators.
The CWI has had ample time to identify Budraitskis and reply to the charges against him. Your failure to do so raises the question as to whether or not the CWI is engaging in covering up the extent of the fraud directed by Vernik, one of its leading members, but not certainly confined to him and his Ukrainian cohorts. It raises the question as to whether or not more CWI leaders outside of Kiev and Ukraine were aware of or directly involved in the fraud.
Your former and current comrades have already done enough in this matter to drag the name of Trotskyism through the mud. We demand that you expel Budraitskis and condemn him in at least the same terms that you condemned Vernik and the others. Further, we demand that you do so in public: that you publish your statements of condemnation in your press and on your international website rather than just circulating them privately for others to distribute. If you are not covering for these filthy criminals, or seeking to downplay their acts, why won’t you openly do everything possible to warn the workers’ movement of the threat that they represent?
With communist greetings,
for LRP-U.S. & COFI
We publish the photographs of the three leading conspirators of the fake “Revolutionary Workers Organization” that affiliated with the LRP and COFI. We do so in order to let all in the working-class and radical left movements who come in contact with them know them for the criminal frauds they are. Photos of other conspirators are available on the International Bolshevik Tendency’s website in the document “Cast List.”
1. Oleksandr Zvorsky, the leader of the RWO. According to the CWI, he has been expelled from their organization.
|a) “Viktor”, at the COFI conference, April 2003|
|b) “Vadym” of the UWG, “friends” of the News & Letters tendency|
2. Oleg Vernik, a member of the International Executive Committee of the CWI and apparently the instigator of the conspiracy. He has been suspended by the CWI with a recommendation that their IEC expel him.
|a) “Yakov”, at the COFI conference, April 2003|
|b) from the website “www.geocities.com/gena6414/modern_vortex/
[On March 21, 2005, this website was found to be inactive.]
3. Ilya Budraitskis, a leader of the CWI group in Moscow. The CWI in its statement of August 29 alleges that the conspiracy was confined to Ukraine. But the photos of Budraitskis show that he was also a conspirator and give the lie to this claim. We and others have called the CWI’s attention to this fact, so far without any acknowledgment by the CWI.
|a) “Igor”, at the COFI conference, April 2003|
|b) Ilya Budraitskis, an unidentified woman and Rob Jones of the CWI. This photo was taken at the October 1999 International Conference in Moscow sponsored by the Committee for the Study of Leon Trotsky’s Legacy.|
|c) “Dmitri” of the RCO/Internationalist Group|