Protests in Ukraine

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mikail firtinaci's picture
mikail firtinaci
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Feb 25 2014 16:23

You are right Entdinglichung they will. But Turkish state is shambling and crumbling on its feet right now, and it is already involved in two wars, one (or a half since there is a de facto ceasefire now) with the Kurdish insurgent army and the other in Syria... So, I think Turkish state is objectively too weak to confront Russia. And also an open war between Turkey and Russia means Nato involvement which practically means a nuclear third world war!

But nationalists would definitely try to capitalize on a Russian offensive in Crimea, there is no dispute about that.

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Feb 25 2014 17:13
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Crimea is already more or less openly saying they will declare UDI as soon as Putin gives them the nod, and a number of Eastern regions/Oblasts may follow their lead, if it comes to it.

What's it mean to "declare UDI"?

~J.

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Feb 25 2014 17:17

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unilateral_declaration_of_independence

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A unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) is a variant declaration of independence that is established when the government of a constituent entity of a sovereign state declares itself independent from that state, and declares itself a sovereign state, without having a formal agreement with the state that the constituent entity declared its secession from.
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Feb 25 2014 20:09

Entdinglichung;

What do you think is the German state's position on Ukraine? Does it have an autonomous as opposed to the US? I recently read an article in WSWS.org about how Germany was trying strengthen its military standing in Europe. Is it true? How far do you think would Germany go against Russia?

In another piece I read about the EU/US position it was claimed that the west did not really want provoke Russia and they wanted to settle a compromise in Ukraine before the Sochi Olympics ended. Would you agree with that?

bastarx
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Feb 26 2014 01:23

Wallerstein says that the nightmare scenario for Washington is a France/Germany/Russia alliance:

http://www.iwallerstein.com/geopolitics-ukraines-schism/

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Feb 26 2014 04:57

An interview with three members of Antifascist Action Ukraine:

http://www.timothyeastman.com/uncategorized/an-interview-with-mira-andrei-and-sascha-of-antifascist-action-ukraine/

This blogger has good interviews offering other perspectives as well.

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Feb 26 2014 18:53

Pretty good article here correcting a lot of common misconceptions from the right and left about the protests in Ukraine. However, the author does make exactly the same mistake he criticises in others when he mentions briefly Venezuela and the protests there:
http://pando.com/2014/02/24/everything-you-know-about-ukraine-is-wrong/

teh
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Feb 26 2014 23:00

fighting corruption

Quote:
"We are to undertake extremely unpopular steps as the previous government and previous president were so corrupted that the country is in a desperate financial plight," [Prime Minister] Mr Yatsenyuk told BBC Ukrainian.

"We are on the brink of a disaster and this is the government of political suiciders! So welcome to hell," he added.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26359150

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Feb 27 2014 09:26
iexist wrote:
Austerity here we come.

IMF'll fix it...

There's some kind of twisted resonance in the star of "Jim'll fix it" being a serial abuser, which would probably make a good blog post. The IMF as seller of dreams, using that cover for predatory serial abuse, etc. But I can't figure out how to do it in a way that isn't going to be either offensively crass or bait to the "trigger-happy".

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Feb 27 2014 09:32
mikail firtinaci wrote:
Entdinglichung;

What do you think is the German state's position on Ukraine? Does it have an autonomous as opposed to the US? I recently read an article in WSWS.org about how Germany was trying strengthen its military standing in Europe. Is it true? How far do you think would Germany go against Russia?

In another piece I read about the EU/US position it was claimed that the west did not really want provoke Russia and they wanted to settle a compromise in Ukraine before the Sochi Olympics ended. Would you agree with that?

haven't followed the debate in Germany that much but I don't think, that despite the pro-Ukrainian sentiments displayed by all the mainstream parties and most (all?) mainstream media outlets, Germany and its bourgeoisie wouldn't risk too much to damage the business relationship with Russia which is a (the?) major supplier of natural gas for Germany ... and without US, British or French support, the German army is a joke ... during a parliamentary debate last week, several MPs of DIE LINKE, especially Andrej Hunko (who is from an Ukrainian background and a former leading member of a breakaway group of the German SWP clone) and Sevim Dagdelen (who is also a member of the post-Hoxhaite DIDF) raised doubts about the "democracy movement" in Ukraine which caused major heckling

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Feb 27 2014 10:22

Also, first mention of Crimean Tatars on Radio 4 today programme this morning. Right on cue #2.

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Feb 27 2014 10:44

BBC: Ukraine: Gunmen seize Crimea government buildings

Quote:
Ukraine's security forces have cordoned off two government buildings seized by armed men in Simferopol, the capital of the Russian-majority region of Crimea.
[...]
The men have not yet made any demands or issued any statements but did put up a sign reading: "Crimea is Russia".

They threw a flash grenade in response to questions from a journalist, AP news agency reported.

LOL. Loving their media policy...

Mark.
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Feb 27 2014 11:56

Some analysis here:

http://peopleandnature.wordpress.com/2014/02/26/ukraine-1-yanukovichs-end-is-a-beginning/

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Feb 27 2014 13:22

Not bad, and mostly coherent with the other accounts. However this section:

Quote:
Q: The fascists and extreme nationalists are not the only ones organising self-defence groups, are they?

G. Certainly not. The Right Sector was substantially outnumbered by the Maidan self-defence units that owed allegiance to the “Civic Council of Maidan”, formed as the would-be voice of the demonstrations by human rights activists, NGOs and aspiring politicians (real, current politicians were not welcome).

appears in contradiction with this bit from the interview with Denis from AWU

Quote:
Denis: As far as I understand, all the potential self-organization at Maidan is substituted by the organizational structures of the rightist political forces. Svoboda, Right Sector and Spilna Sprava occupy buildings and manage the everyday life. The parliamentary opposition also has its voice in these matters; anyway, everything is strongly dependent on leaders who represent the already established political structures. For example, there are sotnias – “hundreds”, defence units. Formally they are all under command of Andriy Parubiy – once a founding member of Social Nationalist party of Ukraine which is now called Svoboda, but now a member of Batkivschyna. In reality, there are units which don’t obey Parubiy or even Svoboda (like the Right Sector), but anyway the existence of “not sanctioned” units is doubtful.
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Feb 27 2014 23:31

A general update by the Autonomous workers Union:

http://avtonomia.net/2014/02/27/fifty-shades-brown/

And interviews with participants in Maidan. Their outlooks are somewhat more sanguine, for better or for worse, but at least it qualifies as a ground-level vantage point.

http://www.internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article3291
http://www.internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article3292

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Feb 28 2014 12:11

So, this might have been addressed already, but what exactly is that the right wants in Ukraine? Presumably they don't want integration with Europe? Do they have a scapegoat? Is it anti-Russia? Or do they just want power?

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Mar 1 2014 18:59

It depends which groups on the right we are talking about. There are tensions in the far-right, particularly between Svoboda and Praviy Sektor. Svoboda is of late has been promoting European integration but this could be interpreted as a strategic move for gaining more political influence. Their current position on the EU is ironic given that they are associated with Eurospectic far-right parties (NPD, National Front, Jobbik, BNP). At their speaking events they frequently have Eurospectic lecturers, so in many ways their position is contradictory. It could be that they see European integration as a temporary strategy for Ukraine to escape the influence of Russia, but I imagine that should Ukraine achieve EU membership we would see Svoboda aligning its position more closely with the other far-right parties.

Praviy Sektor feels Svoboda is too "liberal" and is against European integration. Here though it should be pointed that PS is a loose coalition of various far-right groups, so there may be varying opinions internally as well.

As far as scapegoats, the obvious answer would be Russians but they also betray their anti-semitic beliefs from time to time (e.g. Tyahnabok's comment about a "Jewish-Russian mafia" that controls Ukraine).

Overall I would say that the Ukrainian far-right ideologically seeks a "rebirth" of the Ukrainian nation along lines that fit into their concept of what it means to be Ukrainian (i.e. the sole use of the Ukrainian language, the promotion of exclusively "Ukrainian" culture) to the exclusion of other ethnicities. They draw upon a mythologized past most noticeable in their adulation of Stepan Bandera, but also in beliefs about Kievan Rus' as the cradle of Slavic civilization and the idea of Ukrainian Cossackdom as a bulwark against Russian oppression. With this last point, we sometimes see the co-option of Makhno as a national hero because he fought the Soviets. Despite their sometime objections to the contrary, they are culturally exclusionary and seek to enforce this vision through legislation. Hence, the proposals to have ethnicity on identification cards and the criminalization of "Ukrainophobia".

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Mar 1 2014 20:31

Well, looks like Christmas came early this year. That's super helpful, thanks papax.

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Mar 2 2014 09:18

Neo-Nazis Pour Into Kiev

Quote:
In early February, Fredrik Hagberg stood at the rostrum in Kiev’s City Hall, offering fraternal and comradely greetings from Sweden to the sweaty, bruised, and exhausted Ukrainian insurrectionists scattered throughout. The place was festooned with flags—some celtic crosses, a stray Confederate banner, a standard for the political party Svoboda, whose members essentially controlled the building—reflecting the dubious politics of its occupiers.

Revolutionary tourists, thrill seekers, and parachute journalists suffused Kiev. Sen. John McCain, actress Hayden Panettiere, and French intellectual Bernard Henri-Levy roused massive crowds with paeans to freedom and national sovereignty, while offering moral support to the opposition forces led by former boxing champion Vitaly Klitschko.

But Hagberg, a square-jawed and baby-faced member of the Swedish armed forces, had a darker message.
“I stand before your forces of revolution to tell you about what your future might be if you fail your glorious endeavour,” he said in fluid-but-clipped English. “I stand here as a Swede. However where I come from is no longer Sweden.” Hagberg warned Ukrainians that a successful revolution must chart a path that carefully avoided the evils of abortion and ethnic mongrelization, one that harshly punished welfare abuse and rejected the normalization of homosexuality. “Officials in Sweden like to calls us the most modern country in the world. I say to you, brothers, this is what awaits you if you choose to follow our example. You now have the opportunity to choose and create your own future. Do not accept the trap of choosing either the West or Russia.”

It’s unclear who, if anyone, invited him, but Hagberg was speaking as a representative of Nordisk Ungdom (Nordic Youth), a Swedish neo-Nazi group that celebrates “a traditional ideal of a better man, striving for something greater and more noble than his own personal benefit; an idealistic man who fights for Europe’s freedom.” Visitors to the group’s English-language website are met with with a Barbara Kruger-like advertisement beseeching visitors to “help us to help the revolution! Support a free Ukraine! Donate Now...” Because Hagberg is trying to provoke his fellow neo-Nazis into travelling to Kiev to help shape a new, fascist-friendly Ukraine.

teh
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Mar 2 2014 09:52

Similar report by the BBC with interviews with Right Sector and Freedom Party affiliated C14 militias.

better quality here http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26394980

Mark.
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Mar 2 2014 11:41

Paul Mason:
If it comes to shooting, Ukraine crisis means goodbye global economic order

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Mar 2 2014 12:19

Autonomous Workers Union:

http://avtonomia.net/2014/03/02/awu-statement-russian-intervention-uber-die-russische-intervention-erklarung-der-autonomen-union-der-arbeiterinnen-kiev/

no1
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Mar 2 2014 13:27

KRAS-IWA and other internationalists from the Ukraine, Russia, Moldova, Israel, Lithuania
http://www.aitrus.info/node/3608

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Mar 3 2014 09:58
jonthom wrote:
Revolutionary tourists, thrill seekers, and parachute journalists suffused Kiev. Sen. John McCain, actress Hayden Panettiere, and French intellectual Bernard Henri-Levy[...]

Strewth. Neo-nazis is one thing, but BHL? How low can you go...

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Mar 3 2014 14:23

FT infograph on military mismatch

proletarian.
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Mar 3 2014 21:24
ocelot wrote:
jonthom wrote:
Revolutionary tourists, thrill seekers, and parachute journalists suffused Kiev. Sen. John McCain, actress Hayden Panettiere, and French intellectual Bernard Henri-Levy[...]

Strewth. Neo-nazis is one thing, but BHL? How low can you go...

Conspiracy theorists are known to highlight the 'fact' BHL appears at all the Western intervention hot spots with quotes about I'm here as a Jew or something. Not really sure what the implication is other than the usual Jews run/destroy the world nonsense.

bastarx
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Mar 3 2014 23:29
proletarian. wrote:
ocelot wrote:
jonthom wrote:
Revolutionary tourists, thrill seekers, and parachute journalists suffused Kiev. Sen. John McCain, actress Hayden Panettiere, and French intellectual Bernard Henri-Levy[...]

Strewth. Neo-nazis is one thing, but BHL? How low can you go...

Conspiracy theorists are known to highlight the 'fact' BHL appears at all the Western intervention hot spots with quotes about I'm here as a Jew or something. Not really sure what the implication is other than the usual Jews run/destroy the world nonsense.

Maybe it's to say, "look these Ukrainian fascists aren't that bad, they accept the support of a French Jewish celebrity warmonger".

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Mar 4 2014 14:56

Impressive how an 11% drop in your stock market can focus the mind. Yesterday's Vlad the Conqueror becomes today's Vlad the "Let's all have a nice cup of tea and discuss this like adults".

teh
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Mar 5 2014 00:29

Good summary of the whole "Fuck the EU"/Secede from Ukraine shtick, though perhaps too realpolitik for some peoples tastes: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/CEN-02-040314.html "Putin's army salutes a Nulandized Kiev"

More important than the cold war euphoria in the capitals though:

If Ukrainians don't break with the parties soon they're fucked.

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Mar 5 2014 11:14
teh wrote:
Good summary of the whole "Fuck the EU"/Secede from Ukraine shtick, though perhaps too realpolitik for some peoples tastes: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/CEN-02-040314.html "Putin's army salutes a Nulandized Kiev"

It's not bad, although one-sidedly IR/geopolitical, as you flagged.

Also, some entirely reactionary liberal democratic politics, ie:

Quote:
But the proper riposte to corrupt officialdom is to vote the bastards out, not overthrow them.

Which is what the UK Labour Party hacks would say to us when we were setting up the anti-poll tax campaign - "don't resist, don't break the law - that's illegal! - pay the poll tax and vote labour at the next election". Well, fuck that, frankly. If the electoral system is reduced to chosing between two sets of equally corrupt bastards, then overthrowing the government is a perfectly legitimate exercise of proletarian democracy. The problem is not that, it's the inability to organise a genuine counter-power that allows another set of oligarchs and their creatures to re-establish power after the overthrow of the last lot. But that's another story.

Incidentally, by one-sidedly geopolitical, I mean arguments like these:

Quote:
Maybe there was no conspiracy to blow up the EU initiative, maybe the protesters attacked spontaneously, but the end result was the same.

Which basically say, even if the actual dynamics of the situation were not a top-down US neo-con conspiracy, because the short-term results are the same, we can ignore any other level of determination. Which is bullshit. If there's a nascent fascist war machine growing on the streets of Kiev, it really does make a difference.

This is what the unholy intersection between liberal critical geopolitics (which is what Peter Lee's article is) and old-fashioned orthodox marxist impulse to "the main contradiction" results in. A geopolitical reductionism that in the name of the "main contradiction" actually abstracts from the class struggle. The frame of geopolitical competition substitutes for the class struggle. In fact, I'd push the boat out and say that "main contradiction-ism" is nearly always substitutionist/displacing vis-a-vis the class struggle.