Protests in Ukraine

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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

iexist
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Mar 2 2014 15:38

If u don't mention the Nazis ur a western stooge

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ocelot
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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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ocelot
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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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ocelot
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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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ocelot
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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.

teh
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Mar 6 2014 04:17

Speak of the [red] devil: Ukraine: against infantile realpolitik

slothjabber
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Mar 6 2014 09:40

That piece about Lindsay German's jibberings is quite good. 'The Left' has completely lost its head, which in some ways is good (because it exposes itself to ridicule for its idiotic casting around to find a 'better' murderous imperialism to support) but is also bad because some people may still be taken in by whichever brand of toxic bullshit (whether that's 'democracy' or 'anti-imperialism') that it's trying to cram down the throats of those members of the working class that are trying to get a handle on what's happening.

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Entdinglichung
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Mar 6 2014 09:45

any idea who of the two is telling lies (probably both?!):

- http://borotba.org/statement_of_the_union_borotba_over_recent_smear_campaign_against_anti-fascists_in_ukraine.html
- http://avtonomia.net/2014/03/03/statement-left-anarchist-organizations-borotba-organization/

Mark.
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Mar 9 2014 00:53

Neo-nazis on Putin's side

A prediction of Russia's takeover of the Crimea from 2010 (pdf)

Mark.
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Mar 9 2014 11:45

From Channel 4:

How the far-right took top posts in Ukraine's power vacuum

A couple of posts from untergang.net:

The nationalists who want to destroy the Ukraine

The 'anti-fascism' of fools

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jonthom
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Mar 9 2014 12:04

what a terrible article. who on earth are these mysterious people who think "the Russians won World War II, and therefore can be trusted to spot Nazis"? for that matter, who is it who only thinks Svoboda (a group only named once, in passing) et al are fascists only because Putin said so? or sees Putin as "an heir to Soviet Marxism"? segregationists and supporters of apartheid are just "flawed democrats"??

the whole text seems intent on framing the discussion in terms of the soviets, the second world war, Putin etc. - as though the presence of people who are actually, explicitly in the tradition of the Nazis' Ukrainian collaborators, and who have now been given given prominent government positions, is just a footnote compared to some supposed Soviet brainwashing.

teh
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Mar 9 2014 12:53
Mark. wrote:

A couple of posts from untergang.net:

The nationalists who want to destroy the Ukraine

Eh, Anton Shekhovtsov is a pro-western hack. He's just doing advocacy for his side. The leninology piece I linked above has a hyperlink to a Searchlight article that explains the divisions agongst these far right groups.

Quote:
Svoboda’s status in the AENM was clarified this spring: the party has never been a fully-fledged member of the Alliance but enjoyed only observer status, as the AENM is an EU-based group and Ukraine is not a EU member state.
Svoboda’s image was damaged even further on 22 March, when Kovács wrote an official letter to Oleh Tyahnybok, leader of Svoboda. In it he expressed in the strongest terms his indignation over the fact that Svoboda’s members organised rallies against ethnic Hungarians in Ukrainian Carpathian Ruthenia, part of which once belonged to Hungary. Kovács, a Hungarian Jobbik MEP, ended by informing Tyahnybok that Svoboda’s observer status in the AENM had been terminated. This information has been confirmed to me in an email from Jobbik’s Attila Bécsi: “Svoboda is no longer a member of the AENM because of its anti-Hungarian statements”.

A spicy bit of scandal is that Jobbik at the same time entered into cooperation with Dugin’s International Eurasian Movement. On 16 May, Jobbik’s leader Gábor Vona and Kovács visited Moscow, and Vona delivered a lecture titled “Russia and Europe” at Dugin’s Centre for Conservative Studies based at the Moscow State University where Dugin is now a professor. In his speech, Vona called the European Union “a treacherous organisation” that “took away our markets, our factories, and filled the shelves of our shops with western garbage”. Russia, at the same time, managed to “preserve its traditions” and, unlike the EU or the US, “did not worship money and mass culture”. According to Vona, “the role of Russia today is to offset the Americanisation of Europe”.
Jobbik’s leader even went so far as to declare that it would be better for Hungary to join the Russia-dominated Eurasian Union should occasion arise. Given Jobbik’s current leanings toward Russia as a potential centre of power in Europe, it may well be the case that the argument between Jobbik and Svoboda was as much about the Ukrainian ultranationalists’ anti-Hungarian statements and their pronounced anti-Russian sentiments.
For Svoboda, European connections have been a significant issue since the end of the 1990s when it was still called Social-National Party of Ukraine. Then it was a member of the Euronat, a far-right organisation formed by the French National Front. The SNPU and, later, Svoboda seemed to maintain good relations with Le Pen and the French National Front in general, and presumably it was the French ultranationalists who advocated granting Svoboda observer status in the AENM. However, since the Alliance was largely Jobbik’s creation (it was founded in Budapest at Jobbik’s 6th party congress in 2009), the French ultranationalists had limited opportunities to overrule Kovács’s decision.
In its home country, Svoboda used its European connections for public relations, image and propaganda purposes. It was the French National Front that consulted Svoboda’s leaders on how to make the party “more respectable” in the beginning of the 2000s, and naturally relations with major European ultranationalists also boosted the party’s standing among other far-right organisations in Ukraine. Therefore, after it had been deprived of observer status in the AENM, Svoboda started looking for new connections in Europe. Its new “friends” turned out to be even more extreme than the AENM.

On 23-24 March 2013, Taras Osaulenko, head of Svoboda’s international relations, took part in the “Vision Europa” conference organised by the Party of the Swedes in Stockholm. The Party of the Swedes is widely described as a neo-Nazi group; it was established in 2008 by members of the now dissolved National Socialist Front and is led by Stefan Jacobsson. The main speaker at the conference appeared to be Udo Pastörs, deputy leader of the most significant neo-Nazi party to emerge since 1945, the National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD), two members of which are now on trial in Germany for their support of the terrorist National Socialist Underground.
Another speaker at the conference was Roberto Fiore, leader of the Italian fascist New Force. European guests present included: Jonathan Le Clercq of the Land and People association (France); Daniel Carlsen, leader of the Danish Party (Denmark); and Gonzalo Martín Garcia, head of international relations of the National Democracy Party (Spain).

The links between Svoboda and Fiore were established as early as 2009 when Tyahnybok visited Strasbourg to meet MEPs from such radical right-wing parties as the Freedom Party of Austria, Bulgarian National Union “Attack”, Flemish Interest and others. These links were further cemented in May and June this year. On 23-24 May, Osaulenko and Andriy Illenko visited Rome at Fiore’s invitation, where the leadership of New Force and representatives of Svoboda discussed collaboration between the two parties. Svoboda representatives also visited New Force’s youth camp, and Illenko gave a talk about Svoboda’s history and ideology, as well as sharing his thoughts on how the two parties could join forces in their “fight against the liberal forces of multiculturalism and destruction of the national traditions of European civilisation”.

On 19-21 June, representatives of New Force, including Fiore, returned the visit. In Ukraine, the Italian and Ukrainian ultranationalists discussed the creation of a new group of European nationalist movements in order to “develop a new dynamic and strategic co-operation aimed at creating a new European political class”. Supposedly, the new group may be formed on the basis of the organisations that took part in the Vision Europa conference in Stockholm.
Between the two Ukrainian-Italian visits, on 29 May 2013, Mykhaylo Holovko, a member of the Ukrainian Parliament and Svoboda, visited the Landtag of Saxony to speak to the NPD. In particular, Holovko conveyed greetings from Tyahnybok and Serhiy Nadal, Svoboda’s mayor of the Ukrainian city of Ternopil. In a ritual manner, Svoboda and the NPD agreed to strengthen bilateral relations between the parties and parliamentary groups.

It remains to be seen whether Svoboda’s visits to its European counterparts are part of the creation process of a new pan-European ultranationalist movement. None of the parties represented at the Vision Europa conference is a member of the AENM, while Fiore’s New Force is unlikely to cooperate with the Alliance member Tricolour Flame, from which it split in 1997. Fiore’s previous “ecumenical” fascist project, the European National Front, which united representatives from New Force, the NPD, the Romanian New Right, Golden Dawn in Greece and the Spanish Falange, seems to have failed. Therefore, Svoboda’s new European friends may indeed need a new umbrella organisation that would unite political parties and movements that are – given the profiles of Fiore, Pastörs, Jacobsson and others – indeed more extreme than the AENM.

"So, if we are to go by the work of Anton Shekhovtsov, a scholar of far-right and fascist movements" we get smoke and mirrors (unless the author of the piece is mischaracterizing what Shekhovtsov wrote).
(Curiously, like Jobbik, the Right Sector leader in an interview posted earlier in this thread calls Svoboda "too racist" [in his honest opinion]).

As for this:

Quote:
Ironically then, we see that those who denounce Ukrainian protesters as “fascists” because of a few groups (many of those who do this also happen to be on the left, e.g. AlterNet, Global Research) have become useful idiots to the Kremlin and these fascistic nationalists who are allied with them.

Dugin is not the Deputy Prime Minister of an unelected government nor does he have his own militias and increasingly the security services at his disposal. In fact, funny enough, the most, if not only, significant “National Bolshevist” (which the article claims is Dugins idea) leader/movement in Russia - Eddie Limonov - is in a political coalition with Garry Kasparov - who you might have seen on Western television in recent days as the democracy guy. The two of them are the public faces of the "Other Russia" movement. And then there's Neo-fascist Alex Navalny who many in the Russian and Western elite want to become the next Russian president even though he has no public support outside of a small liberal/fascist alliance.

And I don't think that Golden Dawn and Jobbik are "allied" or have any collaboration with the Kremlin - and there is quite a leap from Dugin to the Russian government- , though these alliances are always possible in the future. Russian fascists are divided in their allegiances and so far the only ones who have managed some success politically on a national level are anti-United Russia Party. And fascists in Europe were always divided by their national affiliations. Wasn't Mussolini originally anti-German? And Svaboda claims to be anti-EU also.

And this whitewash here

Quote:
Golden Dawn did not hesitate to label the Ukrainian nationalists “Nazis” in pointing out the EU’s hypocrisy, which is a bit odd considering that most of these groups trace their heritage to the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and Ukrainian Insurgent Army, which had to fight against Nazis and Soviets at the same time (despite whatever collaboration there may have been).

is just disgusting.

Mark.
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Mar 9 2014 22:48

From the Nation a few days ago:

As far-right groups infiltrate Kiev’s institutions, the student movement pushes back

iexist
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Mar 10 2014 03:05

God dammit the comments on that article

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Entdinglichung
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Mar 10 2014 12:18

article on involvement of Russian and Serbian fascists: http://tahriricn.wordpress.com/2014/03/08/ukraine-paul-gubariew-a-tribune-of-the-people-in-donetsk-ie-neo-nazis-on-the-side-of-putin/

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Mar 10 2014 19:50

Statement by Ukraine's Left Opposition:

http://www.criticatac.ro/lefteast/left-opposition-ukraine-saved/

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Mar 11 2014 00:02

Here is the European parliament's adopted resolution against Svoboda from December 13, 2012:

Quote:
8. Is concerned about the rising nationalistic sentiment in Ukraine, expressed in support for the Svoboda Party, which, as a result, is one of the two new parties to enter the Verkhovna Rada; recalls that racist, anti-Semitic and xenophobic views go against the EU's fundamental values and principles and therefore appeals to pro-democratic parties in the Verkhovna Rada not to associate with, endorse or form coalitions with this party;

It appears the EU has a very short term memory.

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+TA+P7-TA-2012-0507+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN

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Mar 11 2014 19:18

Here is a report from the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group detailing the neo-nazi past of Pavel Gubarev, the so-called "people's governor" who was spear-heading the Donetsk secessionist movement but is now under arrest:

http://khpg.org/en/index.php?id=1394442656

Revelations like this only underline the need for the international radical left to uniformly condemn both sides of the crisis.

iexist
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Mar 12 2014 01:33
FatherXmas wrote:
Here is a report from the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group detailing the neo-nazi past of Pavel Gubarev, the so-called "people's governor" who was spear-heading the Donetsk secessionist movement but is now under arrest:

http://khpg.org/en/index.php?id=1394442656

Revelations like this only underline the need for the international radical left to uniformly condemn both sides of the crisis.

It sites svobada and a random blogger. The article makes a pro western hack. Now I wouldn't be surprised if it's true he's a nazi. But I want more than that piece

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Mar 12 2014 01:56

I second iexist's concern. I reiterate that I too harbor no illusions about the radicalization of pro-Russian nationalism in Ukraine, but something about that group doesn't seem entirely kosher. I followed another link in that piece, "Chief Rabbi and others dismiss Putin’s 'anti-Semitic extremist' claims," and I can't help but wonder if they're in complete denial of the presence of far-right elements on their own side.

Mark.
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Mar 13 2014 23:29

Interview with a Ukrainian anarchist

Quote:

With the Euromaidan protests in Kiev escalating into the ousting of a president and a Russian invasion/declaration of independence in the Crimea, SchNEWS interviewed a member of Ukrainian student anarchist group Direct Action.

Firstly what's the situation now in Kiev?

Right now in Kiev everything's quiet, the new government has successfully established itself. It was very unpopular at the beginning but the Russian intervention in Crimea has changed everything, and now most critics have decided to support "their" government however bad it is. The police are patrolling the streets together with the Maidan self-defence units, and it has been announced that they [the units] may be somehow merged into the police forces.

What are the anarchists and leftists doing at the moment? What kind of projects are you active in?

Most anarchists and leftists have returned to criticizing the new government, the wave of patriotism and the austerity measures they are trying to push through. In one way or another different groups are trying to promote the social-economic agenda which has been strikingly absent in the protests so far. We are talking about resisting the austerity, demanding free public transit, opening all the raw data in the books of public offices etc.

Is the Ukrainian far right stronger after victory at Maidan? Do you experience more problems from neo-Nazi and fascist groups than before? We hear a lot of stuff in the news about the far-right taking over the government in Ukraine - what is the real situation?

Yes, the far right will definitely now become stronger. They have successfully forced their way into "respectable" politics now. Also, they will be much more threatening in the streets. I'm not sure they will give up axes and bats and return to gas sprays as their weapon of choice now. So, yes, the left will be hard-pressed in the streets - especially given that many Nazis are eager to infiltrate the police forces. So, we'll have fascists in the cop uniform.

How can anarchists and anti-fascists in different countries support your efforts?

Right now the biggest threat to the left is the Russian invasion. Even if it stops on Crimea, it is a very powerful factor of consolidation around the government. Many people say that they won't criticize the government, that everybody should support it right now. So, obviously, the patriotism stirred by the invasion is playing into the hands of the ruling class. The left forces abroad should condemn the war and show solidarity with Ukrainian workers, and not the nationalist and neoliberal government. We can fight our local nazis, but Putin's "protection" will be much worse.

Do you think civil war or war with Russia are going to happen or is it still possible to avoid it?

We all hope this can be avoided, of course. I personally think it is unthinkable to have a full-fledged military conflict on a large territory in the centre of Europe with 15 atomic reactors and a bunch of strategic energy routes. It's much worse than Yugoslavia which wasn't so important from strategic point of view. I think that under the most likely scenario Russian troops will stay in Crimea and it will be an unrecognized semi-independent territory, like Abkhazia in Georgia - at least that's Putin's strategy now.

Mark.
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Mar 17 2014 22:55

Odessa (uploaded March 7) - no idea what it's about - translation anyone?

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Mar 18 2014 00:05

Nothing to do with the current national crisis in Ukraine, rather it is an intervention by members of the Union of Anarchists of Ukraine (SAU - which bills itself as the only legal anarchist party in the world), similar to actions by, say, the Seattle Solidarity Network. On March 4, 2014, headed by their veteran leader Vyacheslav Azarov, members of the Odessa branch of the SAU briefly occupied offices of GASK – the State Architectural-Construction Control inspectorate. This is an agency which issues development permits for construction. The protest was against endemic corruption in housing construction in the Odessa region. According to Azarov, the anarchists obtained some concessions.

Mark.
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Mar 17 2014 23:42

Karetelnik - thanks

proletarian.
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Mar 20 2014 16:12

Albeit from a slightly dodgy source and with a sensationalist conclusion I think this video is useful in highlighting certain US machinations and the frankness of the ruling class.

ben.
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Mar 20 2014 22:38

The Ukrainian Revolution & the Future of Social Movements: http://crimethinc.com/texts/ux/ukraine.html

Print-ready PDF pamphlet version of this article and the previous interview with member of Avtonomia: oplopanaxpublishing.wordpress.com/2014/03/20/ukraine-and-the-future-of-social-movements/