Protests in Ukraine

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S2W
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May 8 2014 17:26
teh wrote:
I don't think I've ever read anything on Avtonom which didn't have an activistoid solution to a given problem.

Definitely, as in our times any kind of intervention is deemed "activistoid", and even groups like KRAS have adopted neo-council communist approach of revolutionary refusal from any kind of activity besides internet proclamations.

teh
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May 8 2014 17:51
S2W wrote:
teh wrote:
I don't think I've ever read anything on Avtonom which didn't have an activistoid solution to a given problem.

Definitely, as in our times any kind of intervention is deemed "activistoid", and even groups like KRAS have adopted neo-council communist approach of revolutionary refusal from any kind of activity besides internet proclamations.

I don't see how class collaboration and appeals to democracy can lead to anything other than the worst forms of oligarchy. The power of workers is at their jobs (and when they cooperate across workplaces), not on the street.

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Steven.
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May 8 2014 19:05
S2W wrote:
BTW after I had my text translated, it was revealed that in Donetsk RKAS is involved in Anti-Maidan:

http://avtonom.org/news/anarhist-iz-donecka-zayavlyat-o-sebe-v-antimaydanovskom-dvizhenii-kak-politicheskaya-sila-my-ne

Oh dear.

could someone post a translation of that to libcom, if it's worthwhile?

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Steven.
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May 8 2014 19:16
subprole wrote:
The passages I quote imply what I say. There are definitely serious contradictions in their pamphlets and you should take heed of that. Besides there is absolutely no argument in your comment, it is just your irrelevant opinion.

as ocelot points out, those passages do not imply anything like what you say. So either you are outright lying, or you have simply been unable to comprehend the text you have read. Giving you the benefit of the doubt, I will assume the latter for now…

On an admin note, you shouldn't have posted the same thing into separate discussions. I will respond to your comment where you posted it initially shortly. Please don't continue discussion of this point on here as well.

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Steven.
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May 8 2014 19:19
Spikymike wrote:
Shorty,
You should really read texts you link beforehand but as it happens the specific 'dreamdeferred' article you refer to is pretty good and well worth people here reading.

that article is pretty good. Unfortunately the website it is on is run by the author, Tash, and Martin Smith, the SWP rapist.

baboon
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May 8 2014 19:33

I don't know about the particular quotes from subprole but think that there's more than enough evidence above - if it was needed after their initial statements - that the AWU is a bunch of Ukrainian nationalists supporting one side in an imperialist flare-up.

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subprole
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May 8 2014 20:16
Quote:
I will respond to your comment where you posted it initially shortly. Please don't continue discussion of this point on here as well.

I have no intention of discussing with you either, so don't worry.

baboon
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May 10 2014 11:55

There was the "victory" parade in Russia of course as the military celebrated some sort of re-found Russian assertion and we had the Crimean strut from Putin. But genrally, from reports that I've seen anyway, there doesn't seem much appetite for war among the general Russian population and if anything, there were some anti-war demonstrations a few weeks ago which were small and quickly broken up by the police. At the moment there seems little appetite among ordinary Russians for an invasion of Eastern Ukraine.

But as Newsnight pointed out last night that situation could change very quickly if attacks continue on civilisans in Russian-speaking areas. In this case great pressure could mount for Russian "intervention".

There's no doubt that under US direction Kiev has mounted a military offensive even if its been somewhat shambolic on occasions. Ukrainian fighter-bombers have been screamiing low over the south-east for weeks now reminiscent of Israeli terror tactics. Civilian have been killed in the south-east and previously peaceful areas have erupted due to the "anti-terrorist" action - an action that can only produce its own atrocities.

For months these expressions of imperialist pushes and manoeuvres on both sides are now threatening to get out of control and take on a further imperialist dynamic involving a more intense military confrontation that obviously involves wider and more dangerous consequences.

It is absolutely essential that from a working class point of view that all the imperialist factions involved in this further descent into militarism and war are clearly denounced - without any ambiguity - especially the two major imperialisms.

S2W
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May 10 2014 18:28
teh wrote:
I don't see how class collaboration and appeals to democracy can lead to anything other than the worst forms of oligarchy. The power of workers is at their jobs (and when they cooperate across workplaces), not on the street.

I do not remember a single revolution which would have succeeded without taking over the streets, ever.

Passivistoid neo-council communism makes sense only as long as you ignore any empiria alltogether.

S2W
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May 10 2014 18:51
S2W wrote:
BTW after I had my text translated, it was revealed that in Donetsk RKAS is involved in Anti-Maidan:

http://avtonom.org/news/anarhist-iz-donecka-zayavlyat-o-sebe-v-antimaydanovskom-dvizhenii-kak-politicheskaya-sila-my-ne

Oh dear.

Have to take this back, apparenlty it is just certain members of RKAS but no basis to say that it is position of the organisation or its local group as a whole.

teh
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May 10 2014 19:19
S2W wrote:
teh wrote:
I don't see how class collaboration and appeals to democracy can lead to anything other than the worst forms of oligarchy. The power of workers is at their jobs (and when they cooperate across workplaces), not on the street.

I do not remember a single revolution which would have succeeded without taking over the streets, ever.

Passivistoid neo-council communism makes sense only as long as you ignore any empiria alltogether.

There has been no single successful socialist revolution in history. There is your mistake, you're fighting for a bourgeois revolution in the 21st century when this class is incapable of any positive reorganization of society (usually even in the short term, much less the medium and long term). Building workers soviets is not a passive affair. It requires networking and delegating across industry and education in the knowledge hoarded by management all with the purpose to expropriate the economy. I don't know how many times people have to storm the Bastille until they realize its a waste of time.

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Gepetto
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May 10 2014 20:02

As for AWU, I wouldn't call them Ukrainian nationalists but there's something about them that just doesn't feel right. For them the main enemy seems to be Russian imperialism, they don't talk much about USA, EU or their new government in all of their texts translated into English. In their statement on the annexation of Crimea they urged "proletarians of all lands" to stand against "criminal regime of Putin". But why only him? What's next, another "Proletarian Military Policy" if shit gets real?

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May 10 2014 21:06
Quote:
As for AWU, I wouldn't call them Ukrainian nationalists but there's something about them that just doesn't feel right.

Probably you are right. They do not have to be denounced as Ukranian nationalists or crypto nationalists if one is just confronted with some left liberal cretins decorating their publications with some class struggle rhetoric.

Quote:
To the members of GUE/NGL faction in the European Parliament,
Gabriele Zimmer

Dear comrades.,

We, the members of leftist, trade union and human rights organizations in Ukraine, [...] Autonomous Workers Union – Kyiv,

18/01/2014

And:

Quote:
But why only him?

Because the Kiev regime is not criminal. It is a democratic regime and not a brutal dictatorship like in Russia....

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May 11 2014 18:54
Steven. wrote:
that article is pretty good. Unfortunately the website it is on is run by the author, Tash, and Martin Smith, the SWP rapist.

Oof! Well good to know for future reference.

Yeah, I should have read it before but from the context of those who were sharing it, it seemed okay.

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May 12 2014 17:28

US mercenaries in Ukraine, German intelligence says

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Some 400 mercenaries from the US firm Academi 9formerly known as Blackwater) are active in Ukraine against pro-Russian separatists, German intelligence sources told Bild am Sonntag, citing US intelligence. Asked if they will discuss this at the foreign affairs council on Monday, German foreign minister Steinmeier said "No, not yet."
baboon
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May 13 2014 12:08

Der Spiegal reports that the German intelligence service, BND, reported to Chancellor Merkel and the German government on April 29 that 400 Blackwater (now Academi/Greystoke) were active in easstern Ukraine including Slavyansk. They are involved in the Right Sector Militia, the Ukrainian National Guard and groups of football thugs. It is inconceivable that they are acting alone without the support of the CIA. There is no apparant mention of this at all in the British and American media, including Blackwater's officially stated denial that it is involved.

anarchistsolidarity
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May 15 2014 15:04

http://avtonomia.net/2014/05/14/regime-kyiv-junta-east-awu-kyiv-statement-conflict-eastern-regions/ Very good statement.

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RebelRising
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May 16 2014 02:38

From the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/16/world/europe/ukraine-workers-take-to-streets-to-calm-Mariupol.html?ref=europe&_r=0

It doesn't hurt to see the pro-Russian nationalists get a little pushback, but this episode unfortunately demonstrates further how class identity continues to be confounded and obfuscated in the midst of a nationalist crisis:

Quote:
The workers who took to the streets on Thursday were among the hundreds of thousands in the east who are employed in metals and mining by Ukraine’s richest man, Rinat Akhmetov, who only recently went beyond paying lip service to Ukrainian unity and on Wednesday issued a statement rejecting separatism.

Critics say Mr. Akhmetov could have prevented much of the bloodshed in the east if he had taken a strong stance sooner. But his lieutenants say he decided to confront the separatists out of a deep belief that independence, or even quasi-autonomy, would be disastrous for eastern Ukraine. Mr. Akhmetov urged his employees, whose jobs were at risk, to take over the city.

Quote:
Metinvest and DTEK, the metals and mining subsidiaries of Mr. Akhmetov’s company, System Capital Management, together employ 280,000 people in eastern Ukraine, forming an important and possibly decisive force in the region. They have a history of political activism stretching back to miner strikes that helped bring down the Soviet Union. In this conflict, they had not previously signaled their allegiance to one side or the other.
Quote:
The chief executive of Ilyich Steel Works, Yuri Zinchenko, is leading the steelworker patrols in the city. He said the company had remained on the sidelines as long as possible, while tacitly supporting unity with Ukraine by conveying to workers that a separatist victory would close export markets in Europe, devastating the factory and the town.

Though the workers had differing views of the new government in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, on the whole they supported the patrols to restore order, employees and managers said. “Everybody can have their own opinion, but not at work,” Sergei Istratov, a shift boss at the factory, said. “At work, you have to do what the factory demands.”

What do people make of this? Is it the nucleus of genuine workers' self-organization, merely dressed up in the self-serving rhetoric of its instigators, or is it no more than the rallying of workers to one side of the nationalist struggle by appeal to economistic concerns?

teh
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May 16 2014 07:33

Ukranian newspaper Korrespondent implies this is a fabrication here and here (poor Google translate). The local authorities and capitalists signed an agreement with separatists to jointly clean up the barricades (as the city is completely under separatist control) and patrol the city. NYT isn't a credible source on much of anything.

RebelRising wrote:
Quote:

Critics say Mr. Akhmetov could have prevented much of the bloodshed in the east if he had taken a strong stance sooner. But his lieutenants say he decided to confront the separatists out of a deep belief that independence, or even quasi-autonomy, would be disastrous for eastern Ukraine. Mr. Akhmetov urged his employees, whose jobs were at risk, to take over the city.

Taking into account the broader coverage of the crisis the first sentence here is racist. Like people give a shit what this thief thinks. Fits the press's whole narrative of people there being simpletons who value "factory discipline" (The New Republic site). They "helped bring down the Soviet Union" to be ruled by their natural leader.

Quote:
Metinvest and DTEK, the metals and mining subsidiaries of Mr. Akhmetov’s company, System Capital Management, together employ 280,000 people in eastern Ukraine, forming an important and possibly decisive force in the region. They have a history of political activism stretching back to miner strikes that helped bring down the Soviet Union. In this conflict, they had not previously signaled their allegiance to one side or the other.

Or by helped bring down the Soviet Union is the NYT referring to "System Capital Management"? The neutrality of his employees seems contradicted by reports of his factories being occupied by separatist employees

What the cretins at the NYT don't emphasize is that Akhmetov is openly advocating the position of the Russian government. Federalization so that local elite run their turf and NATO capital can't colonize the country.

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May 16 2014 09:56

FT (paywalled): Billionaire Rinat Akhmetov seeks more power for Ukraine regions

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Rinat Akhmetov, Ukraine’s richest man, has called for changes to the country’s constitution to give much more power to its regions.
.
It was the multibillionaire’s most forceful intervention in a crisis that threatens to tear Ukraine apart.
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Mr Akhmetov, who sits atop an industrial empire of coal mines, steel works and power stations, rejected attempts by separatists in the eastern part of Ukraine, known as Donbass, to break away and either become independent entities or join Russia. “I strongly believe that Donbass can be happy only in [a] united Ukraine,” he said.
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His comments, made in a televised address, were his most detailed yet on the conflict gripping eastern Ukraine and suggest that the country’s elite could be inching towards a settlement that could de-escalate the crisis.
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They came just hours after Sergei Naryshkin, the Speaker of the Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, backed the idea of holding presidential elections in Ukraine on May 25 – an idea the rebels in the east reject.
[...]
Mr Akhmetov said Ukraine faced four options: the first would leave everything as it is, with Kiev in charge – a model he said had “run out of steam and is not right for the future”.
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The second was for Donetsk to become independent, which he also rejected. “Nobody in the world will recognise it,” he said, adding that the region, one of the most heavily industrialised in Ukraine, would be slapped with huge sanctions and “will not be able to sell or produce”.
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A similar fate would await the region if it was annexed by Russia, he said.
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Under the fourth scenario – which he described as “the only right way, in my view” – Ukraine would amend its constitution and decentralise its government. Regional governments would, according to this model, be elected and not appointed, and local authorities would be “responsible to the people for the present and future”.
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His call comes at a time when much of Ukraine’s political elite is coming around to the idea that decentralisation could help end the country’s political crisis. Ministers are already in the process of drawing up proposals to increase the power of the regions.

Agree with teh that the current Russian strategy looks to be an attempt to put the separatist genie back in the bottle and cut a deal for a federalist constitution (with federal regions having a veto on things like NATO membership, a primary aim) in return for allowing presidential elections to go ahead. Russia don't want NATO on their SW border, but they don't particularly want a messy civil war there, either.

Of course whether they can actually get the genie back in the bottle, is another question altogether.

baboon
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May 16 2014 12:06

"Very good statement" from the AWU says anarchistsolidarity above. It's certainly more careful to avoid explicitly supporting nationalism and imperialism under slogans about the working class but it's essence is still the same. Both sides in the conflict are denounced by the AWU, Kiev for the "incompetence" of its troops (blame the poor, bloody soldiers) and the Russian-supporting fighters of the south-east for their "depravity". Typical imperialist crap - demonise the enemy and it makes it easier to mobilise and fight it.

The AWU makes out that the Kiev "Right Sector" is some sort of ephemeral entity that is "in a state of undercover war against Kiev". There are certainly tensions between different elements of the Ukrainian bourgeoisie, just as there are elsewhere. But it looks to me that the Right Sector is an integral part of the Kiev regime in general and its Interior MInistry in particular. According to Wedenesday's Guardian, the former boss of the Maiden fighting wing, Andrly Parubly, "is now at the heart of Kiev's attempts to counter the rebellion of the east." He is now the boss of Ukraines security forces. The Guardian continues, "Parubly is spearheading atempts to co-opt Maidan activists (into) fighting alongside police, the army and special forces in the east" (including, as we've seen from German intelligence, US forces).. This strategy is risky as the Guaardian suggests: "Some volunteer groups under the official jurisdiction of the Interior Ministry have been accused of leading the deadly violence in Mariupol and Krasnoarmeisk last week that helped to push local people into the arms of the rebels".

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May 16 2014 13:03

An analysis from communisation perspective:

Notes on the “Fascist” state of Ukraine and many more

Quote:
Ukraine does not need an anti-fascist critique but an anticapitalist one:The Ukrainian example shows how vile and barbaric forms can take the bourgeois democracy in order to protect the capital relation,it shows that democracy is no stranger to nationalism or fascism, it shows that democracy is nothing other but the physical capital community and that has no value in itself.
Quote:
The Ukrainian state is attacking and treats the eastern provinces in the most brutal way, while inside the west and center of Ukraine is prevailing bourgeois normality(more or less…). Why is that? Why also the Ukrainian state characterizes the eastern provinces as “terrorists” (sic)? The question must be answered as to bourgeois democracy as the natural political form of state of bourgeois society. Fascism and the loss of democracy come as a historically reply of Capital to a strong working class within one bourgeois csociety, which tends to break or spoil the plans of capital accumulation.In Ukraine we do not have something like that. On the other hand, the eastern Ukraine does not belong to the same bourgeois society(this was and the main contradiction of the Ukrainian state) with the rest of the country-the west- and for this the reason, why as to this “western” government, eastern Ukraine is something else, an externality that must be dealt with. This can be done within a democratic form (with frontline fascist security forces, where else can you find such good killers….) as well as Kiev and the separatists not consider themselves part or component of this one bourgeois society but of another (Russian) and they even raise the flag, they ask for a referendum etc. Thus we see Kiev treats those who resist in the east, as elsewhere are treated the marginalized (those who no longer participating in bourgeois social roles but live in their margin as externalities of circulation of value), the insurgents immigrants or the “foreigners invaders “, the treatment is completely hostile. The democratic state has the “obligation” (although this form of state now it is in crisis in the context of financial capitalism) to be consistent in its own bourgeois society, not the externalities of its. The term “counter-terrorism operations” used by Kiev is quite enlightening to see how the movement of antiMaidan is viewed by the West.
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May 16 2014 13:47

Michael Hudson: The New Cold War’s Ukraine Gambit

diger2
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May 16 2014 16:58

My guess is that, like many others (e.g. John Pilger, Seamus Milne etc..), the 'old left' is exaggerating the US's influence in the Ukraine.

Of course the US would love to be manipulating everything there, but they're are many other very powerful forces in the Ukraine. For more 'balanced' accounts see these articles:

GABRIEL LEVY: http://europe.redpepper.org.uk/why-youre-wrong-about-ukraine/ and:
http://peopleandnature.wordpress.com/2014/05/11/to-citizens-of-ukraine-and-the-world-no-war-in-ukraine/#comments

IMMANUEL WALLERSTEIN: http://www.binghamton.edu/fbc/commentaries/archive-2014/377en.htm

HILLEL TICKTIN: http://www.cpgb.org.uk/home/weekly-worker/1010/failed-transition-and-crisis

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May 16 2014 17:47
Quote:
[...] the 'old left' is exaggerating the US's influence in the Ukraine.

...says the guy who registered two hours ago.

Loren Goldner:

Quote:
The phony made-in-USA orange, etc. ‘revolutions' in Ukraine, Georgia and Serbia were part of the same strategy. The US embassy in Kiev, after all, has 700 employees, and they're not all anthropologists studying Ukrainian folklore.

Spikymike
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May 18 2014 17:30

The Michael Hudson text referred to above is certainly worth a read, and some guesswork aside, does a reasonable job of exposing the US/EU strategy in relation to the ex-Soviet client states but I can't help feeling it ends up politically advancing the cause of the Russian state as the lesser and weaker imperialism. Perhaps worth reading together with the short Hillel Tickten article which seems to make some valid observations without our having to agree with his particular classification of the old Soviet Union or other of his 'neo-trotskyist' ? analysis. Will get round to the Loren Goldner piece later.

ajjohnstone
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May 19 2014 04:16

The 3rd Way?? Perhaps as another blog-post from the website seems to suggest - NEITHER KIEV NOR MOSCOW but perhaps a trip to this protest might clarify their position:-

SOLIDARITY WITH UKRAINIAN MINERS
FRIDAY 23 MAY, 4:30 pm
EVRAZ PLC,
6 ST. ANDREW STREET
LONDON
EC4A 3AE
(TUBE: CHANCERY LANE)

The miners of Kryviy Rih, members of the Independent Union of Miners of Ukraine, are appealing for solidarity to the workers of Europe. Whilst attention has been focused on the conflict in Ukraine the social-economic crisis is being overlooked.

· Workers real wages have fallen by up to 50% as the cost of living has risen,
· Miners have received only 15% of their actual pay rates,
· A promised pay rise for miners of 20% turned into a £25 hand-out,

The mining company EVRAZ they work for is based in London. It is owned by the Russian Oligarch Abramov, he is worth $7.5 billion. These oligarchs who helped cause the crisis in Ukraine, pay slave wages whilst making vast profits. They pay almost no tax, putting their wealth abroad in the City of London.

The Miners of Kryviy Rih are fighting back and are setting an example to all workers in Ukraine. The miners defence brigades have ensured peace and workers unity in Kryviy Rih and prevented any violence.

The miners are organising strike action to demand their wages are doubled and are calling for help to win their demands. Ukrainian Socialist Solidarity is a campaign set up by socialists and trade unionists in England.

Show your support for the mineworkers of Ukraine. Come to the emergency demo, bring union banners and flags.
Send messages of solidarity to the Kryviy Rih miners at: profikr@i.ua

VIA

http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2014/05/18/miners-of-kryviy-rih-show-the-way-forward-in-ukraine/

ajjohnstone
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May 19 2014 06:50

On further investigation i note that the Ukrainian Socialist Solidarity is another usual suspect front of the SP/SWP/WL and some of the rest of the Trot left.

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Devrim
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May 19 2014 07:35
ajjohnstone wrote:
On further investigation i note that the Ukrainian Socialist Solidarity is another usual suspect front of the SP/SWP/WL and some of the rest of the Trot left.

Wasn't it the Ukrainian left who ran a scam a few years back pretending to sign up to every 'international' going as the local section?

Devrim

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May 19 2014 08:00
Devrim wrote:
ajjohnstone wrote:
On further investigation i note that the Ukrainian Socialist Solidarity is another usual suspect front of the SP/SWP/WL and some of the rest of the Trot left.

Wasn't it the Ukrainian left who ran a scam a few years back pretending to sign up to every 'international' going as the local section?

Devrim

Yup