Protests in Ukraine

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subprole
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May 19 2014 11:54

From the worst type of social democrats...

Quote:
Appeal of the Kryviy Rih Basin miners to the workers of Europe

[...]

As a result we have no option but to demand an immediate doubling of the real wage in the interests of preserving social peace in this country.

[...]

At the same time we are demanding that the authorities officially recognise the miners’ self defense and the arming of miners’ brigades. Organised workers and workers’ self defense are precisely that stabilising factor which can effectively prevent the escalation of violence in Ukraine. In those places where organised workers are controlling the situation mass actions never turn into mass killings. The workers defended the Maidan in kryviy Rih. The workers did not allow any violence when they took under their control the situation in the city of Krasnodon during the recent general strike there.

[...]


http://observerukraine.net/2014/05/12/appeal-of-the-kryviy-rih-basin-miners-to-the-workers-of-europe/

baboon
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May 19 2014 21:04

I don't think that identifying Russia as the weaker imperialism and describing a Ukrainian-based US assault against Russian interests means that one supports Russia at all. Both are facts. I think that earlier in the year a diplomatic and foreign policy initiative (imperialism) by the Russian state precipitated this particular crisis and provoked the western response. The postion of the AWU, for example, is to totally deny the US offensive while denying the specific role of Ukrainian imperialism (as weak as it is) within it.

Things have changed of course since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. But imperialism hasn't - or only in appearances as in the New Great Game. NATO was ending the 1980's with a strategy of "Forward Defence" - its aim was the complete encirclement of Russia, the placement of missiles and the deployment of troops in sensitive areas and the use of fighter jets and bomber sorties right up and occasionally across its borders. Essentially I think a similar strategy from NATO is at work in Ukraine and other local states today.

Anyone can say "Neither Kiev or Moscow"; the AWU, the Ukrainian Socialist Solidarity. The SWP had on its masthead the slogan: "Neither Washington nor Moscow" which, more accurately should have been "Either Washington or Moscow" because they always, sometimes "critically", came down in support one or the imperialist blocs in moments of tension or war.

There was an official on TV last night, I think he was talking on behalf of the EU, saying that 3 questions needed to be answered about the tragedy in Odessa. From memory they were: how did the people get into the building? What were they doing there? Why didn't the police stop them? Notice the missing question? That's the sort of shit news we're getting on mainstream British TV. One day after the snipers shot and killed several people in Kiev, a whole team of British agents were at work on the streets measuring trajectories, determining distances and finding out where the shots were fired from.

anarchistsolidarity
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May 20 2014 01:11

New AWU statement- spot on as usual (althoutgh of course I am waiting for intevitable accusations of "supporting ukrainian nationalism" etc.) http://avtonomia.net/2014/05/14/regime-kyiv-junta-east-awu-kyiv-statement-conflict-eastern-regions/

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May 20 2014 15:17

As a parrot of AWU "anarchistsolidarity" should have noticed that he already posted this text here 5 days ago and there has been a reply: http://libcom.org/forums/news/protests-ukraine-02122013?page=7#comment-538280

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May 20 2014 11:48

Followed sub-prole's link and found all sort of confused ideas there. I once mentioned on the thread the German experience of the National Bolsheviks ...i didn't expect to read about the National Communists sad

http://observerukraine.net/2014/05/19/behind-the-lines-ukrainian-leftists-in-the-donbas/

Quote:
We are national communists because we are at one and the same time left nationalists and anti-authoritarian communists.
We are nationalists because the main value for us is the nation, because we are fighting for the national liberation of the peoples of the world from imperialism and globalisation.
We are communists because our social and political ideal is communism – the classless and stateless society of free people.
At the same time we oppose chauvinist and bourgeois pseudo-nationalist theories, and we don’t lean towards the Soviet practice of building a state capitalist empire under the flag of communist ideas.
We are convinced that only in a free communist society can we gain independence for the Ukrainian nation and for other nations. We believe that only in a sovereign Ukrainian republic will we be able to consolidate the gains of the Social Revolution.

I also see why some left nationalists in Scotland would be sympathetic to that contradictory rhetoric.

And the naivity in this interview was astounding

Quote:
How should socialists and communists in the West respond to Ukraine, how can we support Ukrainian workers?
There are many ways. Assistance in training for street fighting, and with funds…. And the readiness of the left in Europe to rise up for socialism in their own countries.
ajjohnstone
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May 20 2014 11:59

And not only that , but one of the actual instigators of the spam was brought to the UK to address a meeting in Parliament.

Quote:
Monday 10th March 6pm, Committee Room 6 House of Commons A discussion on the unfolding crises in Ukraine, with expert eye-witness reports from Mr Zakhar Popovych of the left opposition and Volodymr Ischenko of the Commons Journal of Social Criticism

Zakhar Popovych was one of the key figures of the notorious scandal around the Ukrainian branch of the CWI "Workers Resistance" in 2003.

John McDonnell, the Labour MP who sponsored the Ukraine meeting in the House of Commons, was alerted about this Popovitch character but i'm not sure what happened in the end

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May 20 2014 12:10
Quote:
Followed sub-prole's link and found all sort of confused ideas there. [...] ...i didn't expect to read about the National Communists

Just to clarify one thing: this is a pro-Maidan website and these "national communists" also fully support the nationalist Maidan movement as they openly said themselves in this interview.

baboon
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May 20 2014 17:26

Anarchistsolidarity can keep posting the same "spot-on" text from the AWU but it won't get any better. In the link provided by subprole in post 247, we've already shown, contrary to the AWU, that the Right Sector is no ephemeral force, a factor among many. The head of Ukraine's National Security and Defence Council, Andriy Parubiy (former commander of the Maidan protest fighting wing), was the founder of the neo-fascist Social National Party of Ukraine with the leader of the far-right Svoboda, Oleh Tyahnybok in the early 1990's. This is not an ephemeral individual but the boss of Ukraine's security forces and he could only be such with the approval of the US. It's chaotic and there are all sorts of warlords involved (I believe that the political set up in Kiev is somewhat akin to a second-rate African republic), but Parubiy and his interior ministry is recruitiing and sending fighting forces from Kiev to the east: "Parubiy is spearheading attempts to co-opt Maidan volunteers to ... fight in the east" (Guardian, May 14). In one incident a week ago, a volunteer battalion arrived and opened fire on an unarmed crowd in Krasnoarmeisk killing two civilians (Guardian, May 16). The article further describes a senior military official from Kiev as describing civilians as "pigs" and dismisses their casualties. This sort of language is similar to that used by the AWU with its description of "depravity" in the east.

In the meantime the UN has complained to the Kiev regime about its use of UN marked helicopter gunships in sorties in the east. At least 3 Mi-24 strike helicopters have been used as well as one Mi-8. The Russian journalists who took the pictures and broke the story have been arrested by the Kiev authorities for "aiding terrorist groups". Over a week ago the New York Times was reporting that the Ukrainian army had used heavy machine guns, 120mm mortars and tanks against towns in the east.

.The Guardian above (16th) also reports a senior element in the Kiev state as moaning about the uselessness of regular Ukrainian troops saying that they only joined the army "to get a flat". This sort of criticism, of troops not wanting to fight, is clearly echoed by the AWU in its description of the Ukrainian army as "incompetent" (see above). A "spot-on " observation that shows the AWU support for an efficient Ukrainian military machine.

Press TV - the Iranian BBC - reports today that attacks have intensified on Slavyansk and Kramatorsk, with fighter jets buzzing the towns all night.

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Steven.
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May 20 2014 17:36
baboon wrote:
This sort of criticism, of troops not wanting to fight, is clearly echoed by the AWU in its description of the Ukrainian army as "incompetent" (see above). A "spot-on " observation that shows the AWU support for an efficient Ukrainian military machine.

By what logic do you deduce that?

If you say something is "incompetent" it means you support the institution, but want it to be better? Because I have previously described the Labour Party as incompetent, so by your logic does that mean I want the Labour Party to be an "efficient machine"?

baboon
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May 20 2014 20:52

The context in the text was "Army incompetence on one side and the combatant's depravity on the other add to the losses". The "combatants" of course end up being a majority of civilians, some of who have already been killed, along with some Ukrainian forces, and now many in the south east are living in fear from the "anti-terrorist operation". . I don't think it tenuous to link this idea of the "combatants" to the AWU's somewhat abrupt dismissal of the Odessa murders in which ordinary people were killed.

But that's a minor point I think.

baboon
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May 20 2014 21:08

Just a thought or two on the question of the "competence" of the Ukrainian army. It clearly doesn't want to fight for the "cause" in any great way. This factor, without overestimating it, can only be a "good thing" in that this unwillingness to be mobilised in numbers has so far kept the death toll down and the slaughter from spreading. It was evident in the early days of the Crimean annexation that ordinary Ukrainian soldiers did not want to fight.I would think that there was a number of desertions. There's a move in Kiev to bring conscription back but in the meantime the US is backing the Kiev security ministry for its actions in the east.

teh
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May 21 2014 03:25

Terrorists of DPR decide to take away Akhmetov’s factories
_

Google translate of Russian tabloid with statement:

Quote:
We further can not and do not intend to restrain the aspirations of the people of Donetsk - said Pushilin. - We are starting the process of nationalization of enterprises in the territory of the republic. All these years the local oligarchs robbed the laboring population of Donbass
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May 21 2014 14:42

Leftists orgasming in 3... 2... 1...

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FatherXmas
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May 21 2014 20:34

RT reported yesterday that the Ukrainian parliament voted for the "immediate withdrawal of troops from the country's east". http://rt.com/news/160224-ukraine-troops-withdrawal-constitution/

I was able to locate the document in question but I do not read Ukrainian. http://dt.ua/POLITICS/verhovna-rada-pidtrimala-memorandum-miru-i-zlagodi-tekst-143598_.html

I was wondering if someone could confirm if the document does indeed say what RT is claiming. If so this is pretty big news and none of the Western media outlets are reporting it.

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FatherXmas
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May 21 2014 20:42

Here is another link with a different document. Don't know why it would be different:

http://www.newsru.ua/ukraine/20may2014/regioni.html

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FatherXmas
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May 21 2014 20:59

Ok looks like I've found an answer to my question. It appears that the wording about the withdrawal of troops from the east was not included in the final document, hence the two different versions. So RT's report is mistaken and quite misleading.

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May 22 2014 14:45

If anyone can penetrate the fog of misinformation around the whole Akhmetov - Pushilin - Girkin/Strelkov situation, by all means post up a link.

baboon
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May 24 2014 14:22

It's difficult to get to the bottom of clashes yesterday around a check-point outside of Donetsk. This is the nature of things as clashes are carried out by various militias, in this case the Russian-leaning "Patriotic forces of Donbass" and the pro-Kiev, "Donbass battalion". In the New Straits Times today a report identifies one Semen Semenchenko as the "Donbass battalion" commander who was on the spot. This is the same Semenchenko who was interviewed by the Guardian (16.5.14) outside of the town of Mariupol and said that many of the civilians involved "were paid to be there.. and referred to them as 'pigs'"."Pigs", "depraved", this is the language of one side in the this proxy war between two major imperialisms, and is matched by similar brutalising language on the other.

It seems to be that the Kiev regime and its US backers are relying more on these armed gangs directed by the Parabuy's National Security and Defence Council, rather than regular Ukrainian troops. The Observer of March 16, over two weeks after Russia's Crimea annexation, reported that in the first few days during and after the event, 70% of Ukrainian troops left their posts. Even if some of them went over to Russian control that's quite a significant number of troops refusing to fight and I'm not surprised that the AWU hasn't mentioned it.

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May 27 2014 16:19

Donbass coalminers go on open-ended strike to demand troop withdrawal from region

Spikymike
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May 28 2014 10:30

subprole,

What do you make of this brief news story you have linked from the pro-Russian Government website (the other side to the BBC)? I know that potentially radical working class strikes and larger movements always start with a minority but ''six miners'! and a self-declared 'separatist' government official announcement? This seems to lack the caution better expressed by baboon on the other thread and surely doesn't help us find our way any better through the fog of misinformation and propaganda around the events in the Ukraine?

Having said that some other interesting snippets appear on that site.

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May 28 2014 11:51

Unfortunately this was the only English article I found at this time. And I rather doubt they meant "six miners" but workers from six coal mines.

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May 28 2014 13:02

Marx's last stand: Eastern Ukraine (complete article)

Quote:
But what about the heavily industrialised Ukrainian east? Those who think that it is Russia that pulls it back are deeply ignorant of the complexity of the region. The Donbas Region, which comprises 10 percent of Ukraine's population and produces 25 percent of Ukrainian exports, is inhabited by Russian-speaking people who work in mines, steel plants, and machinery factories, and who have a less cheerful view of Westernisation. [...] The pro-Western Ukrainian government has done very little to dispel the fears of Donbas working class, be they ethnically Ukrainian, Russian, Armenian or Hungarian. Maybe the fanatics from western Ukraine can feed themselves on their hatred of all things Russian, but the working men and women of Donetsk, Lugansk, or Kharkiv need bread and butter on their tables. These staples are slipping away, however, as it is becoming more and more obvious that the price of gas will go up, that Russia will stop buying their products, and that the West will close their factories.
baboon
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May 28 2014 13:18

Yahoo News today reports that the Jewish Agency, an Israeli NGO funded by US institutions, has been active in Donestk in assisting Jewish families who want to get out. The Agency has been to Donestk and brought some families back to Kiev.

There have been several reports over the last months, that talks have taken place at the diplomatic level between Right Sector US-backed elements in Kiev ministries and Israeli officials including its ambassador to Ukraine. These reports, and the one above from Yahoo today, tend, I think, to support the idea that Israeli special forces are "on the ground" assisting US-backed forces (Israeli special forces reach is becoming ever-wider such as those presently in Nigeria assisting the US in the new "scramble for Africa" against a growing Chinese presence).

The BBC reports today on a denial from the Chechen leader that his forces are involved in Donestk - a claim from Kiev that may or may not be true. There is no news coverage from the BBC about any possible Israeli involvement.

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May 28 2014 13:31

Where have these other reports appeared? Otherwise it seems a bit of a stretch from the 'extraction' activities of the Jewish Agency to IDF special forces assisting Kievan forces against the separatists in the East.

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May 28 2014 13:58

from another 'pro-government' website:
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/28/miners-russia-rally-donetsk
http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2014/may/28/ukraine-miners-march-against-kiev-donetsk-video

baboon
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May 28 2014 20:25

The reports appeared in the mainstream press, Guardian etc. but, funnily enough, one is unable to access them - they seem to have disappeared. I probably did not put in the correct reference.

In the meantime try Wordpress.com, 26.2.14: "Ukrainian neo-nazis meet with the Israeli ambassador"; AJC (Global Jewish Advocacy) "Delegation meets with PM in Kiev" (also meets with security boss, Foreign MInistry and the US ambassador in Ukraine" and "Jewish Daily Forward of March 7, "Israeli Envoy Meets with Ukrainian 'anti-Semite' Dmitry Yarosh".

I don't for one moment think that an Israeli "NGO", on the ground in eastern Ukraine wouldn't comprise of Israeli special forces. And it is clear that senior Israeli officials have met with security elements of the US-backed Kiev regime.

I will return to the question of the BBC and its specific anti-working class role and defence of British imperialism on another thread.

baboon
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May 28 2014 20:29

Oh, and here's another from the good old reliable BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-27173857

baboon
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May 29 2014 13:39

The situation is becoming ever more chaotic and dangerous: shells from the Ukrainian army hitting schools in Slavyansk; a Ukrainian helicopter shot down killing 14 troops including a general; over a hundred "rebels" killed in Donestk; 80 Ukrainian troops in Lugansk surrendering to pro-Russian paramilitaries; civilian casualties gradually increasing and being drawn into the melee as are striking miners in an ambiguous "open-ended action".

I know I've posted a couple of times on the turn here but I want to continue my reply to Steven and ocelot.

You don't have to speak Ukrainian to clearly see that the present regime in Kiev is a lash-up of the most shaky kind: out and out crooks; oligarchs; bitter political rivals; urban warlords; outside proxies and an army that's more or less disintegrating.

Similarly, you don't have to live in Kiev to know for sure, for absolute certainty, that new economic storms are about to hit bringing in their wake even more austerity for the great masses of people.

But a few words more on the Jewish Agency (which has been "active" in Donetsk) which I think is interesting for showing, not a US/Jewish "conspiracy" - an idea I don't agree with - but for revealing real imperialist developments on the ground whatever language you speak and wherever you live. Within a regime like that of Kiev you can easily see how it needs help from anywhere and while the US has been at the forefront of propping up this regime in its confrontation with Russia, other imperialisms have worked their way in including that of Israel.

This is from the Jewish Agency's website: It was "... instrumental in founding and building the state of Israel and continue(s) to serve as the main link between the Jewish state and Jewish communities everywhere"... "The Jewish Agency continues to be the Jewish world's first responder...", it "works in communities around the world" and undertakes "Educational experiences in the IDF" Its leadership includes ex-Israeli cabinet members, US Cornell and Harvard graduates, ex-CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. I make this point because this organisation is clearrly not a bunch of sandle-wearing do-gooders wandering here and there willy-nilly but a force for Israeli imperialism and, by their own admission, they are active in Ukraine. They have a diplomatic veneer of course - all spying and special forces agencies do - but it is a real material force for Israeli imperialism that is active in Ukraine (as it is in other places).

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May 29 2014 14:16

Idk Baboon, it just seems like there's no real point to talking about what the Jewish Agency might be up to in Ukraine. Yes it is possible that they are a hub for Israeli imperialism in Ukraine, Israel did fund Milosevic while the U.S. was funding the KLA and has therefore proven its ability to act independently on issues regarding Eastern Europe, but who knows what they're doing and we are on the precipice of entering a protracted argument on this subject for no reason.

proletarian.
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May 29 2014 21:06

I think it is crucial to highlight what various agencies of the ruling class get up to. It helps dispel the democratic myth. There is always a real point in talking about what is really happening. On the other hand, a running commentary not too dissimilar to bourgeois media without practical action of some kind is relatively pointless, What might be useful ,is some thinking towards what could be possible in the given circumstances. But then isn't that always the case?