Protests in Ukraine

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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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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?

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May 29 2014 21:41

from a source in Ukraine about the strike:

Quote:
Today one of our comrades visited the mine 'Oktyabrsky rudnik' near Donetsk airport. The news that miners of this mine were the first who have risen up for a strike against 'anti-terrorist operation' - confirmed. And the strike was started as a lower initiative of miners themselves and not 'under pressure of masked men from Donetsk Peoples republic' as stated the head of the pro-government so-called 'Independent Trade-union of miners' M. Volynets.
The situation is as followws: On May 26 when Ukrainian army started bombardment of the city - the miners could not go to mines since the risk for miners to be buried in mines in results of strikes and shelling - is too high. This factor contributed to the start of a strike that was immidiately and spontaniously supported by other mines. In result on May 28 there started a protest rally of miners initiated by miners themselves but not by any administartion or authorities.
baboon
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May 31 2014 18:28

I'm not at all sure about these strikes in eastern Ukraine and the idea that the initiative came from the workers themselves, from "below". There was a meeting the night before the stiike between separatists and some union leaders. It is quite possible that there was an initiative from the workers but this doesn't necessarily make it a positive development for the class struggle. It's the content of any strike that's all-important and not the form it takes. Unfortunately there is a history of the miners in Ukraine supporting one capitalist faction or the other that goes back a long way. There's even been strikes of miners on one side against miners on strike on the other. The demands of the miners in the east, against "fascism" and for the "withdrawal of Ukrainian troops" (given the state of the Ukrainian army rank and file, a call to fraternise might have been positive) and no mention of the pro-Russian paramilitaries that have brought their fair share of grief to the general population must give cause for concern. I can understand the workers being against this particular "war on terror" and the destruction that it is bringing about but there are two sides in this proxy imperialist war and a denuciation of both would be positive for the working class everywhere. I wouldn't want to put too much store by them, but interviews that I've seen with miners and other workers around the east, have stressed that they are going to be fucked over by either side or the whole situation. While these are minority, anecdotal views they do have a ring of authenticity about them. It will be dangerous for the working class to be mobilised by one side or the other - but, and never say never, it does look to me like this is happening.

On a general level workers' strikes are not necessarily positive for the working class. During the 60's and 70's in Britain for example, unions would call their workers out at a moments notice in order to assert their own authority against a particular boss or the state. I and thousands of others were given immediate notice to strike by the unions on the Upper Clyde in the 60's. No one wanted a strike, no one voted for it and we all trooped out the shipyards like idiots obeying orders, losing money and overtime. Everyone was pissed off. This sort of "action", which took place up and down Britain, enabled the bourgeoisie to effect the old "left/fight game" but it was an argument between one part of the state and another and we just the foot soldiers.

Similarly, some eastern bloc countries used their unions to confront growing protests against their regimes. Romania was one example where the unions armed miners with clubs and sent them against protesting students and other workers. There were strikes in Britain in the 60's and 70's supporting racism and often led by Stalinist/LP-affiliated union leaders: the London docks and the meat market in particular (though the dockers redeemed themselves later, striking in support of the health workers that were mainly black). And then there is the example of the 100% worker involved Ulster Workers' Council strike that was totally reactionary.

I wouldn't rule out a proletarian movement arising in Ukraine - the recent strikes in Bosnia and beyond show how the class struggle emerges in hard conditions - but ii is very difficult given the conditions and the weight of imperialims.

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May 31 2014 19:47

Yeah, baboon, seriously WTF are you on about? You could look at just about every country in the world and point to UK state-linked NGOs meeting with people in wage which put forward UK government policy. Why on earth are you singling out "the Jews" and Israel here?

S2W
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Jun 1 2014 22:39

Tomorrow "leftist" AntiMaidan/pro Putin event in London, go trollin:

http://t.co/ciPBfi8Uv9

anarchistsolidarity
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Jun 2 2014 02:47

I tried raising some points, but got bombarded with rhetoric such as "useful idiot anarchists,","pseudo- socialists", slanderers etc.
Not mentioning them putting up a picture of Polish fascists from Falanaga organisation that recently joined fighting and presenting them as "internationalists" that came to help People's Republic against evils of ukrainian fascisms. Couldn't fucking make that up!

anarchistsolidarity
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Jun 2 2014 03:01

http://nihilist.li/2014/05/22/constitution-donetsk-people-s-republic-russian-nationalism-clericalism-capitalism-die-verfassung-der-volksrepublik-donezk-russischer-nationalismus-klerikalismus-und-kapitalismus/ good description of "Peoples Republic" constitution.

baboon
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Jun 2 2014 15:58

What the fuck I'm talking about above Steven is the situation in Ukraine and the proxy war going on between the US and Russia. I thought that one interesting component of the situation in Ukraine is that the weak US-backed Kiev regime appears to be using Israeli forces in the east. Ocelot asked for some clarification on this and I gave it. IDF forces in easten Ukraine indicate to me a weakness in the Kiev regime. IDF forces, incidentally, are also active in Nigeria and other parts of Africa. We know that US special forces and mercenaries are at work in Ukraine and I imagine that British forces, among others, are there as well. On the Russian side it appears that Chechen forces are involved.

anarchistsolidarity
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Jun 2 2014 23:25

Well, so far I haven't seen any concrete proof of US mercenaries working in Ukraine (not saying it's not happening of course, after all with Yanks everything is possible). How do we "know" that? Can you point me to some proof? Chechen forces on Russian side can be confirmed by lots of footage from recent days and they are not hiding their involvement much.

baboon
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Jun 3 2014 11:47

Anarchistsolidarity, posts 228 and 229 from jonthon and myself respectively link to information that's just as clear, if not clearer, on the role of US forces in Ukraine than that of the Chechens. The sources are Euobserverm, 12.5.14, and Der Speigal, Aprile 29. Sources from German intelligence are also quoted. You yourself followed these two posts with post number 230. Maybe you didn't see them or have forgotten reading them?

Just an interesting incidental (in the scheme of imperialist warfare in Ukraine) regarding the role of forces involved is that of a veteran commander of the Givam IDF Brigade (notorious for its role in "Operation Cast Lead" in Gaza, 2008/9). This apparantly Ukrainian ex-IDF soldier, going under the alias "Delta", along with several IDF veterans, took part in the military wing of action of Maidan taking their orders from Svobada. See Haaretz, 28.2.14 and Global Research 3.3.14.

anarchistsolidarity
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Jun 3 2014 14:54

Hm, article in press with no other evidence so far versus Chechens being there on video, clear as a day saying who they are (and also Chechens are far more obvious than some mercenaries . I still think that one article in press is hardly a concrete proof.

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Jun 3 2014 20:35

deleted, double post

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Jun 3 2014 23:48

As good Ukrainian citizens AWU (ACT) participated during the EUromaidan in Kharkov to raise some "awareness" among nationalists (pictures from their own website). Any idiot with some national flag coming that close to an anarchist in Greece would immediately be sent to the next hospital without compromise.

http://avtonomia.net/2014/06/02/podderzhka-krymskih-politzaklyuchyonnyh-na-harkovskom-veche/

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Jun 3 2014 21:55
subprole wrote:
As good citizens AWU (ACT) participated during the Euromaidan in Kharkov to raise some "awareness" among nationalists (pictures from their own website). Any idiot with some national flag coming that close to an anarchist in Greece would immediately be sent to the next hospital without compromise.

sorry, but this is patently ridiculous. You can find pictures of demonstrations all over the world were anarchist/socialist or alongside people holding their national flags. You know about Hungary 56, right? The main flag carried by workers then was the national flag.

National flags were also frequently present during the recent riots in Brazil, in which anarchists took part:

are you saying that you would have "hospitalised" them? roll eyes