Ukraine after Yanukovych: 50 shades of brown - Autonomous Workers Union

Ukraine after Yanukovych: 50 shades of brown - Autonomous Workers Union

Ukrainian anarchist analysis of the situation following the overthrow of Yanukovych, pointing out that the opposition in power alongside fascist groups will not improve the lot of the working class.

The overthrow of the authoritarian regime of Yanukovych by no means signifies for us the end of our fight.

New dictators hasten to take the place of the Party of Regions. They will not hesitate to rely not only on considerably weakened security agencies, but on the far right militants as well. The regime of police and prosecutorial arbitrariness deserved its overthrow unconditionally, but now there may come a time for a new terror that will justify itself ideologically.

At the moment, the main power is concentrated in the hands of the opposition party “Batkivshchyna” (“Fatherland”) , which has managed to rally a substantial part of the ruling class. Its leader, recently released from prison Yulia Tymoshenko, has obvious presidential ambitions. It should be remembered though, that when Tymoshenko’s sentence was pronounced, the rally in her support in Kiev gathered no more than five thousand people, and all the mass demos of this party had to use paid-for extras. Batkivshchyna as well as the Party of Regions has virtually no serious grassroot support or activist base, but it has large enough material resources.

In order to stay in power, Yulia Tymoshenko’s team will have to appease the far rightists, the Right Sector in particular. Two such attempts have already been made – the fascists who had been imprisoned in cases not related to the Maidan were released after the enactment of the according law in the Parliament. New Interior Minister Arsen Avakov has promised to introduce representatives of the RS in his ministry. Now we’ll be able to call the cops “Nazis” with a good reason. But Batkivshchyna is clearly frightened of such a passionate and uncontrolled element in power. So they will try to get the far-right on the hook, not only by buying but also by tying them with blood. Right Sector dreams of settling old accounts with subcultural anti-fascists, so they were carefully supplied with the Security Service or police dossiers containing personal data. Probably in the near future the authorities will close their eyes to violence against the left or racist attacks, but will recall it a few months later, when they will need an excuse to reign in the uncomfortable allies.

Right Sector leads its own game, and has been doing so for long enough. Today its leader Dmitry Jarosh claims entry into power at a very high level, as a deputy prime minister for law enforcement agencies. At the same time, as reported by the journalist Mustafa Nayem, according to the records found in the Presidential Administration, Yarosh was communicating with Yanukovych or his representatives on February 20. Even before that, on January 28 the negotiations between the Right Sector and Security Service / Ministry of Internal Affairs were officially announced. A day later representatives of the right let this fact slip, declaring “the desire to join the negotiation process.” Probably such negotiations actually has been taking place since much earlier, especially when one considers the background of all the organizations that were a part of “Right Sector”: “Tryzub” (“Trident”) as well as SNA, and “Bely Molot” (“White Hammer”) have in various forms actively interacted with politicians from both system parties, and with the security forces since the 90s – 2000s.

“Svoboda” (“Freedom”) Party is a competitor for both Batkivshchyna and RS equally. The latter will actively infringe on Svoboda electorate and by the time of the election the standoff between these political forces will escalate. Now Svoboda has a chair in the prosecutor’s office. It is symbolic, because the cops and prosecutors always work closely and at the same time hate each other; their interests are very similar, but occasionally come into conflict. This is the type of relationship that exists between Svoboda and Right Sector.
Security Service is headed by Nalivaychenko who already held the post under President Yushchenko. Chief security officer of the country is famous not only for the posthumous prosecution of Joseph Stalin for the Holodomor (which looks like a particularly dark joke), but also the fight against “Kremlin-sponsored terrorist organization Antifa.” After losing his job, Nalivaychenko worked with the ultra-right (including future Svoboda activist Eugene Karas, known under the pseudonym “Vortex”), trying to create a movement “Otpor”, but this project was not successful.

At the same time, in the regions that have not yet submitted to the new government, but renounced Yanukovych, their own fascist sentiments are ripening. The Party of Regions representatives, who failed to join the parliamentary majority, establish blocks with pro-Russian far-rightists and Stalinists. Imperialists and Stalinists, Cossacks and Orthodox fanatics – all together fight against the often imaginary Banderovites, meanwhile cracking down on journalists and human rights activists. Brown center is confronted by at least as brown regions. The only difference is the historical tradition to which they appeal. All of them will focus on their “fight for traditional values”, appealing to the social partnership and at the same time slashing social expenditures.

We take no side in the conflict between the Ukrainian and the Russian nationalists. But many protesters against the regime of Yanukovych will be dissatisfied with both the rapacious policies of Batkivshchyna, which will hit the pocket of workers, and the “national revolution” of Right sector and Svoboda, which will try to take away the remnants of human rights and freedoms. It is these people who are indifferent to the ultra-right and critical of the system opposition, the “disgruntled members of the Maidan,” who can soon fill the ranks of the left and anarchists.

AWU-Kiev, 24.02.2014
From http://avtonomia.net/2014/02/27/fifty-shades-brown/

Posted By

Steven.
Feb 28 2014 17:53

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eccarius
Feb 28 2014 21:48

Where is the left in all this? Sitting at home, waiting for the protestors to become "dissatified" enough to "fill the ranks of the left and anarchists"? Where have these "autonomists" been for the last two months?

Steven.
Mar 1 2014 00:08
eccarius wrote:
Where is the left in all this? Sitting at home, waiting for the protestors to become "dissatified" enough to "fill the ranks of the left and anarchists"? Where have these "autonomists" been for the last two months?

I don't get the accusatory tone of these questions. Where have you been for the last two months? What a pointless question.

Although I must say I think the tone of the final bit of the above article is a bit overly optimistic. Unfortunately I don't think we can ever take for granted people's disillusionment in politicians, as there is always another lot people put their faith in - unless they have the confidence to believe they can run society for themselves. Which is unfortunately very rare…

akai
Mar 1 2014 08:41

What "left" are you talking about? "Left" people in post-Soviet reality are often just another shade of brown. Anarchists were participating in events trying to influence but they are a very small segment of society.

Blast
Mar 1 2014 13:05

Where is the left in all this?

....(Anarchists) trying to organise 'defense forces' but being beaten/run out of the square by the more established (and numerous) right sector. Anarchists did take part in the fighting (as did plenty of people from no particular political background), but were subordinate to Svoboda activists. A grim reality for sure.

....occupying government buildings in Lviv

I believe that the left/anarchists were also responsible for defending hospitalized protestors from further attacks by Berkut

eccarius
Mar 1 2014 15:52
Blast wrote:
Where is the left in all this?

....(Anarchists) trying to organise 'defense forces' but being beaten/run out of the square by the more established (and numerous) right sector. Anarchists did take part in the fighting (as did plenty of people from no particular political background), but were subordinate to Svoboda activists. A grim reality for sure.

....occupying government buildings in Lviv

I believe that the left/anarchists were also responsible for defending hospitalized protestors from further attacks by Berkut

And NONE of this is mentioned in the article, which, I repeat, is written from a totally external perspective, as if the "left" weren't in any way part of the protest.

akai
Mar 1 2014 17:46

Since this article is written by the anarchists who are most directly involved in this, it cannot be said to be written from an "external view". Looks just like a sober view of reality in my opinion, which I appreciate compared to some fighting myth-making.

FatherXmas
Mar 1 2014 22:00

The anarchists in Ukraine are internally divided themselves. They do not present a unified front. So when asking "where is the left?", you have to be more specific. The AWU, as far as I know, did not take part in the fighting due to the issue of having to subordinate themselves to Svoboda and other fascists. However, members did assist in protecting buildings holding injured people to ensure the police didn't haul them off. A group called Narodniy Nabat did take part in the fighting and formed a temporary truce with the fascists. NN has been criticized for this move, while the AWU has been likewise criticized for not being more directly involved in the confrontations. There is also a divide between the so-called "manarchists" (anti-feminist, anti-LGBT "anarchists") and groups like the AWU or Antifascist Ukraine.

Anarchists have been involved in passing out literature, teach-ins, lectures, and of course trying to establish self-defence groups and getting attacked by nazis. Sadly, the left has very little influence over the current situation so they are severely limited as to what they can accomplish. But you can be damn sure they are doing the best they can under these circumstances. They are not a lazy or cowardly bunch by any stretch of the imagination, especially considering that standing up for anarchist ideas in Ukraine could get you beat or worse.

Finally, the picture of the occupation in Lviv is not of anarchists. The group in question is Autonomous Resistance. They are national-anarchists, in other words "crypto-fascists".

eccarius
Mar 2 2014 14:37

Thankyou Santa. Good information.

Blast
Mar 2 2014 18:41
eccarius wrote:
Blast wrote:
And NONE of this is mentioned in the article, which, I repeat, is written from a totally external perspective, as if the "left" weren't in any way part of the protest.

I see, I took your quote to mean 'where is the left *in the protests*'

FatherXmas wrote:
the picture of the occupation in Lviv is not of anarchists. The group in question is Autonomous Resistance. They are national-anarchists, in other words "crypto-fascists".

I didn't realise, I fell for that one.

who here is actually from Ukraine - or can comment from experience rather than media reports?

akai
Mar 2 2014 19:23

Santa, good, simple explanation.

The fact is, in times like this, it is often the case that people are divided about what to do.