Protests in Ukraine

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meerov21
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Jan 24 2014 11:19

yes I think that liberalism is better than fascism

Well, I don't think so. I am against fascism but I'm not anti-fascist

Antifascism as is bourgeois ideology as shown by ultra-lefts and Volin and by FORA- Argentina.

Also i think we need separate the mass requirements of democracy from one side and and liberal politicians\ideologists from another side.

Masses of people are advocating for democracy, try during the revolt of those or other forms, organize themselves. It is a creative experiment, in which the workers are trying to change reality, form the instruments of direct democracy. Their actions are imperfect and many workers are infected with xenophobia and inter-classism. But other workers class does not exist in Eastern Europe. And I don't understand, how can people learn social revolution, not revolting against the regime? So if you want to change something, have to work with these.

On the other hand, Victory of the modern neo-liberal partys does not lead to the expansion of any forms democracy, but it leads to the creation of a repressive police state, mass privatization, unemployment and temporary employment, repressions against illegal immigrants and aggression in the Arab world and Asia. In what way are they so different from modern fascists? Just do they look respectable?

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Entdinglichung
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Jan 24 2014 12:24
iexist wrote:

"After hitler our turn!" Slogan of the KPD

sadly not just them, even among the (council communist) Rote Kaempfer circulated the opinion that the smashing of SPD, KPD and ADGB by the Nazis had paved the way for a rebirth of an anti-authoritarian workers movement ... a realistic view, that the defeat of the workers movement without a struggle in 1933 would be a catastrophic event with serious and longtime consequences was a commonplace only among smaller socialist, communist and anarchist groups

the complementary slogans of the SPD in that period were either "Germany is not Italy" or "Hitler's government will not last one year"

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Entdinglichung
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Jan 24 2014 12:22

two texts I found on International Viewpoint

* Maidan 2013: A Multi-Dimensional Dialectic of Resistance (A View from the Left), a text by Aleksander Buzgalin who was during the 80ies and early 90ies part of socialist dissident circles in the Soviet Union, he is more of a reformist kind but the text provides some good points about contemporary Ukrainian society and politics

* a kind of Transitional Program by some Ukrainian Trotskyists ... not radical enough but too radical to win over other, more moderate forces

meerov21
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Jan 24 2014 17:47

This is blog of ukranian anarchist and member of Autonomous Workers’ Union.
After some protestant have been killed by Yanukovich regim this anarchist write:

"...Or the country will be a real police regime like Belorussian or Russian, or worse, or the power will change... In the epicenter of events is now present on both the left and anarchists. This is not only a matter of conscience, it is a question of political expediency. In this state... there is no place for any of us. Fascism of Party of Regions (Ruling party) is now much more real then fascism of "Freedom" or "Right Sector" " (far-raight groupes, part of opposition)

http://shiitman.net/2014/01/23/pid-brukivkoyu/

I'm not saying that I fully agree with his reasoning.
And this is site of Autonomous Workers’ Union http://avtonomia.net/2014/01/23/awu-statement-current-political-situatio...

confusionboats
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Jan 24 2014 22:39

I am antifascist first and libertarian communist second
liberalism for me is like diet fascism
anyways I don't think that discussion really pertains to this debate

The tactical idea I had was to let the riot cops and fascists duke it out in the streets while the left had time to regroup and organize etcetera

meerov21
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Jan 25 2014 00:34

My full text is here
http://www.libcom.org/forums/news/ukrainian-uprising-24012014

confusionboats
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Jan 25 2014 04:29

I only have one source which is that interview but the political climate at the protests seems to be somewhat repressive. Anarchists and socialists are regarded as provocateurs and/or thought to be working for the ruling party. The CPU is alligned with the Party of Regions and so there is an unfortunate anti-Left sentiment at the site of the protests (although neither the AWU or the Left Opposition there regard them as a genuine left-wing political party http://avtonomia.net/2014/01/18/o-tak-nazy-vaemoj-kommunisticheskoj-part... ) Is it possible at this point to steer the people away from the far-right when as this article claims http://libcom.org/news/neo-nazis-far-right-protesters-ukraine-23012014 they are acting as the vanguard (this is disputed I have seen elsewhere claims that SVOBODA is losing power amongst the people and that most of the protesters are either centrists or liberals or simply in opposition to police repression) If not, I see no option other than splitting off from the right-wing protests somehow.?
-Of course this all to be decided by the Ukranians with whom I am not in contact

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SeanP
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Jan 25 2014 05:50

An interesting blog containing live updates and translations of news reports, etc.

http://maidantranslations.wordpress.com/

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FatherXmas
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Jan 25 2014 18:17

Yatsenyuk and Klitschko have been offered government posts:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-25896786

If I had to hazard a guess, Yanukovych may be attempting to isolate Svoboda and the other far-right groups by drawing the other opposition leaders into government.

confusionboats
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Jan 25 2014 20:58
FatherXmas wrote:
Yatsenyuk and Klitschko have been offered government posts:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-25896786

.

that's not much of a change
hopefully the radical element in the protests wont turn into 'nationalist revolution'
as stated before it looks as if the Madian folks are trying to distance themselves as well

Shotgun Stan
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Jan 26 2014 02:49

My first post here, long time reader (mostly for a wider scope of opinion on various subjects), but I lived in Ukraine for 16 years, still have a lot of connections and have been following events closely, so might be able to contribute for a change. I will try to avoid repeating what has already been covered by the previous contributors.

Ukraine has been in a state of criminal terror instigated by corrupt governments since the fall of Soviet Union. The successive governments' domestic policy was to play pro-Ukrainian North-West against pro-Russian South-East, mirrored by the same foreign policy, using the geopolitical situation to add weight to trade negotiations with Russia and EU.

As a result of the struggle of two nationalist movements taking main stage, there isn't really a viable left on the political scene. Communist Party, while getting a heavy chunk of the vote is considered to be a "pensioners party" on the decline and only young people linked to it are the ones with a hope of a political career.

Ukrainian economy is vastly dependent on the Eastern neighbor and Russia has been growing increasingly frustrated with its inability to exercise its strong position to any reasonable effect. This dependency is real and a total break off of relations will be an economic suicide.

A number of gas-related conflicts have erupted, swinging Russia's internal nationalist opinion heavily against Ukrainians to the point of petty squabbles and name calling in almost all internet debates, full of insults and chauvinistic statements.

Once the cracks in the relationship of pro-Russian Ukrainians and Russians started appearing, the major internal nationalist differences began to matter less and Ukrainian brand of nationalism became prolific. Population is tired of constant abuse of power by the police, municipal officials, courts, impunity of ultra rich people, direct legalized takeover of cooperatively owned institutions, clubs, takeover of public land for private development in picturesque natural reserves.

The lower classes do not want to live in an old way. (Although the word class is misleading in this quote, Lenin has intentionally avoided it in Russian).

As for the elites, - they have lost the ability to effectively play the people off against each other due to the lack of governing skill and not having the traditional internal ethnic tensions to fall back on.

So we have technocratic/plutocratic government in a stand off against a trio of center-right (Klichko/UDAR), right (Yatsenyuk/Bakivshina) and far right (Tyagnibok/Svoboda) who are clearly sponsored and supported by the outside, Western sources. Their aim is taking course on European integration.

Do no get confused, - the only offer on the table from the EU is the trade cooperation agreement. Turkey had signed one in 1963 and they are still being rejected for the full membership with the right of movement, access to labour markets, European Court system and other perks that most Ukrainians really crave.

Ukrainian white supremacist groups like Trident, White Hammer, etc. have formed a group called Right Sector and saw an opportunity for a centre stage of the protest. Even though Euromaidan is a pro-EU protest, Right Sector reject the EU ideas and openly state that their support is only for the purpose of overthrowing the government with further politics taking a different course.

Main bulk of protesters does not care, they are prepared to make a pact with the devil to change the status quo for the sake of change. To the official opposition the Right Sector is useful, they throw rocks and make noise. Without them no one will fight.

Another factor is football hooligans, ultras. All right wing groups of young people not unaccustomed to street fighting or throwing nazi salutes. There was a lot of fuss around them pre Euro 2012 football championship in Poland/Ukraine with BBC documentaries on all sort of nazi behaviour. Never mind that, the official opposition has openly thanked them today on Maidan rally for joining the struggle.

The West is consciously using the right to help them reach the goals. Not much different to using islamists in Libya/Syria. Deal with the problems later.

Last thing I would like to point out that historically slogans that became official in the protest (Glory to Ukraine - Glory to Ukraine, Ukraine above All (a variation on Deutchland uber Alles, Glory to Ukraine - Death to the Enemies) date to WW2 and some very controversial events in Ukrainian history that only 10 years ago were considered extreme and confined to a small corner of Western Ukraine. These days everyone chants them without a second thought.

Time for bed, any questions - I would be happy to oblige.

confusionboats
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Jan 26 2014 21:17

I've seen flags of the Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine and the red and black horizontal flag. One of the anarchists I think was saying that a lot Ukrainians seem to think that Nestor Makhno was a Nationalist. I know the red and black flag was used by Bandera-ists at some point (Ukranian 'Nationalists'). The Wikipedia for Makhno lists him as an Anarchist-Communist. Is there some confusion there as to whether he was a Nationalist. (has he been appropriated by the fascists in some sense?) Or should I read the RIAofU flag as being 'actually' anarchist?

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AES
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Jan 26 2014 22:08

These are not Makhnovist flags. There's no connection. Please read Neo-Nazis and far-right protesters in Ukraine

It seems that some on the far-right Svoboda party of Oleh Tyahnybok occasionally use red and black flags, this is not the first time its been done (see falange Spain etc)

[source: opendemocracy. 'If not you, then who?' Ukraine's choices are conventionally presented in terms of membership of either the EU or the Russian Customs Union but there are other ways forward. Photo cc Ivan Bandura]

confusionboats
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Jan 27 2014 02:54

I know about the horizontal red and black one
thought I saw this one in a video
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:RPAU_flag.svg
re-watched it
turned out not to be that flag
I'm still curious about the Nestor Makhno thing

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Jan 30 2014 00:44

confusionboats, I don't think its so much that Ukrainians think Makhno was a "nationalist" per se. It's well known he was not an ally of Petliura and company. It's more that because Makhno fought against the Whites and Reds, they consider him a national hero, as someone who fought for an "independent Ukraine"; although Makhno would have understood this concept very differently from the nationalists. Nonetheless, its possible some rightists misconstrue Makhno as some kind of out and out nationalist.

Makhno's wife, Galina Kuzmenko, was known to have strong nationalist sympathies, and at various points in the RIAU's history nationalist units did briefly associate with it. But as a rule Makhno himself had only contempt for the nationalist cause.

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FatherXmas
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Jan 30 2014 02:01

Don't know if this statement from KRAS-IWA has been posted yet:

http://eretik-samizdat.blogspot.ca/2014/01/the-declaration-of-kras-iwa-about-power.html

confusionboats
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Jan 30 2014 18:09

http://www.euronews.com/2014/01/28/ukrainian-prime-minister-azarov-and-e...
so is this true?
what happens next?
oh wait
that was from tuesday
I didn't hear anything about the entire government

the reporting on this has ben spotty at best
most of the mainstream press fails to mention the fascist element of the opposition
is it like this with other far-right groups in Europe?

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Alf
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Jan 31 2014 23:09

I agree with the essential point of the KRAS statement - this is above all a power battle between capitalist gangs. For all the social discontent that has poured into it, this dimension has been crushed in a way not very different from what happened in Syria. In our article we emphasise the imperialist contest behind the struggle between factions of Ukrainian capital.

http://en.internationalism.org/icconline/201401/9419/ukraine-russia-s-of...

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Alf
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Jan 31 2014 23:22

The AWU statement seems much less clear. It talks about participating in demonstrations "defending rights and freedoms", always a very dubious formulation. It sees anti-semitism on the government side, but not in the opposition. Unlike another statement I read by a Ukrainian anarcho-syndicalist on a different thread, it doesn't insist on the need for workers to defend their independent class interests.

We have moved a long way from the revolts of 2011 and 2013, when we could really talk about social movements that, for all their weaknesses, were tending to confront the state, and had a strongly proletarian imprint (in particular Tunisia, Egypt, Spain,Israel,the USA, Turkey and Brazil). We are passing through a much more difficult period.

baboon
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Feb 1 2014 13:12

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/02/germ-f01.html for more info on the direct role of Germany in events in Ukraine and more generally on the muscle-flexing of German imperialism.

baboon
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Feb 3 2014 13:12

There seems to be some problem accessing the above page. The article is titled "German government announces the end of its military restraint" and is dated 1.Feb 2014. There's a further article going in the same sense on the same website today, titled "Germany, US push aggressive policies at Munich". Taking account of the WSWS "softness" on Russia's imperialist push, these are still interesting articles for both the situation in Ukraine and wider elements.

Incidentally, though it never really died, the reanimation of German imperialism is mirrored by that of Japan and the intensifying arms race and warlike tensions around the Pacific. The Japanese Prime Minister, rightly in my opionion, recently warned the Chinese that today's situation was very much akin to that period prior to World War I.

Madman Defarge
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Feb 13 2014 21:55

For fuck's sake, libcom:

http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/to-journalists-commentators-and-an...

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Feb 14 2014 03:04

Regarding the above link. Gross oversimplifications are of course counterproductive. No commentators on the left are suggesting that Euromaidan is composed exclusively of neo-nazis/crypto-nazis. There is a diversity of forces in the square, including the far-left. The problem is that the main opposition forces (i.e. Udar and Batkivshchyna) not only tolerate the far-right's presence but they only legitimize it through their alliance with Svoboda. The refusal to distance the movement from fascist forces can only work to acclimatize, and potentially radicalize, the general population (especially youth and non-party aligned people). The above petition is correct that a critical eye needs to be maintained when approaching pro-Russian media, but it betrays its bias by making no mention of Svoboda and its history/agenda. Furthermore, the statement smacks of academic arrogance, imo. It is essentially telling the left to shut up and let the "specialists" do their job , and if we do criticize the presence of the far-right then we must be lackeys of the Kremlin.

Here is an excerpt from an AWU-Kiev statement dated December 6:

Quote:
Meanwhile, we see that the situation at Euromaidan is fully controlled by the far-right. Ultra-nationalist rhetoric has securely crowded out all other topics there; the only slogan known to the protesters is “Hail to the nation, death to the enemies.” Most of the Neo-Nazi militants are controlled by the Svoboda party, but there are also other groups: UNSO, Tryzub, Social-Nationalist Assembly, etc. They are completely tolerated by the so-called “national democratic” opposition. One of the leaders of the Euromaidan, Yuriy Lutsenko, himself used to lead the Interior Ministry for four years, during which time he did nothing to stop police brutality or disband Berkut and other special forces. Instead, he promised to disperse protesting crowds with tear gas and became notorious for racial profiling of individuals of “Non-Slavic” nationalities and for his phrase: “You can call me a racist if you want.” Now at Euromaidan he publicly expressed his concern about the fate of “40 million educated white Christians.” Other opposition leaders also don’t have anything against the far-right. There are not only rallies towards physical violence but also poetry about “Yids” heard from the stage.

And here is a reasoned response to a similar statement from academics: http://www.criticatac.ro/lefteast/support-ukrainians-but-not-far-right/

In other news, it looks like the anarchists at Maidan have taken to forming their own "Left Sector":
http://anarchy.kalarupa.com/2014/anarcho-hundred/#more-531

teh
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Feb 14 2014 04:27

So don't support the far-right, support the conservative right. Why should anyone vaguely leftist support a "pro-European [that is EU] movement." This is what the EU representative to Egypt said today about its new fascist constitution:
EU never saw Morsi toppling a coup, 'worried' about crackdown on [EU funded} youth:

Quote:
"A European Union ambassador to Egypt has voiced concerns about a recent crackdown on young people and journalists [with ties to the EU], but praised the country's new charter as the best in Egypt's modern history.

In remarks made by EU Ambassador James Moran Wednesday, in his first local TV interview after Mohamed Morsi's ouster, the diplomat hailed Egypt's new constitution — overwhelmingly backed in a January referendum — as "very encouraging" and "promising" in the protection of rights and freedoms.

Billing it as "the best in Egypt's modern times," the EU ambassador also praised the charter for giving parliament broader powers, something he said is decisive in establishing democracy.
Speaking of the toppling of Morsi seven months ago, Moran said that the EU has never referred to the move as a "coup," saying that "what happened last year took place on the back of a massive popular uprising.""

Tellingly both Russia and the EU voice support today for the restoration of "stability" in the country.

And -back to the petition- of course what would white power be without racial demagogy about the child races:

Quote:
We also call upon Western commentators to show empathy with a nation-state that is very young, unconsolidated and under a serious foreign threat. The fragile situation in which Ukraine’s nation still finds itself and the enormous complications of everyday life in such a transitional society give birth to a whole variety of odd, destructive and contradictory opinions, behaviors and discourses. Support for fundamentalism, ethnocentrism and ultra-nationalism may sometimes have more to do with the permanent confusion and daily anxieties of the people living under such conditions than with their deeper beliefs.

If that Cold War justification for fascism isn't worring enough the author writes

Quote:
ordinary Ukrainians and high-brow Kyiv intellectuals are concluding that, although surely preferable, non-violent resistance is impractical. Reporters who have the necessary time, energy and resources should visit Ukraine, or/and do some serious reading on the issues their articles address. Those who are unable to do so may want to turn their attention to other, more familiar, uncomplicated and less ambivalent topics.

So while we whip up a civil war you go look the other way.

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Feb 15 2014 00:12

Debate between Stephen Cohen and Anton Shekhovtsov on this topic:

http://www.democracynow.org/2014/1/30/debate_is_ukraines_opposition_a_democratic

S2W
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Feb 15 2014 00:42

http://libcom.org/forums/announcements/disturbances-lecture-series-onlin...

You may ask questions in bambuser chat

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Feb 18 2014 20:17

These photos don't actually do it justice, but it looks like Kiev has just gone nuts in the past 24 hours. 9 deaths, at least, are being reported.

teh
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Feb 18 2014 20:53

Interesting use/appropriation(?) of anarchist/Cossack imagery in the protest square

left one says: "It/this is my land - anarchy"
middle one "[u] won't take us / with naked hands"
roughly speaking

https://twitter.com/zoontangmarg/status/427149857972051968

EDIT:
And here's Mkahno in the middle

And here's the fascists by same artist
and Brevik (advisory warning): http://ic.pics.livejournal.com/ermoha/12700637/82034/1000.jpg

weird cacophony

citation: http://www.strategium.ru/forum/index.php?showtopic=35297

redsdisease
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Feb 18 2014 21:35
teh wrote:
and Brevik (advisory warning): http://ic.pics.livejournal.com/ermoha/12700637/82034/1000.jpg

That's horrifying.

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FatherXmas
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Feb 19 2014 01:18

Any idea what the artist's background is?