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On the situation in Ukraine

Council of KSRD, 3 May 2016


The events of the past 2 years, taking place in Ukraine, have caused a lot of debate. In this regard we must make a fundamental explanation on the basis of proletarian class analysis.

The political regime led by President Viktor Yanukovych emerged in the country in 2010-13. It was characterized by authoritarianism, a high concentration of power in the hands of one political group representing the interests of the largest national financial and industrial corporation called SCM. In fact, the regime has made Ukraine its own private property. Progressive proletarian activists, journalists were disappearing and dying year after year, the working class lived in an atmosphere of fear for their future.

The idea of the agreement on association with the EU was born in the depths of the regime in 2011, primarily aimed at corporate profits of SCM, of its allies and its political superstructure. During 2011-13 the official Kiev conducted intensive negotiations with the European Union, while publicly advocating to strengthen the independence from Russia and its interests. However, as of 2013 the total theft and corruption at all levels of government led to significant imbalances in the economy, which Yanukovych's regime decided to compensate with external debt. But the IMF and other institutions of global finance capital were willing to give money in exchange for the complete submission of the country's own interests. The national bourgeoisie represented by SCM and its allies has not been clearly interested in this and conducted bids with the West, trying to get the most favorable conditions of submission for themselves.

Meanwhile, the economic situation has rapidly deteriorated, and before the signing of the Association Agreement with the EU Kremlin offered an alternative to Kiev, to give up the association and to shift to RF, receiving a low-interest loan of $15 billion. The Yanukovych clique agreed, despite the aggressive massive propaganda of 3 years in favor of `European integration`. Despite all the personal exhortations of European leaders (including German Chancellor Angela Merkel), the agreement was not signed.

This dramatic reversal was an important factor in further developments. That politically active part of society, which positively perceived the pro-European propaganda, could not accept the cynical refusal of the `European vector` by the ruling elite. In Kiev and other major cities they have appeared and begun to grow `euromaidans`, mass demonstrations in support of the `vector`. These performances were immediately supported by Western countries in organizational, financial, political terms, and headed by the right and bourgeois `oppositional` forces, skillfully speculated on the workers` perturbation of Yanukovich clique politics and its crimes.

The regime soon took enforcement actions against these protests, and in 1 month it acquired the character of a struggle against the regime as a whole. Skillful manipulation of the `Maidan leaders`, coupled with the real mood of protest of the masses, led to widening the protests until the overthrow of the regime. These events had in its essence some features of the national democratic revolution against SCM henchmen's oligarchic rule. But it was expected from the right and populist leaders, to immediately seize power in the country in their hands. After 3 months, early presidential elections were won by Petro Poroshenko, one of the largest national `oligarchs`, who just a few years before had not disdained to be a minister in the government of Yanukovych. Now he presented himself as a fighter against the former regime, for the `European future of the country`.

But Russia, locally defeated in the struggle for Ukraine, immediately responded with inspired armed rebellion in the Crimea autonomous region, which from the outset was directly supported by Russian regular troops. The result was a military occupation and de facto annexation of the Crimea which resulted in a sharp deterioration in the living conditions of its population. Furthermore, in March-April 2014, with the help of pre-trained fighters and lying propaganda, Moscow instigated the seizure of public offices in major cities of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. These areas were chosen solely because here the administrative influence of the ousted regime was the highest, almost total. For this reason, local armed forces did not resist those who seized state institutions.

Against this background, the new Kiev authorities have decided to start an `anti-terrorist operation`, ATO, in the Donbass against the pro-Russian rebels. ATO soon encountered the organized resistance, with full supply of all the resources on the part of Russia. By August 2014, the regular part of the Russian Armed Forces came to the Donbass, mostly, so-called battalion tactical groups selected from the wide variety of regular units. By the autumn of 2014 the front line as a whole stabilized and has remained about the same till today. Both sides are building up military forces, pro-Russian rebels receive all kinds of support from Russia, and their military units are commanded by Russian Armed Forces current officers.

Thereby, our working people became a victim of the struggle of different imperialist centers over influence on Ukraine and its resources. On the one hand, workers of the main part of the country are exposed to the official propaganda, distracting their attention from urgent social problems to nationalist ideas which are alien to the real class interests of those workers. As a result, there has been a rise of right-wing sentiment in society, as well as strengthening of the right and extreme right-wing forces, this is `Right Sector`, `Freedom` and other less influential structures. The `decommunization` is launched, according to which the use of communist symbols is banned. In addition to the real volunteer squads, a number of oligarchic `battalions` has been created, financed by large capital and operating directly in its interests, including conflicts of commercial nature. In the country there are military advisers of the West and its allies, from the USA, Canada, the EU, Israel and others.

One part of this process is a sincere patriotic upsurge among the masses, directed against the bloody Russian aggression and puppet regimes of Donbass. This rise, among other things, is expressed in the volunteering movement assistance to the frontline, only part of which is associated with right-wing political forces. In addition, in the occupied part of the Donbass popular guerrilla resistance against the pro-Kremlin local juntas is growing. Unfortunately, all these sincere patriots rarely see the other side of the issue, Western imperialism and the corrupt regime in Kiev, whose patriotic and even anti-imperialist rhetoric is just a tribute to political expediency and selfish interests.

In turn, the working class of the Donbass and Crimea has been subjected to fierce imperialist propaganda of Kremlin for 2 years, which creates the illusion of `national self-determination` and `anti-fascist struggle'. In fact, the pro-Moscow forces use pro-fascist methods which are typical of reactionary military dictatorships around the world. The soldiers of the regular army of the Putin regime and local pro-Russian armed groups bring death and destruction to our country and its working people. The part of Ukraine occupied by these troops has turned into a zone of lawlessness and fear, where the armed bandits reign, who often have a criminal past. Workers go on strikes and protests, but these actions are harshly suppressed by the local junta, which dismisses hundreds of protesters. Turning a blind eye to all of this, the bulk of the revisionist `left forces` such as the CPU or the VKPB, as well as voluntaristic and / or Trotskyist groups like `Borotba`, directly or covertly support Moscow's actions, including thought-out military aggression followed by a large-scale PR campaign.

We Marxist-Leninists of Ukraine are firmly against all the forms of imperialist aggression in our country. We call on our comrades from all countries not to accept the thought that some imperialists can be `better` than others. Imperialism, capitalism is always war and pain. The aspirations of the Ukrainian workers are not to follow any kind of bourgeois propaganda, and to struggle for the real rights, for decent wages and adequate social protection, for higher standards of living. And, of course, they have the right to live without war, without the roar of shells under the lying words of the Kremlin or the Western bourgeoisie!

Down with all imperialist invaders!

Long live the socialist revolution!

Workers of all countries, unite!


The Council of KSRD


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