Articles  •  Britain  •  International

Oppose the repression in East Ukraine

17 April 2014

Published by the International Secretariat, League for the Fifth International
The crisis in Eastern Ukraine has a very different character from the myth presented in the “western” media. Here, there are relentless reports that it is the Russian army and Russian tanks that are about to “invade” Ukraine and violate its right to self-determination. In fact, it is the Ukrainian government of neoliberals and fascists that is organising columns of tanks and troops to invade the cities of Eastern and Southern Ukraine. This government was handpicked by US and EU representatives and brought to power by the armed force of the fascist Svoboda and Right Sector militias.
The population of Kharkov, Donetsk, Odessa, plainly do not want these “saviours” to wage an “anti-terrorist” campaign in their cities and villages. The forces of “order” include Right Sector gangs. In collusion with the Kyiv regime, armed forces have launched attacks on leftists in Kharkov and other cities, arrested and detained unarmed demonstrators. They have wrecked offices of the Ukrainian Communist Party and beaten up their workers.
They have attacked and vandalised the offices of the “Association Borotba” whose crime is not “Russian nationalism” or “separatism” but mobilising workers and youth on the streets to defy the neoliberals and the fascist gangs. Their banner is not the red-white-blue tricolour of Putin’s Russia but the red flag of a democratic, workers’ and socialist Ukraine. They want to see their country free of all corrupt oligarchs, whether of the Yanukovych or Tymoshenko variety, and to stop the savage austerity planned for all Ukraine’s workers by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. Their “crime” is that they correctly refuse to recognise the putschists in Kyiv as the democratic government of the country.
The gang in Kyiv is trying to give itself a mandate to take over the whole country by running elections on 25 May. But elections conducted under the guns of the fascist militias and the “National Guard”, would be a fraudulent imitation of democracy. As long as the neoliberal right wing nationalists and their fascist allies are in government, the people of eastern Ukraine are absolutely right to refuse to recognise them and to demand complete autonomy for their cities and regions and a referendum on their future.
Socialists, and anti-imperialist and anti-war activists should demand the release of all socialist and working class militants and the restoration of the property of socialists like Borotba and the Communist Party of Ukraine. We should demand the end of the interference in Ukraine by the EU and US forces, the end of attempts to force Ukraine to impose a Greek style austerity programme. At the same time, we should oppose the manoeuvres of Putin’s regime, which does not care about the rights of the workers and farmers of either Russia or Ukraine, but only acts to protect its interests as an imperialist power.
Socialists and anti-war activists in Ukraine and in all the imperialist states should work together to build a common struggle against all preparations for war and intervention by Nato and Russia. This should include opposition to all economic sanctions and blackmail, opposition to the build up of Nato and Russian military forces and, above all, for an end to the military occupation of Eastern Ukraine by the regular and paramilitary forces of the Kyiv junta.
Only the working class, poor farmers and youth of Ukraine, in alliance with their brothers and sisters in the East and West, can lead the struggle against all imperialist exploitation and fight for an independent, unitary Ukraine, which guarantees equality for all Ukrainians, whatever their ethnic background or language, within its borders.
Solidarity with the socialists and communists in the Ukraine
Down with illegitimate Kyiv regime
Imperialists, west as well as east, hands off Ukraine

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