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Ukraine: A review of Russian public opinion

17 March 2014

The League has received this survey of Russian opinion from a correspondent in Russia.

An anti-war demonstration in Moscow

An anti-war demonstration in Moscow

According to the WCIOM (The Russian Public Opinion Service) 73% of Russian citizens are against of any intervention of Russia into the conflict between opposition and state authorities because this is internal problem of the country, that was announced on the 3 of March. Only 15% of the reviewed do not exclude the intervention.
Some part of the society roughly criticized the decision of the Council of the Federation to grant the right to V. Putin for military intervention into Ukraine. For example, it is the famous liberal newspaper “Novaya gazeta” which published on the web-site the Petition against of the decision to bring forces into Ukraine (3/3/2014).
The main idea is that this decision was not discussed by people and deputies took it without any permission from Russian citizens. The Interregional trade union of education workers “Teacher” taking into account the fact that on the 2 of March the Russian bureaucracy forced teachers to participate in demonstrations to back the military intervention into Ukraine in some regions, as in Sankt-Petersburg, Moscow made the statement calling that as “illegitimate and cynic” from the bureaucracy side to force teachers to support such politics.
Among some Russian trade unions there are different position concerning the question whether to make an appeal against of military intervention that was mandated already by the High Chamber of the Parliament. The main dispute is that trade unions should not make political statement and should concentrate on the problems which they have now in labour conflicts. But still, for example, some left members of the activists from the Interregional trade union “University solidarity” made the Open appeal of academic society of Russia for support brotherhood peoples of Ukraine and criticized any military ways of conflict resolution and Russian intervention. This was made also due to the appeals coming from the universities and academic workers from Ukraine with the request to influence on the Russian government not to intervene. The Ukrainian academicians state that the public opinion in Russia is purposely confused.
On the 4th of March the Confederation of Labour of Russia (KTR) made a statement of solidarity with the Confederation of free trade unions of Ukraine on the case of high tension between two states. The statement says that the KTR, its regular members will make everything possible to overcome this sharp phase and avoid brotherhood war. It is also underlined that workers employed in Russia and in Ukraine are not interested in the new international conflict which is triggered by the interests of financial and industrial groups, namely: “We should not allow these forces to make workers from Russia and Ukraine to start to kill each other for the sake of their profits and aspirations to save and increase their illegal capitals”. The KTR expressed the readiness to stand for the peace, democratic achievements and labour rights even more active as it was before during the last twenty years.
It should be noticed that there is another tendency in Russian public opinion concerning Ukraine. This is mostly the position so-called great patriotic forces who use the situation to demonstrate great Russian civilizations. For example, the “Party Great Motherland” will organize the demo on the 9th of March in Moscow in order to support the politics of the Russian authorities in fighting against fascism. They state that Russia should participate into this conflict until there will be the constitutional order in Ukraine. The main reason is according to the “Party Great Motherland” that Ukraine is not only the neighbor and economic partner of Russia but also the part of Russian world.
As for the position of the left forces in Russia It is necessary to mention the Statement of the Russian Communist Workers Party – KPSS (RKRP-KPSS) which is also the part of the ROT-FRONT there is a recognition of the solidarity between workers of two countries but under the circumstances of absence of “the potential to protect population from the fascists forces it can be possible to use the of external forces”, including the force of the Russian army.
The close position is taken by the leader of the “Just Russia Party”, S. Mironov, who after visiting the Crimea stated that “we – Russia – are obliged in the case of a necessity to protect all who will need such protection and feel the threat for their lives and security”.
The international and solidarity position with workers of Russia and Ukraine is taken in the Statement on the situation in Ukraine by the Left Front.
The Statement says that the corrupted state and oligarch are responsible for the crisis in Ukraine and the possibility of civil war. They appeal for grass roots activists of Maidan to get rid of the hegemony of bourgeois liberals and nationalists but to make the own agenda. This agenda should include such demands as the revision of the results of privatization; nationalization of natural resources and the banks of Ukraine, the change of socio-economical and political system for the interests of workers, the enlargement of trade unions rights. The Statement of the Left Front also underlines that as the regime of Yanukovich rose up the radical nationalism in order to use it then, the Putin administration imposes today the xenophobe propaganda. But it states there is an alternative which is not a choice between two oligarch clans leading to catastrophe but the independent revolution.
Left Front is a coalition of radical left Its spokesman is Sergey Udaltsov.
ROT-Front is a wider coalition that includes more groups and organizations of the left. It was formed to participate in the 2012 elections.
The Russian Communist Workers Party – KPSS (RKRP-KPSS) is a split from the Communist Party of USSR which sticks to traditional Stalinist views.

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