The fight by Ukraine to defeat the EU and the US
accentuates the decline of “Pax Americana”
Statement by the Liaison Committee for the Fourth International
(From Socialist Fight No. 16)
Russia’s agreement with Ukraine temporarily dispelled tensions that have created the “EuroMaidan”, demonstrations in favour of the recolonisation of Ukraine by the European Union (EU) on “Maidan” Square (Independence Square) in the centre of the capital Kiev. But the current might not last months and can come back in the form of open civil war in the near future or already a conflict of global proportions, paving the way for a World War III.
A new diplomatic offensive by the European Union against Ukraine is scheduled for April. The furore was a response to the refusal of the current Ukrainian Government to accept the conditions of the country in November for the Summit in Lithuania, on the eastern flank of the EU, which wanted to celebrate the integration of six former Soviet republics in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus: Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan to 28 EU Nations block.
The Ukraine was the highest prize of the agreement, with their nuclear power plants, factories, farms and pipelines. The failure of the Summit dragged in Lithuania on the side of Russia and also Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus. Desperate, Angela Merkel, Putin warned: “we should overcome the mentality of we or they, the cold war is over” (AFP, 11/28/2013)
The dispute goes in the opposite direction to the false plea of the German Chancellor and will warm up even more and become more intense the more we approach the elections by the Ukrainian Government in 2015. The current battle was only the beginning of the election campaign where the Ukrainian parties represent different interests the world bourgeoisie.It is worth remembering that the “Orange Revolution”, a precursor to the current wave of protests, was unleashed just when European and American imperialism were rejecting the election results that led to the victory of the current President Viktor Yanukovych in 2004, overthrew him and imposed the victory of one candidate pro-imperialist Viktor Yushchenko. It is worth noting that the economic situation in which Ukraine has arrived is the product of the country’s EU integration by all Governments after the capitalist restoration, including Yanukovych.
“Vasyl Gouliï, a businessman from 49 years of Ternopil (west) blamed Europe which, according to him, was not firm enough after the episodes of police brutality against demonstrators in Kiev in November. “Europe could have pressed the Government, but she abandoned the Ukraine “, he lamented. “The opposition must act more actively. They should tell you how to get the impeachment of President Viktor Yanukovych” declared 23 year old AFP Pantchuk Lessia, who comes from the region of Chernivtsi in the west.
The signing in Moscow of economic agreements providing for a credit of $15 billion to Ukraine and the decrease by a third in the price of Russian gas, while the country is on the verge of bankruptcy, appears to have destabilized the leaders of the defence, unprecedented since the pro-Western Orange Revolution in 2004. After the Moscow agreements, “attempts to form a “technical” Government to sign an association agreement with the EU are no longer valid. The revolt of the oligarchs was drowned out by the cheap gas”, former Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko said recently and he made an appeal in favour of the expansion of the defence forces which are stronger today than in 2004, when he was overthrown by the Orange Revolution, says Volodymyr Fessenko. (AFP, 12/22/2013)
Result of 2013 this battle of the new “cold war”
In the battle for the Ukraine, US and EU imperialism has suffered its third major defeat of 2013 for the composite block by Russia and China. The first defeat was in Syria, when Russia stopped the bombing was announced by a US-led military coalition and France against Damascus. The second defeat for the information war, with the asylum given by Moscow to Snowden, former CIA/NSA spy.
It is a war of positions. The Western hegemonic imperialism has been losing ground to the Eurasian pre-imperialist block. 2013 marked a trend which re-versed the imperialist offensive of 2011. The core Sino-Russian counter offensive began after the bloody occupation of Libya and they saw the eminent risk of repetition of the same defeat in Syria, with warmongering escalating in the Pacific Ocean, particularly on the Korean peninsula and retreat in favour of reconciliation between Venezuela and Iran with the United States. But by mid February Venezuela was back in the firing line and the western imperialist counter offensive had resumed in Ukraine.Before the three losses, the White House acted quickly to crush the anti-Western coup in South Sudan, the newest nation on the planet, arising from the division of Sudan by imperialism. All this accentuates the decline of world forces correlation established for the entire period of the Pax Americana. Decline that is leveraged by the rise of new block of pre-imperialist bourgeois in Russia and China, a kind of late imperial-ism which must be taken advantage of by the world proletariat in its favour against the whole world bourgeoisie.
What is at stake in Ukraine?
After Russia, Ukraine is the richest and militarily powerful of the 14 former Soviet republics. The Ukraine depends on Russian natural gas, although it is self-sufficient in terms of electrical production, due to nuclear power plants and hydroelectric dams. In 2005, was the seventh largest steel producer in the world. The Ukraine has a huge high-tech industrial base; they inherited much of this from the USSR. It includes electronics, armaments and space articles, most of which are still under State control. In the manufacturing sector the country produces metallurgical equipment, diesel locomotives, tractors and automobiles.
The Ukraine is one of the European countries with the highest consumption of energy, in proportion to its GDP, Ukraine consumes twice the amount of energy consumed in Germany. 45% of the energy produced in the country is through its nuclear power plants. The largest nuclear plant in Europe, the Nuclear power plant of Zaporijia, is located in Ukraine.
The issue of Russian gas
25% of the natural gas consumed in the country is produced in Ukraine, but about 35% comes from Russia and the remaining 40% of Central Asia through transit routes controlled by Russia. 85% of Russian gas is delivered to Western Europe via Ukraine. There is one of the core issues which divides the country and the capitalists between west and east. The great economic importance of Ukraine to European imperialism lies in the fact that it’s through Ukrainian pipe-lines almost all Russian gas supplies to Europe pass.
It was precisely to prevent the installation of more NATO military bases in Ukraine and in exchange for control of the Ukrainian pipelines that Russia has agreed to invest $15 billion in debt securities of the Government of Ukraine and reduce by about one-third the price that Naftogaz, Ukraine’s national energy company, pays for gas from Russian State-owned Gazprom, the largest exporter of natural gas on the planet. While the IMF and the European Union require a 40% increase in the price of gas and the de-valuation of the Ukrainian currency, the Grivna.
With the Russian-Ukrainian agreement the EU will be more directly de-pendent on the Russian blue fuel without being able to use Ukrainian pipelines that distribute Russian gas to many nations, as a bargaining chip against Moscow.The economic crisis and the austerity policies of the imperialists pushed the Ukrainian bourgeoisie into the arms of Russia. Until the Lithuania Summit in November, Yanukovych seemed sincerely focused on closer ties with the EU. The turnaround came when he realized that the Ukraine, in the hands of the “Big Three” would go through an intermediate crisis like that suffered by Greece and Spain.
Yanukovych said he needed 160 billion dollars over three years to compensate for the reduction of trade with Russia and Ukraine to help deaden the pain of austerity reforms required by the EU. The EU had little room for manoeuvre, be-cause they couldn’t follow a different road, requiring compliance with the austerity plans by other members of the block and throwing a lifeline to Ukraine. That’s why the EU refused to give the amount required by the Ukrainian Government, offering only half of it.
The Ukraine doesn’t want to follow the path of Greece, Ireland, Italy, Poland and Spain. The “reforms” required by the EU include the currency devaluation, the increase in energy prices for consumers, and cuts in salaries and pensions. The opening of its economy to competition from the west would break many industries Ukraine, especially in the east of the country.
The Ukraine is strongly divided between east and west. In the east is the Soviet-era heavy industry, industries that are threatened with going bankrupt if the wolves of imperialism are let loose on the Ukrainian economy. The New York Times reports: “this is how it works in Ukraine: the east makes money, and the west eats it”. This demonstrates the division; the WSWS reports: “A survey con-ducted by pro-EU European Centre for a Modern Ukraine recorded that only 13% of the population in the east of the country are supporting the protests against the Government, compared to 84% in the west. Yanukovych’s decision not to sign an association agreement with the EU, which was the impetus for the demonstrations, is rejected by most in the west, but supported by 70% in the east”.
Many of the protesters were wrong in the current economic crisis, induced to think that the EU would resolve their crisis, driven by the support given to them by Germany and the US in particular. It serves the economic interests of a few oligarchs who dominate politically Parliament and politics in Ukraine today. How-ever, a sufficient number of them fear Personal ruin if they accept the terms of the EU and remain in the opposition.The role of imperialism-vassal of Germany
The greatest imperialist economy in Western Europe, Germany, is a power exporter of capital to the rest of the planet, but militarily, even after the annexation of Eastern Germany, the country remains, since the end of World War II, a US military colony that hosts no less than 227 military bases and 50 thousand soldiers.
36% of the gas consumed in the country comes from Russia passing through Ukraine and the recolonisation of the latter by the EU would represent the liquidation of the Ukrainian industrial base and the dismissal of thousands of workers, destroying the main point of resistance to recolonisation of Ukraine.
The bourgeois interests of Germany are the spearhead of economic recolonisation of Ukraine. Also, the expansion of NATO to the east requires of imperialism take ownership of all the nuclear power, energy and Ukrainian space. In turn, a defeat of the imperialist interests in Ukraine can awaken the anti-imperialist democratic and anti-fascist struggle throughout the region and in particular in Poland and Austria.
Another openly pro-imperialist “revolution”
What we see today in Ukraine is a fraudulent pro-imperialist “revolution” like dozens of other contrived by the CIA during the cold war, in the processes of capitalist restoration of 1989-1991 and the “Arab spring”. The main claim of the “revolution” was the requirement that the country’s Government to sign a recolonisation agreement of “free trade” with the European Union.
The “popular movement” was triggered after the failure of the pressure exerted directly by the heads of the so-called “Big Three”, Merkel, Hollande and Cameron and the US threat to impose sanctions on the country if US “revolutions” directed by the CIA, the US Embassy, CEOs of multinational companies, NGOs, churches and neo-Nazi parties as the Svoboda (Freedom) which held the emblematic destruction of the monument to Lenin during the recent wave of pro-tests Ukrainian pro-EU .
While among organizations that claim to be revolutionary, the study of historical experience of proletarian revolutions of the 20th century is still something pre-dominantly amateur, within the intelligence services and military academies in the pay of big business tactics and the revolutionary strategy are subject to meticulous analysis. So much so that since the cold war imperialism has been improving its know-how in coups camouflaged as “revolutionary”.The first “pro-imperialist revolution” was orchestrated by the intelligence services of England and USA was in 1953 in Iran , with the overthrow of the democratically elected Government of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh who had thwarted the imperialist interests of the multinational British Petroleum by nationalising it.
The behind-the-scenes description of the successful “Operation Ajax” is made by journalist Stephen Kinzer for the New York Times, in his book All the Shah’s men: An American coup and the roots of terror in the Middle East, he shows that “the CIA engineered a scenario that gives the impression of a popular revolt when in fact it is a covert operation. The highlight of the show was a demonstration in Tehran with eight thousand extras paid by the Agency in order to provide convincing photos the Western press,”(All the Shah’s Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle east Terror, 2003).
Anti-imperialist tactic and long term strategy for the Ukraine
The Ukrainian industrial proletariat is the main bulwark against the recolonisation of the country in favour of a “Green Europe” with the spoils of the bureaucratised workers states, with Germany as the control tower of the interests of American imperialism.
How many times in history has capitalist economic crises put the issue of Ukrainian national aspirations on the agenda? The question returns again and again to play an important role on the arena of global class struggle. Here are combined elements of imperialist domination, anti worker and fascism, the anti-Communist eminence of a new imperialist war and a historical reckoning with the Stalinist anti worker policy disaster. On this last question, the greatest of all Ukrainian revolutionaries declared: “Toward the sections of the Ukraine now outside its frontiers, the Kremlin’s attitude today is the same as it is toward all oppressed nationalities, all colonies, and semi-colonies, i.e., small change in its international combinations with imperialist governments. (Leon Trotsky, the Ukrainian question, 2/4/1939)”.
Although the negotiation Putin-Yanukovych has benefited enormously the Ukraine with a reduction in the price of gas in relation to the Greek panorama which proposed the EU, the current Russian bourgeois Government uses much more to Ukraine as a bargaining chip than did the Stalinist bureaucracy in the past. And the current Ukrainian bourgeois Government, representative of regional oligarchies, appropriates part of the ad-vantage of reducing the energy costs that could benefit the people.
Even for democratic demagoguery of Putin in Russia, winter pre-Olympiads, the defeat of imperialism in this battle, cheered the struggle for democratic rights in Russia. However, the struggle for democratic rights in Russia, as it had been for a long time in the USSR, is not addressed by the Communist proletarian vanguard, is almost entirely deformed and influenced the politics of democratic reaction of Western imperialism. The first by-product of this new situation was the release of the members of the rock band Pussy Riot, activists from Greenpeace and the Russian oil Tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, an ally of Western imperialism against Putin.
In this battle and the civil war that temporarily ebbed but that accentuate in the coming months, the Liaison Committee for the Fourth International (CLQI) believes that the only option for Ukraine is the struggle which combines the tactics of the Anti-Imperialist Front (AIUF) and the strategy of Permanent Revolution. So, join the methods and goals of permanent revolution in the struggle for national independence, i.e. Ukrainian self-determination against the European Union.
This fight is not about to align itself with the lesser of two evils, in the case with the Russian bourgeoisie, but to fight the greater evil, hegemonic imperialism across the globe. Therefore, tactically we’re with the proletariat of Eastern Ukrainian in a Anti-imperialist Front with the Yanukovych Government against the EU and its mercenaries and fascist agents.
But we denounce the Government of Yanukovych as bourgeois oligarch for having led the country to this situation by betting on a gradual plan of privatization and capitalist restoration. We demand the Government defends and restore the Soviet monuments, the statues of Lenin and the monuments that symbolize the victory of the proletariat over fascism, which now serve as inspiration against the imperialist resettlement already suffered by our Greeks, Irish, Italian, Polish and Spanish brothers and sisters.
The LCFI struggle for the construction of a Bolshevik-type party and inter-nationalist in Ukraine that has as its goals a new social revolution against the bourgeois oligarchies both pro-imperialist and pro-Russian. We fight for workers’ control and the Sovietisation of all the country’s economy, in particular the nuclear plants and alongside the tankers Ukrainians fought for control of exploration, gas production and distribution by the workers themselves, as well as the gas pipelines that the Government wants to deliver to the realm of Gazprom as part of the agreement with Putin.
Under the guidance of the most revolutionary of all Ukrainians, Leon Trotsky, we must fight the Ukrainian worker popu-lation to overcome all prejudices built up historically against communism thanks to bureaucratic centralization of Stalin on his country and that today are used by the fascist nationalism to seduce the masses in favour of imperialism. We are aware that in the words of Trotsky, but for the rape of Soviet Ukraine by the Stalinist bureaucracy there would be no Hitlerite Ukrainian policy. The Fourth International must clearly understand the enormous importance of the Ukrainian question in the fate not only of South-eastern and Eastern Europe but also of Europe as a whole. We are dealing with a people that has proved its viability, that is numerically equal to the population of France and occupies an exceptionally rich territory which, moreover, is of the highest strategical importance. The question of the fate of the Ukraine has been posed in its full scope. A clear and definite slogan is necessary that corresponds to the new situation. In my opinion there can be at the present time only one such slogan: A united, free and independent workers’ and peasants’ Soviet Ukraine. .
For us, the LCFI the program of independence of Ukraine at the time of imperialism is directly and inextricably linked to the programme of the proletarian revolution. The liberation of Ukraine from webs of bourgeois domination assumes the complete independence of the country in relation to the Russian bourgeoisie and the domestic fronts oligarchies of some large corporations block II. The real Ukrainian national independence can only be achieved through the fight for a Socialist and Soviet Ukraine as part of the struggle for a new Federation of Socialists and Soviet republics.
 In an interview reproduced on the site, a Ukrainian anarchist Freedom Journal describes how the Svoboda: Today, the main political force in the panorama of the extreme right in Ukraine is, undeniably, the Svoboda. If I had to provide some comparison, compare them with other right-wing parties present in Eastern Europe, as the Hungarian Jobbik party, with which I think the American listeners may be aware. There was a great scandal when a couple of years ago they received many votes in Hungary Svoboda is pretty much the same thing, is a political party that has its own design of a so-called “national” Constitution, which would bring a lot of horrible things, such as the death penalty for what they call “anti-Ukrainian” activities, without defini-tions of what are these “activities”. Basically, anything contrary to the spirit of that party could be considered “anti-Ukrainian”.
Today, in EuroMaidan, they are urging a political strike, but, in fact, what most people do not realize is that in their proposed the new Constitution Svoboda politics would make striking a criminal offence. The paradox is that they have become extremely popular among the educated liberal middle class of urban areas, especially in Kiev. So, today Kiev votes Svoboda, as the western regions of Ukraine make, why don’t they just say, “well, I don’t know what your program. I have not read anything about it, but they seem so hard, they’re good guys, and I’m sure that at least they would break the necks of the corrupt who are now in the ruling party.
This is of course a great reminiscence of his-torical situations in other countries in the 21st century. I don’t want to seem too panicked, but there are some similar features, because the middle class bourgeois people don’t see anything wrong with this. And, to some extent, they’re right, because, if the extreme right WINS across the country, these people will not feel any great difficulties in their lives. The main difficulties would be to the extreme left, against all the leftist parties and movements, and to ethnic minorities and to racial minorities.
But normal people don’t feel anything, at least for some time, and that’s the problem. Also another interesting fact about the Svoboda: they went through a rebranding and now they call themselves “freedom”. This is a generic word for the European right, but until 2005 or 2004, they called themselves Socialist National Party of Ukraine. [Transcriber’s note in original: in fact, the current leader of the Svoboda said that all Ukrainians must become Nazis]. http://www.diarioliberdade.org/mundo/antifascismo-e-anti-racismo/45455-ucr%C3%A2nia-anarquista-ucraniano-dissipa-mitos-que-cercam-os-protestos-do-euromaidan-e-alerta-sobre-a-influ%C3%AAnciafascista.html#.UuQqBaZLY6c.facebook
 Leon Trotsky, Problem of the Ukraine (April 1939), http://www.marxists.org/archive/