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Ukraine Fraudsters Again – A Message from the LRP

League for the Revolutionary party
April 2014


Reports on the events in Ukraine in recent months have mentioned three activists whose names some readers may recall: Oleg (Oleh) Vernik and Zakhar Popovych in Ukraine and Ilya Budraitskis in Russia. In the early 2000s, while members of the Committee for a Workers International (CWI), they conspired to assume multiple fake personal identities as representatives of several fictitious socialist groups in Ukraine. Under these disguises they posed as supporters of a number of far-left groups in North America and Europe, from whom they stole funds, time and other resources. Their crimes further corrupted the reputation of a socialist movement already burdened by mistaken association with the heinous crimes of Stalinism.

We reported on this political and financial scam in CWI Group Guilty of Ukraine Fraud (Proletarian Revolution No. 69, Winter 2004), and we posted personal identifying information at Photos of the Perpetrators on this website. A list of many other articles on the affair at the time is at Statements from various sources on the Ukrainian fraud (wwww.bolshevik.org). A summary of the fraud, the CWI’s response and the current activities of these perpetrators was recently posted on the website of the Greek organization Communist Revolutionary Action. See Maidan and Ukranian Story of a Lasting Fraud.

The perpetrators of the fraud have not to our knowledge ever issued any explanation of, or apology for, their political, personal and financial dishonesty. Today Vernyk is chairman of the All-Ukrainian independent trade union “Zakhyst Pratsi” (Labor Defence). See tradeunion.org.ua. Budraitskis belongs to the Socialist Movement of Russia, which is affiliated with the organization long known as the United Secretariat of the Fourth International (USec). See for example his article Ukrainians fighting for a better society.

Popovych belongs to “Left Opposition” in Ukraine whose views are also disseminated by the Usec’s magazine International Viewpoint. See A mass revolt for democracy. He also made a widely reported visit to London where he spoke about the Ukrainian events. See for example Russian and Ukrainian socialists speak out. A video of Popovych speaking at a public meeting at the House of Commons is at Crisis in the Ukraine (House of Commons Meeting) – Videos. By comparing this video with the photos of Popovych in the original articles about the fraud, one can see that today’s activist is the same person as yesterday’s fraudster.

We warn the left in Ukraine and around the world: these people are not to be trusted in their political, organizational and financial adventures.

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VOAG-Logo-(Ukraine)Ukraine – The Role Of Dmytro Yarosh, Leader Of The Fascist Paramilitary, Right Sector

By Peter Schwarz , WSWS
On April 22, Spiegel Online published an interview with Dmytro Yarosh, leader of the Ukrainian fascist paramilitary organisation Right Sector. This interview confirms that the fascists not only played a decisive role in the overthrow of President Viktor Yanukovych on 22 February, but that also play a significant role in the current transitional government headed by Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

Yarosh explained that the armed wing of his organisation had not been disbanded, but legalised. “Our battalions are part of the new territorial defence. We have close contact with the intelligence services, and the general staff. We actually have good relations with everyone, apart from the police,” he told Spiegel Online.yarushYarosh is closely connected to Andriy Parubiy, who commanded the self-defence forces during the protests on Independence Square (the Maidan). Parubiy was the co-founder of the fascist Ukrainian Social National Party, the predecessor of Svoboda. He is now a leading member of the Fatherland Party of Prime Minister Yatsenyuk, and heads Ukraine’s security and defence council. Yarosh was originally supposed to have been his deputy, but rejected the offer in order to maintain his freedom to manoeuvre against the government.

In the interview, he made clear that Right Sector does not accept the authority of the current government, nor would it accept a future elected government. “Our revolution will only be completed when we have totally renewed the state,” he stated.

His goals are clearly of a fascist character. His choice of words was similar to those of the Nazis, whose terror regime he described as a “government of national revolution.”

Asked by Spiegel Online about his motives, Yarosh answered, “I am a Ukrainian nationalist. My goal is a strong state.” He described liberalism as “a form of totalitarianism.” On the EU, he criticised its alleged “anti-Christian orientation.”

“We oppose the destruction of the traditional family, and are against same-sex marriage.” By contrast he supported the EU’s social and economic policies, calling for tax cuts to support the middle classes and foreign investment.

In his militarist work “Nation and Revolution,” Yarosh expressed himself even more explicitly, as Spiegel Online pointed out. In it, he openly opposes parliamentary democracy and advocated an ethnically-based nationalism. He intends to spread “the nationalist ideology throughout the entire territory of our state,” “de-russify” eastern Ukraine, and ensure that the native people have the leading role in the state.

Yarosh no longer appears in a military uniform. He is a candidate for the upcoming presidential election and now wears a suit and tie. In his interview with Spiegel Online, he sought to downplay his anti-Semitic beliefs, which could prove embarrassing for the Western supporters of the new regime in Kiev.

The interview with Yarosh—and the fact that he was provided a political platform by Spiegel Onlin—shows the thoroughly reactionary nature of the forces Western powers relied upon to force regime change in Kiev and provoke a confrontation with Russia. In February, the armed provocateurs of Right Sector played a key role in escalating the conflict with security forces, leading to the loss of hundreds of lives and the overthrow of the elected president, Viktor Yanukovych.

Meanwhile, there are reports indicating that western cooperation with Right Sector goes back some time. According to a report in the Polish weekly Nie (“No”), published by 80-year-old journalist Jerzy Urban, the Polish Foreign Minister Radoslav Sikorski invited 86 members of Right Sector to an intensive, four-week training course at the Police Training Centre Legionowo near Warsaw last September.

The fascists were trained in crowd management, person recognition, combat tactics, command skills, behaviour in crisis situations, protection against gases used by police, erecting barricades, and especially shooting, including the handling of sniper rifles. The training was officially described as “student exchange.”

The visit took place a full two months before the Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych refused to sign an Association Agreement with the EU on 21 November—the event that triggered the Maidan protests. If the report in Nie is true, it shows that the events leading up to the regime change in Kiev were a carefully planned provocation.

The Polish Foreign Minister Sikorski has close links to ruling circles of the USA. He is married to the right-wing American author Anne Applebaum and was director of the Atlantic Initiative at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, starting in 2002.

On February 21, Sikorski together with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and the French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, negotiated the agreement between President Yanukovych and the Ukrainian opposition, which was then sabotaged within the space of a few hours by the Right Sector and other armed groups. If Sikorski maintained close links to the Right Sector then he must have known of or possibly planned the provocation with the fascists.Voag-Logo-catapult2

SF Logo2Unconditional Support to the Union Borotba! Motion to Brent and Harrow Labour Representation Committee From Gerry Downing, Socialist Fight

Gerry Downing, Socialist Fight.
Brent and Harrow LRC condemns the illegal coup that overthrew the democratic elected President Yanukovich which was funded by the US to the tune of $5 Billion and implemented by a mob led by the far right and neo-fascists, and has resulted in a government where Neo-Nazis are in control of the Armed Forces, National Security, Economy, Justice and Education. (Global Research, March 02, 2014). According to the New York Times, “The United States and the European Union have embraced the revolution here as another flowering of democracy, a blow to authoritarianism and kleptocracy in the former Soviet space.”. See The U.S. has Installed a Neo-Nazi Government in Ukraine, By Prof Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, March 02, 2014,

In this situation the organisations of the working class in the Ukraine are under violent assault by these neo-Nazi thugs, particularly in the East, where the big workers organisations are concentrated in the heavy industry. We therefore give our unconditional support to those forces that are fighting heroically against this mortal threat to their organisations and indeed to their very lives.

We therefore pledge out solidarity with the Union Borotba, which is leading that struggle. The press has reported severe state oppression allied to the armed marauding gangs of fascist thugs who are now spreading terror in East Ukraine. Leading members of Borotba have been arrested; “On the morning of April 1, Ukrainian Security Forces (SBU) agents raided the apartment of Odessa, Ukraine, (Borotba) anti-fascist leader Alexei Albu with a warrant authorizing them to search for lists of activists and for weapons… On the eve of the raid, the local “Euromaidan” movement — supporters of the pro-Western, fascist-dominated junta in Kiev — held a rally outside police headquarters demanding the arrest of Albu and other prominent anti-fascists.

“The Euromaidan nationalists openly demand that the special services subject us to violence,” Albu said. “This shows how repressive and anti-democratic in its essence the Euromaidan movement and the Kiev regime truly are.” Albu was not staying in the apartment and is safe — for now.

See Ukraine: Coup regime raids home of Odessa anti-fascist leader, By Greg Butterfield, http://www.workers.org/articles/2014/04/01/ukraine-coup-regime-raids-home-odessa-anti-fascist-leader/

We therefore call on the LRC nationally to give its unconditional support to the Union Borotba and to campaign in the Labour party wards, GCs and at every level for this.

Proposed by Gerry Downing:

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Information on Borotba from their website:
(“Borotba” means “Struggle”) and was founded in May 2011 by several Ukrainian political groups, in particular: “The Organization of Marxists” (Ukraine); former members of “the Leninist Communist Youth Union of Ukraine” (youth organization of the Ukrainian Communist Party); members of  the Ukranian “Youth Against Capitalism” movement; “All-Ukrainian union of workers”; and the Ukranian “Che Guevara Youth Association”; as well as other organizations and individual activists.

Union “Borotba” has chosen non-parliamentary methods of political struggle. “In terms of class polarization and concentration of wealth, democratic rights and institutions are transformed into the force to keep all the power in the capitalists’ hands. However, “Borotba” members will participate in the elections to promote the program of social revolution.

In 2012 “Borotba” Union has started a broad campaign against increasing right-wing sentiments in Ukraine in particular against neo-Nazi party ”Svoboda”. Now “Borotba” is the leader of the Anti-Fascist movement in Ukraine. Besides street actions and demonstrations activists of the “Borotba” Union participate in the network of social cinema clubs and festivals of Anti-Fascist movies. They also publish and distribute an Anti-Fascist newspaper.

Regional organizations of “Borotba” are making efforts to establish contacts with workers and independent trade unions all over the country. They support workers in their struggle against liquidations and reorganizations of their enterprises. The organization is also involved in social and political campaigns. For example, against the adoption of the new Labor Code and Educational Law; student protests against the neo-liberal project of the Housing Code “Against Housing Slavery! Against capitalism!”; against tariffs; for the social rights of workers, and for women rights.

In 2011 and 2012 “Borotba” members participated in the alternative May Day demonstration in Kiev together with trade unions and left-wing radical youth organizations. And has started international solidarity campaigns with Cuba, demanding freedom for The Cuban Five; and campaigns of solidarity with the Palestine and Venezuelan revolutions.

The Draft Manifest of the Organization declares: Union “Borotba” stands for Revolutionary Marxism. The Manifesto also states that the organization will support principles of Anti-Capitalism, Internationalism, Anti-Fascism, Political radicalism and Gender equality.Revolution Banner

VOAG-Logo-(Catapult)551Focus On Ukraine – An Update By Steven Argue

On Thursday the Russian Federation, U.S., EU, and the U.S. imposed coup government of Kiev agreed on terms for the surrender of the anti-coup uprising in eastern Ukraine. The agreement between these powers demands the workers of eastern Ukraine to lay down their arms and abandon seized buildings. Supposedly representing the working class of eastern Ukraine was the Russian capitalist state, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speaking for Russia.

Denis Pushilin, head of the Donetsk People’s Republic, responded to this absurdity saying, “Lavrov did not sign anything for us, he signed on behalf of the Russian Federation.”

Despite the lies in the corporate media of Russian intervention, fact is, what is happening in eastern Ukraine is a working class uprising against the pro-IMF and chauvinistic coup that overthrew the elected government of Ukraine in February. This working class uprising in eastern Ukraine has seized at least 10 cities. It has also won soldiers to their side that were sent to crush the uprising. Despite western hopes, it is also not surrendering, despite what Moscow says.

In addition, reports in the western corporate media that the Donetsk People’s Republic is telling Jews to register as Jews with the People’s Republic authorities are false. A flyer was distributed, but it did not come from any official body of the revolutionary government. The leadership of the Donetsk People’s Republic deny any connection to the flyer, despite the flyer claiming to be from it. People’s Republic leader Denis Pushilin’s name and forged signature is on the flyer, but he denies all connection with the forgery.

Of the forged flyer, the rabbi of nearby Dnipropetrovsk, Shmuel Kaminezki, says, “It’s important for everyone to know its not true.” The masked men who circulated this forgery were obviously supporters of the neo-Nazi infested government in Kiev, passing out a forged document in an attempt to discredit the anti-fascist uprising in eastern Ukraine.

The fact that this forgery is being circulated as a legitimate anti-Semitic attack by the Donetsk People’s Republic in the western corporate media should come as no surprise. They are lying about everything that happens in Ukraine in order to justify the Kiev government’s war on its own people and to justify a potential war by NATO in Ukraine that could turn into a regional conflagration. We should remember the kinds of propaganda always spewed by the corporate media in times like these, lie after lie like “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq, babies supposedly taken out of baby incubators to die in Kuwait, the faked Gulf of Tonkin Incident in the U.S. War on Vietnam, and chemical weapons supposedly used by the Syrian government, to name just a few lies spewed in the corporate media used to “justify” U.S. imperialist wars. This latest slander of the Donetsk People’s Republic should be seen in that light.

Now that some mainstream news reports are starting to recognize this letter as a forgery, another lie is being sent out. Some reports are making it appear that this is a kind of a tit for tat in a situation where both sides in the conflict are falsely accusing each other of being neo-Nazis. Fact is, this uprising in eastern Ukraine is legitimately concerned that actual neo-Nazis have taken key posts in the new government that call for mass executions of Ukrainian Russians without trial as well as taking away their language rights and citizenship.OdessaWith the U.S. sponsored overthrow of the elected government of Ukraine, the neo-Nazi Svoboda Party has been given several key posts in the new coup government. Svoboda is a party that celebrates Ukrainian Nazi collaborator and brutal mass murderer Stepan Bandera. It also claims Jewish gangsters control the media and those Jews plan to carry out genocide against Christians. Svoboda’s top leader, Oleg Tyagnibok, is calling for criminal penalties for speaking in the Russian language and stripping all ethnic Russians of their Ukrainian citizenship, forcing them to become non-citizens in their own land.

Within the coup government Svoboda has been given the positions of Prime Minister for Economic Affairs (Oleksandr Sych), Education Minister (Serhiy Kvit), Ecology Minister (Andriy Makhnyk), Agriculture Minister (Ihor Shvaiko), and Prosecutor-General of Ukraine (Oleh Makhnitsky). Not all posts have been given to neo-Nazis. Two other rightwing capitalist parties that have no problem working closely with neo-Nazis, the Fatherland Party and UDAR, have been given the rest of posts in the coup government.

A cofounder of Svoboda, Andriy Parubiy, has also been given the portfolio of Secretary of National Security and Defense. Make no mistake, this is a fascist given a position of command in an impending war that the capitalist state of Ukraine and its fascist thugs have begun to wage against the working class, leftists, women, Jews, and national minorities of Ukraine.  U.S., EU, NATO Hands Off Ukraine!

Meanwhile
RT (Russian news channel) has been touting the results of a poll that has shown 6 out of 10 Americans support economic sanctions against Russia over Ukraine (59%). Yet, only 1 in 6 Americans can find Ukraine on a map. Below is a map of where Americans placed Ukraine. Secondly, those that did not know where ukraine was on the map were far more likely to support economic sanctions.Where-UkraineWith many thanks to Steven Argue of the Revolutionary Tendency

For The Best Ukraine News and Analysis on the Web Check Out:
Ukrainian Military Joins Revolt, Troops Vow to Defend Protesters – By Steve Argue, 16th April

Ukraine: Anti-Fascist Rebellion Grows, Coup Government Attempting Violent Crackdown – By Steven Argue, 13th April

Against Ukraine repression: ‘In Donetsk and Kharkov, The people continue to fight’ – By Greg Butterfield, 9th April

Double Standards Over Ukraine…The VOAG Asks “I’m Confused. Can anyone help me?” – By The VOAG, April 6th

Support the Ukrainian Anti-fascist Rebellion; For the Donetsk People’s Republic – By Steve Argue, March 31stSocialism-Or-Barbarie Darker

Ukrainian Military Joins Revolt, Troops Vow to Defend Protesters

By Steven Argue, Boston Indymedia
Up until today, the bravado of the coup government in Ukraine was terrifying as they declared the protests in eastern Ukraine “terrorist” actions and sent in the tanks, helicopters, fighter jets, and soldiers to carry out their promise of crushing the uprising. Now it is the coup government in Kiev has reason to shake in their boots, for the soldiers sent in to crush the uprising have instead joined it. On the ground the soldiers are both refusing to carry out orders to attack the protesters and they vowing to defend the protesters from any further military actions.
ukraine armyIn Slovyansk, a column of armored personnel carriers has rolled into the city announcing their allegiance to the uprising. These are soldiers of Ukraine’s 25th Brigade of Airborne Forces. They were greeted by chants of “Good Job! Good Job!”. A soldier was quoted in Euronews as saying “All the soldiers and the officers are here. We are all boys who won’t shoot our own people.”

Troops were also welcomed into the city of Kramatorsk as heroes as they also refused orders to fight the civilian population. These soldiers refused to continue fighting after a battle for the Kramatorsk airport brought deaths on both sides. Soldiers declared they would rather defend the people of Kramatorsk than carry out the illegal orders of the coup government. Here is video of soldiers joining the uprising in Kramatorsk:

Troop movements were also advancing yesterday on other Ukrainian cities seized by anti-fascist protests, but the spirits and bravery of the protesters were high. Watch the following video to see a tank stopped with human bodies at one check-point. Protesters keep asking who they are going to shoot with that thing.

Tank Blocked With Human Bodies

Similarly, trucks with howitzers and six APCs were stopped by protesters. The troops were going to Lugansk from Dnepropetrovsk. Residents of the village of Raygorodok blocked the convoy with cars and stopped its passage. In the following video, residents in the village of Ivanoka captured tanks and forced soldiers them to leave without weapons:

Last week and over the weekend, anti-fascist protesters in eastern Ukraine seized government buildings in ten cities, including security agencies, police stations, and administrative buildings, in a regional anti-coup uprising. Barricades have been erected in the cities and anti-fascist checkpoints have been erected across the countryside. Those holding the barricades and checkpoints are largely the mine workers and industrial workers of the heavily industrial region. The uprising is calling for equality between nationalities. This is in opposition to the U.S. backed ultra-nationalist government in Kiev. Protesters are also demanding a referendum on some form of self-determination, allowing them to determine their own affairs independently of the illegitimate government in Kiev that overthrew Ukraine’s elected president in February.

On April 13, cops and fascist paramilitaries from western Ukraine mobilized against the anti-fascist uprising. In a joint operation of Ukrainian police and fascists of Right Sector in Sloviansk, the Kiev government killed two protesters. A cop fighting for the coup government was killed as well when the police opened fire on an anti-fascist checkpoint using machine gun. Sloviansk, however, remains under working class and not fascist control. Besides the leadership of the neo-Nazi group Right Sector has calling for a full mobilization of its forces to go to war in eastern Ukraine, Russian intelligence report that the private U.S. mercenaries of Greystone are on the ground and involved in repressive activities. These private mercenaries have also committed many crimes against the Iraqi people.

Showing typical U.S. imperialist hypocrisy, U.S. spokesmen are backing this ultra-nationalist crackdown on protesters. Yet, during the Maiden protests the U.S. continually threatened sanctions to protect the ultra-nationalists who eventually came to power with U.S. aid in the February 22 coup. In that case, the U.S. repeatedly claimed that the ultra-nationalists were peaceful protesters, despite the fact that they were shooting and killing cops, lighting them on fire with Molotov cocktails, and beating them with clubs. Ultimately, all evidence shows, the U.S. backed ultra-nationalists opened fire on their own men with snipers in order to blame the police of the elected government and create the crisis needed to overthrow that government. Today, the new U.S. backed coup government has a number of open neo-Nazis in key posts. Now that the working class of eastern Ukraine is rising up against this same ultra-nationalist government, the United States is somehow blaming Russia for a revolt that is, in fact, a result of the U.S. imperialist coup.

On Monday, the New York Times echoed the official lies of the Kiev government with a headline saying,” Ukraine Forces Storm a Town, Defying Russia”. They were referring to the town of Slovyansk. Yet later in the article they admit: “By Sunday afternoon, the government’s push to reassert its authority in a vitally important industrial and coal-mining region appeared to have made little headway. Pro-Russian protesters appeared to control not only the police station but also the entire town of Slovyansk, having set up checkpoints at major streets leading into town.”

Fact is, reports from anti-fascist activists appear to be truthful when they say pro-coup forces (cops and/or fascists of the Right Sector) opened up with machine gun fire on a roadblock outside of Slovyansk, killing two people. One cop was killed in return fire and the pro-coup forces never made their way into Slovyansk. Now the Kiev government is lying again, trying to claim that reports of troops switching sides are false.

The Cause of Uprising is Kiev and Washington, Not Moscow
On February 23, one day after taking power, the coup government in Kiev voted to take away the language rights of Hungarian, Romanian, Tatar, and Russian speaking minorities. Eventually the bill was not signed, due in part to large uprisings against it, but the chauvinistic intentions and priorities of the anti-democratic government were made clear. That coup government is made up of a closely knit coalition of three capitalist parties, one of which is the neo-Nazi party Svoboda. For neo-Nazi Svoboda leader, Oleg Tyagnibok, taking away the language rights of the Russian minority will be just the beginning. He recently spoke before supporters in Kiev calling for criminal penalties for speaking in the Russian language. In addition, he called for stripping all ethnic Russians of their Ukrainian citizenship, forcing them to become non-citizens in their own land. In 2010 the official Svoboda internet website included in its program their desire to “physically liquidate all Russian-speaking intellectuals and all Ukrainophobes (Fast, without a trial, shot. Registering Ukrainophobes can be done here by any member of Svoboda).”

Political leaders and people in the media who defend the oppressed Russian nationality have been violently attacked by these neo-Nazi fascists. This includes a neo-Nazi attack by the Svoboda Party that forced the acting CEO of the National Television Company of Ukraine, Aleksandr Panteleymonov, to resign. One of the neo-Nazi thugs participating in the attack is ironically the head of the government’s Freedom of Speech and Information Committee.

Also attacked by fascists in the Ukrainian parliament was Communist MP Petro Symonenko who declared of the fascists who carried out the coup in February, “You are today doing everything to intimidate people. You arrest people, start fighting people who have a different point of view…” As if to prove him right, he was then interrupted by fascists of the Svoboda Party who physically attacked him. Likewise, on February 25th, fascist paramilitaries of Svoboda searched Petro Simonenko’s house, looking for evidence of anything, and upon finding nothing, burned down his house using Molotov cocktails.

“Give the scum promises, guarantees and then hang them.”
The Obama administration used these chauvinistic neo-Nazis to overthrow the elected government of Ukraine and they now occupy many key posts in the coup government. In eastern Ukrainian regions where the Russian minority constitutes the majority, there have naturally been uprisings against the chauvinistic central government and its appointed governments in the east such as the deputy head of South Eastern Ukraine as appointed by the illegitimate government in Kiev. He is a wealthy capitalist and criminal named Boris Filatov. Of Nazi collaborator and Nazi mass murderer Stepan Bandera, Filatov states, “I am proud of Bandera. He is my Hero. Particularly, as I see that people are ready to die under red-and-black flags.” Filatov has also stated his recipe for the solution in the region saying, “Give the scum promises, guarantees and then hang them.” When questioned on this later he explained it was just something he said on social media and not an official statement.

In addition to fascist hatred, the Obama installed coup government in Kiev is agreeing to IMF austerity and other dictates, including a 50% increase in the price of heating fuel. This IMF austerity comes on top of mass unemployment and much lower wages that have happened since the overthrow of the socialist economy in Ukraine with the destruction of the USSR. Higher fuel prices will cause the poor to freeze to death. To impose this austerity, the United States and EU supported the fascists and other ultra-nationalists who took power in Kiev in February.

Naturally, the oppressed Russian nationality of eastern Ukraine has risen up against the new imperialist imposed fascist infested government in Kiev. In Crimea the people voted to get out of Ukraine while the getting was good, with 96.5% of the people voting for Crimea to leave Ukraine and rejoin Russia.

Likewise, the oppressed Czech nationality is looking to get out of Ukraine as well. An estimated 20,000 Czechs live in the Volyn region of Ukraine. During the week of March 20th, Emma Snidevicova, leader of Czechs in Ukraine’s Volyn region, spoke before the Czech parliament appealing for repatriation of Ukrainian Czechs: “The situation in Ukraine is that we are afraid for our lives, families and children. The situation is getting worse every day and pushes us to ask the Czech people to take us back home.”

Czech MP, Radim Fiala, said of the situation: “Crime and banditry is on the rise in western Ukraine, and the local radical groups abiding by the legacy of Stepan Bandera are to blame. Apprehensions of our compatriots who have an experience of clashing with nationalists during the Second World War cannot be ignored.”

Besides Crimea which has now rejoined Russia, and Czechs who are looking to immigrate, there are now strong anti-fascist uprisings across eastern Ukraine, including in Donetsk, Luhansk, and Kharkiv. Buildings have been seized including facilities where weapons are stored. In Donetsk the rebellion has now organized a 12 member ruling panel, declared its independence, and renamed itself the Donetsk People’s Republic. They are asking for a Russian peace keeping contingent to defend them from the illegitimate government in Kiev.

Regarding the potential for an anti-capitalist program in Donetsk, People’s Republic Commissar Nikolai Solntsev has declared the economic policy of the new government would focus on supporting “the working class, not the bourgeoisie.” Unlike the United States, which continues to carry out measures like an economic blockade against Cuba, the Russian Federation already has close relationships with countries with socialist economies, including Russia’s close ties to Belarus. This flows in part from the fact that Russia is only a weak capitalist country with little direct foreign investment, even in neighboring capitalist countries like Ukraine. Russia’s interests in the region have more to do with maintaining good mutual regional trading relationships while the imperialist U.S. and EU are seeking to maximize foreign exploitation while they also seek to isolate Russia.

In response to the uprisings in eastern Ukraine, the Obama administration, EU, and Kiev government are blaming Russia. The reality, however, is that it is the imperialist imposed coup in Kiev and the chauvinism of that government are the cause the anti-fascist uprisings in eastern Ukraine, not Russian intervention.

Leninist-Trotskyists support the anti-fascist uprisings in eastern Ukraine and call for the continued building of non-sectarian self-defense militias to protect oppressed nationalities, Jews, women, unions, and opposition political parties from fascist attacks. In addition, we call for the building of Leninist-Trotskyist parties that fights to overthrow the capitalist system itself, ending IMF austerity, massive unemployment, national oppression, and other devastation capitalism has brought to Ukraine. By Steve Argue, Indymedia. Republished without permission – Because the VOAG loves Steve Argue

For more of Steve Argue on recent events in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus, check-out:
US & EU Imperialist Hands Off Crimea, Ukraine, Belarus, & Russia! (In Depth)

http://www.class-struggle.com/2014/03/down-with-us-sponsored-neo-nazi-co

Communist Party Wins Mayoral Election in Russia’s 3rd Largest City
http://boston.indymedia.org/newswire/display/220100/index.php

For Ukraine’s Self-Defense Militias!
For Crimea’s Right To National Self Determination!
http://boston.indymedia.org/newswire/display/219919/index.php

Belarus: President Lukashenko Vows to Prevent a Coup Similar to Ukraine
http://boston.indymedia.org/newswire/display/219864/index.php

Imperialists Out of Ukraine! Stop Supporting Neo-Nazis! (An earlier article before the coup with in-depth analysis)
https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/01/26/18749806.php

donetskUkraine: Anti-Fascist Rebellion Grows,
Coup Government Attempting Violent Crackdown

By Steven Argue, 13th April
In nine cities in eastern Ukraine the government buildings, including security agencies, police stations, and administrative buildings, have been seized in an anti-fascist uprising. Barricades have been erected in the cities and anti-fascist checkpoints have been erected across the countryside. Those holding the barricades and checkpoints are largely the mine workers and industrial workers of the heavily industrial region. The uprising is calling for equality between nationalities. This is in opposition to the U.S. backed ultra-nationalist government in Kiev. Protesters are also demanding a referendum on some form of self-determination, allowing them to determine their own affairs independently of the illegitimate government in Kiev that overthrew Ukraine’s elected president in February.Cops and fascist paramilitaries from western Ukraine are mobilizing against the anti-fascist uprising.

The coup government in Kiev has declared the anti-fascists terrorists and attacked. In a joint operation of Ukrainian police and fascists of Right Sector in Sloviansk, the Kiev government has killed at least one protester and one fighting for the coup government has been killed as well. Sloviansk, however, remains under working class and not fascist control. The leadership of the neo-Nazi group Right Sector has called for a full mobilization of its forces to go to war in eastern Ukraine. In addition, Russian intelligence report that the private U.S. mercenaries of Greystone are on the ground and involved in repressive activities in Ukraine. These private mercenaries have also committed many crimes against the Iraqi people.Showing typical U.S. imperialist hypocrisy, U.S. spokesmen are backing this ultra-nationalist crackdown on protesters. Yet, during the Maiden protests the U.S. continually threatened sanctions to protect the ultra-nationalists who eventually came to power with U.S. aid in the February 22 coup. In that case, the U.S. repeatedly claimed that the ultra-nationalists were peaceful protesters, despite the fact that they were shooting and killing cops, lighting them on fire with Molotov cocktails, and beating them with clubs.

Ultimately, all evidence shows, the U.S. backed ultra-nationalists opened fire on their own men with snipers in order to blame the police of the elected government and create the crisis needed to overthrow that government. Today, the new U.S. backed coup government has a number of open neo-Nazis in key posts. Now that the working class of eastern Ukraine is rising up against this same ultra-nationalist government, the United States is somehow blaming Russia for a revolt that is, in fact, a result of the U.S. imperialist coup.

A tenth city was seized by anti-fascists on Sunday, the town of Mariupol.
 As usual, the New York Times echoed the official lies of the Kiev government with a headline saying,” Ukraine Forces Storm a Town, Defying Russia”. Yet later in the article they admit: “By Sunday afternoon, the government’s push to reassert its authority in a vitally important industrial and coal-mining region appeared to have made little headway. Pro-Russian protesters appeared to control not only the police station but also the entire town of Slovyansk, having set up checkpoints at major streets leading into town.”

 Fact is, reports from anti-fascist activists appear to be truthful when they say pro-coup forces (cops and fascists of the Right Sector) opened up with machine gun fire on a roadblock outside of Slovyansk, killing two people. One cop was killed in return fire and the pro-coup forces never made their way into Slovyansk. In addition, liberated Slovyansk has officially merged with the Donetsk People’s Republic.

For more on Ukraine:
Against Ukraine repression: ‘In Donetsk and Kharkov, The people continue to fight’ By Greg Butterfield (April 9th)
Support the Ukrainian Anti-fascist Rebellion; For the Donetsk People’s Republic By Steve Argue (March 31st)
Anti-fascists organize resistance as crisis grips Ukraine coup regime By Workers World (March 28th)

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VOAG-Logo-(Ukraine)Against Ukraine repression: ‘In Donetsk and Kharkov, The people continue to fight’

By Greg Butterfield, Workers World
 April 10 – Desperate to stamp out a popular uprising in Southeastern Ukraine, the fascist junta in Kiev -which came to power through a violent coup against elected President Viktor Yanukovich -is moving to crush the newly declared People’s Republic of Donetsk and rebellions in other cities.  But anti-fascists throughout the region continue to resist in the face of increasing repression by the U.S.-backed regime.

Arsen Avakov, the junta’s Interior Minister, arrived in the Southeast April 9, delivering a 48-hour ultimatum to protesters occupying government buildings in Donetsk and Lugansk to surrender or face military attack. The deadline expires at nightfall on April 11. Avakov, a leader of the far-right Fatherland party, was tasked with bringing the various neo-Nazi groups under the regime’s discipline. To this end he created a “National Guard” composed of members of the Right Sector, Euromaidan Self Defense Forces, and other racist gangs from Western Ukraine. The Communist Party of Ukraine’s headquarters in Kiev was set on fire April 9, just hours after a court ordered the Interior Ministry to remove fascists who’ve occupied it since the coup. Euromaidan Self Defense goons, now employed by the Interior Ministry, were photographed tearing up red flags outside the building shortly before it was torched. In the Southeast, police and military units unwilling to act against the local populace have been replaced by “special task forces” from Western Ukraine.

 According to Ukrainian and Russian sources, Avakov has also enlisted foreign mercenaries from the U.S.-based Greystone Ltd.  U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove, in charge of NATO forces in Europe, told the Associated Press April 10 that U.S. troops could soon be deployed in the region. NATO has scheduled an “emergency meeting” on Ukraine for April 14.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy destroyer U.S.S. Donald Cook was expected to arrive in the Black Sea April 10 near Russian waters, where it will join other U.S., Bulgarian and Romanian warships in provocative “war games” aimed at Russia. All of these forces are now deployed against the popular resistance in the largely Russian-speaking Southeast, where the anti-fascist and working-class traditions of Soviet times still run deep, and where some look to Russia as a last line of defense against the neo-Nazi threat from Kiev.

 But instead of intimidating the resistance, the fight-back has continued and spread. After losing ground earlier in the week, anti-fascists in Lugansk held onto government buildings. Miners in the Donbas region have downed tools to go to the defense of Donetsk. Hundreds have remained in the streets of Kharkov despite a ban on protests. And even in the Western Ukraine city of Lviv, near the Polish border, activists briefly seized the local prosecutor’s office to protest a new appointment by Kiev.

Donetsk prepares to fight
In Donetsk, capital of the Donbas mining region, protesters seized the Regional State Administration building April 6 and declared an independent People’s Republic of Donetsk. The new people’s council, with the support of thousands of demonstrators in the main square, announced a referendum for May 11 to determine the future of the region. The demand for a referendum has gripped the masses throughout the Southeast, who want autonomy or independence from the fascist, pro-NATO regime in Kiev, which is in the process of imposing austerity in return for International Monetary Fund loans. Calling for a general mobilization of the populace, the People’s Council said April 9: “According to information from our activists at civilian roadblocks, Ukrainian armored vehicles are on their way to Donetsk. The Kiev junta has decided to solve the problem posed by our protest by military force.  “But their politicians and security forces are afraid of the presence of civilians near the building, where a large number of foreign journalists are also present.

 “Last night, thanks to the presence of thousands of people around the Lugansk state security headquarters, people formed a human shield around the building to protect it and the presence of militias barricaded inside prevented police from carrying out their orders to kill our comrades.  “Let’s be worthy of our comrades from Lugansk! Protect our militia guarding the building of the People’s Council! Let’s defend our independence and freedom!”

And the people responded. Activists and volunteers, including many youth and retirees, have built barricades around the RSA building and other protest strongholds, set up checkpoints on roads, gathered food, water and medical supplies, and joined defense trainings against the expected military assault.

 On the night of April 9-10, teams of activists blocked several military buses and prevented them from deploying troops near the RSA.  “We will be on duty here all night, because the assault could begin at any moment,” one activist on nightwatch duty told Ria Novosti.  Sergey Tsyplakov, deputy director of the People’s Militia of Donbas, said: “In Donetsk airport, about 100 people from the National Guard have been housed. Around 100 Right Sector bandits are also in the city, as well as a hundred employees from a private U.S. military company operating under contract with the Kiev junta. “In total, there are around 300 professionals or well-trained and motivated fanatics,” Tsyplakov said. “This is a major force, but we are ready to fight.”

Kharkov: ‘Resistance does not subside’
  In the city of Kharkov, where the struggle has been led by the People’s Unity coalition and the leftist Union Borotba (Struggle), protesters seized the local RSA building and declared a People’s Republic on April 7.  The People’s Council called for regional autonomy, including independence of NATO, re-nationalization of former Soviet industry, and priority to collective forms of ownership.

That night, hundreds of fascists and mercenaries wearing Special Forces uniforms attacked the building. They arrested 70 people and dispersed the protesters – but only temporarily. Kiev-allied city officials declared they would ban mass protests in Freedom Square and the city center.

But the next day, hundreds again gathered on the square and outside the fascist-occupied RSA building. On April 9, more than 500 people turned out to demand the release of the detained activists, Borotba reported. The fearful authorities had the courthouse surrounded by 1,000 police and refused to admit members of the public. People picketed the courthouse for several hours, chanting “Power to the people, freedom for the Kharkov defenders,” while parents shouted, “Free our children!”

 The activists were sentenced to two months imprisonment or a fine of 180,000 hryvnia – about $14,000 each. Simultaneously, hundreds more rallied at Freedom Square ahead of a court hearing on the planned demonstration ban. “The ban is aimed not only at us, but at all Kharkovites,” charged Borotba’s Svetlana Tsiberganova.  Borotba and People’s Unity have called for a major demonstration on April 12 in defiance of the ban.  “Despite the repression, the resistance does not subside,” declared Borotba coordinator Sergei Kirichuk.  “The people are going to continue the fight.”ukraine pics

Catapult darkerI’m Confused. Can anyone help me?

At the weekly street stool of the Surrey United Anti-Capitalists this week a passer-by stopped and asked: “I’m Confused. Can anyone help me?”

I’m confused. A few weeks ago we were told in the West that people occupying government buildings in Ukraine was a very good thing. These people, we were told by our political leaders and elite media commentators, were ‘pro-democracy protestors’.

The US government warned the Ukrainian authorities against using force against these ‘pro-democracy protestors’ even if, according to the pictures we saw, some of them were neo-Nazis who were throwing Molotov cocktails and other things at the police and smashing up statues and setting fire to buildings.

Now, just a few weeks later, we’re told that people occupying government buildings in Ukraine are not ‘pro-democracy protestors’ but ‘terrorists’ or ‘militants’.

Why was the occupation of government buildings in Ukraine a very good thing in January, but it is a very bad thing in April? Why was the use of force by the authorities against protestors completely unacceptable in January, but acceptable now? I repeat: I’m confused. Can anyone help me?LuganskThe anti-government protestors in Ukraine during the winter received visits from several prominent Western politicians, including US Senator John McCain, and Victoria Nuland, from the US State Department, who handed out cookies. But there have been very large anti-government protests in many Western European countries in recent weeks, which have received no such support, either from such figures or from elite Western media commentators. Nor have protestors received free cookies from officials at the US State Department.

Surely if they were so keen on anti-government street protests in Europe, and regarded them as the truest form of ‘democracy’, McCain and Nuland would also be showing solidarity with street protestors in Madrid, Rome, Athens and Paris? I’m confused. Can anyone help me?MadridA few weeks ago I saw an interview with the US Secretary of State John Kerry who said, “You just don’t invade another country on phony pretexts in order to assert your interests.” But I seem to recall the US doing just that on more than one occasion in the past 20 years or so.

Have I misremembered the ‘Iraq has WMDs claim’? Was I dreaming back in 2002 and early 2003 when politicians and neocon pundits came on TV every day to tell us plebs that we had to go to war with Iraq because of the threat posed by Saddam’s deadly arsenal? Why is having a democratic vote in Crimea on whether to rejoin Russia deemed worse than the brutal, murderous invasion of Iraq – an invasion which has led to the deaths of up to 1 million people? I’m confused. Can anyone help me?AFP Photo / Pool / Mario Tama
We were also told by very serious-looking Western politicians and media ‘experts’ that the Crimea referendum wasn’t valid because it was held under “military occupation.” But I’ve just been watching coverage of elections in Afghanistan, held under military occupation, which have been hailed by leading western figures, such as NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen as a “historic moment for Afghanistan” and a great success for “democracy.”Why is the Crimean vote dismissed, but the Afghanistan vote celebrated? I’m confused. Can anyone help me?AfghanSyria too is rather baffling. We were and are told that radical Islamic terror groups pose the greatest threat to our peace, security and our ‘way of life’ in the West. That Al-Qaeda and other such groups need to be destroyed: that we needed to have a relentless ‘War on Terror’ against them. Yet in Syria, our leaders have been siding with such radical groups in their war against a secular government which respects the rights of religious minorities, including Christians.

When the bombs of Al-Qaeda or their affiliates go off in Syria and innocent people are killed there is no condemnation from our leaders: their only condemnation has been of the secular Syrian government which is fighting radical Islamists and which our leaders and elite media commentators are desperate to have toppled. I’m confused. Can anyone help me?AFP Photo / Amr Radwan Al-Homsi
Then there’s gay rights. We are told that Russia is a very bad and backward country because it has passed a law against promoting homosexuality to minors. Yet our leaders who boycotted the Winter Olympics in Sochi because of this law visit Gulf states where homosexuals can be imprisoned or even executed, and warmly embrace the rulers there, making no mention of the issue of gay rights.

Surely the imprisonment or execution of gay people is far worse than a law which forbids promotion of homosexuality to minors? Why, if they are genuinely concerned about gay rights, do our leaders attack Russia and not countries that imprison or execute gay people? I’m confused. Can anyone help me?Saudi ArabiaWe are told in lots of newspaper articles that the Hungarian ultra-nationalist party Jobbik is very bad and that its rise is a cause of great concern, even though it is not even in the government, or likely to be. But neo-Nazis and ultra-nationalists do hold positions in the new government of Ukraine, which our leaders in the West enthusiastically support and neo-Nazis and the far-right played a key role in the overthrow of Ukraine’s democratically elected government in February, a ‘revolution’ cheered on by the West. Why are ultra-nationalists and far-right groups unacceptable in Hungary but very acceptable in Ukraine? I’m confused. Can anyone help me?BudapestWe are told that Russia is an aggressive, imperialist power and that NATO’s concerns are about opposing the Russian ‘threat’. But I looked at the map the other day and while I could see lots of countries close to (and bordering) Russia that were members of NATO, the US-led military alliance whose members have bombed and attacked many countries in the last 15 years, I could not see any countries close to America that were part of a Russian-military alliance, or any Russian military bases or missiles situated in foreign countries bordering or close to the US. Yet Russia, we are told, is the ‘aggressive one’. I’m confused. Can anyone help me?Socialism-Or-Barbarie Darker

VOAG-Logo-(Ukraine)Support the Ukrainian Anti-fascist Rebellion; For the Donetsk People’s Republic

By Steven Argue
On February 23, one day after taking power, the coup government in Kiev voted to take away the language rights of Hungarian, Romanian, Tatar, and Russian speaking minorities. Eventually the bill was not signed, due in part to large uprisings against it, but the chauvinistic intentions and priorities of the anti-democratic government were made clear. That coup government is made up of a closely knit coalition of three capitalist parties, one of which is the neo-Nazi party Svoboda. For neo-Nazi Svoboda leader, Oleg Tyagnibok, taking away the language rights of the Russian minority will be just the beginning. He recently spoke before supporters in Kiev calling for criminal penalties for speaking in the Russian language. In addition, he called for stripping all ethnic Russians of their Ukrainian citizenship, forcing them to become non-citizens in their own land. In 2010 the official Svoboda internet website included in its program their desire to “physically liquidate all Russian-speaking intellectuals and all Ukrainophobes (Fast, without a trial, shot. Registering Ukrainophobes can be done here by any member of Svoboda).”

Political leaders and people in the media who defend the oppressed Russian nationality have been violently attacked by these neo-Nazi fascists. This includes a neo-Nazi attack by the Svoboda Party that forced the acting CEO of the National Television Company of Ukraine, Aleksandr Panteleymonov, to resign. One of the neo-Nazi thugs participating in the attack is ironically the head of the government’s Freedom of Speech and Information Committee.russian bare ukraineAlso attacked by fascists in the Ukrainian parliament was Communist MP Petro Symonenko who declared of the fascists who carried out the coup in February, “You are today doing everything to intimidate people. You arrest people, start fighting people who have a different point of view…” As if to prove him right, he was then interrupted by fascists of the Svoboda Party who physically attacked him. Likewise, on February 25th, fascist paramilitaries of Svoboda searched Petro Simonenko’s house, looking for evidence of anything, and upon finding nothing, burned down his house using Molotov cocktails.

“Give the scum promises, guarantees and then hang them.”
The Obama administration used these chauvinistic neo-Nazis to overthrow the elected government of Ukraine and they now occupy many key posts in the coup government. In eastern Ukrainian regions where the Russian minority constitutes the majority, there have naturally been uprisings against the chauvinistic central government and its appointed governments in the east such as the deputy head of South Eastern Ukraine as appointed by the illegitimate government in Kiev. He is a wealthy capitalist and criminal named Boris Filatov. Of Nazi collaborator and Nazi mass murderer Stepan Bandera, Filatov states, “I am proud of Bandera. He is my Hero. Particularly, as I see that people are ready to die under red-and-black flags.” Filatov has also stated his recipe for the solution in the region saying, “Give the scum promises, guarantees and then hang them.” When questioned on this later he explained it was just something he said on social media and not an official statement.cboboda
In addition to fascist hatred, the Obama installed coup government in Kiev is agreeing to IMF austerity and other dictates, including a 50% increase in the price of heating fuel. This IMF austerity comes on top of mass unemployment and much lower wages that have happened since the overthrow of the socialist economy in Ukraine with the destruction of the USSR. Higher fuel prices will cause the poor to freeze to death. To impose this austerity, the United States and EU supported the fascists and other ultra-nationalists who took power in Kiev in February.

Naturally, the oppressed Russian nationality of eastern Ukraine has risen up against the new imperialist imposed fascist infested government in Kiev. In Crimea the people voted to get out of Ukraine while the getting was good, with 96.5% of the people voting for Crimea to leave Ukraine and rejoin Russia.

russian bareLikewise, the oppressed Czech nationality is looking to get out of Ukraine as well. An estimated 20,000 Czechs live in the Volyn region of Ukraine. During the week of March 20th, Emma Snidevicova, leader of Czechs in Ukraine’s Volyn region, spoke before the Czech parliament appealing for repatriation of Ukrainian Czechs: “The situation in Ukraine is that we are afraid for our lives, families and children. The situation is getting worse every day and pushes us to ask the Czech people to take us back home.”

Czech MP, Radim Fiala, said of the situation: “Crime and banditry is on the rise in western Ukraine, and the local radical groups abiding by the legacy of Stepan Bandera are to blame. Apprehensions of our compatriots who have an experience of clashing with nationalists during the Second World War cannot be ignored.”

Besides Crimea which has now rejoined Russia, and Czechs who are looking to immigrate, there are now strong anti-fascist uprisings across eastern Ukraine, including in Donetsk, Luhansk, and Kharkiv. Buildings have been seized including facilities where weapons are stored. In Donetsk the rebellion has now organized a 12 member ruling panel, declared its independence, and renamed itself the Donetsk People’s Republic. They are asking for a Russian peace keeping contingent to defend them from the illegitimate government in Kiev.

Regarding the potential for an anti-capitalist program in Donetsk, People’s Republic Commissar Nikolai Solntsev has declared the economic policy of the new government would focus on supporting “the working class, not the bourgeoisie.” Unlike the United States, which continues to carry out measures like an economic blockade against Cuba, the Russian Federation already has close relationships with countries with socialist economies, including Russia’s close ties to Belarus. This flows in part from the fact that Russia is only a weak capitalist country with little direct foreign investment, even in neighboring capitalist countries like Ukraine. Russia’s interests in the region have more to do with maintaining good mutual regional trading relationships while the imperialist U.S. and EU are seeking to maximize foreign exploitation while they also seek to isolate Russia.

In response to the uprisings in eastern Ukraine, the Obama administration, EU, and Kiev government are blaming Russia. The reality, however, is that it is the imperialist imposed coup in Kiev and the chauvinism of that government are the cause the anti-fascist uprisings in eastern Ukraine, not Russian intervention.

Leninist-Trotskyists support the anti-fascist uprisings in eastern Ukraine and call for the continued building of non-sectarian self-defense militias to protect oppressed nationalities, Jews, women, unions, and opposition political parties from fascist attacks. In addition, we call for the building of Leninist-Trotskyist parties that fights to overthrow the capitalist system itself, ending IMF austerity, massive unemployment, national oppression, and other devastation capitalism has brought to Ukraine.

For more articles by Steven Argue on recent events in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus, check-out:
US & EU Imperialist Hands Off Crimea, Ukraine, Belarus, & Russia! (In Depth)

http://www.class-struggle.com/2014/03/down-with-us-sponsored-neo-nazi-coup-in.html

Communist Party Wins Mayoral Election in Russia’s 3rd Largest City
http://boston.indymedia.org/newswire/display/220100/index.php

For Ukraine’s Self-Defense Militias! For Crimea’s Right To National Self Determination!
http://boston.indymedia.org/newswire/display/219919/index.php

Belarus: President Lukashenko Vows to Prevent a Coup Similar to Ukraine
http://boston.indymedia.org/newswire/display/219864/index.php

Imperialists Out of Ukraine! Stop Supporting Neo-Nazis! (An earlier article before the coup with in-depth analysis)
https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/01/26/18749806.phpenemy-is-at-home

VOAG-Logo-(Brick)13Anti-fascists organize resistance
as crisis grips Ukraine coup regime

Workers World, March 28, 2014
Just a month after a U.S.-backed coup d’état in Ukraine brought to power a regime dominated by neo-Nazis and pro-Western capitalist politicians, the ruling junta finds itself in deep crisis.

Threats from the government in Kiev and its U.S. and Western European patrons were unable to intimidate the people of the Crimean autonomous region, who voted overwhelmingly to break away from Ukraine and affiliate with Russia on March 16. Russian President Vladimir Putin and local leaders made it official on March 18.

Now infighting has exploded among the fascist factions in the ruling coalition in Kiev.
The International Monetary Fund, meanwhile, has agreed to give the coup-makers an $18 billion loan — but only if they accept painful austerity measures. These are almost certain to throw Ukraine deeper into chaos.

Further, Kiev has been unable to subdue the rebellious eastern and southern regions of Ukraine, where anti-fascists are digging in to organize grassroots resistance.

People in these major working-class industrial and mining areas are rising to oppose the junta and demand political and economic autonomy. They reject the rule of the billionaire oligarchs appointed as new regional governors by Kiev. Some are even calling for re-nationalization of privatized industries.

Thieves fall out
Overnight on March 27-28, members of the neo-Nazi Right Sector gang surrounded the Ukrainian Rada [parliament] and threatened to storm it — much as they had done a month earlier, when the elected government of President Viktor Yanukovych was toppled.

But this time, the Right Sector was protesting its own erstwhile partners, some of whom were barricaded inside, including members of the far-right Fatherhood party and neo-Nazi Svoboda party. European television broadcast images of Svoboda politicians hanging out of windows shouting epithets while Right Sector goons hurled rocks at them from the street.

What happened?
On March 24, Right Sector leader Aleksandr Muzychko was shot dead during a police raid in the western city of Rovno. Muzychko had a long history of fascist terrorism and was on several international “most wanted” lists — a Ukrainian version of the anti-Cuba terrorist Luis Posada Carriles.

The assassination of Muzychko was followed by raids on Right Sector hideouts and seizures of weapons. The hit came on orders from acting Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, a representative of the Fatherland party associated with former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Avakov has established a “National Guard” under his command to deputize the fascist gangs and bring them all under the junta’s control. He also masterminded the joint neo-Nazi/police patrols that have suppressed any resistance in the western cities.

Avakov represents the coalition of far-right forces that control the commanding heights of police, military and prosecutorial powers of the new regime. Some forces in the Right Sector, like Muzychko, didn’t want to follow orders. Avakov and his colleagues decided that those who wouldn’t play ball must be eliminated.

The fascist street gangs served their purpose as the violent fists of the Euromaidan protests that ousted Yanukovych. But when it comes to investments and military strategy, Washington, Bonn and the IMF prefer to work with well-groomed, business-suited fascists like Avakov and Svoboda leader Oleh Tyanhybok.

Tymoshenko: ‘Grab a machine gun’
U.S. imperialism has big plans for Ukraine. First, it contains pipelines that control much of the flow of oil and gas between Russia and Western Europe. In addition, stationing NATO troops and weaponry there is also key to U.S. plans to isolate and dismember Russia.

Even after promising the Kiev junta $10 billion in loans, Washington is worried about the stability of the coup. Means have to be found to stabilize the country — that is, make it profitable for the Western imperialists. That means not only controlling the far-right factions in the western part, but quelling the anti-fascist resistance in the south and east.

While the inter-regime crisis was unfolding in Kiev, a leaked phone call posted online revealed more about the fires of war that the Obama administration and congressional leaders are furiously stoking. The call was from former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, considered a leading candidate in the presidential elections planned for May 25. Tymoshenko, a leader of the so-called Orange Revolution of 2004, was imprisoned for corruption before the coup.

Speaking with a former military official after the Crimea referendum, Tymoshenko urged her supporters to “take up arms and kill the fucking Russians along with their leader.” Tymoshenko also said she was ready to “grab a machine gun and shoot [Putin] in the head.” The recording ends with Tymoshenko threatening to use nuclear weapons against the 8 million Russian-speakers living in Ukraine. After the call went public, Tymoshenko claimed the part about using nukes was manipulated. The rest, she confirmed, was accurate.

Anti-fascists build resistance
In the cities of southern and eastern Ukraine, the leftist Union Borotba (Struggle) is one of the groups organizing anti-fascist resistance. Borotba’s central office in Kiev was ransacked after the coup and its activists forced underground. Outside Kiev, Borotba and other anti-fascists work in a hazy state of semi-legality, operating more or less openly depending on the level of organized resistance in each city.

This creates special challenges for organizers. For example, print shop owners refuse to print flyers or newspapers due to threats from the fascists. However, Borotba has managed to get help from sympathetic workers to publish its materials. A 10,000-copy run of “Front,” the first issue of a newspaper published by Borotba and the Antifascist Resistance Center, sold out in just three days. Borotba activists have set up tents and information tables to spread their message and recruit people to local anti-fascist defense committees composed of activists, workers, youths and former Red Army soldiers.

In Kharkov, where the Right Sector murdered two anti-fascists on March 14, Borotba plays a leading role in organizing mass resistance. On March 22, some 2,000 people defied a ban and rallied at Freedom Square for a people’s speakout initiated by Borotba. A major goal of the event was to recruit supporters for the local defense organization, People’s Unity.

The following day, hundreds marched down Rymarska Street to remember the two slain activists. They chanted: “Fascists kill! Power covers up!” Police then charged Borotba leader Denis Levin, a convener of the rally, with violating the ban and ordered him to appear in court on March 26. After a crowd of supporters picketed the court during his hearing, the judge dismissed the charge as “baseless.”

In Odessa, Borotba activists took up the case of Anton Davidchenko, a local resistance leader who was seized by the “Alpha” special police unit on March 17 and kidnapped to Kiev, where he is being held incommunicado. Some 1,000 people defied fascist threats and rallied at Odessa’s Kulikovo Field on March 23 to demand a referendum on autonomy. Led by Regional Council Deputy and Borotba activist Alex Albu, they marched to the prosecutor’s office to demand Davidchenko’s release and an end to the regime’s political repression.

Communist Party holds congress
The Communist Party of Ukraine (KPU) has also been targeted by the junta. On its first day, the new regime threatened an outright ban of the KPU. The party’s headquarters in Kiev was trashed and is still occupied by the Right Sector. Party members have been attacked and beaten. KPU leaders have continued to assert their membership in the parliament although they have been effectively banned from Kiev since the coup.

On March 26, the KPU held its 47th Extraordinary Congress in the eastern industrial city of Donetsk. The party nominated its general secretary, Peter Simonenko, to run for president in the May elections. It is unclear whether the KPU will be allowed on the ballot, or what dangers party candidates might face.

Emphasizing the need of the party to preserve its cadres and organization, Simonenko said: “We have grounds for optimism. In a short time, the new regime showed its anti-people nature and incompetence, its inability to govern. The inevitable deterioration of the situation of workers as a result of the requirements of the IMF will inevitably create the basis for a new protest movement.”

Workers, youths and retirees alike are determined to defeat the far-right gangs and push back Western imperialism. They remember their history as part of the Soviet Ukraine, which defeated the fascist occupation during World War II, with support from the Red Army.enemy is at home