Solidarity with Ukrainian communists

THOUGH the Nato threat has been beaten back in Syria the imperialist offensive continues throughout the rest of the world with the long-standing economic blockades against Cuba, Democratic Korea and Iran.

American nuclear and naval might is being marshalled across Asia to build a “pivot” targeted at Russia and People’s China and to convert the Pacific Ocean into an American lake. American agents are fermenting unrest in another attempt to overthrow the elected government of Venezuela in a struggle to restore US hegemony throughout Latin America.

And Anglo-American and Franco-German imperialism has closed ranks in ongoing attempts to destabilise and ultimately overthrow any government that refuses to submit to the demands of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the needs of the global capitalist economy. This has been no more so than in the Ukraine.

No one quite knows why the elected Ukrainian president abandoned his post last week two days after signing a European Union-inspired agreement with the opposition for new elections to end the stand-off with the mob in Kiev.

What is clear is that President Viktor Yanukovych has fled the capital and gone into hiding and that he has been subsequently been disowned by his own party, which draws its support largely from the Russian-speaking eastern and coastal regions of the country. The Party of Regions has now split and moved over to opposition following the establishment of an “interim government” this week.

His old comrades now blame him for the violence last week that led to 100 deaths in Kiev and have denounced him for bankrupting the country. Meanwhile the “interim” government — a rag-bag of opposition nationalist and openly fascist parties — has issued a warrant for Yanukovych’s arrest for the “mass murder” of demonstrators in Maidan Square.

Yanukovych always was a vacillator. A few weeks ago he told his supporters that he would crush the opposition if they resorted to armed resistance. When they did he ran. But his real crime, as far as Franco-German imperialism is concerned, was to renege on the “associate status” agreement with the European Union and turn to Russia for economic assistance.

The EU and the Americans have been quick to recognise the new “interim” government. Russia has not. The Kremlin says the new regime is illegal. The Russian ambassador has been recalled and Russian politicians are openly expressing their support for the pro-Russian Ukrainian communities, which cover at least half the country, and their concern at the rise of fascist movements amongst those who overthrew the Yanukovych government.

The most prominent is the Right Sector movement whose militia appears to have taken control of much of western Ukraine. They are the heirs of the “Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists” led by Stepan Bandera, the Ukraine collaborator whose followers actively fought with the Nazis against the Soviet Union during the Second World War.

The Right Sector and the other Ukrainian fascist movements hate Jews, Russians and communists and share a common anti- immigrant platform. They all idolise Bandera as a nationalist hero. Only recently one its leaders Aleksandr Muzychko, vowed to fight against “Jews and Russians until I die”.

The Communist Party of Ukraine, who have 32 parliamentary seats, have supported the Party of the Regions in the past. But they say that: “Responsibility for the bloodshed and violence rests in equal measure on those in power, which has brought the country to the brink, and on the leaders of the so-called opposition, the ultra-nationalist militant organisations and foreign politicians, who urge people to ‘radicalize the protests’ and ‘fight to the bitter end’.”

The Ukrainian communists want any decisions on Ukraine’s economic integration to be put to a referendum. They want an end to presidential power and the establishment of a democratic parliamentary republic with more powers to the regions, judicial reform and the election of judges and an independent civilian body of national control to oversee the government and civil service. We must now show our solidarity with our Ukrainian comrades in these difficult times.