Ukranians resist Kiev

by our European Affairs correspondent

THOUSANDS of anti-fascist workers have taken over key cities in eastern Ukraine while the parliament in Kiev descended into violence after fascist deputies tried to kick the leader of the communist party off the rostrum.

In Donetsk, Kharkov, Nikolayev and Lugansk, thousands of anti-fascist protesters seized government administration buildings, police headquarters and banks, demanding greater autonomy, independence or union with Russia.

The imperialist-inspired coup that toppled elected President Viktor Yanukovych in February triggered a wave of unrest throughout the Russian-speaking south and east of the country, which largely supported Yanukovych’s Party of the Regions. Mass protests against the “interim” government, a motley crew of neo-nazis and nationalists in the pay of imperialism, have taken place in well over half the country every weekend since the coup

But the upsurge on 6th April spread like wildfire when protesters seized the regional assembly building in Donetsk and set up an independent people’s republic of Donetsk to hold a referendum on whether the city should join the Russian Federation by 11th May. After the declaration was read, the Internationale and the Russian national anthem were broadcast over loudspeakers in the main square to thousands of cheering residents


The Kiev regime, which has branded the opposition as “terrorists” or “Russian agents”, is mobilising the neo-nazi militias under the guise of the “National Guard” to crush the resistance with the help of mercenaries, believed to be hirelings of Greystone Ltd, an American “defence contractor” formerly known as Blackwater USA.

Greystone claims none of their men are working in Ukraine, the White House says the claim “seems bogus to us” and Geoffrey Pyatt, US Ambassador to Russia, called it “rubbish”.

But people in Kharkov told a Russian TV journalist that they’d seen men wearing the uniforms of the “Jaguar” riot police task force who seemed unable to understand either Ukrainian or Russian while talking to each other in English.

Ukraine’s acting Interior Minister has now given the demonstrators an ultimatum.

“There are two solutions: a political one through negotiations or through force,” Arsen Avakov told journalists on Wednesday. “For those who want dialogue, we propose talks and a political solution. For the minority who want conflict they will get a forceful answer from the Ukrainian authorities,” he said.

task force

Avakov said a special police task force from the western regions of Ukraine had already arrived in Donetsk, Lugansk and Kharkov and claimed “a solution to the crisis could be found within 48 hours”.

The Kremlin has urged Ukraine to “halt any interior military preparations which could instigate a civil war”.

It hasn’t come to that yet but the ugly scenes in the still functioning Ukrainian parliament could be the shape of things to come.

This wasn’t the first brawl in Ukrainian parliament but this week’s punch-up clearly reflected the tension on the streets.

It occurred while the communist leader, Peter Simonenko, was speaking against the emergency powers the new regime wants to criminalise the wave of popular discontent in the country.

Simonenko said those now in power refer to demonstrators occupying state buildings in Kharkov, Lugansk and Donetsk, as “separatists,” but when the same thing occurred in western Ukraine, the neo-Nazi Svoboda deputies called them “patriots”.

When he blamed the nationalists for encouraging the split of the country by failing to address the concerns of south-eastern regions, Svoboda deputies tried to push him off the podium. Other communists rushed to defend him and the brawl went on for five minutes before order was restored.