The propaganda war on Ukraine

ANTI-FASCISTS in Britain and throughout the world who have rallied together to support the resistance in Ukraine are fighting an uphill battle against a mountain of misinformation, lies and confusion that is leading astray even some seasoned left-wingers who should know better.

The narrative that is being propagated is that even though Nato and the European Union are involved in meddling in Ukrainian affairs the Russian government is behaving in an equally predatory fashion, that Vladimir Putin is an ambitious imperialist who wants to expand Russia and to conquer Ukraine. This narrative admits there are some fascists involved in Kiev but claims that equal numbers of fascists are involved on the Russian side and that this is a complicated war between two imperialist empires with the poor Ukrainian people caught in the middle.

It also invents a neutral socialist Ukrainian working class that is there to be supported by those who do not want to dirty their hands by supporting one side or the other. Then its advocates claim that it is all very complicated, they do not really understand what is happening but nevertheless go on the condemn the people of Donetsk and Lugansk who have been forced to break away from the Kiev regime.

It is a response very like that of a typical police officer called to a case of domestic violence who hears conflicting accounts of what has happened, assumes “it takes two to make a quarrel”, both must be equally the blame, delivers a few anodyne platitudes and goes away to leave the man free to continue the slow process of murdering his wife.

The sequence of events from the very first shows that every action by the break-away republics of Donetsk and Lugansk has been a self-defensive response to violent attacks on them. The Russian government has made no moves except to reply in kind to sanctions from western powers and to send humanitarian aid to the people of Lugansk and Donetsk. In spite of constant false alarms in the western media, no Russian troops have entered Ukraine.

Putin is not an idiot. He knows that the Nato powers are itching for him to respond to their constant provocations to give them an excuse to wade in with their full war machine and possibly launch a third world war.

It is a matter of public record that the people of Ukraine as a whole voted against joining the European Union and that the elected Yanukovych government, although weak and vacillating, was ultimately carrying out the wishes of the majority. But a sizeable minority of western Ukrainians refused to accept this, believing naively that being in the EU was a gateway to a better standard of living, set up the Maidan Square protests. At the start they were a mixed bunch. But there were some right-wing extremists and even out-and-out Nazis among them who drove any left-wingers out of Maidan.

The EU and Nato were heavily involved in sponsoring Maidan with people, money and arms. This was the same process of destabilisation that wrecked Yugoslavia; the same process that the United States government through Nato has used throughout the Middle East.

The western powers supplied the arms and training that allowed the Nazis to hi-jack Maidan Square overthrow the elected government and set up a puppet government. Nazis are in a minority in this government but they do now control the police and the intelligence services. Opposition MPs are regularly bullied, beaten up and intimidates.

There may be some Russian extreme nationalists involved in supporting the break-away republics but they are certainly not in charge.

Meanwhile elections in Donetsk and Lugansk have favoured left-wingers and in Russia Putin has passed laws against Nazism; it is now a criminal offence to denounce the Nuremberg trials or to disrespect those who fought and died fighting Hitler fascism.

The people of Ukraine, east and west, are suffering primarily as a result of Nato strategy to put its strike bases all over Ukraine and to impoverish the population through drastic austerity measures so that imperialism can make profits from the natural wealth of the country. They need our support.