Ukraine: anti fascists sweep forward

by our European Affairs correspondent

Novorossiyan freedom fighters are battling on all fronts in eastern Ukraine this week. Both sides have suffered heavy losses in the fighting that erupted when the Nato-backed Kiev regime launched a new offensive against the breakaway Lugansk (LPR) and Donetsk (DPR) people’s republics last week. But the Ukrainian army and the neo-nazi militias that have swarmed to the front were beaten back and now the anti-fascists have launched a counter-attack.

The Lugansk militia is moving against key industrial settlements in the north held by the Ukrainian army while in the west the Donetsk forces have virtually cut off the Debaltsevo salient which is being defended by Ukrainian fascist militiamen.

Debaltsevo is a strategic road and railway hub central to the flow of coal from the Donbas mines. But though its supply lines have been cut the fascists have refused to surrender. Many Ukrainian conscripts are deserting to the Novorossiyan side and most are volunteering to join the ranks of the anti-fascists and some have already joined in the fighting around Debaltsevo. In the south Novorossiyan forces have taken up positions closer to the key Black Sea port of Mariupol but they deny any involvement in the rocketing of the city last weekend that killed some 30 civilians.

In Novorossiya Alexander Zakharchenko, the premier of the DPR, told the media that his troops would continue the fight “until we reach the borders of the Donetsk region” — half of which is still occupied by puppet troops. He said: “If I see a threat from other directions we’ll neutralise it...Kiev doesn’t understand that now we can attack in three directions simultaneously”. Zakharchenko added he saw “no point” in further four-party peace talks and that the Minsk peace talks format agreed last year was “a mistake” that “we will not make again”.

In Moscow, the Russians have put the blame for the collapse of the ceasefire firmly on the Ukrainian regime. Russian President Vladimir Putin told the Russian Security Council that Ukraine was using heavy artillery, rockets and aircraft “indiscriminately against densely-populated areas... the ones responsible for that are those who give such criminal orders,” he said

At the United Nations the Russians blocked the UN Security Council from issuing a statement blaming the Novorossiyans for the latest upsurge in violence. But Anglo-American and Franco-German imperialism are preparing a new wave of economic and diplomatic sanctions against Russia which they say is the major source of arms to the Novorossiyan republics.

The American imperialists claim they are not seeking a military confrontation with Russia over Ukraine. “I’ve been very clear that it would not be effective to engage in a military conflict with Russia on this issue,” Barack Obama said during his visit to India on Sunday. But this has been challenged by Joaquin Flores, geo-strategist and director at the Centre for Syncretic Studies in Belgrade.

Talking to Press TV Flores said: “At first this might sound like a positive development but it must be understood in context. Peeling back the layers of doublespeak and hypocrisy, we find that since the coup that the US launched in Ukraine about a year ago, it has been the US that has spearheaded the present military conflict there today.”

“It has been the US that has been funding and supporting the various extremist elements...in Ukraine,” he added. Last year, US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland disclosed that Washington has “invested” about $5 billion in “promoting democracy” in Ukraine over the past two decades.

In February 2014 Nuland visited Ukraine and held meetings with anti-Kremlin politicians who organised anti-government protests that led to the ousting of Viktor Yanukovych, the country’s democratically- elected president.