The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 5th April 2019

A comedy show in Ukraine

THE first round of Ukraine’s presidential elections has put a well-known TV comic streets ahead of the country’s current leader, Petro Poroshenko. What will happen when the two face off in the final poll is another matter.

We always say that bourgeois elections, when they are held, are used so that the smallest number of people can manipulate the largest number of votes. Ukraine is no exception.

Poroshenko is an immensely rich Ukrainian oligarch, known as the ‘Chocolate King’ because he owns a confectionery empire. His rival Volodymyr Zelensky is a popular comedian of Jewish origin who his enemies claim is a pawn of a Ukrainian media baron.

In high office Poroshenko has been a loyal vassal of the US imperialists who put him there in the first place. Zelensky, who made his name by portraying an incorruptible Ukrainian president in a popular television series, may be of the same ‘Euromaidan’ mould but he, at least, doesn’t openly depend on the support of the rabid nationalists and the Nazi militias that have propped up the Poroshenko regime over the last five years.

The anti-fascist resistance grew out of the ‘Anti-Maidan’ movement in the largely Russian-speaking Donbas, Odessa and Crimea regions that sought to prevent the far-right groups, which hijacked the ‘Euromaidan’ protests, from entering their towns and cities after the February 2014 fascist coup in Kiev. The autonomous Republic of Crimea seceded in 2014 and later joined the Russian Federation. The people of the Donbas took up the gun to drive the fascists out and set up the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics in the same year.

The agents of US imperialism and the European Union tell us that the poll was “free and fair” — but it was nothing of the kind. The anti-fascist resistance has been driven underground and the leader of the Communist Party of Ukraine was barred from standing on the grounds that its name, symbols and constitution did not comply with the “decommunisation” laws of 2015.

Although some 65 per cent of the electorate voted in last week’s presidential poll, Ukrainians have been voting with their feet over the last five years. Over three million work in Russia and another two million have gone to Poland.

Average wages have fallen to £245 per month, deaths far exceed births, taxes have increased and petrol prices have risen dramatically. No wonder that only nine per cent of Ukrainians have confidence in their government.

The fact is that Washington’s puppet government in Ukraine has failed and like Poroshenko the USA has few options available.

Although thousands of anti-fascists have gone into exile and hundreds languish in Ukraine’s prisons, with Russia’s support the resistance in the Donbas cannot be defeated. The junta in Kiev is under constant threat of military defeat in a new war, the collapse of its army, or a popular anti-fascist revolt.

It is only a matter of time before the illegitimate dictatorship is swept away and peace and freedom are restored, not only in the Donbas but in all of Ukraine. Our work in Britain is to mobilise the widest possible support for anti-fascists in Ukraine, where they are currently waging the most difficult struggle against fascism in the world.