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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

British forces out of Ukraine!

by New Worker correspondent

NCP leader Andy Brooks joined other anti-fascist campaigners in London protesting against the British government’s policies towards Ukraine.

British forces out of Ukraine! Last Saturday’s picket, opposite Downing Street in Whitehall, called on the Johnson government to withdraw British forces from the Ukraine and the Black Sea. They called on the British government to end all military, financial and political support for the regime in Kiev which was installed in the 2014 coup, a coup violently supported by armed, Nazi ‘Right Sector’ gangs and the rabidly anti-semitic Svoboda party. They also drew attention to the role of the fascist militias in Ukraine’s National Guard, which now legally patrol the streets of Ukraine’s cities alongside the civil police.

Campaigners want the Johnson government and the Foreign Office to clarify their position on the lack of democracy, attacks on journalists, the closure of newspapers, TV and radio stations (most recently in February this year), and the blatant human rights violations and involvement in crime by the ‘Azov Battalion’, the ‘National Corps’ and many other violent groups with white supremacist, anti-semitic and openly Nazi beliefs.

The National Corps’ estimated 10,000-15,000 members are legally allowed to patrol the streets of Ukraine’s cities, working side by side with the Ukrainian police. Its slogan is “Strength, Welfare, Order”.

The National Corps was created by the Azov Battalion as its own political party in 2016, and its core membership came from the Azov Battalion and the Azov Civil Corps, a civilian organisation affiliated to the fascist battalion. It has gained a reputation for violence, corruption and involvement in crime

This is of major significance for UK government policy as a British military contingent has been in Ukraine since February 2016 training members of the Ukrainian armed forces (UAF). The Azov Battalion and many other ultra-right armed militias are now part of the Ukrainian armed forces after they were admitted into the country’s National Guard.

Since 2014 the UK has had an Army contingent in Ukraine to train Ukrainian soldiers - quite possibly including members of the fascist militias integrated into the UAF.

Last year the Johnson government signed a major military deal to set up new British bases in Ukraine. In September 2020 over 200 members of the British Paratroop Regiment joined military exercises in southern Ukraine.

Last month the UK and Ukraine signed a Memorandum of Implementation for the “joint UK-Ukraine design and build of warships (and) construction of two naval bases” on board the very same ship, HMS Defender, which sailed through waters Russia considers its own on 23rd June, causing a major diplomatic incident.

Members of the New Communist Party of Britain, Socialist Fight, Third World Solidarity, Communist Fight, Solidarity with the Anti-Fascist Resistance in Ukraine, International Ukraine Anti-Fascist Solidarity and other labour movement organisations took part in the protest.

Not the first and certainly not the last. NCP London organiser Theo Russell says more solidarity actions are on their way, following the easing of the lockdown, to raise public awareness about what is really going on in the Ukraine and the Donbas