Ukraine

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Communist
Ukraine
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Surprised there hasn't been a discussion on this yet.

The situation looks pretty shitty. Two groups of nationalists fighting over whether they wish to be tied to Europe or tied to Russia. Far right organisations armed and taking a leading role in the protests. Russian speaking areas threatening to secede from Ukraine. The chief Rabbi in Kiev has urged Jews to leave the city, if not the country.

Wouldn't want to be in Ukraine right now. Russian speaking people in the North and West are gonna get shit, Ukrainian speaking people in the South and East are gonna get shit, and if your not Russian or Ukrainian your probably fucked wherever you go.

It's all a bit baffling, if working class people can get this worked up over whether they'd rather be allied to Russian Imperialism or European Imperialism, why can't they fight for their own interests? :/

Alf
shitty indeed

Thanks for raising this. I think you are right that the situation in Ukraine has nothing to offer the working class, who have been caught up in inter-bourgeois, inter-imperialist contest, in which both 'sides' are equally reactionary. This is in line with what we wrote a few weeks ago. We will be writing about this again soon. Also about Bosnia, where the dynamic seems to have been rather different, as it at least began with workers fighting for their interests -precisely what you say has been missing in the Ukraine.  

https://en.internationalism.org/icconline/201401/9419/ukraine-russia-s-o...

Hawkeye
Ukraine and growth of far right

Recommend reading article entitled 'The menace of the European extreme right' as published by 'The New Worker',  21st February 2014, which can be seen online at  newworker.org.uk.

radicalchains
Hawkeye

Good short article Hawkeye. It makes a small point about language and young people that I am starting to agree with. For instance, although it might appear as a small almost inconsequential  question I would be in favour of using worker, working class and ruling class in place of all current uses of proletarian, proletariat and bourgeoisie. I used to think the opposite as some kind of link to our past movement and experience but I've changed my mind. Plus given the negative connotation or lack of use by the ruling class of worker and working class it would be useful to use it and propagate the terms in a positive sense. Are the current terms more prominent due to the French influence in the ICC?

Fred
Excellent point radicalchains

Excellent point radicalchains about "bourgeoisie" and "proletariat"!   I've always disliked these words especially "proletariat" which is ugly and reminds me of "1984", and "bourgeoisie" is so lah-di-dah and reminds me...well, of the bourgeois and how nauseous they are. 

Working class and Ruling class get to the nitty gritty and emphasize... well CLASS!  And  class struggle and class war.  The ruling   class hardly ever mention the working class now; they're too scared. The word sticks in their throats.  Its  all  "the middle class" with them, especially in the States, where the Marxist idea of class is suppressed.  So it's all "the boring middle class;"   the sitting-on the-fence class; the ethereal class with no balls, no past and no future. Nothing to live for! 

And Communist gets it right too about Ukraine with

Quote:
 It's all a bit baffling, if working class people can get this worked up over whether they'd rather be allied to Russian Imperialism or European Imperialism, why can't they fight for their own interests?
 

Its baffling and shitty too. Maybe they need a demo from workers in the West to remind them of where their interest lie. But don't we all? 

Hawkeye
Re comment #4 and more

Thank you, radicalchains for your comment.  Those more familiar with the ICC as in France will be able to answer your question.

Re the lastest news of Ukraine, it is noteworthy that the western media now blame the whole of the killings there on the government's forces, whereas tv has repeatedly shown 'protestors', many said to be fascist neo-nazis, holding and firing various types of guns.

By now there seem to have been a number of groupings of 'protestors', some of which, maybe many, might be described as 'workers councils', but of course they are no doubt composed of a mixture of inter-class people.  However, now, it is not clear as to how those will be co-ordinated, led, or seriously misled.  This sort of dilemma would need to be faced in the event that a spread of workers councils anywhere else became widely adopted, influential within the working class, prior to any desired major change of control of events, yet still not able to present a credibly viable and widely acceptable set of revolutionary procedures, lacking clear plans for running the economy.  The means whereby a successful proletarian outcome could be secured would also be of key importance, in the face of bourgeois opposition.

baboon
proletariat and bourgeoisie

I don't think that these terms are particularly "French" but more in line with marxism and the "red thread". "Working classes", "working people" are more diffuse terms with connotations of "citizens" which is precisiely what the proletariat is being drowned under in Ukraine at the present.

Two nights ago, Channel 4 used the term "revolution" about a dozen times to describe events in Ukraine and the term has been taken up by the BBC, The Guardian and others. In this respect and the use that the bourgeoisie make of it demonstrates the persisting ideological campaign of the collapse of the eastern bloc against the working class.

The libcom threads are quite depressing on this issue with posts saying that this not our fight but let's get involved in this just "anti-government" cause. A post from some Ukrainian anarchists also says that this is not our fight but feel free to get involved as individuals, "common citizens", against the government. Rather than a clear defence of class lines in the face of this inter-bourgeois, inter-imperialist faction fight, there is at least a blurring of these lines where proletarian interests take second place to nationalist support - however critical.

radicalchains
I didn't know proletariat was

I didn't know proletariat was derived from Latin (proletarius) but bourgeoisie is literally a French word. No one mentioned "working classes" or "working people". I think the term working people is used by the ruling class to separate one section of the working class from another so wouldn't be in favour of using it. I won't derail this thread any further on this subject.

lem_
Baboon, I always assumed that

Baboon, I always assumed that individuals might get involved with pretty much anything that has mass appeal, if they are careful to argue for a communist perspective. Maybe I'm being a bit over imaginative, but couldn't one join the protestors without protesting about the same thing?

baboon
Apologies for giving the

Apologies for giving the impression that I was quoting anyone above; I put the inverted commas in to denote an abstract idea. Also, I think that we can talk about the proletariat and bourgeoisie.

Individual workers join strikes, picket lines, assemblies and so on as individuals but the act of coming together makes them stronger and what makes them stronger still is the depth and extent of the collective. The advice from the Ukrainian anarchist group to join the fight as individuals, as "citizens" as it says, is not only to reduce the power of the working class but reinforces the nationalism that citizenship represents and reinforces the repression that will be meted out by the nation on its "citizens", the price it will have to pay. "It's not our struggle, so join it" - how does that make sense?

[Crimea, Odessa, Sevasapol, names with resonance and geo-stratigic considerations. After tripping this crisis, how will Russia react to the West's provocative response?

lem_
  I don't understand your

 

I don't understand your reply mate. Would you have the Ukrainian anarchists join the protests as a group? If not, then you didnt answer why individuals shouldn't, I think.

 

Its like saying it's often easier to use an electric screwdriver, then because one would be unsuitable here nothing should be screwed in...

 

A.Simpleton
'Protestors'

On the world service the other night a war zone reporter gave as 'straightforward' presentation (as one might ever get ).

From 'The Hotel Ukraine' he played back his recording of the drumming bare-chested Cossaks accompanying the pall-bearers of the dead 'protestors'. He recounted witnessing street fighting and said that it was a moot point whether the opponents of the government forces were 'protestors' exactly - preferring to choose the word 'fighters'.

Several mornings he had been awoken by what he called the 'unmistakeable crack of KT 47s' and that in his very hotel and on the roofs around these weapons were being fired by 'fighter snipers' (i.e. non-state).

He visited one of their camps: describing the well ordered tents, the helmeted men in queues for food, women shredding polystyrene as a thickening agent for 'Molotov cocktails'. Some 'fighters' interviewed said 'look we have no weapons' others said 'sure we have weapons to protect our families it is justified': other than ousting 'this' government, no 'cause' was mentioned.

He visited the cathedral/hospital in which the dead and wounded lay: a young woman - not a qualified medic - but with three months training in triage and he walked among the bodies as she, with despairing plainess, pointed out the dead whom she pointed out had mostly been shot in the face, eyes, neck.

One can only evaluate on the basis of scant information : but my impression is that this confrontation between 'a political leader's' army and an equally military style opposition with the apparently quite 'focussed' and limited aim of bringing him down - which has now succeeded (am I right ?) does not necessarily represent any working class advance or awareness : quite the opposite can be the case.

For - as Baboon has expanded upon - it has given one of the Imperialist puppet masters an opportunity to posture/intervene.

There may well be other elements with a wider awareness, but even if the 'protestors' were 100% industrial 'proletarians' that in no way defines this or that fight as 'revolutionary' in a Marxist class struggle sense: in fact often it has the opposite effect.

Just now I heard a 'citizen' of Sebastopol saying : 'I'm Crimean: why should I be Ukrainian: I prefer to be Russian'

AS 

 

A.Simpleton
I should add

That there is a large Russian naval fleet still residing in Sebastopol: 'left over' as it were from U.S.S.R. days.

'History is continuous' [Marx/Engels: German Ideology]

lem_
So you are saying that it

So you are saying that it would be inappropriate to intervene as individuals because the "protest" is more reactionary the more people are involved? That makes sense...

baboon
The movement is reactionary

The starting point for internationalists on the situation in Ukraine is that the whole movement and its demands are reactionary, being based on inter-imperialist rivalries, local bourgeois factions and Ukrainian nationalism. There is not a single element of class struggle here because it is drowned in a movement containing a number of elements that have nothing to do with the class struggle. Whether an individual takes part, a number of individuals or groups is entirely secondary to the fundamental anti-working class nature of unfolding events. I mentioned the Ukrainian anarchists advice to their members (and presumably the workers?} to enter this bourgeois faction fight as "common citizens" because it seemed particularly hypocritical to me and typical of the worst aspects of anarchism - particularly when they stated words to the effect that this wasn't a fight of the working class. How they came to their "join as individuals" conclusion is beyond me but I guess, like a lot of anarchists (one can think of the "Syrian anarchists" and their continued support of the "Syrian Revolution"), they are rendered blind or excited by an anti-government protest even if it is moved by the necessity to form another government, ie, replace one set of capitalist gangsters with another. As I say, I don't understand it but you can ask them lem: they are on the libcom Ukrainian site with the heading of the Autonomous Workers Union.

It's important to be clear lem that this is an inter-bourgeois faction fight with the background of inter-imperialist rivalries. Russia tripped the crisis (which was in general waiting to happen) in attempting to tie Ukraine closer to its interests, the US and Germany responded - and the reinforcement of Germany's position here, if subtle and slightly ambiguous, is entirely consistent with recent pronouncements from its foreign ministry on a more assertive German militarism - and all this plays among the various Ukrainian nationalist factions. There is no ground at all here for workers struggle. As AS says above quoting Marx: "History is continuous" and we find ourselves in a situation that's different but similar to the run-up to the first world war: arms races, a renewed scramble for Africa, tensions in the Middle East and uncertainty in the Balkans and Caucasus. We have to be clear and intransigent about the danger of nationalism and the necessity for independent class struggle.

lem_
Of course that's already

Of course that's already clear.

 

But if it's taboo to appear in this "protest" then why not Facebook - its a site that only exists to make a profit and encourage the reproduction (?) of capitalism. I'm no anarchist and I see no reason to stick up for them. But it seems important to be sure that our criticism of anarchism is based on substantive differences, not a matter of interpretative felicity.

A.Simpleton
Continuous and .

Continually being changed by men's actions or repeated in trumps at an exponentially worse level,

I agree with Baboon that the movement under discussion is entirely reactionary:

And with a degree of 'nicety' that word reveals one true side of its meaning: i.e. the Bourgeoisie act/attack in their 'taken-for-ganted-as-normal-and-the-only-possible-reality' way and a 'reaction' is thus provoked in the exact same 'taken-for-ganted-as-normal-and-the-only-possible-reality' . In no way is their 'reversed world lie' challenged: the contrived 'eternal laws' of the extraction of surplus value: foisted acceptance of the 'naturalness of ownership of the means of production' the 'never-questioned-fantasy' of 'the commodity' etc.: worse it is upheld.

No Marxist with a grasp of Marx's radical core fundamentals and with those tools even a modest awareness of the history of its development could come to a different conclusion.

However lem_ I feel like adding that an Anarchist with an equal awareness of the root of that tradition might not come to much of a different conclusion either but I am beyond my realm of knowledge or recall here. 

Actually that this is unfolding in the Ukraine is no 'historical' accident - as if there were such a preposterous thing. 

From a 'bourgeois historical' description: (I say that because of 'warlike conflict' et simil strange terms)

The Ukrainian War of Independence was a period from 1917 to 1921 of sustained warlike conflict between different political and military forces, which resulted in the establishment and development of a Ukrainian republic, later a part of the Soviet Union as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

It comprised a series of military conflicts between Ukrainians who supported different governmental, political and military forces, among them Ukrainian nationalists, anarchists, Bolsheviks, the Central Powers forces of Germany and Austria-Hungary, the White Russian Volunteer Army, and Second Polish Republic forces for control of Ukraine after the February Revolution in the Russian Empire.

Also involved were foreign interventionists, in particular France and Romania. The struggle lasted from February 1917 to November 1921 and resulted in the division of Ukraine between the Bolshevik Ukrainian SSR, Poland, Romania, and Czechoslovakia. [my bold AS]

I am not well read enough on every year of The Russian Revolution only a little familiar with the CHEKA and so forth and to 'get behind the detail' would take longer than I have left to live.

One thing is for sure though the result of these events in this particular corner of the massive upheavals in Russia ended in;

A proliferation of yet more National , Imperialist, Sectarian divisions.

Neither Communist, nor Anarchist could be 'proud' of such a result: the deadly opponent of Internationalism. 

AS

lem_
My one bugbear with the site

My one bugbear with the site right now this one, is that it seems people are opposing my statements by adding context. I believe it is unnecessary... Big tangent but I always understand dialectics as rhetoric, turned to history and then on its head. So... what? Does that mean we are undone or refuted by what I have called inattention to "context"?

 

The movement is reactionary I so agree, it's killing murdering people for no reason whatsoever. But does that mean everyone there is a reactionary? If so then let the world shake!!!

A.Simpleton
Adjacent :@}

But not meant to sound opposing at all   sorry if it did... all those hours composing Latin Prose at school seem to weigh on me to turn what could be 'jazz' exchanges into lumps of granite.

I hear what you say: I try not to 'assume' that anyone is anything: or demolish ten tons of utterly imaginary consequences that don't follow from what they didn't say.

 'The context' I only found yeasterday and added it - actually because of what you said in a couple of posts earlier made me think :viz your question to BB re :The Ukrainian Anarchists 'joining in' .... is one thing : an individual 'being there on the street' another: and -say- even an individual who feels sure of the mistaken goal; with individuals why not? Of course I can go see for myself as long as I don't 'assist the myth' as it were .... again as you say , might even hear voices that describe it for what it is.  

I found myself by accident on the English Defence League's website the other night; ha! 'ave a quick look at how insidious they are: must resist any desire to spray graffitti on them though... doesn't mean I have to say 'ten Hail Marx's;

After the life I've lead, and as a maverick, I have no inclination (let alone 'right') to tell anyone what to do or 'judge' them on the basis of some 'rule' what is 'taboo' as you say.

***

Hope this makes more sense

AS

lem_
Yeah I think it makes sense

Yeah I think it makes sense however unnecessary - I too we all have made some shameful choices. I sometimes wonder what I'm doing here, but yeah. You be a maverick.

baboon
lem, I don't know what

lem, I don't know what "opposing your statement by adding context" means. I don't understand your Facebook analogy, nor the one about the electric screwdriver. But I do gather that you think that events in Ukraine are reactionary, ie, the mobilisation is reactionary. That has to have a practical consequence. Why join it, why advocate anyone to join it?. Why not, as a minority, conscious force that wants to speak for the working class, deepen a position on events all the better to denounce them as being anti-working class? Or do you see something positive in these events - is there a silver lining?

LoneLondoner
A good article... by Maoists?

radicalchains wrote:

Good short article Hawkeye. It makes a small point about language and young people that I am starting to agree with.

I disagree - context is everything. This article gives some relatively trivial information on far-right groups, the kind of thing that you can pick up on any number of web sites or publications devoted to "watching" the Far Right. And it is written by a Maoist group that supports Scottish and Welsh nationalism. Take a look at their article on the "riots in Kiev" which is basically a mealy-mouthed defence of Yanukovitch and Russian imperialism. This group and its ideas have nothing whatever to do with the working class: let us be deadly clear about that!

The question of language in this context is completely trivial (though it is not without interest in its own right).

Hawkeye
Reply to baboon's #15

Of course you make a clear argument as per a plague on all their bourgeois houses, but it seems to me rather like advising the workers in Ukraine to do nothing until they hear from the ICC !

In his 2014 paperback entitled 'Event', subtitled 'Philosophy in transit', Slavoj Zizek on page 114 argues that there is never a right moment to act, because acts are either too soon or too late.

Within the maelstrom of inter-bourgeois struggles in Ukraine, it remains to be seen to what extent, within the likely capitalist outcome framework, the influence of fascist neo-nazis will be increased or reduced. Would the ICC regard that as of little or no importance ?  I wouldn't, nor would millions of others.

radicalchains
Riots in England

This discussion rather reminds me of one on the revleft forum post 2011 riots in England. There were leftists arguing that other leftists should have intervened. I think it boils down to the idea there is action, something going on, we must do something. As someone pointed out at the time, have you ever tried handing out leaflets during a riot? Of course, as has been pointed out it's about context of the situation but also about what can be achieved and is it of any use?  

lem_
no baboon i see no slilver

no baboon i see no slilver lining at all, unless i'm missing something.

but as individuals i assumed that we should repsond to what happens, and maybe that includes "joining" reactionary movements in order to clearly spell out everything that's wrong with them. i'm not saying i'm sure that it can be helpful, but if i went on a march and someone there said "don't go on this march" i could be receptive and listen.

thanks :-)

Communist
Will we be able to stop the world going to shit?

lem_ wrote:

no baboon i see no slilver lining at all, unless i'm missing something.

but as individuals i assumed that we should repsond to what happens, and maybe that includes "joining" reactionary movements in order to clearly spell out everything that's wrong with them. i'm not saying i'm sure that it can be helpful, but if i went on a march and someone there said "don't go on this march" i could be receptive and listen.

thanks :-)

You'd be receptive and listen, but that's probably because you are a Communist. Given the dominant role of nationalisms in these protests I think it'd be very dangerous to even verbally address these people without being branded a traitor or a Russian stooge regardless of how rational your arguments are. Some Anarchists and Trade Unionists tried to set up camp and were attacked. I think its not only unbeneficial to the working class struggle but theres also a very real physical danger in trying to engage with these people.

Everyone is going mental at the moment and discontent is flowing into nationalism across the world. I think it's approaching a point where us Communists have to get our shit together quickly or things are gonna turn absolutely barbaric worldwide. I think the one thing that's become obvious since the recession began is that 'progress' isn't neccesarily something which comes naturally as time goes on.

 

baboon
I agree with Communist about

I agree with Communist about the real physical danger to individuals going onto the streets in this sort of situation and trying to put forward a communist perspective. It would be stupid. And this ties in with what radical says about feeling the need to "do something" - a tendency which exists within anarchism that's sometimes triggered by flames and shouting. Not only will you - or anyone with you - not be heard but you are inviting a good kicking at least.

It's gratuitous to say that this is a case, as Hawkeye does, of "wait for the word of the ICC" (or its sympathisers). The intervention of any internationalists here must put forward the fundamental needs of class struggle against the calls to rally and support the "Ukrainian nation". There is already a good background article on this on the website entitled "Ukraine: Russia's offensive against its great rival powers".

I don't think that in the immediate or medium term there is much danger of a Russian invasion, though seperatist tendencies are still there. Indeed, Russia seems to be cooperating with the west to avoid an economic meltdown which would not be in Russia's interests. In the longer term problems and difficulties are piling up.

The Ukrainain parliament, the new will of the people, has appointed Arsenly  Yatsenyuk the new Prime Minister. Yansenyuk is a close member of Yulia Tymoshenko's mafia which, when in power, already inflicted more misery on the working class (while helping itself to a fortune). I think that Russia can live with this clique and it must, for both east and west, step up its austerity attacks at a much higher level than before.

Redacted
Great thread. Don't fall into

Great thread. Don't fall into the trap of anti fascism...

On a slightly unrelated tangent, in regards to "working class vs. proletariat" how many times have I tried bringing up "syntax" with the ICC only to be essentially told off?

radicalchains
Are we looking for movements of a pure consciousness?

What about the argument the Commune was preceded by a Patriotic Front or Father Gapon's march in Russia? Any relevance? I think it's at least worthwhile remembering the consciousness we all want to see does not start off ideal regardless.

baboon
That's a point radical and I,

That's a point radical and I, and I think all, would agree that waiting for an ideal consciousness to express itself is pure utopianism. The Commune, for all the nationalist weaknesses of the working class in France, was based on a movement that had been involved in a developing workers' struggles in the preceding period - one finding its feet. Similar for 1905; again a major advance for working class organisation even greater than the Commune but again based on developing struggles and strikes from the late 1800's. The consciousness expressed, its manifestation in new, more profound forms of organisation, came from the struggle. I asked myself the same question as you at the beginning of current events in Ukraine but there's no struggle here, nothing to come out of this mess for the working class, the ground is that poisonous for the foreseeable future. And the background to these events: not class struggle, but the still existing ideology of the collapse of communism and the victory of capitalism and democracy reworked somewhat at the moment by the west in response to the original moves by Russian imperialism. But, as has been said elsewhere on here, recent events in Bosnia have shown more evidence of a proletarian response.

Newsnight last night did a fairly superficial "in-depth" look at the Ukrainain protestors - no-one else has yet looked too closely at them. There seems little doubt that the far-right "detachments" were a powerful force in the confrontations with the security forces. They continue to parade around in armed groups and one of their "seniors" has become ministry of the interior I believe. The news report made  a short point of saying that these thugs had targeted young people on the streets and some anarchists on libcom say that they were overwhelmed and beaten up - as were others.

KT
Proletarian Internationalism v Inter-Imperialist Antagonisms

Trying to avoid both immediatism and reductionism, but it does appear in general that the stronger the element of working class consciousness and unity in action is in a given situation, the less room for manoeuvre imperialism has. The reverse is also, unfortunately true. This seems to me to be a real tendency on an historic level, but also often manifests itself in immediate events. Thus some of the weakest expressions of social revolt over the recent period were witnessed in Syria and Libya and it is here that we've seen events degenerate very rapidly into inter-bourgeois gang fights, supported if not initiated by major powers. I'd make the same observation about events in Ukraine.

Anyway, here's (hopefully) a link to an internationalist statement on Ukraine by the KRAS who in the past have been approvingly quoted by the ICC.

http://www.aitrus.info/node/3608

LoneLondoner
Language?

Jamal wrote:

Great thread. Don't fall into the trap of anti fascism...

On a slightly unrelated tangent, in regards to "working class vs. proletariat" how many times have I tried bringing up "syntax" with the ICC only to be essentially told off?

Jamal, nice to see you back. If you want to discuss "working class vs. proletariat" then I suggest you start a thread on the subject - it's completely off center on this thread which is about events in Ukraine.

LoneLondoner
Is the invasion beginning?

baboon wrote:

I don't think that in the immediate or medium term there is much danger of a Russian invasion, though seperatist tendencies are still there. Indeed, Russia seems to be cooperating with the west to avoid an economic meltdown which would not be in Russia's interests. In the longer term problems and difficulties are piling up.

Latest news suggests that baboon was being over-optimistic. This is a very dangerous situation. Putin thinks he can do another Georgia - what will happen next depends a lot on whether the US is just blustering (as they were over Georgia) or whether they are serious. But the danger of full-blown civil war on the edge of Europe, supported by US/European imperialisms on one side and Russian imperialism on the other, is all too real.

And this is possible precisely because the working class has been totally absent from recent events. In this scheme of things, the presence or not of "fascists" in the Kiev demonstrations is completely irrelevant.

baboon
There is indeed a

There is indeed a deterioration in the whole situation that is extremely dangerous. 

On the far right forces at work in the Ukrainian "revolution": Lone calls them "fascists" in inverted commas, but they are not "fascists",  in inverted commas or not (though expressions from them of a Russian-Jewish conspiracy are becoming more vocal), and understanding this brand of nationalism is important for understanding the development of the situation. One of the first laws passed by the the Kiev parliament, and proposed by the far-right elements (not "fascist") was to severely restrict provisions to Russian-speaking areas and this was bound to invite a Russian retaliation.

There were reports last night that Yulia Tymoshenko, a leader of the non-right wing mafia that Russia has dealt with successfully before when it was in power, was on a plane to Moscow but nothing has come of that so far. The most serious military flashpoint seems at the moment to be the Ukrainian army base at Perevalnoye in Crimea where Russian special forces are directly confronting the Ukrainian military who are refusing to give up their arms. Elsewhere in Crimea there are reports that Ukrainian army forces have given up their arms or have gone over to the Russians (the latter only reported by the Russian news service, RT, which also reports that local Ukrainain units haven't been paid for months). But aside from Crimea, which is absolutely essential to Russian imperialist interests (and they can point to their own protocols over the issue with Ukraine in order to justify their own imperialist actions and against the Helsinki agreeement for example), there are lots of other "flashpoints" throughout the east of Ukraine and, even given the relative weakness of the Ukrainian millitary,  this is what is making the situation even more dangerous and liable to spin out of control.

Following KT above, it looks to me like Kras is offering a sober and thoughtful voice here, on a first reading at least. But its internationalism is expressed in the headline that "This is not our war". Other anarchist groups in the Ukraine have been swept up in the nationalist flood: Narodny Nabat has called a truce with some of the right wing groups on the ground and is working alongside them. The AWU has been less than clear in calling its members to join the protests as "common citizens". There are other anarchist groups within Russia that appear to be supporting Russian imperialism and Kras, whose prime necessity is rightly to denounce imperialism across the board, will hopefully return to them in due course.

Alf
Solidarity with the KRAS

There are two threads on libcom about the KRAS. One is their internationalist statement on the war. I agree with the assessments of KT and Baboon. The other is a statement about being physically attacked by a group of 'national anarchists'. The latter reply with denials and single out the comrade Vadim, who is known to us as a very firm internationalist, for particular accusations and insults.  The latter preceded the former, but they are certainly connected. The nationalist plague infects not only Maidan square but also the very fragile proletarian political movement in Russia and Ukraine. I was moved to express my solidarity with the KRAS and Vadim, without waiting to talk to anyone else, inside or outside the ICC. But i would value the thoughts and support of other comrades.

http://www.libcom.org/forums/news/declaration-internationalists-against-...

 http://www.libcom.org/forums/news/statement-denouncement-attacks-against-member-kras-iwa-so-called-mpst-group-08042013#comment-533893

baboon
Firstly, I've just expressed

Firstly, I've just expressed my support for the position of KRAS on the libcom website and it's good to see that it's been generally welcomed. This makes a change because very dubious statements by some anarchist groups in Ukraine have been reproduced on libcom without comment by the poster or others in a sort of every voice is equal framework and, if it's a Ukrainian voice, it's more equal than others. This makes the clear welcome to the postiion of the KRAS all the better and a pleasant change from the fence-sitting and prevarication that can exist on this site.

There is clearly a very dodgy swamp in relation to anarchism in and around Russia that Alf has mentioned before and the ICC is aware of, and this makes the KRAS statement all the more welcome and on this basis I would support them against their "anarchist" critics. The anarchist MPST (from memory) criticise them for being "armchair professors" (we know all about that and where that criticism comes from) who in turn have attracted criticism from an east European poster called Akai, for their attacks on gays. That discussion is developing.

Secondly, some points on the general situation and the idea that the Ukrainian far right or right wing equals "fascism".

I am not at all underestimating the dangers of the situation but I don't think that anyone seriously believed that Russia would not strengthen its defence of Crimea (which it is now calling the "Autonomous Republic of Crimea") by substantial military forces. Even a couple of days ago, the British press was putting the "invasion" of Russian forces into Crimea in inverted commas. And if the Russian invasion wasn't on the scale of "Shock and Awe" in Iraq, or the bombardment of Libya, then it has opened up another can of worms close to the heart of Europe. The fact of Russian intervention highlights many more flashpoints in the east of the country, towns and regions, that could see this country descend into more chaos and fighting.

Without overestimating them on one hand, I think it would be a mistake to underestimate the far right forces in Ukraine on the other - particularly if this was done in order to avoid sounding like an anti-fascist and all the connotations that go with that. It is undeniable that the far-right forces have been a significant force in the confrontation with the old regime in Kiev and a signficant force in frameing the immediate anti-Russian laws in the new parliament.

The west is certainly worried about these far-right or right wing Ukrainain forces that it has helped to conjure up and sustain, for the further instability that they bring to the situation.

These forces express the fundamental weakness and instability of the Ukrainian state and the degree of decomposition affecting it. The excellent article on Ukraine in WR 364 is very clear on the expression of the far-right in the descent of Ukraine into further decomposition that one can't accuse of promoting the idea of "fascism". Thus Sam's article quotes as "lucid" the conclusions of a bourgeois analyst who sees the decomposition of Ukraine through the opposition forces (and also as a further deterioration from the "Orange Revolution" of 2004). He quotes the opposition as "an affable boxer", a discredited mafia led by a convicted crook, and the "Nazis". Thus, as the article quotes and builds its argument on, incompetents, then mafia, plus Nazis - it would be a catastophe he said, likening Ukraine's government to one of similar states in sub-Saharan Africa! The elements of decomposition clearly come out in this article because it's not afraid to look at the reality of Ukrainian politics.

Amid their own warlike rhetoric and their own imperialist manoeuvring, the bourgeoisie of the west are well aware of the weaknesses of the Ukrainian opposition including its very unstable right wing elements. I don't think that revolutionaries shouldn't talk about these specifics - within the overall framework - for fear of being associated to the anti-fascism which is one of the lines presently being adopted by Russian imperialism.

lem_
interesting thread...putin

interesting thread...

putin always struck me as one of the more dangerous world leaders, sheerly because he wears his socipathic "streak" on his sleeve - and Russia [trying to phrase this without sounding obnoxious / defeatist] seem to be quite wiilling to accept that. how quikly do you expect this to esculate or resolve?

radicalchains
Putin has always struck me as

Putin has always struck me as quite the opposite, he seems to play the international democratic card. But as I learned recently he once said "if it doesn't happen on tv then it doesn't happen" or something to that effect and his initial control over news broadcasting. I've only got British news channels and some European to go on though. Is there something unique about Russians that they except sociopathic leaders, aren't all leaders pretty similar having risen to the top of the greasy bourgeois pole? Was there something particular about the Germans that made them accept Hitler? I don't think so.

lem_
no of course not - just a

no of course not - just a gradual erosion of faith in... whatever, the benevolence of our leaders.

 

edit allow me to add that i'm not casting the russian state as the bogeyman here, just its leader. which is pretty much beside the point, except that i am unsurprised that russians are, as yet, mostly supportive of putin.

would the same happen anywhere? perhaps... i'm sorry i was just making conversation on the grip putin seemed, to me, to have on national consciousess.

baboon
statement of left communists?

I think that there is a great deal to be said and lessons to be drawn about the situation in Ukraine: the general slide of capitalism into greater and greater militarism and imperialist tensions; the weakening of the US; the fractious relationship of the western "allies"; the deepening of the economic crisis and the instability that it provokes; and other elements. I am sure that the ICC is already working on these not least from its already comprehensive analyses of the international situation. This may be a stupid question but is there any possibility of a joint statement with the ICT on the military manoeuvres around Ukraine and the dangerous developments contained within this. Apart from some secondary differences and differences of emphasis, I don't really see any difference of substance in the analyses of the two groups on the developments of imperialism in the main. Many anarchist and libertarian communist voices on libcom have cohered (after a fashion) on the statement of KRAS and I think that a joint ICC/ICT statement would be worth pursuing - though I'm not aware of any obstacles that there may be to this?

baboon
moving swiftly on...

In response to lem above about where will it all end? My opinion from the beginning was that the Russians would end up doing a deal after a show of force (they did this in Georgia) but I did wonder if I was ascribing a bit too much rationality to an imperialism that is fundamentally irrational. Things won't be the same though, even if they come to some accord over the territory, and none of the underlying problems - economic and military - have gone away. There is a resurgent Russian imperialism but the Russian bloc of old - and its world-wide reach - has, I think, gone forever. And then imperialism and the general decomposition of capitalism has its own irrational dynamic that can be beyond prediction. That is why outlining the "main lines" is so important for the working class.  For elements of decomposition in this situation look at the "strength" of the Ukrainian ruling class and, what must worry the west as well as the east, the complete absence of "law and order" in Kiev and elsewhere Ukraine. There are still many flashpoints.

On the question above of what's unique about the "sociopathic" Russian leadership. Nothing really. Every Russian leader since Stalin has come from the Russian secret services, the KGB firstly and now the FSB within whose ranks Putin rose. The only exception to this was Boris Yeltsin who was so drunk it didn't matter. This closeness of the "security" services with political leaderships is not at all confined to Russia, though the specifics of Stalinist regimes explain them a great deal. Bush senior was head of the CIA and many senior US administration figures are close to the secret services. I remember similar examples from the German political elite. One would expect these individuals to be without morals and ready to be involved in the most diabolical undertakings. In general, within capitalism as a whole, the ruthless, killer-types will rise to the top - I think that there has been some scientific research that bears this out in relation to big businesses. In Britain, the intelligence services have been, to all intents and purposes, cleanly separated from high political office, but this fiction is now harder to maintain. As well as throwing up abomidable creatures such as Thatcher and Blair, those politicians that start with "the best will in the world" will be turned into sociopaths if they want to get on within the system.

A.Simpleton
Bedfellows

baboon wrote:

 In general, within capitalism as a whole, the ruthless, killer-types will rise to the top - I think that there has been some scientific research that bears this out in relation to big businesses.

One of Britain's big businesses is 'Financial Services' :i.e a clearing house, facilitating the movement of National Capital/falsely accounted corporate profit/oligarchic money etc, by the invention of intractable trick-devices, living off and promoting the 'reputation' of 'good old honest London' into which you can funnel anything and a 'clean Capitalist horde' emerges.

I know it's just one small personal example below (re: Viktor Yanukovych) but it brings up the overarching broader issue (in which I get lost) of : State power, Imperialist allegiance, Corporate power, Capital trading houses, Intelligence agencies et al.

That there is conspiracy (and the need for it) among all The Bourgeois instruments of domination is unquestionable.

That there are also inherent contradictions within these is something that Marx clearly defined at the very start -even though circumstances now are exponentially more complex and chaotic.

'The City' recently created a corporate vehicle called an LLP : limited liability partnership: no real names need be attached to such and their ultimate 'ownership' can remain a mystery (the 'chinese dolls' shell company trick)

Yanukovych and his family (mafia) are behind two LLPs: Fineroad Business LLP and Roadfield Capital LLP which control other 'enterprises' owning tracts of prime Crimean property and also behind contracts for other property construction in Ukraine. Both the LLPs are registered at Companies House (which is in Cardiff) at an address that is a closed down kitchen-ware shop in Cardiff (this researched and actually visited by a 'Paul Foot' type investigative journalist). These LLPs are in their turn owned by Monohold AG and Intrahold AG, two 'companies' registered in The Seychelles. His research at Companies House revealed 1,840 similar LLPs 'owned' and registered in Belize, 1,772 in The Marshall Islands and thousands more in Panama, Dominica etc.

So what's new ..huge UK complicity in International financial 'crime' which is a tautology of course because Capitalism is a giant criminal enterprise. I think the point I'm trying to dig out is a kind of Abbott and Costello 'who's on first base?'

The State U.K  vacuously blusters about 'tax corruption' or blah blah but has a more basic need to maintain its capitalist centrality as a laundry-cum-money trick shop (second to gun running) The State U.S - specifically re Ukraine/Crimea - needs to bluster 'imperially' about 'sanctions' against Russia 'witholding visas' etc. 'violation of international law' etc. Goldmann-Sachs, Merrill/Lynch et al have vast Russian capital in their vaults: don't let the Russian billionaires in: ideal. The Workers have no country, but the universal representative of 'value' (money) has no country either: the commodity has no country either.... or does it. Germany particularly in this confrontation is aware that Russia could turn off its gas. 

Perhaps only the N.S.A has all the data at its fingertips: the forensic detail of the orders that have just been given to whichever military or the phone calls between wichever group and their intentions : which it can then pass on or not or falsify or...

Apologies for a somewhat unfocussed outpouring to do with the 'state of the enemy': I don't think the various Bourgeois Dog Eat Doggers know 'who's on first base' and though this can stalemate their agenda(s), can it not also -almost accidentally- help obscure further the true identity of The Proletariat's enemy.

baboon wrote:

And then imperialism and the general decomposition of capitalism has its own irrational dynamic that can be beyond prediction. That is why outlining the "main lines" is so important for the working class.

Absolutely right

AS

Alf
you know my methods

Some very useful detective work here,Watson

baboon
Where's Yulia?

Where is Yulia Tymoshenko?  Her partner-in-crime (literally), Arseny Yatsenyuk is Prime Minister and was welcomed to the White House yesterday to meet Obama. But where is Yulia? Surely she's not competing in the Sochi paraplegic games in her wheelchair? If so, Heather will be incandescent with rage.

A.Simpleton
Perhaps she is

Desperately globetrotting, trying to find one of the following 10 banks that will cash a cheque? 

and this is just the 'old news' ....

In 1996 and 1997, Mr. Lazarenko received payments of at least $162 million from corporate entities controlled by Ms. Tymoshenko and others, including UESU, UEIL and Somolli Enterprises, Ltd.

The transactions included an account in the name of UEIL at National Westminister Bank in London through financial institutions in the U.S., including Corestates Bank, in Philadelphia, PA to an account in the name of Somolli Enterprises, Ltd at the Bank of Cyprus in Cyprus which went through financial institutions in the U.S., including Bankers Trust Company in New York and Credit Suisse in New York 

to accounts controlled by Mr. Lazarenko and/or Mr. Kiritchenko at Banque SCS Alliance in Geneva, Banque Populaire Suisse in Geneva and American Bank in Poland, Inc. in Warsaw, Poland. 

[the above from the 'Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative' webpage]

However these 'revealing details' - though utterly believable - themselves come from a page of the website of the World Bank Group and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime 'dedicated to tracing, locating.closing safe tax havens for laundered/stolen funds' .....yeah right ... 

It even has a 'Puppet Masters' page advertising a book eponymously named :'Puppet Masters':byline

'How The Corrupt Use Legal Structures to Hide Stolen Assets and What To Do About It'  (!)

A handbook in otherwords surely....

 

[Multicultural Supremacist Freemasons at an Imperial Lodge dinner, demonstrating 'the handshake']

AS

 

lem_
looks like it's beginning to

looks like it's beginning to escalate - reports of russian troops being repelled from advancing beyond crimea.

radicalchains
?

Repelled by who? Where are you getting your information from lem_?

lem_
reuters - isn't it?? i

reuters - isn't it?? i thought it was so obvious / easy to access that it was silly to post!! perhaps i posted it with the wrong emphasis, sorry if so - i just posted it cos it seemed pretty significant, at least if we assume that the russian troops had orders to do so.

edited to add that i inerpret that as classic bully boy tactics from putin... he's seeking either provocation or the message [true, or false] that he plans to go further into ukraine.

 

 

 

Ukraine’s military scrambled aircraft and paratroops on Saturday to repel an attempt by Russian forces to enter a long spit of land belonging to a region adjacent to Crimea, Ukraine’s defence ministry said.
“Units of Ukraine’s armed forces today...repelled an attempt by servicemen of the armed forces of the Russian Federation to enter the territory of Kherson region on Arbatskaya Strelka,” a ministry statement said. “This was repelled immediately.”
It said the Ukrainian military used aircraft, ground forces and its aeromobile battalion in the operation. The territory in question is a long spit of land running parallel to the east of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula, now controlled by Russian forces.

 

 

radicalchains
RT

Ok, just sounded a little bombastic. I found the article on the reuters website. Incidentally, I first went to the RT website and watched live. To my surprise there was someone talking about communism as we understand it. It turned out to be Zeitgeist guru Peter Joseph. He has a strange understanding of capitalism devoid of much of an understanding of wage-labour but the new social structure he would like to see is pretty much communism by another name. I find it interesting he gets aired on a bourgeois outlet like RT. What is it about RT which makes it actively critical of capitalism, imperialism etc. Why is RT so different from the others? Is it just cynically catering for the market, workers wanting a more critical news outlet?

baboon
RT, just like the BBC for

RT, just like the BBC for Britain, is the voice of Russian imperialism. It can be critical and it draws in all sorts of "critical" voices in the west mainly from the left. Its news can be insightful about the manoeuvres its imperialist rivals but it's trapped in its own lies and propaganda which has followed a consistent Putin line from the beginning of the Ukraine crisis.

Incidently, for a communist analysis coming from non-communists, scientists even, then you can do no better than read in The Guardian about a "NASA funded study that industrial civilisation is headed for 'irreversible collapse'".

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2014/mar/14/nasa-ci...

It's a very good analysis.

lem_
"Ok, just sounded a little

"Ok, just sounded a little bombastic."

 

true comrade, but as you saw it's the language used by ukraine and nowhere did i mean to suggest that russian forces had attempted an invasion. i don't think i was hyping the news - at all, as i do believe that it's a serious situation.

baboon: i saw that aricle, too. though, pretty much it made me think of the recent speculative physics on the lifespan of the universe. if barbarism is round the corner, one would expect more and more studies that point to it, in lieu of actual world war etc..

i see barbarism as the collapse of the working class, perhaps of it losing all its existing civil or whatever freedoms. i explained this to an individualist friend as involving emotional homogenity and the eradication of thinking; but those terms are abstract and idiosyncratic to the point of bizarreness. whatever could happen, i am skeptical that the collapse of civilization will take the rise of technology with it. perhaps we are talking about a new form of technological control of what remains of the populace, or a more natural shrinking / curtailing of our existing lives under capitalism. obviously, i don't know.

radicalchains
comparable but different

baboon wrote:

RT, just like the BBC for Britain, is the voice of Russian imperialism. It can be critical and it draws in all sorts of "critical" voices in the west mainly from the left. Its news can be insightful about the manoeuvres its imperialist rivals but it's trapped in its own lies and propaganda which has followed a consistent Putin line from the beginning of the Ukraine crisis.

Incidently, for a communist analysis coming from non-communists, scientists even, then you can do no better than read in The Guardian about a "NASA funded study that industrial civilisation is headed for 'irreversible collapse'".

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2014/mar/14/nasa-ci...

It's a very good analysis.

They're on dodgy ground concluding that half the answer/solution is reducing population growth. As for RT, it's obviously pro-Russian you can tell if you watch it long enough that there is never anything about problems within Russia. And on the latest Ukraine issue they are playing the Russian nationalist/imperialist card quite clearly in their reports. However, I've never heard on the BBC the kind of criticism that is relatively common on RT.

lem_
i didn't really get what they

i didn't really get what they meant by "collapse of civilzation".

lem_
maybe i need to take my

maybe i need to take my medication but IF (big if) the MH370 flight was a botched murder of an iranian (and if so we're talking high stakes - secret, etc.) - one that wasn't travelling on that fake passport after-all, then this could be the dodgiest thing ever - i.e. the prelude to world war.

maybe i need to take jmy medication...

A.Simpleton
Two to tango

Although my submission above (#45) was 'Private Eye-ish', waiting for the storm as it were, I think it shows that even the former administration of U.S Imperialism was interested in 'fostering relationships' with Ukraine i.e. co-opting 'democratic' Ukraine into its power network right next door to Russian Imperialism, with all the potential military and actual intelligence accompaniments which that implies.

Yatsenyuk was foreign minister at the time meeting with Condoleeza Rice- after whom I might add a top of the range U.S. oil tanker plying the oceans is named. (In fact most of the Bush administration were in Chevron Oil or similar.)

Whatever the personality traits involved, this particular apparently sudden eruption surely demonstrates precisely the immanent, permanent condition of Imperialist manoevering and war(s) which is the vital nub of baboon's blog here. 

The fact that it is in the 'new Europe-ish zone' does make it more significant and revealing: for both sides of the class struggle; the familiar -as it were- polarising of two great Imperialist forces, a divide which all bourgeois media and propaganda is only too happy to affirm, mxing up and contradicting all their own vacuous, insidious meaningless terms 'democratic vote' referendum' 'violation of "international law" "unconstitutional". 

It does seem to add to the black smoke of mystification obscuring the Proletariat's true enemy: easier to fall for 'Nationalism' 'My ethnic roots' etc.

I can't remember where I heard it (world service?) but a Crimean woman voter said of the situation in Ukraine and why she 'wanted to be Russian': "it's as if a bunch of crazy western Texans got their way in Washington and wanted all Crimeans to speak with a Texas drawl". No 'at gunpoint' specifically needed: the mystification was enough: the heavyweight of Russian Imperialism was obviously a power factor but present to ensure the effectiveness of that mystification and ensure that Western Imperialism didn't mystify better in the other -equally stalemating- direction.

As far as I can find out Russian troops backed by helicopters did take a village and -surprise surprise- its local gas plant. They 'gave back the village' and: Ukrainian soldiers layed down a trench defence line: the Russians kept the gas plant.

AS

 

 

radicalchains
Some questions

So, Kiev seems to be attempting to build up a para-military force, was wondering what people thought about this. On one level it's a reflection of a "basket case" economy on another it's a dangerous trap for workers and the general population. Fighting for the nation and not the class always ends in misery. The word "fascism" is getting bandied about quite a bit but is it the term we should be using? If it is correct fascism is capitalism in decline* than there's not much to argue. It is the case that there are groups and individuals referring to themselves as "hundreds" as in the counter-revolutionary and fascist forerunners the black hundreds. Is fascism coming to Ukraine or what's left of it? Will Ukraine go to war not necessarily with Russia but a neighbouring country in some crazed ideological adventure? Or will there just be further decomposition and deepening crisis? Lower and lower wages if you can get a job and less and less social structure.

 

*I meant to say 'decay' as per Lenin.

A.Simpleton
Hmmmm

Your straightforward specifics have got me thinking rc. 

Above I posted that I get lost in the 'Imperialist' 'Nationalist' 'Ideology' drives which conflict whether hardcore wars of blood or softcore wars of words, which in turn are trapped in accumulative contrary motion contradictions within Global Capital which everyday simply goes on 'doing its commodity thing' and playing monopoly with the universal representative of those commodities - money.

'Basket economy' raised a wry smile as the bourgeois Stock Exchanges call Ukraine 'the bread basket' of Europe. This is because -with Russia- it produces a significant (one sixth roughly) part of world grains and other agricultural products: wheat,barley,sorghum,rye,corn. Russia of course has oil and gas - a large global slice

Russia joined The World Trade Organisation in 2012 : US Capital -Exxon/Mobil ,Chevron Oil ,Ford, General Motors,Pepsi, Mars (bars:@}) to name a few, have significant 'means of production' joint Capital ownership - and Boeing a 27 million factory - in Russia: and the U.S has about 14 Billion in 'money investment' in Russian 'enterprises': about 7Billion the otherway round: whether 'fictitious' or not much more speculative Capital is 'gambled' by/with/ both National State Treasuries in 'mutual funds' and 'hedge funds'.

Why is this relevant? Though it 'seems' far removed from the guns on the streets it may reveal some 'essence' behind the 'appearances'

I don't think Ukraine (now smaller) as a Nation could or would go to war with another Nation: at least not without a lot of unseen compliance from more powerful forces. Which doesn't preclude 'insane' self styled militias from sectarian groups from starting the type of unpredictable, irrational clashes which have arisen and are arising thus actualising the 'catastrophe of the present' (apposite phrase of yours)

Reflecting it is also easy to oversimplify (as I did:@_)  the US/Russia Imperialist machinations : the fact is that the rest of Western Europe relies on Russia and Ukraine tradewise/commodity wise fifteen times as much as the US. But then -again a contradiction of Capital interest- huge US investment in Europe: so ;''this' US Accumulator is not bothered yet wheras 'that' one is. US State Capital is nonetheless a very big player and is bothered.

All the US flaunting of 'we will stop buying Russian Mi 17 Military Helicopters' is peanuts financially and posturing politically. More of a priority is those 'mutual/hedge funds' for US Capital: The Securities and Exchange Commision is on alert which is the Sate beurocracy invloved in monitoring/protecting those much vaster hordes of Geld

Sorry this is beginning to sound like Volume IV of Karl Simpleton....

Fascism is being bandied about as you say: hmm I've always considered it represents an ideology which promotes Ultranationalism, Self sufficiency in isolation, Militarism (with very dark irony starting off as a radical movement to overthrow by revolution 'democracy') it replaces the class struggle with 'righteous' struggle against other Nations in Imperialist conflict to first 're-generate' the Nation (and presumably eventually everything through 'World Domination')

The word comes from the 'Fasces' bundles of wood sticks ceremonially carried in Roman Imperial triumphs signifying the absolute power of the Emperor. In fact didn't it start in Italy with Mussolini marching on Rome? where he was (at first) the 'elected' Prime Minister.

Some danger suggests itself to me because he was previously a member of the Italian Socialist Party and that combination of Left and Far-Right is insidious and in chaotic immediate circumstances might appear to 'tick all the boxes' ...

Well I'm certainly even more confused than when I started

..

baboon
Last Sunday's Observer

Last Sunday's Observer reported that over 70% of Ukrainian soliders in Crimean barracks had gone over to the Russians. Though some high level officers here and there have defected one must assume that the vast majority of these are conscripts. From indications I believe that this has been a tendency since the beginning of the crisis but it's not one that's been reported by the increasingly hysterical British media  - an element which reflects the impotence of the British bourgeoisie over this issue. Though parts of one imperialist army joining another is nothing at all to celebrate it at least eliminates a possibility of a bloodbath and was probably a wise decision from those conscipts in the first place (though they may pay for it later). There remain, outside Crimea, some tense flashpoints in the eastern region that could develop the crisis further although, for what it's worth, Putin has stated that he would not invade the east of the country and that seems to be Russian foreign policy on the face of it. But the issue over Crimea has raised tensions throughout with the Baltic States tense and concerned. Overall, one of the main elements being expressed here is the tendency for centrifugal forces to take over, for break-up and fractionation of the bourgeois state and this brings along a host of further imperialist problems.

On fascism:  There have been expressions in the ICC not to want to use the word fascism (not in inverted commas) because, I think, to mention it raises a belief that there is a de facto defence of anti fascism - wich no-one agrees with. This is not the capitalist expression of 1930's fascism, a strong and particular form of state capitalism appropriate for particular historical circumstances. I don't think that by using the word fascism or nazi in relation to elements involved in Ukraine today one is somehow saying that this is the same conditions as the 30's  or that we should support anti-fascism. I think that the appearane in Ukraine (and elsewhere) of these right-wing elements is a sign of the decomposition of capitalism and a loss of grip of the ruling class.

An expression of this occured yesterday when 5 men, including a Svoboda MP (and member of the Ukrainian parliamentary committee on free speech) broke into the office and attacked the boss of a Kiev TV station beating him up live on TV and forcing him to sign a letter of resignation. His crime was to show news of Putin's speech on his TV channel. Calls have been made by the Kitcho (the boxer) clique to prosecute him by the prosecutor-general in the Kiev government is also from Svoboda.

There were reports during the intense fighting in Kiev that Israeli special forces were involved but there have been attacks on Jews and Synagogues in Kiev up to a couple of days ago. The authorities in Kiev have put this down to Russian special forces dirty tricks at work though the anti-Jewish sentiment of the present forces of Ukrainian law and order are there for anyone to see. Kiev is not something that the British media is reporting very much on at all and I think that this represents the big problems that the west now has with the incoherence and weakness of the Ukrainian bourgeoisie that is itself an expression of decomposition.

 

radicalchains
Terrible news

http://borotba.org/neo-nazi_terror_in_odessa-_more_than_40_killed-_hundreds_injured.html

On May 2, under the pretext of the so-called march ‘For unity of Ukraine’ (that was dated to football match ‘Chernomorets’ – ‘Metallist’) – the paramilitary squads of Ukrainian nationalist were brought together to Odessa from all over the country. They arrived by buses and by trains. From the very beginning – when they just started to gather on ‘Sobornaya’ square – among ordinary ultra-right fans too many well-equipped paramilitaries could be seen. They had shields, helmets, bats, traumatic and service weapons. Mostly - men about 30-40 years old who were evidently not football fans. Some of them had shields where it was written: ’14-th hundred of Maidan self-guard’. And these nationalist paramilitaries became the main striking force of bloody massacre of Odessa residents on ‘Kulikovo pole’ square.

In total there were more than thousand of nationalists that participated in the march and the slaughter that followed it. Local residents of Odessa were the minority among them, while the majority – far-right paramilitaries that were brought together there. They could be identified in particular by dialect (not typical for Odessa region), however many of them openly acknowledged and told where they came from. Local Odessa fans of ‘Chernomorets’ team have left the march at the moment when clashes started – they came just for traditional march to the stadium and when they realized that ‘visitors’ and provocateurs led them to beat local people – the majority of ‘Chernomorets’ fans (identified by black-blue scarves of Odessa club) – immediately left the so-called ‘peaceful’ march.

At the same time ‘guest-militants’ were not going to the stadium. Their aim was to terrorize the city-residents and to unleash violence against the activists of the movements opposed to Kiev junta. The action of nationalists from the very beginning had not a peaceful nature, since they were preparing to start a massacre.

There were just a few policemen, although the personnel of only local Odessa police was able to control a crowd of a thousand people and, therefore, prevent pogroms and murders. As it turned out, the majority of police officers were ordered to guard the building of Internal Affairs Department. Thus, the whole city was delivered into the hands of neo-Nazi paramilitaries. Although, it is not surprising given the fact that the current Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov has long and close connections to neo-Nazi groups, that are included into the ‘Right Sector’.

When the column of nationalists marched along Grecheskaya street - a few (some 200-250 people) activists of local Odessa militia tried to stop them. But soon the opponents of nationalists were pelted with stones, bottles and stun grenades. There were heard gunshots. The activist of "Borotba" Ivan has got a gunshot wound into the belly from a military weapon. Then activists and members of Odessa militia tried to escape in the shopping centre "Athena" in the ‘Greek’ square. A crowd of far-right nationalists demanded to start a carnage against them. The far-right paramilitaries started immediately to prepare Molotovs on the square in order to set fire to the shopping center with barricaded Odessa militia members inside it. Police officers managed to save the lives of activists as they drove police cars directly to the entrance of the shopping centre.

Then the crowd of nationalist headed to the square ‘Kulikovo Pole’, where there was a camp of opponents to Kiev junta. Activists of ‘Borotba’, along with other activists and ordinary Odessa residents, were on duty that day in the protest camp. In total there were some 200 people in the camp and half of them - women and elderly men.

Neo-Nazis began to pelt the tent camp with Molotovs and set it ablaze. Activists from the protest camp were forced to retreat to the nearby building of ‘House of Trade Unions’.

When trying to kill Odessa residents, ultrarights set ablaze the ground floor of the ‘House of Trade-Unions. And the fire spread rather quickly over the building.

People began to jump out of the windows of the upper floors - trying to escape the fire. But on the ground, they were finished off by nationalist paramilitaries. Thus, our comrade - a member of "Borotba" union Andrew Brazhevsky – was killed. Deputy of regional council Vyacheslav Markin (a fellow of the leader of ‘Borotba’ Odessa Alexey Albu) was also brutally killed the same way when he jumped out of window.  Over 40 activists were burnt alive, poisoned by smoke or were murdered by the Nazis while trying to escape from a burning building. Fortunately, most of our comrades managed to escape alive. Some of our comrades, including the leader of Odessa "Borotba" and city council deputy Alexei Albu were severely beaten by bats and kicked. They have numerous bruises, broken bones and head injuries.

The massacre in Odessa was organized by Kiev junta so that to intimidate the population that is discontent with the new regime, and so that to eliminate the active fighters against new regime. The evidence of it is the fact that far-right militants were brought together and well-equipped. Moreover, the police inaction as well as the fact that attack of ultra-rightists in Odessa was synchronized with the "anti-terrorist operation" in Slavyansk – are also the evidence of it.

Kiev junta has openly set a course toward violence and carnage against their political opponents. And the tools of this brutal violence are neo-Nazi militants – those who act closely with the secret police, who are well-armed and being financed by the oligarchy.

The massacre in Odessa reveals that Kiev regime of nationalists and oligarchs is rapidly grows into the outright terrorist dictatorship of the fascist style.

The council of ‘Borotba’ union, May 3, 2014