12:09 PMThe Nature of the War in Ukraine
After reading at RevLeft forum a discussion about the war in Ukraine, I feel it would be very useful to explain the situation in Ukraine to the international left, as someone who has been living in Ukraine for a long time, and who considers himself a socialist.
First, I will number the existing ideas about the nature of this war, starting with the people who participate in the RevLeft discussion.
Then, I will expand to include leftists in Ukraine, Russia, and other countries.
Then, I will explain my researches, which included field trips, comparison with other similar countries, collection of data on Ukraine, etc.
I think this discussion will further our understanding of the nature of socialism and "revolutionary leftists".
1. Enumeration of ideas about war in Ukraine from activists at RevLeft forum
a. The IAC appeal and the "actors" in Ukraine
1. The International Action Center (IAC), which is an umbrella organization for “Workers’ World Party”, a Stalinist type of organization, originally started by Sam Marcy, appeals on the part of “the people” of Donetsk and Luhansk “People’s Republics” for Kiev to stop bombing these “republics”. IAC declares its “solidarity with Novorossia and anti-fascists in Ukraine”. Which "anti-fascists"? As we will see, there is a variety of them...
The appeal was composed by “Presidents of the People's Councils of LNR and DNR Vladimir Degtyarenko and Denis Pushilin”. “Pushilin” – I think I have already heard that name somewhere, and not in a favorable context…It turns out that before he became one of the heads of the Donetsk People's Republic", he headed a ponzi scheme in Donetsk, called "MMM-2011" (source). Wikipedia writes: "Prior to his political activism, Pushilin worked for a recent successor of the 1990s Russian Ponzi scheme company MMM, which cost its customers millions of dollars before it was disbanded in 1994. Pushilin never denied involvement in such schemes and affirmed that "pyramid schemes were legal in Russia at the time". (Photo below: Pushilin).
The idea which IAC holds on the war in Ukraine is the following: “In February 2014, a U.S.-backed and U.S.-funded movement called Euromaidan, led by neo-Nazis and right-wing Ukrainian nationalists, toppled the elected government of Ukraine. In its place, this movement installed an open dictatorship of oligarchs, neo-Nazis and politicians oriented to the U.S and the European Union.”
Question: why did the “neo-Nazis” manage to do it? Is the U.S. and E.U. that powerful that they can change governments at will? If so, why, for example, Russia didn’t manage to do it, as it has a long-time tradition of presence, economic ties and kinship with Ukraine?
Moreover, we hear: “This Kiev junta declared war on the primarily Russian-speaking and working-class population of the country’s southeast. This led to uprisings in many cities and the secession of Crimea — which rejoined the Russian Federation by referendum — and Donetsk and Lugansk. People in the Donbass mining region declared independent Donetsk and Lugansk “people’s republics.”
So, we're to understand that there were "uprisings" led by "working-class population" in many cities of Ukraine, after the Euromaidan in 2014. Meanwhile, Crimea “rejoined the Russian Federation by referendum”. Somehow, the statements start to sound phony: working-class "uprisings" led by people such as Denis Pushilin? Or a "referendum" in Crimea, backed by "little green men" of the Russian army? Photo below: a Russian soldier, with his insignia removed, on the background of a Crimean parliament in March 2014. The poster reads: "Crimea. Russia".
Further we read at IAC: “Armed and funded by the West, the Kiev regime declared war on Donetsk and Lugansk. Fighting raged for almost a year. Popular anti-fascist militias decisively defeated Ukrainian forces in early 2015.” “Decisively defeated” – and fighting still continues? "Decisively defeated" - so why then make the appeal? I had an impression that socialists should make statements that coincide with reality. Apparently, either I was wrong, or the leaders at IAC are not socialists. (Below: map of the conflict, around 2016).
Now, as to the role of the present U.S. administration: “Trump had held a private meeting with far-right Ukrainian politician Yulia Tymoshenko on the sidelines of the Feb. 2 (2017) National Prayer Breakfast. According to Tymoshenko and other sources who briefed Politico, Trump promised Tymoshenko that he would not lift sanctions on Russia until it “returns” Crimea and ends support for the Donbass republics. The White House later denied this report.” We understand that Trump is considering a coup against the current unpopular president of Ukraine Poroshenko, and hence has conducted an interview with his rival, a no less unpopular Yulia Tymoshenko, a well-known corruption leader and a thief (she has made millions in extortion schemes involving distribution of gas from state pipelines in 1990’s; she was an accomplice of Pavlo Lazarenko, who "who in August 2006 was convicted and sentenced to prison in the United States for money laundering, wire fraud and extortion."). At "breakfast", we suppose she was asking for Trump’s backing in her fight against her nemesis, Pres. Poroshenko. The two didn't get along well during the Presidency of Victor Yuschenko, 2005-2010. (Photo below: Former Ukraine prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko is seen during the National Prayer Breakfast on February 4,2017 in Washington, DC.)
As this is the time to introduce our "actors", here are few notes about the current President of Ukraine P. Poroshenko. In the photo below, he is seen here leading a procession of orthodox priests.
His father, Alexey Poroshenko, has spent 5 years in jail (in Soviet times) for theft of state property (source). Now, his father is managing his candy business. This is based on former state factories which were "privatized" - read, stolen - from the state in 1990's. One of these is the former Karl Marx Confectionary Factory in Kiev (photo below, 1975), now called "Roshen".
Pyotr Poroshenko was involved in smuggling weapons through Trans-Dniester republic (source). His manner of speech betrays him as a gangster. For example, watch and listen to this doctored video made of Poroshenko arguing with another oligarch, Novinsky. In the original video, Poroshenko is heard using such expressions as "fuck", "bitch", etc.
In the first years of his presidency, Poroshenko was involved in a struggle for power with Kolomoisky, another oligarch known for theft of state and public funds. In the latest move, we hear of state (of which Poroshenko is a President) taking over the bank of Kolomoisky, "Privat Bank". Reasons for this was that "the bank had a capital shortfall of about $5.65bn (£4.5bn) and about 97% of its corporate loans had gone to companies linked to its shareholders" (source). To make it plain, Kolomoisky and the people around him have stolen public funds. This explains how "capital" functions in the former USSR.
In December 2016, right after victory of Trump in the USA, we hear of one of the deputies of Ukrainian Parliament, Alexander Onischenko, revealing evidence that Poroshenko regularly bribed deputies, and used this influence to obtain profits from a state company involved in mining of gas, "Ukr-gas-dobicha" (source).
In February 2017 we see graffiti saying Poroshenko is a thief ("Porokh", meaning "gunpowder" in Russian, is the nickname for Poroshenko, given to him for war in Donbass):
Graffiti below says: "Poroshenko - go fuck yourself" (ПРХ - ПНХ):
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