Ukraine: what's going on, and what does it mean?

Riots in Ukraine

Some thoughts on the protests happening in Ukraine. Things are not completely what they may seem.

The mass protests unfolding in Ukraine are raising a few eyebrows here and there, as well as the usual hyped-up talk of people's revolt and even revolution. The eyebrows are justified. Mass demonstrations of many hundreds of thousands in the winter cold, people blockading government buildings, attacking a presidential palace and occupying the city government office, calls for president and government to resign, talk of a general strike...all in support of closer ties to the EU? It all seems a bit odd. Add to the strange brew a strong element of extreme nationalism, and the picture of a movement that is right wing, reactionary and unsupportable from a radical, libertarian communist point of view becomes even clearer. What has been going on? I think there are at least three elements to all this.

First, there is a cleavage among the political elites of Ukraine. Yanukovych, the current president and his government are based in the East of the country, where the big but ecomomically obsolete factories and mining areas are. People in this area generally speak Russian, not Ukrainian (Yanukovych himself only learned Ukrainian as an adult, for career reasons). The business class in these areas is oriented to Russia, politicians like Yanukovych see the Ukrainian-Russian relationship as vital. In the West, where people speak Ukrainian, elites are much more oriented towards the EU. They hope for investment opportunities and business ties. The Ukrainian state balances between these twee oprions, with the current regime generally leaning more to Russia, but not entirely closing off the road to Brussels.

Now, there was a trade deal being prepared between Ukraine and the EU. At the last moment, Yanukovych rejected the bill. Because of Russian pressure, partly, but also because in Yanukovych' eyes, the price was not right: he is haggling for more financial support. The treaty itself, according to a cheerful explanation on Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, was mainly about trade liberalization and making Ukrainian law conform to EU regulations. The trade liberalization consisted of skipping EU import duties for Ukrainian exports within seven years, and skipping Ukrainian import duties for EU exports within ten years. This would mean trade opportunities for Ukrainian business oriented to the West. Here lies a likely reason for the anger among right wing politicians rooted in pro-western business circles when Yanukovych skipped the deal: they may well have felt robbed of lucrative opportunities. According to some research, Ukrainian GDP was supposed to grow “more than six per cent over the next decade”, because of this trade liberalization. Better still: “increased competition would bring prices down, fuelling an increase in household consumption percent over 10 years”. Of course, this leaves out another effect of increased competition. As soon as EU companies can freely export to Ukraine, many Ukrainian companies will become outdated and be forced to close or raise productivity, laying off workers. What will rise may not be household consumption, but wholesale unemployment. That is not mentioned in the RFE/ RL piece.

The treaty can be seen as a part of a broader pattrern of EU-Ukraine economic relations. The deal itself did not promise enormous credits. But earlier agreements did. Ukraine received a EY grant of 1 billion euro in 2011, and may get another grant of 600 million, “if Kyiv strikes a deal on a $ 15 billion loan with the International Monetary Fund (IMF)”, according to the already-mentioned RFE/RL article. I don t'know what the conditions of that loan will be, but I can guess. With these kind of deals, austerity, Greek-style, will come to Ukraine, already a land of poverty. And there is more. “If Ukraine throws its lot with the EU, it will have to pay the full market price for gas, losing the concessionary rate enjoyed at present.” (Marina Lewycka, Guardian, 1 December). That concessionay rate – meaning a lower gas price - is a product of the Russian-Ukrainian ties for Russia is Ukraine's source of gas. Losing that advantage means higher gas bills, for both households and enterprises. So much for boosting household consumption.

Yanukovych and his pals probably wanted the deal off until they get a better deal, because they see their proteced business interests threatened by competition from the EU, by higher energy prices and maybe also by mass anger against EU-style austerity when it comes. And he and his pals have something to defend. “Yanukovych has led the country to the brink of financial collapse as his coterie and his financial backers grow insanely and obscenely rich”(Ian Traynor, Guardian, 1 December 2013, ) The man himself is a “very wealthy man with a a large estate outside of Kiev”, according to another Guardian piece by the same writer. Where did his wealth come from? Not from heritage, for he was from a rather poor background. Politics-as-business, also known as corroption, may be the name of the game. He and his friends have much to loose, and beyond this, they feel pressurized by Russia, the big gas exporter, former imperial overlord and strong neighbour. The Yakunovych wing of the ruling class, with its entrenched interests and geopolitical ties, and with their armies of riot cops, are no pushover.

So there we have it. Entrenched power-holders, filthily rich and well-connected with Russia, and with armefd force available, on the one hand; strong EU-oriented business and political interestst interests on the other. Modernized austerity as an alternative to traditional corrupt business as usial. Not much to choose there. This is an intra-business conflict, in which the pro-EU wing of the ruling class succeeds in raising an impressive stage army of protesters. There is no reason whatsoever for the taking of sides here.

But then, the riddle begins. One can imagine opposition politicians mobilizing their supporters, in their thousands and in their tens of thousands. But in the last few days, we hear about hundreds of thousands in the capital Kiev alone. Half a million people in the cold streets, confronting riot cops and cold winds and snow, just because they would rather be exploited from Brussel-oriented business than from Moscow-oriented business? People barricading streets, blockading and occupyingh buildings becuase the prefer EU austerity above old-school corruption? It does not sound plausible. It does not make sense. There are more factors at play.

Not the whole movement consists of of supporters of the traditional opposition parties. There is a strong, student-based movement that tries to keep all politicians at a distance. Here is how Marina Lewycka, already quoted, describes it: “For the young people in the square, this whole game of political tit-for-tat is what they reject.” One of the places these wing of the movement appartently gets inspiration from is the Occupy movement, according to Claire Biggs who explains on 25 November: “Unlike the Orange Revolution, the current protests are divided into two separate rallies – one by young nonpartisan activists inspired by the Occupy movement, the second, concentrated on another Kyiv square, by political parties.” Now, the Occupy movement, whatever its failings, was not a very pro-EU movement, as people may recall. It was not a very pro-business movement either. Claire Biggs, 27 November on RFE/ RL : “The demonstrations have brought to the forefront a new generation of protesters that grew up in an independent Ukraine and have few – if any – memories of the Soviet Union. They see themselves as Europeans, they are disillusioned with politics-as-usual, and they feel increasingly at odds with establishment opposition figures.”

Here, the story gets interesting. These young people may function – 'objectively speaking', to use some old-fashioned jargon - as a stage army for the opposition. But they don 't see themselves that way, and there is no guarantee that they will behave that way. People assembled in mass protests day after day – for whatever reason - tend to gain in self-confidence, may start to develop ideas of their own, and may get into the habit of acting upon them.. And there is tension between these kind of protesters and the more traditional political opposition. “So far, most of the opposition leaders have refused to heed students' requests to get rid of party symbols.” One side demands, another side does not comply. This is a recipe for people taking a direction that opposition politicians do not like.

As we already saw, there are not one, but two centres of assembly, one for the traditional parties, one for the younger, Occupy-style protesters. On the latter, we read interesting things: “Coordinating committees have been set up, with volunteers distributing blankets, food, and warm clothes donated by supporters. In Kyiv, the coordinating committee also organizes pribate accomodation for demonstrators travelling from other cities.” This is in no sense an anti-capitalist movement, and I have not seen any signs of workers in action for demands of their own. Yes, there have been a calls for a general strike. But one such call was put forward by “the regional authorities” in and around Lviv, according to Shaun Walker in the the Guardian on 1 December. Now, Lviv is a city in the West of the country where tthe opposition is strong. So this is probably a call by the party political opposition. This means that the action may be general, but not an workers' strike in an serious sense. So, no, no independent workers' role to be seen. But there is that odd bit of horizontal practice, that do-it-yourself-attitude, that characterizes radical movements, combined with the most un-radical political ideas. It is a weird mixture. But clearly, the domination of pro-business, pro-EU right wing politicians is not at all complete.

Of course, the pro-European attitude of even the Occupy-style activists is weird and misplaced. The EU is not the paradise of liberty and modernity that demonstrators may believe it to be. Roma persecuted in France and elsewhere, refugees detained and deported or being left to drown in the Mediterranean, anti-austerity protestors and antifascists being beaten back by riot police in city after city... all these people could tell a story or two of liberty, EU style. If Ukraine ever becomes a EY country, it will not look like Germany. It may look like Spain, or Greece.. Or like Slovenia, where there has been a strong movement against austerity already. 'Europe', for the Ukraine protesters, functions as a kind of myth, juist like the Soviet Union functioned as a myth for too many radicals in the Nineteen Thirties, just like Cuba and China functioned as myths in the Sixties and Nicaragua in the Eighties. We should expose the lies behind the myth; but we should also be able to notice what is behind the attraction of the myth: a desire for freedom, a rejection of politics-Yanukovych-style. The desire and the rejection itself are fully justified; but the political expression in a pro-EU-direction is reactionary.

What makes the developments more negative is the role of Ukrainian nationalism. For behind the pro-European expressions lies not only a desire for freedom. It is also a way of saying no to anything that smacks of Russia. 'We belong to Europe' is a way of saying 'We refuse to belong to Russia, its sphere of influence, its tradition'. Now, Russia has been the imperial overlord of Ukraine, both under the Czar and in the time of the Soviet Union. People have not forgotten the hunger in the Nineteen Thirties, in which people felt that Stalin led people starve both because they were peasants standing in the way of collectivization and because they were Ukrainians standing in the way of Russian domination. People have good reasons d to remember Russia's role as a destructive, oppressive force.

But Ukrainian nationalists exploit this feeling to turn it into anti-Russian chauvinism. As if Russian-language people in Ukraine are the problem. This anti-Russian chauvinism is part of an Ukrainian nationalist tradition with a very ugly past, with episodes like a proto-Nazi regime in 1919 led by pogromist Petlyura, and like the extensive collaboration in Ukraine with the actual Nazis during the Secondf World War as examples. This nationalism is not dead.

Extreme right wing forces play a prominent part in the protests in recent weeks. There has been the effort to storm the presidential palace, using a bulldozer. Before we gasp too much in admiration, some information on participants may be useful. A certain Dmytro Korchinsky has been seen among the crowd, according to several people. Korchinsky heads a group called Brastvo (Brotherhood), “a political organization that describes its ideology as 'Christian Orthodox national-anarchism'”. Nothing truly anarchist, of course, about a mixture of power-abiding Orthodoxy and extreme nationalism. This is clearly a fascist group, and it may have played a role in the effort to storm the building. The occupation of the city government building has been done by the Svoboda (Freedom) party, a nationalist organization led by Oleh Tyahnbok. This person “has called for a visa regime with Russia and argued against the introduction of Russian as a second state language”. I use for this information an overview by Daisy Sindelar of the main protagonists in the protest movement on the RFE/ RL website, a Cold War, pro-Western information source that nevertheless is very informative, if used with care. By the way, Tyahnbok is also accused of anti-Semitism, another reactionary tradition that is not exactly dead in Ukraine.

So there we have it: a combination of three things. An inter-elite struggle between a pro-Russian faction and a pro-EU faction, the latter bringing out its supporters on the street, the former mainly – but not exclusively: there have been pro-Yanuchevych demonstrations) supporting itself by repression and bureuacratic rule. A youth revolt, expressing its anger and desires through a pro-European discourse; but with bits of horizontal and radical practices that point in an entirely different direction. An extremely reactionary eruption of anti-Russian chauvinism and generally nationalist politics, with bits of fascism clearly apparent. On the whole, a rather right wing revolt against a reactionary regime. But within the revolt, there are contradictions. It would not be the first time that an elite struggle, a manipulated, stage-managed power struggle, escaped elite control. Things may get out of hand, and there is no telling yet which way.

Peter Storm

Posted By

rooieravotr
Dec 3 2013 19:45

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Comments

Steven.
Dec 3 2013 23:32

Great piece!

(A few typos, particularly towards the end - I will try to fix some tomorrow if I get a chance)

Picket
Dec 3 2013 23:38

Give me access and I will fix all the typos automatically grin

Most of them anyway.

rooieravotr
Dec 4 2013 03:11

Thanks, Steven! Got rid of a few of them myself in the meantime smile

comet
Dec 4 2013 01:56

Great article, comrade.

Picket
Dec 4 2013 02:49

btw i did really enjoy this and found it informative.

See, I can be nice wink

Tomek
Dec 4 2013 10:53

It is a very good article, thanks for it. Just a small comment which might help a bit to clarify the pro-EU position of young protestors (and I suppose those supporting opposition parties as well). Lots of people, especially in the West of the Ukraine, have no other possibility but to make their living as migrant workers in the EU (primarily, in the new member-countries such as the Czech Republic, Slovakia, etc.). While doing this they are subjected to strict visa regimes and/or illegal trafficking organised by semi-criminal Ukrainian employers and recruitment agencies; and of course to police harassment in countries of their destination. I can imagine that those people, their families and all the students dreaming of migrating Westward to have a "better life" are eager to believe that any deepening of EU-Ukraine ties might be helpful to them. Nevertheless, I am not an Ukrainian and neither I am currently in touch with any Ukrainians so these are just my impressions I can´t confirm at the moment.

bastarx
Dec 4 2013 13:46

The machine in the picture is a wheel loader not a bulldozer.

akai
Dec 4 2013 15:03

Hmm, is trafficking of Ukrainian workers really a problem in Slovakia and Czech Republic? Here in Poland they can work for 6 months a year without any visa or work permit at all and getting a work permit is not too much of a hassle, although some people are still working illegally for different reasons. Like caretakers, nannies and cleaning women who work casually without contracts. There are more problems with workers of other nationalities being trafficked. It would be odd if Slovakia and Czech Republic had very different laws, but I don't know what the current situation is.

the croydonian ...
Dec 4 2013 20:09

Very informative, it told me what it said it would.

Tomek
Dec 4 2013 20:42

Well, yes, there seems to be a difference. Ukrainian migrants definitely need work and residential permits which are not that easy to obtain (especially because fees connected with them seem to be quite expensive from what I was told by many of them). Usually, all this paper-work is arranged by Ukrainian bosses (they know whom to bribe at Czech consulate etc.), who then take their employees to the Czech Republic or Slovakia (but this one is mostly a transit country for them), get some housing for them and hire them to Czech companies. From time to time there are cases of trafficking some Ukrainian migrants illegally, but it is hard to estimate how large this phenomenon is. What is definitely more widespread is the fact many migrants try or are forced to stay even after their permits are expired.

nadiya
Dec 4 2013 22:46

This is a very good article in many respects, helps to fill in many gaps that are left by the main-stream English language reporting on the events. But in quite a few aspects this is also quite dated which does not really help to understand what is going on in Ukraine right now. Ridiculous riot police attack on the night of 29/30.11 on protesters in Kyiv has changed a few things [protesters would have gone home anyway after day or two - after Yanukovych did not sign EU agreement everyone seemed to think that it is time to go home and do something else rather than occupy the main city square]. the protest with the largest turnout on 1.12, as well as the fact that the protests still continue, can be explained in my opinion exactly by the violence of the state. it would be useful to add as well, that this is just the most extreme case of the unpunished, almost 'everyday' violence of the ukrainian police towards ukrainian citizens. another important change is that, alas, the protest is not divided anymore into partisan and non-partisan, leaders of the parliamentary 'opposition', including right-wing Tyahnybok mentioned in the article, have appropriated all of the mass indignation. these 'leaders' are really hopeless imho, on many levels that i cannot even start discussing here, but the most worrying - for me personally - fact is that they all lead the protests more and more towards the nationalist extremity. on a brighter side, there are some attempts at progressive student-organised, feminist and leftist protests too.

LibBolsh1917
Dec 5 2013 00:11

Awesome take on it. It's like a rehashing of the Cold War, the politics in Ukraine like the politics in alot of not EU European Countries is focused on Pro- EU vs Anti- EU. Both are full of reactionaries, there are like 2 kinds of Nationalists, the ones that are United Europe Nationalists and then the ones that still hold to the idea that Europe's ethnic groups are so diffrent that they can't work together. It will interesting to see how it pans out

Black Adder
Dec 5 2013 00:31

I can't understand why u put this nazi bastards on the top picture sad
Hope u did not know which political party they belong to.

teh
Dec 5 2013 01:30
nadiya wrote:
Ridiculous riot police attack on the night of 29/30.11 on protesters in Kyiv has changed a few things [protesters would have gone home anyway after day or two - after Yanukovych did not sign EU agreement everyone seemed to think that it is time to go home and do something else rather than occupy the main city square]. the protest with the largest turnout on 1.12, as well as the fact that the protests still continue, can be explained in my opinion exactly by the violence of the state. it would be useful to add as well, that this is just the most extreme case of the unpunished, almost 'everyday' violence of the ukrainian police towards ukrainian citizens

The opposition were already calling for the government to resign before the 29/30 and calling for more protests; I doubt they were going to let this slide without a fight as the snubbing of the EU, even temporarily until a better deal is made, threatens their long term prospects. Maybe if someone was killed I could see your point but the opposition is good at mobilizing its base, it has done so before, and a few people getting beat up by the police is not unusual. I think the open support given by the EU for the protests gives them hope that they could put enough pressure on the oligarchs that support Yanukovych into dropping him.

rooieravotr
Dec 5 2013 01:39

Black Adder, while I did not myself put the picture there, I am willing to defend its place there. The point of my article is: this is one reactionary force against another. The picture shows exactly that: one reactionary force (the state) against another (the fascists). The picture - maybe accidentally - expresses what the article tries to explain.

Natalee Borisenko
Dec 5 2013 14:32

What's going on really
(http://storify.com/ArgueG/the-agreement-with-eu-for-ukraine-it-s-a-sign-that-1)

Our president was in prison for robbery twice in his youth. Our prime minister doesn’t speak into Ukrainian. In English nobody speak at all.
All our courts are corrupted and work in interests of mafia family of Yanukovych. The corporate raid is thrives in the country.
Our police rapes women, kill people and avoids of prison. http://news.yahoo.com/ukraine-rape-draws-outrage-over-official-impunity-063508747.html
Sons of our deputies and deputies by themselves kill people, sitting drunk into a car. And they never appear in prison.
Whole police on the roads take bribes. They don’t fix transgressions at all. They just extort bribes.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ul_yDZgFEDo
The King go by bus in Scandinavia, yours ministers go by bicycles. Our president and prime-minister go to work in this way
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eoa_6L-Osp8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftnX_yN8SpU
Whole roads on the way of presidential train are overrides at 20-40 minutes. Cars of the simple mortals are pressed to waysides and just waiting. And so a few times for a day. When it’s difficult to block movement, the guards of our prime-minister are swearing at drivers and crashing their cars. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtJGUkg0-vg
What Ukrainians are doing? They’re honking in their cars, to protest just somehow. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94xXhGO7vAw

You say Ukraine very depends on Russia and Russian gaz. Let’s analyze.
Ukraine produces 21 billion cubic meters of gaz per year. For comparison, Poland use less than 15 billion cubic meters per year. It should be enough to Ukraine. But why do we buy more than 30 billion cubic meters in Russia every year and where does it goes I don’t know. We can ask about it the monopoly company “Naftogaz Ukraine”.
You say Ukraine depends on export into Russia. It’s true. ¼ of all Ukrainian export goes into Russia. Do you know where the other ¼ goes? To you! To the EU countries. We can cope with lose of trade relations with Russia. Moreover, the agreement with EU implies an expanding of trade with Europe.
Let’s compare prices in Europe and Ukraine.
A dress in Berlin – 50 euro http://www.zara.com/de/de/damen/kleider/enges-kleid-c
The same dress in Kyiv – 65 euro http://www.zara.com/ua/en/woman/dresses/tube-dress-c2
Cheese:
France – 2 euro http://www.auchandirect.fr/produits-laitiers
Ukraine – 7 euro http://megamarket.ua/catalog/search.php?s=President&a
Milk:
Poland – 0.70 euro http://www.fudi.pl/index.php?ktg=67&pytMarka
Ukraine – 1.1. Euro http://megamarket.ua/catalog/search.php?s=%D0%BC%D0%BE%D0%BB%D0%BE%D0%BA%D0%BE+%D0%BD%D0%B5%D0%B7%D0%B1
Let’s compare now salary
Average monthly wages of surgeon in Ukraine is less than 300 euro. And what about yours surgeons?
http://en.for-ua.com/news/2013/04/16/161041.html
Average monthly wages in Ukraine is 320 euro, and what about yours?
Now you’re thinking where the money hides in the country where the people work hard? Let’s see:
Among the great number of our president’s suburban property is new home near the Kyiv. Few pools, a golf course. Area is – 18 000 square meters. http://mignews.com.ua/ru/articles/106801.html
http://www.pravda.com.ua/rus/articles/2012/04/6/6962248/
+ 300 000 square meters of wood. There is a separate road band to Kyiv for him.
And this is a villa of our president in Crimea. http://gazeta.ua/ru/articles/politics/_yanukovichu-v
Our president bought more than 30 000 square meters of earth of the national sanctuary “Aya Cape” for 800 000 dollars. Forget about the fact that sell a sanctuary is throughout! But why is so inexpensive? (a flat of 100 square meters in the nearest Sevastopol costs 70 000 dollars). Maybe, because he is a “president”.
It’s just incomplete list of successes of president’s family.
I don’t want to remember how his clan kill their own adversaries and ex friends. Look at the internet Евгений Щербань, Евгений Кушнарев, Георгий Кирпа, Зиновий Кулик. Look how did they die.

Yanukovych is not KGB, not Lukashenko, not Putin, not Chaushesko. He’s a bandit. Behind him his mafia family – Yanukovych younger, Rynat Akhmetov, Sergey Levochkin, Dmytry Firtash and ect. All they are stealing for the Ukrainian budget milliards of euro every year. All they are doing business, raidering and bring a country to default. They’re not interested in European marketplace. That’s why the point is not in geopolitics, they don’t choose Russia or EU. It’s to their advantage – the isolation of Ukraine. Because in isolated country they could do all that they want. Now president effectively set Ukraine at the auction – who’ll give more, Russia or Europe. He recognized that Ukraine is not sovereign country which belongs to Russia, which must to agree with EU “for how many” and “will we continue?” Because Ukraine – it’s not a country for him. It’s a business-project.
Now you’re asking to yourselves how do we live? As see we are fighting. We are educated, we can work and we are not going to betray our country. Cause it’s our Homeland.
That’s why we are protesting many long days and nights already. Petition with request to arrest invoices of president collected 100 000 signatures less than for 4 days https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/impose-pers
On Sunday we were 100 000 of people http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thKaZSxmd4I
Government had gathered the police and led few thousand sport marginals. Every one of them took from 20 to 100 euro. Their aim was just to beat people. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lw60LDMk5F8
During the last days they beat of many including few of journalists (in particular foreign) and even two police men who tried to save correspondents.
Today in the morning the government using a power, for what every police men in Europe already have set in prison, dispersed the peaceful demonstration.
And then give to yourself the answer for a question – are you still thinking that our demonstrations it that’s why we want to you into EU? – No. We know perfectly about all difficulties in your countries. We know perfectly how difficult for as will be euro integration. But agreement with EU for us it’s not a visa-free regime, not high salary, not good medicine and education. It’s a sign that criminal system will be destroyed. It’s the first of all – control of European politicians over the band in the government. This is what our president afraid of. And this is what we so want.

ajjohnstone
Dec 6 2013 01:35

An interesting story about a possible third player in the game - China

http://socialismoryourmoneyback.blogspot.com/2013/12/the-new-kid-on-ukraines-block.html

meerov21
Dec 8 2013 14:55

Maidan (forum) in Ukraine

Anti-Russian chauvinism?

Not exactly. I have a permanent contact with people there. There are a lot of Russians. That is more against Russian state and not against the Russian people.

Neo-nazi problem

But if we are talking about nationalism there is another problem: a lot of neo-nazi. They have so called "Right Sector" at Maidan. Party of Liberty (SVOBODA) was in strong contact with them before the armed atack against Admisitration of President. But then Liberty calls them "provokers". Now many of them feel themselves betrayed. They have a lot of cold weapons and they are dangerous. Not for russians but (in reality) for lefts.

Workers class

As ultra-left activist Devrim shows in his "Street protests and class power" (http://www.libcom.org/library/street-protests-class-power ) about Turkey and "Taksim riot" here it is the same. A lot of proletarians (majority not from the factory but from the office). But there is no self-organisation at the work plaсe but self-organisation is only at Maidan. There is no class self-organisation at the work place. Proletarians participate in multi-class self-organisation. That is why there are no ideas of class liberation.

Self-organisation

It is not so strong as in Taksim or Tachrir forumes in Turkey or in Egypt. Three parties of parlamentary opposition - nationalist SVOBODA (Liberty), populist UDAR (Kick) and liberals control the political agenda of Maidan. They want the dismissal of the special police forces Berkut ("eagle"), resignation of government and president Yanukovich, eurointegration and new elections. No social slogans.

Self-organistaion is working only on the level of rank-and-file mutual aid at Maidan.

ocelot
Dec 6 2013 17:22

EUObserver: EU says No to Russian pipeline, as Ukraine talks resume

Quote:
BRUSSELS - The EU has given Ukraine a gift on Russian gas, amid fresh talks on an EU-Ukraine treaty.

The European Commission told the Kremlin in a letter on Wednesday (4 December) that its "South Stream" pipeline - designed to bypass Ukraine, costing it billions in lost transit fees - violates EU law.

Klaus-Dieter Borchardt, a senior EU official, made the decision public the same day.

Referring to Russia's deals with Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Serbia and Slovenia, he told the European Parliament that "the commission has looked into these intergovernmental agreements [IGAs] and came to the conclusion that none of them is in compliance with EU law."
[...]
EU officials say the decision has nothing to do with new talks on an EU-Ukraine free trade treaty.
[...]

yeah. right.

meerov21
Dec 8 2013 15:03
rooieravotr
Dec 8 2013 23:08

Thanks for all the comments. A new piece is online now: http://libcom.org/blog/europe-ukraine-many-things-lots-people-08122013 There, I commented also on the article linked and quoted in the comment by Natalee Borisenko, above.

Jason Cortez
Dec 9 2013 12:45
bastarx wrote:
The machine in the picture is a wheel loader not a bulldozer.

It looks identical to a bulldozer

ocelot
Dec 11 2013 10:58

spot the difference

http://www.cat.com/en_US/products/new/equipment/wheel-loaders.html
http://www.cat.com/en_US/products/new/equipment/dozers.html

Wheel-loaders scoop up, lift and drop stuff. Dozers scrape & plane at ground level. Rachel Corrie was killed by a Cat Dozer, not a Wheel-loader.

Kisholoy12
Jan 28 2014 19:22

The imperialist EU, US and Russia are confronting each other in Ukraine. The nationalist in Ukraine are used by EU,
Since 1990 after the collapse of Soviet Union, capitalist America emerged as the leader of all capitalist, to dictate the form and extent of the redistribution of market across the world. And then unprecedented changes have taken place over last 24 years of time. On the one hand the European Union with a single currency Euro was formed , the fragile Russian capitalist got stronger over time, capitalist China is competing with America from Bay of Bengal to Africa, on the other hand, the contradiction between labor and capital remains unresolved like all other contradiction; namely the inter imperialist conflict- conflict between (dollar-Euro- Ruble-Yuan) and conflict between imperialist countries across the world and millions of toilers and oppressed countries which are colonized by the capitalist. From Asia to South America, in Africa the capitalist class assist their puppet government to form paramilitary death squad to kill anyone who dares to take a revolutionary standpoint. Comrades today's world situation testifies the brilliant accuracy of Lenin's analysis of Imperialism with its three contradiction outlined above. It goes without saying that an epic struggle is unleashing across the world. The question of redistribution of market inevitably lead the capitalist to seek a solution. We all know that it is not feasible by consensus. In view of this entire situation we must approach the world and engage ourselves actively in Marxist Leninist organization.I invite everyone here to read Espressostalinist website and American Party of Labor's theoretical journal "the red phoenix".
Revolutionary greetings comrade.

the croydonian ...
Jan 29 2014 15:16
Kisholoy12 wrote:
In view of this entire situation we must approach the world and engage ourselves actively in Marxist Leninist organization.I invite everyone here to read Espressostalinist website and American Party of Labor's theoretical journal "the red phoenix".
Revolutionary greetings comrade.

Was with you up until here