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Ukrainian Right-Wing Putsch And The Working Class (theses of the talk prepared for a LabourStart)

Dear comrades!

To begin with, let me stress that the struggle for workers’ rights (in the context of working unions) can only be realized with a basic law compliance and a threshold of democracy. Unfortunately, these salient conditions are not met nowadays in Ukraine.

In order to comprehend the current political situation and the state of affairs in labour movement in Ukraine, it is useful to travel back in time:

The Fall of USSR launched the process of forming two main (proletariat and bourgeoisie) as well as intermediate classes.This process was accompanied by a plummeting production and complete dismantling of the means thereof. In addition, it is important to remember, that the trade unions which were ushered in the post-soviet reality were not meant to protect the workers’ rights, but instead they proved to be yet another instrument for controlling these. Another important aspect influencing labour movement in Ukraine is demographics. Many factories and plants were able to operate in the new society mainly thanks to the extremely low labour price, which, in turn, became only possible by recruiting pensioners, who would accede to lower wages, which in addition to their pension, offered them a chance to survive. All these factors caused a fast demoralization and degradation of the labour movement and a huge inertia of workers’ masses.

A pauperization of the working masses rapidly penetrated rural areas. Apparently, urbanized population is mainly russian-speaking, especially on the east and south parts of the country, which relied on industry, in stark contrast to the rural west. Therefore, the ukrainian language is a language of the countryside, whereas the russian one is an urban language.

In fact, the process of class formation in Ukraine is still in progress, also influencing politics. Our political landscape doesn’t host political parties in the traditional sense, but rather political cliques which do not really represent any social class, for instance, ‘parties’, like “Bat’kivschina” (Motherland) - leader Julia Timoshenko, “Udar” (The punch) - leader Vitalij Klichko and numerous others.

It thus comes as no surprise that the Ukrainian political life manifests itself as nothing more than a battle among these cliques for the state power, which inevitably opens the gate to unpunished fraudulence.

Of course, these political cliques strive to draw support from Ukrainian people. As they have nothing to suggest in terms of tangible achievements, they exploit a nationalistic prejudice for almost a quarter of a century. And, in fact, they succeeded! Nationalistic rhetoric has become standard jargon for a great number of parties and movements. Moreover, these parties gain quite a significant support, especially in the west.

Summary: poverty, total corruption, demoralized working class, weak economy and at the same time growth of nationalism without any significant resistance.

Now we come to the story of so-called ‘Maidan’. Let me remind you, that the first ‘Maidan’, or the so-called ‘Orange revolution’, took place in Ukraine in 2004. At that time, massive manifestations supporting Viktor Jushchenko made Viktor Janukovich to provide an anti-constitutional third tour of presidential elections, which led to the victory of Jushchenko. The wide support of Jushchenko from the lower and middle bourgeoisie is explained by his demagogical declarations against corruption and over-indulgence of upper bourgeoisie tightly connected with burocracy. Let me also remind you, that in the next elections Jushchenko earned less than five percent of the total votes, which made possible for Viktor Janukovich to become the president of Ukraine. Those elections were declared by both US and EU as the most clean and transparent in the history of Ukraine.

What is interesting for us in this whole story is of course the attitude of the working class of Ukraine. The majority of the industrial (in contradiction to agricultural) working class tacitly (only by voting) supported Viktor Janukovich during all these events. Viktor Janukovich, who was the representative of their worst enemies: the owners of the factories and plants, where they worked, often in terrible conditions without minimal protection of their rights! (The support of industrial workers becomes clear when one looks at the election results in correlation with the industrialization of the area they took place). The question arises: why did they do so? The short answer is: because they foresaw the danger of the nationalistic rhetoric by Viktor Jushchenko. In a broad sense, they could only choose between the bad and the worse.

After such a great success in 2004, the so-called opposition, who led the country during the ‘Orange’ period decided: why can’t we employ the same trick again? So they tried to encourage a new ‘Maidan’, using as an excuse any imaginable event starting from 2010, when Janukovich became the president and stayed in this position until 2014, when the opposition finally succeeded in doing so.

The government was evidently overthrown during the right-wing-putsch - the so-called “Euromaidan”. Despite popular “anti-oligarchy” rhetoric, the maidan was from the very beginning controlled and directed by certain groups of upper bourgeoisie, together with their external allies from the USA and the EU. In the course of these events the law was severely violated, to the degree of blatant cancellation! In addition, neo-nazi organizations were used to distort order in the cities, provocatively culminating to the murder of 80 men by unknown snipers. The natural outcome of the corrupted police forces during the four months of the so-called “Euromaidan”, in tandem with the prior inadequacy of the army, is that the only militarised forces that can be engaged by the current quasi-government are various neo-nazi organizations which were already supportive to the putsch. That is why, the so-called “national guard” was founded on them.

The vast majority of workers from the very beginning, were rather skeptical to such a pseudo-revolution. At the same time they also didn’t actively support “Yanukovich’s government”. Only when the government was illegally, against all the previous agreements overthrown and national-chauvinistic forces formed so-called temporary government the working class of Ukraine supported various anti-fascist unions and went out to the streets and squares for peaceful demonstrations. As a consequence they all were immediately called «separatists-terrorists», paid «Putin agents», «bandits», «titushki» («rednecks»). At the same time neo-nazi organized massacre in the western part of the Ukraine. “Lynch” of not welcome persons especially from leftist organizations was at that time “normal” there.

Although the conflict in most cases is highlighted in mass media as ethnic (pro-russian agains pro-eu, pro-ukrainian), basicly, it is not! It has unavoidably such characteristics due to russophobic, nationalistic rhetorics from quasi-government and the correspondent response from the “Antimaidan” movement. But, indeed, now it becomes more and more clear, that the basis for the movement is social. On 20th of May the richest man of Ukraine - Rinat Ahmetov supported junta. He is the owner of many of the large heavy industry concerns in Donbass region. As a response Donetsk People’s Republic(DPR) announced nationalization of factories and plants which belong to him. This shows the real deep forces which are involved in the conflict.

Despite the support of the vast majority of workers in the eastern part of Ukraine of DPR and LPR (Lugansk People’s Republic) (such a support was confirmed during the independence referendum of these republics) some betrayers from tops of Ukrainian trade union organisations, like Mihail Volynec (the head of the Confederation of free trade unions of Ukraine)- the member of the so-called “Maidan council”, try to justify the right-nationalist coup d’Etat.

Workers of Ukraine now need the solidarity and support from workers of other countries!

It’s a duty of international labour organizations to call all the trade unions, workers unions of the USA and the EU to demand from their governments to stop any support of the illegal, fascist quasi-government in Kiev.

 

 

 

Категория: Полемика | Добавил: comrad (23.06.2014)
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