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Ukraine: A call for solidarity against the neo-fascist violence of 'Black Friday'

House of Trade Unions under attack in Odessa on May 2, 2014.

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- This appeal and article are from Borotba ("Struggle"), an important organisation of the Ukrainian left. For a range of views from the left on developments in Ukraine, click HERE.

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May 5, 2014 -- May 8 is celebrated all over the world as a day of victory over Nazism that caused millions of losses and much suffering to many people of the world. However, now we see that neo-Nazism raises its head again. Far-right groups and parties are striving to take power in many countries. Their members unleash real terror against the dissenters, migrants, the "others", leftwing and anti-fascist activists.

We have to stop the rise fascism again – that’s our duty to stop it before it is not too late.

On May 2, 2014, in the Ukrainian city Odessa neo-Nazis and far-right groups unleashed a real massacre. Far-right paramilitaries burned alive and beat to death 46 local residents in the "House of Trade-Unions". They brutally finished off the wounded, shouting "Glory to the nation" and "Ukraine is above all". The neo-Nazis were brought together by authorities so to eliminate the opponents – anti-fascists, members of leftwing organisations and dissenters among ordinary citizens.

It happened on May 2 – the day when Adolf Hitler's storm troopers occupied all trade union headquarters across Germany in 1933, and union leaders were arrested and put in prison or concentration camps.

The new Ukrainian authorities that violently seized power in February include many representatives of far-right and pro-fascist parties – in fact it’s the most far-right government in post-WWII Europe. Current authorities openly justify Nazis and Nazi-collaborator movement responsible for genocide in WWII. And it’s not surprising that new government immediately released all neo-Nazis who were earlier convicted for racist murders. The government of far-rightists and oligarchs willingly use death squads of openly neo-Nazi groups like Right Sector to suppress the people’s indignation.

And the recent tragedy in Odessa – when our comrade anti-fascist Andrey Brazhevsky was brutally killed by fascists - is only one episode in the campaign of neo-Nazi terror. Being whitewashed in the media and endorsed by some governments – far-right squads feel their total impunity in Ukraine.

That’s why we call all the anti-fascist forces to condemn the neo-Nazis and to honour the victims of Nazi-terror in Ukraine on May 8 before Ukrainian embassies.

The neo-Nazis should be stopped in Ukraine and everywhere.

Down with all kinds of nationalism and fascism!

Long live international solidarity!

Nazism – never again!

'Black Friday'

May 2, 2014 became the tragic date in modern Ukrainian history. Dozens of Ukrainians were brutally killed, burnt alive, tortured or shot down by Nazi squads. Some of them died during the military crackdown on south-eastern towns. Others were tortured and killed in Odessa where neo-Nazis unleashed outright terror against the opponents and dissenters.

As states "Borotba" union: "On the night of May 2, the neo-Nazi Kiev junta ordered troops and units of the Ukrainian Security Service to attack rebels in Slavyansk (Donetsk region). Prior to this, anti-government activists have been arrested in many cities. The leaders of death squads openly say that they are looking just for a pretext to arrest activists of civil society organisations of the popular movement in southeastern Ukraine."

On May 2, "the paramilitary squads of Ukrainian nationalist were brought together to Odessa from all over the country. 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'. In total there were more than a thousand of nationalists that participated in the march and the slaughter that followed it.”

Neo-Nazis attacked the camp of anti-junta protesters on the square 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."

"The 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 the Kiev regime of nationalists and oligarchs is rapidly grows into the outright terrorist dictatorship of the fascist style."

As reports Russia Today: “Around 1,500 supporters of the Kiev authorities, accompanied by aggressive fans of the local football club, Chernomorets, tried to march through the center of the city chanting 'Glory to Ukraine', 'Death to enemies', 'Knife the Moskals' [derogatory for Russians]. Some of the people in the group were wearing ultra-nationalist Right Sector movement insignia, were armed with chains and bats and carried shields.” Many of those who managed to escape the fire were then brutally beaten by armed men, believed to be from the ultra-nationalist Right Sector group, who had the building under siege.

As people were dying in the burning building, some of the pro-Kiev activists jeered on Twitter that “Colorado beetles are being roasted up in Odessa”, using a derogatory term for activists wearing St. George’s ribbons [symbol of WWII victory].

The governor of Odessa region – appointed by junta Vladimir Nemirivsky has justified the actions of murderers, calling them "legitimate".

Ironically, the massacre in Odessa happened on the very day (May 2) when Adolf Hitler's storm troopers occupied all trade union headquarters across Germany in 1933, and union leaders were arrested and put in prison or concentration camps.

Meanwhile. On May 4, 2014, “Over 10 people have died and around 40 have been injured after members of Right Sector opened fire on civilians in eastern Ukraine, the People’s Mayor of Slavyansk has said. Civilians had reportedly formed a human chain to protect their village from members of the right-wing group. In the village of Andreevka [suburb of Slavyansk] during the night people blocked entry to Right Sector members, forming a human chain along the road. Members of Right Sector opened fire, killing over 10 people.”

Ukraine's president said on May 2 that "many" pro-Russian rebels were killed and wounded in a crackdown by Ukrainian troops in the restive eastern city of Slovyansk reports USAToday.

Video of one of those killed local residents.

In Lugansk (eastern Ukraine), where people stormed the department of state security service – and found there in the courtyard a dead body of A. Stasyuk -- local resident and active anti-government protester.

The Ukrainian military has also occupied the city of Kramatorsk after an assault. Hospitals are “overcrowded with injured,” one of local activist said, claiming that 10 people died in fighting overnight and two were killed by snipers.

In Kramatorsk, a young nurse Yulia Izotova together with other three companions was shot down by Nazis from the "National Guard".

In this video you can see how unarmed local residents in Kramatorsk confront column of tanks that entered their town. People chant: "Fascists, get out".

However, the Ukrainian junta still continues the neo-Nazi terror in Ukraine and military crackdown on south-eastern cities. The authorities recruit more neo-Nazis into the "National Guard" and form special death squads – battalions "Dnepr", "Storm" etc. -- especially for punitive expeditions. In this video you can see a call of such a death squad created in Kharkov region from militants of Right Sector.

The junta of oligarchs and far-right politicians doesn’t stop before any massacre so that to stay in power and receive more billions of International Monetary Fund loans (since oppression of south-eastern rebels is one of the terms of receiving the loans).

However, despite of the bloodbath and outright Nazi terror, the people of Ukraine continue the resistance.

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Solidarity Statement in Support of Botoba

The following statement of solidarity was posted by the OKDE-Spartakus, Greek section of the Fourth International and a member of the Greek revolutionary left alliance "Antysara".

Lugansk and Kramatorsk, where the fascist National Guard murdered among others the twenty-year-old
nurse Yulia Isotova and three other members of the nursing staff who provided first aid to the wounded, was
methodically arranged by the far-right Kiev regime. The next day, the Odessa police instead of arresting the
neo-Nazi murderers, they arrested 63 antifascist survivours (to be released later by residents of Odessa who
stormed the police station), while Tymoshenko congratulated those who “contributed to the suppression of
separatists” and promised to suppress any further protest. As it is correctly pointed out by “Borotba”, “The
massacre in Odessa reveals that Kiev regime of nationalists and oligarchs is rapidly grows into the outright
terrorist dictatorship of the fascist style”.
But the massacres unleashed by the far-right regime with the blessings of USA-NATO-EU cannot
provide a solution. Many military units still do not obey and arms are transferred massively to the militias. This
clearly shows that the accusations of Kiev regime that the uprising is “triggered by Putin” is hollow
propaganda. Similarly unfounded are the accusations, unfortunately swallowed and reproduced by various
“leftish”, “anarchists” and other “progressive Europeanists”, that “Borotba” and all those involved in the
movement are “subservient to Putin”. Such despicable wretchedness, as well as the deafening silence of the
Western media and the liberal “leftish” who have not yet seen the “invisible” fascists who are now mass
murdering people, and they have still not come to a “verdict” on who is responsible for the slaughter in
Odessa, is nothing but an alibi for the far-right Kiev regime and its storm troops that continue the slaughter of
the left and the antifascist movement in the southeast.
As for Putin and Russian imperialists, they have already secured what they always had, i.e. their
bases in Crimea, and now they have no interest in the victory of the anti-fascist insurrection of popular
masses. On the contrary, their intervention in April was towards an agreement with Kiev regime, the USA and
the EU for the disarmament of all armed groups and evacuation of occupied buildings, an agreement that the
insurgents do not recognize. Putin leverages developments to consolidate his position in Russia and
suppress internal opposition easier. Simultaneously, Russian imperialism attempts through this process to
extend its economic and political influence in the region, coming into direct conflict with the interests of US
and EU imperialists. The risk to ignite all-out war in the region is nightmarishly visible.
In order to rid the movement of illusions for Putin and reflections of pro-Russian nationalism, as a
result of the bloody repression, it is necessary to strengthen the influence of the left and help the movement
to gain confidence in its own strength. This process is not easy, but neither wishful thinking. It is already in
progress, because “Borotba” intervenes dynamically and its influence steadily grows, while, at the same time,
there is a rapid progress in the formation of militias, as the rebels have understood very well that neither Putin
nor any other “saviour” will stop the fascist hordes, but only their own forces.
Concludng, the Organisation of Communists - Internationalists of Greece – “Spartakos”, Greek
section of the Fourth International, stands in solidarity with the comrades of the Union “Borotba” and the anti-
fascist movement in Ukraine and condemns the far-right Kiev government and its imperialists mentors of
USA-NATO-EU who have unleashed the hordes of neo-Nazi murderers in Southeast Ukraine. We urge all the
left to do the same and act directly with mass demonstrations at the Ukrainian embassies all around the
world.
The struggle of comrades in Ukraine is our struggle and their victory will be ours, too.
- Down with the far-right Kiev regime!
- Crush the storm troops of “Right Sector” and the fascist National Guard!
- No to imperialist interventions! USA-EU-NATO out now! No illusions for or confidence in Russian
imperialism!
- Solidarity with “Borotba” and Ukrainian antifascists!
- Victory to the rebellion in Southeast! Recognition of the right of self-determination in these areas!
- Common struggle of all workers of Ukraine against fascists, oligarchs and all imperialists!
OKDE – SPARTAKOS, Greek section of the Fourth International

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