national question (Ukraine)

Boris Kagarlitsky: 'The killing of Novorossiya'

US Secretary of State John Kerry with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, May 15, 2015.

For more on the political situation in Ukraine. For more by Boris Kagarlitsky, click HERE.

By Boris Kagarlitsky, translated by Renfrey Clarke

June 4, 2015 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- On May 23, 2015, Aleksey Mozgovoy, the most popular, authoritative and independent of the Novorossiya militia commanders, was assassinated. Together with the “Spectre” Brigade which he led, Mozgovoy a few days earlier had taken part in an Antifascist Forum with left organisations from a number of European countries.

Mozgovoy was killed by an unknown group of assassins, but it is obvious that his removal from the scene differs little from the revenge meted out recently to another Novorossiya field commander, who went under the nom-de-guerre of Batman. In this earlier case, responsibility for the killing was openly assumed by the official Lugansk authorities.

Ukraine: Eyewitness to the war zone of eastern Ukraine

Residents of "October" district of Donetsk city hard hit by Ukraine army shelling speak to visiting media group on April 16, 2015. Photo Roger Annis.

More on the political situation in Ukraine.

By Roger Annis, Donetsk

April 20, 2015 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal, a version of this article was first published at CounterPunch -- -- I have just returned from participating in a four-day reporting tour to the city of Donetsk and the countryside that lies between Donetsk and the Russian city of Rostov to the south and east.

The propaganda war over Crimea’s break from Ukraine

Celebrations in Lenin Square, in the Crimean capital of Simferopol, after the Crimean people voted to make the peninsula a part of Russia. More pictures at http://mashable.com/2014/03/16/crimea-votes-the-day-in-pictures/.

By Roger Annis

December 17, 2014 -- submitted to Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal by the author, first published on Truthout, December 10, 2014 -- In the propaganda campaign being waged by the NATO countries and the government of Ukraine against Russia and in support of Kiev’s war in the east of the country, the events in Crimea of the past nine months occupy a pivotal place.

The secession from Ukraine that followed the March 16 referendum vote in Crimea is the number one pretext to justify the war as well as NATO’s rising aggression in Eastern Europe.

Ukraine army defeat forces ceasefire, underlying political conflicts unresolved

Destroyed Ukrainian military hardware is strewn across the outskirts of Mariupol, reports the Guardian.

Click for more on the political situation in Ukraine

By Roger Annis

September 9, 2014 --  A version of this article was first published at Truthout, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with the author's permission -- A ceasefire in the war in eastern Ukraine was announced in Minsk, Belarus on September 5. Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko made a simultaneous announcement in Wales, where he was a special guest at the summit meeting of the NATO military alliance.

David Mandel: Understanding the conflict in Ukraine

Ukraines' President Petro Poroshenko (second from left) greets US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal has published various left viewpoints on the political situation in Ukraine.

By David Mandel

August 24, 2014 -- The Bullet, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- The Ukrainian conflict, like most political phenomena, is multi-dimensional and highly complex. As such, it calls for a holistic – dialectical, if you wish – approach.

But to judge by US and NATO spokespersons and by their mass media, there is only one really decisive factor that explains everything: Russia's imperialism, Vladimir Putin's determination to dominate and further dismember the Ukraine as part of his plan to restore the Soviet empire. In this simplistic view, Ukraine, with benevolent support from the West, would be quite capable of dealing with its problems and would soon be on its way to becoming a prosperous, Western-style democracy.

Barry Sheppard: Some comments on the debate around Ukraine

An unguided Ukrainian government Grad rocket hit the house of Valentina Fedorovna, 77, in the Kuibyshivskyi district in Donetsk on July 19, 2014. Photo by Human Rights Watch.

Read more on the situation in Ukraine HERE.

By Barry Sheppard

July 28, 2014 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- It is clear that people who consider themselves to be some form of revolutionary socialist do not agree on the facts about Ukraine. We do not even have agreement on whether or not Russia is imperialist, or even what the word means.

I would urge caution and patience in assessing the current situation.

But here is my take in a nutshell of what I think are the facts, culled from various sources.

'No to the war in eastern Ukraine!' Declarations of the Yalta anti-war conference

Ukraine army in Kramatorsk. Photo Ukraine government.

Read more on the situation in Ukraine HERE.

July 16, 2014 -- Text from A Socialist in Canada, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission

Declaration of the assembly of citizens of Ukraine and representatives of international solidarity networks, issued in Yalta, Crimea, July 7, 2014

A major human rights and humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding in Ukraine. The government that took power in Kyiv in February 2014 is conducting a brutal military assault in the southeast of the country.

Ukraine’s fractures: Interview with Volodymyr Ishchenko in 'New Left Review'

Volodymyr Ishchenko.

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal has published several views from the left on developments in Ukraine HERE.

The following interview with Ukrainian socialist Volodymyr Ishchenko, founding editor in Ukraine of the journal Spilne (Commons), appeared in New Left Review #8, May-June 2014. It is posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal in the interests of information and discussion.

* * *

Introduction [by New Left Review]

Separatism or self-determination? Aleksandr Buzgalin on rebellion in east Ukraine

More on developments in Ukraine HERE.

July 2, 2014 -- Real News Network

Aleksandr Buzgalin is a professor of political economy at Moscow State University. He is also editor of the independent democratic left magazine Alternatives, and is a coordinator of the Russian social movement Alternatives, author of more then 20 books and hundreds of articles, translated into English, German and many other languages.

Fourth International statement on Ukraine: 'Popular movement and imperialisms'

Maidan square, Keiv, December 2013.

See also "Fourth International needs to oppose war and austerity drive against Ukrainian people". More on developments in Ukraine HERE.

International Viewpoint -- This resolution was adopted at the meeting of the Fourth International Bureau on June 7, 2014.

* * *

The very deep political crisis experienced by the Ukraine since November 2013 is far from being over. In this country, following a very long national oppression (basically Polish and Russian), the process of national formation is incomplete, the nation-state is still fragile. This is all the more the case that the country is taken in hostage between Russian imperialist pressure and that of the Euro-Atlantic powers, and subject to the socially fragmenting impact of neo-liberalism.

1. From Maidan to the provisional government: a powerful popular mobilization

Discussion: The 'Russia is imperialist' thesis is wrong

See also Chris Slee's "Discussion: Are Russia and China imperialist powers?"

By Roger Annis

June 18, 2014 -- Truthout, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with the author's permission -- The violent coming to power of a rightist regime in Kyiv, Ukraine in late February 2014 has opened an exceptionally dangerous political period in Europe. For the first time since World War II, a European government has representatives of fascist parties as ministers. These are the ministers of the armed forces, prosecution service and agriculture, and deputy ministers of national security (police), education and anti-corruption.

“Mainstream” parties alongside the fascists in government, including the elected president, are committed to an austerity project of economic association with Europe that will see much of the manufacturing base of the country further degraded or dismantled. The consequences for agricultural production are also likely to be dire.

Boris Kagarlitsky on Ukraine: A country that might have been

A statue of Lenin toppled by pro-EU protesters in Kiev.

By Boris Kagarlitsky, translated by Renfrey Clarke for Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

Crimea: Be wary of attempts to use rights of Tatars to justify violence and war

A Crimean Tatar protester holds a flag with the Crimean Tatar symbol.

Click for more analysis on developments in Ukraine and Crimea.

By Roger Annis

May 24, 2014 -- A Socialist in Canada, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- The situation of the Tatar population of the Crimea peninsula is being cited to discredit the decision in March by the people of the Crimea region to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation. This article looks at some of the history of the Tatars and also at the real situation today as best it can be discerned from afar.

Boris Kagarlitsky sur l'Ukraine orientale : la logique d'une révolte

[English at http://links.org.au/node/3838.]

Par Boris Kagarlitsky, traduit par Renfrey Clarke, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal ; retraduit Vers le français par Gabriel Stollsteiner

25 mai 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Les bureaucrates russes ont été sincèrement surpris de la réaction de l'Occident officiel – ils ne s'attendaient pas à une telle colère ni à une condamnation aussi unanime. Les politiciens européens sont transportés de furie. La presse majoritaire relate à ses lecteurs l'histoire lamentable de l'agression russe contre l'Ukraine. Les émissions télévisées diffusent des interviews avec des ministres et députés de Kiev, qui implorent la larme à l’œil l'Europe de sauver leur pays de l'ours enragé.

Boris Kagarlitsky on eastern Ukraine: The logic of a revolt

Major anti-Kiev protests in eastern Ukraine, according to Wikipedia.

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal has published several views from the left on developments in Ukraine HERE. For more by Boris Kagarlitsky, click HERE.

By Boris Kagarlitsky, translated by Renfrey Clarke for Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

May 1, 2014 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Russian bureaucrats have been honestly surprised at the reaction by the official West—they did not expect such anger or unanimous condemnation. European politicians are beside themselves with fury. The mainstream press is relating appalling stories to its readers of Russian aggression against Ukraine. The television shows interviews with Kiev ministers and deputies who tearfully implore Europe to save their country from the enraged bear.

Kiev escalates threats against eastern Ukraine, NATO threatens Russia

Pro-autonomy demonstration in Donetsk, April 8, 2014. Photo Reuters.

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal has published a range of views from the left on developments in Ukraine HERE.

By Roger Annis

April 25, 2014 -- Truthout, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission of the author -- On April 22, the Ukraine government announced a new military offensive against its citizens in the east of the country. The UK Telegraph says 11,000 troops and 160 armoured vehicles are involved.

The offensive is directed at the popular protest movement that has deepened since the coming to power of a rightist government in Kiev two months ago. Protesters want economic and social improvements to the harsh conditions of life faced by most people in eastern Ukraine. They oppose the austerity policies of the new government that are a condition of its cherished hopes for closer economic ties with the European Union.

Ukraine: Government risks whirlwind to halt protests in east

Demonstrators opposed to Ukraine government policies, in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, April 6, 2014

Demonstrators opposed to the Ukraine government in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, April 6, 2014.

By Roger Annis

April 15, 2014 -- A Socialist in Canada, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Moves by the Ukraine government to crack down on protests against its rule in the east of the country appear to have quickly faltered and backfired. Protest actions are widening.

Boris Kagarlitsky: Crimea annexes Russia

Russian president Vladimir Putin signs law completing Crimea annexation.

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal has published a range of views from the left on developments in Ukraine and Crimea HERE.

By Boris Kagarlitsky, Moscow, translated by Renfrey Clarke for Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

March 24, 2014 – editorial, Rabkor (Worker Correspondent) -- No, that’s not a mistake. On March 18, Crimea annexed Russia. There were no insidious schemes or imperial ambitions involved. There was, however, a spontaneously developing situation, together with the usual, everyday willingness of the Crimean bosses, who saw a unique chance in the Russian-Ukrainian crisis.

Ukraine: Hypocrisy abounds as outside powers interfere

By Tony Iltis

March 30, 2014 -- Green Left Weekly -- The United Nations General Assembly voted on March 27 ― with 100 votes for, 11 against and 58 abstentions ― to not recognise the results of the March 16 referendum in Crimea. In the poll, most voted for the territory to leave Ukraine and join Russia.

The resolution was put by Ukraine and sponsored by the United States, the European Union and other Western powers, including Australia.

There are certainly questions about the conditions in which the referendum was held ― and of electoral fraud. But the resolution specifically upheld the “territorial integrity” of Ukraine, thereby condemning the unilateral separation of Crimea from Ukraine regardless of the circumstance of the vote.

The resolution’s sponsors have portrayed the events in Crimea since the February 21 overthrow of the Ukrainian government of Viktor Yanukovich as a Russian invasion, a viewpoint not questioned in the Western corporate media.

Russia and its allies have, for their part, portrayed the events as an act of self-determination.

Ukraine: Outside powers exploiting ethnic nationalisms

For more on Ukraine, click HERE.

By Tony Iltis

March 22, 2014 -- Green Left Weekly -- Russian President Vladimir Putin announced legislation on March 18 accepting the formerly Ukrainian Republic of Crimea and City of Sevastopol into the Russian Federation. The legislation was passed by the Russian Duma (parliament) on March 20.

Crimea and Sevastopol had voted in a March 16 referendum to leave Ukraine and join Russia. This was the culmination of a process that began after the February 21 overthrow of unpopular Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich by protesters in the capital Kiev.

Crimea is 60% Russian-identifying and 84% Russian-speaking, and was not historically part of Ukraine. Sevastopol is the home port of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Yet this dramatic change in Europe’s borders was not on the agenda before the fall of Yanukovich less than a month earlier.

The Ukrainian government responded with predictable outrage and threats to what it regards as a blatant annexation of its territory. But Ukrainian forces in Crimea ― those who have remained loyal to the new Kiev regime ― have been powerless to stop pro-Russian forces taking over their bases and naval ships.

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