Friday, April 11, 2014

Rabkor Interview with Sergei Kirichuk of Borotba on 11th April 2014

Democracy and Class Struggle have used automatic translation of this interview with Rabkor into  English any mistakes in translation are ours - we have modified some text to make more sense.
We have noticed some anti Mao material on Rabkor which is rather confused we suggest Rabkor publish the following has a description of MLM for your readers

Sergey, please tell us about the current situation in Kharkov.

Everything that happens in Kharkov, comes amid a storm that occurred on the night of 7 to 8 April.  Special forces who remain loyal to the Minister Avakov attacked Kharkov regional state administration, which was seized by protesters, 64 activists were arrested. Received first information that they were delivered in Poltava, Kiev remand. But then this was denied - they are in the territory of Kharkov.

Many shocked many frightened by what is happening. But, nevertheless, the very next day early in the morning people started gathering at the walls of the regional administration in order to protest police violence, and the evening had come, probably five hundred people without warning. It was a spontaneous rally. Conditionally I can say that the situation in a calm, quiet if you can call a situation where nearly 70 people are behind bars.

In our view, such protests will grow and continue. We expect that in the coming Saturday and Sunday will be mass protests, rallies demonstration. People primarily outraged double standards and double standards of the so-called government of Kiev, as his path to power just went through the seizure of government buildings and through collisions with special units of the police. And the basic requirements of those who are in power, then was to end police violence, cessation of attacks on activists. Today, when former oppositionists steel power, they use the most brutal methods to suppress any discontent.

What could be adjudicated against activists, in your opinion?

The other day the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted the amendment to laws and toughen penalties for so-called separatism and the overthrow of the constitutional order.

These people are now on the new Ukrainian legislation could threaten 15 years to life imprisonment. But we certainly hope and we trust that this Kiev government not to lose mind, and he retains at least some connection with reality. And we hope that in the near future, these people will be released and the charges against them be dropped.

Is it possible to highlight the Southeast most active center, the capital of the resistance?

I would not single out one of the cities. Situation in each of them different, and each city has its own specifics. In Odessa, she was alone, the other in Lugansk, Donetsk people hold regional administration building, establish additional barricade. In Kharkov administration is already occupied by special forces. You know that the Kharkov police sided with the people and offered no resistance. Therefore, to suppress popular uprisings was brought Poltava and Sumy police. And now they are still in town.

Describe the portrait of a man looking over the protests in Kharkov. Who are these people?

Most people who are involved in the protests, it is absolutely peaceful citizens: students, workers and pensioners. Many of them have never participated in the protests were not members of political parties and movements. And many first time out at the protest. It was a reaction to what is happening in Kiev on the policies pursued by the junta Kiev.

Of course, there are also activists "Borotba", and the Communist Party, and many other organizations. Among them are pro-Russian activists.

I would like to emphasize that this movement has two factions, two powerful currents. First course - people focused on Russia, which gives priority to cooperation with Russia.

The second fraction - this is the part that we represent, this anti-oligarchic, anti-capitalist part of our movement.

These are the forces that act to overthrow the power of several major families of the country. This position is also very strong support here in Kharkov and Kharkov region.

Conditional part of a protest held under red flags, other protesters held under the Russian flag.

Some People go with Russian flags, do not believe the separatists.

 They want the situation to get protection. They watch TV, watch the news ... News Ukrainian look because Russian TV channels for broadcasting prohibited.

And they see the far-right groups, activists surrounded the Ukrainian parliament with guns as they rip the Congress of Judges, as they are subjected to terror representatives of small and medium businesses.

And, of course, they want to be someone to protect against this.

It is with these circumstances we associate them with the desire to go the Russian tricolor.

We are still consistent in their positions that Ukraine should remain united. But for the preservation of this unity is respect for the rights of the people of South-East, change anti-people policies of the government of Kiev, the change of power in Kiev, in the end.

What are the minimum program and the maximum program protesters and, in particular, the requirements of "Borotba."

I will not go into the program maximum. But I can tell you what time the requirement has now encountered here in the square.

This requirement is a wide autonomy Southeast, for a referendum on autonomy, decentralization of power, the election of the governor, county executives, judges, prosecutors and opportunities their review at any time if they fail in their duties.

The second requirement - that linguistic equality, opportunity for all citizens to receive education in communication and use their native language.

And the third requirement - it's non-aligned status of Ukraine, for absence of its military-political alliances. With the passage of time here in the course of this struggle, there was a fourth requirement - the removal from power of the oligarchy, the removal of the richest people from running the country.

These are the requirements that are set forth by the people of South-East in different forms. But somehow they are repeated now all political parties and movements that are involved in the protests. All this is very heterogeneous organization. But this is the platform that unites people on Kharkov areas.

As the protests began? After Southeast not immediately announced to his position.

Yes, the South East for a long time silent, for a long time did not take any decisive steps. People waited interchanges, and when it occurred, were forced to stand up and fight. It happened in late February - early March.

And this was due to including such a phenomenon as "leninopad."

You know that neo-Nazi groups and right-wing organizations are actively engaged in the overthrow of Lenin monuments that are installed throughout the country.

These wild, barbaric antics in many cities met resistance timid. There clashes, but still these monuments were defeated. In Kharkov, too, was an attempt to overthrow Lenin monuments. Fortunately, it did not succeed, because it is a huge 50-meter high statue.

Technically not easy to topple. And the next day after the rally activists Maidana, tried to topple Lenin, we took to the streets of Kharkov simple.

There has been no political parties, movements and organizations. They pitched a tent camp and installed barricades to protect the monument.

Many people professed leftist communist views. But not all. Many just came to protest, and for them it was a very important symbolic action. They were not supporters of Lenin's ideas, but nevertheless rejected those right-wing views who voice now came to power political forces.

It is primarily in "Freedom" and "Fatherland". And the monument to Lenin began Southeastern resistance.

It absolutely does not involve any separatist. People want to protect themselves, their city, their families from the extreme right-wing government.

Everyone was very concerned that the government turned feverish search for money to the International Monetary Fund. And as always, the IMF imposed a monstrous 10-point plan, which involved the reduction of social benefits, freezing the growth of pensions, salaries, reducing benefits, increase in retail gas prices, increase in utility tariffs. In general, all these measures lead to the impoverishment of the people.

When people realized that this plan will be implemented, they rose up to fight.

Once this struggle began, all the Ukrainian media, which is now one-sided coverage of the situation, have accused the movement in that it consists of a separatist thugs "titushek." Talked about the fact that these people come from Russia. But among the 64 people who were detained after the storming of the regional administration, were all residents of Kharkov and Kharkov region. Those have not only Russian citizens were not among the detainees, but even residents of other regions.

It is a struggle of residents of South-East for their rights, for their dignity, for respect for the social, economic and political needs. I can say that most of those people who struggle to rise now, act with oligarchies requirements. They strive for greater equality, access to social, cultural and other benefits.

Does the resistance Kharkov possibility of negotiations with the current government?

I think Southeast is ready to negotiate. But, unfortunately, the inability for such negotiations showed the administration of so-called President and Prime Minister Turchynov Yatsenuk. Instead now go here, meet with protest groups, to develop the concept of administrative reform, which will give more powers to the regions, will enable manage budgets and ensure cultural and linguistic equality, instead they send special forces here, arresting people and trying to silence pockets of resistance.

In our view, it is absolutely silly position, which leads to the division of the country.

In fact it is they are real schismatics, not us, it's them separatists, not us.

And today the government in Kiev shows a complete inability to political dialogue.

Is it possible recognition of the upcoming elections in South-East?

No. I do not think that these elections will be recognized by the people of the South-East. A number of political movements, including "Borotba" demanded that: "No election without a referendum." That is, no elections without the possibility of the people of South-East to defend their rights, including the right to choose. We do not believe in elections at gunpoint.

We do not believe in elections under the dictation of neo-Nazi groups. For example, now the office of the Communist Party of Ukraine captured by group C14. This group, which is close to the "Freedom" party.

That is, even opposition party offices now can not act. They captured militants. And it's difficult to say, given these conditions, you can go to the polls.

So today we are very critical of all the candidates, who are counting on the support of the South-East. And to Peter Simonenko, and to Oleg Tsarev, and Mikhail Dobkin we treat with caution. We believe their desire to run a serious mistake. In addition, we have every reason to believe that these politicians of the old generation, which are associated with the oligarchy, and from which we do not expect anything good. In general, most likely conscious people in the South East will boycott the coming elections on May 25.

How are ordinary residents of the western regions of the country to what is happening in the South-East?

Many are victims of propaganda, because every day the Ukrainian media show them that there are bandits, separatists, who have come from Russia. Of course, people are disoriented. They think that all this is true, and many require drastic repression.

But I believe that the thinking part of the population in the West Ukraine, especially in the centre of the country, there are many of those who sympathize with this movement who understands that it is not no separatist that the movement against the oligarchy, the movement against inequality and injustice.

Does the actions of protest groups in different cities of South-East coherence?

Southeast coordinate their actions. There is a link to Lugansk, with Odessa, with Donetsk. In Odessa and Donetsk active association "Borotba" acts. With each passing day, this coordination is enhanced. Authorities with their repression trying to weaken us. But I hope people will not falter, and eventually we will win. We will win anyway, because no matter how sophisticated weapons they did not have, we have the most important thing - the power of our ideas, the strength of our views. And I think that we will win.


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