Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Stop the war in Ukraine: a statement by the Left in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus plus critical commentaries

June 7-8 at Minsk antiwar conference held Belarusian, Russian and Ukrainian left.

It was designed to strengthen the unity of internationalists three countries in the fight against the violence, and repression of nationalist hysteria on both sides of the front.

Participants of the conference were published below statement on the situation in Ukraine. We invite all leftist democrats and true anti-fascists put his signature:

We, the participants of the organizational meeting of left and marxist groups and organizations from Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine, believe that ceasing a civil war in Ukraine is necessary.

The military conflict that followed the victory of the neo-liberals and nationalists in Kiev "euromaidan" claimed hundreds of lives and contributed to an unprecedented growth of chauvinism and xenophobia in Ukrainian and Russian society.

This war allows the ruling class to consolidate Ukrainian society around their political regime, distracting workers of the Western and Eastern parts of the country from struggle for their social and political rights, and pushing them together in the interests of the bourgeoisie. Russian government, the European Union and the United States use the civil war in Ukraine for the same purpose: dying Donbass people are just pawns of their competition.

We express our solidarity to all participants of the Ukrainian left-wing movements that fight against war, nationalism and xenophobia.

We consider it necessary to provide them all possible information, political and material support.

We oppose the pressure and reprisals by all participants of the conflict, massacres, torture and abductions against Ukrainian leftists, anti-fascists and all Ukrainian citizens, regardless of their political views. We oppose the political persecution in the Crimea as well.

To stop the war is the primary task for all democratic left movements, regardless of differences on various issues of political agenda. So, we we believe it is necessary to coordinate the efforts of all the opponents of the war in Ukraine, forming a massive and influential anti-war movement.

Our demands are:
  • We urge the government of Ukraine to immediately withdraw the "anti-terrorist operation" , withdraw troops from the territory of Donetsk and Lugansk regions, and conclude a truce with DPR and LPR militia.
  • We urge all the parties of the conflict to endorse a peace agreement for complete cessation of hostilities, to release all political prisoners and prisoners of war, and to disband armed groups.
  • We urge the Ukrainian government to dissolve the regular armed forces, consisting of involuntary mobilized soldiers, whose families are now organizing protests in various regions of Ukraine.
  • We demand from Russia, the EU and the U.S. to completely stop interfering in Ukrainian conflict, and not to support the participants.
  • We demand to cease chauvinist campaign in Ukrainian and Russian media, which are amongst the main instigators of war due to using the hate speech.
  • We demand the adoption of a new Constitution of Ukraine, the elections to the authorities of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, real right to self-determination and self-government for Donbass and all regions of Ukraine.
  • We believe that informational and organizational consolidation of leftist groups in the former Soviet space is a necessary condition for the formation of the anti-war movement.
  • To this end, we are initiating joint development of "Red Cross" initiative in order to help the left activists and conscientious objectors to military service, and establishing of an information network for left and marxist groups in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine.

Vladimir Ishchenko, magazine Spilne [Commons], Ukraine
Andrew Manchuk, editor, Borotba [Struggle] organisation, Ukraine
Ivan Ovsyannikov, member of the Central Council of the Russian Socialist Movement (RSD), Russia
Taras Salamanyuk, magazine Spilne [Commons], Ukraine
Sergei Solovyov, scientific and educational magazine "Skepticism", Russia
Rustam Sadykov, scientific and educational magazine "Skepticism", Russia
Sergei Kozlovsky, a member of the Central Council of the Russian socialist movement, Russia
Dmitry Subbotin, scientific and educational magazine "Skepticism", Russia
George Komarov, "Workers Platform", the Russian socialist movement, Russia
Mikhail Piskunov, the Russian Socialist Movement, Russia
Artem Kirpichenok, International Marxist tendency (MMT), Russia
Alexander Ivanov, the Russian Socialist Sovement, Russia
Tatiana Chizhov, Internet magazine "Prasvet" [Break], Belarus
Dmitry Isayonok, Interent magazine "Prasvet"[Break], Belarus
Denis Denisov, Left Opposition, the Russian Socialist Movement, Ukraine-Russia
Lyudmila Barkov, Russia
Sergei Odarich Journal, Ukraine
Ilya Znamenskii, Russia
Elena Kuzmenok, Belarus
Catherine Ruskevich, Belarus

Joined by:
Alexander Oparin, Left Club, Belarus
Yuri Glushakov, the organizing committee of the Belarusian Social Movement "It's Time!".
Oleg Jasinski, journalist, translator, Chile
Alexei Sakhnin, a member of the executive committee of the Left Front, Sweden
Alexander Markevich, RSD, Russia
Kirill Vasiliev - a member of the Central Committee of the United Communist Party (OKP), Russia
Stanislav Khudzik, RSD, Russia
Dmitry Ryder, RSD, Russia
Bulat Gilmanov, RSD, Russia
Georgi Ivanov, RSD, Russia
Vlad Milevsky, RSD, Russia
Leonid Rodin, chairman of the Interregional Trade Union New Unions, a member of the Central Committee of OKP
Eugene Valikov, OKP, Russia
Eugene Lyufanov, RSD, Russia
Ivan Volohov, a member of the Central Committee of OKP, Russia
Yaroslav Shvetsov, first secretary of the regional committee of the Vologda OKP
Asyunkin Denis, the first secretary of the regional Komi branch, OKP
Sergei Biets, Central Committee member OKP, Russia
Vladimir Avramchuk, a member of the Central Committee of OCP, Russia
Andrew Burma, First Secretary of the Orenburg Regional OKP, Russia
Gulyanitsky Dean, a member of OKP, Russia
Ivan Antokhin, Secretary of the Union of Communist  Youth (SKM), MGK , Russia
Alexander Ivankov, a member of OCP, Russia
Denis Khoprov, coordinator SKM, Balashov, Russia
Dmitry Sidorov, a member of the Central Committee of the OKP, Russia
Alexander Tsvetkov, a member of the board of Borotba, Ukraine
Olzhas Kozhakhmet Foundation E. Hoffman, Kazakhstan
Alexander Kommari, Finland
Dmitry Kolesnik, International Editor Ukraine
Daria Mitin, Russia.
Tim Nastin, Latvia
Sherstneva Irina, Russia
Nicholas Hare, Russia
Stanislav Sergienko association "Borotba" magazine writer, Ukraine
Nina Dmitrieva, scientific and educational magazine "Skepticism", Russia
Olga Ghazaryan, the site editor, Russia
Alexander Averyushkin, scientific and educational magazine "Skepticism", Russia
Sergei Zalepugin, Belarus
Oia Koretskaya, an online magazine "Wild tramp", USA
Elena Patyaeva, scientific and educational magazine "Skepticism", Russia
Michael Dremov, scientific and educational magazine "Skepticism", Russia
Julia Malkina-Boguslavskaja, Ukraine
Andrew Vanyukov, Russia
Maxim Vazhenin editor historic portal "Latvian riflemen", Latvia
Konstantin Efimov, Latvia
Ilya Gutin, Russia
Anna Chizhov, Russia
Catherine Vikulina, Latvia
Maxim Stelmak, Russia
Dmitry Lisov, Workers Platform, RSD, Russia
Daniel Dybenko  RSD, Russia
Andrei Factory, Workers Platform, RSD, Russia
Vasily Vostrikov, Workers Platform, RSD, Russia
Dmitry Lisov, Workers Platform, RSD, Russia
Alexander Markov, Workers Platform, RSD, Russia
Natalia Zhuravlev, Workers Platform, RSD, Russia
Sergey Zhavrid Workers Platform, RSD, Russia
Sergei Danilovich, Belarus
Oleg Novikov. Editorial Belarus
Anton Skhivi, RMP, Russia
Yuri Dergunov magazine of social criticism "Spilne" Ukraine
Anton Baryshnikov, Russia
Paul Mozzhukhin Charitable Foundation "Hope for Tomorrow", Russia
Katya Kazbek, Russia
Eugene Mishchenko, association "Borotba", Ukraine, Russia
George Merry, Weierstrass function, Ukraine
Movchan, editor Ukraine
Yevgeny Kozlov, coordinator, St. Petersburg Branch, Left Front, Russia
Joseph Abramson, a member of the executive committee of the PKK, member of the executive committee of the Left Front, Russia
Jaroslav Koklyunov, RSD, LF, Russia
Sergey Vilkov, journalist, RSD, Russia


Commentary by Jay Blackwood on Minsk Statement :

There's a statement being widely shared on Internet at the moment - "Stop the War in Ukraine" - which seems to have emerged from a regional conference of socialists hailing from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.
It reads as a worthy attempt to call on all sides to disarm and negotiate a comprehensive peace.
The trouble is, it's completely divorced from reality.
Kiev is not about to disband the Ukrainia...n army.
Svoboda is not about to relinquish its control of the military, the justice department, etc.
Pravy Sektor is not about to withdraw from the National Guard.
The USA is not about to give the green light to Kiev to negotiate a federal settlement of the conflict - a settlement that Kiev wouldn't agree to anyway.
And the militias in the east, defending their homes and workplaces against the US backed troops and their paramilitary neo-Nazi allies, really aren't about to stand down.
Nor should they.
As far as I'm concerned, they have the right to defend themselves "by any means necessary".
Our job is to support them.

Commentary by Victor Shapinov on Minsk Statement

Shapinov of Borotba on the resolution of the antiwar conference held in Minsk on June 7-8:

Such a declaration would have been nice for a broad anti-war movement, which includes not only the left.

If this is the position of the left, then it is too moderate.

Firstly, there are characteristics of the Kiev junta regime having at least some of the key features of fascism, according to the classical definition of Georgi Dimitrov (open terrorist dictatorship in the interests of finance capital, use of power for suppression of political opponents, and a mass reactionary movement).

The Kiev junta is now the chief evil which must be fought against and which should be destroyed.

While the junta there, the world will not - this follows from the nature of the political class and the Kiev junta.

If earlier it was possible to have the illusion that there was a split among the oligarchy, the latest facts, such as full support of the Ahmetov clan for the junta and the actual perfidy of Donetsk big business with the junta against the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR), leaves no room for these illusions.

All Ukrainian oligarchs as a class are on the side of the junta. This formulation cannot be considered leftist. And this fact does not allow us to keep "neutrality," the spirit that permeated some aspects of the declaration.

Secondly, the left should support the self-determination of the people in the Donbass.

This right was actually implemented in referendums in the Donetsk and Lugansk region.

And while the conditions in which the referendums were held may not be ideal, this is not the fault of the DNR and Lugansk People’s Republic (LC), but of the Kiev junta, which strongly prevented the will of citizens from being expressed.

At the same time, this does not necessarily mean unconditional support for the political and military leadership of DNR and LC. Of course, and sadly, given the working class composition of the region region, the left could not lead the anti-oligarchic and anti-fascist movement in its struggle.

Pro-Russian patriots were more organized than the left, so they were head at the head. This is an occasion for self-criticism of the left, and not to criticize the DNR and LC.

Thirdly, for the Russian left, of course, it is very politically correct to put Russia in the first place among the intervening parties, but it is a sin against the facts.

In fact, there is almost no support from Russia, except for private initiatives.

Recent actions of the Russian authorities say more about a willingness to surrender the rebels of Donbass, as soon as they throw up some suggestions, such as "partial payment for gas."

Here, probably closer to the truth is Kagarlitskiy, who said that if Russia was truly democratic regime, the Russian tanks would already be near Kiev.

The Russian regime should be criticized not for intervention but for non-interference, bordering on the actual betrayal, which is accompanied by deafening patriotic and anti-fascist propaganda.

Fourth, there is the abstract call "to disband armed groups." Which groups?

Everyone, including the Ukrainian army and police?

Or just part?
What part?

Disband the people’s militia or recognize it as the legitimate armed force of DNR and LC subordinate to the democratically elected authorities of the Republic, which will be elected after the ceasefire?

I believe that the latter option would provide more freedom and democracy in the Donbass than surrender of the militia, while maintaining the army of the Kiev junta.

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