Place: Ukraine


A Response to Jean Batou on Ukraine


Jean Batou’s article Putin, The War in the Ukraine, and the Far Right in Volume XV No. 3 of New Politics, despite briefly acknowledging in its final paragraphs the role of NATO in the Ukrainian crisis, basically echoes the party-line apologists for NATO and American imperialism.

What Happened in Ukraine?

Ukraine went through mass mobilizations and a political revolution during November, 2014 – February, 2015.  In this it resembles struggles in Tunisia and Egypt since 2010, and as in the Egyptian case, the outcomes of these struggles (to date) have sorely disappointed most of the left in the United States and, indeed, internationally.  Unlike the Egyptian and Tunisian struggles, however, from its outset the struggles in Ukraine were seen in remarkably contrasting ways by different parts of the left. ([1]) Some have viewed the Maidan struggles as an illegitimate movement that supported US (or US/EU) imperialism and should thus be opposed. Others have viewed it more favorably. 


“What Happened in Ukraine” by Sam Friedman

ImageNew Politics readers will be interested in this ZNet article “What Happened in Ukraine” by Sam Friedman, an HIV/AIDS researcher who spent time in Ukraine for many years before the recent upheavals in the country.

Putin, the War in Ukraine, and the Far Right

ImagePutin’s Russia is an imperialist state dominated by a capitalist oligarchy that controls the state and that has developed a bellicose attitude toward its neighbors, whom the oligarchy reproaches for having taken advantage of the collapse of the Soviet Union in order to escape its century-long tutelage.

Ukraine: Resisting nationalist polarization and Russian invasion

Building a Democratic Left Party; A leftist feminist point of view

Nina Potarskaya is one of the leading Ukrainian leftist feminists, founder of the feminist squadron at Maidan, and member of the Left Opposition, which helped organize three successive conferences of left forces in Kiev, in November 2013, March 2014, and September 2014. The most recent conference decided to build a new democratic Left party, which is the first electoral effort of its kind in Ukraine. She was interviewed in Geneva by Jean Batou, with the help of Kirill Buketov, for solidaritéS.

Obama Foreign Policy – A Brief Postscript

JULY 21, 2014 — Since the writing of my effort to analyze the Obama foreign policy (“Droning On, Fracking the Planet,” New Politics Summer 2014), a confluence of events – in various ways, all blowback from ravages of U.S policies past and present – combined to transform much of world politics in nasty and dangerous directions, with huge tolls in destruction and human misery. To review very briefly:

Contradictions of the Ruling Class 
in Ukraine

Ukrainian capitalism today is distinguished by the most fortified oligarchy of the post-Soviet states. Politics in Ukraine have been subject to volatile lurches over the last decade, driven by the direct involvement of masses of Ukrainians. Meanwhile, shaping the economic, political, and ideological aspects of society and daily life in Ukraine is a ubiquitous inter-imperialist competition between Russia on the one side and the United States and the European Union on the other.

Ukraine: Democratic Aspirations and Inter-imperialist Rivalry

Ukraine constitutes a test not only for democratic movements, or the unevenly matched imperialisms of the U.S./EU and Russia, but also for the global left. As with other “difficult” moments like the wars in Bosnia and Kosovo, Iran 2009, or the Libyan uprising, our support for democracy and human rights has in some quarters come into conflict with the long held stance that neoliberal capitalism, led by the United States, is the main danger confronting humanity.

Ukraine Between a Rock 
and a Hard Place

Is There a Way Out?

The governments of the United States and Russia are attempting to shape events in Ukraine in their own interests, not for the benefit of the Ukrainian people. Ukrainians have long suffered from domination by Moscow, under the Russian czars and later in the Soviet Union, most horrifically under Stalin. With the end of Communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, millions hoped for freedom and a new beginning.

Address on unfolding situation in Ukraine, 10 March 2014

The author's view of the strength of the right is not universally shared among UK progressives. – DL

I am Zakhar Popovych a member of the Left Opposition initiative, and I have been on the Maidan under my red flag from the very first day of its emergence. I don’t sleep there in tents but I have been visiting the square virtually every day during these months.

Euro-Maidan is mass popular and grassroots movement, not  a manufactured one

Ukraine: Was What Happened a Revolution? If so, then…

I view the recent events in the Ukraine rather simply – everything hangs on the answer to a central question: Were the events in Ukraine a revolution? If one agrees, as I do, that the overthrow of Yanukovych was the product of a genuine, popular uprising against a corrupt and thuggish regime, then progressive people of all stripes should be supportive of the events in Ukraine – even with reservations.

Left Opposition Statement: Ukraine will be saved from intervention by solidarity

The following article is reprinted from LeftEast

The socialist union “Left Opposition” offers its assessment of the Russian aggression in Crimea and the destructive role of Ukrainian nationalists. The intervention of Russian armies was made possible as a result of a split in Ukrainian society. Its unity is impossible with the oligarchs and chauvinists in power. Only solidarity will save Ukraine.

Ukraine, Coup or Revolution?

The Ukraine is no longer ‘in flames.’ With the hurried flight of the detested Yanukovich, peace and order have descended on Kiev (except for some fistfights in the Parliament!) There is no looting. Self-organized popular militias protect the luxurious Presidential Palace (privatized by Yanukovich) as crowds of citizen file through to gape at his collections of antique and modern automobiles.

Statement of Confederation of the Free Trade Unions of Ukraine

People Took to the Streets to Defend Their Rights and Freedoms

**Update, March 12, 2014: A reader pointed out that we incorrectly described this as a statement from “the Ukrainian labor movement”; in fact, it is a statement from one conservative component of the labor movement, one that likes to see itself as speaking for all of Ukrainian labor. (For some background, see Oleh Vernick, “‘All-Ukrainian Strike’ as the big fake of Euromaidan,” LeftEast, March 5, 2014.) We regret the error. Nevertheless, the statement highlights some important issues.—Eds.**


While this statement was published a week ago, on February 19, we think it important to call it to the attention of our readers as a statement of the Ukrainian labor movement. – Dan La Botz


A political earthquake strikes Ukraine

By: ,

UKRAINE’S PRESIDENT Viktor Yanukovich appears to have been driven from power after the mass protest movement that has occupied Kiev’s Maidan (Independence Square) since November survived a deadly crackdown last week. In a matter of days, the country’s corrupt and autocratic regime was overwhelmed.

A Reply to Julia's Letter on Ukraine


My problem with Julia's analysis is that it repeats the standard line that is being repeated throughout the press regardless of political point of view. I think there are two main problems with this party line.

Manifesto: 10 Тheses of the Leftist Opposition in Ukraine

By: Dan La Botz

While we recognize that the following statement represents the point of view of a small minority both within the Ukrainian rebellion and in Ukraine at large, we reprint it here nonetheless, thinking that it is an important statement of the left. – Editors.

Euromaidan and a Program for the Left

Euromaidan’s popularity has nothing to do with Ukrainians finding the question of free trade with the European Union so significant that it emboldened them to survive sleepless nights on the square. The country’s socioeconomic problems, which are much more acute than those of its neighbors to the East and West, gave the protest its meaning.

A Letter from Ukraine


Dear Friends,

As the uprising in Ukraine seems to be coming to a crisis after weeks of mass demonstrations and occupations, I would like to translate for you the following letter received last week from Julia Gusseva, the Russian translator of Victor Serge and co-organizer of the International Conference of Independent Labor Unions in Kiev last November. Julia, an activist since the ‘80s, is one of the founders of the Praxis Center in Moscow, and writes from an anarcho-syndicalist viewpoint.