Ukraine

Last Sunday, Servant of the People, the parliamentary party of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, swept the elections, gaining 254 out of a possible 424 seats. This represents one of the largest parliamentary majorities ever, but with another record low turnout of less than half of potential voters.

The disastrous presidency of Petro Poroshenko has resulted in him losing the presidential election to comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy, by 73 percent to 24 percent. The almost-50 percent margin of victory was the most-lopsided second round in Ukrainian history. The only Ukrainian province where Poroshenko won was the nationalist bastion of Lviv.

The years that followed the collapse of the USSR saw some of the worst peacetime declines in living standards in history, and the brunt was endured by the working class throughout the former Soviet Republics. The five years that followed the Euromaidan coup and the civil war in Donbas have brought even deeper lows to Ukrainians, from attacks on healthcare and pensions by the government, to failing infrastructure, to new calamities arising from the civil war and the rise of neo-Nazi gangs throughout the country. This article will discuss the current developments in Ukraine and the perspectives going forward.

The situation in Ukraine four years after the Euromaidan overthrow of the Yanukovitch government could not be worse from the point of view of the masses. Brutal, IMF-inspired cuts in social spending, curtailment of freedom of expression and widespread corruption dominate the scene. So bad is the situation that even Western imperialists have started to openly voice criticism of the Poroshenko regime, which they backed and helped to install.

This article was first published on the left-wing Ukrainian website Liva.com.ua and translated by a comrade of the IMT. Following the truce in Donbass it offers some important insights into the cost of the war in the Ukraine from an economic, social and political perspective.

As the 2014-2015 winter set in, ordinary Ukrainians began to wonder how to heat themselves. The Ukrainian economy had taken a shelling as the value of the currency dropped heavily since the beginning of the political crisis after Euromaidan. At the same time, as a result of  the cutting of state subsidies as well as tensions with Russia at a boiling point, gas prices had risen more than double during 2014. With most Ukrainians already living paycheck to paycheck, and their real wages decreasing by 34% over the same period, a serious catastrophe stood in front of them.

In the Western Ukrainian region of Zakarpattia, Far-right Right Sector have clashed violently with police, resulting in two militants dead and several bystanders injured. What does this mean for the stability of post-Euromaidan alliance?

Ruslan Onyshchenko, the commander of the Tornado Volunteer Battalion of the Ukrainian Ministry of Interior and seven of his men were arrested on June 17 accused of rape and torture. In turn, the men accused the Luhansk Oblast police chief Anatoly Naumenko (an authority in the Kiev controlled part of Luhansk) of running a protection racket for smuggling cast iron from rebel occupied territory and said that the arrest is linked to those accusations. This case gives a glimpse into the brutal methods used by the volunteer battalions, composed of far right thugs and criminal elements, as well as the corruption of officials at all levels.

When the international bourgeoisie begins to openly worry about a default, we can be sure that the Ukrainian economy is in a lot of trouble.

The last few weeks have seen a wave of political killings in Ukraine. All the deaths have been of high profile figures associated with opposition to the current Kiev government. The two most recent killings, one of a former Party of Regions MP and the other of a journalist and author, coincided with the victims’ details being published on a website called The Peacekeeper shortly before their deaths.

On April 9, the Ukrainian Rada passed 4 pieces of legislation submitted by the government that ban all symbols and propaganda of communism. After the law comes into effect, any monuments of communist figures which have not already been destroyed by fascist thugs in the last few months must be demolished. As well, any cities and streets which are named after communists are to be renamed.

We here bring an interview with the Ukrainian left wing organisation Borotba discussing the situation in Ukraine today, one year after the Maidan movement and the fall of Viktor Yanukovych.

The so-called “Maidan revolution” was supposed to stand for democracy and Western values while fighting against corruption and the oligarchy. The actual result was that the reign of one group of oligarchs was replaced by another, and now, those who benefited from the change are fighting each other for the loot.

On Wednesday 18 February the rebel forces in the east of Ukraine arrived in the key town of Debaltseve, control of which they have wrested from pro-Kiev forces after having encircled them and demanded surrender of the town, this advance took place after a new ceasefire was due to come into force on Sunday 15 February.

The diplomatic negotiations between Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France have led to a cease-fire agreement which will be difficult to carry out on the ground.   We will return to this agreement and the different imperialist interests involved in a future article.   For the moment we are publishing this article which was written on 2 February, which deals with the military and political situation inside Ukraine itself.

A number of far right parties and individuals were elected to the Ukrainian Parliament (Rada) in the recent elections on October 26 in the lists of different parties or standing in single-mandate constituencies. Some are now part of the government majority and many have been elected to different positions in the parliamentary commissions.