NATO is to harden its military presence in eastern Europe – including the deployment of RAF warplanes – in response to the crisis in eastern Ukraine.
The secretary general of the Atlantic alliance, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, has promised “more planes in the air, more ships on the water, and more readiness on the land”.
In advance of new diplomatic negotiations in Geneva tomorrow, Mr Rasmussen called on Moscow to repudiate “the violent actions of well-armed militias or pro-Russian separatists” in a string of cities in eastern Ukraine.
Nato’s supreme military commander reported, however, that there was no sign of any further Russian build-up close to the Ukrainian border. “The force posture of the Russian forces… has not significantly changed,” said General Philip Breedlove.
German Communist Party (DKP) election poster: “USA / EU - Hands off Ukraine!”
Via Antiimperialistische Aktion
Anti-war and anti-imperialist activists in Chicago held a successful public teach-in on U.S.-NATO aggression against Ukraine and Russia on April 12 despite the U.S. ruling-class media’s political pressure and despite having to beat back a physical attack by pro-fascist organizations here.
The U.S. population overall is war weary and wary of any new adventure in Ukraine, especially one where the two major nuclear powers are in a confrontation. Still, not only the overall sentiment but actions even by small groups can be decisive at the beginning of a struggle.
The meeting underlined two important lessons for progressive activists organizing in the U.S. on this issue. Ideological firmness is always needed to withstand the pressure of U.S. imperialism’s propaganda machine. And a united front providing organized self-defense and security is often necessary to assure the protection of progressive ideas.
The title of the meeting was “A Chicago Teach-in: Stop U.S./NATO — No New Cold War over Ukraine.” The organizations calling the meeting included Workers World Party (workers.org/wwp), Freedom Road Socialist Organization (fightbacknews.org), the American Labor Party, Students for a Democratic Society and the International Action Center. It was held at the United Electrical Workers union hall.
The organizers gathered an impressive list of speakers, including Rick Rozoff, who manages the StopNATO news website (rickrozoff.wordpress.com); Holly Kent-Payne, of the local Anti-War Committee; SDS member Kait McIntyre; Alfonso Casal, of the American Party of Labor; and Sara Flounders, co-director of the International Action Center in New York City and Workers World writer.
The speakers countered ruling-class propaganda by exposing the fascist role in the Kiev coup government of Ukraine and laying out the history of U.S.-NATO encroachment into countries ever closer to the Russian border in order to encircle Russia militarily since the fall of the USSR in 1991. Flounders’ explanation included a slideshow that illustrated the expansion of NATO, the role of the fascists and the rising, popular, anti-coup movement in the East of Ukraine. (Access slideshow at no2nato.org/ukraine/)
People’s Republic of Kharkov: “The Kiev junta has begun an ‘anti-terrorist operation’ against those in Southeast Ukraine who rebelled against the oligarchs and nationalists. There is an absolutely false campaign in the oligarchic media to discredit the rebels. Supposedly we are all — agents of the Russian secret services.”
Victory to the anti-fascist resistance! Death to the fascist coup and U.S./NATO imperialism!
The military attack expected since last week now seems to be starting across Southeastern Ukraine.
The attack began late yesterday, just after the U.S. confirmed that CIA Director John Brennan visited Kiev over the weekend for secret meetings with the coup leaders. In other words, the Washington gave the thumbs up for the attack.
Overnight, there were numerous reports and videos of Ukraine tanks moving toward cities in Donetsk Oblast where anti-fascist forces have seized government buildings.
Fascist MP Lesya Orobets proudly tweeted that 10 Donetsk region dissidents were killed last night.
ITAR / TASS and RT are now reporting a major attack underway in the Donetsk Oblast cities of Kramatorsk and Slavyansk:
"Ukrainian troops are storming an airfield in the eastern city of Kramatorsk, said anti-Maidan activists as cited by RIA Novosti. The activists added that several people were injured.
"Ukrainian troops approached the military airfield in armored personnel carriers between the eastern cities of Kramatorsk and Slavyansk, the people’s militia located at the airfield told RIA Novosti on the phone.
“‘They started negotiating with the people’s militia, which is in control of the airfield. The shooting started unexpectedly. There are injured among the people’s militia, and there may be deaths,’ they said.
"Other members of the militia have blocked the entrance to Kramatorsk and are ready to defend the city, the activists added.
"At the same time, the eastern city of Slavyansk is being raided by Ukrainian troops, the head of the Donbass people’s militia, Sergey Tsyplakov, told RIA Novosti.
“‘Currently there is a major attack on Slavyansk, armored personnel vehicles are entering the city … there are many troops. The men are getting ready to defend [the city], ‘he said.
"In turn, the Ukrainian media, quoting the Ministry of Defense, announced a special operation in Kramatorsk on Tuesday. However, they provided no further details."
The following was posted about an hour ago by the Borotba comrades in Kharkov:
"IMPORTANT! PERSECUTION OF BOROTBA CONTINUES! The militia seized Borotba office in Kharkov, shared with other members of the coalition People’s Unity, the defenders of Kharkov. A search is being performed. Who is behind this: Avakov [coup Interior Minister] or Kernes [Kharkov mayor], we don’t know. SPREAD THE INFORMATION! "
Right Sector stormed the HQ of Ukraine’s Communist Party in the northeastern city of Sumy, reported the local TSN TV channel. The activists have beaten the secretary of Sumy regional committee Valery Siryachenko. Earlier, Right Sector members stormed the Communist Party HQ in the western city of Rovno.
Anti-fascists and anti-imperialists in the U.S. should prepare to take the streets for emergency actions.
Hands off the anti-fascist resistance! U.S.-NATO out of Ukraine!
By Andre Vltchek
I doubt where the official numbers come from, those that say that Ukraine is evenly divided between those who support the West, and those who feel their identity is closely linked with Russia.
Maybe this might be the case in western Ukraine, in Lvov, or even in the capital, Kiev. But western Ukraine has only a few key cities. The majority of people in this country of around 44 million are concentrated in the south, east and southeast, around the enormous industrial and mining centers of Donetsk, Dnepropetrovsk and Krivoi Rog.
There is Odessa in the south, and Kharkov, “the second capital,” in the east. And people in all those parts of the country mainly speak Russian. And they see, what has recently happened in Kiev as an unceremonious coup, orchestrated and supported by the West.
The reality on the ground differed sharply from the ‘fairytales’, paid for and propagated by Western mass media outlets and by the ‘free Ukrainian press’.
In the east in Kharkov, Soviet banners flew in the wind, next to many Russian flags. Thousands of people gathered in front of the giant statue of Lenin on those windy days of March 28-29.
There were fiery speeches and ovations. The outraged crowd met the proclamations that the Western powers had instigated the “fascist coup” in Kiev, with loud shouts of “Russia, Russia!”
Old women, Communist leaders, and my friend Sergei Kirichuk, the left-wing leader of Borotba, as well as people from international solidarity organizations, made fiery speeches. Apparently, the government in Kiev had already begun to cut the few social benefits that were left, including free medical assistance. Several hospitals were poised to close down soon.
People were ready to fight; to defend themselves against those hated neo-liberal policies, for which (or against which) none of them had been allowed to vote for.
“In Crimea, people voted, overwhelmingly, to return to Russia,” said Aleksey, a student. “But the West calls it unconstitutional and undemocratic. In Ukraine itself, the democratically-elected government has been overthrown and policies that nobody really wants are being pushed down our throats. And… this is called democracy!”
In an apartment of the Borotba movement, a young leader and history student, Irina Drazman, spoke about the way the West has destroyed Ukraine. She reminded me of a Chilean student leader and now an MP – Ms. Camila Vallejo. Irina is only 20, but coherent and as sharp as a razor.
“There is great nostalgia for the Soviet Union,” she says. “If only it could be reshaped and the concept improved, most of the people in Ukraine would be happy to be part of it again.”
And that is exactly what the West is trying to prevent: A powerful and united country, one which can defend the interest of its people.
— Jerry Levy via Facebook