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.
More than 500 people gathered at the Kiev district court of Kharkov to express their solidarity with the 70 activists detained protesting the Kiev junta.
Among the participants were friends and relatives of detainees, as well as caring Kharkovites and city movement activists.
People picketed the courthouse for several hours. When they brought the first detainees, people began to chant: “Power to the people, freedom for the defenders.” Parents shouted: “Free our children!”
The authorities took unprecedented precautions, with the courthouse surrounded by more than a thousand police. The whole neighborhood was occupied by police.
People demanded an open public trial of the detainees.
"We demand to be present in the courtroom and follow the course of the court hearing," said Union Borotba (Struggle) organizer Denis Levin.
It is expected that the first session of the court is to choose measures of restraint for the detainees. The meeting is still going on.
Simultaneously in the center of Kharkov’s Freedom Square, several hundred people have gathered. There Borotba Coordinator Sergei Kirichuk informed participants about the course of the trial.
In addition, it is expected that at 19.00 today a meeting of the Kharkov District Administrative Court will begin, which is going to ban peaceful assembly in the center of Kharkov.
The court has summoned Borotba organizers Denis Zaitsev and Svetlana Tsiberganova.
"Today, over the phone, we received an invitation to the hearing on the prohibition of mass peaceful assembly in the center of Kharkov. The ban is aimed not only at us, but at all Kharkovites. The hearing violates the principles and proceedings, and the principles of freedom of peaceful assembly. Therefore, we will try first to postpone the meeting to at least become acquainted with the case. We do not even know the case number," said Svetlana Tsiberganova.
We will inform you on the results of the hearing.
Via Union Borotba
By Greg Butterfield
Dramatic events April 6-8 have brought Ukraine to the brink of civil war.
The rebellion by Ukraine’s Southeastern region — very working class and predominantly Russian speaking — against the far-right coup regime in Kiev has escalated to a crisis of dual power in many cities.
In Donetsk, Kharkov, Nikolayev and Lugansk, thousands of anti-fascist protesters rooted in the local communities have seized government administration buildings, police headquarters and banks, and declared independence from the U.S.-backed junta that came to power in February following the ouster of elected President Viktor Yanukovych.
The anti-fascists have set May 11 as the date for regional referenda, when local residents should democratically decide their future status – whether for broad autonomy within Ukraine, independence or in some cases affiliation with Russia, as the people of Crimea chose on March 16.
The demand for a referendum has been eagerly seized by the masses of workers, retirees and youths throughout the region, and it is their support that fuels the rebellion.
The referendum deadline falls two weeks before presidential elections set by Kiev for May 25. The coup regime, dominated by fascist and far-right organizations like Svoboda and Fatherland, has rejected any referendum.
The regime has labelled those advocating a democratic vote as “terrorists” and paid agents of Russia. On April 7, Acting President Alexander Turchinov declared that “coercive measures” would be used against referendum supporters.
By Ivan Pobedonoscev, Donetsk
The People’s Republic of Donetsk (DNI), proclaimed April 7, 2014, against the backdrop of the prevailing anarchy in the Ukraine, survived its first night (as opposed to Kharkov and other cities where the Nazis sent by the oligarchy and Interior Minister Avakov went on bloody rampages). Seeing the community and unity of the people, the Ukrainian fascists did not dare go on the assault and attack the Donetsk Regional State Administration, which is barricaded.
But the Kiev Interior Ministry yesterday transferred special forces to Donetsk for ruthless action to suppress the people. In the local Ministry of Internal Affairs there are many waverers who do not want to shoot ordinary people. In contrast, those sent from Kiev are promised mountains of gold and power preferences throughout the command structure of the MVD.
The terrorist group that seized power in Kiev plans further aggression against the self-determining regions of Ukraine. This terrorist group is being actively helped by foreign private military companies with the support of Western diplomacy and media.
The night before, in Donetsk airport, an IL-76 landed with Ukrainian SWAT teams in full armor, which filled 6 buses. All this points to the junta’s intention to deal with people in the storming of RSA. At night the building’s electricity was shut off.
Militant attack is likely planned for night. The Kiev junta has transferred a lot of military equipment to encircle Donetsk. Since Donetsk police refuse to perform the criminal orders from Kiev, Nazi militants of the Right Sector and National Guard were transferred to Donbas. In addition to this, the terrorist attack may be connected to 150 American fighters from the private military organization Greystone, disguised as soldiers of the Falcon unit (as stated by the Foreign Ministry).
There are reports that the Ukrainians terrorists will attack the RSA using the sleeping gas fentanyl.
Activists urge people to bring to the RSA water, milk, juices, fruits, army rations, canned food, bread, sandwiches. Thermoses with hot tea, coffee and other beverages are needed. Because of the possibility of terrorist action by the bloody Kiev junta, those defending the RSA building may also require fire extinguishers and other means of eliminating sources of ignition. Masks, gauze bandages, and medicines are very necessary, say activists. Buckets and any containers for water to neutralize the gas smoke bombs are needed.
The National Council of the Donetsk region, which was announced yesterday by protesting residents, declared its intention to create a Donetsk People’s Republic and hold a referendum on the future status no later than May 11.
Activists, speaking from the podium in the meeting room of the Donetsk regional council, said that the date was agreed with the activists in Lugansk and Kharkov regions.
Retweeted Nina Byzantina (@NinaByzantina):
Retweeted RT (@RT_com):
MORE: Donetsk Council proclaims itself only legitimate body until referendum, set to take place no later than May 11 http://t.co/YADZHFOMqO
Today in Dnipropetrovsk region in Ukraine (so-called ‘patrimonial estate’ of oligarh and banker Kolomoysky) ‘Left Sector’ called for mass mobilisation against Kiev junta.
This morning (April 7th) workers of Yasinovka Coke plant in Makeevka stopped work! People came to work today and said that they will not work, they will go to protect the protesters and even under the pretext of dismissals they are still going to support the activists, who occupied the Donetsk Regional State Administration ! At the moment, people are very strongly to do this, they already preparing for the organized buses to leave for the Regional State Administration !(plant canteen is also involved - they decided to support workers and preparing for them and protesters meals)
The special security forces ‘Alpha’ were sent by plane to suppress the rebellion. some friends report that people destroy lights on airdromes so that not to let the plane with security forces to land there.
In central Ukrainian towns and villages leaflets are spread calling people not to pay any cent for public services now; not to pay off bank debts; not to pay any cent if possible because any cent given now to Ukrainian far-right authorities could be transfered to the armament or suppressing or rebellions spreading over cities.
So, today started the next new wave of counter-rebellion in Ukraine. People seized government buidings in Donetsk - many police officers refused to interfere. Donetsk demands re-establishment of the Donetsk-Krivoy-rog republic.
Mass riots in Odessa with demands of Odessa republic.
Right now - started the uprising in Kharkov where pro-Russian protesters are mixed with those demanding independent Kharkov republic.
Video: captured in Right Sector militants together with students Ukrainian nationalists are humiliated by a crowd of protesters (6.04.2014) guarded by police.
It is reported that police forces with far-right ‘National guard’ is being transfered to rebellious regions. In central Ukraine some far-right activists (of ‘Svoboda’) were found dead in forests. The interim leader of the junta calls an extraordinary meeting of security agencies to suppress the counter-rebellion.
Despite the authorities arrest every day the leaders of protests in South-East (accusing in separatism) - almost every day there appear new leaders - some pro-Russian, some - local separatists, some - pro-Soviet. The arrest of a pro-Russian leader immediately leads to the rise of local separatists or pro-soviet groups.
So, the situation is escalated again. Nevertheless, Ukrainian media doesn’t highlight these events.
Today in History: On 4/3/1939, the Southern Tenant Farmers Union (STFU) broke away from a larger union, announced its independence, and became a racially integrated workers union.
Photo by Louise Boyle, 1937, outdoor meeting of the STFU. Part of the Kheel Center Archives
Via Zinn Education Project
A union with an acronym ahead of its time!
Via Red TV:
In Russia the Anti-Fascist Headquarters continues to collect funds to help the Ukrainian resistance. At the moment, money is required for signs and banners, propaganda materials and evacuation of activists and their families .
For reports on the use of funds raised, refer to the materials of the Anti-Fascist Headquarters.