The nationalist government of Ukraine tries to ban the Pseudo-”Communist” Party of Ukraine, a Russian chauvinist and Stalinist party founded in 1993. During the last elections in 2012, the CPU won 32 seats in the Ukrainian parliament and sided with pro-Russian conservatives in the government of Viktor Yanukovich. Although the party calls itself ”Communist”, they are not revolutionary socialist. Today’s CPU is a reactionary, bourgeois, culturally conservative and Russian nationalist party. It is not a communist party at all and it can be considered a left party only by tradition, as they fly the Soviet flag. Still the reactionary nationalist government in Kiev tries to ban the CPU, because they claim the communist party supports the Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine!
Since December 2013 the Ukrainian nation is in turmoil, Russian speaking Ukrainians under influence from the Kremlin, try to establish separatist nations. Far-fight nationalists and members of the Ukrainian bourgeoisie took power and elected oligarch: Petro Oleksiyovych Poroshenko to replace the pro-Russian: Viktor Yanukovich. Revolutionary socialists have no illusions in the true nature of the CPU, but banning a political party because it does not support your nationalist ideology is wrong. Sure the CPU is pro-Russian and anti-western, but banning them would only strengthen the feeling among Russian Ukrainians, that Kiev is run by the same fascists who supported Hitler in 1941!
In August 1991, the Supreme Soviet of the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics banned the activities of the Communist Party of the Soviet-Union. The almighty party of the Stalinist bureaucracy was banned after the failed coup against Soviet President; Micheal Gorbachev. Hardliners of the CPSU tried to remove Gorbachev from power and prevent the collapse of the Soviet-Union. The coup in Moscow gave anticommunist nationalists the final push to mobilize the people against what they called ”communism”. In the Baltic republics, many took the streets and attacked Soviet memorials and statues. Anticommunist propaganda spread as Boris Yeltsin stood on a tank with the banner of the Russian Empire, opposing the Stalinist coup. With support from the Moscow population, the hardliners surrendered and Gorbachev was able to return. Although back as President of the Soviet-Union, Gorbachev was now unable to stop the anticommunist wave. On 25 December 1991, the Czarist banner was raised over the Kremlin, signalling the victory of anticommunism!
Ukraine took the old flag and anthem of the Ukrainian National Republic, a bourgeois state that fought the Soviets in 1918. The Ukrainian Socialist Soviet Republic was dissolved in December 1991, along with the other Soviet republics. The new capitalist nation faced a social dilemma, as many workers ended up in poverty. Some made big money like Petro Poroshenko, who is a member of the Ukrainian oligarchy and called the ”Chocolate King”. Elections remained dominated between anti-Russian Ukrainians ( supported by the EU and the USA ) and pro-Russian Ukrainians ( supported by Russia ). In 1993, former members of the CPSU created the ”Communist” Party of Ukraine. The new communist party joined the pro-Russian camp, because they remained dogmatic loyal to Joseph Stalin’s USSR. Revolutionary socialists never supported the CPU, we always said the party is deeply Russian chauvinist, reactionary by supporting the Kremlin and culturally conservative. The Pseudo-”Communist” Party of Ukraine oppose LGBT rights and rejects gay’s and lesbians!
Petro Symonenko was elected first secretary of the CPU in 1993. He has been the party leader since its foundation. Symonenko supported the government of Viktor Yanukovich and always stood in opposition to pro-western Ukrainian governments. The CPU’s popularity among young people is very low, even the working class does not vote on the communist party. Their electorate is made up of old people, mostly elderly who enjoyed the Stalinist era. In the 1990’s the CPU was still popular, but their popularity sank as their showed to be Russian chauvinist. In the media however they are regarded as the only major radical leftist party, which is unfortunate partly true. Other political parties are all pro-capitalist and supportive of the market dictatorship, this allows the CPU to portray itself as the only radical leftist force in the nation. Genuine revolutionary socialists however reject this claim, the CPU is deeply culturally conservative and supports the Russian oligarchy in Moscow. Their political ideology is in line with that of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, another pseudo-leftist party!
In July 2014, the Ukrainian conflict with Russian separatists has led to a move to ban the ”Communist” Party of Ukraine. Their 32 parliamentarians have been removed from parliament and now the government wants to ban the party completely. If the courts of Ukraine agree to the banning, it would be a major victory for anticommunists. Nationalist forces will ever go further by calling for a complete ban on the communist ideology. This could mean that also anti-Stalinist communists could face prosecution. Banning the communist ideology is a attack against our freedom of speech. Unfortunate this is already the reality in some nations. South Korea is still banning the formation of a communist party, in Indonesia the government also bans communism. Revolutionary socialists oppose stalinism, maoism and other totalitarian deformations of communism, but we support the right of the CPU to express their believes. Sure these believes are not communist and sure not revolutionary socialist, but they have a right to express themselves. Right-wing forces in Ukraine will try to ban any political party that is not in line with their anti-Russian nationalist propaganda!
The Pseudo-”Communist” Party of Ukraine had faced opposition from fascist and nationalist Ukrainians for over 20 years. Since the collapse of stalinism, many far right movements and parties were created in Ukraine. These nationalists and fascists glorify the people who worked with the Waffen SS to arrest and murder Jews and supporters of Stalin’s communist party. Ukrainian SS troops participated in the murdered and tortured of 1,3 million innocent Soviet workers and farmers between 1941 and 1945. The far-right in Ukraine calls these Nazi collaborators; ”hero’s” and ”patriots”. Members of the CPU have always rejected this and they are right in their opposition to fascism. At the same time however the party does not recognize the crimes of the Stalinist government. Soviet nostalgia is very strong among the elderly electorate of the CPU.
Hated are the pseudo-communists by many Ukrainian nationalists. A hard-core nationalist party is the All-Ukrainian Union “Svoboda”. Before 2004, the party was open neo-nazi and called itself the Social-National Party of Ukraine. Members of this neo-nazi party hated Jews, communists, leftists and anybody who was not anticommunist. In the year 2004, a new party leadership choose to abandon neo-nazism. The Social-National Party of Ukraine changed its name, emblem and ideology. They call themselves ”Svoboda” now, which means Freedom in Ukrainian. Still the party remains deeply anticommunist, anti-Russian and anti-Semitic. But the change in looks and tactics has worked. As a neo-nazi party they only had 1.000 members, now ”’Svodoba” is made up of 15.000 Ukrainians!
Revolutionary socialists call on workers and poor people to reject the Kiev nationalist government and the far-right hate propaganda. At the same time we also reject the Russian separatists and the Pseudo-Communist Party of Ukraine, a party that is reactionary, bourgeois, culturally conservative and Russian chauvinist. Only class struggle can end the crisis and put an end to the suffering. Ukrainian workers and Russian workers must unite to build a Ukrainian Socialist Workers Republic under the banner of genuine Marxist socialism!