The anticommunist government of Ukraine has enforced undemocratic laws to ban leftist symbols. Two new laws were put into action that ban the use of Soviet symbols and songs related to the Soviet period in Ukraine. This would mean that the red star and hammer & sickle are now banned, also The Internationale may not be played at rallies for workers rights. The anticommunist government of oligarch: Petro Porosjenko tries to limit freedom of speech for leftists as his government fights ethnic Russian rebels in East Ukraine. Banning leftist symbols proofs that Porosjenko and his far-right allies, do not care about democracy at all. They were the ones who allowed neo-nazi’s free reign to destroy Soviet monuments. More then 1000 have been vandalized or destroyed including many statues of Vladimir Lenin.
While the government of Ukraine bans symbols and songs of the Soviet-Union, they make it a crime for Ukrainians to reject the far-right nationalists who fought the USSR. Nationalist groups like the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists ( OUN ) and Ukrainian Insurgent Army ( UPA ), are glorified and called ”freedom fighters”, totally ironing that these nationalists supported Nazi Germany and aided them in murdering millions of Jews. If you reject these ”freedom fighters” you brake the law and you can be arrested, this is what the far-right in Ukraine wanted since 1990. Laws that ban the use of leftist symbols and allows them to vandalize and destroy all remnants of Soviet Ukraine. The far-right was never a strong force in the former Soviet republic. But thanks to the War in Donbass, far-right forces now take part in the pro-European government of Porosjenko. Although not leading the nation, ultra-nationalists are participating in making these undemocratic laws, turning Ukraine into a anticommunist dictatorship!
The biggest far-right ally of Porosjenko is the People’s Front. This party supports a violent solution to the war in the east. Although most members of the Ukrainian government are not fascist, they are not democratic either. Driving by hatred of communism ( which they see as a Russian thing ), they allow far-right gangs to attack and intimidate leftists and antifascists. There is a very good reason why the pro-European parties won the ( undemocratic ) last elections. With far-right groups like the Right Sector, destroying Soviet monuments and painting anti-Russian slogans, many voters who would vote for pro-Russian parties stayed home. Voter turnout was very low at only 51%. With these new anticommunist laws, revolutionary socialists could face jail time for displaying their symbols and singing The Internationale. While symbols and songs glorifying the right-wing nationalist OUN and UPA are protected by law!
Meanwhile the European Union and the United States of America are actively supporting the government of Ukraine. They don’t mind that undemocratic laws have been past that ban workers symbols. They don’t mind that far-right forces are terrorizing the nation. In the name of fighting Russia ( which is not the Soviet-Union ), workers symbols are banned including; The Internationale, which has not been the anthem of Russia since 1943. Revolutionary socialists point out that socialism and communism, have nothing to do with the Russian rebels or the current regime in Moscow. Soviet Ukraine did suffer under stalinism and millions died because of Joseph Stalin. But Soviet Ukraine was not founded as a Stalinist state, like Soviet Russia it used to be a workers state. Deformed by civil war, the Ukrainian Socialist Soviet Republic degenerated and became fully Stalinist by the late 1920’s. In current day Ukraine, you are forced by law to oppose the whole Soviet period. To support Lenin ideals is also a crime now!
At the same time you are told by law, that must not reject or criticize the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists ( OUN ) and Ukrainian Insurgent Army ( UPA ) who fought Stalin. History shows that both of these nationalist groups committed acts of violence against Pols, Jews and ethnic Russians. The OUN was the most radical right-wing movement and participated in the killing of the Jews during the Second World War. Dunja Mijatović, the representative for the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe on freedom of the media, said the “broadly and vaguely defined language” in the anti-communist laws “could easily lead to suppression of political, provocative and critical speech, especially in the media”. The US Holocaust Memorial Museum also condemned the law on glorifying the former nationalist movements. Socialists, communists, historians and souvenirs sellers are now at risk of getting arrested. Ukraine’s ultra-nationalism is a poison that is exploited by the chauvinist regime in Moscow, which claims that all of Ukraine is now fascist. Czar Putin and oligarch Porosjenko have far more in common. Both men are dictatorial and are using nationalist rhetoric again each other. Porosjenko maybe new, but as a oligarch he know how to serve himself and his rich friends. Meanwhile the people of Ukraine suffer because of this war. Average income is only 150 dollars a month, Ukraine is now one of the poorest nations. This is why there is Soviet nostalgia among the elderly, who remember the days when the state took care of them!
We revolutionary socialists condemn the anticommunist laws and the glorification of nationalist organisations, who aided the Nazi’s in killing innocent people. Nationalist Ukrainians love their freedom to hate Russians and to destroy Soviet memorials. This is not freedom, this is vandalism and terror. At the same time we must not fall into the trap of supporting these separatist rebels. Many anti-imperialists and anti-fascists are giving support to these ”people’s republics” in the Donbass region. However Revolutionary Socialist Media is not among those. Because these separatist strongholds are Russian chauvinist, reactionary and not anti-fascist. In fact many elements of the rebels are radical nationalist too. Neo-nazi’s from the ”Russian National Unity” party are part of the separatist movement as are religious extremists of the Russian Orthodox Army. So by no way these ”people’s republics” offering any genuine alternatives to the regime in Kiev. Revolutionary socialists call for a united socialist Ukraine under control of workers councils. We reject ethnic sectarianism and nationalism!
The use of Soviet symbols by the separatist rebels is a reason why the undemocratic Kiev regime is banning them. For the ruling nationalist government, the red star is a Russian symbol, although it has been a internationalist one for 100 years. Both revolutionary socialists and moderate socialists use the red star as their symbol. There have been many leftists who rejected Stalinist dogmatism and never stood with Moscow or Beijing. But anticommunists do not care, they want the whole revolutionary left banned. This is why anticommunism is a dangerous ideology. We saw it in South Korea were anticommunist dictator Syngman Rhee, killed 150.000 Koreans. Indonesian dictator Suharto murdered 500.000 members and supporters of the Communist Party of Indonesia, then enforcing anticommunist laws to keep the party banned. All these regimes were supported by the western world for their anticommunism. It is therefore not surprising that Washington and Brussels call Ukraine a ”democratic” nation. The same thing they said about South Vietnam and South Korea, as CIA clones suppressed workers rights and civil liberties in the name of fighting communism. Ukraine is doing the same thing now!