By Aleksey Albu, the Borotba [Struggle] Movement
Translated from Russian by J.Hawk
It’s been a year since the coup. Time to tally the results.
Remembering last year’s Maidan protests, one reaches the following question: what justified such casualties, if Yanukovich and his “bloody regime” had only one year left? What was the hurry? He could have been defeated during the elections, which would have given the new government legitimacy.
I reject the notion that the leaders of the Maidan wanted to improve the lives of their people.
What did Ukraine lose? Well, naturally, Crimea (almost two million people), Donbass (about five million people), and we have to keep in mind the process is not over. Next in line are the regions of Odessa, Kharkov, Zaporozhye, whose population will never accept the rule of neo-Nazis and oligarchs. But the main thing that Ukraine lost was the societal sense of balance, under which people of various political persuasions could discuss them without weapons but instead behind a glass of tea, or perhaps behind a negotiating table. Right now there are hundreds of thousands of people who do not want to meet with one another ever again, do not want to discuss anything together, and will never forgive.
There used to exist rules of the game in Ukraine, and those rules were violated a year ago. Judge yourselves—if earlier people could discuss those or other problems, they could convince one another of the validity of those or other ideas, could express their positions during elections, a year ago the aggressive nationalistic minority broke the mechanism of changing the government and brought their masters into power. The disorganized peaceful majority began to come out in protest, there were spontaneous uprisings in Kharkov, Nikolayev, Donetsk, Mariupol. Tens of thousands of people participated in protest actions in Odessa, Lugansk, and other cities. We need to emphasize that wherever those protests were peaceful they were drowned in blood or burned with fire.
What did people lose? It depends on the individual. Some lost their work, others their health, or their relatives, or…their life. Maidan’s result is counted in thousands of broken lives. The insane inflation had consumed both salaries and pensions. Inept economic policy destroyed hundreds of enterprises.
It’s no secret to anyone that the shock force of the Maidan were the right nationalist organizations, whose leaders obtained several key positions in the state and enormous financing. Naturally, all of the actions of the government were undertaken with an eye to the nationalists, who were willing to create a new Maidan at any moment. Human rights violations have become the norm in Ukraine. Every day there are arrests and beatings of dissenters.
The opposition forces which even recently could operate legally are now practically in the underground. Any protests driven by the catastrophic conditions in the industry are labeled as aid to the “occupiers.” Workers who have not been paid in months have also been deprived of their right to protest. The Labor Code is simply not adhered to at most enterprises.
Ukraine currently has a regime in which the big property owners and oligarchs can do anything they want to: not pay salaries, not pay benefits, fire people in violation of procedures, ban protests, suppress discontent. And to suppress it, and to reapportion property, they use the ultra-right militants. Nazi greetings, such as “Glory to Ukraine—Glory to Heroes!”, “Glory to the Nations—Death to Enemies!”, “Ukraine above everything!” are now deeply embedded in young minds. Thousands of people shout them out without thinking. This is what Ukrainian fascism looks like.
The year was spent to the sound of bombardment of civilian areas, the screams of people killed in the Labor Union building in Odessa, the cries of the mothers. May everyone who unleashed this war be damned! All who could not wait for the elections and led people to the Maidan. Everyone who gave orders to bomb peaceful cities and villages.
Glory and honor to all defenders of the Donbass, all participants in the anti-fascist underground, all progressive forces who fight against Ukrainian fascism!
Victory will be ours!