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
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
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!