Ukraine

Protest hits new Ukraine labour law

This report from the Ukrainian left organisation Social Movement is excerpted from the Ukraine Solidarity Campaign. For the longer version and much more on this struggle, see the USC website. Twenty cities experienced a wave of anger on 30 January against the government’s antisocial actions, in particular its draft legislation “On Labour”. The decision to carry out a national mobilisation was adopted at the Trade Union Forum on 16 January. In Kyiv, thousands of protesters filled the road alongside the Cabinet of Ministers building. Trade union activists together with young leftists chanted...

The Crimean Tatars, Crimea, and Turkey

Conditions are bad for the Crimean Tatar community in Crimea, under Russian rule since Putin annexed Crimea in 2014. No Crimean Tatar organisations are able to operate. The sixteen Crimean Tatar language schools have all been closed. The Crimean Tatar library has been shut down. The Crimean Tatar university (Tavriva) has had to move to Kiev. The Crimean Tatar TV channel has been taken over by the Russian authorities. Of the three Crimean Tatar newspapers, two have been shut down, and one is now run by the Russian authorities. There have been lots of kidnappings and disappearances of activists...

Eddie Dempsey and the misogynistic warlord

I want to add something to the crucial points Becky Crocker made about Eddie Dempsey in Solidarity 519. The picture featured is Dempsey visiting Alexander Mozgovoy, an uber-nationalist, uber-misogynistic paramilitary leader in the pro-Russian militias during the war in eastern Ukraine. When Mozgovoy was killed a week after they met, Dempsey wrote a glowing obituary of his comrade, which I’ll quote below. If you want to get a grip on Mozgovoy, this is what he declared about women in the territory he controlled as a warlord, and of course by implication more generally: “If I see even just one...

Whistle-blowers: the real villains?

On Monday 7 October, the Morning Star carried another article by Zoltan Zigedy (pen-name of Greg Godels, American blogger and regular contributor to the website “Marxism-Leninism Today – The Electronic Journal of Marxist-Leninist Thought”). The article first appeared on Godels’ own blog and then on the “Marxism-Leninism Today” website before making it into the pages of the Morning Star. The headline asks the question: “TelephoneGate: Who Looks Worst?” The strapline give an indication of the answer: “Zoltan Zigedy reports (sic) how the drive to impeach Trump has masked the sinister dealings of...

The not-so-bad gallery: Johnson, Trump, Putin?

The Morning Star is to Jeremy Corbyn and Seumas Milne what the picture in the attic was to Dorian Gray in the famous story. And it is disgusting in the extreme. Take the issue for Monday 7 October. You can see from the front page that, like all of us, they loathe the tinpot Mussolini Boris Johnson. Ah, but look. While everybody with sense is anxious that the sneaky Johnson may find some way to twist the will of Parliament and crash out of the EU in a hard Brexit, the doughty warriors of the MS give the front page to the scandal of Johnson giving his American friend small financial perks. Odd...

HBO’s Chernobyl: a service to us all

Chernobyl was a disaster — there is no doubt about that — but what lessons should we learn from it? Though the catastrophic meltdown and explosion of the RBMK Reactor No 4 happened almost half a lifetime ago, when police states claiming to serve the workers ruled eastern Europe, the recent HBO mini-series Chernobyl has brought that time back to life. Though partly fictionalised and sometimes wrong (according to survivors and experts), the basic facts are correct. During an “experiment” aimed at improving safety procedures, Reactor No 4 responded erratically and attempts to bring it under...

From St George to Xi Jinping

The Times (18 May) has splashed our denunciation of the wearing of the old Russian imperial emblem, the St George Ribbon, by some members of Lewisham Momentum. The incident is only a specially gaudy display of the general political trend of the section of the Labour supposed-left which gravitates around the Morning Star. The Morning Star is the continuation of the Daily Worker, which for decades from 1930 was a mouthpiece for the regimes of Stalin, Khrushchev, and Brezhnev. It saw the old USSR as “socialist”. It based that claim largely on the fact that all sizeable industry in that regime was...

EU left refuses to condemn Russian abuse

On 14 June the left bloc in the European Parliament voted against a motion demanding Russia release Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov and 70 other Ukrainian political prisoners. It was official policy of the left bloc, GEU/NGL, to vote against the motion. Only six members of the 52-strong faction rebelled: five by voting for, and one by abstaining. The GUE/NGL has not issued a statement explaining its opposition to the motion. 485 MEPs voted for the motion. 76 voted against. And 66 abstained. Those who voted against the motion were almost entirely members of the far right factions in the...

Trump, Putin and the CIA

The CIA’s report to US senators — that Russia intervened in the US presidential election to help the election of Donald Trump — is extraordinary. That’s not just because of the fact that Russia seemingly interfered in an election in the world’s most powerful country, but also because the US intelligence agency chose to make it public. Corey Robin comments on US socialist website Jacobin: “That the nation’s security agencies could go public with this kind of accusation, or allow their accusation to go public, is unprecedented. The United States traditionally does this kind of thing, covertly...

National Union of Mineworkers stands in solidarity with Ukrainian workers against imperialisms east and west

The National Union of Mineworkers in Britain recently affiliated to the Ukraine Solidarity Campaign (USC), a network building support for independent unions in Ukraine struggle against both Russian imperialism and EU/IMF-driven austerity. We reprint below their statement in response to criticisms of this stance, republished with permission from the USC website. Following this is a message to the NUM from Sergey Yunak, President of Ukrainian miners' union PRUP. The NUM is disturbed by the smears against our union regarding our approach to the conflict in Ukraine. These smears have been promoted...

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