Ukraine

A socialist case for Ukraine

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On the anniversary of the fall of Ukrainian President Yanukovych, which marked the onset of the current conflict, Rob Ferguson and Tomas Tengely-Evans interview Volodymyr Ishchenko in Kiev.

RF: Volodymyr, there is currently a crisis over the ceasefire in the east and the retreat from Debaltseve. What is your judgement of the crisis in the east of Ukraine?

Ukraine: a carnival of reaction looms?

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Imperialist rivalry between Russia, the US and EU threatens a carnival of reaction across Ukraine, that pits Ukrainian against Ukrainian, promoting reactionary forces on both sides.

The Geneva agreement signed by Russia, the US, EU and Ukraine, pledging to "de-escalate tensions", looked dead before the ink was dry. Shootings in the eastern town of Slavyansk left three pro-Russian protesters dead.

Ukraine: Torn apart by Imperialism

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Russia's annexation of Crimea, and the rising tensions between east and west, marks an era of heightened competition between rival imperial powers, argues Rob Ferguson.

Russia, the US and the European powers are facing their greatest clash since the Cold War. Following the overthrow of Ukrainian president Yanukovich, the new pro-Western government in Kiev turned to seal a partnership with the EU and Russia annexed Crimea, home to the Russian Black Sea fleet and its route to the Mediterranean.

Tensions are spreading to other "buffer" states on Russia's southern borders. Barack Obama has called on EU leaders to increase their military spending.

A contradictory revolt in Ukraine

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The situation in Ukraine is fast moving and complex and it is easy to misunderstand what's at play.

In the liberal press the talk is already of "post revolutionary" Ukraine -- "the storming of the citadels of power recalls the overthrow of Slobodan Milosev... the indiscriminate terror created by sniping from roofs and buildings is a reprise of the assault on protestors in Bucharest," wrote Misha Glenny, omitting the role of fascist forces in the events.

Ukraine: divisions among the oligarchs

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The recent protests in Ukraine began on 21 November in the run up to the European Union (EU) summit in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, at the end of November. They followed a government announcement that it was ending preparations for signing an association agreement with the EU.

The first protests in the capital Kiev's Independence Square, organised by the three main opposition parties in parliament (apart from the pro-Russian Communist Party), were only hundreds strong.

Ukraine: 'Glory to the Miners'

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When Yanukovych bussed thousands of his supporters into the city, all fired up for a fight, the Yushchenko-supporting orange crowd began winning them over with flowers, kind words and kisses.

'Glory to the miners!', 'Lugansk, Donbass, come and join us!' were the chants. Yanukovych supporters began seeing through the lies they had been told and joining the revolution.

The movement also began splitting the state. Police and soldiers have come forward to pledge their support. On the main TV channels a revolt by journalists smashed through the censorship regime last week, enabling many Ukrainians to see a very different picture of what is going on.

Neither Washington nor Moscow

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Ukraine's 'Orange Revolution' is not all it seems.

The crisis that erupted in the Ukraine at the end of last month has had liberals of all sorts slathering at the mouth. Here, they declared, was a new people's uprising, a display of popular power inaugurating a 'velvet revolution' like that in eastern Europe in 1989.

In fact, what occurred was a fight between rival groups inside a corrupt ruling class, each side of which has been happy at various points to preside over a government given to muzzling opposition and fixing ballots.

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