Statement by Socialist Action March 18, 2023
Maidan’s rooftop fascist snipers
Today’s unfolding Ukraine tragedy began in February 2014 when rooftop fascist snipers opened fire on Maidan protestors originally assembled to resist the Victor Yanukovych government’s austerity measures. The fascists murdered 100 in cold blood, including some of their own for good measure. Yanukovych, the elected president, was instantly blamed and pilloried by the world’s corporate media, paving the political road for what followed. He fled for his life.
U.S.-backed fascist coup
It mattered not that US representative to the European Union, Victoria Nuland, had inadvertently revealed that the rooftop assassins were of the fascist Svoboda Party and Right Sector ilk and not Yanukovych’s military. The armed fascist thugs that had come from across Ukraine and beyond to dominate the Maidan events, replete with US Senator John McCain sharing the stage with fascist orators and Nuland handing out US friendship cookies to boot. The stage was set for what followed. The armed thugs stormed the Ukrainian parliament, the Rada, banned the two largest and majority parties from entrance, declared themselves the new government and instantly approved a series of reactionary “laws” while appointing themselves, including leading pro-Nazis figures, to head five government ministries, including high posts in the military. They banned the Russian language from schools and public institutions and ordered the Ukrainian Army, replete with its now formally integrated fascist Azov, Aidar, Dnipro and Tornado battalions, to march on the Donbas in the east to take control of this largely Russian-speaking population. The fascist gangs, now with “government” approval, attacked anti-coup demonstrators across the country. In Odessa, they murderer 48 coup protestors outright, setting a trade union building afire and slaughtering survivors who were compelled to leap off the flaming edifice.
All leftwing parties were banned. The bailout agreements negotiated on generous terms by the Yanukovych government with Russia were revoked, and instead, an economically punishing Association Agreement with the European Union, that largely subordinated Ukraine to the US-dominated International Monetary Fund, was approved.
U.S. appoints Ukraine president The question then arose. Who would take Yanukovych’s place? Nuland and the US ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt made that decision. Again, in her own taped remarks, Nuland named Arseniy Yatsenyuk, a hard right member of Fatherland, the ultra-nationalist, anti-Russian formation. The Europeans, especially the Germans, wanted a more moderate figure to head Ukraine. They favored Vitaly Klitschko, a boxer turned politician with more moderate views than Yatsenyuk. During the hacked call, Nuland blurted, “F***K the EU,” and, of course, the US pick, Yatsenyuk, became the Prime Minister of Ukraine, forming a coalition governing majority with the fascist Svoboda Party. The coup’s finance minister was US citizen and high-ranking diplomat, Natalie Jeresko, who was granted Ukrainian citizenship the day after the coup. Joe Biden’s son took a position on the board of Ukraine’s largest natural gas company earning a monthly salary of $50,000.
The U.S.-backed rump government declared itself the leader of the nation. Nuland remarked in her intercepted phone call, that Vice President Joseph Biden, in charge of the Ukraine events at that time, would give the ultimate “atta boy” to the coup leaders. The US had previously laid the ground for the coup, pouring $5 billion into Ukraine over the years to support hundreds of NGOs aimed at moving Ukraine into its orbit, one way or another.
U.S. military base established in Ukraine Shortly after the 2014 coup, in 2015, the coup makers established the so-called International Peacekeeping and Security Center, a US-run western Ukraine military base, near the Polish border, that had been, according to the March 14, 2022 New York Times, “a hub for Western military troops to train Ukrainian forces since 2015.”
The Times added, “Troops from the United States, Britain, Canada, Poland, Sweden and Denmark, among others, have trained 35,000 Ukrainians there under a project called ‘Operation Unifier.’” This is the “operation” that aimed to forcibly “unite” western Ukraine, with the Russian-speaking eastern and southern populations that rejected the fascist coup. US paid troops included the modern-day descendants of the privatized Blackwater forces of Erik Prince that slaughtered civilians in Iraq. Need we note that with the exception of Sweden, all the above nations are NATO affiliates, training, arming and financing non-NATO Ukraine to wage war on behalf of NATO’s US puppet master?
Ukrainian Army desertions Here we add that the Ukrainian armies in the east and south also rejected the 2014 coup as they did orders from the coup government to turn their guns on the Russian-speaking populations. Indeed, with near zero exceptions they deserted the Ukrainian Army and joined the Russian Army without a shot being fired. The same with the overwhelmingly Russian-speaking population in Crimea. They voted 97 percent to affiliate with Russia in a referendum result contested by no virtually one. The turnout was 87 percent. The March 14 Times article concludes, “But Western nations withdrew their forces ahead of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Since then, the base has been used by Ukraine to train and organize the thousands of foreigners who have arrived in the country and volunteered to help defend it.” This single paragraph comes close to defying rational explanation, unless, of course, it is The Times explanation of the instant transformation of a secret US/NATO military base operating on Ukrainian territory into a solely Ukrainian-run base. No doubt these instantly-discovered “foreign fighters” suddenly flocking to defend “Ukraine’s freedom” are akin to those jihadists deployed by the US/NATO/Gulf State monarchies to take down the Syrian government in that ten-year failed US regime change war that took the lives of 500,000 Syrians. By all accounts, however, today’s Ukrainian “freedom fighters” were drawn from the ranks of Europe’s growing fascist and far right fanatics.
Again, we note the imperialist obfuscation. From 2015 to just before the Russian invasion, that is, for seven years, the US and NATO forces have been arming, training and financing, inside Ukraine, the coup government’s war against the Russian speaking population. That war has killed some 14,000 people in the Donbas, mostly civilians. That the victims are pilloried for defending their lives and for seeking Russian aid, constitutes yet another travesty of fundamental human and democratic rights, not to mention the right of an oppressed people to self-determination, that is, to be free from annihilation at the hands of the US-installed fascist coup government.
The Minsk Protocols For the past eight years, prior to the Russian invasion, a state of perpetual war has prevailed in the Donbass region, with the U.S. government backing the ever-reinforced Ukrainian Army’s unrelenting attacks. The early post-coup years were punctuated by a series of negotiations referred to as the Minsk Protocols. Signed on Sept. 5, 2014 and Feb. 12, 2015, after the negotiations between the Ukrainian coup government, Russia, Germany and France, they were purportedly aimed at stopping the bloodshed via a ceasefire, withdrawal of heavy weapons from the front lines, release of prisoners of war, and a Ukrainian constitutional reform granting self-government to certain areas of Donbas. In practice, none of these Minsk Protocols were implemented, as the Ukrainian Army’s ceaseless incursions into the Donbas region aimed at subjugation and conquest as opposed to pursuit of a negotiated settlement. Some 100 “ceasefire” agreements were repeatedly violated. The Ukrainian government refused to implement the Minsk-projected elections in Luhansk and Donetsk. Endorsed by a UN Security Council resolution, the gist of the Minsk accords was to preserve the territorial integrity of Ukraine via a federalization process that would return the breakaway republics in exchange for their local autonomy.
Welcome to the embrace of the imperialist war machine
Today, admission into the good graces of the US imperialist establishment requires both denunciation of the Vladimir Putin Russian government and hailing the “democratic” US-led NATO imperial war pact. We decline the invitation. We decline to condemn the Donbass people for asking for Russian aid. We decline to condemn Russia’s political opposition to the US-engineered fascist coup and its US/NATO perpetuation. We decline to condone NATO’s expansion into Ukraine and its establishing nuclear weapons along Russia’s 1500-mile border. That 27 million Russians died in fighting Hitler’s fascist WWII invasion has not been obliterated from Russian popular consciousness.
History of US oil wars The same behemoth US oil monopolies on whose behalf the US government wages war today against Iran, Venezuela, Syria, Libya Bolivia, and beyond, were critical players in the monstrous wars that killed millions and raped the planet in years and decades past. Four-plus million were slaughtered in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia; 400,000 in Guatemala by US-organized death squads; 50,000 slaughtered by Batista’s Cuban dictatorship; 60,000 murdered by Somoza’s Nicaragua dictatorship; 60,000 by Pinochet’s Chilean death squads and tens of thousands more in Argentina, Panama, Haiti, Colombia, Dominican Republic, and Brazil – all by US-backed and installed dictatorships! The modern era list of US atrocities never ends; 1.5 million were murdered in Iraq; two million more in the US-orchestrated Iraq/Iran War; tens of thousands in the US-backed Egyptian coup; one million in Afghanistan and now millions perishing in the US.-backed Saudi Arabian horror in Yemen.
Unprecedented plunder Today the US plunderers have scaled unprecedented heights in a scheme to monopolize the world’s largest oil markets. Central to the U.S. objectives in Ukraine has been the substitution of expensive U.S.-fracked liquefied natural gas to Germany and Western Europe for cheaper Russian gas. The blatant U.S. obliteration of Russia’s Nord Stream pipelines, as recently detailed by Pulitzer journalist Seymour Hersh, tells the story well.
• We reject the invitation to join the US imperial war camp’s corporate media driven warmongering.
• We reject the corporate media-created fantasy of a US imperialism driven by benevolent intentions.
• We reject the imperial propagandist’s disgusting transformation of a US-backed fascist coup into a popular rebellion.
We demand: US Out Now! Hands off Ukraine! Abolish NATO! Self-determination for the people of Donbas!
No to US-backed fascist coups! No to US oil wars everywhere!
$Billions for human needs; not a penny for war! For a rapid transition to a safe, clean, fossil fuel free energy system that guarantees quality jobs and security for all! Close all military bases the world over beginning with the 1100 US bases in 110 countries, followed by Russia’s six bases in the former Soviet Republics and China’s single base in Djibouti! Contact Socialist Action: firstname.lastname@example.org socialistaction.org