By Alexei Albu, published by Borotba political alliance, June 3, 2014
On June 2, exactly one month after the tragedy in Odessa, the whole world watched footage of people being killed in the center of Lugansk by attacking Ukrainian military aircraft. To kill people on this day required a special brand of cynicism. The month between these two dates was a month of war and terror, including killings in Mariupol, Donetsk, Slavyansk, Krasny Limon, Kramatorsk and other cities that were earlier peaceful.
Despite the massacres in southeast Ukraine, despite the fact that each month the military conflict grows, reaching a new pitch, there is no talk about the need for its end. In the public sphere, one cannot hear any statements by politicians from the top echelon of the Kiev authorities for a ceasefire. Active hostilities were fully resumed the day after the presidential election. It seems that Poroshenko demanded the security forces conduct a “cleansing” of the rebellious territories before his inauguration — although this is an impossible task and political suicide for the newly “crowned” president in the midst of a war.
This policy of the Kiev regime only pushes residents of the South-East to defend their rights through armed resistance. After all, the junta’s policies prohibit the people from conducting legal opposition activity.
But this fight could last for years or decades. Apparently, the current Ukrainian leadership has not analyzed the experience of the rebel movements in Latin America, the struggle of the Irish Republicans or the Workers’ Party of Kurdistan. It seems that Kiev expects swift victory, and seriously believes that it can be approximated by the shooting of civilians in Donbass.
Unleashing a war against its own people, even trying to use the escalation of the conflict for short-term political purposes, the regime does not know how to get out of it so as not to lose power.
The failure of the so-called “ATO” [Anti-Terrorist Operation] cannot be hidden from the public anymore. Everyone can see that the regime is not strong enough to suppress the insurgent masses. All the resources that the Ukrainian nationalist clique could muster are already involved, and they throw recruits into battle — against the wishes of their families, distraught with fear. Poroshenko had the opportunity to act as peacemaker – one that, however, few would initially believe in — but he has squandered it on a continuation of the war.
Meanwhile, the expansion of the war in the east may eventually spread to all of Ukraine and accelerate the approaching collapse of the economy. Aware of this risk, and pretending to be legitimately elected, the powers in Kiev must take into account the interests of all citizens of Ukraine and make efforts for the immediate cessation of military operations in the South-East region. Then they must participate in a national dialogue in order to prepare a new constitution on the basis of a federal system that safeguards the democratic rights of every part of the country.
To de-escalate the conflict, we must first insist on an immediate ceasefire and mutual withdrawal of troops from the front line, make an exchange of prisoners, raise the question of the introduction of no-fly zone over the Donbass, and create humanitarian corridors in the South-East to transport the wounded. Preparations for a full ceasefire must be taken within international standards, with a resolution obliging the parties to the conflict to sit at the negotiating table and respect for the Geneva Convention on the Laws and Customs of War, prohibiting bombing and shelling of civilians, cultural, religious and medical facilities.
Will the Ukrainian government do this? The question remains open. Fascism, the threat of which is constantly repeated by Borotba Union and the non-parliamentary left, is the de facto ideology of the Kiev regime. At the same time, representatives of the ultra-right paramilitary groups have stated publicly that the negotiation process cannot achieve anything, demanding imposition of martial law and “targeted sweeps” of cities in the South-East. Firing from aircraft, attacking the city and suburbs of Slavyansk, the Ukrainian authorities de facto comply with these requirements of the right. That leads to more and more victims.
Does Kiev understand that the responsibility for these deaths lies with them? The perpetrators of the air attack on Lugansk and the right-wing politicians who triggered the destruction that burned Odessites in the House of Trade Unions will answer for them.