About the declaration of AWU "On the confrontation in Ukraine"

The KRAS, section of the International Workers Association in Russian region, appreciates the statement of Ukrainian "Autonomous Workers' Union" (AWU/AST) "On the confrontation in Ukraine" as a step in the right direction. Condemning both sides of the civil war, it differs in this point favorably from the previous position of AWU/AST representatives who refused in March to sign the statement of KRAS, internationalists of Ukraine, Russia and other countries.

The AWU/AST representatives motivated their disagreement with our Declaration by the very fact that we stand with the position of condemnation all warring parties, while they supported the "people" who gathered to "Evromaidan" and called for the protection of Ukrainian "homeland" from "Russian aggression". Some groups and members of the AWU/AST participated in the reactionary "Maidan" protests against the also reactionary Yanukovich government, without being disturbed even by an active role of the far-right groups in the "Maidan" coup. After the outbreak of armed conflict in the east of Ukraine, some active members of AWU/AST actually supported the idea of armed suppression of "Antimaidan" by the new Kiev authorities.

A new declaration of the AWU/AST looks more balanced and contains no sympathy for punitive operations of the Kiev authorities in the East of the country. Nevertheless, it is full of contradictions, in our opinion. So, it condemned first of all the separatist coup in eastern Ukraine ("Antimaidan"), and only then the Kiev government, although the "Antimaidan" was a reaction to the earlier "Maidan" coup. Moreover, the statement of AWU/AST contained again praise for "Maidan", which allegedly prevented the curtailing of rights and freedoms, while in fact the "Maidan" coup a opened the way for the adoption of new reactionary laws (including the "austerity" regime imposed by the EU and the IMF) and for the militarization of society, it made largely the hands free for the terror of the ultra-right groups and unleashed a spiral of confrontation, which ultimately led to the current outbreak of the Civil War. In the spirit of the official mode of Kiev war propaganda, the statement asserted that Antimaidan is just a manifestation of aggression of "Putin and his satellites", although most of the population in eastern Ukraine has repeatedly spoken out in the past against the political forces which organized the "Maidan" coup. The authors of the statement warn against the emergence of Ukrainian "Putins" as if regime of billionaire and oligarch Poroshenko is somewhat better than the Kremlin oligarchy. Finally, the AWU/AST condemns expansionist actions of the Russian state, but not one word mentioned inflammatory actions of its equally imperialist rivals from NATO. There is no mention of the need to cease hostilities and stop the death of workers under the bullets and shells of punitive forces of “anti-terrorist operation”. The statement completely ignores the catastrophic humanitarian situation in eastern Ukraine, and blames for this tragedy exclusively the separatists and "agents" of Russia.

We do not feel the slightest sympathy for the regimes established by separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk, as in the past time we did not have any sympathy f.ex. for the nationalist separatist regime in Chechnya. But then and now, this don`t hinder us to condemn the war and to call for a cessation of hostilities and the withdrawal of military troops, paramilitaries, mercenaries or “volunteer” from all sides from the conflict zone.

For us, both camps in the confrontation are equally conservative and nationalist, and any significant difference between them is not visible: neither in social and economic area, nor in domestic or foreign policy. Neither submission to the European Union, nor the submission to the Russian oligarchy can solve the problems of the working people of Ukraine. As before, we emphasize that the victory of one or another group of the bourgeoisie and the national-conservative reaction may lead only to social disaster for workers in the country.

We remain convinced that the workers have no homeland to defend. We equally condemn Maidan and Antimaidan; Kiev and Donetsk; Russia and NATO. We do not believe that a right side can exist in the struggle for power, influence or control over the territories between bourgeois cliques. In situations where the revolutionary internationalists do not have enough force to intervene and to crush both rival gangs, the most urgent task is to conduct an anti-war agitation among the workers so that they do not engage in military or paramilitary forces of Kiev, Donetsk or Luhansk regimes but instead remember their class interest and fight for their basic socio-economic needs: improving the living and working conditions and cancellation of imposed policy of "austerity".

Our slogans remain the same: