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Distortions of the truth in Ukraine

UKRAINIAN President Petro Poroshenko led a ceremony in Kiev’s Independence Square yesterday, laying flowers and lighting candles to the memory of the “Heavenly Hundred” killed during anti-government protests that began in 2013.

Poroshenko, Prime Minister Volodymyr Hroysman and parliamentary speaker Andriy Parubiy perpetuate the myth that all the dead perished at the hands of security forces, portraying the Euromaidan events of four years ago as a simple case of good versus evil.

Good was represented by demonstrators who filled the square to protest against then president Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to postpone plans to sign an Association Agreement with the European Union and to seek closer economic ties with Russia.

Evil was personified by Yanukovych, his Ukraine of the Regions party, the Communist Party of Ukraine (KPU) and, above all, by Moscow.

Yanukovych favoured Ukraine joining the EU but believed it possible to maintain ties with Russia, in light of trade links that eastern Ukraine’s mining and heavy industry enjoyed with its eastern neighbour.

He learned quickly that Brussels wouldn’t compromise over the extent of its influence as initially peaceful Maidan protesters were joined, without discussion with the Kiev government, in the square by EU foreign policy head Catherine Ashton and US Senator John McCain and encouraged in their actions.

Matters swiftly took a violent turn when snipers on roofs fired at both protesters and police officers while detachments of far-right paramilitary groups spearheaded attacks on security forces.

Yanukovych subsequently fled the country to Russia, fascist groups were integrated into the armed forces and second world war criminals, notably Stepan Bandera, who slaughtered Jews and Poles, were honoured with monuments as historic memorials to Ukraine’s liberation by the Red Army were vandalised.

Anti-fascist forces in the Donbass set up people’s republics in Donetsk and Lugansk provinces while the overwhelmingly Russian-speaking population of Crimea, home to Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, voted to return to Russia.

Even though the Communist Party never backed secession from Ukraine, Poroshenko’s regime sought to ban the KPU and remains set on doing so.

KPU general secretary Petro Symonenko’s devastating critique of the post-coup government’s plan to divest the country of 3,500 public corporations at fire-sale prices to foreign speculators explains this determination.

The justification for this treasonable act is that these enterprises lose money, are a financial burden and would be better run under private ownership.

Similar statements were heard when the federal republic of Germany annexed the German Democratic Republic, axing its industries as outdated and plunging eastern German workers into penury.

History suggests that new owners will slash workforce numbers in quest of profits or simply close these firms, dumping tens of thousands more Ukrainian workers onto the scrap heap.

As Symonenko points out, the capitalist paradise promised for Ukraine’s workers has proved to be a capitalist hell run by thieves.

Poroshenko and his allies are so determined to enmesh Ukraine in the EU and Nato that they undermine the national independence they claim to revere.

It beggars belief that a country that suffered so greatly under nazi occupation could elevate the likes of Stepan Bandera while dropping its backing for Russia’s annual UN general assembly human rights committee resolution on combating the glorification of nazism.

Just Ukraine joined the US last week in voting against the proposal, which moves on now to the 193-member general assembly next month.

Kiev’s subservience to Brussels and Washington does not augur well for the future of Ukraine’s working people.


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