THE WORKERS and small farmers of Ukraine dealt a crushing blow to the right-wing oligarchs and to the EU and US imperialism when they voted by over 70% to throw out former president Petro Poroshenko in favour of Volodymyr Zelenskiy, an actor and comedian.
Such is the hatred for Poroshenko and the oligarchs he represents that none of Zelenskiy’s shortcomings – his complete lack of political experience and a campaign that advanced no real policies – mattered, as every section of Ukraine both in the west and central regions voted by a landslide to kick out Poroshenko.
He came to power in Ukraine following the coup in February 2014 – organised and funded by US imperialism and its EU allies – that ousted the elected president Yanukovych and installed a puppet regime run by wealthy oligarchs and backed up on the streets by fascist gangs.
The aim of the imperialist powers was to smash up the Ukrainian economy, grab the oil and gas reserves in the Black Sea and drive the borders of NATO countries right up against the borders of Russia, so constructing a ring of steel around Russia in preparation for a war to restore capitalism to the territories it lost in the 1917 Russian revolution.
These were the aims the Poroshenko regime fully supported but which met with the heroic opposition of the Ukrainian working class, notably in the industrial regions of the east, Lugansk and Donetsk, which declared themselves People’s Republics and which have been under constant military attack from Kiev.
While waging a military campaign to crush the workers in the east, Poroshenko has waged a savage war of austerity on the working class throughout the country on behalf of world capitalism.
Despite all the promises that the imperialist coup would transform Ukraine and bring untold wealth to its people, the reality is that Ukraine has been bankrupted by the EU and the IMF which forced massive loans on it at extortionate interest repayment rates.
In return for a $1 billion loan from the IMF, Poroshenko’s government cut pensions and wages and agreed to the wholesale privatisation of agricultural land and state-owned industry, while at the same time driving up the cost of heating and utility bills by insisting on cuts to state subsidies.
These savage measures produced a situation where the wages in Ukraine are the lowest in the whole of Europe and the vast majority of Ukrainians are living below the poverty line.
With mass unemployment and those in work not even being paid on time, the Ukrainian working class have erupted in strike actions, and have refused to submit to the fascist thugs who propped up the Poroshenko regime.
Now that anger and hatred has brought down Poroshenko and delivered a stunning blow on behalf of the working class of Russia and the world.
Having voted to get rid of the rule of corrupt oligarchs and to overthrow imperialist imposed economic ruin the Ukrainian workers must now advance by establishing workers councils, soviets, in every factory, mine, industry and region to bar the way to any further coup attempts by the right-wing allies of imperialism and go forward to establishing soviet rule across Ukraine.
Soviets will be the organisations to decide on the composition of a workers government in the country – A workers government that will end the years of pauperisation by expropriating the oligarchs, ending and reversing all privatisations and austerity cuts and increase wages.
A workers government based on soviets will disarm and abolish the fascist gangs, and sack any in the military who support Poroshenko’s policy of joining NATO.
Immediately they must enter talks with workers in the east and restore the unity of Ukraine and enter into talks with Russia and Belarus on the vital issue of restoring the Soviet Union.
The presidential vote was a huge victory for Ukrainian workers and a massive step towards returning the Ukraine to being a workers’ state that will play a vital role in the reconstitution of the USSR and a huge step forward to the victory of the world socialist revolution.