THE imperialist-backed attempted coup to oust the Ukrainian government and replace it with a pro-imperialist regime, has now taken the open form of a struggle for power with the decision by ‘opposition’ politicians to convene a ‘People’s Council’ and declare it an alternative to the Ukrainian parliament.
This open declaration of an alternative parliament composed of imperialist stooges complements the violent confrontation, between pro-EU demonstrators and the Ukrainian state forces, being orchestrated and inflamed by members of extreme right-wing, neo-fascist parties collectively known as the Right Sector.
Right Sector fascists played a leading role in the violent attack on police last Sunday, while pictures in the bourgeois press show not plucky unarmed demonstrators going up against lines of riot police but helmeted men armed with petrol bombs, determined to cause maximum carnage.
These fascist forces have been active in the campaign to destabilise the Ukraine right from the outset of the latest provocations back in December.
They have organised themselves around the demand for a ‘national revolution’ and raised slogans that echo those of the Nazis, such as ‘Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the heroes’ and ‘Glory to the nation! Death to enemies!’
These are the forces that are being hailed by the leaders of Europe and the US as freedom fighters for democracy.
But the imperialists are not confining themselves to acting as just cheerleaders for these groups and their counter-revolutionary aims, they are actively conspiring to aid them financially and politically.
The interference by politicians of both the EU and the USA in the Ukraine has been unprecedented.
In an openly provocative move, the deputy speaker of the EU parliament, Jacek Protasiewicz, addressed a mass demonstration of the opposition last December, pledging the full support of the EU for a coup against the government of Viktor Yanukovich.
US imperialism has also sent its unofficial counter-revolutionary envoy to the Ukraine.
US Senator John McCain met Ukrainian opposition leaders in Kiev, also in December, to offer American support for any coup; he was joined by the chairman of the Senate’s Europe subcommittee, Chris Murphy.
McCain, a right-wing Republican noted for his warmongering, has also found time to pay a personal visit to the fundamentalist jihadists in Syria fighting to overthrow the Assad regime, again pledging his full support for their murderous campaign against the Syrian people.
Indeed, events in the Ukraine are following a well-trodden path of imperialist intervention – a right-wing violent provocation cloaked in the lying rhetoric of the ‘democratic struggle’, used as a pretext for military intervention by US imperialism and their EU followers to effect regime change.
In the Ukraine the stakes are astronomical.
The Ukraine is of vital strategic importance to imperialism with its Black Sea port being home to the Russian fleet, and its position as the gateway to the vast oil and gas reserves of the Caucasus.
The drive by imperialism is to seize the Ukraine or, at the least, split it into two and push the armed forces of Nato right up against the Russian border in preparation for a war to militarily re-impose capitalism in Russia which, despite the betrayals of the Stalinist bureaucracy, remains a degenerated workers state.
Having been thwarted in their ambitions to seize the Ukraine in 2004 through the ‘Orange revolution’, imperialism is now back trying to orchestrate a pretext for armed intervention by its proxies, an intervention that would be nothing less than the start of an undeclared war against Russia.
All talk by the Stalinist Putin about the possibility of ‘partnership’ with imperialism can now be seen by all to be dangerous nonsense that opens up Russia to attack, since there can be no peaceful co-existence with imperialism.
The only way to defend the Ukraine and Russia from imperialist war is through the powerful Ukrainian and Russian working classes restoring soviet power, through political revolutions, at the same time as the working class of the world takes action to get rid of capitalism and imperialism, completing the victory of the world socialist revolution.