THE News Line salutes the bravery and heroism of the Ukrainian working class who defied all the threats, intimidation and murderous attacks by forces sent by the illegal Kiev junta to prevent Sunday’s referendums in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Lugansk – which resulted in a massive vote in favour of self-rule.
With the army reluctant to get involved in shooting down voters, the Kiev regime was forced to rely on the National Guard, whose members are drawn from the fascist Right Sector group who provided the storm troopers for February’s coup that ousted the elected president Yanukovych.
Despite all this intimidation the referendums in these regions recorded a huge turn out by the working class absolutely determined to break with the imperialist-backed coup leaders and to establish their own administration.
This result has caused a massive crisis for the Kiev Junta and its imperialist backers. In the face of this mass movement of workers, determined to break decisively with the coupists, the bourgeois media – who up until now have bent over backwards to claim that the Kiev regime was not just legal but enjoyed overwhelming popularity in the country – have started to backpedal furiously.
They have started to promote the idea that the best way out of this crisis is for the regions in the east of Ukraine to go their own way and be absorbed in one way or another into the Russian Federation, allowing the west of the country to be handed on a plate to the EU.
Unfortunately for them this prospect is not one that appeals to the working class in the west and south of Ukraine any more than it was acceptable to the people in the east. They are acutely aware that the only thing the EU wants from the western region of Ukraine is to pillage its vast wheat and grain resources.
The undeniable fact is that, far from representing any majority, the Ukrainian junta is hated and despised by the working class throughout the country in the west and south as well as the east.
This was demonstrated last week on Victory Day (celebrating the victory of the Ukraine over Nazi Germany) when the governor of southern region of Kherson addressing the public meeting called Hitler a ‘liberator’.
In this region over 105,000 were murdered by the Nazis, while a further 60,000 were sent to labour camps. The thousands in the audience booed and shouted ‘shame’ at the governor and a woman stormed the platform and threw his microphone away.
That is the level of support this vermin command across the country. This is the reason why the imperialists had to resort to a coup in the first place.
On February 20, 2014, the elected president of Ukraine, Yanukovych, succumbed to EU pressure and agreed to call new presidential and parliamentary elections in three months, but, having seen their plans to effect a takeover of the country through rigged elections defeated twice in the past, the imperialist powers led by the US were having none of it and insisted instead on a fascist led coup.
The Ukrainian workers in the eastern regions have decisively rejected this imperialist plot, the task before them now is to immediately form their own independent administration and from here go out and spread the struggle to the whole of the Ukraine for the working class to rise up and kick out the junta and re-establish a Soviet Ukraine.
Just as they rejected Putin’s ‘advice’ not to hold the referendums, so they will reject his call for negotiations between the regions and the Kiev bandits. They must demand that if the imperialists try to invade Ukraine to drown the working class in blood that the Russian army intervene and march on Kiev to drive these reactionary Nazi-lovers out.
There can be no compromise or negotiations – the fight is on for the restoration of Soviet Ukraine as part of the political revolution to remove Putin and the Stalinist bureaucracy and reconstitute the USSR as part of the world socialist revolution.