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The discussion on Daily Kos about Ukraine has largely fallen into the typical Daily Kos factional pro-U.S. administration/anti-U.S. administration battle lines.The debate on dkos seems to often revolve around which State Power to support, ignore, or denounce (relative to one's support of, or opposition to United State's policy) and nuance is sacrificed. I don't dispute most of what is claimed by the more anti-administration crowd on Daily Kos. But based on my readings, what is occurring on the ground in Ukraine and Russia is more complicated than the standard polemics offered.

Despite enormous differences, disparate groups in Ukraine may coalesce around commonalities during a crisis, only to later fall apart due to differences when circumstances change. Borders historically crafted and imposed by external Powers create superficial, weak, and easily exploited divisions of nationalism, pitting one faction against another. Foisting economic policy from outside due to the expression of global capitalistic warfare competition, which results in a complex morass of adversarial relationships and alliances, may serve to exacerbate these internal conflicts, subjecting people to a ruling class tug-of-war between opposing oligarchical elites, with no benefit to the quality of life for everyday people offered by either side. To put it in other terms, it seems some are more concerned about the fate of the various States involved, but don't have much to say about the fate of people living in the midst of the crossfire and the economic realities of people living their lives, regardless of geopolitical intrigues.

The radical left in the region seems to have a deep distrust of Russia's involvement that is not part of the consciousness of the American left. They just don't view Russia as an honest player. In statement after statement, they cite Russia's self-serving capitalism, imperialism, authoritarianism, its willingness to foment, manipulate, and exploit the divisiveness of nationalism, and they fear loss of autonomy, a sealing off of future possibility to powerful Russian influences, with no improvement of their everyday circumstances (this is not to say they have any greater trust of the EU, the IMF, the meddling of the US).  Here's a quote from excerpts below:

The power struggle between oligarchic clans in Ukraine threatens to escalate into an international armed conflict. Russian capitalism intends to use redistribution of Ukrainian state power in order to implement their long-standing imperial and expansionist aspirations in the Crimea and eastern Ukraine where it has strong economic, financial and political interests.

On the background of the next round of the impending economic crisis in Russia, the regime is trying to stoking Russian nationalism to divert attention from the growing workers' socio-economic problems: poverty wages and pensions, dismantling of available health care, education and other social services. In the thunder of the nationalist and militant rhetoric it is easier to complete the formation of a corporate, authoritarian state based on reactionary conservative values and repressive policies.

Here's another excerpt:
[T]he Russian Federation government is controlled by the most conservative advocates of the interests of capital. And that is why those citizens who support a referendum on “reunification” with Russia had better prepare for a police state and for an antisocial policy. We will not allow for the precedent of a victory for Russian imperialism. Despite the claims of Ukrainian bourgeois nationalists, there are no traces of socialism at all left in Russia. The population of Ukraine will start to hate Russians even more, while among the Russian masses imperialistic and revanchist illusions will grow stronger. Hitler-style promises of a better life will culminate in a catastrophe for the aggressor nation. Let us not forget that this war is also an opportunity for Western capital to bring in its own armies and to seize part of Ukrainian territory.
If these events were to flare up into violent conflict, it will be mostly the Russians and Ukrainians who suffer the real consequences of war, not Americans or members of the EU (the involvement of NATO notwithstanding). Russians (and Ukrainians too, of course) have as much legitimacy in opposing Russian militarism/imperialism as Americans have in opposing the same on the part of the United States. It is always the working class who end up on the front lines as cannon fodder to the economic benefit of the global 1%, the capitalist class. Rather than be coerced into shooting bullets at each other on behalf of oligarchical interests, the working class should join hands in solidarity against war. We must oppose the saber rattling in both the US and in Russia.

While I am no expert on Ukraine, and I find the complexity bewildering, I am doubtful that the current focus on the US/Russia divide will serve as an accurate model by which to understand the real situation as experienced by Ukrainians and Russians. There are many perspectives outside of this American framework.

In this context, to supplement the discussion on Daily Kos of the turmoil in Ukraine, I've posted a series of statements issued by the anarcho-syndicalist and socialist left in the region. I do not warrant or endorse all that is said in the following excerpts, and I also urge people to read the entire articles which I've terribly butchered to spark an interest here.

Most of these are declarations republished in full on numerous leftist websites.

The list of links I will draw upon, for your perusal:

Declaration of Internationalists against the war in Ukraine

Autonomous Workers Union statement on Russian intervention

Crimea—Not “Ours” or “Yours”

Ukrainians, Russians and Europeans against Putin's war

Left Opposition: Ukraine will be saved from intervention by solidarity

No war with Ukraine! A statement from the Russian Socialist Movement

Open Letter to the European Left

UKRAINE: Ukrainian anarchist dispels myths surrounding Euromaidan protests, warns of fascist influence

Maidan and its contradictions: interview with a Ukrainian revolutionary syndicalist

H/T to libcom.org

H/T to anarchistnews dot org

I will begin with a statement issued by the Russian section of the International Worker's Association (IWA) which adds some dimension not yet included.

    Declaration of Internationalists against the war in Ukraine

    War on war! Not a single drop a blood for the "nation”!

    The power struggle between oligarchic clans in Ukraine threatens to escalate into an international armed conflict. Russian capitalism intends to use redistribution of Ukrainian state power in order to implement their long-standing imperial and expansionist aspirations in the Crimea and eastern Ukraine where it has strong economic, financial and political interests.

    On the background of the next round of the impending economic crisis in Russia, the regime is trying to stoking Russian nationalism to divert attention from the growing workers' socio-economic problems: poverty wages and pensions, dismantling of available health care, education and other social services. In the thunder of the nationalist and militant rhetoric it is easier to complete the formation of a corporate, authoritarian state based on reactionary conservative values and repressive policies.

    In Ukraine, the acute economic and political crisis has led to increased confrontation between "old" and "new" oligarchic clans, and the first used including ultra-rightist and ultra-nationalist formations for making a state coup in Kiev. The political elite of Crimea and eastern Ukraine does not intend to share their power and property with the next in turn Kiev rulers and trying to rely on help from the Russian government. Both sides resorted to rampant nationalist hysteria: respectively, Ukrainian and Russian. There are armed clashes, bloodshed. The Western powers have their own interests and aspirations, and their intervention in the conflict could lead to World War III.

    Warring cliques of bosses force, as usual, force to fight for their interests us, ordinary people: wage workers, unemployed, students, pensioners... Making us drunkards of nationalist drug, they set us against each other, causing us forget about our real needs and interests: we don`t and can`t care about their "nations" where we are now concerned more vital and pressing problems – how to make ends meet in the system which they found to enslave and oppress us.

    We will not succumb to nationalist intoxication. To hell with their state and “nations”, their flags and offices! This is not our war, and we should not go on it, paying with our blood their palaces, bank accounts and the pleasure to sit in soft chairs of authorities. And if the bosses in Moscow, Kiev, Lviv, Kharkiv, Donetsk and Simferopol start this war, our duty is to resist it by all available means!

    No war between "nations"-no peace between classes!

    KRAS, Russian section of the International Workers Association
    Internationalists of Ukraine, Russia, Moldova, Israel, Lithuania
    Anarchist Federation of Moldova
    Fraction of the Revolutionary Socialists (Ukraine)

    The statement is open for signature

From http://www.aitrus.info/...

Autonomous Workers Union statement on Russian intervention
On February 27, 2014, pro-Russian chauvinists of Crimea, supported by Berkut riot police and Russian Black Sea Fleet committed military coup in Crimea. Right now it’s already obvious that the government of “Russian Unity” movement headed by Aksionov is no more than a puppet of the Kremlin regime.

We don’t regard Ukraine’s territorial integrity and inviolability of its borders as a value, we are against violent “pacification” of Crimea, but we think that the status of Crimea should be defined with due regard to the opinion of the Crimean Tatar minority.

The latest events show that Putin is not going to limit himself with the annexation of Crimea. The aim of the imperialist Kremlin regime is to expand the Russian practices on all territory of Ukraine.

Thereby the Russian regime proved to be the main threat to the interests of the proletariat at the post-Soviet area.

We are opponents of war and militarism. But we think that in this situation conscious proletarians can rely on nobody but themselves.

There’s no point in waiting for “rescue” from Nato. Ukrainian nationalist politicians can only organize defense of a part of territory at best. The war can be averted only if proletarians of all countries, first and foremost Ukrainian and Russian, together make a stand against the criminal regime of Putin.

Joint action by the Ukrainian and Russian proletariat and all progressive democratic forces which will put an end to Putin’s regime, will also mean an end to the current neoliberal-oriented nationalist regime in Ukraine.

While for the leftists and anarchists of the West it’s high time to cut ties with the so-called “anti-imperialism” which comes down to the support of the Putin’s regime against the US.

No war between nations, no peace between classes!

Source; http://avtonomia.net/...

The following essay, translated from the original Russian, is well worth a read for a view much different than anything expressed to date on Daily Kos. This really needs to be read in its entirety, for I have badly butchered it here for brevity. My selective quotes are meant to tease the reader to read the entire article, which is critical of all sides. Overall, the piece cries out for self-determination of the people.

"Crimea, Not Ours or Yours"

Events in Ukraine are moving at a terrifying speed.This statement was prepared by the editors of the OpenLeft in the morning of March 1st, 2014. Today, March 2nd, at 2 pm, Russians in different cities will hold rallies against a possible Russian intervention into Ukraine.
The Ukrainian peninsula has had the misfortune of finding itself on the intersection of Russia’s imperialist ambitions and the brute nationalist politics of the “new” Ukraine. Open Left declares – the Crimean self-determination movement precedes both the imperialist games and the nationalist frenzy.

Today more than ever before it is necessary to call a spade a spade: what’s happening in Crimea these days is a classic act of imperialist intervention on the part of the Russian state. It is a stupid, cowardly, and inconsequent intervention – which is also how Vladimir Putin’s regime itself can be described. We can see that the plan to pressure Ukraine is being written on the go: two weeks ago, the Kremlin, without thinking about the consequences, was pushing Yanukovich toward the most brutal forcible dispersal of the Maidan; a week ago it was supporting the failed “separatist” congress of the disoriented state officials in Kharkiv, and right now they are playing the “Crimean card”, seemingly long forgotten over the past decade.

(snip)
The question put to referendum on May 25th is leaving a large array of possibilities for further shadow trade – both with the main imperialist players, the US and the EU, and with the new Ukrainian government controlled by the old oligarchic partners of Kremlin from Yulia Tymoshenko’s circle.
(snip)
Only the residents of the Crimea – the Russians, Tatars, and Ukrainians – will be left alone with their problems. The inhabitants of this depressed region, regardless of the flows of tourists and the presence of military bases, will remain squeezed between the right-wing politicos from Kiev, the “defenders of the Russians” fed by local oligarchs, and the cynical maneuvers of the Russian state, which spits on the rights and freedoms of its own 143 million citizens.
(snip)
The population’s right to self-determination will remain trampled for as long as the Crimea, and Ukraine as a whole, remains a zone of conflict among external forces – both from the West and from the East.
(snip)
Today it is very difficult to evaluate and predict the actual consequences of the Kiev Maidan. It has led both to the resurgence of the oligarch clans suppressed by Yanukovych, and brought about victories for the popular grass-roots movement that were unthinkable for the post-Soviet space. Maidan has opened the sluices of activity of the far-right thugs – and at the same time has spurred to political life great masses of people, who perhaps for the first time perceive that they themselves are capable of determining their fate. This range of possibilities has the potential to resolve itself both into progressive social changes, and into the victory of extreme reaction. But the final decision must, without doubt, be left to the people of Ukraine themselves – whether in Kiev or Lvov, or in the Crimea or Donetsk.
[More...]
"Ukrainians, Russians and Europeans against Putin's war"
The anti-war demonstrations today are the only shaft of light I can see in a dark sky overshadowed by the danger of war, with 6000 Russian troops reportedly on Ukrainian territory in Crimea, some of them surrounding Ukrainian bases.
Russia

In Moscow, anti-war demonstrators were detained in large numbers. Each time protesters assembled on Manezhnaya square in the city centre, more were arrested. Novaya Gazeta, the liberal opposition paper, reported 265 arrests and counting just after 16.00 Moscow time.

Voices on the Russian radical left were unequivocal. [See "Crimea, not ours or yours" upthread - ZhenRen]

(snip)
Ukraine

Large numbers joined demonstrations against the war not only in Kyiv but in all the large Russian-speaking cities in the east. Ukrainska Pravda reported a demonstration of 5-10,000 people against Putin’s aggression in Nikolaev, a predominantly Russian-speaking city in southern Ukraine. The report said that agricultural and public sector workers, students and the intelligentsia were all at the march.

In Dnipropetrovsk, a predominantly Russian-speaking industrial city, and Odessa, the predominantly Russian-speaking port city in southern Ukraine, several thousand people joined similar marches. There were demos in Kharkiv, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporozhye – smaller than pro-Russian marches ... but shamefully downplayed by western media reports.

In Kyiv, the radical left called for working-class solidarity against Putin’s militarism. “There’s no point in waiting for ‘rescue’ from Nato”, said a statement by the Autonomous Workers Union, published in English here. “The war can be averted only if proletarians of all countries, first and foremost Ukrainian and Russian, together make a stand against the criminal regime of Putin.”

(snip)
Activists in eastern Ukraine

Messages from activists in social movements in eastern Ukraine painted a grim picture. My friend G., a trade union activist based in Dniprodzerzhinsk, emailed to say: “Most ordinary people are cautious or hostile to the [Ukrainian] nationalists, and so Euromaidan got very meagre support here. There have been many rallies here against the accession to power [in Ukraine] of ‘fascists’ and ‘nationalists’.

“But after Russia sent its forces into Crimea and threatened war – both sides appeared ready temporarily to drop their differences and defend Ukraine. The bottom line is that this conflict is starting to unite people. Those who openly support Russian intervention are not visible right now.

“On the other hand there is the threat of the right radicals coming to power.

(snip)
London

In London, home to the largest community of Russian migrants in western Europe, an anti-war demonstration at the Russian embassy was followed by action at Trafalgar Square, where Boris Johnson was hosting a festival to mark Maslenitsa (the Russian equivalent of Shrove Tuesday). A banner saying “No invasions! Stop repressions!” was hung over the balcony of the square.

(snip)
Comments

Against what is Vladimir Putin directing this war? The story being told in the western media is that he seeks to undermine Ukraine’s new government – nationalist and right wing, with a neoliberal economist prime minister, and portfolios held mainly by members of Batkivshchina (Yulia Timoshenko’s right wing liberal party) and the extreme nationalist populists of Svoboda.

I don’t think this coalition, thrown together in the crisis that followed Yanukovich’s departure, is his main target. Rather, it is the mass movement that accompanied the Maidan protests, which brought ordinary Ukrainians into political and social action on a level unprecedented since the break-up of the Soviet Union. Above all, Putin fears the spread of protest, and popular participation, into Russia.

(snip)
But there is no question about where the greatest threat is coming from to working-class solidarity, to social movements, and to the attempts of people in Ukraine and Russia to shape their own future ... it comes from Putin’s militarism.
(snip)
Let’s support the anti-war movement and independent working-class and social movements in Ukraine and Russia however we can.
[More...]
Left Opposition: Ukraine will be saved from intervention by solidarity
The socialist union “Left Opposition” offers its assessment of the Russian aggression in Crimea and the destructive role of Ukrainian nationalists. The intervention of Russian armies was made possible as a result of a split in Ukrainian society. Its unity is impossible with the oligarchs and chauvinists in power. Only solidarity will save Ukraine.

1) We are for the self determination of Crimea only after the withdrawal of the Russian armies that are carrying out this flagrant intervention. We are for the self determination of the people, and not of the mercenary elite who “self determine” so as to protect themselves from Crimeans with the muzzles of Russian automatic weapons. The outcome of separatism in Crimea will become the rebirth of the Russian empire, which threatens a world war.

2) The justification of Putin’s aggression is the nationalist hysteria that the leaders of the Maidan have ignored. Aggressive xenophobic jokes were treated as normal, and even today on anti-war pickets we are still hearing provocative slogans like “Glory to the nation! Death to its enemies!” The Kremlin’s manipulation of these slogans has frightened the people of the East and South. However, the aggression initiated by the Russian Federation is patently imperialistic and aimed against the revolutionary republic (the genuine revolution, unfavourable for the oligarchs, only just began to unfold and it was sure to put the question of social lustration on the order of the day).

A war of liberation if led by the Ukrainian oligarchs would resolve itself in the fascisisation of society: we can expect unification around mythical national interests, an unrestrained dictatorship and the conduct of social policies aimed at concentrating wealth in the hands of the elite. Our government can claim popular legitimacy only after a social lustration has been carried out.  However, our government has been legitimised by the threat of foreign intervention – we are forced to love a regime, not our country. Government in Ukraine is progressively passing directly into the hands of the oligarchs (Kolomoisky and Taruta have become governors). The oligarchs plundered our country, and now they are demanding that hungry people stand in defense of their corrupt state!

[The statement goes on to discuss the composition of the Maidan not being uniform, and the myth of the "fascist Maidan", how radical nationalists spoiled the protest with xenophobia, opposition to linguistic determination, Russia's capitalism ("Despite the claims of Ukrainian bourgeois nationalists, there are no traces of socialism at all left in Russia"). To read all seven points click here...]

This declaration was made by the Central Committee of the Russian Socialist Federation on 1 March 2014.
War has begun. With the aim of protecting and increasing the assets of the oligarchs in Russia and in Yanukovich’s coterie, Russia’s leadership has undertaken an invasion of Ukraine. This aggression threatens catastrophic consequences for the Ukrainian and Russian peoples — most especially for the population of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Ukraine’s southeastern industrial regions.

For Ukraine, this will also mean an escalation of ethnic conflicts; for Russia, a consolidation of dictatorial power, repression, and chauvinist hysteria, with which the ruling elite will be able to neutralize mass anger against a backdrop of deepening economic crisis. We share the concern of residents of the southeast over the nationalistic tendencies of the new authorities in Kyiv.

It is, however, our firm conviction that freedom will be won not by Putin’s tanks, but by self-organization and the people’s own struggle for their civil, political, and socio-economic rights.

It goes without saying that the peoples of Ukraine have a right of self-determination, of full autonomy and independence. But what we are seeing today has nothing to do with the democratic will of the masses. It is a brazen and cynical act of Russian imperialism, aimed at annexing foreign territory and converting Ukraine into part of Russia’s protectorate.

Today, the struggle for freedom in Russia is a struggle against the foreign policy adventurism of the current regime, which seeks collusion in forestalling its own end. The RSD calls on all sincere left and democratic forces to organize anti-war protests. Our demands:

NO RUSSIAN-UKRAINIAN WAR! NO PROVOCATIONS TO BLOODSHED IN UKRAINE!

NO PITTING AGAINST ONE ANOTHER OF THE PEOPLES OF UKRAINE AND RUSSIA!

NO INTERVENTION BY THE ARMIES OF RUSSIA OR ANY OTHER COUNTRIES IN THE AFFAIRS OF CRIMEA!

FREEDOM FROM DICTATORIAL ACTS AND PEACEABLE SELF-DETERMINATION FOR THE PENINSULA’S RESIDENTS!

YES TO THE UKRAINIAN WORKERS’ STRUGGLE AGAINST OLIGARCHS AND CORRUPT OFFICIALS! NO TO ETHNIC CONFLICTS!

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Comment Preferences

  •  Still reading, (8+ / 0-)

    but thank you.

    This space for lease

    by Drewid on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 09:59:24 PM PST

  •  Thanks for your introduction, your... (17+ / 0-)

    ...excerpts, your links and your disclaimer. It's going to take a while to plough through all these (and learning the history of some of these groups will take even more time), but this is a very valuable resource in this debate.

    Thanks.

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 10:26:22 PM PST

  •  This is the kinds of stuff I'm been looking for (5+ / 0-)

    over the past few days

    I've got a diary of my own in the works about the right wing nationalist factions on both sides who are pushing for war.

    We want to build cyber magicians!

    by VelvetElvis on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 10:57:06 PM PST

  •  I do believe people, at least at this site, (4+ / 0-)

    are becoming better informed and better enlightened about this issue.  Diaries like this one and a couple of others are to be credited.

    "So listen, oh, Don't wait." Vampire Weekend.

    by Publius2008 on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 12:07:28 AM PST

  •  Thank you so much (4+ / 0-)

    I sincerely appreciate you putting all this info into a diary.

    It's always fascinating to see groups outside the US who deplore nationalism. Reminds me of how unpopular nationalism was in certain areas after WWI.

    Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

    by moviemeister76 on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 12:08:39 AM PST

  •  Thank you. Definitely a set of views that need to (3+ / 0-)

    be seen in order to get any good overall view of the situation.

    I will try to follow your links and explore farther, but I think I'm going to have to take it in small chunks, simply because there is so much contrast between this and most of what I've seen previously.

    At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

    by serendipityisabitch on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 03:02:39 AM PDT

  •  Even though I'm not on the "left" (3+ / 0-)

    I appreciate being exposed to these points of view.

    Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

    by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 03:07:18 AM PDT

  •  Meanwhile (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ZhenRen

    Pensions are going to be cut in half.... gas subsidies are gone... Minimum wage raise, gone... I'm sure the Ukrainian left will mention this sometime... I hope.... Maybe.... Some day.....

    Man, does Dr. Reed's article resound even more fiercely....

    •  Read the links (7+ / 0-)

      I can't post everything. There is a huge amount of information in the articles and interviews. Of course they not only mention the awful reforms, but oppose them vociferously.

      Newsflash: They don't support capitalism, the IMF, the WTO, the World Bank. These are anarchists I've quoted, and a few socialists who lean to libertarian forms.

      These people have reported that some of their members were beaten when they tried to openly engage with the Maidan protestors. These are the so-called far left.

      "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

      by ZhenRen on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 03:41:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Then... (0+ / 0-)

        Why didn't you post that?

        •  Because, as I said (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lotlizard, poco
          I can't post everything.
          Read the links. It will take you longer than a New York Minute. Like, half a day.

          Here, you want some EU bashing rethoric?

          From one of my links:

          The guilt for the spilled blood is partially on the EU which gladly receives money from the corrupt scumbags in Ukraine, Russia, and several African countries, while diligently neglecting to check the source of such “investments.” It is only after seeing the dead bodies of the victims of such “investors,” that it gets so very sentimental and full of humanitarian pathos.
          This is not our war, but the victory of the government will mean the defeat of the workers. The victory of the Opposition also does not promise anything good. We cannot call the proletariat to sacrifice themselves for the sake of the Opposition and its interests. We think that the extent of participation in this conflict is a matter of personal choice. However, we encourage all to avoid being drafted to serve in the internal military forces controlled by Yanukovich, and to sabotage by all means available the actions of the government.
          No gods, no masters, no nations, no borders!
          Kiev organization AWU (Autonomous Workers Union).

          "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

          by ZhenRen on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 04:04:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  This is specifically related to Crimea (5+ / 0-)

      and Russian militarism, not to the US or EU. They oppose statism, central authority.

      These linked articles are written by the same kind of people who would try to shut down the WTO (such as what occurred in Seattle).

      The difference is they actually live in the places people here talk about, they see the events occurring on the ground, before their eyes.

      "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

      by ZhenRen on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 03:49:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  idea behind this diary is ludicrous (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ZhenRen

    how on Earth Ukrainian lefties will cheer for Ukrainian oligarchs and IMF prescribed "reforms" which will enrich them more. One of the first decisions of new right wing government of Yatsenyuk (with ultra-right elements of Right Sector and Svoboda) was to ban Communist part of Ukraine and demolish Lenin statues everywhere.

    How Russia is run is matter of dispute especially in the West where media is controlled by governments and barons and there is lack of objective information, all Russian experts after scratching reveal themselves as propagandists.

    I don't doubt that Ukrainian nationalists will oppose Putin's move to annex Crimea but that's it, nationalists not lefties.

    •  You haven't read the material (7+ / 0-)

      They do not cheer the IMF, the oligarchs, the reforms, they simply don't choose between statist governments, like most readers here.

      Russia is as capitalistic as the EU and US, as far as they're concerned.

      Don't you know anything about anarchism? It isn't a choice between states, or the lesser of evil regimes. It is a rejection of central authority.

      "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

      by ZhenRen on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 04:10:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Anyway, nice of you (5+ / 0-)

      to decide which government they should embrace.  Authoritarianism... what's not to like, eh?

      "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

      by ZhenRen on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 04:42:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't decide for them, it's up to them (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ZhenRen

        I object to your erroneous description and I pointed out that opposition to Russian invasion has nothing to do with left-right divide.

        As for authoritarianism I don't see much difference between Russia and Ukraine, only that Ukraine is more corrupt, oligarchs are more greedy and government is weaker and media is more shamelessly lying.

        Nice of you to believe CNN and other Western media crap they feed on population like Guinea pigs

        •  I don't watch TV news, don't have cable (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joe from Lowell, TheHalfrican

          I have no idea what they say on CNN. I read anarcho-socialist web sites, among others. You've misread the diary. It isn't at all in support of the US/EU side of your daily kos simplistic divide. Just because they don't support Russia's imperialism and militarism (being informed of Russia's proclivities) doesn't mean they want to run into the embrace of the IMF and the EU. Please read some of the articles, visit some of the websites. You've grossly got it all wrong.

          Basically, I'm coming from a perspective similar to Howard Zinn, in terms of how to view history. Rather than see this from the perspective of one group of elites or another (represented by oligarchs, States, central powers) I try to see events from the perspective of real people. I don't make a choice for the people of that region, I read what people are saying, and I particularly want to hear from an anarchist perspective of people who live in Ukraine and Russia, since they are not supportive of capitalism, or state interference, and they have an informed view of politics untainted by typical capitalist/state socialist ideologies.

          "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

          by ZhenRen on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 09:20:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you. Am slowly reading (8+ / 0-)

    the links you provided.

    I admit - I know less than zero about the Ukraine and so have not really commented much in any of the diaries here - though I do agree that what seems to happen is that as you put it "nuance is sacrificed".

    I guess that I'm more interested in learning about the agency of players inside a particular area - factions, shifting coalitions ...too often things are attributed to left versus right in US cold war terms, not understanding what that means in other countries who have a multiplicity of parties and agendas.  

    Someone elses' "communist party" may or may not be one of the voices of the left.

    I am reminded of a remark made to me by an Italian anarchist friend who equated their communists to our conservative Democrats :)

    I wish that this same nuance would be applied to examining Venezuela.

    tipped, rec'ed and bookmarked for slow reading.

    "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition." Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon

    by Denise Oliver Velez on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 04:20:03 AM PDT

    •  Yes, same thing is being said (3+ / 0-)

      about the Ukrainian Communist Party: Might as well be conservative in terms of what they support.

      I am reminded of a remark made to me by an Italian anarchist friend who equated their communists to our conservative Democrats :)

      "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

      by ZhenRen on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 04:39:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  thanks for this (5+ / 0-)

    it's been fascinating to watch critics of american oligarchy and corruption twisting themselves into pretzels to defend a russian president who makes our very worst seem like amateurs, in comparison.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 06:00:19 AM PDT

    •  I think that it's more an issue of the situation (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lotlizard

      being more complex than is commonly reported.
         The Ukraine situation isn't "New Ukrainian govt good - Putin bad."  Russia has national interests as does the US, and a Western response that takes Russian interests into account will be more successful than one which treats Putin as another Saddam Hussein or Hitler.
        Russia has a huge stake in what happens in Ukraine. Europe, not so much. And the US has no stake whatever, except as part of a post Cold War international chess game.
         I could see a peaceful resolution in which Crimea has a referendum with a reasonable time for campaigning and international election observers... say six months from now.
        The new Ukrainian government could, in the interim, give some assurances to the ethnic Russian population and foreswear any cooperation with or participation in NATO.
        IMHO, the bluster coming from Obama and Kerry is counterproductive, unless they are saying something different in private communications with the Russians.

      •  this is just wrong (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joe from Lowell
        Russia has a huge stake in what happens in Ukraine. Europe, not so much.
        europe has an enormous stake in ukraine, beginning with the pipelines.

        a full ukraine will never join nato. cooperating with nato is no big deal. russia has cooperated with nato. the cold war is over.

        The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

        by Laurence Lewis on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 07:46:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Neoliberalism to the west, neofeudalism to the (6+ / 0-)

    east. The principal factions in Ukraine, with an annual per capita income of only $7,300, are at odds over whether to sell their country to the 1% of the West where meaningful democracy is in decline or to the oligarchs of the east where democracy is puppet theater.

    Rooting for any major players in this conflict is like cheering on a dog in a pit fight.

    The frog jumped/ into the old pond/ plop! (Basho)

    by Wolf10 on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 06:50:18 AM PDT

  •  Do they trust the IMF, and the Right Sector? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ZhenRen

    I would fear the IMF more than anything.

    And with the increased fracking, there goes the drinking water.

    Progressive, Independent, Unitarian, Vermonter.

    by Opinionated Ed on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 07:17:57 AM PDT

    •  Please reread (0+ / 0-)

      Just because their view of Russia doesn't fit your view of "Russia better than EU" doesn't mean they embrace the EU, the IMF, and the US. They're more advanced thinkers than this. Way ahead of a EU vs Russian binary.  They oppose capitalism. Russia is now raging with capitalism and corruption, and has always been willing to impose authoritarianism and serve its own interests. They do not believe there will be improvements under a Russian oligarchy than under a EU oligarchy. They see tensions increasing with a split in the country.

      But even during the time of the Russian Revolution, the Bolsheviks attacked and decimated the Makhnovists (a large anarcho-communist movement) who wanted true grass-roots socialism. When it comes to Ukraine, Russia has always served its own interests.

      "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

      by ZhenRen on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 09:06:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Still reading, but tipped and recc'd (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ZhenRen, justintime

    solely on the basis of a quick skim.  What many, both here at DKos, and out in the wider political arena fail to recognize is that diplomacy is almost always about nuance.  Certainly, the really hard work of negotiating a complex agreement over complex issues requires that each side recognize nuance in order to find areas on which common ground can be found and on which the hairs of ideological simplicity can be split.  Even on my cursory first reading, your piece attempts to bring some of those to the fore.  Kudos.

    With the Decision Points Theater, the George W. Bush Presidential Library becomes the very first Presidential Library to feature a Fiction Section.

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 08:12:52 AM PDT

  •  Historically left movements have tended (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    limpidglass, poco, ZhenRen, VelvetElvis

    to get trapped by nationalism. It is possible to argue that Stalin sacrificed the international aspirations of Marxists to the concerns of Russian nationalism. The situation in Ukraine is interesting because it has so many contemporary and historical forces in direct conflict with each other. A closer affiliation with the west represents a stronger orientation to liberal democratic traditions, but it also represents the perils of neoliberal economic policy. I don't think that anybody who is part of a radical left is going to joyfully embrace that.

    •  You're right (0+ / 0-)

      And if you bother to read, you'll notice they aren't "embracing" the neoliberalism of the EU. They see problems either direction. Russia isn't socialist, it is capitalist, and just as exploitative.

      "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

      by ZhenRen on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 08:57:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If you would bother to read (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ZhenRen

        you will note that I said embrace it joyfully. They may have to swallow it as the best of a bad bargain.

        •  Ah, okay, didn't catch the nuance (0+ / 0-)

          Lots of people misinterpreting, sorry.

          By the way, even before Stalin, the Ukrainians were being crushed by Russian Marxist-Leninist authoritarianism. The Makhnovists of the Ukraine, a rather large anarcho-socialist militant movement fighting during the Russian Revolution, consisting mostly of peasants, wanted real bottom-up socialism, and self-management, based on local, small participatory communities (which is what communism really is) and the Bolsheviks crushed the movement.

          There is a long history between Russia and Ukraine. Marx espoused the "dictatorship of the proletariat" philosophy which led to an authoritarian approach, which Bakunin astutely critiqued and presciently predicted the outcome back in the 1860s. Had Marx adopted a more libertarian form of socialism, without the top-down authoritarianism, the outcome would have been different. That's what has set back socialism.

          But Russia is now firmly capitalist (while it was state capitalist before), and interested in its own agenda.

          "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

          by ZhenRen on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 10:15:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  unfortunately, I think these protesters (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kalmoth, ZhenRen, Ezekiel in Exile

    will be exploited by the right-wing ultra-nationalists for PR value as long as it's convenient, and then thrown to the wolves.

    Richard Lyon pointed out that this happened in the Russian Revolution; I would mention also the Iranian Revolution, which initially had a socialist component, regarding economic justice and political freedom, but which was hijacked by theocrats.

    The ultra-right is interested in power, and is more ruthless and politically adroit. That's why it will prevail in a fight against the socialist left.

    Svoboda controls seven or eight ministries, including the national police forces, agriculture, education, ecology, the national prosecutor's office, and the deputy prime ministry. The Right Sektor is a skinhead militia (and one of its leaders is the second-in-command of the Ukrainian state police forces). They have immense influence and power in this new interim government. And with Russian incursions fueling anti-Russian, nationalist sentiment, they can anticipate increasing that power in the next election.

    Unfortunately, the West will cover for these fascists to a great extent. What Gandhi did only worked because the great masses in the West got to hear about it. The great masses will not hear about whatever ultra-nationalist depredations occur in Ukraine (unless it grows to epic proportions); if they do, it will be dismissed as Russian propaganda.

    If these left-wing protesters are sincere in their commitment to nonviolence, they won't fight back, whether against pro-Russian gangs or Ukrainian neo-fascists. Unfortunately, this means they will probably be overwhelmed by those willing to use violence.

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 09:21:00 AM PDT

    •  Well (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ezekiel in Exile
      unfortunately, I think these protesters (1+ / 0-)

      will be exploited by the right-wing ultra-nationalists for PR value as long as it's convenient, and then thrown to the wolves

      There are no easy answers in this. The socialists are feeling pretty gloomy, if I read them correctly. They know full well the fascists/neo-nazi presence, and they witnessed the co-opting of the protest movement. In fact they were beaten by thugs within the barricades if they showed up self-identifying as socialists or anarchists. They say the protest movement was not anything like Occupy, which used a horizontal approach, but was instead very top down. And many of the Ukrainians found the aggressive pushback of the nationalists attractive, if only because they were the ones pushing back. There is some debate within the socialist movement that they should have shown up anyway, and should have shown that it isn't just the nationalist thugs who could pushback against the oppression. But they knew the risks.

      "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

      by ZhenRen on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 10:25:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I congratulate you on this analysis. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ZhenRen, justintime

        It's great that you've exposed the DK readership to legitimate libertarian left points of view from within both Russia and the Ukraine.

        I think those of us on the legitimate left here in the U. S. share a lot with those in Russia.  We're both trying to push back against both neocons who always love a war and neoliberals who will happily risk war for profit.  Both the U. S. and Russia suffer under the domination of these groups.

        Both Russian and American leftists are faced with those pushing to demonize the "other side," when in fact, both the U. S. and Russian elites are remarkably similar, pushing for confrontation and domination abroad while seeking to sew up internal control domestically.  These "crises" are but one tool both employ to distract their own populace from the injustices they perpretrate against their own citizens.

        In commenting here at DK on this issue, I seek to do a couple of things that I think are in concert with my comrades abroad:

        1) Expose how my own imperialist country is interfering in affairs only to increase the risk of violence and injustice;

        2) Push back against those in my own country who seek to demonize "the other side" as a prelude to war;

        3) Use the war agitators' own propaganda to illustrate how our own country is imperialist, violent and ruthless in its pursuit of domination; and

        4) Urge my own country toward an isolationist and demilitarized stance until our own "house" is in order, i.e. until our own country is a place where peace and justice reign.

        I have watched for half a century while this country hyped the evil of "them" and the righteousness of "us," when the "them" was no more nor less violent and ruthless than "we" were.  They do nothing but lie.  They do nothing but try to deceive, and there are plenty willing to spout their propaganda for pay or other benefit.  As a result, extraordinary evil has been perpetrated in the name of the American  people, our country has been crippled economically by our obsession with military power and humanity's misery has been multiplied many times.

        •  Yes, understood (3+ / 0-)

          I see your point. I really want to thank you for sharing that.

          I think it can help some individuals see our side of things if they can grasp the analysis which falls outside of the typical schism.

          On the other hand, there is a lot of confusion about just what my point is, so accustomed are people in remaining within a statist paradigm. What I'm seeing is there is no conception of this for many people, and they just don't understand that the Ukrainian and Russian anarchists are viewing this from a completely different vantage point.

          It all seems to reflexively go back to which state to support out of the choices of players, as if people can't even think about a different option, and it even seems as if people feel as if this kind of thought is forbidden, even if just as a thought in one's brain!

          I suppose where I'm coming from is the idea that if this isn't discussed at all, people will never become informed.  

          "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

          by ZhenRen on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 01:19:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Absolutely. You're opening doors here. (3+ / 0-)

            I just wanted to say that I don't think that most of us who are pushing hard against the war party here have any love for Russian authoritarianism.

            We've just seen this game played so often over decades that it infuriates us to see it tried again, especially here on a site that would have no existence if it had not been for anti-war sentiment.

    •  Lenin. Khomeini. Where's the mastermind? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thanatokephaloides

      Everything I've read about Khomeini suggests he was a master manipulator that would feel at home in Westeros. He had everyone from Iran's left to Jimmy Carter wrapped around his finger and nobody realized what was really happening until it was too late.

      "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

      by TheHalfrican on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 08:43:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  one more reason for contemplation... (4+ / 0-)

    the newly appointed regional governors don't just have ties to Ukrainian oligarchs - they ARE oligarchs.

  •  Tipped, recced, and links bookmarked. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ZhenRen

    I couldn't rec most of the comments as they were >24 hours old by the time I first read the diary.

    I note that the " Declaration of Internationalists against the war in Ukraine" states in its last line that

    The statement is open for signature
    yet I could find no place in the site to affix mine. (Of the 5 major alphabets, I have the hardest time with Cyrillic; I actually do better with Hebrew.)

    Nevertheless, a very good diary indeed; and a viewpoint far too lacking in almost all press coverage of the Ukraine-Crimea mess.

    Thank You!

    "It's high time (and then some) that we put an end to the exceptionalistic nonsense floating around in our culture and face the fact that either the economy works for all, or it doesn't work AT all." -- Sean McCullough (DailyKos user thanatokephaloides)

    by thanatokephaloides on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 02:14:49 PM PDT

  •  Oh, also: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wreck Smurfy, ZhenRen
    No war between peoples! No peace between classes!
    Amen! Ceiling Cat be praised!!

    "It's high time (and then some) that we put an end to the exceptionalistic nonsense floating around in our culture and face the fact that either the economy works for all, or it doesn't work AT all." -- Sean McCullough (DailyKos user thanatokephaloides)

    by thanatokephaloides on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 02:17:39 PM PDT

    •  Indeed. As a socialist and internationalist (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ZhenRen

      I admit I've been tending to back one statist horse against the other during the past few days, forgetting that it's always about the classes. This diary has helped bring me back, just by making me aware of some voices I hadn't heard from yet. T&R.

      -8.38, -7.74 My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. - Jack Layton

      by Wreck Smurfy on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:39:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Just happened to be catching up on comments (0+ / 0-)

        when your comment appeared. Yours made my day. Thanks... you understood the essence of the diary. Thanks.

        "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

        by ZhenRen on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:42:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  You're one of the few on this site who's (0+ / 0-)

    adopted an independent/anarchist perspective on the potentially very dangerous events in Ukraine. Most of those who have a point of view are so subsumed in the propaganda efforts of one side or another that they cannot think critically and forget about the people caught in the middle.

    I'd only add that Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Belarus are all "projects" of the EU Eastern Partnership, and integration (however you interpret that) of these Eastern Territories with the EU is the goal.

    There is no sign at all that the headlong rush of Yatsenyuk and the rest of the Ukrainian technocrats and fascists into the arms of the EU will improve the lot of the Ukrainian peoples, any more than submitting to Russian control would.

    As you strongly suggest, there is no better option on the table for the Ukrainian peoples.

    So it is in Crimea, so it is in the rest of Ukraine, and ultimately, so it will be in the whole of the Eastern Partnership.

    The anarcho-analysis of the situation strikes me as more correct one, yet how strong must be their frustration to see these events unfold and be largely powerless to prevent them?

    Thanks for assembling so many resources for review and consideration. This site is badly in need of them.

    Blogging as Ché Pasa since 2007.

    by felix19 on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 07:20:43 AM PDT

  •  I came across this diary awfully late... (0+ / 0-)

    ...but I still want to add a dead-thread "thanks" for all your hard work in case you ever happen to see it. :-D

    It's thorough, and thoughtful, and doesn't fall into the this-team-that-team binary trap, and it's going to probably take me forever to digest.

    PW

    "No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream." --MLK

    by Progressive Witness on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 07:55:40 AM PDT

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