In Digest, Ukraine

Original document in Ukrainian here

The Communist Party of Ukraine (Petro Symonenko), Progressive Socialist Party (Natalia Vitrenko), Worker’s Party (Svyatoslav Bondarchuk), Leninsky Komsomol of Ukraine, and the Union of Soviet Officers have signed an agreement to merge their political efforts.

A constituent assembly meeting was held in Kyiv on June 12, 2015 to create an all-Ukrainian public association of the left and center-left parties and social organizations. It is called the ‘Left Opposition’.

A memorandum signed by the parties (text below) creates a united left opposition’ which will fight for the principles of democracy and social justice, against social and national genocide of Ukrainians, against fascism and for the restoration of relations with Russia. The Left Opposition is led by Petro Symonenko, Natalia Vitrenko, Olympic champion Rudolf Povarnitsyn and philosopher Georgy Kryuchkov.

Manifesto of the all-Ukrainian coalition of left and left-centrist political parties and public organizations, ‘Left Opposition’

The course of domestic and foreign policy in Ukraine, especially after the February (2014) coup, is leading our country to the loss of state sovereignty, division and fratricidal civil war, economic collapse, and social and ethnic genocide that threatens the collapse of Ukraine and the provoking by external forces of a third world war.

Having signed the economic association agreement with the European Union and now dutifully carrying out the draconian requirements of the International Monetary Fund, Ukraine has lost its economic and political independence. Ukraine is de facto under the control of external powers. Its domestic and foreign policies are being defined by the United States and the international financial oligarchy.

By implementing through so-called reforms the bankrupt model of peripheral, neoliberal capitalism, and by abandoning integration with the countries of the Customs Union [Eurasian Economic Union], Ukraine has condemned itself to de-industrialization, the seizure by oligarchic clans of public property built by several generations of Soviet people, the loss of millions of jobs, poverty and extinction of the population. Today, the gross domestic product of Ukraine has not even reached 60 per cent of the 1990 level. The national industry of Ukraine is being ruined and its leading export-oriented branches are being destroyed. The financial system of the country has been brought to the verge of default. The exploitation of the labour force is one of the highest in the world, with salaries at the level of the poorest African countries. Health services and education are virtually inaccessible for the majority of the population.

The building of a monist, national state with a national-chauvinist ideology has led to massive violations of the constitution of Ukraine and the norms and principles of international law, and to mass discrimination against the population on the basis of linguistic, national, regional and confessional grounds. The Ukrainian state has proved unable to protect the legal rights, lives and safety of its citizens.

Grossly violating constitutional procedure, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has adopted and implemented four recent laws:

  • “On the condemnation of the Communist and National Socialist (Nazi) totalitarian regimes in Ukraine and prohibition of propaganda of their symbols”
  • “On the legal status and the commemoration of fighters for Ukrainian independence in the twentieth century”
  • “On perpetuation of victory over the Nazis in World War II, 1939-1945.”
  • “On access to the archives of the repressive organs of the communist totalitarian regime’s 1917-1991”

These laws are not only a reflection of the totalitarian nature of the ruling regime now in power in Ukraine but are also cynical falsifications of history and revisions of the decisions of the Nuremberg Military Tribunal following World War Two. They are a challenge to the world community. Introduction of censorship by violating the constitution of Ukraine, manipulation of public consciousness, intimidation and persecution of dissidents, persecution of the canonical Orthodox Church, anti-constitutional bans on political parties, repressions and physical violence against ideological and political opponents—these are, without doubt, extremely dangerous violations of standards and norms of democracy, universally recognized in the civilized world. They deprive the Ukrainian people of the right to free expression.

In these circumstances, we, the representatives of opposition political parties and public organizations declare that we are uniting our efforts within a civic coalition ‘Left Opposition’ with a goal of SAVING UKRAINE AND PROTECTING the rights of our compatriots to peace, prosperity and security in the country, freedom of speech and belief, fair trial, truly democratic elections, and building of a stated, based on social justice, democracy, and the rule of law.

We will seek, above all, an immediate end to the bloodshed in the east of the country through a peaceful settlement of the conflict based on a strict implementation of the Minsk Agreements [of Feb. 12, 2015] and on the decentralization of power.

We believe that ensuring a lasting peace in Ukraine and taking Ukraine out of a deep, all-encompassing crisis and to bring it back into the circle of the advanced countries of the continent is impossible without restoring neighborly, equal and mutually beneficial relations with the Russian Federation and Belarus. It is with these countries, not the United States and European Union countries, that we share a common history, culture, spirituality and civilizational values. History has proven that the territorial integrity and independence of Ukraine have been preserved only through unity with our neighbor countries and brotherly peoples.

We believe that stopping social genocide and stopping the destruction of the national economy is impossible without abandoning the neo-liberal course of pseudo-reforms presently implemented under the dictate of the West. We advocate a new industrialization of Ukraine on the basis of modern technological innovation, drawing on domestic intellectual, labour, natural and technical resources. Our alternative to neo-liberalism is a socio-economic model based on principles of social justice and people’s power.

We advocate a DOMESTIC AND FOREIGN POLICY in accordance with the principles of the Declaration of State Sovereignty of Ukraine which guarantees its non-aligned (neutral) status; INTER-ETHNIC RELATIONS based on the principles of international law and the provisions of the Declaration of Rights of Nationalities of Ukraine; and a STATUS OF THE RUSSIAN LANGUAGE as a second, official language.

We oppose the humiliation and betrayal of the military and labor feats of our fathers and grandfathers, who defeated the fascist invaders in World War II and who by their heroic labor to restored our homeland from the ruins and raised it, during Soviet times, to the world top of economic, scientific and spiritual progress. We are categorically against the imposition in our country of neo-Nazism, againstthe rehabilitation and glorification of accomplices of Nazi invaders.

We call upon the political parties, public organizations, all those who care for our homeland, who share our assessment of the present political and socio-economic situation, and goals and objectives, put forward in the manifesto, Join the patriotic coalition ‘Left Opposition’.

Note by New Cold War.org editors:
A commentary on the manifesto of the newly-formed Left Opposition has been published by Victor Shapinov on behalf of the Borotba left-wing association in Ukraine. You can read it here (in English).

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