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Statement of left and anarchist organizations about "Borotba" organization

category russia / ukraine / belarus | the left | press release author Thursday March 06, 2014 14:19author by Left and anarchist organizations Report this post to the editors

We, the collectives and members of Ukrainian leftist and anarchist organizations, announce that “Borotba” union is not a part of our movement. During the whole time of this political project’s existence, its members tended to be committed to the most discredited, conservative and authoritarian “leftist” regimes and ideologies, which do not represent the interests of working classes in any way.


Statement of left and anarchist organizations about "Borotba" organization

We, the collectives and members of Ukrainian leftist and anarchist organizations, announce that “Borotba” union is not a part of our movement. During the whole time of this political project’s existence, its members tended to be committed to the most discredited, conservative and authoritarian “leftist” regimes and ideologies, which do not represent the interests of working classes in any way.

”Borotba” has proved itself an organization with a non-transparent funding mechanism and unscrupulous principles of cooperation. It uses hired workers, who are not even the members of the organization. The local cells of “Borotba” took part in the protest actions together with PSPU (Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine, which is an anti-Semitic, racist, and clerical party, and has no relation to the world socialist movement) and with Kharkiv pro-government, anti-Semitic and homophobic group “Oplot”; and are known for their linkage with an infamous journalist O.Chalenko, who openly stands for Russian chauvinism.

Recent events demonstrate that the leadership of this union, following the example of the “Communist” Party of Ukraine, have been overtly defending the interests of president Yanukovych, justifying the use of weapons by security forces and denying the acts of unjustified violence and cruelty on their part, the use of tortures and other forms of political terror. The representatives of “Borotba” take an extremely biased stance concerning the composition of protest movement, which is represented both on their own web resources and in the media commentaries. According to them, the Maidan protests are supported exclusively by nationalists and radical right, and were aimed only at a coup d’etat (“fascist putsch”).

We stand on antifascist positions, and our activists have often been victims of radical rightists’ attacks. We do not support some of the Maidan’s ideas, and are against the bourgeois opposition. We also condemn conservative, nationalist, and radical right sentiments, which are tolerated in the protesters’ circles nowadays. However, we emphasize that labeling all active citizens as “fascists” is not only false, but also dangerous. This one-sidedness is fueling chauvinist hysteria and divides society, which is only favourable for the ruling class.

On January 24th, the region council deputy and “Borotba” representative Oleksiy Albu participated in the protection of Odesa region administration building against “Nazis”, accompanied by Russian Cossacks and nationalists (“Slavic Unity”) and the members of ruling Party of Regions and Communist Party. In his later interview, he admitted his cooperation with the Security Service of Ukraine. On March 1st, “Borotba” activists together with pro-Putin organizations took part in the assault on Kharkiv region state administration, which resulted in raising of a Russian flag and severe beating of many Kharkiv Maidan activists, including a leftist poet Serhiy Zhadan. The members of “Borotba” call all of this “an antifascist action” and claim that these violent actions were aimed against radical rightists.

Therefore, we conclude that the leadership of “Borotba” union not only support the authoritarian Soviet past, but also consciously manipulate public opinion, and are acting as “pocket revolutionaries” of the ruling elites. Their activity at the moment does not have anything in common with leftist politics and class struggle, and is aimed at the support of pro-Putinist forces behind the mask of “antifascism” and “communism”. Thus, the actions of this organization are discrediting both its name (which is derived from revolutionaries-“borotbists” of the beginning of the XXth century) and all the modern Ukrainian left in general. Moreover, “Borotba” does not disdain overt lies and fact manipulations, deceiving foreign leftists and antifascists.

We urge all the conscious revolutionaries, who are still the members of “Borotba”, to leave this treacherous, pro-bourgeois union and to cease all the political relations with its leadership. We also hope that European and Russian left will reconsider their attitude to “Borotba.” The organization of this kind should be isolated.

No gods, no masters, no nations, no borders!

Workers of all countries – unite!

Autonomous Workers Union
Independent Student Union "Direct Action"

Journal of literature and social critique ProStory
Editorial board of
Anarchist Black Cross – Ukraine
Anarcha-feminist collective Good Night Macho Pride
Anti-Fascist Action
Ivan Shmatko
Ostap Kuchma
Oleksandr Bogachenko-Mishevsky
Andriy Rosdolsky
Sviatoslav Stetskovych
Andriy Zdorov
Myroslav Chaikovsky
Serhii Ischenko
Pavlo Myronov
Vadym Gudyma (Left Opposition)
Olga Papash

(The statement is open for further signatories, organizations as well as individuals)

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author by Catherinepublication date Sat Mar 08, 2014 03:50Report this post to the editors

So, here we are again. The old and tired brawling in Ukraine continues despite the current collapse of the country. Two marginal admittedly ‘left’ sects in Ukraine amidst fascist coup and far-right terror on streets try to accuse the leftwing forces and organizations that organize anti-fascist resistance.

It’s not for the first time, however, the dogs bark, but the caravan moves on.

Despite the irrelevance, of the statement against ‘Borotba’, we need to clear up some facts. The statement that “Borotba” union is not a part of our movement” is true in some aspects. We are not part of the movement that tried to collaborate with far-right and Nazi forces that dominate in Euromaidan protest. We are not part of the movement that – like those small sects – that tried to hide their ‘leftism’ in Euromaidan while actually helping to bring to power open Nazis and just another clan of oligarchs that accepts IMF loans and austerity measures.

We are not part of the movement that actually backs clerical, conservative and reactionary sentiments. The signatures of the smearing statement just pretend to be anti-conservative at the same time backing nationalist, clerical and anti-semitic protest in Euromaidan. Some of them have given in to patriotic intoxications - ready to be enlisted in the army so that to defend nazi-junta and its oligarchs. A hundred years after WWI beginning and we are at the same situation again.

We are not part of the movement that takes sides according to orders given from NGOs. We are not part of the movement that tries to hide left symbolic and social slogans in current situation. We are not part of the movement that buys into nationalist and patriotic hysteria spreading all over the country. We are not part of the movement that tries to defend the coup on behalf of Nazis, oligarchs and IMF. We are not part of the movement that tries to diminish the role of Nazis in Euromaidan or even whitewash their image when even mainstream western media show far-right paramilitaries roaming over the streets.

In short, we are not the part of the movement that has nothing common with left and antifascist stance. Thus, we are and have always been a leftwing and antifascist organization. We condemn ex-regime of Yanukovich and the new far-right government as well. We condemn Russian and Western interference in Ukrainian affairs as well as militarist patriotic intoxication induced by new power.

We stay strong on our left positions, though we are targeted by boneheads, far-right nationalists from Right Sector and ‘Svoboda’ paramilitaries. Our office in Kiev was recently looted and ransacked. Our members are victims of far-right violence. Some activists of the ‘Borotba’ union had to go underground so that to continue anti-fascist struggle. And in such a situation the smearing statement seems to be a denounce addressed to far-right militants.

As for the recent events in Kharkiv (March 1, 2014) we should highlight the following facts. There was a mass rally of different forces opposing Euromaidan. People decided to free the building of Kharkiv Regional State Administration earlier seized by Euromaidan supporters. After negotiations most Euromaidan supporters agreed to leave the building. Some militants (mostly from the Right Sector but some liberals too) rejected to obey the decision of Euromaidan majority and decided to stay in. Activists of ‘Borotba’ participated in the mass rally near the building carrying on agitation of internationalist and anti-fascist stance (and were criticized for that by some pro-Russian citizens). The mass rally rushed to storm the seized building after somebody has thrown into the crowd the flash-bang grenade. A crowd burst into building and captured some of the militants from Right Sector and a group of liberals that stayed with them (including poet Serhiy Zhadan). Then followed attempts of lynching made by excited crowd. Activists of ‘Borotba’ tried to stop by all possible means the lynching of captured Euromaidan supporters. So, the accusation of ‘Borotba’ is not only irrelevant but looks like a sheer hypocrisy from those who tried to ignore the practice of lynching dissenters regularly made by far-right Euromaidan supporters in Kiev and other cities. All the accusations of ‘Borotba’ union are sheer slander of some pro-nationalists groups or individuals.

We firmly follow internationalist antifascist and class line as our basic stance. We are against both Russian and Ukrainian nationalisms that are being used now only for dividing working class and further plundering of the country. We do not back Russian nationalist organizations as well as Ukrainian ones. All the smear campaign of our organization led by far-right groups and caught up by some admittedly ‘left’ groups will not stop us to organize anti-fascists resistance.

No Pasaran!

No gods, no masters, no nations, no borders!

Workers of all countries – unite!

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