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An Orange Revolution?

The presidential elections in Ukraine were a power struggle between the USA and Russia

The presidential elections in late November in Ukraine provoked a crisis. Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich was declared the winner. Opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko accused him of fraud and won the run-off election in late December. During the electoral battle both candidates organised their supporters into giant demonstrations in the capital Kiev: the Yanukovich supporters marched with blue flags, the Yushchenko people with orange.

The western media speak of Yushchenko's victory as a massive and unstoppable democracy movement, an "Orange Revolution." But since when does the capitalist press consider a revolution a positive thing? Something suspicious is going on here....

The President is leaving

Naturally there is a lot of anger directed against Yanukovich (who was appointed successor by the departing president Kuchma). Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, when lots of people were expecting the introduction of democracy, there has been little more than mass unemployment, poverty, crises and violence.

Entire industries were levelled, others were sold to foreign companies at discount prices. A handful of Ukranians got unimaginably rich, at the same time as millions lost their job (and the associated health and child care).

Corruption rules the land. A giant army of state bureaucrats, which despite the new "democracy" hasn't changed much, steals as much as they possibly can.

Yanukovich gets his support from the heavily industrialised East and South of the country and the Russian-speaking minority that lives there. When the Ukraine was part of the USSR, this minority was supported by state Russification policies. Now they fear they will be "overrun" by the Ukranian-speaking West of the country.

Yanukovich is supported politically by the Russian President Putin, with press conferences and - how shall we say - less open means: his opponent was poisoned, probably by the Russian secret services. So the one candidate is a puppet of local capitalists and Russian imperialists - who is the challenger?

Democracy made in USA

At the Opposition demonstrations in Kiev, one thing always stood out: the orange clothing. Every man, woman and child wore an orange scarf, an orange shirt, a hat, a pin. Are we to believe that all Ukranians store kilos of orange clothes at home, waiting for such an event? No! This is a sign (next to the concert venues, the giant TV screens and laser shows that can be seen at every Opposition demo) that there is a lot of money behind this "movement". A whole lot of money.

Why? Yushchenko is not the "simple man" pushed forward by the masses that the media would have us think. In reality he belongs to the innermost elite of the country. Yushchenko served under Kuchma for many years, as head of the Central Bank and even as Prime Minister. Among his supporters can be found some of the country's richest capitalists, for example the member of parliament Julia Timoshenko, who earned billions through the privatisations of the 90s.

The US State Department also gave over 60 million dollars, via various NGOs to this "democracy movement." US imperialism supporting a democracy movement would be a totally new phenomenon – normally the State Department restricts its aid to the worst of dictators: Pinochet in Chile, Saddam in Iraq, etc.

Forward! Where to?

We are dealing with two candidates who are very similar. They are both named "Victor Y." and are both members of the Ukranian elite. The crisis is a result of divisions within the ruling class of the Ukraine about the direction the country should take. Some of them call for a strengthening of the ties to Russia, others want to orient more to Western Europe and the US.

Whether the imperialists plundering the country speak English or Russian is a question of secondary importance – wages and working conditions will stay bad!

The mobilisations have shown that demos can have a big effect. But even if a million people marched through the streets of Kiev, they wouldn't accomplish anything as long as they are marching behind one capitalist politician or the other.

Both candidates want to make it possible for the biggest possible profits to be made in Ukraine. For this they must increasingly exploit the workers, farmers and youth of the country. Poverty, unemployment, corruption – all the problems faced by the people of Ukraine – are integral parts of this profit system, of capitalism.

The workers can be more than pawns in the chess game of the imperialist powers. They can take the industry of the country into their own hands. They must not always be victims of bureaucratic privatisations, they could decide themselves how to run the factories. They don't have to produce for the American and Russian capitalists for all eternity, they can produce for themselves together with the workers of the USA and Russia.

To be brief: the workers of Ukraine don't need an orange Revolution, they need a red (socialist) one!

What are the youth up to?

They played an important role in the protests of the Opposition. The central squares of Kiev were occupied for two weeks: the tent cities were manned by school and university students and young workers.

It is funny to hear how the bourgeois press of the west heaps praise on these young demonstrations: "their dedication, passion, creativity make it possible to change something in society" etc. etc.

What a contrast to the reporting in the very same papers about the young demonstrators on May Day in UK: "Violent anarchist thugs!!!"

Perhaps if we marched behind a neoliberal politician like Gordon Brown, the Daily Mail would have something nice to say about us! (REVO: We are not really suggesting this...)

//by Huey from Berlin-Kreuzberg //REVOLUTION[uk] #68
//German original in REVOLUTION[de] #9
//more stuff in English from REVOLUTION Germany

RIO • Revolutionäre Internationalistische Organisation • www.revolution.de.com • info[ät]revolution.de.com • (c)opyleft   

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