Archive for Ukrainian left

Levy: Donbass workers divided

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on July 11, 2014 by Adrian J Ivakhiv

In “Workers of Donbass divided by Kremlin-backed violence,” People and Nature editor Gabriel Levy interviews an eastern Ukrainian labor activist and presents a view of a weak and marginalized left in eastern Ukraine.

Maidan & the Left: “Libertarian in spirit”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on June 16, 2014 by Adrian J Ivakhiv

In a report on the recent conference “The Left and the Maidan,” held in Kyiv in April, Russian trade unionist Kirill Buketov (of the Global Labour Institute and the International Union of Food and Agricultural Workers) provides a detailed overview of the role of the political left in the Maidan movement.

Buketov argues that while the Maidan cannot be adequately described as either left-wing or right-wing in its political character — according to polls, “93% of the Maidan participants were distant from politics” and only 7% “had a political position and belonged to one political group or another” — in spirit it was “left-wing” and “libertarian.”

“Driven by protest against corruption and tyranny, against humiliation and oppression, by masses of people who felt their dignity had been offended by their rulers’ lies,”

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More views from the left

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on June 2, 2014 by Adrian J Ivakhiv

In “Eastern Ukraine: Popular Uprising, Conspiracy, or Civil War?” leftish cultural-political magazine n+1  presents a very interesting and diverse collection of interviews with left-wing activists in Ukraine and Russia on the events of the last few months.

And Observer Ukraine presents an interview with Left Opposition activist and lawyer Vitaliy Dudin.

An earlier interview with Zakhar Popovych (also included in the n+1 article) has been translated here.

Velychenko: Prelude to the present

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on May 25, 2014 by Adrian J Ivakhiv

In “Ukrainian Marxists and Russian Imperialism 1918-1923: Prelude to the Present in Eastern Europe’s Ireland,” historian Stephen Velychenko provides some interesting background to the debate about what happened to the Ukrainian left. The article is long, but worth reading, as it covers an important historical episode in the relations between the Ukrainian left and the Russian left that, Velychenko suggests, is echoed in debates among leftists today.

Velychenko writes:

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Left Opposition: For an independent socialist Ukraine

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on May 11, 2014 by Adrian J Ivakhiv

The short answer to the question “Where is the left in Ukraine today?” is that it’s weak and divided. Weak because 70 years of Soviet rule discredited it for many and 22 years of oligarchy marginalized it. Divided because while many leftists in central and western Ukraine support the interim government, much of the southern and eastern left is ambivalent or fights on either side.

The Ukrainian workers’ movement Left Opposition has tried to steer the divide by calling for a national workers’ movement that would focus on shared economic goals as against the pro-EU orientation of the Maidan and interim government, but also against the pro-Russia positions of the separatists.

In a statement from last week, they discuss how other groups have been drawn into the growing divide — socialist union “Borot’ba” on the pro-Russian side, anarchists and anti-fascists on the pro-Maidan side — and call for unity among Leftists.

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Ishchenko: For nuance

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on April 15, 2014 by Adrian J Ivakhiv

In “Maidan or anti-Maidan? The Ukraine situation requires more nuance,” sociologist Volodymyr Ishchenko attempts to carve out a progressive socialist position on the Ukraine conflict, one that would “support progressive wings of both Maidan and anti-Maidan, and try to unite them against the Ukrainian ruling class and against all nationalisms and imperialisms on shared demands for social justice.”

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Pilash: “Trapped… in a vicious circle”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on March 16, 2014 by Adrian J Ivakhiv
The following interview with Denis Pilash of the Left Opposition in Kyiv was carried out by SYRIZA (the Greek “Coalition of the Radical Left”). It was passed onto me by Marko Bojcun and can be read here in full. As it hasn’t been printed anywhere else yet (to my knowledge), I am sharing it here in full.

Question: The European Union has started a game that it is not able to finish. It (EU) couldn’t predict the reaction of Moscow?

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Ishchenko: No revolution, just a change of elites

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on March 7, 2014 by Adrian J Ivakhiv

Of all the political analysts I trust in Ukraine, Volodymyr Ishchenko has been the most critical of the Maidan and the new government. While his views should be contextualized among others (some of which I have shared on this blog), he expresses concerns that should be taken seriously. The following is his summary of the “new order.”


Ukraine has not experienced a genuine revolution, merely a change of elites

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Responding to concerns on the Leftt

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on March 7, 2014 by Adrian J Ivakhiv

I’ve been engaging in some vigorous e-mail conversation about Ukraine with a group of local left-wing political thinkers. The following are a few pieces of that conversation that seem worth sharing. These comments are in the nature of a quick exchange, so I am not providing sources here (except for a few), but previous posts on this blog provide further background, and I’d be happy to provide more upon request.


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Ukrainian leftists’ & anarchists’ statement

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on March 3, 2014 by Adrian J Ivakhiv

This statement by the Autonomous Workers Union and the Direct Action Independent Student Union makes clear the rift within the Ukrainian left between those who broadly support the anti-Yanukovych movement, participating in the Maidan to varying degrees, and those — primarily Borot’ba, but also the Progressive Socialist Party and Oplot — who align themselves with pro-Russian and Eurasianist forces.

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