Statement of Ukrainian left and anarchist organizations about “Borotba”

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The situation in Ukraine is perilous for both ordinary Ukrainians and anti-authoritarian and anarchist groups, with much of the protest movement being infiltrated by neo-fascists and neo-nazis, while the pro-Russian groups are in lock-step with Putin’s authoritarian politics, as he anoints himself leader of world “conservatism” while using anti-fascist rhetoric to justify the Russian annexation of Crimea, and threaten the invasion of the rest of Ukraine. One of the “anti-fascist left” groups supporting Putin is the “Borotba” party, from which genuine left revolutionary and anarchist groups have distanced themselves, as demonstrated in the following statement from the Autonomous Workers Union and the Independent Student Union “Direct Action” group.

Statement of Ukrainian left and anarchist organizations about “Borotba”

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 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 Odessa 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 (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.” An 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”

Russian Anarchists

Russian Anarchists

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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Your denunciation of Borotba reminds me of Stalinist type slanders. Their websites make it clear they are ant nationalist of both Ukrainian and Russian varieties and opposed to secessionism. If the Maidan movement was so left as you claim how did the rightists seize power while Maidan participants stood by or even ‘voted’ for it? The Yatsenyuk regime is now proceeding to recruit forces to wage civil war against its opponents, ie the majority of Ukrainians, yet you find it more important to attack other left organisations.

    • Unfortunately, this comment is itself very reminiscent of Marxist Leninist and Stalinist denunciations of anarchist groups. Notice how the author turns an anarchist critique of a more orthodox leftist group into a claim that the anarchists claim that the Maidan movement is “so left.” That is not what the statement of the left and anarchist organizations says. The statement makes clear that the left and anarchist organizations that wrote this critique of Borotba are anti-fascist, and even some of the more orthodox leftists in Russia and Ukraine have admitted that the only groups on the left that took on the rightists on the streets in Ukraine were the anarchists. The commentator instead tries to portray them as assisting the fascists by attacking other “left” organizations.

  2. You guys are crazy. A monster is stalking the streets of Kiev, intent on rallying reactionary forces to wage war on the Ukrainian people as a whole. Instead of fiorming a united front against fascism you are more interested in ‘proving’ you are more revolutionary than other left organisations. Wake up ! Yatsenyuk is launching a civil war against all opposed to the Rightist reactionaries.

    • Who is crazy? The anarchists or someone who completely ignores the very real threat of civil war initiated by Yanukovych and Putin’s Russia? Where is the evidence that Yatsenyuk is about to launch a civil war against Ukrainians, when he is facing the threat of a Russian invasion?

      • For a “leftist” analysis that suggests there will neither be a Russian invasion of Ukraine or a civil war within Ukraine, see Boris Kagarlitsky: ‘Polite intervention’ and the Ukrainian uprising, at http://links.org.au/node/3752.

  3. if this is actual state of anarchistm in ukraine it is much much worse than i thought…

  4. […] Statement of the Ukrainian left on “Borotba” […]


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