IMF wants austerity in Ukraine

The International Monetary Fund has agreed to give Ukraine between 10 en 13 billion euros. But in order to get this money, the nationalist government in Kiev, must enforce cruel austerity programs. Gas subsidies are to be lowered, prices for Gas must be raised. Also the economy of Ukraine must be rebuild to create a capitalist ''heaven'' ( hell for workers ) for foreign investors. These austerity programs will proof that the nationalist government does not represent the people. It also shows how hypocrite the far-right nationalists are. Five ministers of Ukraine are members of the far-right: All-Ukrainian Union "Svoboda". This party used to be the Social-National Party of Ukraine, a neo-nazi party who glorified the Waffen SS. Svoboda claims to oppose fascism, but they remain anti-Semitic, anticommunist and dogmatic anti-Russian!

Ukraine is in turmoil. The Crimea has separated itself from Ukraine and has joined the Russian Federation. Kiev has rejected the separation, but can do nothing against the Kremlin bureaucracy led by Vladimir Putin, who took Crimea. While the Republic of Crimea joined Russia, Ukraine has moved towards Europe and the western world. The nationalist government has agreed to the IMF deal, which gives Ukraine billions of euros. But like in Greece, the price is high. The IMF wants brutal austerity, so that the Ukrainian economy can serve the needs of global capitalism! 

Russia and Ukraine are in a struggle over Crimea. Formerly a part of the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic until 1954, when Nikita Khrushchev ( an ethnic Ukrainian ) gave it to the Ukrainian Socialist Soviet Republic. Crimea was always ethnic Russian, today 58% of its population speaks Russian. Ethnic Ukrainians and Tartars are a minority, they feel threatened by the chauvinist Russians who have taken control of the Crimea. There are reports about intimidations and violence against those who support the nationalist Kiev government. During the public referendum, almost all Ukrainians and Tartars stayed home. The outcome of the referendum proofed what many feared, it was manipulated to give the Russian invasion legitimacy. Revolutionary socialists therefore say that under the current conditions in the Crimea, the referendum was not free and not fair!

The Russian oligarchy claims that the rulers in Kiev are all fascists. This is not true, "Svoboda" is nationalist, anticommunist and deeply anti-Russian. But they have to share power with liberal conservatives, ''Euromaiden'' activists and none-partisans. Although the nationalists have five ministers, the prime minister of Ukraine is a member of the: All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland" ("Batkivshchyna"). "Batkivshchyna" is the party of former prime minister; Yulia Volodymyrivna Tymoshenko. Her party took power after the pro-Russian government of Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych was removed from power!

"Batkivshchyna" and "Svoboda" also share power with ''Euromaiden'' activists. These people are not members of a political party, but participated in the demonstrations against Yanukovych. Three ministers are ''Euromaiden'' activists and eight are non-partisan. Still because "Svoboda" is a radical nationalist party, the Kremlin has denounced the whole government as ''fascist'' which is not true. "Batkivshchyna" is a liberal conservative party, pro-European and anti-Russian. To call the whole government ''fascist'' is a tactic used to scare the Russian people and it worked. Many Russians now believe that Kiev is under ''fascist'' control!

But we revolutionary socialists reject the Kiev government. Not because we call it pure ''fascist'' but because it is right-wing nationalist and pro-capitalist. The Yanukovych regime is gone, but because there was no genuine workers party to lead the masses, right-wing liberals and nationalist forces were able to take power. Also because the Communist Party of Ukraine supported Yanukovych, Marxist ideals are equalled with Russia. Many Lenin statues and Soviet memorials have been vandalized, because the official communist party supports Russian chauvinism!

Ukraine is now deeply divided. Most Ukrainians support the Kiev government and hate the Russians. This is the result of 70 years of Stalinist oppression. When Ukraine joined the USSR it was equal to the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic. But this changed after Stalin took power. He started to enforce Russian language and dominance over the other Soviet republics. By the time of his death, the culture and traditions of Russia were enforced throughout the Soviet-Union. Ukrainians saw how Russians were giving special privileges and they hated this. After Gorbachev became general secretary of the communist party, he gave more freedoms to the Soviet republics. By 1990, Ukrainian nationalism was very strong as many young Ukrainians wanted an independent state. The collapse of the USSR gave birth to a new Ukraine, a corrupt capitalist Ukraine!

Now the IMF and the Kiev government have made a deal. This deal is good for the oligarchs who still have a lot to say. Many super rich support the European Union and would love to see Ukraine, become a member state. Opening Ukraine to European capitalism would be good for capitalists, but bad for workers. Because Ukraine ( like most nations ) lack a party for workers, the ruling class can use the proletariat to advance their cause. Workers can be manipulated into supporting people, who do not care about them. A lack of class-concious is the reason, as most workers do not understand how they can change their own lives. Capitalist propaganda has weakened the workers movement and the official communist party is not helping. They have been stuck in Stalinist nostalgia since 1991!

The demands of the International Monetary Fund are clear. Privatisations, deregulations and major cuts in state subsidies. Workers must reject these demands and fight this capitalist-nationalist government. Ukrainian workers and Russian workers must not become pawns in this game. Both the Kiev nationalist government and the Kremlin bureaucracy do not support workers and their families. Only a workers party on a socialist program can end the corruption and exploitation. It is therefore vital that Ukrainians build a party for themselves. They cannot trust the All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland" or the All-Ukrainian Union "Svoboda". Right-wing nationalists spread hate and violence. Against their terror we must unite, but not by joining up with the Kremlin or those Russian chauvinists who wave with Czarist flags!

Socialism is the only alternative. Workers must build a republic for the working class, a socialist republic on the bases of the original Ukrainian Socialist Soviet Republic. This will be difficult in a world were the USSR is both demonized and glorified. Anticommunists spread lies about the nature of the Soviet-Union, they claim that Lenin and Stalin were equal and that communism is a ''totalitarian'' ideology. Stalinists on the other hand glorify the USSR. The leadership of the the Communist Party of Ukraine has started to use Stalin's face again on propaganda material. This is ironic because after 1956, his cult of personality was denounced and removed by the Kremlin. However the elderly who support the official communist parties in Russia and Ukraine, have never rejected the legacy of Joseph Stalin. As children and teenagers, they were told that Stalin was a true messiah. Since the communist parties lack support among workers and young people, their only electorate is made up of elderly people. This is why Stalin's face is back on communist party propaganda material!

Struggle, Solidarity, Socialism

Struggle, Solidarity, Socialism