Ukraine

The government of Ukraine has proposed further attacks on Ukrainian workers in the form of sweeping changes to labour laws that were set to be voted on in parliament on May 25th. The Ukrainian labour unions and activists did not waste time, responding with demonstrations against the legislation on May 21st.

Students in Ukraine are beginning to mobilise against the attack waged by the government on education. The reason for the discontent of the students is the result of universities receiving the right to charge students in line with decree 796 of the cabinet of ministers, according to which "paid-for services" (i.e. fees) are to be introduced in higher education institutions.

The struggle at the Kherson Machine Plant in the Ukraine continues as it gathers support from the local population. The workers have decided to rename the factory after an old Bolshevik leader, revealing that in spite of the disaster of the past 20 years the old traditions are beginning to make a comeback as the Ukrainian economy enters a serious slump.

After seeking the payment of several months of wages owed to them the workers at the KNF factory in Kherson, Ukraine, have decided to occupy the plant. Here we provide a brief report sent to us by Russian Marxists.

Ukraine has yet again been plunged into a political crisis as the President attempts to dissolve Parliament. The two camps of capitalist cronies that squared off in the so-called Orange Revolution are back at it for round two. The working class has no interest in supporting either camp, and must build an independent position.

This weekend (24-25 June) over 100 activists gathered from all over Ukraine, as well as from Russia and Moldova, to discuss the way forward for the left in Ukraine. The conference was organized by the editorial boards of the website Communist.ru (and its paper Protiv Techeniya, Against the stream) and the youth site Contr.info and the youth organization Che Guevara.

On Thursday 8 September, Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko fired Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko and her cabinet. After all the hype of the “orange revolution” it is business as usual in the degenerate world of Ukrainian politics, a den of thieves who have a flair for stabbing each other in the back.

The tragedy of the Ukrainian workers is that all the parties, including the Socialist and Communist Parties, have links with business groups, and are the mouthpieces for these business interests. This article, originally written in Russian in February, gives some useful background information to what is happening now in the Ukraine.

The “orange revolution” in the Ukraine was given quite a lot of coverage in the western media. The truth of the matter is that this so-called “revolution” was nothing of the kind. It was used to facilitate the passage of power from one wing of the ex-bureaucracy to the more openly pro-imperialist elements within the ruling elite. Goran M. from Belgrade looks at the situation basing himself on a similar experience in Serbia. These events are possible because there is no clear working class alternative being presented to the masses.

Socialist Appeal editor, Alan Woods, interviews Evgenii Leshan, member of the Ukrainian parliament. Evgenii Leshan explains how the drive towards privatization over the past ten years in the Ukraine has been a real nightmare. The Ukraine used to enjoy one of the highest living standards in the Soviet Union. It is now on an African level.