Imperialist Powers Vying For Ukraine

Luiz Falcao

Contrary to what the bourgeois media try make people believe, the fall of the corrupt government of Viktor Yanukovych in Ukraine was not the result of spontaneous uprisings of the masses, but rather a planned direct intervention of the U.S. and its spy agencies (NSA and CIA) in the country’s politics. This was recognized by the United States Sub-Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland, in a talk organised by the oil company Chevron. She said that the U.S. invested five billion dollars in parties and groups of the Ukrainian opposition for them to defend a greater integration with the West and organise protests against the government. The U.S. adopted similar tactics to finance the actions of the Taliban in Afghanistan, Al Qaeda in Libya and Syria and in Honduras, Bolivia and Venezuela. It is a shameful interference in the internal affairs of other countries and a serious violation of the UN Charter, but the U.S., for a long time, has been acting and using all means to weaken the competitors of its banks and capitalist monopolies and to maintain its rule worldwide. Of course if there had not been a deep discontent of the Ukrainian population with the enrichment of the family of former President Yanukovych and with the fierce repression by the government that killed more than 110 people, the U.S. intervention would not have been successful. Thus the claim by U.S. President Barack Obama that “Ukrainians should be able to choose their own future” was nothing but a great hypocrisy

By acting to overthrow the Yanukovych government, the U.S. objective is to economically weaken Russia, which had already announced its intention of creating a Eurasian Economic Community along with Ukraine in 2015 and dedicates 25% of its exports to that country, but also militarily by starting to influence the 2nd largest army in the region and to create obstacles to the presence of the Russian fleet in the Crimea.

However, the rejoicing of much of the international bourgeoisie with the new Ukrainian government did not last long. Russia, whose bourgeoisie wants to continue to exploit the Ukrainian nation, did not recognise the interim government, took control of the airports and ports of the southern and eastern regions of Ukraine, closed the border with the Crimea and is threatening to invade the country. To adopt these measures, it had the support of the Parliament of Crimea, which called for a plebiscite to decide on its separation from Ukraine and union with Russia. As is known, Russia maintains a strategic military base with 25,000 marines on the Crimean peninsula.

Capitalism Has Brought Corruption and Unemployment to Ukraine

On the other hand, while Yanukovych only has support of Russian troops who are in Ukraine, none of the parties that are now candidates to govern the country will be able to win the confidence and unify the Ukrainian people, since their leaders are involved in various cases of corruption and openly advocate the subjection of the country to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and to the interests of Germany and the USA. Moreover, the interim government is negotiating a loan with the IMF which, as usual, demanded in return an economic plan to reduce wages and privatise enterprises.

In fact, the return of the capitalist regime to Ukraine brought in addition to unemployment and poverty, the formation of corrupt political parties and neo-Nazi organisations. Both former President Viktor Yanukovych, who is now a refugee, as well as the leader of the main opposition party, Fatherland, Yulia Timoshenko, made their fortunes in the process of privatisation that took place in the country after the end of socialism. Yulia, although she presents herself today as a victim, was one of the biggest beneficiaries of privatisation, becoming owner of the main gas distributor, and her family members and associates are owners of large companies in the industrial and financial sector, in their majority formerly state-owned. The former Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko, a member of the Fatherland Party, after several swindles, was arrested in Switzerland and convicted of money laundering and fraud in the United States.

The family of the ousted Viktor Yanukovych also owns major businesses. His son Aleksandr Yanukovych is the fifth richest person in Ukraine, with a fortune acquired after his father became head of government and with the rent to the government of helicopters that had belonged to the State and were privatised.

Vitali Klitschko, the boxing champion who became the leader of the Udar Party (Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform), the front-runner in the polls, has received millions of euros from Angela Merkel’s party, which is why he does not have the sympathy of the U.S., and preaches “a country with modern European standards.”

Other parties presented by the bourgeois media as democratic are clearly ultra-right and advocate the establishment of a Nazi regime in Ukraine. This is the case of Aleksandr Muzychko, one of the leaders of the protests in Kiev and head of the Ukrainian Fascist Organisation, which has its objective to fight against “the communists, Jews and Russians.” A fan of the Nazi Goebbels, he loves to burn communist books and pictures because they credit to them the expulsion of Hitler’s troops from Ukraine.

Therefore, in a rare act of sincerity the fascist Vladimir Putin said that what is happening in Ukraine is the “replacement of one group of thugs by another.”

But beyond the creation of corrupt and fascist parties, capitalism has brought unemployment, prostitution and drugs to Ukraine.

In fact, due to the torrent of layoffs that took place with the privatisation of public enterprises, millions of Ukrainians have abandoned the country in search of employment. In 1991, Ukraine had 52 million people; today there are 45 million. The country has also become one of the most unequal in the world, with the highest rate of child alcoholism in Europe and 1.3% of the population living with AIDS. Moreover, it has 2 million drug addicts and the trafficking of women is growing to feed the prostitution agencies in Europe and the USA.

Clearly these drug users have become easy prey for drug gangs and fascist organisations, forming paramilitary groups to carry out robberies, attacks on public agencies and indiscriminate violence to increase the climate of political and social instability in Kiev. Moreover, the Yanukovych government’s decision not to sign the agreement with the European Union, angered millions of people who counted on European passports in order to work in Europe without discrimination. According to the International Organisation for Migration, 14.4% of the population, about 6.5 million people, are migrants. Remember that during the decades in which they lived under a socialist system, the Ukrainian people knew neither drugs nor prostitution, much less unemployment, and they lived in deep harmony and without foreign intervention.

An Eye on the Riches of the Ukrainian People

Despite all these tragedies, the result of the appropriation of the wealth of the country by the Ukrainian oligarchs and the international bourgeoisie, Ukraine is a rich nation. It is the country in Europe that has the best agricultural land, 25% of the so-called “black earth” existing in the world, land that does not need fertiliser because it is rich in humus, it has large amounts of manganese, iron, uranium, coal and oil, and, thanks to socialism, the country has a highly skilled work force that is considered cheap by capitalist industries, plus a developed industrial sector of aeronautical equipment. Because of its fertile soil, and being one of the largest grain exporters in the world, it is the target of the greed of the banks and the multinationals that dominate world agriculture.

Russia, in turn, as has been shown, does not rule out a military invasion of Ukraine to ensure its privileges. It is little afraid of economic sanctions from Europe, knowing that 75% of Russian gas that goes to the European Union passes through Ukrainian territory. In this situation, there is a great possibility of a division in the country as has been done by imperialism in Yugoslavia.

The fact is that the continuing crisis of capitalism that began in 2008, and is completing six years in September, is intensifying the struggle among the bourgeoisie and its states for markets and to control raw materials, whether oil, gas or land.

No doubt, as we warned, the imperialist countries will continue increasing the conflicts and wars in order to enslave peoples and increase the profits of the financial oligarchy that dominates the world economy. For this, they overthrow governments and invade countries. The war seems to have no end in Afghanistan or in Iraq, is continuing in Libya and Syria, and another one can begin in Ukraine. Therefore, anytime a “miscalculation” by any of the imperialist governments can unleash a war of such proportions that it threatens all humanity. One should not underestimate the excessive greed and obstinacy for money of the exploiting minority, the banks and monopoly capitalists, who only think of luxury and wealth. These are truly a gang of crazy people, and as soon as possible they must be sent not to an asylum, but to the dustbin of history.

Source: A Verdade (The Truth), organ of the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP).
Brazil, 12 March 2014.

Luiz Falcao is a member of the Central Committee of the RCP and editor of A Verdade.

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