|Gerry Downing and Theo Russell|
Comrades met in central London on Monday to reflect on the past five years of fascist terror in Ukraine and discuss plans for future solidarity work in London.
Theo Russell from the New Communist Party, Gerry Downing of Socialist Fight who was expelled by Labour on trumped-up charges of ‘anti-Semitism’, and Marie Lynam, a Posadist who is a Labour Party activist and supporter of the Labour Representation Committee, spoke at the meeting, chaired by NCP leader Andy Brooks, at the Calthorpe Arms in the Gray’s Inn Road.
The 22nd February marks five years since a Latin America-style coup ushered in an illegal regime in Ukraine in which avowed fascists and virulent anti-Semites are running the government of a European state with 45 million people.
Dozens of openly Nazi heavily armed militias have been welcomed into the Ukrainian army, and are now conducting “joint patrols” with the police in many cities to “maintain Ukrainian order”.
Adherence to fascist, openly Nazi ideology goes right to the very top of the current US and European Union-backed government in Kiev. This is one of the dirtiest secrets which western governments are hiding from their peoples and covering up with an avalanche of fake anti-Russian propaganda.
After taking office in 2014, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko publicly identified himself as a ‘Banderite’, that is a follower of Stepan Bandera, whose faction of the ‘Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists’ collaborated with Nazi Germany in the massacres of 1.5 million Jews and 70,000 Poles during the Second World War to “cleanse” Ukraine.
And only last July an adviser to Poroshenko and his defence minister, Yuri Biryukov, wrote a Facebook post using the neo-Nazi symbol ‘1488,’ an internationally shared neo-nazi code which combines the “14” words of an American white supremacist message and the repeated eighth letter of the alphabet which stands for ‘Heil Hitler’.
The Azov Battalion is the most powerful of about 80 fascist militias, which have been incorporated into a US-trained and equipped national guard, part of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Its symbol is based on the Nazi SS ‘Wolfsangel’. The battalion is backed by Ukraine’s Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, who belongs to Poroshenko’s ‘respectable’ ruling party, the Petro Poroshenko Bloc ‘Solidarity’.
In 2014 the chief rabbi of Ukraine, Yaakov Bleich, denounced Avakov for appointing of the fascist deputy commander of Azov, Vadym Troyan, police chief for the capital, Kiev. He demanded: “if the interior minister continues to appoint people of questionable repute and ideologies tainted with fascism and right-wing extremism, the interior minister should be replaced”. And yet, not a word from London, Washington or Brussels!
The British government has sent military advisers to train Ukrainian troops and it has also provides political and propaganda support, all in the name of the ‘Russian threat’.
Recently it has sent warships to the Black Sea, stepping up tensions, and in December the Donetsk People’s Republic claimed that Britain’s Special Air Service was planning “to capture Donetsk People’s Republic People’s Militia commanders and fighters”, and that “British career servicemen, including a Special Air Service unit” were present on the Gorlovka axis,” in other words on the front line of the conflict.
It is very unfortunate that by far the most dangerous manifestation of fascism in Europe has been ignored by anti-fascist organisations in Britain and elsewhere. This is because they have fallen into the trap of western anti-Russian hysteria. But this will not prevent genuine anti-fascists from organising solidarity with all anti-fascists in Ukraine, including many thousands in exile, and the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics which rebelled against the new fascist junta.
The meeting finally closed with a collection to pay for the room while some comrades stayed behind to continue the discussion in the bar below.