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Ukraine’s phony elections make billionaire new president. Turmoil spreads

Analysis by J. Arnoldski |
May 30, 2014
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Over the past two weeks, the U.S. and NATO-backed junta in Kiev has persistently pushed Ukraine further down the path of civil war. Regime-orchestrated violence against the anti-fascist resistance is escalating, with a crackdown on both independent militias and civilians in the east.

The ongoing turmoil is part of the aftermath of the Ukrainian presidential elections on May 25. The U.S.-backed coup makers held elections in an attempt to legitimize their fascistic rule and crusade against the independent forces in Eastern Ukraine. While billionaire oligarch Petro Poroshenko won with over 50% of the vote, multiple independent and foreign observers are pointing to an extremely low turnout and election process violations. Right Sector thugs ‘guarded’ polling booths in some areas, while in other places citizens eventually turned to throwing trash in polling boxes rather than cast ballots for an illegitimate regime.

The military operation against eastern Ukraine’s 7 million people was resumed within hours of the election, and some of the worst fighting yet has gripped recently independent Donetsk.

On May 26, just after the results of the election, Kiev’s ground and air forces launched a new assault to capture Donetsk’s international airport, a crucial airport of the region, and penetrate further into the city. Nearly 100 casualties of self-defense fighters and civilians were reported within 24 hours. Many died when Kiev forces opened fire on ambulances transporting the injured to hospitals. Although Kiev declared on Tuesday that self-defense forces had been routed, Donetsk self-defense forces announced on May 28 that the airport and downtown area were retaken. The contention continues, with a Kiev helicopter shot down on the morning of May 29, killing a general.

Donetsk is not alone in being under intensified siege and assault since its successful referendum on independence on May 12. The Ukrainian military has besieged Slavyansk and shelled civilian buildings, including hospitals and schools, including a kindergarten, in an effort to break the resolve of the resistance. Heavy gunfire has also plagued Lugansk.

As Kiev continues its campaign of violence, Kiev’s oligarchs are unsuccessfully ordering workers in the east to refuse to cooperate with the new People’s Republic government. On May 28, however, in an act of courageous defiance, nearly 3000 miners of the Donbas region marched in Donetsk and demanded an end to Kiev’s military operation and the removal of its forces from the area. Miners’ shouts of “Fascism won’t pass!” and “Donbas will not forgive!” challenged the endless noise of gunfire and Kiev’s military airplanes overhead. More miners across Donetsk are joining the protests, with anti-oligarch, anti-fascist revolutionary ideas spreading amongst the people.

The resistance of Donetsk and the east is heroically persevering amidst artillery shells bursting in civilian areas and air force and helicopter attacks on citizen soldiers. With Kiev’s new billionaire president violently tormenting civilians, Putin’s recognition of the Ukrainian presidential election, the announcement of an initiative for reconciliation, and the de facto abandonment of the People’s Republics appeal to join Russia, the people of the East are up against tremendous odds.

Nonetheless, the people’s resistance is refusing to kneel down before the billionaire oligarchs and fascist rulers of Ukraine. On May 24, representatives of the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, as well as other struggling cities, met to establish the state of New Russia and unite resistance territories into a sovereign state with a coordinated military. The fightback of the people of Eastern Ukraine is equally a beacon of light in the struggle against Kiev. The eastern bastions of anti-fascism need progressives’ solidarity more than ever. With the arrival of volunteers to the self-defense forces of Donetsk from Russia and Chechnya and the establishment of New Russia, internationalism must be on the agenda of anti-fascists around the world.

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