(The following was originally published in Liberation, the official newspaper of the Party for Socialism and Liberation.)
U.S. style democracy, with its signature feature of extreme anti-communist red-baiting and repression, has come to Ukraine.
Ukraine’s Communist Party (KPU), which received around 2.5 million votes or 13% of the vote in the 2012 Parliamentary elections, has been outlawed and its parliamentary delegation has been dissolved.
Parliament Speaker Oleksandr Turchynov, on July 23, on the floor of the Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian Parliament, announced the permanent outlawing of Ukraine’s formidable Communist Party. “We only have to tolerate this party for another day,” Turchynov told the parliament.
The outlawing of the Communist Party comes after months of repression against the Party and other leftists following the U.S.-backed coup on February 22 when armed neo-Nazi militias stormed government buildings toppling the democratically elected government of Victor Yanukovich.
U.S. State Department officials including Victoria Nuland and Senator John McCain had been in the streets of downtown Kiev openly embracing neo-Nazi leaders in the weeks prior to the coup. After it seized power, the new government was dominated by neo-Nazis.
The leadership of the new government traces its political lineage to the Ukrainian nationalist and fascist forces led by Stephan Bandera who fought alongside the Nazi invaders in World War ll.
KPU condemned government’s war against its own people
The move to outlaw the Communist Party became a major campaign in May after the leadership of the Party criticized the central government’s military offensive and bombing campaign against anti-fascist protesters in eastern and southern Ukraine.
The Communist Party leader Petro Simonenko said in May that if he were in charge of the country, he would immediately call back the troops from eastern Ukraine, referring to the military operations taking place there as acts of “war against the people,” according to RIA Novosti.
Ukraine’s Communist Party was outlawed in 1991 following the collapse of the Soviet Union. It regained legal status later in the 1990s. In 1998, the Party won 121 seats or nearly 20% of the parliament. The KPU then entered the presidential race in 1999. Its leader Petro Simonenko received 38% of the votes, coming in second.
The outlawing of the KPU comes as the government conducts a reign of terror against its opponents in east and south Ukraine who refused to recognize the legitimacy of the post coup-regime.
The Obama Administration supported the government’s decision to cancel a ceasefire on July 1, 2014, and unleash air strikes against its domestic opponents in the eastern regions of the country. This was the area where the Malaysian civilian airliner was destroyed last week.
The imperialist politics behind the coup
Following the coup in February, the right-wing government has been moving rapidly to integrate the country into an EU/IMF-sponsored austerity regime that will lead to the deep impoverishment of the Ukrainian working classes. That is the real nature of the “partnership” with the West.
The United States views the new government as an instrument for the neo-colonial takeover of this former Soviet republic.
The tremendous resources of Ukraine are seen as a huge prize for the enrichment of the biggest banks and corporations in Western Europe and the United States. These resources include major deposits of coal, iron ore, manganese, nickel and uranium. It holds the largest sulfur and second-largest mercury reserves in the world, and vast, rich agricultural lands and forests. In addition, Ukraine has large-scale heavy industry, particularly in the eastern part of the country.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, most of the former socialist bloc countries of Central and Eastern Europe have been integrated into a NATO and E.U. sphere of influence. Of the 28 member nations of the E.U., 22 so far have been incorporated into NATO.