Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Two Views on the Ukraine and Fascism.

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Packed meeting in London to launch the campaign in Solidarity with the Antifascist Resistance in Ukraine

Posted on June 3, 2014by 


Over 150 people packed the meeting room in London on June 2 to hear speakers and discuss the launching of the campaign in Solidarity with the Antifascist Resistance in Ukraine.


The speakers were Richard Brenner from the campaign, Lindsey German from Counterfire, Boris Kagarlitsky from the (Institute for globalization studies and social movements (IGSO), Moscow) who joined via Skype as he had been unable to get a visa, Andrew Murray from the Communist Party of Britain, Alan Woods from Socialist Appeal and the International Marxist Tendency and Sergei Kirichuk from the socialist organisation Borotba in Ukraine who also spoke over a Skype call.


The speakers explained different aspects involved in the crisis in Ukraine, the role of US and EU imperialism, the recruitment of fascist gangs into the National Guard, how the conflict is a social and class based one rather than one based on language or ethnicity, the support of the British government for the Ukrainian authorities, the presence of far right and openly fascist elements within the Kiev government, the participation of British troops in joint NATO exercises in Ukraine, the role of the oligarchs, the attacks against the Communist Party and other left wing organisations (having their offices burnt down and ransacked, their members persecuted, threats of banning), mutinies in the Ukraine army, etc. All speakers stressed that support for the anti-fascist resistance did not at all mean support for Putin More here.




Searchlight Warning to anti-fascists invited to meeting at SOAS

Published on Sunday, 01 June 2014 23:28
Written by Gerry Gable (S

The so-called Anti-Fascist Resistance in Ukraine has called a meeting on the evening of Monday 2 June at SOAS. The British left and anti-fascist movement has been canvassed to take part. The warning below, which exposes these political crooks, comes from genuine anti-fascists in Ukraine.


President Putin’s media Trojan Horse, the Russia Today TV station, presents as commentators Nazis from Germany and the UK, and people involved in the far-right LaRouche cult group without explaining who they really are. Over the past few weeks RT has featured Paul Weston from the tiny Islamophobic Liberty GB party, who has been associated with the English Defence League. Weston was described on screen as a civil rights activist.


Also on was Manuel Ochsenreiter, editor of Zuerst!, a glossy German Nazi magazine.


Then came the man from LaRouche’s international Executive Intelligence Newsletter, the happy hunting ground of several intelligence services. This is the group responsible for the death in 2003 of the British student Jeremiah Duggan in Germany, a death that will be subject to a new inquest in the North London Coroner’s Court next February.


Our comrade who has written the paragraphs that follow, is one of the most experienced investigators of what really goes on in Moscow and  Kiev. He expresses his sorrow, as do I, about the way part of the British and European left are being manipulated by these enemies of the true anti-fascist struggle.


The so-called “Solidarity with the Antifascist Resistance in Ukraine” is simply a scam. Borotba, which “represents” the Ukrainian side (their guy will address the meeting on Skype), is a fake left-wing organisation the representatives of which are now travelling across Europe to get funding for their dodgy activities. No decent left-wing group in Ukraine is cooperating with them.


This is very much worth reading: http://avtonomia.net/2014/03/03/statement-left-anarchist-organizations-borotba-organization/ At the same time, Borotba has been cooperating with the so-called “Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine”.


Its leader, Natalya Vitrenko, is a long-time associate of LaRouche: ttp://schillerinstitute.org/lar_related/2009/lyn_russia_antiglob.html http://www.larouchepub.com/pr/2014/140407_vitrenko_appeal.html Borotba also supports the self-proclaimed Donetsk People Republic, the “constitution” of which proclaims an authoritarian clerical regime. It’s really painful to see that so many people fall victim of the idiotic propaganda.



The name LaRouche should send alarm bells ringing.


I will just cite this (there are thousands of pages on the Net about him) about this creature, ” Why is LaRouche considered a crank in some circles? Consider the following tidbits drawn from numerous similar statements over 30 years. According to LaRouche, The Beatles (who “had no genuine musical talent”) were created by the “British Psychological Warfare Division” and promoted “by agencies which are controlled by British intelligence.”


Furthermore, the Queen of England and the British royal family run the global drug trade. 37 LaRouche asks: “Who is pushing the world toward war?” It is “the forces behind the World Wildlife Fund, the Club of Rome, and the heritage of H.G. Wells and the evil Bertrand Russell.”38 Having a hard time as a political activist? LaRouche has the cure! He is “confident and capable of ending your political-and sexual-impotence; the two are interconnected aspects of the same problem….I am going to make you organizers…by taking your bedrooms away from you….I shall destroy your sense of safety….” From here.

Borotba strongly deny these claims,

We firmly follow internationalist antifascist and class line as our basic stance. We are against both Russian and Ukrainian nationalisms that are being used now only for dividing working class and further plundering of the country. We do not back Russian nationalist organizations as well as Ukrainian ones. All the smear campaign of our organization led by far-right groups and caught up by some admittedly ‘left’ groups will not stop us to organize anti-fascists resistance.

No Pasaran!

No gods, no masters, no nations, no borders!

Workers of all countries – unite!

This does not answer all the assertion about their links with the “Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine”, LaRouche’s outfit.


It is very painful to see good comrades fall out on this.


Written by Andrew Coates

June 4, 2014 at 2:29 pm

20 Responses

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  1. The problem with “anti-fascist” politics is that it does like nice neat divisions into goodies and baddies, and this is hard to apply to the struggle in Ukraine, where there are nationalist bigots of various descriptions on both sides. Those in the west of Ukraine are more inclined towards classical fascist and Nazi symbolism. In the east, a sort of “red-brown” politics has much more traction. I expect we’ll see elements on the British left on both sides of the argument striking moral poses and shrilly denouncing the other side’s real and imagined “fascists”. None of it will do the ordinary people of the Ukraine any good whatsoever.


    June 4, 2014 at 5:16 pm

  2. “the EU/US/British backed fascist Kiev junta “. What percentage did the far-right get in the Euro elections again, in many countries of the EU? And what percentage of the vote did they get in Ukraine on the same day?

    I also find it curious that I have seen public meetings advertised in Berlin with a speaker from “Borotba”, organised by people who have no interest in Ukrainian independence from Russia and politically – until now – have been actively and publicly working against it. Curious to say the least. On that front, Gerry Gable’s warning seems perfectly reasonable to me.

    The “traditional” German Communist Party, DKP, turned up on May Day in Berlin with a huge banner proclaiming “Hands Off Ukraine!”. It was also a slogan on their Euro-election placards.

    Both used an image to accompany the slogan, it was a map of Ukraine – curiously including Crimea – which was being attacked, yes, by two hands, which were grabbing the country. One hand was in the colour of the EU flag, the other was a US flag. Here’s an image (not my photo):
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/dblackadder/14112332340 – German readers will note that the other slogan is politically better than the likes of the CPB and No2EU – “Vote against *this* EU”

    Related to this, on the recent LabourStart event in Berlin (not my report): There was controversy in some workshops. In “Workers’ rights and labour organisations in Eastern Europe and post-Soviet countries” a row broke out over the attitude to take to events in Ukraine. The Ukrainian participants, who were, in the main and broadly speaking, “third campists”, were told by some German and Russian participants that the country was run by fascists.

    A Canadian participant who lives in Ukraine pointed out in reply that in that day’s presidential elections, the far-right Svoboda and the “right sector” were likely to get 2-3% of the vote, significantly less than the expected vote of fascists in many countries in the EU on the same day’s elections to the European parliament.

    One participant questioned why some people are ready to accuse Ukrainians of “fascism” while at the same time supporting the actions of the Putin government.

    Despite the very heated and emotional debate it remained — by and large — comradely, as a speaker from the IUF union federation confirmed in the closing plenary. http://www.workersliberty.org/story/2014/05/30/forging-global-solidarity

    The speeches of the Russian and German participants, from the floor, in that workshop – arguing against a straw-man that was not present, making pre-prepared speeches in reply to things nobody there had said – reminded me of current ‘pacifist’ posters currently on display (flyposted) here: “Never Again War! Peace With Russia! For the truth on Ukraine: Watch Russia Today, Read Junge Welt, Visit Counterpunch” (and so on). Incidentally, they were both either members of (the main German speaker certainly) or associated with (one Russian speaker, in her own words) Workers’ Power/The League for the Fifth International.


    June 4, 2014 at 5:38 pm

  3. ‘What percentage did the far-right get in the Euro elections again, in many countries of the EU? And what percentage of the vote did they get in Ukraine on the same day?’

    The times I’ve seen this by those wishing to downplay the matter of Ukrainian fascism. How many votes would the Russian separatists get in a proper vote in Donestk and Lugansk? Probably about the same. Both the Ukrainian and Russian ultras are able to punch well above their electoral weight, the former through their steady infiltration into the Ukrainian police, militia and military, the latter in the power vacuum in eastern Ukraine, where the writ of the Kiev government no longer runs. What passes for law and order in many parts of Ukraine is in the hands of freelance militias, sometimes affiliated with such groups, sometimes purely criminal, sometimes locally organised in opposition to nationalist and criminal gangs.

    What we are seeing in Ukraine is a situation running along the same dynamics as those behind the collapse of Yugoslavia: a mixed population being forced apart by rival nationalist agendas, by their having to assert one or another identity and allegiance, with very little of progressive unifying politics to counter this. And in Britain we are seeing the repeat of the unedifying spectacle of Serbophilia versus Bosnomania which caused an awful lot of heat if not light for the duration of the Yugoslav wars of disintegration.

    Dr Paul

    June 5, 2014 at 12:08 am

  4. When I click (1.20am 5.6.2014) on your Tendance Coatesy link to the Socialist Unity website to follow their discussion on this Ukraine subject I get this:

    ‘This domain name has expired.
    In order to restore the domain and continue the service you will have to contact your registrar immediately. ‘

    Someone tell Andy Newman of Swindon as there is/was a useful debate on his blog about Ukraine.



    June 5, 2014 at 1:21 am

  5. There is a reply to Gerry Gable: Searchlight ill-informed and incoherent attack on ‘Solidarity with the Antifascist Resistance in Ukraine.


    Andrew Coates

    June 5, 2014 at 10:26 am

  6. Socialist Unity is still there including a post on Tienanmen square which (hat-tip DO) contains this gem,”Th e bloody repression of 1989 was a terrible atrocity … But the repression was actually relatively short lived … Although there was some continued circumspection, academic criticism continued within China, and the main consequence was intellectual disorientation rather than actual prohibition or censorship.’ “

    Andrew Coates

    June 5, 2014 at 10:34 am

  7. Is not the website ‘Solidarity with Antifascist Resistance in Ukraine’ also (?) politically ill-informed and incoherent? What does the Tendance say?


    June 5, 2014 at 12:33 pm

  8. Oh, and the Socialist Unity Party’s website has seemingly “expired” from here as well, regardless of whether I follow the link (I thought Cardinal Newman might have blocked people from coming to his site from this page) or type in the URL myself. At the same time though, the error message is dubious in style, so maybe he’s been told to turn it off or jeopardise his ‘career’ in the GMB and Labour Party. He certainly hasn’t posted anything for a while.

    The whois details seem to suggest it wasn’t renewed and the ownership of the domain has now passed to a “domain hijacker” DomCollect AG. Which is a shame, I was thinking of grabbing it myself (as long as it wouldn’t cost any more than a tenner)

    Richard Seymour also forgot to re-register leninology.com, which expired yesterday as well. He’s got himself a new URL.


    June 5, 2014 at 12:40 pm

  9. I only scanned it yesterday and have now had time to look more closely at it.

    Absolutely: it hasn’t got even the feel of knowledge of the background to the situation.

    I include Boris Kagarlitsky’s generalities.

    Blimey even I seem to know more about the ‘Orange Revolution’ to start with.

    Francis, who knows a lot more would doubtless say even more on them.

    Mind you first encounter with Lindsey German was when she was suddenly presented as one of the IS/SWP experts on Portugal in the early 1970s (not appreciated by my Portuguese comrades at the time).

    Her gifts for international analysis have since spanned the planet.

    Andrew Coates

    June 5, 2014 at 12:46 pm

  10. The meetings here on Ukraine, organised by those who support the Russian annexation of Crimea, after long-denying that it was happening and had anything to do with Russia, who now support the likes of the “People’s Republic of Donetsk”, and are all too-ready to use the insult “fascist” at anyone they don’t like, and seem to support Putin on everything as if he is the leader of the CPSU that doesn’t exist any more (i.e. basic anti-Americanism), these meetings have not just called for “an end to the fascist junta in Kiev” but also for “support for the socialist movement in Ukraine as represented by Borotba and the Communist Party of Ukraine”.

    That, along with Andrew Murray in an unlikely alliance with Rob Sewell and Alan Woods, should ring some alarm bells, regardless of Gable’s article.

    Maybe Maduro hasn’t invited Comrade Woods onto Telesur and Alo Presidente lately, and Socialist Appeal have realised that Russia Today might give them a bigger audience (and a 2am half-hour slot to pontificate in, without much editorial interference, maybe in the style of what once was my favourite Arte programme, Mit offenen Karten / Le dessous les cartes?)?


    June 5, 2014 at 1:44 pm

  11. Dagmar (12.40pm) , you are right to correct Andrew Coates at 10.34am, that the influential British political blog called Socialist Unity (www.socialistunity.com) has gone. It has expired and not been renewed. There was no announcement in the preceding days that the website blog was going to be shut down. The ‘whois’ records show it has expired which is a pity.

    There was one thread on it roughly called ‘Russia celebrates Second World War victory anniversary’ which had up to 160 contributions and this debate has now been cut off on it.

    The public meeting on 2nd June in London (see above) in solidarity with the anti-fascists in Ukraine was an important and needed step forward (see above).

    Cutting off the blog cuts off, temporarily, the urgently needed discussion across the left in Britain which needs to build. We need a new forum to replace Socialist Unity if it really has gone. It would be good to hear a statement from the people who ran it to confirm its closure.

    Meanwhile, the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Coalition Government in Britain actively supports the coup government in Kiev, Ukraine, with Labour’s official silence. The coup government has the support of western governments, it has incorporated fascists into it and into new armed bodies of the state. NATO is stepping up deployment of forces onto Ukraine’s borders and Russia’s borders. The massacres of anti-fascists at the trade union building in Odessa and the attacks and killing of its own citizens in the east of the Ukraine, as well as the outlawing of left political parties ought to be of interest to th e labour and trade union movement and progressive opinion..Western leaders continue to provoke Russia into war in defence of Russian speaking citizens in Ukraine. The IMF has a programme of immiserisation for the working class in Ukraine.
    The situation could have the potential to escalate into a larger war.

    At this point, in Britain, the two largest left wing political groups by membership, the Socialist Workers Party and the Socialist Party seem paralysed. The SWP is stuck in its political framework of (neither Washington nor Moscow) and is sitting on the fence.


    The Socialist Party may possibly be having an internal discussion as, according to their website, only their South Wales branches have been discussing the matter and there has been no article on the Party’s website since late April. It is June now.


    These may have been the two groups absent from the London 2 June solidarity meeting.

    The loss of the Socialist Unity website as a forum for left discussion is a pity when there is so much to discuss and do. The June 2nd meeting should be the launch pad for a mass anti (imperialist) war movement again.



    June 5, 2014 at 2:38 pm

  12. Gerry Gable’s view is clearly derived from Anton Shekhovtsov. Although AS has done a lot of research on fascist and nationalist movements in Russia and Ukraine from an anti-fascist perspective, his line on the current Ukrainian dispute reflects not so much his anti-fascism as his hostility to Russia’s policies. I’m not sure that turning on a significant proportion of Searchlight’s longest-standing supporters in this country in defence of a Ukrainian academic’s domestic political preferences is the most sensible thing GG could have done here…

    As for this solidarity campaign, I don’t have much problem with what Boris K and Sergei Kirichuk had to say at the meeting, but I am very doubtful about where “support [for] the antifascist resistance in Ukraine” might lead. There are several possible outcomes to this struggle, the worst of which would be all-out civil war. I hope the left in Britain does not get itself into the position of cheerleading one side in an ugly and entirely unnecessary conflict.

    As for Paul’s “unedifying spectacle of Serbophilia versus Bosnomania” – what a great phrase! Hope it’s OK to plagiarise it. 😉


    June 5, 2014 at 10:01 pm

  13. It’s back at


    Insert ‘-‘ hyphen and you will get the Socialist Unity website again
    see above

    Sussexlabour left


    June 6, 2014 at 10:37 am

    • Thanks Sussex, I have put this on the link.

      This is also interesting,

      “What we do know though is that the left in Britain, for the most part, has taken a disastrous approach – backing one or the other side in the conflict. Either Kiev or Moscow. One side looks enviously at the protests in Independence Square and imagines it is a progressive revolution, or uprising, against an oligarch – therefore we have to support it. After all, anything that draws a crowd must be progressive – right? Such comrades, like Socialist Resistance, believe that out of this spontaneity will come the royal road to socialism. All you need to do is nudge the masses in the right direction with your transitional programme, and everything will be fine – they will eventually flock to your leadership.

      What a delusion, downplaying and ignoring the active role of far-right and fascist forces in the Maidan ‘revolution’ – including the ones who hold senior government posts. This is surely beyond question now, there being an abundance of material concerning the likes of Right Sector and Svoboda before, during and after the Independence Square protests. We in the CPGB would call such forces fascistic not mainly because of any professed ideological orientation – or that they like to carry portraits of Nazi collaborators – but rather because of what they actually do: ie, organise street gangs to attack minorities and the left.

      Furthermore, there are obvious signs of US/CIA involvement in the Maidan ‘revolution’ right from the very beginning, even if they did not give it an ‘official’ colour designation this time round. But we communists have no problem in getting our colour book out and calling the Maidan protests an orange-brown ‘revolution’ – one that led to the creation of a dangerous government that is trying to integrate itself into the imperialist power structures, even if that means provoking an internal civil war or a wider regional conflict.

      Similarly, but more odiously, you can adopt an explicitly social-imperialist position like the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty – crazily making out that the main enemy is “Russian imperialism”, or “expansionism”, and getting agitated about the Crimean “Anschluss”. Therefore in the event of any armed conflict between Moscow and Kiev, argues the AWL, we should be for the Ukrainian army against the Russians – as presumably a victory for the Kiev oligarchs (including their fascist ministers) would provide a ‘breathing space’ for the working class and their organisations. That was what the AWL said about the US intervention in Iraq – but instead we got barbarism, not a working class renaissance.

      On the other hand, though equally as wrong, there are those on the left – such as Socialist Action – who look at the wretched Kiev government, with its close ties to US imperialism, and automatically side with Moscow as the ‘lesser evil’. Then there is the Russian Marxist, Boris Kagarlitsky, who detects proletarian forces in the Donetsk demonstrations – in contrast to the “liberal intelligentsia” and “middle class” that dominated those in Kiev.4 As evidence for this “real class struggle”, comrade Kagarlitsky holds up the fact that the dominant slogans in the Donetsk People’s Republic are demands for “social rights” accompanied by the singing of the Internationale. The good thing, he continues, is that “no-one is stopping people going to this crowd with red flags and socialist leaflets”, unlike the Maidan, where the flags were torn up and leftwing agitators were beaten and thrown off the square. In fact, he writes, in the DPR the masses have “risen up in genuine revolutionary protest”, formulating its agenda “from below” – it is, apparently, the “perfect embodiment of the anarchist concept of the revolutionary order”, even if it will “undoubtedly offend strict connoisseurs of proletarian ideology”.

      The comrade has lost the plot, unfortunately. The Donetsk demonstrators may be overwhelmingly proletarian in terms of sociological background. But what should concern communists are the politics behind the DPR, not whether some people are waving red flags. From this perspective, the DPR and the LPR are ultimately products of a thoroughly backward and reactionary Russian/Slavic nationalism – which inevitably attracts individuals with far-right and fascistic inclinations, such as Alexander Borodai.

      Instead, we need working class politics independent of both Kiev, along with its EU/US backers, and Moscow.” Weekly Worker: Eddie Ford: http://weeklyworker.co.uk/worker/1013/our-men-in-kiev-and-donetsk/

      Andrew Coates

      June 6, 2014 at 11:09 am

  14. This is relevant on one aspect of the ideological confusion in these areas,

    Aleksandr Dugin – Radical Conservatism dressed up as Revolution – A Critique by Nickglais – Part 1 The Ideological Roots of Duginism


    Wikipedia says,

    “Aleksandr Gelyevich Dugin (Russian: Алекса́ндр Ге́льевич Ду́гин, born 7 January 1962) is a Russian political scientist, traditionalist, and one of the most popular ideologists of the creation of a Eurasian empire that would be against the “North Atlantic interests”. He is known for his fascist views,[1][2][3][4] and had close ties to the Kremlin and Russian military.[5] Dugin serves as an adviser to State Duma speaker (and key member of the ruling United Russia party) Sergei Naryshkin.[6]”

    Andrew Coates

    June 6, 2014 at 12:30 pm

  15. Hi, Ukraine is obviously a complicated case, torn between great power rivalry and divided by ethnicity and class. However, the SWP position of neither Washington nor Moscow offers little hope for the workers in Ukraine, particularly in east Ukraine. It doesn’t help the workers to sit on the fence at this time, just because they are labouring under two contradictory imperialisms. I’ve read Callinocos’ articles on Ukraine on the SWP website and have also reviewed his book on imperialism. I find he does not understand the nature of western imperialism, as most of his book focuses on the classical theories of the early twentieth century and he actually denies that imperialism was a force from 1950-1980; then re-emerging only with the American invasion of Iraq. His analysis of Ukraine seems largely copy-pasted from the FT. An analysis of the changing global economic contradictions is required, as is the role of ongoing US imperialism. This is not to say that I support Putin a whole lot, but he has done some anti-imperialist work in Russia, e.g. ripping up the production sharing agreements that allowed western oil companies to basically get Russian oil for free in the 1990s and trying to revive industries previously looted. In addition, it’s generally agreed that geopolitical power is shifting away from the west, the latter being looted by its financial oligarchies. In these conditions, it seems to me that the rising powers (China, Russia) can and do offer better terms to smaller, ‘developing’ countries: one only has to compare the role of China with the US in Africa and Latin America to see that their economic circumstances are changing for the better after greater trade with China. And the Russian offer to Ukraine last year offered better loan terms than the current IMF offer. Hence, I think that the principle contradiction, to use Mao’s phrase, in Ukraine is that between US imperialism and self-determination. Hence, I support the anti-fascist solidarity committee on Ukraine.

    Judy Whitehead

    June 7, 2014 at 8:31 pm

  16. This video documentary shows the fascist attack on the anti-fascists at the trade union building in Odessa, Ukraine on 2.5.2014

    If you watch it from 35 minutes onwards you will see the evidence of fascist violence. The names of the people killed and injured are listed.



    June 9, 2014 at 12:22 am

  17. […] to Comrade Coatesy for drawing our attention to this bizarre affair. Coatesy also gives more detail about Lyndon […]

  18. Good day! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my previous room mate!

    He always kept talking about this. I will forward this page to him.
    Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

  19. This is an interesting article about fascism in Ukraine. It made me remember the ukrainian class by skype at http://preply.com/en/ukrainian-by-skype where Ukrainian is taught and several topics are being talked about.


    February 24, 2015 at 11:04 am

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