Borotba and the Odessa Republic

Four years ago, on March 3, 2014, our comrade Alexey Albu initiated voting of the Odessa Regional Council on holding a referendum “On the Creation of the Odessa Autonomous Republic.” This decision was due to our clear understanding of the situation that arose after the pro-oligarchic coup [in Kiev, capital of Ukraine, in February 2014] by the accomplices of the colonialists and Ukrainian Nazi degraders. 

Borotba (Struggle) could not recognize the legitimacy of the putschists, since for years they had exposed their criminal nature, and we immediately understood what the “Maidan” movement really was. We were completely correct (to our regret). In that historical period, very few people understood what to do in the immediate situation. All the old parties, which had previously traded on the feelings of the inhabitants of the Southeast, tucked their tails between their legs, and ran to kneel to the bloody marauders.

We sought a complete reorganization of the Ukrainian state, and for this we used all means and methods available at that time: voting in local councils, organizing the masses, informational impact. Today it’s clear that it was necessary to act more decisively and not hesitate to use the methods and tools Odessians used 100 years ago. There would have been less bloodshed.

In Alexey Albu’s draft for the vote, the key points for the Hero-City of Odessa, our Southern Palmyra, were:

– Election of the governor and heads of regional administrations;

– Re-subordination of security agencies (MIA) to local councils;

– Economic independence: collection of taxes for the budget of the region, and only then — transfer of a portion to Kiev, not vice versa, when all collected money goes to Kiev, which after taking its “bite” allocates to the region a rollback of 20-30-50%;

– tax holidays (Porto Franco).

Borotba also drafted a new Constitution in which Ukraine from a unitary state would become federative / confederal, in which the state status of the Russian language, the election of governors, budgetary autonomy of the subjects of the federation, and broad powers of municipalities were provided.

In those days there was an opportunity to prevent civil war, the mass murder of civilians in Odessa, to save thousands of lives throughout Ukraine. Do the deputies regret that they did not support the proposal of their colleague — our comrade (there were 14 votes “for,” from the whole body)?

But it was possible to make a powerful “arc” from Kharkov to Odessa, using local councils as points of legitimacy, and to break the cresting wave of the “feasting marauders” only then gaining momentum…

We still have many good deeds ahead!

Union Borotba
March 3, 2018


From 2014: Odessa citizens stormed the Odessa Regional Council

Today, on March 3, the deputy of the Odessa Regional Council, coordinator of Union Borotba Alexey Albu at the session of the council introduced a draft decision on holding a referendum on the establishment of the Autonomous Republic of Odessa as part of Ukraine, in which the power would belong to the people’s self-government. 

Alexey Albu (upper left) trapped during police attack on
protesters at Odessa Regional Council, March 3, 2014.
“Current events give us a chance to ensure that we are not ruled by nationalists or oligarchs. We do not call for secession from Ukraine, we are against a military invasion, but we believe that the revolutionary people, who were glorified by the ‘Potemkin’ uprising, should rule the land. We do not need flags of any empires — our flag is red, we are equally foreign to any nationalism, and this is the position of the majority of Odessa citizens.”

The proposal was supported by only 14 out of 53 deputies. After the draft on the referendum failed, Alexey Albu came out to the people, who were waiting outside the Regional Council, and invited the people to enter the building and express their opinion.

When they were blocked, people began to storm the main entrance to the administration. Governor Nikolai Skorik had no choice but to give the floor to representatives from the rostrum of the Regional Council. 

Odessites blocked the entrances and exits of the building and demanded that the council not recognize the Kiev authorities, as well as hold a referendum. At the same time, social media are actively spreading appeals from the “Right Sector” organization, which announced its intention to attack the Odessa Regional State Administration.


Translated by Greg Butterfield

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