New faces, old course: While Zelensky relaxes on the beach, oligarchs and international lenders continue to rob the country
August 1: The recent parliamentary elections in Ukraine [July 21] reinforced the success of Vladimir Zelensky. The president’s party, “Servant of the People,” having won a majority in the Verkhovna Rada [parliament], can form a one-party government for the first time in the country’s history.
Undoubtedly, the majority of voters linked their choice of Zelensky and “Servant of the People” with the hope of returning to “ordinary” bourgeois democracy from the far-right repressive regime established after Maidan. While noting this trend towards the recovery of Ukrainian society, it must be said that Zelensky and his party openly proclaim the immutability of the past course. This is a geopolitical orientation towards the U.S., EU and NATO and following the course of the IMF’s neoliberal “structural reforms.”
The Council of the Borotba Union notes that this is a course for the further degradation of Ukraine — the complete loss of subjectivity and independence and the strengthening of neocolonial exploitation of the country’s population. Since the course of the new government remains unchanged, the rapid disillusionment of the masses with the president and the ruling party is inevitable.
Even at the level of statements, Zelensky’s party does not question the most anti-democratic and reactionary measures of the Poroshenko era — the law on decommunization and the discriminatory language law, reminiscent of the practices of apartheid. The promise of returning peace to Donbass is refuted by Zelensky himself, who ruled out direct negotiations with the “separatists,” the necessity of which is expressly enshrined in the Minsk agreements.
Thus, the electoral defeat of the far-right forces will not be secured by decisive political measures for a return to bourgeois democracy. And this in turn opens up the possibility for their revenge. Nor will Zelensky himself soon find any support for his “unpopular reforms” other than the ultra-right terrorist movements.
The election also showed the failure of the parties representing democratically-minded voters of the southeast. Fragments of Yanukovich’s oligarchic “Party of Regions,” these parties failed to use people’s cravings for change and deliverance from the Poroshenko regime to expand their own influence. The mutual competition of the three political forces relying on the southeastern voters led to the fact that only one of them got into the Rada, providing an overwhelming advantage to the pro-Maidan forces.
It is impossible to ignore the fact that many political heavyweights, who have been elected to the Verkhovna Rada for years, have been removed from parliamentary activity. Despite their high level of recognition, powerful media resources, and financial superiority, the old politicians lost. Many of the so-called pro-Russian politicians hoped that the electorate would vote for them “by inertia” because there were no other options. However, their treacherous position received a clear judgment from the citizens of Ukraine.
Thus, the elections have only exacerbated the existing schism within the ruling class, increasing the number of “fault lines.”
We are also forced to note with regret the complete absence of left-wing parties and candidates in these elections, which demonstrates the successful continuation of the practice of decommunization.
A new stage of Ukrainian history has begun. Ukraine’s left faces a very difficult but vital task — the recovery of society, social transformation, and the restoration of state institutions. However, we will never reach our goal until we solve a number of organizational problems that have arisen since the ouster of left-wing forces from the legal political field.
Considering the above, we appeal to all left and progressive forces both inside Ukraine and beyond its borders to call for pressure on the new Ukrainian government in the following areas:
1) cessation of hostilities in the east of the country;
2) repeal of the law on decommunization;
3) repeal of the discriminatory language law;
4) end criminal prosecutions for political reasons;
5) prevent the sale of agricultural land;
6) refuse the enslaving conditions of the IMF;
7) prevent a new wave of privatization.
We call on all concerned citizens of Ukraine to unite around legal organizations which put at the head of their political programs social transformation and elimination of social inequality, exploitation and discrimination based on national, religious and sexual characteristics.
We call on all those who are interested in progressive change to get in touch with the leaders and activists of the Borotba Union to further coordinate our struggle.
We call on the citizens of Ukraine to be more attentive to the political struggle, to delve more deeply into the ongoing processes, to independently look at the causes of unpopular economic reforms, to raise the level of political education.
There are only two classes: the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, and the interests of the people and the oligarchy differ radically. Consciousness of belonging to one group or the other is the key to changing Ukrainian realities.
Together, we will win!
Ukraine will be free, will be socialist!