Daily Archives: May 31, 2016

UK | Donbass : Myths and Realities and the Role of Communists

by Dmytriy Kovalevich

Democracy and Class Struggle has heard conflicting reports from Donetsk and Lugansk about situation of comrades.
 To clarify the situation for readers of Democracy and Class Struggle we have asked comrade Dmytriy Kovalevich for clarification of the current situation in Donbass.

We know that West governments for two years blackmailed Moscow demanding to take measures and press Donbass rebels as they couldn’t press them by Kiev troops.
Although, we can’t know the plans of Moscow for sure, but definitely Russian government is not as united as it is portrayed by West press: it has several factions with their own vested interests and it is the internal Russian political struggle causes contradictory decisions over Donbass and Ukraine.
The policy of Moscow is (and has been since Maidan) is rather determined by a desire to have Donbass inside Ukraine and Russian officials stated it quite clearly, by the way.
Russia doesn’t want a seceded Donbass (dependent on Russia and a burden on its budget) – it would like to see it inside Ukraine as a counterbalance to Kiev nationalists and a leverage to influence the policy of entire Ukraine.
But definitely Moscow can’t allow Kiev to defeat Donbass by military force.
The difference between Moscow and Kiev approach is not over Donbass status as such (both governments are agree over it), but Kiev wants a military victory and to expel local Donbass people to Russia, while Russia can’t allow this scenario to happen and would like to see a strong Donbass with its people inside Ukraine.

The opinion of Donbass people is effectively ignored by both sides (Moscow and Kiev). 
Russian government (threatening to stop humanitarian aid) made Donbass rebels in 2014 to stop their advancement (when they nearly seized Marioupol and even entered Zaporizhya region).
Moscow also tries to force them to fulfill Minsk agreements.
But the problem is that Kiev and Moscow differently interpret the Minsk agreements.
Currently, the leader of DPR A.Zakharchenko is outraged that Moscow presses them to postpone the elections in DPR – for the third time (Moscow doesn’t want Donbass elections to be held, but would like Donbass people and organisations to participate in all-Ukrainian elections, while Kiev would like to forbid ‘the terrorists’ participation’ in Ukrainian elections).
As to the issue of Donetsk communists. I should remind that still Donetsk Communist party is the only (!) political party officially registered in DPR.
There are no other political parties there (only newly formed movements and civic organizations).
There is still no definite law on political parties and their registration (Moscow as usual doesn’t allow the local political sphere to be formed, as it sees Donbass in Ukraine).
The registration of Donetsk communists is seen, thus, as a ‘mistake’ to be corrected.
Some think that this began from the comment said by the former Ukrainian president L.Kuchma during Minsk negotiations over the prospect of elections in Donbass:
“You have in Donetsk an officially registered Communist party, but you are not going to allow our parties to participate in the elections in Donbass!”.
After that there began attempts to ‘correct a mistake’ – that is: no registered parties at all – so, no possibility for Kiev parties to participate in Donbass elections.
Officially Donetsk Communist Party is included into the movement ‘Donetsk Republic’ (headed by A.Zakharchenko) – actually it’s a ruling block (not a party).
In May 2016 two deputies of the Communist Party of Donetsk were excluded from the Donetsk council under pretext that they didn’t followed the block’s discipline and voted not as was agreed by the entire faction in the Parliament.
However, unofficially Donetsk politicians say that this is the instruction from Moscow – to ‘suppress communists’ so that to remove a potential argument from Kiev in negotiations.
Apparently this happens because Donetsk communists were the initiators of the Donbass uprising – all began from their rallies to defend Lenin’s monuments two years ago and seizing administrative buildings in the region.
B.Litvinov (the head of Donetsk communists) was the main organizer of the referendum on Donbass independency.
That’s the comment from Russian media Nakanune:

“Whatever happens, but the DPR still follows the instructions from Moscow, and one should not try to find in the exclusion of Litvinov a sort of persecution of Communists. 
His removal does not mean any prohibition of the Communist party. To ban the Communists in Donbas is impossible. 
Moreover, the Communist party officially registered in DPR, just in current circumstances can not participate in the elections in the interests of the process [i.e. Minsk agreements]. 
And the fact that the Communist party is the first and the only party that managed to register in DPR, says only that the support of the Communists in the industrial Donbass is very high.

USA | 259 Killed in Iraq; Bombers Back in Baghdad

by , May 30

During Memorial Day observances at Arlington National Cemetery, U.S. President Barack Obama admitted that three U.S. servicemembers have given their lives in “combat” in Iraq and then spoke about them.

Citing obstruction, UN torture prevention panel suspends Ukraine visit

The United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) has suspended its visit to Ukraine after being denied access to places in several parts of the country where it suspects people are being deprived of their liberty by the Security Service of Ukraine, the SBU.