No ban on the Communist Party of Ukraine!

Workers World condemns in the strongest terms the latest moves by the far-right government in Ukraine, backed by the United States ruling class, to ban the Communist Party of Ukraine (KPU).

The new measure against the country’s largest political organization comes on the heels of a war frenzy against Russia and the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, whipped up after the crash of the Malaysian airliner on July 17. Both Kiev and Washington have accused Moscow and the rebels in southeastern Ukraine of downing the civilian plane — without a shred of evidence.

We have also learned that a local Communist Party leader in Donetsk, Glinsky Secretary Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Kovshun, was tortured and murdered by the Ukrainian National Guard near the town of Luzhky the night of July 22.

The lynching of this longtime communist activist, like the massacre at the Odessa House of Trade Unions on May 2, exposes the Ukrainian junta’s real agenda: to murder, imprison or exile not only KPU leaders, but all anti-fascist and pro-socialist fighters in Ukraine.

A show trial of the Communist Party was set to begin July 24 in Kiev, charging the country’s largest political organization with supporting “separatism” and “terrorism.”

The KPU has been targeted for its opposition to the February coup d’etat, which brought a coalition of neoliberal politicians, oligarchs and outright fascists to power, and for opposing the civil war unleashed against the largely industrial, working-class, southeastern Donbass region of Donetsk and Lugansk, where a strong anti-fascist resistance is contending for power.

Since the coup, Communist Party offices have been occupied and burned down by neo-Nazi groups like Right Sector and Svoboda, party activists have been kidnapped and beaten, and parliamentarians physically attacked. While campaigning for president last May, Communist Party leader Peter Simonenko survived an assassination attempt after a television debate.

Not satisfied to await the results of the kangaroo court, the Verkhovna Rada (parliament), having effectively banned elected members of the KPU, the Party of Regions and others following the illegal coup, changed its rules July 22 to allow parliament speaker Oleksandr Turchynov to dissolve the Communist Party parliamentary group. Billionaire President Petro Poroshenko signed a bill the same day legalizing the move.

“Tomorrow morning [Thursday], it will be published in Golos Ukrainy [official newspaper of the Verkhovna Rada], meaning it will come into force, and I will fulfill a historic mission and announce the Communist Party’s cessation,” Turchynov said while opening the July 23 parliamentary session.

Don’t expect any condemnation of this blatantly anti-democratic measure from the U.S. or its NATO allies. Washington spent billions of dollars to topple the elected government of President Viktor Yanukovich and has pumped in billions more to assist the regime’s terrorist war on Donbass, as part of its campaign to station NATO troops and weapons on Russia’s border.

Sergei Kirichuk, national coordinator of Union Borotba (Struggle) — himself forced into exile by the junta following the Odessa massacre — writes:

“Destruction of the Communist Party today will drive all leftist movements underground. This will set a precedent for the fierce persecution of all who share anti-fascist and socialist views. The country has slid into a bloody dictatorship under a regime of rightist politicians who for the first time in a hundred years have unleashed a civil war against their own people. And now we need broad solidarity with those who face the repression of rights.”

Stop the war on Donbass! U.S. out of Ukraine! Hands off the Communist Party, Borotba and the anti-fascist resistance!