Statement of Union Borotba (Struggle) on Ukraine’s “elections of blood”
Following is a report and analysis of the May 25 elections by Union Borotba (Struggle), a revolutionary socialist and anti-fascist organization in Ukraine, translated by Workers World contributing editor Greg Butterfield and available on the Borotba.org website. Oligarch Petro Poroshenko declared himself the landslide winner of the presidential election, getting four times the vote of his nearest rival, Julia Timoshenko.
The so-called elections held by the Kiev junta on May 25, cannot be considered fair or legitimate. Elections held in the midst of civil war in the east of the country and neo-Nazi terror in the south and center were not free.
The very course of the election campaign was unprecedented in its every conceivable violation of democratic norms. Presidential candidates were beaten and not allowed to campaign. Several candidates withdrew in protest against the farce.
In Odessa and other regions, there were documented cases of polling stations being “guarded” by ultranationalist units brought from Kiev and western Ukraine. This cannot be called anything but explicit pressure on the voters.
In Crimea and the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, the so-called elections were not held. In the Odessa and Kharkov regions, polling stations were almost empty. Many of those who came to vote spoiled their ballots, writing slogans against the Kiev junta. Nevertheless, the so-called Central Election Commission claimed a turnout of 60 percent!
Thousands of people in different cities of the country came out to protest against the “elections of blood.” Nevertheless, the results announced by the junta will be recognized by the obedient Central Electoral Commission and Western observers.
The hypocrisy of the so-called champions of fair elections should be noted. They criticize flawed elections in the Russian Federation and other countries, but now turn a blind eye to the blatant falsification and flagrant violations of the “elections” of May 25.This once again shows that the criterion of “honesty” for official liberal public opinion is not real compliance with election procedures, but the loyalty to Western imperialism of the regime that holds elections.
As expected, the winner of the presidential “election” was billionaire Poroshenko. Poroshenko, along with other billionaires like Igor Kolomoisky and Sergei Taruta, became the personification of the direct transfer of state power to the big capitalists. Poroshenko is a prime example of the ruling class of “independent” Ukraine — the parasitic bourgeois oligarchy that has looted the country for the last 20 years.
Poroshenko’s political path is revealing. In the late 1990s, he was a loyal member of then-President Leonid Kuchma’s Social Democratic Party of Ukraine (united) party. Then he was one of the founders of the Party of Regions. Then — a friend and ally of President Viktor Yushchenko. A leading lobbyist for so-called “European integration,” Poroshenko then became one of the leaders and sponsors of Euromaidan.
There is no doubt that Poroshenko will continue the course of Alexander Turchinov and Arseny Yatsenyuk in the interests of a narrow layer of the oligarchy. Poroshenko will continue the junta’s dirty war against its own people in the Donbass. Poroshenko will continue to implement the anti-people measures imposed by the International Monetary Fund and lead the country to economic disaster.
The direct transfer of power to the oligarchy and the strengthening of neofascist tendencies are direct consequences of Euromaidan, which Union Borotba warned of last autumn. Only very politically naive people could expect a different result from a movement led by neoliberals and ultranationalists, and sponsored by the biggest capitalists.
The results showed a devastating defeat for the radical nationalists — and Tyagnybok [leader of Svoboda] and Yarosh [leader of Right Sector], who together polled only 2 percent. Terror against the people, against the left and democratic forces, and deployment of nationalist combat units, have not promoted the growth of popularity of the fascist forces. Nevertheless, despite their low public support, the extreme right will remain an important element of the political system of the Kiev dictatorship. Their role is the violent suppression of opponents of the oligarchic regime. This role is typical of fascist-type movements.
We do not recognize the outcome of these pseudo-elections ignored by the majority. We will continue the campaign of civil disobedience against the junta of oligarchs and nationalists.
Violent attacks by neo-Nazi forces drove leaders from Kiev after the February coup. Borotba members then played a leading role in the resistance movement in southeastern Ukraine, especially in the regions of Odessa and Kharkov. Their members were among those killed and injured in the May 2 Odessa massacre. Because of increasing repression, since May 9, Borotba activists throughout the country have been forced to continue their work underground.