Ukrainian communists pictured alive but face pressure to admit to trumped-up charges | Steve Sweeney | The Morning Star


Kevin Lindemann and Cathy Campo
 


https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/w/ukrainian-communists-pictured-alive-but-face-pressure-to-admit-to-trumped-up-charges

Ukrainian communists pictured alive but face pressure to admit to trumped-up charges


Alexander and Mikhail Kononovich with their lawyer

TWO jailed Ukrainian communists have been pictured handcuffed but alive as they face charges of attempting to overthrow the government and seize state power. 

Alexander and Mikhail Kononovich were detained on March 3 following the Russian invasion, part of a crackdown on left and opposition groups.

Mikhail Kononovich is the leader of the youth wing of the outlawed Communist Party of Ukraine (KPU) and both were active in the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY), a global organisation of progressive youth groups.

Before their arrest, the brothers had been involved in a demonstration in front of the US embassy in Kiev demanding that Washington stops its military expansionism in Europe via Nato.

The pair were initially accused of being “propagandists” who sought to “destabilise” the internal situation in Ukraine and of spying for both Russia and Belarus. 

WFDY immediately issued an urgent appeal for their release and said it feared the brothers would be murdered.

But there was no further information on their safety or whereabouts in the aftermath of their arrest, despite calls for the European Union to intervene. 

The brothers are active anti-fascists and had held regular protests in support of Belarus outside the embassy in the Ukrainian capital. 

But now lawyers report that they have been threatened with life behind bars for the demonstrations, despite them having been approved by the authorities beforehand. 

Supporters suspect they have been beaten and tortured by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and are being pressed to admit to crimes against the state in return for a more lenient sentence. 

They are accused of violating article 109 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, in particular “calls for a violent change or overthrow of the constitutional order or for the seizure of state power, as well as the dissemination of materials calling for such actions.”

It is believed that they were taken back to the SBU on Sunday for further interrogations and it is reported they were told to accept the charges against them in return for 10 years in prison or face life behind bars should they refuse. 

WFDY continues to demand their immediate release from prison and the lifting of the ban on the KPU. 

Kiev has however moved to outlaw more leftist and opposition parties, taking steps to make a temporary ban on 11 opposition groups in March permanent.

Ukraine faced criticism after introducing legislation banning the import and promotion of Russian books and music on Sunday. 

One of the new laws will forbid the printing of books by Russian nationals, unless they renounce their Russian passport and take Ukrainian citizenship. This will only apply to those who held Russian citizenship after the 1991 collapse of Soviet rule.

Another law will prohibit the playing of music by people who gained Russian citizenship after 1991 on media and on public transport.






Bobby MacVeety
 

And this is the government socialists need to give arms and support to?


On Jun 22, 2022, at 1:47 AM, Kevin Lindemann and Cathy Campo <kklcac@...> wrote:



https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/w/ukrainian-communists-pictured-alive-but-face-pressure-to-admit-to-trumped-up-charges

Ukrainian communists pictured alive but face pressure to admit to trumped-up charges


Alexander and Mikhail Kononovich with their lawyer

TWO jailed Ukrainian communists have been pictured handcuffed but alive as they face charges of attempting to overthrow the government and seize state power. 

Alexander and Mikhail Kononovich were detained on March 3 following the Russian invasion, part of a crackdown on left and opposition groups.

Mikhail Kononovich is the leader of the youth wing of the outlawed Communist Party of Ukraine (KPU) and both were active in the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY), a global organisation of progressive youth groups.

Before their arrest, the brothers had been involved in a demonstration in front of the US embassy in Kiev demanding that Washington stops its military expansionism in Europe via Nato.

The pair were initially accused of being “propagandists” who sought to “destabilise” the internal situation in Ukraine and of spying for both Russia and Belarus. 

WFDY immediately issued an urgent appeal for their release and said it feared the brothers would be murdered.

But there was no further information on their safety or whereabouts in the aftermath of their arrest, despite calls for the European Union to intervene. 

The brothers are active anti-fascists and had held regular protests in support of Belarus outside the embassy in the Ukrainian capital. 

But now lawyers report that they have been threatened with life behind bars for the demonstrations, despite them having been approved by the authorities beforehand. 

Supporters suspect they have been beaten and tortured by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and are being pressed to admit to crimes against the state in return for a more lenient sentence. 

They are accused of violating article 109 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, in particular “calls for a violent change or overthrow of the constitutional order or for the seizure of state power, as well as the dissemination of materials calling for such actions.”

It is believed that they were taken back to the SBU on Sunday for further interrogations and it is reported they were told to accept the charges against them in return for 10 years in prison or face life behind bars should they refuse. 

WFDY continues to demand their immediate release from prison and the lifting of the ban on the KPU. 

Kiev has however moved to outlaw more leftist and opposition parties, taking steps to make a temporary ban on 11 opposition groups in March permanent.

Ukraine faced criticism after introducing legislation banning the import and promotion of Russian books and music on Sunday. 

One of the new laws will forbid the printing of books by Russian nationals, unless they renounce their Russian passport and take Ukrainian citizenship. This will only apply to those who held Russian citizenship after the 1991 collapse of Soviet rule.

Another law will prohibit the playing of music by people who gained Russian citizenship after 1991 on media and on public transport.






Marla Vijaya kumar
 

Dear,

                     I have been all along pointing it out. Where should we stand, with the Communists and labour

 activists, who are jailed and tortured by the present Nazi government in Ukraine or shout in support of   

"Ukrainian Heroes fighting the evil expansionist Russia". Moreover, since these communists in Ukraine took 

sides with the resistance groups of Donetsk and Luhansk, should we  reject them, because they are Stalinists? 

              For your kind information, all main communist parties in India have not left Stalin (more so with 

 CPIM and CIML). But CPI, which had shed the Stalin legacy long ago, works with other communist parties

 in the fight against the Hindutva fascists. And to tell the truth, Stalinist authoritarianism is very much alive 

among Party leaders, here in India.

Vijaya Kumar Marla

On Wednesday, June 22, 2022, 03:13:39 PM GMT+5:30, Bobby MacVeety <bobbymacveety@...> wrote:


And this is the government socialists need to give arms and support to?


On Jun 22, 2022, at 1:47 AM, Kevin Lindemann and Cathy Campo <kklcac@...> wrote:



https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/w/ukrainian-communists-pictured-alive-but-face-pressure-to-admit-to-trumped-up-charges

Ukrainian communists pictured alive but face pressure to admit to trumped-up charges


Alexander and Mikhail Kononovich with their lawyer

TWO jailed Ukrainian communists have been pictured handcuffed but alive as they face charges of attempting to overthrow the government and seize state power. 

Alexander and Mikhail Kononovich were detained on March 3 following the Russian invasion, part of a crackdown on left and opposition groups.

Mikhail Kononovich is the leader of the youth wing of the outlawed Communist Party of Ukraine (KPU) and both were active in the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY), a global organisation of progressive youth groups.

Before their arrest, the brothers had been involved in a demonstration in front of the US embassy in Kiev demanding that Washington stops its military expansionism in Europe via Nato.

The pair were initially accused of being “propagandists” who sought to “destabilise” the internal situation in Ukraine and of spying for both Russia and Belarus. 

WFDY immediately issued an urgent appeal for their release and said it feared the brothers would be murdered.

But there was no further information on their safety or whereabouts in the aftermath of their arrest, despite calls for the European Union to intervene. 

The brothers are active anti-fascists and had held regular protests in support of Belarus outside the embassy in the Ukrainian capital. 

But now lawyers report that they have been threatened with life behind bars for the demonstrations, despite them having been approved by the authorities beforehand. 

Supporters suspect they have been beaten and tortured by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and are being pressed to admit to crimes against the state in return for a more lenient sentence. 

They are accused of violating article 109 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, in particular “calls for a violent change or overthrow of the constitutional order or for the seizure of state power, as well as the dissemination of materials calling for such actions.”

It is believed that they were taken back to the SBU on Sunday for further interrogations and it is reported they were told to accept the charges against them in return for 10 years in prison or face life behind bars should they refuse. 

WFDY continues to demand their immediate release from prison and the lifting of the ban on the KPU. 

Kiev has however moved to outlaw more leftist and opposition parties, taking steps to make a temporary ban on 11 opposition groups in March permanent.

Ukraine faced criticism after introducing legislation banning the import and promotion of Russian books and music on Sunday. 

One of the new laws will forbid the printing of books by Russian nationals, unless they renounce their Russian passport and take Ukrainian citizenship. This will only apply to those who held Russian citizenship after the 1991 collapse of Soviet rule.

Another law will prohibit the playing of music by people who gained Russian citizenship after 1991 on media and on public transport.






Mark Baugher
 

The second definition of "GroundHog Day" in an American English dictionary is "... a situation in which a series of unwelcome or tedious events appear to be recurring in exactly the same way.
'she lived an unrelenting Groundhog Day of laundry, shopping, and rearing us kids'"

I have been all along pointing it out. Where should we stand, with the Communists and labour activists, who are jailed and tortured by the present Nazi government in Ukraine or shout in support of "Ukrainian Heroes fighting the evil expansionist Russia".
Taken as a question that last sentence is true: We've been debating for months and remain split on something so fundamental as the deliberate killing of hundreds of working people or more each day. James P. Cannon said something to the effect that unity rested on people having read the same books. Maybe we can get more unity by checking our sources.

People on this list have noted that much of our Ukrainian debate is a rehash of the one between Luxemburg and Lenin over a century ago: Many argument in marxmail on the recent invasion are recycled from that earlier one that was documented in Luxemburg's The National Question and Lenin's The Right of Nations to Self Determination. People should consider re-reading and quoting them more because I don't think Luxemburg and Lenin would be in disagreement on the Russian invasion of Ukraine. As she wrote: "It belongs to the ABC of socialist policy that socialism opposes every form of oppression, including also that of one nation by another."

When it comes to invading other countries, special recognition belongs to the US, which has killed over 900,000 people in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria in the 21st century, according to one estimate. Maybe it's a flaw in the US national character or the effects of the US $800B yearly weapons spending. But Putin is hardly worse than Bush and Cheney.

For whatever reasons, the US is stuck in a cycle of permanent warfare and Ukraine looks like the latest iteration. Is there an actual NATO threat to Russia? Militarizing Europe is a threat to everyone, NATO does that, and that's been more true for the past 30 years as it expanded. It would lessen the threat to people around the world to have disbanded NATO once the putative reason for its existence was gone. Thirty years of expansion has put bloody Ukraine on the front lines of what could be a victory for western military expansion. I thought Barry Sheppard articulated well the role of the US and Europe in creating the conditions for Putin to invade.

But he only told half of the story. The other half is that Russia invaded Ukraine, not vice versa, and "It belongs to the ABC of socialist policy that socialism opposes every form of oppression, including also that of one nation by another." Russia remains a prison house of nations as it was in the USSR, and Czarist Russia. There's no reason to support its expansion into Ukraine. "Russia out of Ukraine and NATO out of Europe" seems to me to be the principled position on the invasion.

But please, no more talk of Nazis and recycled war propaganda.

Mark


sartesian@...
 

This struggle has nothing to do with "self-determination" and everything to do with intra-capitalist conflict.  One would hardly know from reading the "pro self-determinationists" that Ukraine is a capitalist country with its own oligarchs, its own finance capitalists, its own adherence to "imperialism" through IMF and EU restructuring programs.

And this same lack of astute observation informs the self-determinationists defending the right of the "rebels to obtain arms from any source" since its not rebels obtaining weapons, its the capitalist government of Ukraine.

For there to be a dispute between Lenin and Luxemburg on this issue, the partisans of each would need to find a situation that conforms to the ones they were grappling with 105 years ago.  Ukraine does not.  It does resemble more that invasion of Belgium by Germany in either/both World Wars.  And calling for the defense of one capitalist country from the depredations of another capitalist country when the source of that conflict is the capitalist mode of production that dominates the globe is worse than a fool's errand, it's a statement of bankruptcy.


Mark Baugher
 

On Jun 22, 2022, at 1:23 PM, sartesian@... wrote:

This struggle has nothing to do with "self-determination" and everything to do with intra-capitalist conflict.
So you take no position if the countries are capitalist? Is that what Marx did in wars?

One would hardly know from reading the "pro self-determinationists" that Ukraine is a capitalist country with its own oligarchs, its own finance capitalists, its own adherence to "imperialism" through IMF and EU restructuring programs.
When Marx wrote, "An international movement of the proletariat is possible only among independent nations", what do you think he meant?


And this same lack of astute observation informs the self-determinationists defending the right of the "rebels to obtain arms from any source" since its not rebels obtaining weapons, its the capitalist government of Ukraine.
Where else would they get arms to fight against a much larger invading army? The alternative is for Ukrainians to let their country be ravaged. What kind of socialist would ask them to do that?


For there to be a dispute between Lenin and Luxemburg on this issue, the partisans of each would need to find a situation that conforms to the ones they were grappling with 105 years ago. Ukraine does not.

This list is called "marxmail" and as Marx wrote "So long as Poland is partitioned and subjugated, therefore, neither a strong socialist party can develop in the country itself, nor can there arise real international intercourse between the proletarian parties in Germany, etc, with other than émigré Poles."

It feels true to substitute "Ukraine" for "Poland" and "Ukrainians" for "Poles" in the above. Don't you agree?


It does resemble more that invasion of Belgium by Germany in either/both World Wars. And calling for the defense of one capitalist country from the depredations of another capitalist country when the source of that conflict is the capitalist mode of production that dominates the globe is worse than a fool's errand, it's a statement of bankruptcy.
I think your disagreement is first and foremost with Marx and Engels as well as most traditions that emanate from their work. It's true that Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky often looked at national struggles in the context of the transition to capitalism from feudal forms, just as they viewed the formation of a nation state as a prerequisite to socialism, but they went beyond this and saw the right to speak your language, perform cultural practices and enjoy self government as a prerequisite to class solidarity. That is part of a tradition that stretches from Marx and Engels, to Lenin and Trotsky, to CLR James and Black nationalism. Your arguments are unmoored from that tradition.


Mark



sartesian@...
 

On Wed, Jun 22, 2022 at 06:44 PM, Mark Baugher wrote:
I think your disagreement is first and foremost with Marx and Engels as well as most traditions that emanate from their work. It's true that Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky often looked at national struggles in the context of the transition to capitalism from feudal forms, just as they viewed the formation of a nation state as a prerequisite to socialism, but they went beyond this and saw the right to speak your language, perform cultural practices and enjoy self government as a prerequisite to class solidarity. That is part of a tradition that stretches from Marx and Engels, to Lenin and Trotsky, to CLR James and Black nationalism. Your arguments are unmoored from that tradition.
I could parse every one your statements, but in the end it all comes down to the appeal above, and that is your appeal to authority.  You provide not a shred of concrete analysis of the situation in Ukraine, the "macro" forces propelling this conflict, and ignore completely the critical issue which, since 1848 has been the independent program of the working class for social revolution.

We get none of that.  We get the appeal to "tradition" of the "fathers" without any investigation of historical circumstances then and now, to see where parallels, congruences exist, and where such circumstances diverge.

Not for nothing did Marx write that the tradition of all dead generations weighs like an Alp on the brains of the living.

Should we discuss the positions of those fathers?

Engels?  Are we to moor ourselves to the tradition that has Engels endorsing the US war on behalf of its slaveholders against Mexico?  Should we moor ourselves to the tradition of Engels in 1848 who applauded the French conquest of Algeria calling it "an important and fortunate fact for the progress of civilization"?  Or should we moor ourselves to the position he took 9 years later, denouncing that conquest?  Or the position he wanted Marx and the IWMA to take, uncritically endorsing Germany in the Franco-Prussian war as it would quicken the consolidation of the German working class?  Fortunately the communards didn't give a rat's ass about Engels' arguments.

Lenin?  Should we moor ourselves to the position that argued revolutionary defeatism, that  warned against dissipating the programmatic independence of the proletariat within the eruption of "national liberation" in the colonies?  Or do we moor ourselves in the tradition of the 3rd Intl, which with the approval of Lenin and Trotsky puts forth the  Joffe-Sun manifesto declaring communism unsuited for China, and vice-versa, and uncritically support Sun and order the young communist party to adhere to the discipline of the GMT?

CLR James?  That tradition?  Would it be the tradition of the Johnson Forest Tendency?  The Third Camp?  of Pan-Africanism and Nkrumaisim?  Which tradition do you want? 

How many ghosts do you need to make the empty house feel like home? 


Mark Baugher
 

...
I could parse every one your statements, but in the end it all comes down to the appeal above, and that is your appeal to authority.
It's a start, not an end: Why do we bother to study tens of thousands of pages written by mostly dead people who were concerned about forgotten events? Those pages are the repository of past knowledge, experiences and lessons from people who helped shape events. In crises like a military invasion, it's valuable to start by examining how they approached similar circumstances, what's the same and what's different That's not an "appeal to authority" fallacy, particularly when the authorities are debating diametrically opposed views, like Luxemburg and Lenin on the "national question."

You provide not a shred of concrete analysis of the situation in Ukraine, the "macro" forces propelling this conflict, and ignore completely the critical issue which, since 1848 has been the independent program of the working class for social revolution.

Then why not apply that program of the working class for social revolution? My "concrete analysis" is that you misunderstand or just ignore the programmatic position on the national questions and nationalities. What do you think they got right and what do you think they got wrong? It's a place to start, not end. But you haven't started.

And please be respectful. It's not true what you say about me. I wrote yesterday that the forces propelling this conflict include expansion of NATO over three decades when the putative reasons for its existence no longer existed, and I said that Russia is trying to reconstruct the Czarist prison house of nations by reclaiming Ukraine as its crown jewel. Isn't that "macro" enough? Or is that not enough "concrete analysis."


We get none of that. We get the appeal to "tradition" of the "fathers"

I appealed to a mother as well.

...
Engels? Are we to moor ourselves to the tradition that has Engels endorsing the US war on behalf of its slaveholders against Mexico? Should we moor ourselves to the tradition of Engels in 1848 who applauded the French conquest of Algeria calling it "an important and fortunate fact for the progress of civilization"? Or should we moor ourselves to the position he took 9 years later, denouncing that conquest? Or the position he wanted Marx and the IWMA to take, uncritically endorsing Germany in the Franco-Prussian war as it would quicken the consolidation of the German working class? Fortunately the communards didn't give a rat's ass about Engels' arguments.

Lenin? Should we moor ourselves to the position that argued revolutionary defeatism, that warned against dissipating the programmatic independence of the proletariat within the eruption of "national liberation" in the colonies? Or do we moor ourselves in the tradition of the 3rd Intl, which with the approval of Lenin and Trotsky puts forth the Joffe-Sun manifesto declaring communism unsuited for China, and vice-versa, and uncritically support Sun and order the young communist party to adhere to the discipline of the GMT?

You forgot to mention that Marx used the n-word.


CLR James? That tradition? Would it be the tradition of the Johnson Forest Tendency? The Third Camp? of Pan-Africanism and Nkrumaisim? Which tradition do you want?

I want the tradition where activists engage in a struggle rather than stand aside carping that it's not proletarian-pristine enough for them - that's the hallmark of sectarianism.

So, what would you have us do about Ukraine? Should we demand that Russia withdraw? That NATO be dismantled?

Mark




sartesian@...
 

I want the tradition that says no to class collaboration, that gives a shit about what governments are strengthened during and after a struggle, that insists on the independent program for proletarian power.  I want a program that doesn't stand aside, and adopt a "strategic" reverence for "democracy" and is not silent about joining the EU, maintaining IMF programs, and using weapons supplied by the bourgeoisie to further the interests of capitalists, under the duplicitous and dishonest "it's up to the people" pro-bourgeois baloney

Those doing that are the real abstentionists, the real pass-i-vists.  

You ask: "So, what would you have us do about Ukraine? Should we demand that Russia withdraw? That NATO be dismantled? "

Of course to both. The day before the invasion what would have been YOUR demands if not "No Invasion" "Dismantle NATO"?

Clearly those who aren't "sectarian" or "pristine" don't think NATO should be dismantled. This where their revolutionary non-sectarian "tradition" gets them-- sewn up tight in the trick bag of capitalist alliance. There's a tradition there, too. And rationalized with references to Marx and Engels.

I've already itemized the points of what I think are in the best tradition of Marxists confronting an intra-capitalist conflict, a tradition conspicuous in its absence among the Go Ukraine cheerleaders.  You can look it up.  Here's the link  https://anticapital0.wordpress.com/the-big-mash-up/


Mark Baugher
 

On Jun 23, 2022, at 7:51 AM, sartesian@... wrote:

I've already itemized the points of what I think are in the best tradition of Marxists confronting an intra-capitalist conflict, a tradition conspicuous in its absence among the Go Ukraine cheerleaders. You can look it up. Here's the link https://anticapital0.wordpress.com/the-big-mash-up/
I'll read it and leave any comments that I have on that page.

thanks, Mark