The Communist Party of Britain condemns the continuing violation of the 17 April Geneva Declaration by the coup government in Kiev as a grave threat to world peace.

The Geneva declaration stated that all sides in Ukraine ‘must refrain from any violence, intimidation or provocative action’. It called for ‘the immediate establishment of a broad national dialogue with outreach to all of Ukraine’s regions and politically constituencies’.

The action of the coup government in sending its armed forces against the Russian-speaking regions of the east and the south is a clear violation of this declaration – even if the populations of these regions have continued to defend their local and regional institutions.

Even more worrying is the character of the forces being used by the Kiev regime. The National Guard as reconstituted on 16 March incorporates the armed groups from Right Sector and other fascist organisations that spearheaded the coup on 24 February.

Their political leaders now dominate the key defence committee of the Kiev regime. Andrey Panubiy of the fascist and anti-semitic Ukrainian Social National Party is Secretary of the coup government’s Security and Defence Council. Deputy Secretary is Dmitry Yarosh of the fascist Svoboda Party. So also is the deputy Prime Minister. The coup Prime Minister Yatsenyuk’s Fatherland Party itself fought the election in alliance with the Svoboda Party. All pay tribute to Stepan Bandera, the wartime leader of the pro-Nazi forces in Ukraine.

These are the people who are directing the violence against the populations of the east.

The killing of 40 people, including women and children, in the Trade Union Building in Odessa occurred when the police stood back to allow armed Right Sector fascists to torch the tents of the protest camp, to set fire to the building and then attack those who tried to escape.

The military forces being deployed against the Russian-speaking east combines regular army forces with the National Guard. It has been the National Guard forces, now incorporating the fascist Right Sector militia, that have been shooting down the unarmed civilian crowds attempting to halt the tanks and APCs of the regular army.

At the 6 May meeting of the Duma the Svoboda and Fatherland parties voted to exclude Communists deputies as their leader Petro Symonenko demanded an enquiry into the killings in Odessa and the East. Communists have now been expelled from the rump parliament.

The failure of the EU and the United States to issue any condemnation, in direct violation of an agreement signed six weeks before, can only be taken as an encouragement of actions that represent the gravest threat to world peace since the end of the Cold War.

The Communist Party of Britain calls on the British government to support the call issued on 3 May by the Swiss prime minister and the Russian foreign minister for an immediate halt to military action and a return to the position of the Geneva Declaration for a ‘broad national dialogue’ in Ukraine.

The call of the Left in Ukraine is for a federal constitution within which the national, social and linguistic rights of all sections of the people of Ukraine can be protected. This is also the demand of the eastern regions. It is one that should be supported by the Left in this country.

6 May 2014

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