Ukraine: Orange Revolution in Reverse

When looking at the political situation in the Ukraine today one can imagine all the leaders of US imperialism sat with their heads in their hands wondering just what they have to do to competently control and pacify the lands that they have taken into their ‘sphere of influence’.

The invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq have certainly turned poisonous for them, but even some of their critics gave them some grudging credit for the apparent success of the tactic of setting up, or adopting an existing, opposition to a government that they wished to change, pour tons of cash into that opposition to run an election and buy a big presence on the streets to declare the opposition the winner in the event that they then lose that election. After all, this worked in Serbia and Georgia (although to this day it has still not worked in Zimbabwe where the ZANU-PF government and its great leader, Robert Mugabe, although under much pressure from imperialism, has the total backing of the majority of its people, a people who have in living memory fought and suffered to win the political freedom and arable land that they now own and cherish); in fact in 2004 it worked in Ukraine.

At that time the government was pro-Russian and led by Viktor Yanukovich, the President. The West backed Viktor Yushchenko against him and, after the count went the way of Yanukovich, had their man take it to the Ukrainian Supreme Court to get the result overturned and the election rerun while they threw millions of dollars around to buy protesters on the street and plenty of rock concerts, tents and media to capture the scene as they wanted it portrayed.

In the rerun Presidential election Yushchenko claimed victory in spite of the massive and many claims of violations including the loss of vote for over 5 million people. The West was ecstatic, they had pulled a state away from Russia and continued the encirclement of that country (along with the access to profits formerly denied them), the Ukrainians who had taken part in the ‘Orange Revolution’ (yellow putsch would be a more apt description) waited for the virtual paradise that they had been promised to become reality. After all, there were some very rich people in the country, so that wealth would now be spread around wouldn’t it?

Three years on, and after some very effective lessons in what it means for a country to become a third world lackey of US imperialism, the Ukrainian people are no longer waiting for that paradise, and the older generations dream of the long gone Soviet state that was thrown away. Even the post Soviet capitalist state of Yanukovich, allied as it was to Russia the ancient ally, was better than this.

Yanukovich meanwhile had not gone away but had built an effective opposition in parliament having become Prime Minister and, after securing some defections from disgruntled former Yushchenko supporters, now has a parliamentary majority. This is the reason that President Yushchenko (whose dreams of EU membership for Ukraine have nose-dived into oblivion) has now decreed that parliament be dissolved and new parliamentary elections take place. Yanukovich has flatly refused new elections and has referred the matter to the constitutional court, while Yushchenko is just as adamantly carrying on with preparations for the elections and threatening to have his opponent prosecuted if he and his Party do not take part, only this time it is Yanukovich’s supporters who are out on the streets protesting every day and living in tent cities.

If the opinion poll carried out by the Sofia Centre for Social Research is to be believed (they claim an error margin of no more than 2.2%), 43.5% of Ukrainians positively support Yanukovich, while 50.4% are against him as opposed to only 29.9% in favour of Yushchenko and a massive 64.2% against him. The same poll, which was held in all regions of Ukraine, revealed that some 59.9% are against the new parliamentary elections decreed by Yushchenko.

The constitutional arguments regarding when and in what circumstances the Ukrainian Parliament can be dissolved favour the Yanukovich camp but points of law do not win power. It remains to be seen how this situation will end but one thing is for sure, every seeming victory of US imperialism turns to dust before its eyes as it faces opposition to its rule everywhere and in many different forms, and every bit of that opposition hastens the decline of this disgusting creature that squats, bloated with profits, on the backs of the poor. We, along with the poor of the world, look forward to that decline along with the decline of all the other imperialist oppressors, their lackeys and their whole rotten system.