From LABOR-L@YORKU.CA Sun Feb 11 14:48:36 2001
Date: Sun, 11 Feb 2001 13:51:19 -0500
Sender: Forum on Labor in the Global Economy <LABOR-L@YORKU.CA>
From: Vladimir Bilenkin <achekhov@UNITY.NCSU.EDU>
Subject: Revolutionary situation in Ukraine?

Revolutionary situation in Ukraine?

By Vladimir Bilenkin, 11 February 2001

I've just received a message from Kiev.

Today anti-Kuchma protesters made several attempts to storm the presidential palace but were beaten back by a strong force of special police. Our comrades from the All-Ukrainian Council of Workers—VSR (led by the radical wing of the Communist Party of Ukraine—CPU) retreated the battle scene in order.

Earlier in the day the paramilitary formations of Ukrainian Nazis from the Trident of Stepan Bandera made good on their promise attacking the district committees of CPU. A number of communists were seriously wounded. However, no firearms were used. The Bandera people had brass knuckles and gas pistols. These attacks followed the clashes between nazis and communists during the anti-Kuchma rally on February 6.

Since then the Trident strengthened its forces in Kiev by bringing in about 500 fighters from Ternopol and other places. The Trident belongs to pro-Kuchma forces. The Nazis of another Bandera organization, UNA-UNSO demand Kuchma's ouster. However, both groups acted together the attack on the VSR column last Tuesday.

Every one is waiting for Putin's meeting with Kuchma in Dnepropetrovsk. The general consensus is that this meeting will decide whether Kuchma gets enough support from Putin to suppers the opposition by brute force.

Meanwhile, the headquarters of the right-wing opposition to Kuchma have moved to the grounds of US Embassy in Kiev.

Yesterday Kuchma fired the chief of his secret police and his close friend Dergach. Also fired was the chief of Kuchma's personal guard. Kuchma is now waiting for Putin in Dnepropetrovsk, about 200 miles from Kiev.

The Plenum of CC CPU was debating the situation for six hours yesterday, but failed to reach a decision on the present situation. A number of CC and VSR members argued that they had to make an attempt to seize power in the “red” regions of Ukraine. Others wanted to continue the anti-Kuchma actions in the capital, even though in Kiev communists face two enemies.

Meanwhile, communists all over Ukraine have been mobilized. The Kiev organization is reinforced by groups coming from all over Ukraine. Unspecified actions by communists are carried out in major proletarian centers of Ukraine: Kharkov, Donetsk, Zaporozhie, Cherkassy.

Last Friday anti-Communist pogroms were organized in the western part of the country.

A detailed account on the last week developments in Kiev will be published in this Monday edition of (