by Antidote’s Laurent Moeri
“When the battle is over and the martyrs sleep, the cowards emerge from the alleys to tell us of their heroism.” – Graffiti in Homs, Syria
Prelude – Mission Impossible
What follows is an attempt at the impossible: a critical review of the situation in Ukraine, the involvement of Putinʼs Russia, and the international Leftʼs capacity (or lack thereof) to respond to social uprisings without repeating prescribed narratives. It is written on one sole premise: that the victims of an eventual military escalation in Ukraine will predominantly be ethnic minorities such as the muslim Crimean Tatars, marginalized groups such as the Sinti and Roma, and the working class—while bureaucrats in Brussels and the Czar and his clan in Moscow will continue to further their respective interests. To highlight the likelihood of this prediction, a comparison will be made between events in Chechnya and Crimea.Continue Reading
Excuse me Mister – How Far is it from Simferopol to Grozny?”
“Terek on his stones is fretting / With a troubled roar;
Wild Chechen, his dagger whetting, / Crawls along the shore.
But your father knows war’s riot, / Knows what he must do.
Sleep, my darling, sleep in quiet, / Bayushki-bayu.”
– popular Cossack lullaby written by the Russian Poet Lermontov
“Don’t buy from the Blacks!”
AntiNote: As news breaks today of military incidents between Ukrainian government forces and separatist militants in the East, we are once again reeling from the quickly-shifting circumstances in that country. This interview with Volodymyr Ishchenko is less than a week old, and may already be nearing its expiration date…
But: Ishchenko’s statements (as well as his writing; links below) contain a certain wisdom and thoughtful consideration that make them less perishable. As today’s violence sends the international commentariat into fits of hyperbole, lambasting one side or the other (as if there are even just “two sides!”), we find that Ishchenko’s reasoned call for more nuance is as relevant—even urgent—as ever.
The overthrow of the authoritarian regime of Yanukovych by no means signifies for us the end of our fight. New dictators hasten to take the place of the Party of Regions. They will not hesitate to rely not only on considerably weakened security agencies, but on the far right militants as well. The regime of police and prosecutorial arbitrariness deserved its overthrow unconditionally, but now there may come a time for a new terror that will justify itself ideologically.Continue Reading
AntiNote: These photographs were taken over two days in Kiev last week, 22 and 23 January 2014, by citizen photographer Ilya Varlamov. He posted them today on livejournal, with his own commentary.
We have selected a few of the more impressive images, and have included Varlamov’s captions where appropriate. He warns that Western media’s impressions of last week’s reactionary escalations in Kiev are largely mythological and exaggerated.
Nonetheless, AntiDote takes seriously the analyses of our comrades working with New Left groupings in Eastern Europe, which argue that the Euromaidan movement and opposition to Viktor Yanukovych’s corrupt government have been increasingly instrumentalized by radical rightwing and nationalist groups. We caution our readers to maintain a healthy skepticism, and we by no means intend to offer support or encouragement to forces with racist, chauvinist, militaristic, or totalitarian designs.
Please click on each image for a closer look.
I came to Kiev to see for myself what is happening here. Of course, an hour after arriving at Maidan, you begin to understand that everything you’ve read in dozens of articles and seen in TV news reports is total crap. With these photographs I will try, as objectively as possible, to sort out this new wave of the Kiev revolution.
Euromaidan and a Program for the Left
“Euromaidan’s popularity has nothing to do with Ukrainians finding the question of free trade with the European Union so significant that it emboldened them to survive sleepless nights on the square. The country’s socioeconomic problems, which are much more acute than those of its neighbors to the East and West, gave the protest its meaning.”