UKRAINE Volodymir*, Ukrainian Labour activist
The regime established after 2014 is a military-police regime. All left-wing opposition is banned, as well as communist « ideology », « symbols » and press. The trade union movement has been weakened by leaders who collaborate with the regime. Strikes are sporadic, mainly in the mines. Any kind of protest against the regime is immediately labelled as manipulation by the « Russian aggressor ». Political terror reigns on a large scale: according to the most conservative estimates, 5 to 10 thousand people are in prison, for « terrorism » and « separatism ». The economy is in decline, not only because of the coronavirus, but primarily because of the regime’s policy of war and de-industrialisation.
On the war front (the one that has been going on since 2014 in south-eastern Ukraine, between the US-equipped Ukrainian army and Russian-armed separatist militias ed. note), the deployment of troops is expanding. In 2019-2020, the Ukrainian armed forces had 10 groups of ground regiments in the south-eastern regions. In 2021, this has increased to 13 regiments (one third of the ground forces).
That is 125,000 men, and 150,000 if one adds those of other military formations. In addition, by the end of November 2021, there are more than 12,000 foreign military personnel on Ukrainian territory (one third of them American troops). Since the beginning of 2021, Russia has responded to these reinforcements by moving large numbers of troops to the Ukrainian border. Western estimates suggest the presence of 90,000-120,000 Russian troops on the edge of Ukraine. The provocations by Ukrainian troops are legion: in addition to shelling and sniping, they use drones to bomb populated areas and kidnap negotiators and militia members for future prisoner exchanges.
Please accept our greetings and, even if the news is not good, the assurance of our unshakeable faith in the development of the anti-war movement.”
* first name has been changed
* Le prénom a été modifié.