The Statement of the Independent Students' Syndicate of “Direct Action” Concerning the Russian Military Invasion into Ukraine

We are against War - Ukraine

We, the Independent Students’ Syndicate of “Direct Action” (Ukraine), appeal to our Russian and foreign comrades, and to everyone who is simply not indifferent. We ask you not to stay away from the current situation, to protest against Russian military invasion into Ukraine and against the possible war. We also urge all the Russians to come out into the streets of your cities and to fight against the authoritarian regime of Putin’s dictatorship, for sovereignty of the people and for direct democracy in Russia.

Russian television and all the other media which are under the control of the government shower people with endless lies. It is asserted that in Ukraine the state power is taken over by Nazis, that the whole Kiev is ablaze, that gangs of bandits are marauding the city, that Russian-speaking people are attacked in streets, and that brave fighters from the Ukrainian police desperately try to protect the people from mayhem and so-called “anarchy” that reign supreme in the streets.

Of course, in this stream of lies sometimes a grain of truth can be found. Indeed, during the clashes which took place in Kiev on 18-20 of February, about a hundred people were killed and thousands were wounded. But the police, not the protesters, were the aggressors. It were snipers from the police who shooted at people with live cartridges, and the protesters had to protect themselves somehow.

Indeed, many supporters and members of far right forces took part in protests. Most of them were representants of “The Right Sector” (which is an umbrella organization that includes a few right and far right movements) and of a far right Ukrainian party of “Svoboda”. But, according to some surveys, they do not have much support from the Ukrainian population. Furthermore, the party of “Svoboda” discredited itself severely even in the eyes of its former voters by proving to be virtually helpless during the time of the greatest danger to the Maidan. In truth, there were lots of other organizations on the Maidan (most of them liberal) which rivaled the far rights. Moreover, a lot of left grassroots organizations standing for democracy and for people’s social interests emerged.

Indeed, some representants of far right organizations became members of governmental structures. But the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine consists mostly of various national-democrats and neoliberals. Of course it isn’t good, but it’s too early to talk about a Nazi dictatorship in Ukraine.

Indeed, mayhem reigned on the Maidan during and after clashes with the police, tires burned and the destroyed square was black with soot. Indeed, the House of Labor Unions burned down (it served as the headquarters and hospital for the protesters and the police set it on fire). But at the moment everything is quiet in Kiev. Nobody robs or kills, houses do not burn. On 1 March, cleaning of the Maidan was organized. Lots of volunteers came to clean up after the clashes. Hospitals in which the wounded are treated are overflowing with medicines and food donated by ordinary people who wished to help. A round-the-clock duty is established in governmental buildings which still remain occupied. Volunteers on duty ensure that no documents disappear from the sealed offices in these buildings. Even in the former residence of Yanukovych, Mezhyhirya, round-the-clock duty was established to guard the estate from potential looting.

Attacks on Russian citizens and on Russian-speaking people are also fiction. Allegedly adopted laws “banning” the Russian language are also unthinkable–Ukrainian channels broadcast live discussions from their studios where people speak the language they want to speak in. Even the far rights, who used to like saying that it is necessary to “prohibit” Russian or something like that, now don’t risk saying it anymore, even if they want to: a large part of the Maidan spoke Russian.

Of course, no doubt that yesterday's Ukrainian opposition, which today has become the power, is unlikely to be much better than the old power. The Maidan, where social demands began to sound after Yanukovych’s escape, already criticized the new power for serving the oligarchs. The new government is already doing it openly, appointing oligarchs for the posts of regional governors and making the Russian invasion the reason for it by saying that the oligarchs will “protect Ukrainian people”. Note also that the present military invasion might prove very useful for the new power, as the external threat overshadows numerous internal disagreements. In the presence of an external threat people begin to consolidate around patriotic and nationalistic ideas, and not around social issues, which is also very profitable for the representants of right and far right ideologies and for those in power. Moreover, in the case of preservation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine the new government will ascribe a multitude of merit to themselves, and even in the case of partition they will likely seem to be the “leaders” around whom the (remaining) nation will consolidate and whom they will support.

So, we once again want to stress the fact that the Russian media feed people with incredible lies. There is no fascist dictatorship and no infringement of rights of the Russians or Russian-speaking people in Ukraine today. There is no mayhem in the streets. The invasion of Russian troops only aims at increased profits of big corporations and at strengthening of Putin’s regime, which felt some threat coming from the events that took place in Ukraine. Among the other things, this invasion promotes the spread of right and far-right ideas in Ukraine, in fact helping the Ukrainian far rights instead of fighting them as it is claimed to be aimed at.

We once again call on all those who care to do everything possible to prevent mass bloodshed. We do not want any clashes for the interests of those in power, for the financial interests of large corporations and tycoons from both sides. We, just like you, do not want to die and do not want to kill.

We also call upon all the Russian citizens to join left democratic initiatives and fight against real fascist threat coming from Putin and from the Russian state machine. We will deal with Ukrainian far rights ourselves. Do not let the Russian government finally turn into an analogue of the Third Reich and in prospect––to burn this world down. However the history unfolds, all of our descendants are yet to live together on this planet.

The Independent Students' Syndicate of “Direct Action”