As we reflect on the destruction of the coal industry in Britain thirty years ago, we should consider how the EU attempts to break up the Ukraine focus on the need to destroy strong the miners’ organisation there. Consider this interesting article from a French analyst of Ukraine.
The looting of Ukraine has started
By Dominique Ferré
“The looting of Ukraine has started“. The man who speaks in this way is a genuine expert in this matter. If he has, for several years, sharply criticised the US foreign policy, Paul Craig nevertheless started his career at the US Congress, then he moved into President Reagan’s administration. He adds: “according to a report published in Kommersant-Ukraine newspaper, the finance minister (in Kyjiv) (.)Š. has prepared an economy austerity programme which includes bringing retirement pensions from 160 down to 80 dollars so Western bankers who lent money to Ukraine can be paid back at the expense of the poor. This is Greece all over again. Western looters are already at work. But this is only the beginning. Western media duly describe the loans as ‘aid money’. But the 11 billion Euros which the European Union offers to Kiev is no aid, it is a loan. This loan has been granted with many strings attached: Kiev is to accept an austerity programme devised by the IMF“.
This is the meaning of the partnership agreement with the European Union which the Kyjiv government – a gang of neo-Nazis, corrupt oligarchs and renegades from the Yanukovych government, who are more or less sponsored by US and European foundations (1) – is about to sign.
But as an “expert” of international financial institutions (2) declared over twenty years ago while the war of dismantlement of Yugoslavia was raging, “when the initial shock therapy of the IMF hit Yugoslavia, the first form of social trouble was not ethnic tensions but massive strikes.‘Ethnic cleansing’ occurred after the IMF’s ‘shock therapy’ had done its job“.
That is why today linguistic and national issues have to be manipulated in Ukraine to pit people against one another, to carve up Ukraine, to fragment its working class so the “shock therapy” can have its way in Ukraine as well a across the whole continent.
(1) On December 13th, on behalf of the US State Department, Victoria Nuland, announced that 5 billion dollars had gone to “help the opposition in Ukraine“, neo-Nazis included.
(2) Criton Soakaos of Polyeconomics
Ukraine: sinister “shock therapy” behind the carving up of the country
All eyes are on Crimea. The Parliament of the autonomous region made up by this peninsula in the Black Sea, which was transferred to the Ukraine in 1954, has convened a referendum on March 16, for deciding on its transfer to Russia. It harbours the Russian military base of Sebastopol and a populations that is Russian-speaking in its great majority, made up of 58% Russians, 27% Ukrainians and 12% Crimean Tatars (1). It is thus a mixture that is propitious to all sorts of manipulation and confrontations between communities.
The American, French, British and German governments, et al., along with the Euoprean Union, have denounced the referendum as “illegal”, accusing the Putin government of having pushed for this decision and of having sent troops into Crimea. NATO military flight manoeuvres have taken place in two countries bordering the Ukraine: Poland and Romania.
The western press has lashed out against the “Russian aggression” and Putin’s threats of annexing Crimea.
In all this flood of propaganda, there is an ounce of truth: “up until the outbreak of the Ukrainian crisis, the parties working (in Crimea) for being transferred to Russia had but a negligible audience” (Le Monde, March 6th).
So why are crowds of Ukrainian citizens waving the Russian flag, from Simferopol (in Crimea) to Donetsk and Kharkov (in the eastern regions of the Ukraine, where the Ukrainian population is Russian-speaking, in its majority?
Isn’t it because the MPs and the sorcerer’s apprentices of a government that was catapulted into power in Kiev with the full support of Washington and Brussels adopted, at the end of February, laws that are provocative, beginning with the forbidding of the Russian language in the regions where it is the native language of the majority of the Ukrainian population?
Exonerating Nazi groups
Not to mention the laws that exonerate the Stepan Bandera groups – Stepan Bandera was a Nazi collaborator at the time of the invasion of the USSR in 1941. The Svoboda party, in power in Kiev, claims belonging to these groups.
In a country where tens of atrocities of the type “Oradour-sur-Glane” (2) took place, this exonerating can but push millions of citizens into the arms of the forces, up till now in the ultra-minority, of those advocating secession.
The referendum in Crimea, like the state of near-secession of the eastern regions along the Russian border, are but consequences of the policy that the American government and the European Union have been implementing for months now.
Reducing the budget by 5 to 6.2 billion euros!
The stakes of the carving up that is underway were announced in the March 6 issue of Kommersant-Oukraina, under the headline “The shock and the bill”:
“The government has prepared a train of measures aiming at settling the budget problems as quickly as possible.”
Amongst them: “Cutting the social spending, for example, reducing the retirement pension of the retired who work by 50%” (in reality, those who are forced to work due to the sum of $150 retirement pension per month).
All this has to be achieved “by the end of May”. “Until the 31st of March, local communities must immediately increase their income by 2% and reduce their spending by 1%” and this, among other things, in order to reduce the budget from now till then by 65 to 80 billion grivnas (i.e., 5 to 6.2 billion euros).
A lowering of the State aid to the mines
An “expert consultant to the government and the international institutions” adds: “The shock therapy could include a lowering of the State aid to the coal mines that are not profitable”.
The Ukraine would then follow the same path as Romania where, according to mining trade unionist who was present at the Paris European Workers Conference (last March 1st and 2nd), 120,000 jobs have been liquidated over 20 years, at the injunction with the IMF and then of the European Union.
The Miners Strike of 1989-1990
But everyone remembers that the miners of the Ukraine, like the miners of Russia, went on strike for months and months in 1989-1990, against the bureaucracy and its first measures of “liberalisation” under “perestroika”.
It is in an attempt to break up this force, still present, that everyone – with the American government and the European Union in the lead – is pushing for the carving up of the country.
1 Muslim and Turkish-speaking, Crimean Tatars were collectively deported to Central Asia in 1944 by Stalin, as so-called “enemies of the people” – like whole other peoples of the USSR.
2 In 1944, a Waffen SS company gathered the entire population (642 men, women and children) of the village Oradour-sur-Glane (in the Haute-Vienne Department of Vichy France) and massacred them.