Trotsky and Ukrainian independence

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09/02/2016 by socialistfight

Of course the situation is different today to when Trotsky wrote in 1939. The USSR is no more and Putin is a bourgeois nationalist and not the leader of a degenerate workers state.
Moreover the Maidan was supported by the USA and the EU organisationally and financially and the leading political forces were the far right. But surely the acknowledgement of the prime importance of the national question and the damage the Stalin and his successors have done in the name of opposing ‘petty bourgeois nationalism’ is very important.

However I presume no one here agree with Murray Smith’s disgraceful article here where he defends the Maidan coup and the Kiev far right government whilst admits that the Svoboda are fascists and in the government but it is OK because Putin is far worse:

The role of choice in this supposed wave of anti-Semitism is attributed to Pravy Sektor (Right Sector), which is also held responsible by the Russian media for any misdeeds in Ukraine, to such an extent that if it did not exist [6] it would be necessary to invent it. As the Russian writer Dmitry Glukovsky, asked, “Who made the ’Right Sector,” a band of misfits from the street, which did not even have a real name before, into the central force of Ukrainian nationalism?” It was especially the Russian government and media. As Zakhar Popovytch put it, “Pravy Sektor is a very small party which exists mainly on Russian TV channels.” To give some figures, for the month of April, the Right Sector was quoted in the Russian media 18,895 times, almost as often as United Russia, Putin’s party (19,050 times) and almost four times more than Batkivshchina, the party that runs the government in Kiev. Svoboda, with less than 2,700 mentions, did not even get into in the top seven. Strange for the really fascist component of a government that is supposed to be fascist.

Pravy Sektor, a manufactured product?

A worker at large

“The Ukrainian question, which many governments and many “socialists” and even “communists” have tried to forget or to relegate to the deep strongbox of history, has once again been placed on the order of the day and this time with redoubled force… The Ukrainian question is destined in the immediate future to play an enormous role in the life of Europe.”

Thus wrote Leon Trotsky, co-leader with Lenin of the Russian revolution of 1917, from his exile in Mexico in 1939.

Leon Trotsky 1879-1940 Leon Trotsky

Trotsky was very well-acquainted with the Ukrainian question. Born in the southern Ukraine village of Yanovka, the son of Jewish farmers who spoke ‘a broken mixture of Ukrainian and Russian, but mostly Ukrainian’, he grew up at a time when Ukraine was under the rule of the Russian Czarist empire. He attended high school at a German school in the Black Sea port of Odessa (Odesa)…

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