Today's protests are led by a mixture of pro-European political parties and radical right-wing nationalists. The pro-Russian government is made up of the conservative; Party of Region's, the Stalinist; Communist Party of Ukraine and other forces who oppose the western world. A famous face of the pro-European opposition is Yulia Volodymyrivna Tymoshenko, she was prime minister of Ukraine under former president Yushchenko until 2010. Tymoshenko was arrested and jailed for seven years because of her actions as prime minister, during a gas conflict with Russia. Some say this was a political move by the now pro-Russian government to silence her. But the Ukrainian Courts said she made a very bad economic deal with Russia and forged documents to keep this a secret!
Tymoshenko became the face of the pro-European Ukrainians, but her political program remains pro-capitalist. Her cult of personality has grown since she became the leader of the opposition against Yanukovych. Her own political movement is called the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc and her face is used on many posters against the government. But she is no defender of workers and poor people. This we known because Yulia Tymoshenko showed this in the 1990's. After the collapse of stalinism, she made her move and entered big business. As president of the Ukrainian Petrol Corporation, Tymoshenko became known as the ''gas princes''. While many Ukrainians faced poverty, she became part of the new bourgeoisie!
However Tymoshenko disliked the corruption and tried to fight it. It was then that she faced political and economic opposition from the other members of the new bourgeoisie. People who made their fortune ( like she did ) by exploiting workers. Also Tymoshenko was pro-European and disliked the Russians, while the Party of Region's supported Russia. The conservatives of Ukraine created the Party of Region's in 1997, to unite the pro-Russian conservative movement. Yanukovych was a member of this conservative party from 1997 till 2010, today he is not a member of a political party!
The political left-wing of Ukraine is ( unfortunate ) led by the Stalinist; Communist Party of Ukraine. Genuine revolutionary we cannot call them. Because the communist party has proven to be conservative, just like the Party of Region's. Joining the capitalist government in 2010, opposing LGBT rights and supporting the criminals in the Kremlin as if Moscow was still under Stalinist control. Like most post-Stalinist communist parties, the Communist Party of Ukraine is made up of old people, former members of the Soviet bureaucracy who loved their way of life under stalinism!
Other political leftists parties were created after 1990, but only the moderate socialists of the SPU were able to compete with the communist party for a few years. The Socialist Party of Ukraine ( SPU ) began as a Stalinist party in 1991. It was founded by old communists after the collapse of the USSR. But in 1993 other communists recreated the Communist Party of Ukraine, so many old communists moved to the new party. The Socialist Party of Ukraine then moved away from dogmatic marxism-leninism ( stalinism ) and became moderate socialist. Slowly they abandoned Marxist socialism for European social democracy. It would do them no good, they lost all of their parliamentary seats after the 2007 elections. Today the SPU is small and meaningless!
Since the pro-European parties lost the elections, they try to fight back. Staging demonstrations and street protests against the pro-Russian government. Far right Ukrainian nationalists attack Russian Ukrainians, this became clear when a monument to Stalin was destroyed. This monument was created by the Communist Party of Ukraine and many Russian Ukrainians still see Stalin as a Soviet hero. But the far-right nationalists hate Stalin and they decided to destroy the monument with explosives. Another Soviet monument was destroyed in December 2013 in Kiev. The last Lenin statue was toppled by Ukrainian nationalists shouting anti-Russian slogans. They did this because they knew that the Stalinist icon; Lenin, is a ''saint'' for the members of the Communist Party of Ukraine!
In late 2013, the pro-European opposition started with major protests against the government. The demonstrations began when Ukraine refused to side with Europe, instead it signed a treaty with Russia. Anger rose among the western Ukrainians and they choose to demonstrate. Soon they were supported by far right forces of the All-Ukrainian Union "Svoboda" who hate Russians. Svoboda is created in 1991 and registered as a political party in 1995. The movement is right-wing nationalist and very anticommunist and anti-Russian. From 1991 until 2003 it used an emblem that was inspired by the Nazi Wolfsangel, a symbol used by many European neo-Nazi's. Their base of support is located in the most western provinces of Ukraine. It also gets support from young workers who blame the ''Russian-Communist-Jews'' for the capitalist counter-revolution in 1990. Today Svoboda tries to portray itself as a ''good'' nationalist movement. But we revolutionary socialists have seen their hatred of leftists, LGBT people and Jews!
While the demonstrations against Yanukovych were pro-EU around December 2013, this soon changed. Now in January 2014, the demonstrations have turned out to become revolutionary as many more workers and poor people join in. People demand that president Yanukovych resigned and that new elections are drafted. We revolutionary socialists support these demands, because the government does not serve the will of the people. But the Ukrainian workers must understand that with anti-Russian propaganda, they will alienate those workers who are ethnic Russian. These ethnic Russians still support the government out of fear that a nationalist government would limit their freedoms. This is why we say all must unite, both ethnic Ukrainian and Russian workers must join forces and build a workers party on a Marxist socialist program. All political parties in the nations do not serve the needs of workers and poor people. Both the pro-European parties as the pro-Russian parties are in league with major imperialist powers!
At this moment the opposition is supported by 42% to 50% of the Ukrainain population, most support comes from the western provinces. The government is supported too by 42% to 50% and their support comes from ethnic Russians and anti-western Ukrainians. Many anti-imperialists and revolutionary leftists have joined the side of the Ukrainian government. Classic stalinists call the protesters ''imperialist'' and ''tools of NATO'' they support Yanukovych which is totally wrong to do. Yet this is how some revolutionary leftists justify their support, by saying ''the enemy of my enemy is my friend''. We know however that Yanukovych is no friend of workers and poor people. He is a supporter of Ukrainian capitalism and Russian imperialism, while Yulia Tymoshenko is a supporter of European imperialism!
Revolutionary socialists in Ukraine must fight for a workers party on a socialist program. Such a party is needed to lead the masses towards a socialist revolution. Win out a workers party the pro-capitalist forces will win any new election. Workers and poor people must realize that Yulia Tymoshenko and her bourgeois bloc is not in favor of fighting capitalism. This system of greed and exploitation made her wealthy and although she opposes corruption, she is no enemy of the market dictatorship!