(Translated by Adrian Chan-Wyles PhD)
Actions of solidarity with the Donbass regularly take place in many European countries. The most active work is carried out by the anti-fascists of Italy and Germany, i.e. those countries that at one time unleashed World War II. Remembering the tragedy that humanity experienced through the fault of fascism, left parties and organizations of these two countries are most acutely experiencing what is happening in Ukraine. Therefore, providing all possible assistance to the anti-fascist resistance in the Donbass, they simply seek to prevent the repetition of history.
During October of this year (2017) there was an immensely important event in support of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) and the Lugansk People’s Republic (LNR). In the Apennines, there is the vanguard of the movement of Solidarity with the People’s Republics, which included the “Anti-Fascist Caravan”, about which the Eurasia Rhythm has already written. Last month in Rome, on the initiative of caravan activists, a creative evening was held, in which more than 200 people took part. The organizers appealed to the participants of the meeting with a request that they should not come empty-handed, because in the Donbass area old people have miserable pensions, World War II veterans do not have enough money to live on, and children have no medicine. During the event, another batch of humanitarian aid was collected, including medicines, toys and much more.
In addition, the Italian anti-fascists initiated the holding of the International Solidarity campaign to raise funds for orphanages of the DNR and the LNR. In their opinion, this campaign will build another bridge between the anti-fascists of the whole world and the people of Donbass. “Our mission is to support and Donbass through all available means, and now, more than ever, we believe that the children of Donbass are the future of the country,” the organizing committee said in a statement. Monthly participants of the action will send funds to the orphanages of Gorlovka and Lugansk. It will last until October 2018 inclusively.
In Germany, a number of organizations hold actions of Solidarity with the Donbas. “Anti-Imperialist Action”, which has also been reported, regularly organizes meetings and processions in support of the People’s Republics. Other left parties and organizations are also actively involved in the movement. In October in Berlin over 50 representatives of left-wing parties and public organizations in Germany held a meeting of Solidarity with the Donbass. The event was also attended by activists from Sweden and Chile. The participants discussed the current situation in the region, exchanged experiences on holding actions of Solidarity with the Donbass, and expressed the need to coordinate their actions when organizing events in the future.
The meeting was attended by the editor-in-chief of the website Alternative Press Review, Svetlana Ebert, who lives in Berlin. For more than three years, the electronic publication has informed residents of the Federal Republic of Germany about the real situation in Ukraine, as opposed to the official propaganda, calling for participation in actions against the German Government’s support for the Ukrainian neo-Nazi regime, whilst coordinating the actions of various anti-fascist organizations in support of Donbass.
“The site is due to a group of enthusiasts who regularly read news in Russian,” S. Ebert tells the Eurasia Rhythm journalist. – We, the residents of the former GDR, know him from the school bench. Beginning in the fall of 2013, in Germany all the official media only talked about the “Maidan”. We did not like this terrible turn of events. In May 2014, after the tragedy in Odessa, an alternative site was created. We translated and sent texts to our Comrades, mainly Communists and anti-fascists. In addition, as a teacher at school, I tell my children about the situation in Donbass, that it is not terrorists who live there, but ordinary people. Back in 2014, as an act of Solidarity, my class sent drawings prepared for children to Slavyansk. ”
In another part of the former GDR – the province of Thuringia – also actively supports the People’s Republics. The particularity of Thuringia is that here the ruling coalition is formed from left parties, therefore the movement of Solidarity with the Donbass receives the necessary power support. Two years ago the public organization “The Future of Donbass” was created. But the right-wing forces of Thuringia cooperate with the Ukrainian nationalists, providing them with all kinds of assistance, inviting them to their events. Representatives of all left-wing parties and public organizations, including the “Future of Donbass”, oppose this.
“Our organization cooperates with many left parties of the FRG,” Christian Krantz, an activist of the “Future Donbass”, told “Rhythm of Eurasia”. – Basically we collect the help for hospitals in Lugansk, Pervomaisk and other cities. One medical facility in Jena helps us with medical equipment, which is sufficient in stock. In late October, we sent the ninth truck to the Donbass. Official media does not say anything and do not write about this region, so the Germans will learn about the situation in the DNR and the LNR, as a rule, from the Internet. They are well aware that there is war and the locals need help. In addition, our organization has established several agitation points in Thuringia.”
In fairness, we note that the movement of Solidarity with the Donbass is sufficiently developed not only in the territory of the former GDR, but also in the rest of the Federal Republic of Germany. Thus, in Hanover, activists of the German Communist Party have been carrying out and participating in activities in support of the DNR and the LNR since 2014.
“We hold Solidarity events with Donbass in cooperation with the Left Party and the Red Aid social organization, which helps anti-fascists in Germany and other countries,” says Johannes Magel, Secretary of the Hannover City Committee. – We regularly print leaflets in support of the People’s Republics. There are Russian stores in Hanover, where we also distribute our campaign materials. There, quite often you can find the Russian part of the population of Germany, but the reaction is very different. ”
Recently, the anti-fascists of Italy and Germany, who have been active since 2014, have been joined by associates from the United States and Great Britain. In October, in New York, a number of left-wing organizations held a rally under the slogan “There is no war from Afghanistan to Korea.” The event was held on the occasion of the 16th anniversary of the introduction of US troops in Afghanistan. During the rally, there were also calls to stop the war in the Donbass. The participants chanted: “Money for schools. There is no war against the children of Lugansk and Donetsk ”,“ Stop the war in Donetsk and Lugansk ”.
In the same month in London, representatives of the New Communist and Labour Parties, as well as left-wing organizations, held a protest against Washington’s intention to provide Ukraine with more military aid. According to the protesters, the Kiev Government ruthlessly suppresses left and anti-fascist forces inside the country, and the Ukrainian army and the fascist battalions bombard the cities of Donbass daily, punishing them for resisting the Nazis and the neoliberal policies imposed by the IMF. The protesters called for punishing those responsible for the killing of anti-fascists in the Odessa House of Trade Unions, for stopping the British military and other assistance to the government of Ukraine, formed as a result of a coup, to fulfill the Minsk agreements, whilst also expressed Solidarity with the anti-fascists in Donbass and Ukraine.
“We are told on this side of the ocean that the problem in Ukraine is Russian aggression. But something we do not hear is that the current crisis is a direct result of the 2014 US-supported right-wing coup, or that the coup was just part of the overall strategy of American imperialism to turn Ukraine into a vassal state and a springboard for its own aggression, which is rapidly growing, ” in his speech, Phil Wilate, coordinator of the “Campaign for Solidarity with Odessa” in the United States.
This is how Donbass has became the unifying factor for the anti-fascist forces on both sides of the ocean. It is hoped that as the movement of Solidarity with the mining region grows, it will be able to influence the policies of countries that still support the Kiev regime. It would not be an exaggeration to say that in many respects the termination of the war in Donbass depends on the termination of this support.