There is a scandal against the team of Croatia, accusing it of being Fascist, because one of its players, Domagaj Vida, after scoring two goals that left Russia out of the World Cup, dedicated the victory to Ukraine, country that suffers the recent annexation of Crimea by Russia, and pro-Russian separatism in its Eastern region.
By D., from Russia.
The player had played a long time in the Ukranian team of Dinamo Kiev, where he has friends and colleagues. To them, he sent his solidarity message.
From this, we saw several sites, considered “leftist,” carrying out a campaign to accuse Vida and the team of Fascists. They also relied on some nationalist statements made by the team in previous occasions.
The most scandalous article on this regard is the site of MAIS/Resistencia, partially reproduced in the Juca Kfouri blog.
According to this article, the declaration of support to Ukrania against Russia was “support to the Fascist government in Kiev.”
Such “Fascist” statement was that two athletes said “Glory to Ukraine” and “This victory is for the Dinamo and Ukraine.”
The MAIS/Resistencia article is a cluster of lies on Croatia and Ukraine. It reproduces the Stalinist chant on Croatians as supporters of Fascism, used as justification to subject them to Serbian domain.
It is true that there were Croatian nationalist currents during the WWII, that helped Hitler in exchange for him declaring the independence of Croatia from Yugoslavia. Hitler relied, for this, on the just demand of the Croatian people to free from Serbian oppression. Communist militants, back then, fought against Hitler’s fantoche State and for the unification of the Balkan’s peoples in a Socialist Federation that could overcome national antagonisms in the region, ensuring national rights for each ethnic.
But the MAIS/Resistencia article says nothing on the fact that, in a much more recent past, in the 90s, when the current Croatian team players were children, just after the restoration in former Yugoslavia (by the way, taken ahead by Tito and the Communist Party), Serbia carried out a bloody war against Croatia and Bosnia independences, crashing over 30 thousand people from these nationalities. Current Croatian nationalism is a reaction to this massacre; even if expressed incorrectly, recalling nationalist organizations from the WWII times, it is a fair hate against the oppression of their nation.
The main problem of the MAIS/Resistencia article is that it does not understand that Croatian and Ukranian nationalisms are the nationalism of oppression nations, while Russian and Serbian nationalisms are from oppressor nations. Even worst, they violently denounce the Croatian and Ukranian nationalism and remain in accomplice silence regarding the ultra-reactionary Serbian and Russian nationalisms.
To justify such shame, they use anything. To the MAIS/Resistencia, the fair cry of “Glory to Ukraine” is a Fascist cry, because it was used by Fascist in Ukraine. The former candidate to dictator in Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovich, gets the status of “hero” for “refusing to sign an agreement of approximation with the European Union, and get closer to Russia politically, economically and militarily.”
And the legend begins, that right-wing and extreme right-wing organizations called demonstrations that ended the Yanukovich government. As a result, “Fascist militias are in power in Ukraine.” The “proof” is that they allegedly beat activists and members of the Communist Party, and once in power they signed the agreement with the European Union, criminalizing the use of the Russian language, the left parties and the Soviet past of the country.
As a reaction, then, Putin allegedly annexed Crimea, territory “of a broad majority of pro-Russian forces and militants.” And against the new government in Ukraine emerged, in the East of the country, “pro-Russian demonstrations that ended up creating autonomous republics.” So, “the extreme right-wing militias from Ukraine confronted the separatists leaving a total of 10 thousand deads.”
They only missed repeating the accusation of the Russian State TV, that in Kiev Fascists were crucifying orthodox children in public squares – to complete the frame of calumnies against the Ukranian Revolution.
Let’s analyze the truth:
Yanukovich never resisted the European Union. As the rest of the Ukranian bourgeoisie, he always played with the contradictions between Russia and the European Union, selling his country too cheap or relatively expensive. Such agreement of approximation was elaborated and negotiated by him. After the negotiation, he took it back because of the Russian pressure, and as a maneuver to grab something else from the EU.
There were no big demonstrations in defense of the relationship with the EU. There was a minor demonstration of 7000 students in favor of signing the agreement. But as the authoritarian regime it was, Yanukovich repressed the students harshly. And the repression was the trigger from the demonstration of over 500,000 people the next day, outraged with the oppressor regime. The 500,000 went out to the streets against a repressive and authoritarian government that was selling their country to the EU and Russia, and not in defense of the EU.
In the demonstrations also participated, yes, nationalist right-wing currents. Their size was minimum. In the first elections to defeat Yanukovich, in 2015, the extreme right-wing (Svodoba party) did not even manage to pass the threshold of 5%, when before the revolution they reached 10,44%, still under the Yanukovich government. The other extreme right-wing party, Praviy Sektor, practically dissolved. As these currents were part of the demonstrations against the government, they were tolerated by the people in the streets, but there was no support for them.
However, the main issue is that nationalist right-wing currents played their role in the demonstrations because of the betrayal by practically the entire left, that stayed home looking through the window the revolution with 500,000 people marching through Kiev streets. The Ukranian Communist Party was, probably, the only political current in the country that had the face to go out to the streets… to defend the dictatorial government of Yanukovich! That is why it was rejected by the people, not for being “leftists” but for defending the authoritarian, repressive government of Yanukovich!
There was no “criminalization” of the Russian language in Ukraine, either. What existed was the definition of “Ukranian” as the official language in the country, while Russian was defined as regional language from part of the country. There is nothing absurd about this law, even less if we consider the centuries of Russian oppression in Ukraine. Every oppressed national has the full right to defend its language and culture, protecting the rights of the national minorities. There is no “Fascist” government in Ukraine. There is a “normal” bourgeois government, that as any other government in a semi-colonial country, exploits “its” workers to ensure the profits of “its” bourgeoisie and foreign investors.
It is important to remember that, before Yanukovich’s fall, there was an attempt of political agreement to keep him in power until new elections. This agreement was closed between the Yanukovich government, the pro-EU opposition currents, the EU itself, the US, and… Putin! All together tried to keep Yanukovich in power and organize a negotiated leave. When the “leaders” of the opposition took these proposals to the Maidan Square, the center of the demonstrations, the masses rejected the “super-agreement,” and responded by beating up such “leaders.” It was like this that Yanukovich fell – as the result of a revolution, no a conspiracy. As the old Trotsky said, the most characteristic feature of a revolution is that the masses take the political decisions, left for politicians in regular periods, to themselves.
The defeat of the dictator friend of the Kremlin, unlike the legends state, generated major sympathy in Russia at the beginning, with people saying that the Ukranian courage was necessary to free from the puppet in office. This is why Putin responded so harshly: because he felt the Ukranian revolution affecting him directly. Crimea’s annexation came from here, as well as sending mercenaries to the East of Ukraine, and the chauvinist euphoria that followed this, with a campaign of lies and slander against Ukraine, now repeated by the MAIS/Resistencia.
Crimea’s annexation and the provocation of dividing Ukraine between East and West through mercenaries was the counter-revolutionary response by Putin to end the Ukranian revolution. To drown it in the blood of the 10,000 dead in conflict. Such “immense pro-Russia majority” in Crimea was set by a fraudulent referendum carried out under Russian military occupation, without considering that the Russian majority in the peninsula was artificially created in decades of deportation of Tartars from Crimea, first by the Russian empire, and later by Stalin. Those Tartars fight until the present for their right to return to Crimea, and were against the annexation by Russia of this territory, defending for Crimea to continue being part of the Ukranian state, with autonomy.
Equally, Putin sent mercenaries to the Ukranian East to split the country. The public reports by these mercenaries show how the local population did not support them. The population from the East, culturally very close to Russia, kept distance, separated from the political process. This is the main reason why Putin managed to split Ukraine: the revolution did not reach the East of the country. It is in this division that the current president of Ukraine, Poroshenko, relies on, and continues selling the country as his predecessor.
The only thing we can “forgive” to the author of this article is that he is coherent with the “elaboration” of his current’s leadership about the reactionary wave and growth of Fascism everywhere, and so we need to unite the entire left, including rogues like the Communist Party in Ukraine, or Ze Dirceu and his followers. The author only took this elaboration to the last consequences. The MAIS/Resistencia authors already debate through Facebook a campaign “for all to support, in the finals, against the Croatian Fascism.” It would be just stupid if it did not involve the lives of hundreds of millions in two different wars, what makes the stupidity something criminal.
It is important to say that the demonstration in support of Ukraine by the Croatian player was a message against the Russian government’s policy regarding Ukraine, not against the Russians in general. This was proven by the Croatia supporters in the next game, when Croatia defeated England, by opening a banner in the stadium that said “Thanks, Russia,” separating the policy of the Russian government from the Russian people in itself, and showing a much deeper political wisdom that the MAIS/Resistencia.
On Sunday, in the World Cup final, who wants to support Croatia should do it in peace. And who wants to support France, the same thing, independently from the fair repudiation to Macron’s government.