The President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko signed four laws, including “On the condemnation of Communist and National Socialist (Nazi) totalitarian regimes in Ukraine and prohibition of advocacy of their symbolism.” They have not yet been implemented and sent for further “analysis”.  Ukraine Solidarity Campaign has spoke with different   activists on the these laws which have gained widespread publicty.

Igor Dmitriyev is a leading member of the organisation “Left Socialist Action”, who have created in Kyiv the Free School of Resistance.

  1. Why do you think these laws have been introduced?

I support the condemnation of these regimes. But we recommend to suspend this law and send it back for revision.  The state system that was established on the territory of the USSR was not in fact  “Communist”.   It is discredited in the eyes of many millions of people the concept of “socialism”, “communism”, “the left message.”

But I am against any ban of the anthem “the Internationale” and the red flag, though these have been for some time identified with the state of “the Soviet power”.  The current law would mean a  ban only of the flag of the USSR, that is a red flag with hammer and sickle.. “International” is also not covered under the ban

The current version of law:

  1. a) it is a voluntaristic approach and in terms of the dominance of corruption will lead to massive abuse and the violation of basic political rights and freedoms.
  2. b) it will provoke an aggravation of confrontation, especially in the area of armed conflict;
  3. c) it was voted in record time without wide public discussion and agreement with the local representative bodies of power, without rendering real political and legal consequences;
  4. d) it gives an additional point for the escalation of the propaganda war in the Russian media (in particular, on the question of the illegality of the transfer of Crimea in 1954).

Want to send supporters of Nazism, and pseudo-“communism” to the dustbin of history?  We welcome Ukraine’s desire to break with the totalitarian past. But we urge to do it with clean hands and in accordance with democratic standards.

  1. How do you think they will impact on the activities of the Ukrainian left?

I hope that the current situation will not hinder, but rather helps the left organizations of Ukraine.  First, this law will clear the field from such a game changer, as the Communist Party of Ukraine, which only imitated left-wing ideas, not giving a chance to for the development of genuine left parties. Secondly, in the eyes of the active part of society, the persecution of someone just gives to him sympathy. The same fate may await and Ukrainian leftists, whose popularity may increase.

  1. The laws also target Nazi’s – how will it impact on the far right?

I support that part of the law, which is directed against Nazism. Convinced that National Socialism should be banned as an ideology.

  1. How should the left respond? My answer to question 2 relates to question 4.
  1. Is Ukraine now under a fascist junta?

Of course, Ukraine is not a “fascist junta”, and customary law is the conservative government trying to implement a neoliberal economic programme