The 2014 coup in Ukraine

To understand the current US-NATO war against Russia over Ukraine, it is critical to review the background and implications of the 2014 far-right coup in Kiev, which overthrew the pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych. The coup was openly supported by US and European imperialism and implemented primarily by far-right shock troops, such as the Right Sector and the neo-Nazi Svoboda Party.

The coup was the temporary culmination of long-standing efforts by US imperialism to install a puppet regime on the borders of Russia and brought the world a major step closer to a war between the largest nuclear powers, the US and Russia. The regime change prompted the outbreak of an ongoing civil war in the east of Ukraine, between Russian-backed separatists and the US-backed Ukrainian army, that has claimed the lives of tens of thousands and displaced millions.

In the US, the coup was a catalyzer for an ever more aggressive campaign against Russia and a significant shift to the right among layers of the upper middle class. US imperialism and NATO have funded the Ukrainian state and far-right forces with billions of dollars.

The German ruling class seized upon the coup as a pretext for aggressively stepping up its campaign to remilitarize and justify the crimes of fascist forces. For the first time since the end of World War II, representatives of a German government were seen on photos with avowed Ukrainian neo-Nazis.

Internationally, pseudo-left forces such as the International Socialist Organization (ISO) in the US, the New Anti-capitalist Party of France (NPA), and the Russian Socialist Movement (RSM) supported the coup, falsely proclaiming it a “revolution.” The ICFI and WSWS alone advanced a principled, socialist opposition to this imperialist operation, warning the working class of its dangerous consequences. This topic page brings together key statements by the WSWS and ICFI on the coup, its implications, and the history of the fascist forces that were now brought to the fore as key props of imperialism.

More about the US-NATO conflict with Russia over Ukraine
The 2014 far-right coup in Kiev
The fight against the danger of world war and the resurgence of German militarism
The coup in Ukraine and the rise of fascism
History of nationalism and fascism in Ukraine
Ukraine and the pseudo-left
The Zelensky government

 In April 2019, the comedian Volodymyr Zelensky is elected president in a massive rebuke of the far-right 2014 coup. While he appeals to anti-war sentiments in the population, Zelensky maneuvers between the imperialist powers. When he tries to   to broker a deal with the separatists in East Ukraine in collaboration with Germany, he confronts mass protests by the far-right. Moreover, he gets almost immediately embroiled in the US impeachment crisis. In March 2020, following the failure of the Trump impeachment by the Democrats, and amidst significant pressure from the far-right, Zelensky reshuffles his cabinet in March 2020, bringing in a large number of officials with close ties to the US that will play a critical role in the escalation of the anti-Russia war drive in the coming two years. 

Poroshenko and Zelensky in April 2019. President.gov.ua, via Wikimedia Commons
Capitalist restoration and the IMF: The social devastation of Ukraine
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