[Marxism] Fwd: New Left Review - Volodymyr Ishchenko: Ukraine's Fractures

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Jun 30 16:34:35 MDT 2014

Q: Did the social and regional composition of the Maidan protests change 
from one phase to the next?

A: There were surveys done by sociologists in late January about this, 
which showed that after the violence started on 19 January, the people 
on the Maidan were less affluent, less educated than in the early 
stages. They were less likely to come from Kiev, and more from small 
towns in central and western Ukraine, which is a much less urbanized 
part of the country—something like 40–50 per cent live in cities and 
towns, compared to more than 90 in Donetsk province. These regions are 
mainly poor, they have very serious problems with unemployment—they lost 
a lot of industrial jobs in electronics, machine engineering and so on 
after 1991. Many people there survive only because of their private 
plots, and the few who have stable work are very badly paid. There are 
many migrants from these regions to the bigger cities in Ukraine, and 
large numbers go illegally to the EU—to Spain, Portugal, Poland, 
Italy—to work in construction, cleaning, nursing. It’s hard to get any 
solid figures for this, but there are estimates putting the number of 
migrants anywhere between 1 and 7 million. People from these regions are 
obviously very much in favour of European integration, of being allowed 
to go to the West freely and work there. They also had clear social 
grievances against Yanukovych, and not much holding them back—that’s why 
they were prepared to join the Maidan self-defence forces and go up 
against the police. The sociologists started calling the tent camp the 
‘Sich’, after the Cossack military encampments, but it could be said 
that the Maidan was to some extent a movement of dispossessed workers.

full: http://newleftreview.org/II/87/volodymyr-ishchenko-ukraine-s-fractures

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