[Marxism] Behind the lines: Ukrainian leftists in the Donbas | Observer Ukraine

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon May 19 18:56:01 MDT 2014

An interview with Mykola Tsikhno, co-ordinator of the National Communist 
Front. Taken by Chris Ford, 16 May 2014; translated by Marko Bojcun


Mykola Tsikhno explains in this interview why he and his comrades call 
themselves national communists. He also refers, but only in passing, to 
this tradition in the history of the Ukrainian Communist movement.

During the Revolution and Civil War of 1917-21 there emerged a political 
current simultaneously in three parties – the Ukrainian Social 
Democratic Workers Party, the Ukrainian Party of Socialist 
Revolutionaries and the Communist Party (Bolsheviks) of Ukraine – that 
called for an independent Ukrainian republic of workers and peasants, 
with its own army and foreign policy and with an independent (of the 
Russian Bolsheviks) representation in the Third (Communist) International.

The adherents to this current based their demands on a shared analysis 
of national oppression as an integral part of class oppression, which 
led them to envisage the resolution of national oppression 
simultaneously with overcoming all the inequalities inherent in the 
division of labour under capitalism.

This political current found its ultimate expression in the Ukrainian 
Communist Party, which was the last surviving legal opposition party in 
the Soviet Union. Adherents to this current did not choose to call 
themselves “national communists”, but were rather labelled as such, as 
“deviationists” from the official line, by their critics in the 
Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the Third International. Almost 
all their leading members perished in Stalin’s purges.

The term national communism was revived again and applied by Stalin’s 
agents against the Yugoslav communists and other communists in Eastern 
Europe who took positions independent of Stalin in the late 1940s and 
early 1950s.


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