What's at stake in Ukraine?

Friday, March 14th, 2014

Russian forces seized military control of the Crimean Peninsula in southern Ukraine, threatening a war that could tear Ukraine apart–and escalating the global superpower conflict between Russia and the U.S.

The takeover of Crimea was Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s stakes-raising counter to the downfall of Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych, the corrupt strongman who fled the capital of Kiev on February 21 amid deadly battles between his regime’s riot police and fighters defending the popular uprising centered in Kiev’s Maidan (Independence Square) since November.

The Maidan movement’s triumph in toppling Yanukovych left Ukraine’s government in the hands of conservative and far-right parties enthusiastically championed by the U.S. and Europe, which hope to benefit politically and economically at Russia’s expense. Faced with the prospect of losing power in the largest country on Russia’s western border and an integral component of its economic empire, Putin made his move.

Come to a discussion of the background behind the popular uprising, the role of the far right, and Russian’s latest move for power. Childcare available on request.

*** Speakers

Sean Larson, author and activist based in New York. Author of “A Political Earthquake Strikes Ukraine” on SocialistWorker.org and a contributor to Occupying Wall Street (Haymarket Books: http://bit.ly/OcWPmO).

James Robertson is socialist from New York. Originally from Australia, he is currently completing his PhD in European History at New York University. He is on the editorial board of LeftEast and has participated in social movements in Australia, the US, Serbia and Russia.

***Additional readings

Alan Maass and Lee Sustar, “The Threat of War Hangs Over Ukraine”

Sean Larson and Alan Maass, “A Political Earthquake Strikes Ukraine”

Interview with Russian socialist Ilya Budraitskis

| More