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FIST IN RUSSIA IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE ANTI-FASCIST RESISTANCE IN UKRAINE

Below is speech by Detroit FIST organizer Tom Michalak’s that was made at the Anti-Globalization Conference in Moscow on February 24th. He spoke on the history of NATO, its neo-colonial character, its advancement eastward following the overthrow of the USSR, the US/EU-backed coup in Ukraine, and the struggle between the various political forces within the Ukrainian junta:

It is truly an honor and a privilege to come from my home in Detroit, USA, to speak to you all today. This year as we celebrate the 70th anniversary of military and political defeat of German nazism at the hands of the various brave peoples of what was then the USSR. We also have passed the one-year anniversary of the US/EU-backed coup in Ukraine and the ouster of elected president Viktor Yanukovych.

I first met Joe Iosbaker last year at an anti-war conference in Chicago last year put on jointly by Workers World Party, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Fight Imperialism – Stand Together, and the American Party of Labor. I was bussed in from Detroit to help provide security, because leading up to the event, the organizers received threats from the local ultra-nationalists in the Ukrainian community, many having immigrated to the US after the defeat of nazism in 1945. The fascists surrounded the building, numbering from 40-50. They pounded on the doors attempting to break in, blasting the Ukrainian anthem on speakers, waving the UPA battleflag, and wearing matching blue shirts with the Ukrainian trident. Some had infiltrated the meeting before we shut the doors, and they had to be removed by force, which I was proud to have had a hand in. Fascism is not only a problem on Russia’s doorstep but on the contrary, it is a world problem.

As I speak to you now, the heroic resistance to the fascist junta in Kiev are making incredible gains in Donbass, after surrounding an estimated 6,000-7,500 US-equipt Ukrainian soldiers. Forces associated with the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics have reached Mariupol and have captured Debaltseve, despite the the weapons provided and the threats made by the NATO imperialists. NATO, chiefly the US, has shown that there is no corner of the world in which they are not prepared to unleash hell on earth wherever their interests are at stake, whether it be in the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, or Libya.

WASHINGTON — The US Army is preparing to send approximately 300 troops at a time to train Ukrainian forces in western Ukraine, according to documents posted on a government contracting site.

A solicitation posted in late February said that the US government is looking for a contractor to provide seven 50-passenger buses from March 5 through Oct. 31 for the purpose of ferrying up to 300 US troops from the L’viv International airport to the International Peace Keeping and Security Center at the Yavoriv training range in the far west of Ukraine.

It’s been no secret that US and a handful of UK forces have been planning on traveling to Yavoriv this spring to begin training Ukrainian forces for their fight against pro-Russian separatists [sic] in the eastern part of the country. But officials have at times been vague as to dates and times and numbers.

The solicitation also states that “the US and Ukrainian Army shall conduct a joint training mission at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center (IPSC) near L’viv, Ukraine from approximately 5 MAR - 31 OCT 15.”

The Army will rotate 300 troops at a time it appears, with March, May, July, August and October being the relief dates for each group.

The plan to train four companies of the Ukrainian National Guard comes as part of a US State Department initiative “to assist Ukraine in strengthening its law enforcement capabilities, conduct internal defense, and maintain rule of law,” Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col. Vanessa Hillman told Defense News this year.

Funding for the initiative is coming from the congressionally-authorized Global Security Contingency Fund (GSCF), which was requested by the Obama administration in the fiscal 2015 budget to help train and equip the armed forces of allies around the globe. The United States has already earmarked $19 million to help build the Ukrainian National Guard.