Events Friday night in Kiev


In Ukraine turbulence, a lad from Lviv becomes the toast of Kiev

By Richard Balmforth

KIEV Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:38am GMT


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Anti-presidential protester Volodymyr Parasiuk addresses the crowd as opposition leader Vitaly Klitschko (L) looks on during a rally in Kiev February 21, 2014. When the history of the bloody turbulence in Ukraine is written, 26-year-old Parasiuk who learned combat skills in the army cadets may be recorded as the man who made up Viktor Yanukovich’s mind to cut and run. To match Insight UKRAINE-CRISIS/HERO Picture taken February 21, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Vitaliy Nosach

// // // // KIEV (Reuters) – When the history of the bloody turbulence in Ukraine is written, a 26-year-old who learned combat skills in the army cadets may be recorded as the man who made up Viktor Yanukovich’s mind to cut and run.

Cars toot a welcome and passers-by press the hand of Volodymyr Parasiuk, a boyish-looking individual who finds it embarrassing to be called a hero.




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He reserves that title for his comrades and other protesters among the 80 or so people killed on the capital’s streets last week in three days of fighting against Yanukovich’s police.

But after opposition leaders had signed an EU-brokered deal with President Yanukovich to end the conflict, it was Parasiuk who commandeered the microphone on Friday night to turn the crowd against it.

With former boxing champion and opposition leader Vitaly Klitschko looking on stony-faced, Parasiuk, from the western city of Lviv, made an electrifying impromptu speech denouncing the opposition for “shaking hands with this killer”.

No-one was going to wait for an election later in the year, he said. Yanukovich had to get out of town by the following morning or face the consequences.

To the dismay of opposition leaders, Parasiuk’s emotional address – he broke down on several occasions as he remembered dead comrades – touched a chord deep within the thousands on Independence Square who roared their approval.

The opposition had failed to sell their achievements to the ‘Maidan’, the name for both the square and the protest movement.

An agreement, painstakingly negotiated with EU foreign ministers over a sleepless night, was effectively dead.

The writing was on the wall for Yanukovich.

He flew out of Kiev by helicopter that night, Ukraine’s acting interior minister said, and on Tuesday was on the run somewhere in Ukraine, being sought for “mass murder”.

“Opposition leaders said they had agreed that there would be early elections in December. This was the Ukrainian people’s last drop of patience,” Parasiuk told Reuters in an interview.

“Emotions were overflowing because we had lost a great number of people. Suddenly these politicians come and say ‘Yanukovich will stay as president and there will be elections.’ I have a clear position. Yanukovich is a terrorist, ‘Terrorist Number One’ for Ukraine,” Parasiuk said.


That Friday night, Yanukovich set off on a zig-zag by helicopter and car across eastern and southern Ukraine, looking either for a safe haven or a flight out of the country.

Some believe he may have already decided he was going to flee even before the ‘Maidan’ gave thumbs-down to the agreement.

Ukraine’s opposition, buoyed by the direct intervention of three EU ministers from Germany, Poland and France, had signed an agreement that seemed to meet many of their demands.

It provided for early elections, a national unity government and return to a previous constitution that would take away from Yanukovich control over the appointment of the prime minister and make-up of the government, and return it to parliament.

Almost immediately, the parliament, where Yanukovich’s grip had been weakened by desertions by deputies from his Party of Regions, began voting many of these proposals into law.

Those who saw Yanukovich sign the deal saw an unsmiling figure unhappy about what he was giving away, and aware of the risk he ran in a rapidly-unfolding drama.

“It was as if he knew more about the dire straits he was in. He did not seem as invincible and aloof as he did before. He didn’t look scared but he did not look so sure,” said one witness to the signing.


Either way, when opposition leaders took the deal to the Maidan for definitive approval on Friday night, it blew up in their faces – thanks to Parasiuk’s emotional intervention.

Klitschko and other opposition leaders had already spoken of their achievements in putting a deal together.

But there was a mixed reception from the Maidan. Booing, whistling and cat-calls gave Parasiuk his cue.

As the crowds carried open coffins of victims to the stage where he and opposition leaders stood, Parasiuk, his voice breaking, jumped to the microphone.

“We ordinary people are saying this to the politicians who stand behind us: ‘No Yanukovich is going to be a president for a whole year’, he said to roars of support from the crowd.

“Our kinsmen have been shot and our leaders shake hands with this killer. This is shame. Tomorrow, by 10 o’clock, he has to be gone,” Parasiuk declared.

Yanukovich was, in fact, gone long before that, flying out of Kiev by helicopter that Friday night to the eastern city of Kharkiv, according to acting interior minister Arsen Avakov.

Diplomatic insiders say Yanukovich may already have had doubts about whether the agreement could hold. Benefiting from intelligence on the streets, he knew how the wind was blowing.

Two of the three main opposition leaders – former economy minister Arseny Yatsenyuk and far-right nationalist Oleg Tyahnibok – left the stage quickly after Parasiuk’s speech.

Klitschko returned and apologized for shaking hands with Yanukovich.


Though ousted by the fledgling new parliament, Yanukovich, appearing in the town of Kharkiv on Saturday, issued a televised statement saying he was still president. But the new authorities on Monday said he was now wanted for “mass murder”.

Some reports have him hiding in a monastery in Donetsk, though Reuters reporters on Monday saw no sign of unusual activity there. He might be in Crimea. Given Russia‘s Black Sea fleet has a base in Sevastopol, he might even be on a Russian ship, some people theorise.

If Parasiuk had not made the intervention he did, someone else would have, one diplomat opined.

Looking back on that heady Friday night, Parasiuk, who headed a “self-defense” unit with a membership of between 40 and 130 fighters, defended his sharp criticism of Klitschko and the other opposition leaders.

“Everything that had been achieved had been by the people of the Maidan. But they had achieved nothing,” he said in an interview in a restaurant in downtown Kiev.

Parasiuk, a single man with a disarming smile whose girlfriend, Iryna, sat with him, said he had participated “actively” in clashes with police though he declined to say what weapons he had used.

He defended the power of the ‘Maidan’ with the passion of an 18th century French revolutionary.

Asked when Kiev’s barricades would come down, he replied: “If the Maidan disperses, politicians will stop being afraid. We are not going away. We will not allow a repeat of what happened in 2004,” he said.

He was referring to the Orange Revolution of 2004-5 which stopped Yanukovich’s first bid for the presidency but produced governments that collapsed amid in-fighting and allowed him to come to power in 2010.

He spelled out a message that Ukraine’s emerging leadership may have to heed carefully as it strives to make a peaceful transition to a post-Yanukovich order.

The new authorities, he said, must understand that the Maidan is the real power, not the 450 parliamentary deputies.

“My declaration from the stage had one aim: to tell the opposition: ‘Understand this. That if you do not fulfill our conditions then things will be as we decide, not as you decide’.”

“We simply told them: ‘Lads, act decisively because if you don’t, we will’,” Parasiuk said.

(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Writing By Richard Balmforth; Editing by Giles Elgood)

            .                   02/26/2014      













      Russia Urges Dialogue on Ukraine Amid Military Fears   

26 February 2014 | Issue 5318
A protester in Kiev holding the Ukrainian flag Tuesday.
Marko Drobnjakovic / AP

A protester in Kiev holding the Ukrainian flag Tuesday.


As uncertainty about Ukraine’s future grew on Tuesday and fears of separatism in Crimea increased, President Vladimir Putin remained silent — fueling speculation about what Russia’s next move could be to recoup potential losses from the ouster of Kremlin-backed Viktor Yanukovych.

While the European Union and the U.S. have acknowledged Ukraine’s change in leadership, Russia has staunchly refused to do so, instead calling Yanukovych’s impeachment “armed mutiny” and expressing doubts about the legitimacy of the new leaders.

The crisis in Ukraine has put Putin in a particularly uncomfortable situation just days after praise for the Winter Olympics in Sochi seemed to give the country a welcomed image boost after months of criticism leading up to the Games. Losing Ukraine would put a dent in Putin’s ambitious plans for the Eurasian Union and likely damage his reputation at home.

The predicament has many asking how far Russia will go to preserve influence in Ukraine, with journalists and lawmakers speculating about whether Russia would handle the situation miltarily or diplomatically.

Putin met with permanent members of Russia’s Security Council on Tuesday to discuss the latest developments in Ukraine, but no information was available on the specifics of that meeting.

Observers have said that Russian military intervention may be necessary to save Crimea, where Russian naval bases are located and many citizens are ethnically Russian.

But Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov shot down such speculation Tuesday, saying that Russia had no intention of intervening in Ukraine and that other nations should steer clear of the former Soviet republic’s domestic affairs.

At a news conference in Moscow following bilateral talks with the Foreign Minister of Luxembourg, Jean Asselborn, Lavrov said it was “dangerous and counterproductive” to give Ukraine the choice of being either “with us or against us.”


Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov


“We hope that everyone will adhere to similar logic and use contacts within various Ukrainian political forces to calm the situation, and not try to gain some opportunistic, unilateral advantages at a stage when there needs to be national dialogue,” Lavrov said.

Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin also raised the country’s concerns on the security of its compatriots in Ukraine at his meeting with Ukraine’s Ambassador to Russia, Volodymyr Yelchenko.

The Foreign Ministry expressed its dismay at Ukrainian authorities’ decision to repeal minority language rights — an initiative that affects Ukraine’s large Russian-speaking population, as well as its smaller Romanian and Hungarian-speaking minorities — and at the prospect of Russian media being banned in the country.

Fears that Russians’ security and rights are being threatened in Ukraine have emerged in Russia’s State Duma, with many lawmakers promoting measures to assist those in Ukraine who would prefer to keep stronger ties with Russia.

As one of those measures, Liberal Democratic Party deputy Ilya Drozdov presented a bill to the State Duma on Monday about fast-tracking Russian naturalization for citizens of Ukraine.

“Ukrainian authorities have not been able to ensure security for its citizens, including its Russian population,” the explanatory note to the bill said.

At the plenary session of the Duma on Tuesday, Sergei Mironov, the leader of A Just Russia, suggested that members of Ukraine’s special forces — many of whom were villainized at home for allegedly using disproportionate violence against protesters — should be employed by Russia’s Interior Ministry.

Ukrainian lawmakers had discussed disbanding these special police units Monday.

“Yanukovych betrayed his people,” Mironov said. “The president saw from the windows of his palace how unarmed Berkut were being killed and did nothing.”

Some political groups in Russia have taken it a step further and called for a military solution.

“Russia should announce that it is ready to send peacekeeping troops to Ukraine,” said Andrei Kovalenko, leader of the Eurasian Youth Alliance, a Russian group that supports bringing back the Russian Empire. He said that economic and diplomatic tools would not be sufficient.

Others dismissed talk of sending the army to Ukraine as ludicrous.

“The biggest threat is Russia’s imperialist intellectual elite, which is so colorfully depicting crazy scenarios,” said Sergei Utkin, a foreign policy expert at the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Utkin said that such scenarios were often nothing more than wishful thinking that had little to do with reality, adding that he hoped more pragmatic considerations would prevail at the Kremlin.

“Much of the talk about this [military intervention] is based not on knowledge about Russian authorities’ actual intentions but on the stereotypes of the past century, including the Brezhnev Doctrine,” he said, referring to the Soviet Union’s policy of interfering in Eastern Bloc countries’ domestic affairs.

Much of the speculation about military intervention has focused on Crimea due to the peninsula’s large Russian population and naval base.

Alexei Druzhinin / RIA Novosti / AP

Putin heads a meeting to discuss the Ukraine crisis.


Sergei Tsekov, chairman of the Russian Community of Crimea and a co-chairman of the Russian Unity party, said that the Kremlin had previously paid little attention to the Crimea but Russian lawmakers had begun visiting more often since the Euromaidan protests started in November 2013.

Tsekov said Russia should help the Crimea by promoting social programs and using diplomatic and legal tools to support the region. For instance, it could influence the situation in Ukraine at the UN and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and make statements protecting Crimea’s autonomy, Tsekov said.

Another way for Russia to preserve its influence in the Crimea is to establish “special economic relations” with the republic and invest in its economy despite the risks involved, Tsekov said.

He said that Crimea’s secession from Ukraine, an idea backed by some Russian nationalists, was a real possibility if Ukraine’s central government antagonized Russian-speaking citizens and provoked clashes in Crimea.

“If shooting starts in Crimea, it will not be a part of Ukraine anymore,” Tsekov said.

But Andrei Klimenko, editor-in-chief of Crimea’s Black Sea News site, said the situation on the peninsula was calm despite recent pro-Russian rallies.

“Hysteria is being created around the Crimea, but everything is calm here,” Klimenko wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.

“People are not taking to the streets. The local authorities and law enforcement agencies have yielded to the new government. Yanukovych’s portraits were removed from all government offices the day before yesterday,” he said.

He said that local cossacks and self-defense units created to oppose Euromaidan supporters had vanished from the scene once a prosecutor issued them a warning, and many people had been enjoying visits to Yanukovych’s former residences in Yalta and Laspi.

Kremlin-controlled television has painted a different picture, however, claiming that Ukraine’s southeastern regions were becoming increasingly unstable and implying that Russia should interfere in some way.

Former Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili said Russia would inevitably interfere regardless of whether or not the situation became unstable.

A staunch opponent of the Kremlin, Saakashvili predicted that Putin would try to get control of the Crimea by using the Russian Navy to block the Isthmus of Perekop. He compared the situation in Ukraine to that in Georgia’s pro-Russian breakaway republic of South Ossetia, reported Tuesday. In 2008, Russia and Georgia waged a war over South Ossetia’s status, with both sides accusing each other of being the first to attack.

On Monday, Saakashvili spoke at the Maidan Nezalezhnosti protest camp in Kiev, saying that the Euromaidan movement had defeated the Kremlin and that Putin’s “Russian Empire” would collapse as a result.

“You managed to defeat an empire that deemed itself invincible,” he said. “It is important to make sure now that Putin does not take away your victory and doesn’t squeeze your politicians into a dark room to bribe them with his billions.”

“Revolution” or “Counter- Revolution” on the Dnieper

John Eden Feb 24th.

          I have today blogged an article from the Guardian, now I want to make some comments on this and other points on the recent events in Ukraine. I agree with the Guardian article that there is no road the Ukraine should pursue that does not involved cooperation with Russia, but as some politicians of the opposition have stated and have even before tried to do, it has to be a cooperation of equals, this as never been the policy of the Russian government, and neither has it been the policy of the European Union, both seek to dominate the Ukraine.

   What united the people of of  Ukraine whether they were from the Western, Eastern or Southern regions of the country, whether they sat at home as the majority did thinking nothing will come of this, because the corrupt will remain in power, so let’s get on with our lives and make the best of it,  through to the activists manning the barricades in Kiev it was the blatant corruption of the elite around Victor Yanukovych and the desire to get rid of him. The non activists thinking either it won’t be possible to get rid of him, and even if we do, he will be replaced by an equally corrupt regime, which as been the pattern over the recent years, and is a most likely outcome, even with the most sincere politicians in charge. Power as to pass to the people and power is nothing if you don’t control the industry yourselves, if if the people are not the  armed state itself, and can’t participate in decision-making. But all the parties who signed the EU sponsored agreement on 21st Feb, which would have left Yanukovych in power to December 2014 think that the road for Ukraine is Capitalism.

            None of the parties involved in the EU agreement could sell the deal to the most strident opponents of Yanokovych and according to Mark Urban of the BBC the most anti EU group on the barricades the right-wing  “Right Sector” Urban says that it draws it support from both Ukrainian and Russian speakers. A spokesmen of theirs on Friday night said they did not accept the agreement and Yanukovych had until 10am next day to go or they would resume the struggle to oust him. Now we know that Yanukovych and his state forces left Kiev during the night. There is no doubt that the political parties of Vitaly Klitschko’s “Punch” the Far-Right Neo-fascist Freedom Party, Yulia Tymoshenko’s Fatherland party, three of the four signatures to the EU deal were prepared to let Yanukovych remain President until December 2014, the agreed election date to appease the E.U.
It was the action of a few hundred right-wing, now some armed men on the barricades to drive Yanukovich and the special forces out of Kiev. So was it a “Revolution or “Counter-Revolution” in my opinion it was very much the former that contains some disturbing though as yet minor parts of the latter.



Revolution on the Dnieper.

John Eden 24th Feb.
A thoughtful and thought-provoking article from the Guardian.
“What has happened in Ukraine goes beyond the fate of one politician and involves more than a realignment of political life


Sunday 23 February 2014

The Guardian


People power has prevailed in Ukraine. It has emptied Kiev’s streets of the riot police who had battled protesters since November, galvanised the Ukrainian parliament into a burst of decisive activity, and swept President Viktor Yanukoych not only from office but from the capital itself. It has swept away, too, most, if not all, of the deal that European envoys had put together late last week as they scrambled for a compromise to avert further bloodshed but leave the president in place.

But compromise is not a word that has much leverage in Kiev these days, as it becomes clear that what has happened goes far beyond the fate of one politician and involves much more than a mere realignment of Ukrainian political life. This has been, and continues to be, a revolution, the latest in the series of east European revolutions that began in Poland in 1989, and perhaps the last, unless and until change of this radical order comes to Moscow.

This consideration must rank high in the private deliberations of the Kremlin. At the time of the Orange revolution, the incomplete and disappointing attempt at remaking the Ukrainian political system that began in 2004 with popular manifestations very similar to those of today, Moscow’s fear of what the future might bring was summed up in the phrase “Kiev today, Moscow tomorrow”. But the Orange revolution stumbled quickly into a morass of infighting, corruption and incompetence. It was soon apparent that Ukraine was not going to be a model for other countries;quite the reverse.

President Vladimir Putin could heave a sigh of relief, and present the tougher and more effective form of authoritarian capitalism that he favoured as the correct choice for the Russian people. That might not be the case for ever, if Ukraine makes the most of new opportunities and gets the right kind of help. Moscow’s inner anxieties are among many factors that make the arguments between western countries and Russia over what has happened and what should happen in Ukraine so very delicate. Whatever we might hope for in the long run, America and the EU would be mad to operate as if Ukraine could be a back door to change in Russia. Leave that to history to resolve in her own good time. We should also accept that Russia’s baleful view of the revolution has some limited substance. Constitutionality and an elected leader were discarded, and there are some forces on the revolutionary side with repugnant political opinions.

The remarks on Sunday of Olli Rehn, the EU commissioner for economic and monetary affairs, about giving Ukraine “a clear European perspective” were unwise. That phrase is usually taken as meaning that EU membership is on the table, yet there is no consensus within the EU that this would be desirable, no evidence that Ukrainians want it, and every sign that Moscow would regard it as a deal breaker. Then there is the fundamental fact that Russia and Ukraine, whatever the regimes that might exist in the two countries at a given moment, are in a twin-like relationship that goes back centuries. It would be foolish to go against the grain of that, just as it would be crazy, on the Russian side, to encourage or endorse separatism in eastern Ukraine.

What Ukrainians seem to want is a strong connection with Europe and a strong, and safe, connection with Russia. There is no reason, other than stupidity or malice on the part of outsiders, why they should not have both. With the state close to bankruptcy, they also need very substantial financial help.

The EU, having played its part in setting this drama in train, has a responsibility to come through with the aid about which it was arguably niggardly before. The Russians, having also agreed to help financially, should not withdraw aid because things have changed politically. Western countries seem now to be trying to persuade Russia that Ukraine should be to some extent a joint project. It is very much the right thing to aim at. The coming days will show whether what is desirable is also possible”.

My recent blog on 1934 book by Joseph Stalin and his tribute to Trotsky.

Feb 13th 2014

By John Eden.

         Two days ago I blogged an extract of the first edition of Joseph Stalin’s 1934 book called “The October Revolution” on page 30 there is tribute to Leon Trotsky by Stalin on the first anniversary of the  “Russian Revolution” recognising Trotsky’s role as the main figure in the actual military preparations for the overthrow of the capitalist provisional government led by Kerensky.

         Note there is no mention by Stalin of Trotsky’s so call “Menshevism”, or his under estimation of the role of the “peasantry” or his role at “Brest-Litovsk” because these were not issues in the party, they only arose in the latter part of 1923, and they were the result of conflicts over the direction of the Soviet economy, and at this point a subject far to big to cover in a blog.

         But some who have some history of the struggle between Trotsky and Stalin might wonder why Stalin allowed his comments of sixteen years previously to appear in a book in 1934. Here I have to make certain assumptions and hypothesis  based on the reading I have done, and I shall have to go back to. If I recall 1934 was a year when Stalin grip on the party was under serious challenge from sections of the party because of the state of the economy, in fact he was considering resigning as General Secretary in 1932. It maybe in these circumstances those who compiled the book felt Stalins weakness and felt able to include his speech on Trotsky of 1918.

         All this was to change with the murder of Kirov, leader of the party in Leningrad on the 1st December 1934, Kirov and the Leningrad party was seen as a major opposition centre to Stalins rule and leadership. It as been stated that Kirov got more votes than Stalin at the party congress that year. Some say Stalin was involved in Kirov’s murder. Two of Lenin’s close collaboraters were acused of the crime Kamenev and Zinoviev they were jailed, some time later they were executed, but after Kirov’s murder a reign of terror began and Stalin’s dictatorship ensued, but of course he represented not just himself.

      I will have to go back to this, I have now a Croydon Trades Union Council meeting in five minutes, and correct any spelling tomorrow.

Croydon’s Communist Party Publishes New Pamphlet to Highlight the Growing Housing Crisis in the Borough

Press Release

Communists in Croydon have published today a pamphlet on the growing housing crisis in the borough, Decent Homes For All: End Croydon’s Housing Crisis Now!

Ben Stevenson, Croydon-based National Secretary of the Communist Party, said, “Local politicians are clearly failing to meet the housing needs of those least able to defend themselves: the poor, the vulnerable and the socially excluded. Meanwhile the number of new houses being built is falling to an all-time low. The only significant building projects that get the green light are those that promise yet more luxury apartments in an attempt to lure high earners away from Central London. An entire generation of people in Croydon are being systematically denied their right to decent affordable housing.”

“This new publication seeks to explain the why and how of Croydon’s housing crisis. Private rents continue to spiral out of control, well above the rate of inflation, while the Tory-led Government’s cuts to Housing Benefit and Local Housing Allowance for tenants in the social and private rented sectors, allied to high unemployment, is creating significant homelessness in Croydon. This publication is just the first step in raising awareness of the issues, starting a genuine debate involving all sections of the local community and mobilising support for local action.”

The supply of social housing in Croydon is woefully inadequate. Years of neglect by the local Tory council, along with central New Labour and Tory Government housing policies, has left Croydon with a smaller housing stock then almost any other London boroughs. Even the Council’s own Housing Strategy admits that Croydon is ill-equipped to meet housing need.

Instead of trying to solve these problems, Croydon council have been spending more and more money providing ‘temporary’ accommodation in B&Bs. Not only are the conditions often cramped and squalid, but children suffer as they have no place to play or do their homework. This is a massive waste of taxpayers’ money.

Mr Stevenson said, “I think this is a shocking indictment of a supposedly civilised society. Britain has the seventh largest economy in the world. We can clearly afford to build decent homes for all who need them. Instead, we are failing those least able to defend themselves. We should be building homes for people. Not forcing them to squeeze in to modern day slums for months at a time.”

The Communist Party invites all local campaigning organisations and housing advocacy groups to take part in a joint campaign to develop a better understanding of the problems faced by Croydon residents, raise awareness of the issues and help develop a local action plan to improve housing provision in the borough.

Mr Stevenson concluded, “Croydon is facing a real housing crisis. Statements by Tory Councillors indicate they neither understand the depth of the problem nor care about the impact on local people. Poor housing is linked to child poverty, family breakdown and mental illness. We need, as a matter of urgency, to campaign for a significant council house building programme, an end to the bedroom tax, an end to council house sales, compulsory requisitioning of long term empty properties and rent controls in the private sector. Only the Communist Party offers these and other progressive policies which matter to ordinary working people.”

Notes to editors:
1. Copies of the pamphlet, Decent Homes For All: End Croydon’s Housing Crisis Now!, can be downloaded here: Croydon Communists – Housing Crisis or obtained by phoning 0208 686 1659 or e-mailing
2. Ben Stevenson is 29 years old and National Secretary of the Communist Party. Since moving to Croydon from his native Birmingham in 2005, he has been heavily involved in local labour movement politics through the Croydon Save Our Schools Campaign, the campaign against the Beddington Lane Incinerator and the Croydon Trades Union Council’s Executive Committee. He stood as a Communist Party candidate in the 2012 Croydon North by-election.
3. The Communist Party was founded in 1920 and is part of an international movement involving millions of people in more than 100 countries across the globe.

“The October Revolution” author Joseph Stalin printed 1934 Moscow

John Eden. 11th February
It is a long time since I have posted on the blog, recently I have been helping out at the Marx Memorial library in Clerkenwell Green London, home to an extensive collection of books on the labour movement including many Marxist publications. I knew there had been a book by Joseph Stalin called “The October Revolution” published in 1934, this I knew from reading Issac Deutscher’s books either the one he did on Stalin in 1947 or the later three volumes on the life of Leon Trotsky.
It was important to get this first edition of Stalin’s book, which I found, because it contained Stalin’s tribute to Leon Trotsky’s leading role in the tactical organisation of the October revolution in the Russian empire in 1917.
Here is the quote,
“From the beginning to end the insurrection was inspired by the Central Committee of the party, with Comrade Lenin at it’s head. Lenin at the time lived on the Vyborg side in a secret apartment. On October 24 in the evening, he was called out to the Smolny to assume the general charge of the movement. All practical work in connection in the organisation of the uprising was done under the immediate direction of Comrade Trotsky, the president of the Petrograd Soviet. It can be stated with certainty that the party is indebted primarily and principally to Comrade Trotsky for the rapid going over of the garrison to the side of the Soviet and the efficient manner in which the work of the Military-Revolutionary Committee was organised. The principal assistants of Comrade Trotksy were Comrades Antonov and Podvoisky.” Speech made by Stalin on the first anniversary of the revolution reported in Prava no241 Nov 6th 1918. I shall blog more on about Comrade Antonov full name Vladimir Antonov-Ovseenko and his subsequent fate at hands of Stalin and the regime in the latter 1930’s.
12th feb,
I just found this on the Russia Today website, it’s historical research on the history of the Red Army, and an event that I have never before come across, that the foundation date of the Red Army 23rd February 1918 marks it’s first victory of the over the occupying German Army. I have never read any accounts of this, and as the artical quotes, it is doubted by most historians. / RT projects / Russiapedia / Of Russian origin / Red Army

Of Russian origin: Red Army

Historical background

The Red Army (Krasnaya Armiya) was a common name for the Russian National Military Forces from 1918 to 1946, which was also known by the abbreviation RKKA (Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army). The name refers to the color red. In the workers’ movement red symbolized the blood shed in the struggle against oppression.

The Red Army was founded immediately after the 1917 Russian Revolution when the Bolshevik Party came to power. But the official day of its creation is considered February 23, 1918. This was when the Soviet Republic announced the first victory of the Red Army over the Germans on the very last days of Russia’ s World War I campaign.

Two weeks later the Bolsheviks signed a peaceful agreement with Germany, as it was difficult to fund the army, which was short of everything including guns, ammunition and human resources. Some historians argue that the victory never happened. However, February 23 is still today celebrated in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus as Defender of the Motherland

Within two months Civil War broke out between the Bolsheviks and the remnants of the Old Russian Army. These two opposing forces were also called The Red Guard and The White Guard. The latter was heavily supported by the English and the Americans as well as by regiments from other countries that sought to intervene against the Bolsheviks in 1918.

As a result, the Republic of the Soviets found itself within a ring of opposing forces – with Cossacks on the South, Kolchak and Czech battalions in Siberia and British and American Corps in the North of Russia. It was quite a challenge for the newly born Red Army.

After several defeats in 1918 the Red Army managed to turn the situation around. One of the masterminds of this comeback was Leon Trotsky, a close ally of Lenin, who was later forced to leave the country by Joseph Stalin and then assassinated in Mexico. He managed to garner resources for a counterattack.

In 1919 the Red Army repulsed General Kolchak’s Army in Siberia and then launched a huge assault against General Denikin in the center of Russia. One of the most threatening forces at that time was the First Cavalry led by Semyon Budenny, who later became the Defense Minister of the USSR.

By 1920 the Red Army had succeeded in crushing all resistance in the European part of Russia and then moved on to fight in the Far East where battles lasted until 1922. In 1920-1921 the Red Army went to war with Poland but after a successful offensive the exhausted Soviets troops had to retreat.

The events of the Russian Civil War are a point of heated discussion among historians. Many novels and films have appeared about White Guard Personalities like General Kolchak and officers on the southern front in 1920. But no one denies that the Red Army managed to take over thanks to the following factors:

– intense propaganda to persuade workers and peasants to fight on their side. One of the most popular songs at that time stated:“from he Taiga in Siberia to the British Seas the Red Army is the strongest of all”;

– well-structured military training that promoted the craft of war among the masses;

– persistent work to make White Guard officers change sides and turn to the Red Army as there was a huge deficit of well-trained officers to lead troops.
Written by Oleg Dmitriev, Russia Today