Taras Bilous Profile picture
Sep 14 22 tweets 4 min read
I don't like Žižek, but his texts about Ukraine are much better than what many other left-wing intellectuals write. Nevertheless, even his texts show that he doesn't know details known to almost every Ukrainian. In particular, his recent article...

🧵 1/
Žižek write about Ukraine between two colonialisms (Russian and Western), IMF pressure and the threat of economic colonization of Ukraine by Western capital.

Although Žižek started the article with a story about the series Servant of the People, in which Zelensky played the role of the president Holoborodko, he didn't mention an interesting detail.

The TV series the relationship between Holoborodko and the IMF developed quite differently from the real Zelensky. In the series, Holoborodko rejects the demands of the IMF, breaks off relations with them and expels their delegation from Ukraine.

In reality, when Zelensky became president, it was impossible. Ukraine depended on IMF finances, especially during the pandemic.

But the very fact that Zelensky's screenwriters described relations with the IMF in this way shows that a significant part of the Ukrainian people and the ruling class is critical of Western financial institutions.

At the same time, for the absolute majority of Ukrainian society, in the situation between Russian tanks and Western banks, the choice is obvious.

An uncritical attitude towards the West is widespread only among the middle class. But during the war, even this part of Ukrainian society began to look much more critically at the West.

But this, of course, does not save Ukraine from the threat of even greater dependence on Western capital after the war. For this, at least the cancellation of Ukraine's foreign debt is necessary.

Moreover, neoliberal hegemony is unlikely to disappear after the war. Even without Western demands, the Ukrainian authorities persistently pursue anti-social policies.

But this doesn't mean that Zelensky is simply an executor of the interests of oligarchs or Western capital.

In general, the class nature of Zelensky's politics reminds me of how some commentators characterized the Orange Revolution - a revolution of millionaires against billionaires.

During his tenure, Zelensky sometimes cooperated and sometimes clashed with the oligarchs, but he constantly tried to limit their political influence. And now used the war and achieved considerable success in this.

12/ theguardian.com/world/2022/jul…
When things were bad, he complied with Western demands, but when he could, he tried to sabotage it, such as anti-corruption institutions that limited his power, destroyed the informal advantages of Ukrainian capital and strengthened the position of transnational capital.

This was not a policy in the interests of the middle class (let alone the working class).
In general, this was a policy in the interests of the social category to which Zelensky himself belongs - the "middle" bourgeoisie. Rich capitalists, but smaller than oligarchs.

They are interested in limiting the political influence of the oligarchs, but at the same time they are interested in limiting labor rights more than the oligarchs.

We don't know what Ukrainian politics will be like after the war. But it's already obvious that it will change very much.

We will have to take advantage of the reduction in the influence of the oligarchs, and at the same time prevent Zelensky from establishing an authoritarian regime and repel the attack on the working class

Whether it will succeed depends not only on a weak political and leftist movement, but also on how much of the middle class will be able to free itself from neoliberal illusions. And it also depends on international solidarity

As my colleague Denys Gorbach rightly wrote, Yushchenko's team was poorer than the oligarchs, but they were quite rich capitalists. Whereas Zelensky's team is even poorer than them.
And in general, if we talk about the class whose interests are expressed by Zelensky's policy, it's classic bourgeoisie - not the oligarchs, who have no control over the state apparatus

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More from @ahatanhel

Sep 15
Those who still write that Russia was "provoked" by the US and accuse the West of unwillingness to negotiate ignore many facts that contradict their US-centric worldview. In particular, the US-RU negotiations before the invasion

A🧵 thread about this negotiations

(It's actually very sad that after six months of war I still have to write about it, but a recent thread by a Western historian who once worked at Eastern Europe showed me that it's still relevant)

So, what did the US response to the Russian ultimatum of December 2021?
They offered new arms control arrangements

Read 21 tweets
Sep 13
The West must pressure on Azerbaijan to force them to stop aggression.
Russia's defeat in Ukraine may will create a security vacuum and a threat of Turkish dominance in the South Caucasus.
Under these circumstances, Aliyev can dare not only to carry out ethnic cleansing in Nagorno-Karabakh, but also to occupy the "corridor" to Nakhchivan.
Already now, Azerbaijan is bombing sites in the depths of the internationally recognized territory of Armenia.
The EU and the US must prevent must prevent the situation from worsening, otherwise the cost of resolving the conflict will be even higher. Unfortunately, I don't see who else can prevent the situation from getting worse
Read 7 tweets
Sep 7
One of the strange things I often encounter in discussions about Western support of Ukraine is how much attention Western left pay to the motives of Western politicians.

A 🧵 about this bias, the interests of Western elites, Johnson and Corbyn.

Well, talk about the motives of politicians wouldn't be strange in context of election or something. But I really don't understand, what does it matter regarding military aid and sanctions?

Besides, to say that bourgeois governments provide military aid and impose sanctions based on self-interest rather than humanitarianism is a very trite statement.

Read 24 tweets
Sep 2
This may sound provocative, so please read to the end before judging my words. Ukrainians as victims don't deserve all aid that other states give us. There are many people in Africa and Asia who need help much more.

Rich countries should give more aid (and reparations) to poor countries especially Pakistan now. The West bears a large share of responsibility for many of the problems facing the peoples of the Global South, including climate change.

But Ukrainians deserve the aid that the West gives us, and even more, as fighters. If Ukraine fell, it would push Russia and other imperialists to a more aggressive policy. This would usher in a period of constant invasions, wars & annexations, and possibly lead to global war.
Read 8 tweets
Aug 31
Boris Johnson's visit in April really influenced the negotiations. But those who write that Johnson disrupted negotiations between Zelensky and Putin distorts the information available to us, ignores other events that then influenced Zelensky's position…

First of all, the Ukrainian Pravda article, which is usually referred to, does not mention Johnson's pressure on Zelensky. Instead, the article mentions that Zelensky's position was also influenced by Bucha massacre.

The negotiations in Istanbul took place when Russian troops were still stationed near Kyiv. But in the following days they retreated, which was an important success for Ukraine. It's obvious that this also influenced the mood of the Ukrainian society.

Read 34 tweets
Aug 15
In 1993 there were political crises both in Ukraine and Russia. In Ukraine this ended with re-elections of both the president and the parliament. The same step would have been the optimal solution in Russia, but Yeltsin dissolved the parliament and dispersed it with tanks.

After that, a new constitution was adopted in Russia, which gave enormous powers to the president. This laid the legal foundations for the formation of Putin's regime.

The first president of Ukraine, Leonid Kravchuk, later frankly wrote in his memoirs that he also wanted to dissolve the parliament. But he didn't dare to do this because he could not rely on the repressive apparatus.

Read 18 tweets

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