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Interview with Ukrainian miner’s leader

ukrainian miners fight russia

Interview with Yuri Petrovich Samoilov , Chairman of the Krivoy Rog Independent Miners’ Union, Dniepropetrovsk region, Ukraine.

1 – What is your evaluation of the events at Maidan 2014? Why did Putin’s aggression begin after those events?

The Maidan was a popular uprising against a corrupt and authoritarian government that had not kept its promises to the people. It had a clear subordination to Russian imperialism, on which Ukraine depended in part. The reasons for Russia’s aggression are obvious: the Putin government seeks economic and political control over the countries, which it considers its “sphere of influence.” And the Maidan “made the cross” to any project of a Ukraine controlled by Russia.

2- What was the situation of the workers after the occupation in the so-called Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk? Do you know how things are today in the Donbass?

Deplorable! The Russian security forces eliminated any independent entity: socially oriented NGOs, political projects, trade unions. Coupled with the total collapse of the region’s economy, global isolation and reorientation towards Russia, the workers were left in a completely helpless position, under threat of strong repression and heavy losses of previous economic gains.

Yuri Petrovich Samoilov

3 – What is the situation of the workers in the midst of the conflict? (In general, in Ukraine and in its region)

In big cities like Kyiv, Kharkov, Mariupol, Kherson, Zhytomyr, it is impossible to buy medicines in pharmacies, many companies have stopped working. Many supermarkets do not work, service stations, gas stations and post offices are very difficult to operate, because transport logistics are interrupted due to the partial blockade of these cities. Many workers are unemployed because their workplaces have been physically destroyed by the war. And many more have lost their jobs due to the forced exodus from their cities as a result of the war.

4 – What is the participation of the Ukrainian workers in the resistance to the Russian occupation?

The workers actively participate in the war for the independence of Ukraine against Russian imperialism. The unions host refugees at their headquarters, participate in the Territorial Defense Brigades and the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

5 – Do the unions participate in the organization of the resistance? What type of organization is there?

The unions mainly participate as volunteers in the activities. The existence of international contacts allows us to quickly detect which of our colleagues has a misfortune or what kind of problem and collectively we can find ways to permanently solve or temporarily correct those needs.

6 – How can workers from other countries help the resistance?

Demand the cancellation of the payment of the unjust and enslaving Ukrainian debt. Demand the supply of aviation and weapons to Ukraine.

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