Shifting political “lefty” sands and strange goings-on – UkraineJune 14, 2015
Minor palpitations seem to be occurring within the Ukrainian loony left of the political spectrum.
In Odessa, without any forewarning, not any comment post incident, Yevgeny Tsarov, Head of the Odessa Regional Communist Party, handed control of the Communist Party building in the city to the Right Sector – something that looking at their Facebook site was unexpected, and initially greeted with some cynicism and skepticism.
Nevertheless the building has been “cleansed” of Communist symbolism – which was initially called a “raid attack” by Odessa Communist MP Oleksandr Paradovsky. However, it appears that not only Communist symbolism was found and destroyed. It seems that flags belonging to the “Odessa People’s Republic”, the “DNR” and “LNR”. It was later claimed by the Communist Party that such symbolism was planted by pro-Ukrainian groups, as the Communist Party had vacated the building at 59 Mechnikov some 6 months earlier.
To add to the messy messaging, the regional Communist Party website is currently off-line, and Yevgeny Tsarov has made no comment about the incident whatsoever thus far.
The question therefore, is what is in this for Yevgeny Tsarov – for it appears to have little to do with politics, despite the facade. The Communist Party building in Odessa would simply not be handed over without fuss if there were political mileage in sponsored public resistance and the subsequent media attention it would generate. Indeed both the loony-left and pro-Kremlin media were also caught unawares – thus no preliminary and preparatory media hype. Neither would it explain the regional Communist Party website being taken down (temporarily or permanently remains to be seen).
In short, local politics in a very un-Odessit way – but if business feuding or grubby little real estate deals are behind it, then business in a very Odessit way.
All rather murky for the moment, though the truth will seep into the political and business circles in a few days – regardless of evolving Communist Party rhetoric and the current public silence of Yevgeny Tsarov.
Meanwhile up in Kyiv the old faces associated with the Communist Party of Ukraine, the loony left, the nostalgic for the USSR, and the pro-Kremlin lobby, are all attempting to get under the same political umbrella.
The “Left Opposition” political umbrella has been created and a manifesto published.
Clearly a preparatory step in readiness for the local elections that will take place on 25th October, not only in Kyiv but nationally. Whether the “Left Opposition” will attempt to fight in all local elections or concentrate upon Kyiv time will tell. Much may depend upon the level of funding from Moscow and its level of interest in the local elections having annexed and/or invaded the regions where the Communist Party historically faired best at the ballot box.
Is it worth throwing any serious money at from the Kremlin perspective? It is difficult to see the “Left Opposition” doing particularly well in Kyiv, or anywhere else. The question therefore, to concentrate campaigning efforts, or look for national representation in all Oblasts and hope something sticks somewhere.
There is nothing that necessarily connects events in Odessa to those in Kyiv and the “Left Opposition” of which the Communist Party will become a part. It is more likely that these occurrences are similar to London buses – nothing for ages and then it all comes at once.
Nevertheless, both are interesting and both will cause a little ripple amongst the swivel-eyed.