In February, 2014, after months of right-wing “Maidan” demonstrations, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was forcibly removed from power by a coup. This coup was openly supported by US and European imperialism and implemented primarily by far-right shock troops such as the Right Sector and the neo-Nazi party Svoboda.
The 2014 coup represented the temporary culmination of long-standing efforts by US imperialism to install a puppet regime on the borders of Russia. It brought the world a major step closer to a war between the world’s largest nuclear powers, the US and Russia.
The regime change prompted the outbreak of an ongoing civil war in the East of Ukraine between Russian-backed separatists and the US-backed Ukrainian army that has claimed the lives of tens of thousands and displaced millions. The Western-backed oligarchic regimes in Kiev have since imposed enormous austerity on the Ukrainian working class, which now ranks as the poorest in Europe.
In the US, the coup was a catalyzer for an ever more aggressive campaign against Russia and the Putin-regime, and a significant shift to the right among layers of the upper middle class. US imperialism has continued to fund the Ukrainian state and far-right forces with billions of dollars for the civil war in East Ukraine and further war preparations against Russia.
The German bourgeoisie seized upon the coup as a pretext for aggressively stepping up its campaign to remilitarize and justify the crimes of fascist forces. For the first time since the end of World War II, representatives of a German government were seen on photos with avowed Ukrainian neo-Nazis.
Internationally, pseudo-left forces such as the International Socialist Organization (ISO) in the US, the New Anti-capitalist Party of France (NPA), and the Russian Socialist Movement (RSM), supported the coup, falsely proclaiming it a “revolution”. The ICFI and WSWS alone advanced a principled, socialist opposition to this imperialist operation, warning the working class of its dangerous consequences.