The Communist Party of Ireland joins communist parties and other leftist and progressive forces around the world in condemning the death threats, persecution and other forms of ongoing intimidation against communist youth leaders Aleksander Kononovich and his brother Mikhail Kononovich who are under house arrest in Ukraine.
Following the onset of the proxy NATO war against Russia in Ukraine, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) arrested the Kononovich brothers, leaders of the Leninist Communist Youth Union of Ukraine (LKSMU), in the capital Kiev on March 6, 2022, and put them in jail. The arrest triggered widespread protests from progressive and communist groups in Europe and abroad, who denounced the move as part of the purge initiated by EU-NATO-backed Ukranian authorities against communists, socialists, and other critics of the Zelensky regime in the name of ‘national security’.
In July 2022, a show trial of the Kononovich brothers started in the Solomensky District Court in Kiev. They were placed under house arrest in Kiev – although they have committed no crime, other than opposition to the genocidal war and the destruction of their country to serve US imperial interests.
Earlier this week, the Kononovich brothers, in an appeal, stated that President Volodymyr Zelensky’s regime was trying to assassinate them. They reported that a police officer, Yevgen Kravchuk, had repeatedly come to their home and threatened to murder them. The same officer also made a Facebook post issuing a public call for their murder and revealing the address of their house. In the wake of such threats, the CPI reiterates the demand for the immediate release of the brothers.
Even before the onset of the current war in Ukraine, the post-coup Zelensky regime had initiated a policy of ‘decommunisation’ and persecution of communists. In May 2015, decommunisation laws came into effect in Ukraine, meaning that the Communist Party of Ukraine (KPU) could not use communist symbols or sing ‘The Internationale’. The KPU was banned from contesting elections in 2015. Its publication Rabochaya Gazeta was banned and its leaders and members faced police repression and assaults from far-right groups.
Braving all these difficulties, members of the KPU and LKSMU continued to organise protests against decommunisation, pro-corporate land reforms, government support to neo-Nazi groups, the rise in electricity and water prices, and NATO expansionism. They also organized campaigns calling for a peaceful resolution to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
The CPI urges all progressive forces in Ireland and abroad to show solidarity with and support for our communist comrades in Ukraine and shares the following statement from the Kononowicz brothers:
“We, the Kononowicz brothers, Ukrainian communists and anti-fascists, appeal to the World Federation of Democratic Youth, to the communists, to all leftists and anti-fascists in Europe and the world.
We officially declare that the Zelensky regime is preparing our assassination. The regime, led by the current policeman Yevgen Kravchuk, has publicly and repeatedly warned us of our murder. The policeman wrote calls for murder on Facebook and actively spread our residential address, knowing that we are under house arrest and cannot go anywhere, so we are trapped.
Only an active police officer can make these types of statements and appeals in public without fear of anyone. They officially outlaw us and make it clear that no one will be punished for killing us. It is the practice of Nazi Germany in the 1930s, where communists and anti-fascists were outlawed.
The Zelensky regime wants to stage a show execution.
Comrades, please, go out with protests to the embassies and consulates of Ukraine, the representative offices of the European Union, the OSCE and other authorities and international organizations to picket with the demand of the Ukrainian authorities “not to allow the murder of anti-fascists Kononovich”, please support us and do not allow our murder by the Zelensky regime.”