Back in 2017, I met with Mikhail Kononovich of the Komsomol of Ukraine. During our meeting, he told me about the repression he personally had faced as a Communist.
Since 2014, he has been forbidden from leaving Ukraine.Starting our conversation, Kononovich told me about how three weeks after the coup he was working in the Party office in Kiev when the building was stormed by a fascist mob. Armed with machine guns and dressed in balaclavas they sacked the building and assaulted the comrades inside. Kononovich himself was stabbed, beaten and subsequently kidnapped by the fascist thugs. His teeth were knocked out with the butt of a gun and he was dragged unconscious from the building under the gaze of watching police. After being taken away and beaten for refusing to denounce Communism he was then left for dead in the woods after a further beating. Finally the fascists lined him up in the depths of the forest and put a gun to his head as if to execute him and proceeded to shoot three bullets past Kononovich’s head.
Fortunately our comrade survived this particular ordeal but he told us how right-wing violence has made his every day life impossible to live as he did before. He has faced many beatings and has had his home broken into. In the past he has had to flee his home with his family because of this. He told us how his largest worry was not for his personal safety but for the safety of his 5 year old daughter.
He also told us how he refused when the Ukrainian government offered him money to spread lies about the Ukrainian Communist Party and its Komsomol.
Meeting with Kononovich , I felt inspired that him and the Komsomol still had the strength to struggle on in some of the most impossible conditions for Communists in the world today
I shook hands with Kononovich as he told me how important it is to fight against the EU, how the EU promotes racism and imperialism, and how it works with NATO especially with regards to Ukraine. We exchanged Party material – I presented the Ukrainian Komsomol with Party flags and they gave t-shirts and hats with the CPU logo on them. I told him of previous solidarity efforts we have made and promised to continue our protests at the Ukrainian government and its outlawing of the Communist Party.
The first step to revolution anywhere must be the work of the Party and we must resist everywhere the banning of the Party. We should let the clandestine activity of the CP Ukraine be an inspiration and source of strength to us as we struggle to build the Party against the relative difficulties we face.
We must resist fascism and the imperialist blocks and ruling class that support it.
Long live the Communist Party of Ukraine!
Lenin! Party! Komsomol!