More than five months have passed since brothers Oleksandr and Mykahil Kononovich were arrested and imprisoned on the baseless charges of “collaborating with the secret services of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus.”
Since then, there have been several appeals to the Ukrainian state for their release, all of which
have gone unheeded. Likewise, numerous letters sent by communist and anti-imperialist organisations around the world to their local Ukrainian embassies have never been answered. This clearly demonstrated an arrogant attitude of the coup government.
This derisory silence from them, however, is as predictable as it is abhorrent. It is clear that comrades Kononovich were arrested for their involvement in the Ukrainian Anti-Fascist Committee and the Ukrainian Communist Party, which was banned following the 2014 coup and whose assets and headquarters were recently seized by the Ukrainian government. This is in the broader context of the tremendous anti-union and anti-communist repression that has been developing in Ukraine in those eight years, of which the massacre at the House of Trade Unions in Odessa (where 42 workers were killed) and the recent banning of all opposition parties, most of which are left or centre-left, are glaring examples.
The brothers’ imprisonment constitutes a serious violation of their basic human and political rights. That
the Ukrainian government, which came to power with the help of the West and neo-Nazi paramilitary
troops, does not care about the dignity of its citizens is, of course, unsurprising. We have not forgotten the victimisation of the Russian-speaking minority in the Donbas region, where countless civilians have been killed with Ukrainian shells.
The situation of the Kononovich brothers is still precarious, and it is still necessary to mobilise internationally against this brazen violation of rights and against the repressive actions of the venal, Western-aligned government of Zelensky.
For these reasons, we demand:
The immediate release of the Kononovich brothers and a public apology to them.
That the trials to which the Kononovich brothers are subjected be truly fair and just.
An end to the anti-communist and anti-union repression in Ukraine.
The lifting of the ban on the Ukrainian Communist Party, as well as all other opposition parties.
A condemnation of the repression in Ukraine and an immediate halt to arms exports to that country
by Western countries.
The following organisations endorse the appeal:
Gioventù Comunista Svizzera – Swiss Communist Youth
Partito Comunista (Svizzera) –– Communist Party (Switzerland)
Partei der Arbeit Basel
Partito Operaio e Popolare Ticino
Spain –– Juventud Comunista de los Pueblos de España (JCPE)
Federazione Giovanile Comunista Italiana (FGCI)
Federazione della Gioventù Comunista (FGC)
Great Britain –– Young Communist League of Britain (YCL)
Serbia –– Savez Komunisticke Omladine Jugoslavije (SKOJ)
United States of America –– League of Young Communists USA
Turkey –– Türkiye Gençlik Birligi (Youth Union of Türkiye)
Freie Deutsche Jugend (FDJ)
Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands (KPD)
Kommunistischer Jugendverband Deutschlands (KJVD)