Not My WarNot My WarNot My War

Not My War

Svetlana Tsiberganova
Not My War
But after December 4, it became clear that in Ukraine it is no longer a shame to be a communist – leftist, anarchist, or feminist. Do not be ashamed and scared.


Dear activists of Maidan,

I understand that you have your mobilization, resistance, and your own war. But every one of your posts and reposts calling “all real men to come out” I associate with a call, voiced from the scene of your “Maidan,” where called the crowd to beat my boyfriend Dennis Levine and his brothers.

They were beaten because they were handing out leaflets with a call to join the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of Ukraine and to fight against the increase in prices for travel on public transport in Kiev. That is to say selflessly fight for our rights and yours.


Watch the video. These people, without any trial, were labeled as “lousy hired thugs with red flags.” In fact, there were no flags whatsoever, not even a neutral union flag. Some Nazis simply knew who these people are, and without any difficulty they managed to incite you against their opponents.

According to eyewitnesses about two or three hundred people at the metro station “Khreschatyk” ran over, screaming “Glory to the heroes!” [a nationalist slogan - translator] They watched as though they were spectators in an arena as a group of ultra-right thugs pepper-sprayed and beat defenseless people. The bandits then stole the sound equipment which the union activists had used in hundreds of protests and demonstrations in the past.

Now you’ll say, “Do not mistake isolated cases for the movement as a whole,” though I do not. However, there are many of these cases, both before and after the start of the Maidan. After what happened on Khreschatyk, the Nazis tried to attack trade unionists during the public hearings on the issue of higher prices for transport and the non-payment of wages to employees of Kyivpastrans.

I know some among you are my friends and comrades who would never do such things as these pogrom-makers did. I both love and infinitely respect these people; they still support my family after the pogrom. Put simply, we have a temporary disagreement on our views on the path of our struggle for now. And we must admit this.

Several years ago, when I realized that I was not just a “humanist-for-all-good-against-all-evil”, I have specific views and ideology – that I’m leftist, it was very difficult to make a “communist coming out” for loved ones. After all, this is in Ukraine but not Europe with its powerful and influential left tradition. Communists are often associated here with “old-fashioned-soviets” and the CPU [Communist Party of Ukraine – translator]. So then it was a shame to reveal my views. They may not understand and label me. My explanation would be seem more like an excuse for all sins of mankind. 

But after December 4, it became clear that in Ukraine it is no longer a shame to be a communist – leftist, anarchist, or feminist. Do not be ashamed and scared. Words claiming that “ultra-rightists protect civil rights and liberties” sound exactly like “bombing for peace and fucking for virginity” to me. And I sincerely hope that your struggle for Independence Square would not lead to the situation in which being a leftist is life-threatening.

Therefore, your war is not my war, and I have a full moral right to such a position.

Svetlana Tsiberganova, 

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