Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 38

An array of leftist and pro-Russian groups, centered mainly in eastern Ukraine’s industrial centers, threw down a gauntlet to the government at a series of conferences and meetings over the weekend. In the city of Donetsk, the Civic Congress movement called on political parties and trade unions to create a country-wide "anti-NATO grouping" following the example just set in Russia’s Duma. The conference urged a campaign for a Russian-Ukrainian military alliance in the framework of the CIS.

At another conference also held in Donetsk, a political bloc was formed under the name "Working Donbass" by Communist, Socialist, Civic Congress, trade union, and Russian nationalist groups active in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The bloc plans to campaign for prompt payment of wage arrears, revision of economic reforms, legal recognition of the Russian language as a state language, and "defense of the regional interests of Donbass."

In Kiev, a Communist Party-sponsored meeting with Russian participation called both for reversing the rehabilitation of the war-time and early post-war Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) and for declaring it a criminal and terrorist organization. The Ukrainian government has equated the rights of the UPA’s surviving veterans to the rights of veterans of the Soviet army.

In Simferopol, two separate rallies were held demanding that Ukraine terminate its cooperation with NATO’s Partnership for Peace program, grant the Russian navy basing rights in Sevastopol, adhere to a "Slavic alliance" with Russia and Belarus, accept dual Ukrainian-Russian citizenship, and reverse "anti-popular" economic reforms. The rallies were held by competing political blocs — one by the Communist Party of the Crimea and the unregistered Union of USSR Officers, the other by the Congress of the Russian People and the Union of Russian Officers. This division limited the participation to several hundred in each rally. Russian Officers’ Union leader, Lt. Col. Stanislav Terekhov, was turned back at the Russian-Ukrainian border and declared persona non grata for a term of one year by the Ukrainian authorities; but his team was allowed to proceed to Simferopol. (Interfax-Ukraine, UNIAN, Itar-Tass, February 22-23)

"Slav" Organization Agitates in Kazakstan.