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(en) ait russia: Protest demonstrations in Ukraine (second half of October 2021) [machine translation]

Date Thu, 18 Nov 2021 08:03:49 +0200

The second half of October was marked in Ukraine by new strikes of miners, protests against the rise in prices for gas and housing and communal services, youth and environmental protests. ---- MINER'S PROTESTS ---- y the end of September, wage arrears in Ukraine reached 4 billion hryvnias, and the lion's share of this amount is unpaid wages of miners. At the end of October, the state's debt to miners amounted to 2.4 billion hryvnia . The situation led to a wave of protests and strikes. With the help of speeches, industry workers managed to knock out their money in parts several times.
So, on October 19, the miners of the Dobropolskaya and Almaznaya mines of the Dobropolyeugol-Dobycha state enterprise staged a protest action in the Donetsk region. The general director hid in his office and did not go out to the strikers. The miners refused to start work and threatened to stop the shipment of coal, demanding payment of salaries in the amount of 30 million hryvnias. Immediately after that, they received $ 22.5 million.

However, the debt continued to accumulate. Labor collectives of the state-owned enterprises "Lvivugol", "Dobropolyeugol" and "Mirnogradugol" sent an appeal to the central authorities, warning them of their intention to hold protest actions. Miners in the Lviv region demanded that their salaries be paid by October 29, threatening with unregulated rallies and road closures. Dobropolyeugol workers declared their readiness to hold an indefinite protest action. The local organization of the Independent Trade Union of Miners (NPG) in Dobropolye and the trade union organization of the Novodonetsk mine called on the authorities to urgently pay off the debt. The organization NPG Mironograd (Donetsk region) sought to pay workers 121.7 million hryvnia, threatening with protests at the local and all-Ukrainian levels.

In "Lvovugol" the wage debt amounted to 400 million hryvnia. The labor collective of the Stepnaya mine announced in the last days of October their intention to hold a strike . The same decision was made by the miners of Chervonograd. On November 1, the labor collective of the Lesnaya mine of Lvovuglya joined the colleagues from the Stepnaya mine: from the 2nd shift, the work of the enterprise was suspended .

The authorities again had to make partial concessions. On October 26, at a meeting with the leadership of the Ukrugleprofsoyuz and heads of trade unions of state coal mining enterprises, the Minister of Energy announced that on November 1, 671 million hryvnias were transferred to fully pay off the debts for July and August, as well as pay salaries to miners for September. However, as stated in NPG , government officials from the energy sector do not have an answer as soon as possible to close the salary debt to miners in UAH 1.85 billion, how to ensure the repayment of almost UAH 1.4 billion of promising debt for November and December of this year, and how to ensure sustainable , safe work during 2022.


In early October, in Kharkiv, on Samoletnaya Street, a former employee, who was not paid by the owners for repairs, stole a gazelle with potatoes worth 28 thousand hryvnias from them. The sale of vegetables was used to pay off the wage arrears.

On October 19, a protest action was held by doctors in Kagarlyk (Kiev region). The participants were outraged by the state underfunding of health care and demanded timely payment of salaries and epidemic allowances

On October 27 in Kiev, bus drivers tried to block the street , protesting against the new rules for the transportation of passengers on interregional and international routes, along which drivers and passengers must have documents for coronavirus vaccination or a PCR test. Drivers are fined 34 thousand hryvnias for failure to comply with the new rules. The drivers continuously walked along the pedestrian crossing near the stadium. Lobanovsky, blocking the passage, and several times tried to block traffic, but the police pushed them back from the crossing. As a result, a compromise was reached: for several minutes the drivers walked along the crossing, and then for several minutes they gave the opportunity to pass the transport (they reached a compromise with the police - for several minutes they walk along the crossing, and then for several minutes they give the opportunity to pass the transport


The main topic that continues to concern the population with the onset of autumn is the problem of heating, gas supply and the rise in prices for these services.


Attempts by companies to impose new conditions and prices on consumers through blackmail by cutting off the gas supply lead to real "gas wars". The events in the Kharkov region can serve as a typical example.

After two protests with blocking the road to Rostov (for an hour every day), Kharkovgaz resumed gas supplies to the village of Blagodatnoye, Chuguevsky district, on October 17, which they turned off under the pretext of preparing for the heating season. The protesters refer to the fact that the company systematically conducts outages, and then imposes new, unfavorable terms of delivery on consumers. Even the Security Service of Ukraine began to investigate the situation. However, as emphasizesthe independent site "Assembly", "the return of gas to Blagodatny and the punishment of those guilty of the conflict that has arisen are only part of what was demanded near Kharkov at the weekend. Another requirement is to create, instead of the tax, which is 95.5% in oligarchic hands and independently determines prices for its services, a utility company to supply energy to the population at fair prices. (...) Without organizing at the national level, ways of overcoming the impasse are not visible, "the site comments, citing the words of Kupyan's woman Marina Tkachenko, written on the page of the protest organizer:" I think it's time to take the officials hostage. Keep it at home, let it freeze and not feed. " As the site notes, "In any case, this is a new precedent for the entire Slobozhanshchina, whether someone likes such steps or not.

In Zhytomyr on October 25, a rally of residents against the increase in gas and heating prices escalated into an assault on the office of the Zhytomyrgaz company. When no one came out to the protesters who had gathered outside the building, they broke down the doors and burst into it. When they reached the upper floors, they finally found the chairman of the board of the firm, who said that his company did not set tariffs. He was forced to go down to the street and give a report to the demonstrators, but the manager, having first agreed, then disappeared. The rally participants signed a statement containing, among other things, such requirements as stopping the growth of gas tariffs, a ban on shutting off gas supplies during the heating season and returning gas networks to the ownership of urban and territorial communities.

In the Chernivtsi region, residents of the Banilovskaya territorial community on October 21 at a meeting delivered an ultimatum to the regional authorities: by November 1, to resume the gas supply to four villages, which was cut off a year and a half ago, or citizens will proceed to mass protests with the blocking of roads of state importance.

In Poltava, on October 31, residents of the 109th microdistrict blocked the road and temporarily stopped traffic due to the lack of heating in the apartments. In the same region, in Lubny, on October 26, protesters against the increase in gas tariffs blocked the Kiev-Kharkov highway , walking along a pedestrian crossing with banners. They demanded not to increase the gas tariff and transfer the Lubnygaz gas transmission networks to the city's ownership to create a communal enterprise.

gas for industry will lead to exponential price increases for all goods. Of course, people will take to the streets, because the streets will be warmer. The way out is the nationalization of regional gas and gas transmission networks. And, according to the Constitution of Ukraine, gas supplies for the population at a cost price - UAH 1 per cubic meter. "

However, protests against the increase in tariffs for housing and communal services are not limited to the "gas theme". Three actions in front of the Verkhovna Rada in Kiev in recent weeks, organized by the "No Corruption" movement, became a reminder of this . The participants, protesting against the high prices for heating and hot water, demanded "to stop the tariff genocide."

In Odessa, displaced persons from the eastern regions of the country, living in a dormitory on Uspenskaya Street and repaired it on their own, are holding protest actions in front of the regional council, demanding to stop power outages and conclude an agreement with them on payment of utility bills


October 30. About 500 residents of Volnyansk in the Zaporozhye region stormed an unfinished kaolin quarry, the construction of which causes significant damage to the region's ecology and human health. Having occupied the territory of the quarry, they blocked the work of equipment and organized a rally. At the same time, the employees of the security company were rebuffed.

In the last weekend of the month, residents of the Broshnev-Osad community and the surrounding villages of Ivano-Frankivsk region staged a protest against the harmful production of formaldehyde resins , which Swiss Krono intends to deploy.


27th October. A youth rally against the liquidation of the city center of youth leisure was held near the city hall in Sumy . They called on the authorities to abandon the plan for reorganizing and dividing the center.

29th of October. Students of the Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute went on strike, demanding the transition to distance learning due to the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic, as well as the transfer of unvaccinated teachers to distance teaching (instead of firing them). The administration demanded to stop the action, threatening to force vaccinations and shutting off the water in the hostel, but in the end gave up. From November 1, the institute was transferred to the "remote".

For all our skepticism about the introduction of the remote education regime, we cannot but agree with the opinion of the independent activist website "Assembly", which noted the coherence of actions and self-organization as the key to the success of the struggle. The events "clearly demonstrate the unity of interests of students and teachers in the face of bureaucratic tyranny and disregard. If a few months ago the Kharkiv academic environment was a place of downright total groveling in front of the almighty authorities, then this fall the driving belts of silence seem to have worn out a little. Let us now see how far this process will go. (...) This is real self-government - and not the intrigues of the hobbyist clans ... "


October 23. Activists and activists of the "Ecological Platform" in Lviv on the day of the international " strike for climate " came out with posters in the city center, recalling the connection between climate change and the current industrial-capitalist way of doing business. During the action, they managed to attract the attention of passers-by and explain the proposed alternative to them.

On October 28, anarchists / anarchists from the Black Banner group organized a fireworks display on Zamkova Hill in Lviv on the day of Ukraine's liberation from the Nazis during World War II.

October 31. Eco-anarchists and eco-anarchists, as well as sympathizers in Lviv, distributed food and clothing to those in need.

The Kharkiv site "Assembly" timed the October release of its regular "Black List of Kharkiv Employers" to the international week of struggle against non-payment of wages, which was held at the initiative of the International Association of Workers. At the same time, comrades came forward with exposing other abuses of entrepreneurs, including forced vaccination by the management of private firms, unsanitary conditions, poor working conditions, fines, etc.

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