Hands off Ukrainian socialist Maxim Goldarb!

Maxim Goldarb

On October 24, the World Socialist Web Site received an urgent message from Ukraine that the Kiev apartment of Maxim Goldarb, the head of the “Union of Left Forces — For a New Socialism” party, had been raided on October 12 by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU). Goldarb was accused in absentia of disseminating information “in favor of the aggressor and justifying aggression against Ukraine” and faces imprisonment.

The SBU, Ukraine’s domestic secret service, is the chief agency responsible for the persecution and terrorization of opponents of the NATO-backed Zelensky government. It is notorious for its infestation with fascist elements and ties to neo-Nazi formations. 

Along with 12 other opposition parties, the Union of Left Forces, which opposes the NATO war against Russia, was banned at the beginning of the war; its offices were raided and several of its members arrested and driven underground. The party’s head, Goldarb has written several articles for the WSWS. Refuting the torrent of propaganda in the pro-war media in Ukraine and the NATO countries, his articles shed light on the extraordinary attacks on democratic rights in Ukraine, the criminal methods employed by the Zelensky regime to forcibly draft men into the army and the erection of monuments for Nazi collaborators at the cost of millions of dollars. Goldarb recently also gave an interview to the WSWS in which he discussed the growing moods of opposition among workers in Ukraine to the war. 

Just over a month before the raid, the World Socialist Web Site had published Goldarb’s article “How people in Ukraine are declared traitors to the state: The mechanism of the repressive apparatus.” In that article, he wrote, “almost every day, we have been reading in the Ukrainian news or hearing on TV about ‘state traitors’ who were exposed by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) or the State Office of Investigation (GBR) and prosecutors, because they are suspected of anti-state activities and treason.” The article exposed how, in Ukraine, opponents of the government are routinely accused of “state treason” without the slightest legal justification and evidence, imprisoned and tortured.

Now the same anti-democratic charade is being employed by the Ukrainian state against Goldarb. The Political Council of the Union of Left Forces informed the WSWS that, he was accused:

in absentia of allegedly committing information activities in favor of the aggressor and justifying aggression against Ukraine. The court sent a submission for his arrest and imprisonment. At the same time, the document of suspicion was not delivered or sent to Maxim Goldarb in the manner prescribed by law, which grossly violated his rights to defense. 

What was the basis for the SBU and prosecutors to make such a heavy accusation? Probably some serious proof of guilt, evidence: operational data, unclassified data, results of witness interviews, results of phone tapping, searches and inspections? No. Maybe espionage, sabotage, coup d’etat, murder, corruption? Also no. Because it was not and could not be: being a highly qualified lawyer, Maxim Goldarb acts exclusively within the realm of legality. Today, no proof of guilt in Ukraine is needed to prosecute oppositionists—only posts in social networks and statements about the causes and consequences of the war in Ukraine, a different, disagreeing position with the position of the official Ukrainian authorities are enough.

What did Maxim Goldarb talk about in his articles, posts on social networks, speeches, interviews? He spoke about the need for an immediate cessation of hostilities and the beginning of peace talks; he wrote about the approaching nuclear catastrophe; he pointed out the beneficiaries of the war in Ukraine, primarily the oligarchy and the military-industrial complex; he wrote about the unthinkable corruption of war and blood; he openly declared the blossoming of neo-Nazism in the country; he drew historical parallels to the current situation. Today, such expressions of opinion in Ukraine is a thought crime, a grave sin in the eyes of the current government, because dissent, objectivity and truth undermine the foundations of its rule. This is punishable in today’s Ukraine by mandatory arrest, imprisonment for up to 15 years and confiscation of all property.

Maxim Goldarb’s life is in danger. The World Socialist Web Site, organ of the International Committee of the Fourth International, demands an end to the political persecution of Goldarb, his Union of Left Forces and all other left-wing parties in Ukraine.