let's close with c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'
This essay was submitted to the WSWS by Maxim Goldarb, the head of the “Union of Left Forces of Ukraine - For New Socialism” party in Ukraine which opposes the NATO war against Russia and has been banned and persecuted by the Zelensky government. Last month, the WSWS published a statement opposing the state repression of his and other left-wing parties in Ukraine.
80 years ago, in 1943, Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, was liberated from Nazi occupation by troops of the Red Army, led by General Nikolai Vatutin.
Shortly after the liberation of Kiev, General Vatutin died as a result of a wound inflicted on him in an ambush by Ukrainian Nazi collaborators from the OUN—the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists. In 1944, he was buried in one of the central parks of Kiev that he had liberated, and a monument was erected on his grave with the inscription: “To General Vatutin from the Ukrainian people.”
The general was deservedly considered a hero; flowers from the people of Kiev always lay at his monument.
And now, in our days, in the year of the 80th anniversary of the liberation of Kiev, the monument to Vatutin was demolished. With this demolition, the Kiev authorities also desecrated his grave.
The destruction of monuments to the soldiers of the Red Army, which liberated Ukraine and Europe from fascism, is going on throughout Ukraine. In some cities, such as Chernivtsi, Rivne and many others, they are demolished, and in some places they are completely blown up, as happened, for example, in Nikolaev.
In addition, many other monuments are being demolished: monuments to the Russian poet Alexander Pushkin, to the writers Nikolai Ostrovsky and Maxim Gorky, the test pilot Valery Chkalov and many others.
Moreover, in recent years, cities, villages, streets and squares have been massively renamed in Ukraine.
Since February 2014, after the coup d'état during the Euromaidan, more than a thousand settlements and more than 50,000 streets have been renamed in Ukraine.
Last year alone, 237 streets, squares, avenues and boulevards were renamed just in Kiev, as the city’s authorities, headed by mayor Vitaliy Klitschko, proudly report. The same government, which for nine years since 2014, when Klitschko first became mayor, could not build in Kiev, a city of 3 million people with constant traffic jams on the roads, a single new metro station, a single new multilevel transport interchange, a single new medical center, a single new campus, a single waste processing complex, and so on.
Where did such an insistent desire to rename everything and everyone come from? Is it because a large number of local residents wanted this? Because they were suddenly no longer satisfied with the names of the cities and streets, where they themselves, their parents, and sometimes grandparents were born and raised? Nothing of the sort. There were no referendums, no votes of local residents on these issues, no one asked their opinion.
On the contrary, in the few cases that polls were conducted, they almost always showed their overwhelming disagreement with the renaming. For example, in the case of the renaming of the regional center Kirovograd a few years ago, which had been named so almost 90 years ago in honor of the famous Soviet statesman Sergei Kirov, the absolute majority of the city's population—82 percent—did not support the decision to rename the city to “Kropyvnytsky”. Only 14 percent supported it.
But neither in this case, nor in any other of the many cases when monuments were demolished and streets renamed did the authorities care at all about the opinion of the citizens.
Why then is all of this happening? The answer to this question becomes clearer if you look closely at the new names and monuments that are now being erected.
The avenue of General Vatutin, who helped liberate Kiev from Nazism, which was discussed at the very beginning of the article, was renamed to the avenue of Roman Shukhevych, a Ukrainian fascist. A the time of the attack of Nazi Germany on the Soviet Union in June 1941, Shukhevych served as a member of the Nachtigall battalion, a subdivision of the Abwehr (the military intelligence of the Wehrmacht), which consisted of Ukrainian Nazi collaborators.
What was formerly “Moscow Avenue” in Kiev was renamed to the Avenue of Stepan Bandera—another Ukrainian Nazi collaborator, and leader of the OUN (b), the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, which during the Second World War “became famous” for its collaboration with the German Nazis, and its genocidal massacres of the Polish and Jewish population.
There are now many monuments erected and streets named in honor of Bandera in cities throughout Ukraine.
Kevin Alexander Gray had a massive heart attack yesterday and didn’t make it. He was apparently out doing yard work when his wife noticed it was quiet. They called EMS but they couldn’t revive him.
I had just talked with Kevin last week. He said he was working on his will, but there was nothing to worry about, he just wanted to get it done. Kevin, who was 65 when he died, always felt was living on borrowed time because his dad and uncles had died young of heart failure—in their 40s and 50s.
Kevin was a great organizer on both local and national campaigns (Jesse Jackson). He helped James Brown when he was down. Built black businesses in Columbia, South Carolina. Helped families who’d lost members to violence, poverty, drugs or prison. He was a historian of black movements (Waiting for Lightning to Strike, Killing Trayvons), a gifted polemicist (in CounterPunch, The New Liberator and The Progressive), and a blast to be around.
Gray was outspoken on civil rights and political issues for decades, often appearing and speaking at rallies for a variety of causes. He was also an author, penning the book "Waiting for Lightning to Strike: The Fundamentals of Black Politics."
In 1988, Gray led Democratic presidential candidate Jesse Jackson's campaign in South Carolina. He also was the head of the Rainbow Coalition in the state, a civil rights organization founded by Jackson.
He later served on the campaign of Tom Harkin in 1992 and Tom Clements' Senate campaign in 2010.
He often lent his name and time to a number of causes. According to Spartanburg-Herald Journal article in 1989, he and the Rainbow Coalition spoke out against the ongoing apartheid in South Africa. He also was a past president of the South Carolina ACLU.
Gray was also involved in the effort to get the Confederate flag removed from atop the dome of the South Carolina State House. The flag was taken down and moved to a nearby monument in 2000 and was eventually moved to a museum in 2015 following the massacre of nine people at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston.
Gray, one of five children, grew up in Spartanburg. His family owned Gray’s Groceries, a small grocery store, Gray in that 2022 interview. He described himself as “radical, even back then” and said his father often feared for his son’s safety in the 1960s South.
“That was my father and his brothers, how they came up... they came up at a time when the Klan was active,” Gray said.
Gray was good at understanding the needs of the community and even better at knowing how to articulate that, his longtime friend, Lawrence Moore said. Moore also said he would tease Gray for his keen ability to memorize song lyrics.
Gray worked as an editor of Black News, a longtime weekly newspaper in Columbia.
“He confronted power, rightly — or wrongly, sometimes — in a very public way,” Eileen Waddell, who worked with Gray at the newspaper said. “Others organized, worked behind the scenes and ran voter registration drives. Kevin took it to people in power verbally, to their face, Black and white, without holding back.”
Oddly, Obama threw a premature haymaker but it wasn't aimed at Clinton. The target was the GLBT community. Obama's wild swing involved having four of the most abrasively anti-gay gospel singers represent his campaign on his "Embrace the Courage" gospel music tour in South Carolina. The gay bashing headliners included Reverends Donnie McClurkin and Hezekiah Walker, Pentecostal pastor of Brooklyn mega-church, the Love Fellowship Tabernacle and Mary Mary (a sister act duo).
The Mary Mary sisters compare gays to murderers and prostitutes. In an interview with Vibe magazine, one of the singers said, "They [gays] have issues and need somebody to encourage them like everybody else -- just like the murderer, just like the one full of pride, just like the prostitute."
McClurkin's previous political involvement was performing for George Bush at the Republican National Convention in 2004. Now he's singing for Obama. And, while stumping for the candidate McClurkin didn't just "get on stage, sing, and shut up" as some in the Obama campaign hoped he would do. He sermonized: "God delivered me from homosexuality" - as though one could simply "pray the gay away." The predominately black crowd inside the Township Auditorium in Columbia clapped their approval of McClurkin's message. Meanwhile a small, predominately white group of gay rights supporters picketed outside the venue.
There's no evidence that Jill Biden was ever Joe Biden's family babysitter, nor was she 15 when this photo was taken.
According to a White House biography, Jill Biden was born in June 1951 and met Joe Biden in June 1975 when she was 23 and he was 32.
Both Jill and Joe were married before they first met.
The president was married to his first wife Neilia from 1966 until 1972, when she died in a car crash alongside their firstborn daughter Naomi.