The events in Kyiv’s Independence Square have been planned in advance by the current opposition in Ukraine, with their political masters from Berlin and Brussels. They were publicly announced in March 2013 by the Svoboda leader in an interview for a local paper. In actuality, there is no revolution taking place in Ukraine, but rather a political coup for regime-change – clearing the way for fascist opposition parties and the EU to tighten their hold.
We have seen large demonstrations, cries for (and of) revolution, riot police brutality and an apparent conflict between Russia and the EU, dramatized as a power grab over Ukraine or as a fight for democracy. (1) The people are legitimately fed up with rich, abusive and oppressive oligarchs; but are nowhere near ridding the country of them. A sustained effort to push power towards a coalition made up of conservative, far-right, and ultra-nationalist fascists is being marketed as “European”, “democratic” and liberal. (2)
In the freezing cold in Kyiv’s Independence Square people have taken to the streets en masse, fed up with a miserable life and an authoritarian regime, and wanting a better life (Ukraine has 3 times more cops per 100,000 than the US, and they barely make 230€/ month)
What apparently triggered the Euromaidan protests which peaked on December 9th was the decision by the authoritarian president Yanukovych to give up on signing a free trade agreement with the EU. This escalated fears that he would throw Ukraine back into Russia’s grip, since Putin has launched an imperialist offensive to recreate the influence of the former Soviet Union (read about his EurAsia project here). (3)
Even if EU’s popularity has decreased since last year, (4) and integration into the EU is not widely accepted, Yanukovych’s authoritarian regime has brought the population to a boiling point. The people’s fury in the streets was as real as the freezing cold they faced to make their voices heard – these people want their civil liberties, a better life, and safety from authoritarianism. Some see hope in the flag of the “democratic” European Union, they think it will be different from their long, suffocating past under Russia’s iron fist – after all, they’re done with that (ironic to say the least, substituting one imperialist, fascist structure for another, but more on that later).
These circumstances prove how outrageous Western and Russian leaders and the Ukrainian ruling class are. The people of the Ukraine are not part of their closed-door deals, except as consumers of ever-more expensive products and services (high European quality and “market forces” they will be told, or as an exportable workforce) whilst at home a more disciplined de-unionized working people (5) i.e. people as a commodity and a means for more profit. This is why there is no talk about the real issues directly affecting people’s lives, other than from anarchists in Ukraine who are the only ones willing talk about it (6) – please refer to below.
The question is who will profit?
COOKING A “REVOLUTION,” GERMAN STYLE
While everyone is watching the clashes in Independence Square, in the political corridors between Kyiv, Moscow, Brussels and Berlin, cynical political arrangements are being created. The plans to topple the authoritarian Yanukovych government were not developed during the protests on the streets, they had already been discussed in back room meetings by the leaders of the Ukrainian opposition parties and German and EU officials. (7) If you look at the landscape of the Ukranian opposition parties, it’s not very surprising. The oppositon party UDAR (the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform) of former boxer Vitali Klitschko is involved in the ongoing protests, in a coalition with the fascist Svoboda party and the nationalist “Fatherland” party. Klitschko’s party was founded by request 3 years ago, and it is financed by the German “Konrad Adenauer Stiftung”. (8) This foundation was created by German chancellor Angela Merkel’s governing party, the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU). So the main party of the German government requested an opposition party in the Ukraine, financed it, and got what they paid for.
German politician Wolfgang Gehrcke warns that the German government is playing with fire in Ukraine: “Moscow or Brussels: this is a bogus alternative. De-escalation is needed and not a change of government with the help of right-wing extremist parties and movements. CDU-affiliated Konrad Adenauer Foundation are stooges and consultants for the Klitschko party UDAR. They made deals openly with Svoboda. The Chancellor now integrates the Klitschko-party in the EPP (European People’s Party) and even wants to boost Klitschko as a decisive opponent for Yanukovych, without asking Klitschko to make a clear dividing line between the neo-Nazi Svoboda Party (who work closely with the German NPD), and the Hungarian Jobbik, which is irresponsible and ignores history. The stance CDU takes on Ukraine means that they make the extreme right-wing ideology, as in Hungary, acceptable in Europe. Merkel does not operate any good neighborhood policy, but requires the destruction of trust in the EU, which has already been achieved in Southern Europe.” (9)
Indeed, it is utterly disturbing that the government in Berlin and the officials in Brussels are not in the slightest bit troubled by the fact that Klitschko’s party stands together with fascists and nationalists. Worse, they sell these parties as “democratic” or even “Dr. Ironfist liberal” (10) or as “patriots” and “respectable nationalists”, just because they are opposing the corrupt, authoritarian and pharaoh-like Yanukovych, and even though they know full well that these are neo-Nazis and fascists. (11)
They don’t care about their own rules: Svoboda’s Oleh Tiahnybok was banned from entering the U.S. due to his anti-semitism and racism in 2004 (12), and now we see State Department officials paying Svoboda and their partners a visit (13) in Independence Square, to the sound of “church bells” (see more below).
THE FASCIST PARTNERS OF EU LEADERS
German and EU officials started to meet Svoboda, UDAR, and the Fatherland party officials about a year ago to make plans to get rid of the Ukrainian government. (14) Merkel’s Germany is involved in a power-game between Russia and the EU. In the spring of 2013, the German ambassador to the Ukraine met with Oleh Tiahnybok, the leader of Svoboda, and promised the fascist party that they would join the new government in Ukraine if they supported a coalition with UDAR and the Fatherland party in organizing protests that would trigger the fall of the current government in Kyiv. Knowing this, it’s interesting that several German state governments want to ban the German fascist NPD party, which is also working together with Svoboda.
At the meeting with the German ambassador, Svoboda promised to follow the EU line (though EU officials should not expect that Svoboda keep promises regarding the EU since they are well known for their nationalistic views). Svoboda, UDAR and the Fatherland party also had talks with the US and Canada as NATO (sold in Ukraine as a “democracy promoter” (15)) is also interested in getting Ukraine under Western influence and into the EU. In August, this year, Svoboda opened an office in Brussels to open channels with EU and NATO officials.
In an interview published on March 31, 2013, Oleh Tyahnybok, leader of the fascist Svoboda party, talks about preparations for the “revolution”. (16) He says, “We must prepare the ground for this kind of revolution and create a revolutionary atmosphere. Of course, we can wait for the nation to rise on its own, driven to the edge of desperation by social pressure and injustice. But it’s better for us as the opposition and especially as the national opposition to facilitate the process, and boost revolutionary sentiments. We need to go to people and hold marches, rallies and conferences and in this way heat up the situation.”
The Svoboda leader also refers to the Nazi Stephan Bandera in the interview: “You must, as Stephan Bandera once said, “reach every Ukrainian” (see below to understand the significance of this statement).
The Ukraine Weekly asked, “The “Rise Ukraine!” campaign has already been dubbed “a war on schedule” – there is an action plan with a breakdown for days and cities and with breaks for weeks, covering two months and ending with a final march in Kyiv. Does that look like a popular rising?” Tyahnybok responded, “The plan we have made public is preliminary in nature. Of course, we will make corrections, but we have to have it to begin with! The main thing is to go to all Ukrainian oblasts, talk to people and learn what kind of position they want to see. On the other hand, we will be informing people about our actions in parliament, possibly correcting them depending on the demands of our electorate. We will be mobilizing activists and creating a pool of people who, if necessary, will be able to come here for some protests or at least come out to the streets in their own cities. Then we will hand it over to our local organizations which will continue to be in active contact with the electorate.”
He couldn’t have been clearer, “We have three tasks: eliminating the Yanukovych regime; dealing with the negative consequences of his three-year rule; and launching a process of profound changes in Ukrainian society. After that we have to make sure that the toppled regime does not make a comeback.”
…as in never give up power after that? Fascists do that indeed. Gone are the days when Western leaders pretended “the alternative to power” was a “democracy” – in their minds, democracy is simply about who is running the show.
SVOBODA: A FASCIST PARTY
To get a better picture of what Svoboda is really about one must examine the other organizations Svoboda works with. A month after Svoboda officials met with the German ambassador in the Ukraine, a Svoboda delegation came to visit the German fascist NPD party in Sachsen, Germany. In October Svoboda officials met with officials of the Italian fascist party Forza Nuova. They have also been informally allied with France’s far right extremist Front National. Svoboda was a member of the failed Alliance of European National Movements (AENM), which included the French right-wing extremist Front National (at the time it was led by LePen) and the Italian neo-fascist party “Fiamma Tricolore.” This Alliance – which the far right is trying to revive – is a good illustration of the type of nationalism represented by Tyahnybok’s party; ANEM included Belgian National Front, British National Party, Movement for a Better Hungary (Jobbik), Austrian Freedom Party, Front National and Fiamma Tricolore. (17)
In mid-October, Svoboda celebrated the anniversary of the Ukrajinska Powstanska Armija, UPA, with 20,000 people. UPA troops killed at least 100,000 Polish people and many others, Jews and Ukrainians, in collaboration with Nazi Germany during the Second World War. (18)
Svoboda’s ideology is aimed at implementing a fascist theocracy, “Our programme is a worldview, and it remains constant, based on Christian values, the rejection of various deviations, etc.” (20)
Just a look at these maps and anyone could see what that means for those who would not submit to Svoboda’s (26) enforced Christian-Ukrainian identity. To get a flavor of what this means when they will get to power, check this out. (27)
While the marketed “revolution” in Independence Square is inundated with Svoboda t-shirts and EU flags (28),
their real ‘brand’ was exposed at the venue of the Congress which saw Tyahnybok re-elected as party chairman as a formality (a position he has held since 2004), where vendors could be seen selling Nazi symbols. “The swastika badges being sold were small, yet clearly displayed by the concessions, as both Svoboda grassroots and elected members browsed the stalls.” (29)
It’s even more interesting that the fundamentalist, capitalist EU sides with a party that wants to nationalize all strategic enterprises (maybe not the chocolate industry, though (31)): “They must be returned to the State”, says Tyahnybok. This may just be fascist populist talk, since the oligarchs backing the opposition will never allow it, but other plans Svoboda has are not “just talk” since they will benefit the capitalist state. And when it comes to profit, Europe does not really care about “democracy,” as it has proven in cases in Hungary and other parts of the world. (32)
In its official programme, “Svoboda” demands criminal prosecution for “Ukrainophobia.” They want to keep ethnic origin in passports and on birth certificates, restrict citizenship, impose a ban on adoptions by non-Ukrainians of Ukrainian children, ban foreign languages, and demand that all parliamentarians speak Ukrainian instead of Russian. (33) “The solution is for the National Defense and Security Council to consider ways to protect the national cultural space” from Russian culture, says Tyahnybok.
Svoboda plans not just a nationalization of the souls and minds of people who live in Ukraine, but even of women’s bodies (another key element in the fascist ideology) – they want to ban abortions, (34) just as Stalin did in 1936 (35) and just like Putin, their so-called rival in Moscow, is not far from doing now. (36)
Svoboda insists on a Russian apology. The Soviet past, which cost Ukrainians millions of lives, is used not only to refute charges of anti-Semitism, but also to legitimize the resurrection of Nazi criminals which are today sold as ‘national heroes.’ (37) Never mind that these Nazis also killed Ukrainians. Svoboda is not yet in power, yet violence is their modus operandi when it comes to people they can’t get on their side. (38)
Equating the Holocaust with the Soviet Gulag has been the Eastern European tendency for years now, and has even led to a legitimization of the actions of Nazi mass murderers, all over the region their crimes are often justified, excused, hidden or even blamed on their victims. (39) “A number of other countries in the Eastern bloc, such as Croatia, Slovakia, Poland, Russia, Romania, the Baltic States, and Serbia, faced similar issues coming in terms with nationalist movements during World War II. For example, there were attempts in independent Croatia to cast Ustashi as a national liberation movement, while ignoring or minimizing their collaboration with Nazi Germany and their involvement in the mass murder of Serbs.” (40)
It’s not as if the West is not responsible for the anti-Semitic outbursts in Ukraine. After the 2004 Orange revolution, which saw former president Yushchenko using the resurrection of Nazi allies to boost his political career, and shortly after his “humiliating defeat in the first round of elections” (41) he resurrected Stepan Bandera, the “providnyk” (equivalent to the German “Führer” or the Italian “duce”) of the OUN-B (which separated themselves from the OUN because they wanted to follow Nazi Germany): “The red and black flag symbolizing blood and earth (Blut und Boden) was introduced as the emblem of the OUN-B. It resonated with the racist and nationalistic German ideology that suggested the inseparability of a people and their homeland as well as a natural attraction to “the soil” which took on spiritual and mythological connotations. The OUN-B tried to familiarize Ukrainian society with the fascist and authoritarian idea that the Ukrainian state should be governed and controlled by the OUN and the providnyk, whose body incorporated and symbolized the whole of Ukraine. All other Ukrainian parties and political organizations were perceived as “opportunistic” or obstructive, and were to be opposed and eventually eliminated. The whole of society would be militarized and kept “combat-ready.” The ethnic minorities of Ukraine were treated as potential enemies of the Ukrainian state, especially the Jews in which the OUN-B saw the “hand of the Muscovite-Bolshevik regime.” (42)
It’s not as if Svoboda speaks a different language today, but the so-called “democrats” of Europe couldn’t care less. And it’s not like there were no lessons to learn after the Orange revolution of 2004, largely fabricated by the West (43): “The dirty little secret about Yushchenko all along has been his close relationship with ultranationalist elements in western Ukraine. His “Our Ukraine” coalition includes some ultranationalist groups and Yushchenko was on the board of MAUP, the controversial private university in Kiev. MAUP has been caught out producing nearly all of Ukraine’s anti-Semitic print material, and counts former KKK leader David Duke as one of its favorite visiting scholars. Yushchenko finally resigned from his university board seat in 2005, after a three-year campaign waged by Jewish leaders both in Ukraine and in Washington.” (44)
SVOBODA: GOEBBELS GROUPIE AND BRUSSEL’S DARLING
But who cares about Nazism brewing since Svoboda’s leader promised the German counselor they would follow the EU line, right? This gives them free license to carry on with their ethnic and religious hatred at home, against anyone non-Christian and not patriotic enough for their tastes. (45) And since CDU dictates which laws are to be implemented in the Ukraine to get into the EU it’s all just good European business practice. (46)
German leaders are aware anti-Semitism is at the core of Svoboda’s ideology. In a speech to activists in 2004, the party’s leader Oleh Tyahnybok accused a “Muscovite-Jewish mafia” of controlling the Ukraine and threatening the country’s very existence by planning to engineer genocide on the Christian Ukrainian population. Another popular figure of Svoboda, MP Yuriy Mykhalchyshyn, often quotes from Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels (47) as well as other Third Reich luminaries like Ernst Roehm and Gregor Strasser. (48)
A HAMMER FOR THE PAST, A WHITE PRIDE CROSS FOR THE FUTURE
And this brings us to the most iconic moment of the Kyiv protests so far. When demonstrators toppled the statue of Lenin, the viral images (49) were seen as a symbol of a long awaited break with the totalitarian past and domination from Moscow. But what future did those who smashed Lenin’s head have in mind? Is it a future, or a repeat of the past?
The “activists” with the huge hammers that smashed Lenin’s historical remains have been identified as UPA (Ukrainian Insurgent Army) worshippers (50) and Svoboda members, who repeatedly marched together honoring Stepen Bandera. (51)
However, some Ukrainian media try to exonerate UPA (52) (painted as “national revolutionaries”) (53) from crimes, blaming Soviet propaganda for their defamation. (54) In recent years attempts to paint them as “righteous patriots” and “freedom fighters” and clear them of Nazi massacres have become the standard political discourse. However, such events (55) in fact reclaim their Nazi history.
As this 2010 Harvard University (56) study shows, such attempts are propaganda aimed at resurrecting past Nazi heroes and paint them as nationalist, patriotic icons to cover up the ever more miserable lives of the working people and the ever richer political /business elite: “Historical studies show that many representatives of the OUN and a significant proportion of the UPA members were involved in the Nazi genocide. [… ]The OUN-B and the OUN-M established local police and administration in many regions of Ukraine, particularly in the West, following the German occupation of Ukraine in 1941. […] The local police helped to implement the Nazi genocides of Jews, Ukrainians, Russians, Byelorussians, and Poles by assisting in mass executions. […] A large part of the auxiliary police in Volhynia abandoned their positions on the orders of the OUN-B and helped to create the UPA in the spring of 1943. […] Many top commanders of the UPA were former police commanders in Nazi occupied Ukraine. […]”
“Many nationalist politicians and historians in Ukraine cite anecdotal accounts of arrests and killings of OUN and UPA leaders by Germans, October 1942 as the date of creation of the UPA, and individual clashes between UPA and German forces as evidence of anti-Nazi activities. However, the analysis of 118 biographies of OUN-B and UPA leaders in Ukraine during World War II shows that at least 46% of them served in top positions in the regional and local police and administration, the Nachtigall and Roland Battalions, the SS Galicia Division, or studied in German-sponsored military and intelligence schools, primarily, in the beginning of World War II. At least 23% of the OUN-B and UPA leaders in Ukraine were in the auxiliary police, Schutzmannschaft Battalion 201, and other police formations, 18% in military and intelligence schools in Germany and Nazi-occupied Poland, 11% in the Nachtigall and Roland Battalions, 8% in the regional and local administration in Ukraine during the Nazi occupation, and 1% in the SS Galicia Division. […] Stepan Bandera and the absolute majority of other top leaders of the OUN who were arrested or detained by the Nazis, were not murdered, but were released by the Nazi authorities by the end of the war, in contrast to the majority of Jewish prisoners and Soviet POWs. […] Some 12% of the OUN and UPA leaders escaped to the West, where none of them was prosecuted and some of them, such as Mykola Lebed, were used by Western intelligence services, in particular, the CIA, during the Cold War with the Soviet Union.”
Present-day UPA and their big brothers from Svoboda have been marching hand in hand for years now. In 2011, the events celebrating the anniversary of the founding of UPA on 14 October 1942 were sponsored by the fascist Svoboda and the council of the western Ukraine city of Lviv. UPA members wore the uniforms of the historical UPA, as they marched through the city. (57)
Just two months ago, carrying the portrait of their hero, Stepan Bandera, UPA and Svoboda marched through the city of Kyiv, burning former Soviet Union flags in a rally marking the 71st anniversary of UPA and the feast of the Protecting Veil of the Mother of God in central Kiev.
In elections last year, fascist Svoboda won 10 percent of the votes, in Kyiv they pulled in 20 percent of the votes. In August 31, 2012, “the United Opposition list also included bread tycoon Yuriy Tryndiuk, who controls up to 5% of Ukraine’s bakery market. He is known for his friendship with odious ex-prosecutor general Sviatoslav Piskun. Both men are believed to be related through their spouses, and Tryndiuk reportedly runs a business together with Piskun’s wife, Svitlana. Tryndiuk is presented at No.74, which scarcely leaves him a chance of being elected, yet his very presence in the ranks of Batkivshchyna and on the party list is abhorrent to many oppositionists.” (58)
In line with UPA’s self-branding as righteous patriots and defenders of the Fatherland, in 2004, Svoboda’s leader Oleg Tiagnybok urged his supporters to attack Ukraine’s “enemies,” reminding them how insurgent nationalist fighters during World War II “took up their automatic rifles” and killed Germans, Jews, and “other filth which wanted to take away our Ukrainian nationhood.”
As is always the case with fascist populists, one must have a scapegoat and blame others for impoverishing the people – since the Ukrainian name must remain pure of any such behavior or suspicion. “Real, true Ukrainians” are the victims of other ethnic groups, it does not matter to “patriots” that the majority of Jews and other non-Ukrainian ethnic groups bear no responsibility and are usually as poor as the Ukrainian speaking population.
The recognition of Klitschko (whose UDAR just became an observer member of the EPP) as a “liberal” and “level headed European” in the international media are proof of Berlin and Brussels’ attempt to legitimize fascists, labelling them as “good democrats” and ‘Europeanizing’ them. How so? Klitschko emerges side by side with fascist Svoboda as the leader of the massive pro-Russian President Yanukovych protests.
WHEN OLIGARCHS “LOVE THEIR COUNTRY”
But today who are the “enemies” of the country? Since Svoboda appeals to non-Russian speaking Ukrainians, these enemies are, of course, their rival’s supporters. President Yanukovich draws his support from the Russian-speaking population, which include the incredibly rich oligarchs who control the country’s businesses. Or at least he did until recently.
The words of Svoboda’s Tiagnybok seem like an echo of the not-so-distant past: the enemies of the country are the “Moscow-Jewish mafia.” However, he claims this does not make him anti-Semitic, racist, or xenophobic, just “pro-Ukrainian”. (59)
Svoboda’s spokesman Andriy Mokhnyk claimed they are fighting “the oligarchic class composed of former communist apparatchiks, Komsomol leaders, KGB agents and straightforward criminals of primarily non-Ukrainian ethnic descent,” as quoted in a December 27, 2012 article published by the Financial Times. But what a phony war that is! This BBC report (60) exposed Yanukovych’s opposition as a coalition with its own oligarchs now turning against him since the EU could guarantee more secure business: “President Yanukovych is widely seen as living in symbiosis with Ukraine’s tycoons. Initially that was largely true, but after becoming president in 2010 he quickly concentrated not only power but also wealth in the hands of his family – turning the big businessmen against him. The surviving tycoons now see Mr. Yanukovych as the greatest threat to their survival, which has made most of them supporters of the European Association Agreement that the president shelved last month.”
“At present, the government – and increasingly the economy – is dominated by a group of young businessmen who are friends with Mr. Yanukovych’s eldest son Oleksandr, 40. They are widely known as the Yanukovych “family.” However, who owns what is not exactly clear, and it is possible that in fact much of the wealth might belong to Mr. Yanukovych’s real family.”
“These young businessmen from Donetsk, Mr. Yanukovych’s eastern home region, hold all the key economic positions in the government, as well as the powerful post of interior minister. Mr. Yanukovych has used a salami tactic against the tycoons. Young businessmen or corporate raiders buy out their enterprises one after the other. These sales have been described as less than voluntary, given that the “family” controls law enforcement, courts and the tax authorities.” Besides, it’s not like the “liberal, Dr. Iron Fist” opposition leaders don’t have their own oligarchs. Meet Petro Poroshenko, a shipping, confectionery and agriculture tycoon. Pro-western Poroshenko was one of the leaders of the 2004 Orange Revolution. And now, just like back in 2004, his television station has been broadcasting the anti-Yanukovych protests non-stop from Independence Square.
Ukraine’s “chocolate king”, Petro Poroshenko, has sided with Klitschko and other opposition leaders on the stage in the Independence Square – the very same opposition whose angelic political image is based on their “rejection” of such oligarchs. (61)
“Do you think there is a big difference between people on the street and people with big business?” asks Poroshenko innocently. (Big business does not make 230 euros a month, does not struggle in misery, and does not sleep in the frozen tents in the Independence Square!) “There is no difference in their love of their own country. […] At the end of the day, we are all talking about the modernization of the economy and the country.” It’s interesting what this article says about the chocolate industry, Petro Poroshenko dominates, and why would such businessmen be drawn to the EU. (62)
NEOLIBERALISM FULL SPEED AHEAD
As visible in the media as the large crowds in the Independence Square are (the smaller ones not quite so much), these people are nowhere to be found in the political discourse. The real issues they face that affect their daily lives are not part of the power-game. Fascist populists always manage to divert attention from such subjects, especially the conditions and the rights of working people.
Just see what the Autonomous Workers’ Union have to say about these issues and about the protests in the Independence Square. Their position is worth being quoted at length. On November 30, they issued a statement (63) on the Crackdown Against Euromaidan: “We consider the police crackdown against peaceful protest demonstration to be a sign of increasing authoritarian tendencies in Victor Yanukovich’s regime. We are consistent supporters of the freedom of assembly, while the government’s actions are an encroachment upon this fundamental right. We don’t urge to support the EU Association or the politicians from the parliamentary opposition, but we consider the call for Yanukovych’s resignation to be even too soft, given the situation.”
“We don’t share the views of the organizers of Euromaidan. We don’t think that a stroke of a pen under a piece of paper can really bring about a better life for workers. Still, we have been long-time opponents of the Customs Union with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, for it enables unification of repressive labour laws according to the “best” Eurasian traditions, which naturally produce events like the Zhanaozen massacre two years ago.”
“The problem is, as long as the current government system stands, Yanukovych may only be replaced by another bourgeois autocrat who will continue to suppress protests with police and Interior Ministry troops at his or her disposal – if only under a new slogan, “hail to the nation, death to the enemies.”
“The EU countries’ governments also defend their privileges and incomes of the ruling class with police batons and patriotic demagogy. This practice can’t be brought to end with the methods of Euromaidan. We sympathize with the victims of police brutality, but we don’t think that a person’s suffering proves their righteousness.”
“We hope to see many of the Euromaidan participants at the demonstrations dedicated to the real issues: social welfare, human rights and freedoms, against price hikes for municipal transport, heating, gas and electricity, against the new Labour Code project, against clericalism and censorship, for high-quality free education and health care, for the right of assembly. These demonstrations are not covered on the top news sites, but they influence people’s real lives more than what is being broadcast online. We earnestly wish best of luck to the opposition in their struggle against Yanukovych. And we want to remind our comrades about the successful practice of New Year’s protests in 2010.”
No gods, no masters, no nations, no borders! Kiev local Autonomous Workers’ Union”
Six days later they issued another statement entitled Against the Police and Far-Right Terror: “Since our first statement was issued, the violence against innocent people has not stopped, but only increased, and not only from the state apparatus. The unsuccessful attempt at storming the President’s Administration on December 1, which the opposition blamed on alleged “provocateurs,” naturally led to a violent crackdown against the protesters by riot police. Nine people who inadvertently happened to be at the scene of the attack against the police cordon, and were in no way associated with far-right militants or party activists, were arrested. People who were randomly picked out of the crowd were accused of “plotting mass riots;” court ordered to extend their time behind bars to two months. Meanwhile, their fate is of much less concern to the parliamentary opposition than their own spin doctoring and cleansing “politically unreliable elements” out of Maidan.”
“In the evening of December 4, an announcer at the Maidan stage referred to a physical attack against the activists of the Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine (KVPU) who had been staying in their tent near metro Khreschatyk, distributing union leaflets. The speaker who was stirring up the crowd referred to the point of “aggravation” being a red flag under which the tent was allegedly sitting (although in reality there were no such flags). A group of far-right youngsters cut the tent with knives, broke the sound system, took away the generator and beat up the activists. One of them has bruised ribs, another one has a broken nose and a black eye, and all three have eye burns from pepper spray. The attack was accompanied by the shouts “shavky” – a neo-Nazi slang word for left and anti-fascist activists.”
“Igor Miroshnychenko, MP from the Svoboda party, who was observing the attack from nearby, pointed out that he personally hadn’t beaten up anybody and that he had no idea who had done this. He advised the victims to call the police and accused them of looking like communists – adding that he would beat them himself if this turned out to be the case. Prior to this, left and feminist activists had been repeatedly attacked at the Euromaidan by the far-right who claimed that slogans against discrimination and for free healthcare and education were ‘provocative.’”
“At the same time, the KVPU press office stated that there were just some “minor misunderstandings” and refused to support its own activists. The Autonomous Workers’ Union wishes to express solidarity with victims of political terror – both by the state and the neo-Fascists who, regretfully, don’t encounter any resistance at the Euromaidan. We have repeatedly taken a stand against trends towards establishing a police state and the despotism of the police and courts. In our opinion, one of the first tasks of a real revolution has to be disbandment of all police troops and full amnesty. In this case, it’s rational to demand a dissolution of Berkut and other riot police troops and an immediate release and full rehabilitation of the nine political prisoners of the Bankova street.”
“Meanwhile, we see that the situation at Euromaidan is fully controlled by the far-right. Ultra-nationalist rhetoric has securely crowded out all other topics there; the only slogan known to the protesters is “Hail to the nation, death to the enemies.” Most of the Neo-Nazi militants are controlled by the Svoboda party, but there are also other groups: UNSO, Tryzub, Social-Nationalist Assembly, etc. They are completely tolerated by the so-called “national democratic” opposition. One of the leaders of the Euromaidan, Yuriy Lutsenko, himself used to lead the Interior Ministry for four years, during which time he did nothing to stop police brutality or disband Berkut and other special forces. Instead, he promised to disperse protesting crowds with tear gas and became notorious for racial profiling of individuals of “Non-Slavic” nationalities and for his phrase: “You can call me a racist if you want.” Now at Euromaidan he publicly expressed his concern about the fate of “40 million educated white Christians.” Other opposition leaders also don’t have anything against the far-right. There are not only rallies towards physical violence but also poetry about “Yids” heard from the stage.”
“The political terror against the left and union activists which has intensified during the past year hasn’t stopped now. We don’t share political views of the activists who were beaten yesterday, but we realize that in their place could just as well be the activists of AWU or anyone else who doesn’t agree with the political program of Nationalists. We are against a police state under the rule of Yanukovych-Zakharchenko or the rule of Tiahnybok-Miroshnychenko. We have neither Parliament membership nor money nor militant troops; our only weapon in our struggle against the state and Nazis is solidarity.”
Note that since the protests against Yanukovych’s refusal to sign a free trade agreement with the EU broke out, Western diplomats and political leaders have been visiting the Independence Square to show support for Klitschko and Svoboda. Yanukovych has visited China and Russia during this time, meeting with Vladimir Putin who accuses Europe of interference in Ukraine. Meanwhile Putin’s plans to include Ukraine in his imperialistic project EurAsia is what fueled people’s fears of falling back to the old totalitarian past and total domination by Moscow.
Amongst those who visited the protesters in the Independence Square was the foreign minister of Germany (who was in Kyiv for an OSCE meeting). On December 6, he toured the Independence Square camp together with opposition leaders, and held a short press conference. The Canadian Foreign Minister, John Baird, also visited the Euromaidan protestors. (65) Days later, the US State Department officials (followed by John Mccain) also visited the protesters. (66)
As if celebrity and political endorsements weren’t enough, EU marketing products such as shiny new flags, big screen TV monitors, a full stage, and incredible media resources are also present. This “show” is quite easy to contrast with actual social revolutions.
Also, Gay-Alliance Ukraine have announced that the seemingly LGBT protestors waving rainbow flags present at Euromaidan “are in fact provokers, or extras paid by provokers.” They go on to say that while there are some LGBT individuals in the Euromaidan protests, they are not there with rainbow flags. This is likely a precaution against fascist elements who would probably attack them if given the chance. (67)
REVOLUTION =/= REGIME CHANGE. NEVERMIND.
The narrative of these street protests changed day by day. At first, the street opposition against Yanukovych’s regime was triggered by fears of Russia’s plans to dominate Ukraine, and not so much about the EU integration. Then they were about getting rid of the pro-Moscow oligarchs, but then the opposition remembered its own oligarchs, so they switched the narrative to becoming increasingly about pro-EU integration and pro-regime change. Now they are about let Tymoshenko out of jail so they can join the EU. Interestingly, Tymoshenko is presented here as the only alternative to stopping Svoboda’s rise. (68)
Tymoshenko is considered a political prisoner of Yanukovych’s gangster-like regime, though she and her Prime Minister, Pavlo Lazarenko (69) are estimated to have embezzled $500 million (70) between them, apart from the Gazprom deal she signed! Nobody ever put any pressures on the United States to free her Prime Minister when he was imprisoned in the USA on corruption and fraud charges for 6 years.
And why highlight just Yanukovych’s gangster-style rule and not mention a word about the fact that Tymoshenko had allegedly organized hit contracts to kill her business rival Yevhen Scherban (71), his wife and two others (who were killed in 1996); and a Donetsk businessman Olexandr Momot, who was executed in the same year. Having European friends exonerates her of this? European leaders certainly see her as the ‘victim.’
Now entering their second month, the Euromaidan protests started with opposition propaganda to sell regime change as “revolution”. It is most relevant what this professor says here (72): “Demolishing statues is not what this revolution is about: it is about regime change in the context of a national declaration of Ukrainians’ desire to be part of a European identity and community of values. In this context, Lenin is irrelevant – removing his statue should be one of the tasks of a new government, but not of vandals disguising themselves as “revolutionaries”.” What’s even more relevant is that he basically repeats the same confusion made by Svoboda’s Tiagnybok in the March interview for the Ukrainian Week where he also talks about their plan to push their man to be elected Mayor of Kyiv as a move to win the presidential elections in 2015. (73)
While the western media talks about Tymoshenko as a guarantee for the opposition winning the next presidential elections, the opposition in Ukraine is not pleased about this. Klitschko already announced he will run for President in 2015. (74) He already said he will not accept being replaced by Tymoshenko. Besides, in current polls Vitaly Klitschko is running even with Yanukovich.
However, confusing ‘revolution’ with ‘regime change’ is deliberate, dishonest and will be used to legitimize future policies imposed by Europeans which will hurt workers in particular, as has been seen in countries already integrated into the EU such as Greece, Spain, Ireland, Portugal etc.
It is not a revolution since the economic structure and political arrangements will not be radically changed and transformed, the state apparatus will be preserved, as well as a top-down social arrangement. The priority as always is to better secure bigger business profits.
Increasingly, there is a huge PR effort to turn Klitschko into an alternative to the current regime. Not just any alternative, but a European one. Klitschko is openly presented (75) as the darling of European conservatives (76): he was invited to one of their meetings in Vilnius two weeks ago, and met with Angela Merkel’s foreign policy adviser Christoph Heusgen. “Merkel herself will attend the EPP preliminary meeting before the next EU summit in mid-December, and the current plan is to invite Klitschko again. This time official photo ops with the European leaders are on the agenda, as is a meeting with the chancellor. It would significantly boost Klitschko’s political credentials and signify an important commitment for Merkel,” as this Spiegel report (77) reveals.
Elmar Brok EU MP of Merkel’s CDU and a lobbyist for one of the biggest European media corporations the Bertelsmann group, went so far as to threaten that “the bloc may introduce travel bans against those responsible for the use of violence against the (Euromaidan) protesters.” (78)
This is while EPP offices in Brussels and Budapest are training UDAR personnel for parliamentary work and providing support in the development of a nationwide party structure. “The CDU’s Konrad Adenauer Foundation (79) also plays an important role, and Klitschko has expressly asked Merkel’s advisors for help from the foundation. Four UDAR members of the Ukrainian parliament paid a visit to Berlin, where they met with German CDU lawmakers and officials from both the labor and justice ministries. For some time, the Adenauer Foundation has been preparing Ukrainian opposition politicians to assume responsibility in the context of a “dialogue program.” (80)
Meanwhile, the authoritarian regime of Yanukovych managed to get some of his supporters on the streets, and they claim they will not leave until the Euromaidan people go home. Chants of “Putin, Putin” have been also heard during their marches.
Some media, including the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung warn that Ukraine might become a “burden for the German-Russian relationship.” But experts disagree. (84) Westerwelle’s term as Foreign Minister is nearing its end, and his visit to Kyiv should not be overrated, according to Wladislaw Below, the head of the Center for German Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow. “Merkel said Germany and Russia should not speak of their future cooperation in black-and-white terms,” said Wladislaw Below – a reference to the Chancellor’s desire to move away from a debate on Ukraine that narrows the approach to “either-or”: integration either with Russia, or with Europe.
Then what is Euromaidan all about? February 2013: “A Batkivshchyna (Fatherland party) advisor, Oleh Medvedev, stared at Lesia Ukrayinka Boulevard in frustration, “Where are the people?,” he asked. “We can’t do anything without them.”” (85)
A regime change can’t be achieved without “the people.” Hence a huge marketing effort, big screen tvs, and concerts. When the capitalist ruling classes make “revolutions,” they play the music. When people make revolutions to over throw them, there is seldom any music heard. Only the sound of tear gas grenades thrown at people and of stones thrown at cops. Capitalists don’t turn revolutions into stages for Hollywood-like concerts: they do everything they can to smash them. All, of course, “in solidarity” with the people, as conservative John McCain had the nerve to say.
(1) It seems the EU leaders are trying to create the impression that only the current regime of Yanukovych are profiting oligarchs in Ukraine. This article never mentions that the opposition endorsed by the EU is also backed by their own oligarchs. “Ukrainian opposition chiefs, such as Vitali Klitschko, told Fuele… that the President does not want to sign and that the new “roadmap” is a ruse to buy time to dismantle protests.” Yanukovych and his prime-minsister are even accused of planning to dismantle the EU, a scare that actually raises eyebrows: is the EU that weak? “The collapse of the EU deal and a financial crisis in Ukraine might also make Yanukovych, and Arbuzov, rich. Arbuzov is part of a Yanukovych clan, known in Ukraine as the “Familia” – the deputy PM’s mother is the CEO of a bank owned by Yanukovych’s son.” http://euobserver.com/foreign/122455
(2) This is how Klitschko is praised in this EU mouthpiece: “Western-style liberal party of heavyweight boxing champion Vitaly Klitschko has surged in popularity to second place behind President Viktor Yanukovich’s party…” “Klitschko, a political novice, has been highly critical of Yanukovich’s leadership and is focusing his party’s campaign on fighting corruption.” This is another propaganda technique, by contrasting the white “pure” Klitschko with the corrupt Yanukovich, this has readers believe that Klitschko has no dubious ties with oligarchs, and that the EU is a land pure of any corruption. Nothing could be farther from the truth. http://www.euractiv.com/europes-east/boxing-champion-surges-game-chan-news-515276
(3) “Neo-Nazi forces are expanding their cross-border alliances in Europe, and far right political parties from EU member countries are reviving their efforts to unite under a so-called “Alliance of Patriots.” This is happening while Putin’s ideological prophet Aleksandr Dughin (one of Putins top aides) visits fascists in Eastern Europe in an attempt to build a base to resurrect Russian imperialism. Dughin has also been in recent communication with Nikolaos Michaloliakos of the Greek far right party Golden Dawn…. The far right are acting on two fronts: Western Europe, where they benefit from imposed poverty under the name of austerity (though they avoid attacking its real causes), and Eastern Europe, where anti-European sentiments are built on austerity measures and the poverty inflicted upon people who have been the guinea pigs of the IMF, World Bank, and experimental economic policy from Brussels during their transition from state capitalism to private capitalism. Both the Western and Eastern far right use nationalism and populism to avoid discussing the economic and social structures which are responsible for the collapse of the standard of living, high crime, and record-high unemployment.” http://revolution-news.com/putins-aide-visits-neo-nazis-romania-far-right-forms-international-alliance/
(5) “That does not mean that the anger against the police and the authorities in Ukraine is less justified. It only means that is is a mistake to see the EU as an ally against repression and against the criminal system of which police violence is only a part. EU politicians express support for the protests, and criticize police attacks – hypocritically. But what closer ties with the EU is offering Ukraine is not democracy, freedom, justice. Closer EU-Ukraine ties mean turning Ukraine in a low wage appendage of the EU, as a source of cheap labour, to be exploited there or as migrant labour in Western European countries, just like Polish workers are exploited in countries like The Netherlands already.. In that transition toward Ukrtaine as a EU reservoir of exploitable cheap labour, opposition politicians are prepare to become accomplices, while fascists and nationalists are not above using ‘Europe’ to back up their anti-Russian chauvinism. But there musr be many among the demonstrators who are mainly angry about police oppression, corruption, atrocious living standards. For them, Europe is a myth. The sooner they discard the myth ans see the EU for what is really is – an enemy, not an ally in the struggle for freedom and justice – the better. The EU is, not unlike the Yanukovych regime, a “business-project” – on a vastly bigger scale.” Peter Storm, here: http://libcom.org/blog/europe-ukraine-many-things-lots-people-08122013
(7) http://www.german-foreign-policy.com/de/fulltext/58750 On 23 December 2012, there was a conversation with the Ambassador of Lithuania in Ukraine, Petras Vaitiekunas and Tiahnybok. This was followed by meetings with the ambassadors of the United States, the Czech Republic (January), Hungary, Israel, and Denmark (February) and a meeting of the Deputy Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament, Ruslan Koschulinski, with the Polish Deputy Foreign Minister. In April Koschulinski met together with representatives of Fatherland and UDAR with the foreign ministers of Poland, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Denmark, as well as with the representatives of the EU in Kiev. Subsequent meetings were attended by officials of Svoboda – mostly Tiahnybok – and sometimes of Fatherland and UDAR about the Ambassador of Canada to Ukraine or the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia, Eric Rubin. Svoboda say that on September 30th, Tiahnybok received a message from of the State President of Lithuania, Dalia Grybauskaite, personally.
(11) 29 August 2013, written by the Independent Student Union “Direct Action”: „Right-wing violence is on the rise in Ukraine. Another student activist was attacked on August 22. This case is one of the dozens that are being documented since the 2012 elections of the far-right party, Svoboda to the Parliament of Ukraine, the amount of street violence augmented rapidly. “The far right is the most active political force in Ukraine at this moment… In at least 11 cases, these were violent and confrontational attacks on the new left initiatives,” said Volodymyr Ischchenko, the head of the Social Protests Research Department of the Centre for Society Research. The latest attack took place August 22 when one of the members of student union “Direct Action” was violently beaten near his house. He was attacked by two suspected Svoboda members who were waiting for him with their faces covered. The attackers were shouting “shavka” (right wing slang word to denote leftists) as they ran at him. After using pepper spray they started to beat him. Those attacked fainted, so the passerby called the ambulance. A criminal case has been opened; the case is being pursued by Social Action Centre “No Borders”.” http://www.searchlightmagazine.com/news/international-news/the-rise-of-right-wing-violence-in-ukraine
(13) U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland visited Independence Square in the Ukrainian capital Kiev and met with protesters. Photos posted on Twitter showed Nuland shaking hands with security personnel. From Washington, Secretary of State John Kerry: “As church bells ring tonight amidst the smoke in the streets of Kyiv, the United States stands with the people of Ukraine. They deserve better.” Apparently not living in the US, where his government responds in the same manner to people protesting, Kerry expressed the United States’ “disgust with the decision of Ukrainian authorities to meet the peaceful protest … with riot police, bulldozers, and batons, rather than with respect for democratic rights and human dignity.”
(14) “According to the plans in case of a coup, it would be expected that in Kiev an extreme right party would get in the government – apparently with the approval of Berlin. An impression of how things stand right now, offers a full-size photo, the reprinted one of the most influential German newspapers on Tuesday. It shows activists who have occupied the Kiev City Hall; emblazoned in the center of the image, applied on the inside of the town hall, a Svoboda Poster. It shows the twelve EU-star, next to them a Svoboda party symbol. A pro-EU government in Ukraine would be based in fact on forces that stand in the tradition of Nazi collaborators and maintain relations with the NPD. Party chief Tjahnybok has called the Ukrainians already some time ago, “social nationalists” who could start a “third revolution” soon. Svoboda slogans in riots sometimes are “Beat the Jews.”” http://www.german-foreign-policy.com/de/fulltext/58750
(15) Interview with Oleksandr Mykhelson, December 17, 2012: Question: Do you consider NATO membership to be irrelevant? Answer: First and foremost, I see NATO as an organization, capable of forming a reform agenda for Ukraine…. Ukraine is already borrowing at greater expense than pre-default Greece. If the increase in foreign borrowing during Yanukovych’s government is calculated, it will emerge that on average, it has grown by almost UAH 7bn per month. This is why I oppose the Customs Union. The further Ukraine is from the Customs Union, the better.” http://ukrainianweek.com/Politics/67815
(17) “The political class of Ukraine bears also its share of responsibility for the rise of “Svoboda.” In February 2010 the European Parliament criticised President Yushchenko’s glorification of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists. In spite of this warning, the Kyiv community of journalists, intellectuals and politicians has not eschewed contacts with the nationalists of today. Even the most respected Ukrainian media, such as TV Channel 5, or the leading Internet publication Ukrainska Pravda, have regularly provided Tyahnybok and his fellow party members with forums to disseminate their views and popularize their party. In the two years up until mid 2010, Svoboda’s increased representation in the electronic media was out of proportion to its marginal political role, on the national level. It is only recently that Svoboda’s growing, partly media-generated, popularity can be said to justify its frequent appearance in the Ukrainian mass media.” http://www.geopolitika.lt/?artc=4429
(18) Video uploaded on Svoboda’s official channel, showing Svoboda’s leader, Tyahnybok, marching together with another extremist Iryna Farion (who asked for the Russian language to be forbidden in Ukraine) in a march celebrating nazi Stepan Bandera. Iryna Farion is another strong advocate of Bandera being considered „a national hero.” http://youtu.be/HeTGO5267m4
(20) 2012: “Over a thousand people participated in the Ukrainian nationalist festival “Bandershtat 2012”. Festival took place 03.08 – 05.08.2012 August in Lutsk and was dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA). Organizers: The idea of the festival is to promote Ukrainian national unity, patriotism and the glorification of Ukrainian heroes who Fought in the ranks of the UPA and laid down their lives for our present peace and our independence. Stepan Bandera as a symbol of bravery of the Ukrainian nation and a symbol of the festival, which was reflected and the name of the event.” http://www.demotix.com/news/1380527/bandershtat-2012-ukrainian-nationalist-festival-lutsk#media-1380468
(21) 2011: “Glorifiers of Pro-Hitler Fascist Groups March in Lviv”, http://defendinghistory.com/24818/24818
(25) “Ivan Katchanovski, a Ukrainian political scientist who has done extensive research on the Self Defense Legion, said its members have been careful to cultivate the myth that their service to Nazi Germany was solely a fight against Soviet communism. But he said its actions — fighting partisans and reprisal attacks on civilians — tell a different story.
“Under the pretext of anti-partisan action they acted as a kind of police unit to suppress and kill or punish the local populations. This became their main mission,” said Katchanovski, who went to high school in Pidhaitsi and now teaches at the University of Ottawa in Canada. “There is evidence of clashes with Polish partisans, but most of their clashes were small, and their most visible actions were mass killings of civilians.”
There is evidence that the unit took part in the brutal suppression of the Warsaw Uprising, fighting the nationalist Polish Home Army as it sought to rid the city of its Nazi occupiers and take control of the city ahead of the advancing Soviet Army.
The uprising, which started in August 1944, was put down by the Nazis by the beginning of October in a house-to-house fight characterized by its ferocity.” http://www.timesofisrael.com/ex-commander-of-ss-led-unit-living-in-us/ and 2013: “Activists of the Svoboda Ukrainian nationalist party shout slogans as they take part in a rally marking the 71st anniversary of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army and the feast of the Protecting Veil of the Mother of God in central Kiev” http://www.trust.org/item/20131014183433-pofai/
(27) “This is not the first time a situation like this takes place. 8 June 2013 journalist Georgiy Erman was surrounded by several nationalists who threatened to beat him if he refused to shout nationalist slogan on camera.“I was blamed for being anti Ukrainian and a Stalinist. They told me to shout “Glory to Bandera!” and “Communism is shit!”. I am sure that the attackers were right wing nationalists,” said Georgiy. On 15 April 2013 a trade union activist, Vlad Nosenko, was beaten and wounded with a knife near Dorogozhychi metro station. On the same day Vlad’s trade union made a statement about the incident, saying that their activist “was attacked by 5 neo-Nazis. Using the knives, they injured an artery on his leg. Our comrade had teeth knocked out and brain concussion.””
(28) In this video posted on Euromaidan’s official youtube channel, filmed right before the crowd led by fascists stormed and occupied the City Hall in Kyiv, Svoboda flags and EU flags can be seen everywhere:
(29) “Another race-related Svoboda controversy was when senior member Yuriy Syrotiuk declared he was unhappy about black singer Gaitana representing Ukraine in the Eurovision song contest, citing that she “is not an organic representative of the Ukrainian culture.” Syrotiuk was also involved in an altercation at the recent gay rights march in Kiev, on the same day as Svoboda’s Congress, which saw five Svoboda members take active steps to break up proceedings, apparently assaulting peaceful attendees. In the official press release, Svoboda depicted their five arrested members as heroes, going so far as to link homosexuality with anti-Ukrainianism, and describing the march participants variously as ‘deviants’ and ‘perverts’.”
(31) “Ukraine’s “chocolate king” Petro Poroshenko, the owner of the popular Roshen confectionery manufacturing group…has been on the stage of Kiev’s Independence Square together with other opposition leaders. He was one of the leaders of the 2004 Orange Revolution. His Channel 5 TV gave extensive coverage to those mass protests and is doing so again.” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-25323964
(32) For instance, “Azerbaijan: autocracy in an oil paradise”: “In 2011 alone, 136 people were estimated to have been harassed by the state for their political views, and three of these were murdered. That was revealed at the end of March, when the Green Party made an official information request to the German parliament. Meanwhile, human rights activists want to use the Eurovision Song Contest to draw attention to the lack of democracy in the country.” http://www.dw.de/azerbaijan-autocracy-in-an-oil-paradise/a-15958397 and here http://www.shalemarkets.com/europe-in-azerbaijan-eu-focuses-on-energy-instead-of-democracy/
(33) “Ukraine leader signs contentious Russian language bill into law” http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/08/08/uk-ukraine-language-idUKBRE8770X920120808
(34) “Three members of the VO “Svoboda” registered a bill banning abortion and “promotion of abortion” in Ukraine:” http://ru.tsn.ua/ukrayina/svoboda-predlozhila-verhovnoy-rade-zapretit-aborty-300136.html
(35) “In 1936 the Soviet Union made abortion illegal again…” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_Russia
(36) “Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law banning advertisements for abortion, the Kremlin said on Monday, a step activists said would infringe on the reproductive rights of women.”
(37) “Although András Schiff is commendable for his piano playing and his passion (Hungarians must face their Nazi past, not venerate it, 11 December), he does not seem to know much about the last 20 years in Europe. Criticising the christening of a new statue of Admiral Horthy in Budapest, he writes: “There are no Hitler statues in Germany, and in Austria they are constitutionally forbidden. The same is true of Mussolini in Italy, Pétain in France, Ion Antonescu in Romania or Josef [sic]Tiso in Slovakia. None of them is being commemorated and extolled.””
(38) “Having gained power at the national level neo-nazis have launched a harassment campaign of those who showed signs of disagreement with methods of force. Using these methods they suppress and mask all the action of the opponents initiating legislative offensive on the rights and freedoms of the Ukrainian citizens. They provoke scraps in Parliament, they attack accounts of unconsonant journalists in social network.” „“Borotba” union activists believe that stirring up national hatred, artificially dividing workers, neo-nazis from VO”Svoboda” are helping largest Ukrainian capital to maintain all the power in their hands my the means of a principle “Divide and conquer”. http://borotba.org/anti-fascist-campaign-in-ukraine.html
(39) “Ex-commander of SS-led unit living in US – Michael Karkoc, 94, lied to American immigration authorities about role in Ukrainian Self Defense Legion during World War II”:
“A top commander of a Nazi SS-led unit accused of burning villages filled with women and children lied to American immigration officials to get into the United States and has been living in Minnesota since shortly after World War II, according to evidence uncovered by The Associated Press.
Michael Karkoc, 94, told American authorities in 1949 that he had performed no military service during World War II, concealing his work as an officer and founding member of the SS-led Ukrainian Self Defense Legion and later as an officer in the SS Galician Division, according to records obtained by the AP through a Freedom of Information Act request. The Galician Division and a Ukrainian nationalist organization he served in were both on a secret American government blacklist of organizations whose members were forbidden from entering the United States at the time.
Though records do not show that Karkoc had a direct hand in war crimes, statements from men in his unit and other documentation confirm the Ukrainian company he commanded massacred civilians, and suggest that Karkoc was at the scene of these atrocities as the company leader. Nazi SS files say he and his unit were also involved in the 1944 Warsaw Uprising, in which the Nazis brutally suppressed a Polish rebellion against German occupation.” http://www.timesofisrael.com/ex-commander-of-ss-led-unit-living-in-us/ ;
and “Suspected Nazi war criminals ordered deported by the United States never left the country”
(40) “Terrorists or National Heroes? Politics of the OUN and the UPA in Ukraine” by Ivan Katchanovski, Ph.D., Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University Cambridge,
(41) 2010: “In his last year and a half in office, not only has Ukraine collapsed economically and politically, lurching from bad crises to worse crises, but by adopting a belligerent, erratic posture over the past year and a half, Yushchenko has poisoned Ukraine’s well for years to come. In 2008, when Russia and Georgia fought a brief war over South Ossetia, Yushchenko tried dragging his divided country into the conflict, by declaring solidarity with Georgia and threatening Russian warships stationed in the Crimea. Then he whipped up fear about an imminent Russian invasion of Crimea and sold it to gullible Western journalists and officials, who duly panicked, because after all, he was “our guy”–pro-Western, pro-American. After poisoning relations with Russia, Yushchenko set a new low in domestic politics by accusing his rival and former Orange Revolution cohort Yulia Tymoshenko of “high treason” and plotting with the Kremlin to hand over Ukraine. His demagoguery failed: Ukraine’s voters threw him out at the first chance, while Tymoshenko, who dropped the confrontational anti-Russian grandstanding, barely lost in the second round.
Neocons loved Yushchenko’s late incarnation but his own people despised him. Even Burston-Marsteller CEO and former Hillary Clinton campaign strategist Mark Penn, who served as one of Yushchenko’s campaign advisors, couldn’t boost Yushchenko beyond the 5 percent barrier and rescue him from his own self-destruction. And to think we were going to plunge into a new cold war with Russia on behalf of Yushchenko and Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia–who recently announced that he was imposing mandatory patriotic-military classes to be taught in schools across Georgia, something not seen since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
“Yushchenko has been a great disappointment for his supporters,” said Rabbi Andrew Baker, director of international affairs at the American Jewish Committee. “We really thought a decade ago that this sort of ultra-nationalism would be disappearing by now. We thought it was [a temporary]thing. We were wrong.””
(43) “Serbia’s Srdja Popovic is known by many as a leading architect of regime changes in Eastern Europe and elsewhere since the late-1990s, and as one of the co-founders of Otpor!, the U.S.-funded Serbian activist group which overthrew Slobodan Milošević in 2000….
Otpor! was so successful that it was ushered into Ukraine to help manufacture regime change there in 2004, using the template applied originally in Serbia with $65 million in cash from the U.S. government.”
(44)”The Hero of the Orange Revolution Poisons Ukraine – No politician has ever suffered a more humiliating rejection than the former leader of Ukraine’s Orange Revolution and its current sitting president, Viktor Yushchenko.”
(45) „Expansive Ambitions” http://www.german-foreign-policy.com/en/fulltext/58703
(46) „The struggle for Ukraine” https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/12/06/pers-d06.html
(47) „Svoboda: The Rising Spectre Of Neo-Nazism In The Ukraine”
(48) „Oleh Tyahnybok and the Rise of Svoboda” by Graham Phillips
(51) Video of protesters occupying the Kiev City Hall http://youtu.be/HeTGO5267m4
(54) This article is a text book example of re-writing history propaganda: they try to create the image that OUN and not UPA were those who committed ethnic cleansing and massacres, in fact Bandera broke from the OUN so he could join the Nazi Germany. The reason is that they need Bandera to be exonerated by past crimes since they already made him a national hero and they promote his ideology: „Notice how the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists hasn’t been mentioned yet. It’s because UPA and OUN – the wing that was led by Stepan Bandera – weren’t one whole entity.”
(55) August, 2013: “CHERVONE, Ukraine—Ukrainians dressed in Nazi SS uniform trudge through trenches and fire model rifles in a reconstruction of a key battle against the Soviets during World War II. An Orthodox priest leads a ceremony for fallen soldiers of the Nazi unit, sprinkling his blessing over several men sporting swastikas who lower a coffin in a ritual reburial. The scenes were part of commemorations last week of soldiers many Ukrainian nationalists—along with a smattering of hardcore ultra-rightists—hailed as heroes. The men they are honoring belonged to the SS Galician division, a Nazi military unit made up mostly of Ukrainians, which fought Soviet troops during World War II.”
(56) „Terrorists or National Heroes? Politics of the OUN and the UPA in Ukraine” by Ivan Katchanovski, Ph.D., Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University
(58) August 31, 2012: They Call Themselves the Opposition: “What is clearly positive about the United Opposition list is the fact that it does not include individuals who only yesterday were labeled “Tymoshenko’s quota,” but were never strong champions of the opposition. First of all, this concerns the former Prime Minister’s relatives and colleagues from the United Energy Systems of Ukraine. Thus, her aunt Uliakhina was not included in the list, while Boliura and Shaho were placed low and have no chance of getting into parliament. It was this “politically indifferent” group within the BYuT that placed the bloc in the spotlight for incessant harsh criticism. Firstly, this was sheer nepotism and cronyism; secondly, the above-mentioned “indifferent” group consistently offered unpleasant surprises at parliamentary votes. For instance, these MPs backed a draft resolution supporting official observance of the anniversary of the Komsomol, the Communist Youth League. However, it turns out that family interests come before pubic ones, even for imprisoned oppositionists. In the passing part of the list, next to Martynenko, we can see Iryna Lutsenko, wife of the imprisoned former Minister of the Interior. It is being argued backstage that this came at the personal request of her husband, a man who has been publicly mocking “Yushchenko’s cronies” for years. But nepotism is not the only problem. Several of Yuriy Lutsenko’s most devoted and consistent comrades in arms may end up below the line. In particular, Yuriy Hrymchak, one of the men who were not afraid to actively oppose the notorious Kharkiv Agreements, was dismissed with a mere No.91. The cynicism of the situation is aggravated by the fact that without MP immunity, he risks being indicted on criminal charges. The prosecutor’s office is ready to launch proceedings against him. The inclusion of Mrs. Lutsenko in the list is perhaps one of the opposition’s worst gaffes in this election. The appearance of Tetiana Donets in the passing part of the United Opposition list can also hardly qualify as a sensible decision. Donets’s only merit is that her parents used to be Tymoshenko’s fellow Hromada party members. This young lady made history in gossip columns as a former girlfriend of Vasyl Horbal, a banker and Party of Regions MP. No further comment is necessary.” http://ukrainianweek.com/Politics/58995
(59) “This year, Svoboda has shown protesting against organizing a gay pride in Kiev and against the selection of a Ukrainian artist mother and African father as representative of Ukraine to the song contest of the Eurovision. In autumn 2011, the party had organized a march against the influx of Hasidic Jews, who perform each year in Ukraine a pilgrimage to the tomb of a famous rabbi.”
(60) “Much of the anger behind mass protests in Ukraine is fuelled by perceptions of political corruption, and the alleged close links between the government and mega-rich oligarchs. But, as Anders Aslund explains, the murky world of these “grey cardinals” is shifting.” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-25323964
(61) “Behind Scenes, Ukraine’s Rich and Powerful Battle Over the Future”
(62) “For whatever reason, Russian leadership decided that bashing Ukraine on TV on a daily basis, breaking industrial cooperation agreements, and other scare tactics will bring Ukraine closer to Russia. In May 2013, 31 percent of Ukrainians still wanted to join the Customs Union, and 41.7 percent wanted to join the European Association Agreement. The balance changed dramatically after Russia imposed sanctions on Ukrainian chocolate, and started a customs war early in September. The reaction in Ukraine was nearly unanimous resentment of Russia—according to the Express-Poll, conducted by GfK Ukraine in October 2013, 51 percent of Ukrainians now support European association, and only 14 percent support joining the Customs Union. The massive demonstrations in support of the European choice, which followed Azarov’s decicion to suspend preparations for the Vilnius Summit, are the best proof of Ukrainian public opinion.”
(68) “The only real solution to the problem is to have a strong, democratic opposition in Ukraine. The necessary precondition for such a scenario is the release of opposition leader Julia Tymoshenko, and her participation in elections. There is also a growing demand for a radical opposition in Ukraine. This niche can be taken by Tymoshenko, but in her absence it is gradually filled by the ultra-nationalist party Svoboda, adding urgency to her release.”
(69) “The Verkhovna Rada voted to waive Lazarenko’s parliamentary immunity on 17 February 1999; however, Lazarenko fled the country on the eve of the parliamentary vote. He initially stopped in Greece but was detained in New York at JFK airport on 20 February 1999, on suspicion of illegally entering the United States…. Lazarenko was transferred to a jail in San Francisco, since his family owned a ranch in California. Ukrainian authorities requested his extradition in 2000, after charging him over the 1996 killing of Yevhen Shcherban and two attempts on the lives of high-ranking officials. The office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine also claimed that Lazarenko instigated the assassination of Vadym Hetman in late April 1998.
In the United States, Lazarenko was put on trial for money-laundering, corruption, and fraud. … In late May 2004 a federal jury in San Francisco found him guilty of using his position to get rich through a series of business schemes; with Transparency International naming Lazarenko the eighth most corrupt political leader in recent history that the same year. In October 2005 Lazarenko stated his intention to return to Ukraine in order to run in the March 2006 parliamentary elections; however Lazarenko remained under house arrest at an undisclosed location on $86 million bail from June 2004 until August 2006 after being convicted by a twelve member jury. Lazarenko was sentenced to 9 years in federal prison on 25 August 2006. … In November 2009 Ukrainian Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko stated that if Lazarenko returns to Ukraine he will be detained as he is on the international wanted list…. Chevhuz further expected Lazarenko to not return to Ukraine “as the criminal cases against him, which had been previously dropped, may be reopened”.Immediately after his 1 November 2012 release the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine stated that as soon as Lazarenko would return to Ukraine he would be arrested; for his involvement in around 50 criminal cases. Lazarenko owns a luxurious mansion in Marin county which was bought with money looted from the Ukrainian budget.”
(70) “Ukraine’s Ministry of Revenues and Duties is seeking $500 million that former Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko are believed to have spirited out of the country during a now-infamous money laundering operation that ended with Lazarenko in an American prison and Tymoshenko an unindicted co-conspirator.
More details of Tymoshenko’s time as a natural gas oligarch (her nickname in Ukraine was “Gas Princess”) and her company, United Energy Systems of Ukraine (UES or UESU) are bound to come out as a result. Of more immediate importance, it is increasingly apparent that it would be wrong to pardon or release Tymoshenko with these charges outstanding.” http://cxssr.org/2013/11/ukraine-to-seek-restitution-of-500-million-from-lazarenko-and-tymoshenko/
(71) “Tymoshenko is now accused of murdering a business rival in 1996. She is alleged to have ordered and organized a contract style hit on Yvhen Scherban, his wife, and two other people.”
(83) This video posted on fascist Svobopda’s official youtube channel shows McCain meeting with the Svoboda leader, among others: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utnPLzrzIis
“The meeting was also attended by U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt and Tymoshenko’s lawyer Serhiy Vlasenko.”
(83) This videos posted on fascist Svobopda’s official youtube channel shows McCain meeting with the Svoboda leader, among others: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utnPLzrzIis
Other links that are related and are interesting to read:
The video bellow video shows former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili meeting with Klitschko brothers. Along with ex-president of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek and Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, the vice president of the Eastern Partnership Project they delivered speeches on Maidan Nezalezhnosti on December 6th.
Former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili said Ukraine is being raided by Russia. “Of course I’m not here to interfere in (Ukraine’s) domestic affairs, Ukrainians are to agree on that,” Saakashvili mentioned. “However, the fact that illegal takeover of sovereign European country is being made by (Vladimir) Putin’s Russia is a subject to all Europe, the whole world and all of us,” Saakashvili said at today’s meeting with UDAR party leader Vitali Klitschko and ex-prime minister of Moldova Vlad Filatov: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6E7RUKwFzPw
These are notes of a Kyiv university scholar who met with Western leaders and at one point even says that more blood will be shed before any change happens in Ukraine. His reports show how the narative of the Euromaidan shifted each day, very enlightening how proud he is when he speaks of the authority and hierarchy established in the Independence Square, and not even a single time mentioning who is this authority. Quite interesting that he hardly mentions Svoboda’s flags or presence though they seem to be running the show.