Svoboda began life in 2004 as the ‘Socialist-Nationalist Party of Ukraine’ and are linked historically to their hero, Nazi World War Two collaborator; Stepan Bandera. Bandera was the leader of the ‘Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists’ who fought alongside the Wermacht and Waffen SS ‘Gallicia Division’ in the region, where they murdered up to 800,000 Jewish, Polish and Soviet Citizens. Many of Svoboda’s current members have relatives who took part in this orchestrated slaughter and Svoboda MP; Oleg Pankevich took part in a ceremony last April honouring the 70th anniversary of Bandera’s unit and the re-burying of some of it’s dead, conducted by a member of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Svoboda are the fourth largest party in the Ukraine with 10.45% of the vote and have 37 out of 450 seats in the Ukrainian Parliament; the Rada. Interestingly, not long before the violent protests began, 54% of Ukrainians said they would vote for Svoboda leader Oleg Tyahnybok. Svoboda also have links with neo-Nazi Jobbik Party and the BNP.
Neo-Nazi, Right-Sector are also worshippers of Bandera. Only established in late 2013, Right Sector are an alliance of several Nazi and fascist groups. Leader, Dmytro Yarosh, who took control after the shooting of Oleksandr Muzychko by Ukranian Special Forces on March 25th, is standing in the Presidential elections in May. He is currently number two in the National Defence & Security Council. Right Sector’s; Andriy Tarasenko, has stated the aim of Ukraine being a EU member state is not for closer ties with Europe but to "build a nationalist Ukrainian state and stage a nationalist revolution". Another Right Sector member stated; "National Socialist themes are popular amongst some of us... A clean nation, not like under Hitler, but in our own way, a little bit like that." Right Sector have instructed supporters to use petrol bombs during rioting and held a US Reporter against his will, accused by Right Sector as a spy.
The Role of the EU & USA
The EU and US have publicly gave their backing for self -appointed fascists in the new regime. We have had Senator John McCain addressing the Pro-Eu supporters in Independence Square and shaking hands with Nazi; Tyahnybok. US Assistant Secretary of State for European & Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland has also supported the regime; especially centre-right Fatherland Prime Minister; Yatsenyuk. US Vice-President Joe Biden has also gave his support to the new regime, knowing it contains fascist’s; who the US played a key role in defeating, nearly 70 years ago. The backing from leading western powers is nothing new. The Orange Revolution of 2004 was aimed at instilling a malleable Government who would accommodate NATO bases in the region, as was the case of Georgia in 200. In addition, Ukrainian membership of the European Union would provide the opening up of new financial markets, making it an attractive prospect to Western transnational companies, in a country where big business is currently in the hands of Russian backed oligarchs. The manner in which a fascist regime has came about should be concern to us all. The EU and US were quick to back the neo-Nazi influenced rioting in Kiev, quick to meet and back the self-appointed Government and quick to denounce the Ukraine as being undemocratic. It should be noted that democracy has been overruled with the overthrow of a democratically elected Government and the failure to uphold the ‘21st February Agreement’. The current situation in the Ukraine with outright Nazi’s now in positions of power, is an insult to the millions who lost their lives fighting fascism from 1939-1945. We hope a peaceful and true democratic process in the country can see the fascist rump within the Government consigned to history; where it belongs.
Top: World War II Nazi Collaborator, Stepan Bandera. Middle: Oleg Tyahnybok of Svoboda & Bottom: Right Sector’s. Dmytro Yarosh.