Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

The Far-Right in Ukrainian Protests.

with 3 comments

Far-Right Svoboda in Ukrainian Protests.

The Ukrainian government is very far from guiltless in the clashes and deaths in their country.

Extensive coverage of the protests, the dranconian restrictions on civil liberties, and the deeper casues of the turmoil, is widely available.

But from December onwards it has been clear that the “pro-European” movement has involved the violent far-right.

Le Monde (18.12.213) devoted a long article to ” Comment les ultranationalistes ukrainiens ont investi le mouvement pro-européen” – how the Ukrainian ultra nationalists have got involved in the pro-European movement”.

The libertarian anarchist-communist site, LibCom notes,

The far-right in Ukraine are acting as the vanguard of a protest movement that is being reported as pro-democracy. The situation on the ground is not as simple as pro-EU and trade versus pro-Putin and Russian hegemony in the region.

Neo-Nazis and far-right protesters in Ukraine – this is an important post.

The respected American left-liberal journal, the Nation, analyses the protests.

Spearheading the clashes with police was Right Sector, a group with ties to far-right parties including the Patriots of Ukraine and Trident, which BBC Ukraine reported is largely comprised of nationalist football fans. In a statement the next day, the group claimed credit for Sunday’s unrest and promised to continue fighting until President Viktor Yanukovich stepped down.

The far-right party Svoboda is at their heart,

It was Svoboda that was responsible for the most iconic image to come out of Euromaidan: On December 8, masked protestors waving blue Svoboda flags and yelling “Hang the Commie!” toppled a 67-year-old statue of Vladimir Lenin in the city center. Svoboda leader Ihor Miroshnychenko, who has faced charges for pulling down a Lenin statue in another city, told journalists his party was responsible.

Svoboda is the most visible party on the square, it has essentially taken over Kiev City Hall as its base of operations, and it has a large influence in the protestors’ security forces.

It also has revived three slogans originating in the Ukrainian nationalist movement of the 1930s that have become the most popular chants at Euromaidan. Almost all speakers on Independence Square—even boxer-turned-opposition-leader Vitaly Klitschko, who has lived mostly in Germany and has a US residence permit—start and end with the slogan, “Glory to Ukraine!,” to which the crowd responds “To heroes glory!” Two other nationalist call-and-response slogans often heard on the square are “Glory to the nation! Death to enemies!” and “Ukraine above all!”

Not everybody in Europe would welcome such partners.


Written by Andrew Coates

January 24, 2014 at 11:24 am

3 Responses

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  1. This is one fight in which socialists do not have a dog. The battle is basically between two factions of Ukraine’s corrupt elite, one oriented towards Russia (currently in government), the other oriented towards the West (currently not in government). And given that Ukraine’s ultra-nationalists are above all anti-Russian these days, naturally they are in the West-oriented camp.

    More generally, this zero-sum “West or Russia?” politics is a disaster for Ukrainians. The geographical position and demographics of Ukraine mean that if the state is to have any viability, it needs to maintain good relations with both its Western neighbours *and* Russia.


    January 24, 2014 at 6:27 pm

  2. Support Ukrainians but do not legitimize the far-right and discredited politicians !
    ISCHENKO Volodymyr

    and more here http://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?page=recherche&recherche=Ukraine

    My attitude is what do you expect when socialism was destroyed by Stalinism. An atomised workingclass.

    Jim Monaghan

    January 24, 2014 at 6:40 pm

  3. I agree Francis.

    I was signalling the bad side of the Ukrainian opposition, and that there are people other than Russia Today saying this.

    There’s plenty of seriously wrong things with the government as well.

    Andrew Coates

    January 25, 2014 at 5:41 pm

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