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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Ukraine: le parti Svoboda est fasciste

by V.K.

Ukraine: the Svoboda Party is Fascist

Translated Wednesday 26 February 2014, by Richard Pond

The insurrectionary situation confronted by Ukraine is due to the emergence of numerous far-right movements.

"In Independence Square, they managed to hold their own against the forces of order and killed a dozen police officers. And two or three hundred of them succeeded in storming Parliament and the headquarters of the Party of the Regions at certain times," recounts a journalist there. Molotov cocktails, paving stones, iron bars... we are a long way from the peaceful demonstrators described by the press. But who are they? These young "self-defence volunteers", who have come from Lviv (in the west) to Kiev, are bona fide soldiers of the extreme right in the Galician region (the far-right’s bastion), according to Jean-Marie Chauvier, a specialist.

Anti-semites and Russophobes

On Wednesday, then, five thousand of their members stormed the regional administration, police and military premises, even taking control of arms depots. "People minimise the phenomenon, calling it ’nationalist’, although it’s really a question of a neo-fascist and Nazi movement, linked mainly to the Svoboda party. The party leader, Oleg Tiagnibog, toys with xenophobic, anti-semitic and Russophobic tendencies that are deeply implanted in Galicia, where it’s not uncommon to witness big celebrations of the memory of Nazi collaborationism and the Waffen SS," explains Vladimir Bidievka, a Communist Party member of parliament representing Donestk (in the region of Donbass).

This increase in strength of far-right forces takes advantage of the position of the Svoboda (Freedom) party, which obtained more than two million votes at the last parliamentary elections. Until 2004, it was called the Nationalist Party of Ukraine, and it descends from the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), a fascist movement founded in 1929. Today it competes with even more radical neo-Nazi groups, including Pravyi Sektor (Right Sector), which groups together members of ultra-nationalist organisations such as Patriots of Ukraine, Trizouba, UNA-Unso. "These are the people who look after security on the Maidan and in front of the trade union building which has become the movement’s headquarters. They organise the barricades and use force against the police, without any condemnation from the opposition," the Russian daily newspaper Kommersant observes.


In the west, the situation is becoming explosive, even insurrectionary. According to the Ukrainian Communist Party, "in small localities, Svoboda has taken power by organising a coup d’état with the collaboration of other political groupings, Batkivschina (Arseny Yatsenyuk) and Udar (Vilaty Klitschko). This party has created a reign of terror and has banned the Party of the Regions (Viktor Yanukovich) and the Ukrainian Communist Party".

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