News Release

Fascist Forces in Ukraine

The New York Times reports: “Front and Center in Ukraine Race, a Leader of the Far Right,” which states: “As Right Sector has made the transition into politics, its leadership has moved from an occupied post office into rooms at a hotel near Independence Square. The group still keeps stocks of beer bottles filled with gasoline on the sidewalk outside, even though there are no longer any riot police officers to fight. …

“The Svoboda party, meanwhile, has moderated, and did not openly endorse the tactic of throwing firebombs when street fighting began in January. Svoboda was founded in 1991 under the name the Socialist-Nationalist Party of Ukraine, with a symbol that resembled a swastika. Its leader, Oleg Tyagnibok, met Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday and in December appeared onstage with Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona. Svoboda holds 37 seats in Parliament.”

ZOLTÁN GROSSMAN, grossmaz at evergreen.edu
Availble for interviews Thursday and Friday, Grossman is a political-cultural geographer who teaches at The Evergreen State College in Olympia and just wrote the piece “Ukraine: the Enemy of Your Enemy is Not Always Your Friend,” which states: “To progressives who have been celebrating the revolution in Ukraine: Be careful what you wish for. Ukraine now has the first European government in decades in which outright fascist parties have gained a significant role in the executive branch. In other European countries, far-right parties have won seats in the parliament, but not secured real power in the cabinet. Of course, not all Ukrainian revolutionaries are fascists or Nazis, as asserted in recent Russian propaganda. But it is equally wrong and irresponsible to assert that the presence of fascists and Nazis in the new government is merely Russian propaganda. …

“Svoboda leader Oleh Tyahnybok is well known for his comments that Ukraine is victimized by a ‘Muscovite/Jewish mafia,’ and references to Jews as ‘Zhydam’ (Kikes). One of his deputies established a “Joseph Goebbels Political Research Center” in 2005. …

“Since the revolution, Svoboda parliamentarian Oleksandr Sych has been named to the post of Vice Premier for Economic Affairs, and Svoboda has taken control of the ministries of education, agriculture, and the environment. Svoboda co-founder Andriy Parubiy was named Secretary of the Security and National Defense Committee, a significant post with control over police and military forces. …

“The next time you’re influenced by a Facebook meme or a heart-wrenching YouTube video about human rights violations by an ‘enemy’ of the West, think about the atrocities by the pro-Western side that we are not seeing. Study the history of country, to learn that parts of the so-called ‘democratic’ opposition today might draw their lineage to militant groups (such as the Ukrainian Insurgent Army or Venezuelan right-wing parties) that have massacred ethnic, religious, or political minorities in past decades. If the U.S. continues to back these crazies just because of they attack the West’s enemies, some kind of blowback is again going to be inevitable. …

“Although the Maidan protests have been depicted as ‘Pro-EU,’ Svoboda has joined forces with far-right parties that are actually Anti-EU. It holds Observer status in the Alliance of European National Movements, which vehemently opposes the EU (including Jobbik in Hungary and the British National Party). Pravy Sektor’s key slogan has been ‘Against the Regime and [EU] integration.’ Perhaps they both want to join the EU so they can later oppose it?”