The Far-right political forces seem to be the stumbling stone on the path to understanding between those who live in Ukraine and in the West. As Andrij Bondar writes on his FB page,
“A short resume of communicating with civilised Europe on the matter of spreading Euromaidan ideas:
Europe often demands Maidan and all the people that write about it to condemn the “right” people of Maidan – brand them, bring them to light, and, desirably, blame them for everything. For her it is often more important than deaths, kidnapping, terror, intimidation by the regime. You say: “The regime is killing us”. And she relplies: “The Rights are to blame. Bring us the scalp of this Hitler of yours”.
The short answer that I would like to give to this civilised Europe fits into a phrase of two words. And I have no idea on how this could be overcome. But this stubborness and deafness is comparable only to the Russian “Ukrainians and Russians are one people”.
Andrij is not alone. Oksana Forostyna, also on her FB page, writes:
My dear friends in Europe and US! If you trust me, please, forget about this “Ukrainian right radicals” crap some Western media provide! That’s so irrelevant now, when people are killed, kidnapped, and tortured, and we face the terror on the Kyiv streets. You know I criticized the rights, and I will criticize them in future. However, there are no the left and the right here anymore, but Yanukovych and his gangs against people of Ukraine. And if you’re concerned about “Nazi” here, Ukraine riot police “Berkut” should be in your focus. Shocking videos and photos are available. Just keep children away from the screen. I can understand you: it’s natural to be afraid of what’s familiar, and ultras and right radicals are familiar to you. I also understand that it’s hard to imagine an alliance of police and criminals on that horrifying scale. Keep in mind that Yanukovych personally and the regime are responsible for the violence in Ukraine, and they are looking for a reason to legitimize repression. Don’t be deluded with the somnolent messages.
These lies, as Anton Shekhovtsov writes, are an attempt to appease Russian imperialists who are doing everything they can to deprive Ukraine of its already weakened independence. An idea of what these lies are can be acquired via the allegedly left-wing web-sites, such as the World Socialist Web Site. In short, they are about the evil neo-fascist far-right provoking a conflict that led to many fatalities, and supporting an ideology that will inevitably lead to more misdoings.
What we must understand, as Anton Shekhovtsov writes, is that the Euromaidan is, among other things, a national revolution against the Kremlin’s imperialism and a nationalist uprising against Russia’s destructive influence on Ukraine. The far right is being fuelled by the constant threat to the Ukrainian statehood rather than the alleged growth of extreme right views in the Ukrainian society. The majority of support for the far-right comes from people that support the urgent need for national independence, and not far-right ideas per se. Those who separate these two issues or crack down on the Ukrainian far right without recognising the urgent need for national independence will never be successful in their attempts to neutralise the far right. Moreover, they can make the situation worse. Furthermore, the right are not the only violent force on Maidan – they are joined by many Ukrainian left-wingers and democrats who have become radicalised as a result of the lack of progress of non-violent resistance to the country’s slipping into an outright dicatorship. The majority of the protesters who take to Kyiv’s freezing cold streets are tired to death of Yanukovych’s corrupt authoritarian regime, his cynical disregard of their demands, and are outraged about the police brutality. That the protest forces in Ukraine are dominated by the far right is misconception #3 of the Four largest misconceptions about the protests in Ukraine.
Who are the fascists here?
As the European left incessantly emphasizes, the Right in Ukraine is to be feared by Jews and minorities; the opposition, alleging with the right “Svoboda” party, supports these obsolete and antidemocratic ideas. The reality is in fact the opposite. The facebook page of “Berkut”, the governments’ riot police force whose name is now being used to scare Ukrainian children into behaving due to their notorious cynicism and violence, exuberates arrant and unmistakable antisemitism, such as “Zionist Tymoshenko and the three-part division map of Ukraine”, “Jewish roots and connections of the opposition leaders Yulia Tymoshenko, Vitali Klitschko, Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Oleg Tiagnybok”. It is worth noting that Arseniy Yatsenyuk indeed has Jewish roots, which does not impede the collaboration of his party “Batkivschyna” with “Svoboda”. Furthemore, on Jan. 22-24th, the opposition has initiated patrols of Kyiv’s synagogues to prevent possible vandalism.
Over more than two months, the term “fascist” is being consistently used to describe the atrocities of the police and the cruel regime, and not without reason.
Andrey Chebotarev: “Kyiv 1941 and 2014. Find 10 differences. On top is the Nazi Babin Yar massacre and the fascists. On the bottom is Hrushevskogo street and fascists yet again.
From the description of the events: “Undress! Quickly! Do it! Schnel! If people tarried, their clothes were torn off by force, they were kicked, hit by clubs, brass knuckles, drunk with fury, in a sadistic rage”.”
The events relate to a resonant case of the police’s ingenious methods: a man was stripped, tortured, and humiliated on Hrushevskogo street by the Berkut troopers at 10 degrees below freezing:
The “Right Sector” of Maidan has initiated violence with the police on Kyiv’s streets, bringing the Euromaidan protests out of a tedious and ineffective carousel of two-month-long People’s Gatherings (Viches) and encampments on Kyiv’s main square fighting off the regime’s assaults, Europe’s lack of action, and the governments’ scornful deafness and cynical repressions, which culminated in the unconstitutional “adoption” of the “dictatorship laws” on January 16th, signifying a total breakdown of democracy.
The recently published open letter of Ukrainian intellectuals specifically addressed the violence and far-right issue:
“We, .. moderate people, peaceful professionals, of varied ethnic origin, from various regions of Ukraine,… declare our solidarity with those, who have been forced to use these instruments [of violence] today. The turn from hitherto unprecedented massive and peaceful protests to radical ways of expressing one’s position was forced upon the protesters by the policies of the Ukrainian government, which demonstrates utter disregard for the interests of Ukrainian citizens, ignores their opinions and uses violence against the peaceful protesters… It was the government of Ukraine, which was quickly losing any remaining semblance of legitimacy, that radicalized people that never belonged to any extremist groups. The government left the protesters no other choice. That is why the attempts to portray the protesters as fascist-like extremists is nothing but a ruse, a manipulation and a falsification on the part of the government, designed to absolve itself of responsibility for the clashes in center city Kyiv and to form the corresponding public opinion about the anti-governmental protests, both among the Ukrainians and the citizens and politicians of other nations. All that is being done with express purpose of creating an informational background favorable to the forceful crackdown on the protests”.
The Far-right, demonized by all those in the West, except the lazy, thus did what the peaceful, democratic people of Ukraine were dreaming of but were too scared to admit, not mention realize – to revolt against an opressive, corrupt government, which holds to its power through systematic desinformation of its population by oligarch-owned TV channells, whose hands will reach out to your neck if you cross its line, be you a small entrepreneur or a journalist, whose only fulfillment of the “improvement” of life so widely advertised during the frauded elections has lead to the true improvement of life for one “Family” on a backdrop of plummeting social standards and skyrocketing corrution. Oh, did you know? Yanukovych is buiding a new palace. Yes, his old one was not enough.
The Right sector has even evoked messianistic aspirations. Anatoliy Denysenko writes:
“Whether we like it or not, the Right Sector, as well as other radically inclined citizens, have changed the course of events in Ukraines’ political crisis to the protesters’ favor. The authorities have backed down. The price for this turnaround are Molotov cocktails, the wounded, arrested, kidnapped, and killed. Of course, those of us that adhere to nonviolent resistance and oppose against such radical measures of struggling for justice will have to agree that, if the regime will fall, God’s hand must have guided these people and God had been determining the situation, including in this manner. Are these self-defense squads, armed with fireworks and shields, and Kyiv locals in construction helmets and bats in their hands that opposed the police lying in ambush in the Ukrainian House not the answer to the prayers of many believers that are incessantly praying for the situation in the center of Kyiv? How will we view barricade construction and tire burning after the victory? Will we see them as part of God’s plan, or as something foreign to God? After all, winners are always right! Moreover, already now many believers recognize those people killed on Hrushevskogo that did not hand out Bibles but threw stones as the heroes of Ukraine”.