24 September 2014

Ukrainian intellectual was attacked by paramilitary right-wing thugs in Kyiv

Here is an extremely unsettling message from Kyiv:
Vasyl Cherepanyn, lecturer at the National University ''Kyiv-Mohyla Academy'' and head of Visual Culture Research Center, was attacked on Kontraktova square in Kiev, next to the university were he works.

A group of unknown men dressed in camouflage paramilitary uniforms suddenly attacked Vasyl Cherepanyn in broad daylight in a crowded square in central Kyiv. The police was late to the scene, and the attackers were not arrested. Vasyl Cherepanyn received heavy injuries, including fractures of facial bones. He links this incident to his professional activity.


Vasyl Cherepanyn, PhD of Theory of Art, is a lecturer at the Cultural Studies Department at the National University ''Kyiv-Mohyla Academy''. He is the head of Visual Culture Research Center and Editor of the Political Critique journal. He is an organizer of numerous scientific conferences, public discussions and art exhibitions. Among the latest events, co-organized by Vasyl Cherepanyn, is the conference "Ukraine: Thinking Together", with the participation of Timothy Snyder, Ivan Krastev, Agnieszka Holland, Paul Bermann and other leading intellectuals, and also the series of events during the Open University of Maidan.

While the military aggression is carried out against Ukraine, aggressive young men in military uniforms carried out an unprecedentedly violent attack on the university lecturer in the center of Kyiv. During the attack, the thugs were accusing Vasyl Cherepanyn of being ‘a separatist’, which is totally absurd to anyone aware of his activities. These unfounded and absurd claims, along with accusations of being ‘a communist’, are more and more often used by aggressive ignorants who aim to impose their ideology of hatred upon Ukrainian society, and to suppress any manifestations of critical thought. We demand a quick investigation of this appalling attack. We also demand to investigate the activities of paramilitary groups that use the war in Ukraine as a pretext to justify their own misantropic views.
I know Vasyl personally and consider this outrageous attack on him, which has been most likely carried out by Ukrainian neo-Nazis, as an attack on the most intelligent and intellectual part of the Ukrainian society. Vasyl is known for his pro-Ukrainian, pro-revolutionary left-wing views, and, together, we took part in several events providing academic analysis of the Ukrainian revolution from social, political and cultural perspectives.

I join the VCRC in their demands to immediately investigate the shocking attack on Vasyl Cherepanyn and arrest all those responsible for this crime.

17 September 2014

The "National-Bolshevik" alliance is again at work in the European Parliament

On 16 September 2014, the European Parliament ratified the EU-Ukraine Association agreement, which includes a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement. The Agreement will establish a deep political association and economic integration between the EU and Ukraine. 535 MEPs voted in favour of the ratification, 127 - against, 35 - abstained, and 54 - did not vote.

The analysis of the vote shows that the majority of the MEPs who voted against the ratification of the EU-Ukraine agreement are coming from the far right (46 MEPs), (far-)left (35 MEPs) and eurosceptic (30) political parties. This anti-European "National-Bolshevik" alliance manifested itself, in particular, during the vote on the European Parliament resolution "On Russian pressure on Eastern Partnership countries and in particular destabilisation of eastern Ukraine" that recognised "Russia’s acts of aggression as a grave violation of international law and its own international obligations".

16 September 2014

European far right politicians observe regional elections in Russia

On Sunday, 14 September 2014, Russian authorities held "regional elections" in the annexed Autonomous Republic of Crimea. Referring to the so called "Russian laws", the authorities said that there would be no international observers as they did not invite them for regional elections.

However, "international monitors" did "observe" regional elections in St. Petersburg on the same day, and it was not at all surprising to see familiar faces.

International electoral monitors meeting with acting governor of St. Petersburg Georgiy Poltavchenko. 1 - Piotr Luczak, 2 - Milan Šarapatka, 3 - Fabrizio Bertot, 4 - Frank Creyelman, 5 - Ludovic de Danne, 6 - Johann Gudenus, 7 - Jan Penris. St. Petersburg, 15 September 2014. (I would be grateful for helping me in identifying other non-Russian people featured on this picture.)
Below is almost the full list of individuals invited by the Russian authorities to monitor the elections in St. Petersburg. The list is divided in two tables: (1) those individuals whose participation in the electoral observation mission I can confirm, and (2) those individuals who were invited to observe the elections, but I cannot confirm their participation.

15 September 2014

A rose by any other name: the World Congress of Families in Moscow

In one of my previous posts and a guest op-ed for War is Boring, I wrote that the US-based anti-LGBT hate group World Congress of Families (WCF) planned but then cancelled its annual meeting (World Congress of Families VIII) "Every Child A Gift: Large Families – The Future of Humanity". It was supposed to take place in Moscow on 10-12 September 2014. Discussing possible reasons for the cancellation of the event, I wrote:
[Following the outrageous annexation of Crimea by Putin’s Russia], the U.S. imposed sanctions on three Russian individuals — Vladimir Yakunin, Yelena Mizulina and Aleksey Pushkov — who have cooperated with WCF, among others.

Since the WCF is, above all, a U.S.-based organization, they most likely decided not to risk harming its reputation domestically by dealing with the sanctioned individuals.
One organisation that had planned to take part in WCF VIII in Moscow, Concerned Women for America, pulled out for a similar reason. As its president Penny Nance said, "We made the decision that we’re not going to Russia. I don’t want to appear to be giving aid and comfort to Vladimir Putin".

As it often happens with the "good Christians" from various hate groups, the cancellation story was a lie. The WCF VIII did take place in Moscow on 10-11 September 2014, but had a different - yet unsurprisingly similar - name: the International Forum "Large Family and Future of Humanity".

9 September 2014

Boris Kagarlitsky, a Kremlin's mole in the leftist movement (updated)

Deluded British leftists like to invite Russian allegedly left-wing publicist Boris Kagarlitsky of the Institute for Globalization Studies and Social Movements to take part in their events.

On 2 June this year, he joined, via Skype, the founding meeting of the "Solidarity with the Antifascist Resistance in Ukraine" that was attended by Richard Brenner, Lindsey German (Counterfire), Andrew Murray (Communist Party of Great Britain), Alan Woods (International Marxist Tendency) and Sergei Kirichuk (Borotba).

On 27 August, he spoke at the public meeting "How to stop the spread of War". Other speakers and participants included Tariq Ali, Lindsey German, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Owen Jones, Francesca Martinez, Stafford Scott, Kate Smurthwaite, and Christian Fuchs.

31 August 2014

Please help to identify participants of the Yalta conference

I need help in identifying participants of the international conference "Russia, Ukraine, New Russia: global problems and challenges" that took place on 29-31 August 2014 in Yalta, situated in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea currently occupied by Russia.

I have already identified* a few people but many are still unknown to me. I will also be grateful for additional pictures of people taken at the conference.

* Thanks to friends, colleagues and commentators, more names are now added.

29 August 2014

The "Ukraine crisis" is a long-planned operation

This article has first appeared in Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang.

What is now known as the "Ukraine crisis” in the international media is hardly a properly Ukrainian phenomenon. The first uses of this phrase go back to the pro-European protests that started in November 2013 and ended with a revolution that ousted former president Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014. Yet even if the initial pro-European protests could be considered an internal Ukrainian development, their trigger lay beyond the country’s borders.

It was Russian foreign policy that has always been directed at preventing Ukraine from leaving Russia’s sphere of influence. Since the annexation of Crimea in March, “the Ukraine crisis” seems an increasingly misleading concept. Especially because the plans to annex Crimea and support separatists in Eastern Ukraine were designed by the Russian authorities several years ago and have little to do with the defence of ethnic Russians allegedly threatened by the new Ukrainian authorities.