2 May 2015

Russia and Front National: Following the Money

A new leak of the text messages originating from a hacked smartphone of a high-ranking officer of Russia’s Presidential Administration sheds further light on the relations between the Russian authorities and their far right allies in France.

The hackers from the Anonymous International have disclosed thousands of text messages sent to and by Timur Prokopenko, deputy chief of the Domestic Politics Department of the Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation. Before he started working in the Presidential Administration, Prokopenko headed the youth wing of the ruling United Russia party, the Young Guard, that was established in 2005, next to the Nashi movement and Aleksandr Dugin’s Eurasian Youth Union, to defend Russia from the largely virtual threat of a “colour revolution”.

Prokopenko rose up to become a powerful figure in the Presidential Administration. The hacked messages reveal the internal developments in the Domestic Politics Department, how it communicates with and tries to control the already intimidated mass media, organises and finances pro-Putin rallies and movements in Russia. The messages dating back to March 2014 also mention Marine Le Pen, the leader of the French far right National Front, and contribute to better understanding of the relations between Russia and Le Pen’s party.

Timur Prokopenko

1 April 2015

What does the fascist conference in St. Petersburg tell us about contemporary Russia?

On the 9th of May, Russia will plunge into ritualised mass celebrations to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the victory over fascism in the “Great Patriotic War”. At the same time, on the 22nd of March, a few weeks before the celebrations, a Russian party with a presumably patriotic name “Motherland” held the International Russian Conservative Forum (IRCF) that hosted over a dozen of notorious European and American fascists, white supremacists and anti-Semites.

To add injury to the apparent insult, the Motherland party held the IRCF in St. Petersburg that suffered, in 1941-1944, one of the longest sieges in the military history (Siege of Leningrad) that resulted in over a million casualties of civilians alone.

Is this (yet another) case of Russia’s ideological schizophrenia or something else?

14 March 2015

The Uneasy Reality of Antifascism in Ukraine


The Uneasy Reality of Antifascism in Ukraine
First published in German language in Beton International: Zeitung für Literatur und Gesellschaft (10 March 2015). The German version can be found below.

Ukrainian antifascists hold a banner that reds: "Against political terror". Kyiv, 19 January 2015

For almost twenty years of Ukraine’s independence, the term “antifascism” used to have very limited currency in the established political discourse in Ukraine. Until 2010, “antifascism” was primarily used as a form of self-identification by an element of Ukraine’s left-wing movement, as well as being employed by the far right groupuscules to refer to their left-wing opponents. Hence, until 2010-2011, “antifascism” remained a notion that largely belonged to the subcultural sphere of the physical and symbolical strife between left-wing and far right activists.

10 March 2015

The far right "International Russian Conservative Forum" to take place in Russia

The Russian fascist Rodina (Motherland) party that was founded by Russia's current Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin is organising a large conference titled "International Russian Conservative Forum" (IRCF) to be held in St. Petersburg on 22 March 2015.

19 February 2015

German Die Linke delegation visits right-wing terrorists in Eastern Ukraine

Just two weeks after the leader of the pro-Russian right-wing terrorist organisation "Donetsk People's Republic" (DNR) Aleksandr Zakharchenko declared that Ukraine was run by "miserable Jews", a delegation of the German party Die Linke visited the author of this anti-Semitic jibe and delivered what they called "humanitarian help".

Pro-Russian right-wing terrorist Aleksandr Zakharchenko (2nd from the left) and the delegation of Die Linke: Wolfgang Gehrcke (3rd) and Andrej Hunko (4th), Donetsk, 16 February 2015

30 January 2015

Whither the Ukrainian Far Right?

Introduction

The early presidential and parliamentary elections in Ukraine that took place in May and October 2014 correspondingly proved to be disastrous for the Ukrainian party-political far right.

Oleh Tyahnybok, the leader of the All-Ukrainian Union “Freedom” (Svoboda), obtained 1.16% of the vote in the presidential election, while his party secured only 4.71% of the vote in the parliamentary election and, eventually, failed to pass the 5% electoral threshold and enter the parliament. In comparison, Svoboda managed to obtain 10.44% of the votes in 2012 and form the first ever far right parliamentary group in the history of Ukraine.

Dmytro Yarosh, the leader of the Right Sector, obtained 0.70% in the presidential election, and 1.80% of the voters supported his party in the parliamentary election. The Right Sector, at the same time, can only provisionally be considered a far right party, and “national conservative” would perhaps be a more relevant and cautious term. In contrast to Svoboda, the Right Sector interprets the Ukrainian nation in civic, rather than ethnic, terms, while Yarosh’s election programme even insisted that the values of human dignity and human rights should become a fundamental ideology of a new constitution of Ukraine.