French version of this post: "Falanga rejoint l’internationale fasciste de Poutine et Assad"
The pro-Russian right-wing extremist movement in the Donetsk oblast is now supported by a Polish fascist group called "Falanga". It is not the first Polish extreme right organisation that is trying to undermine democracy in Ukraine - in the beginning of February, Hungarian Jobbik and Polish Ruch Narodowy (National Movement) tried to promote pro-Hungarian and pro-Polish separatism in Western parts of Ukraine.
With Falanga, the situation is a little bit different, although there is little doubt that Falanga would support the demise of Ukraine and Galicia consequently joining Poland.
Under the leadership of Bartosz Bekier, Falanga is a part of the broad, partially coordinated pan-European extreme right movement that is, in particular, openly supportive of the Kremlin's anti-Western policies and ideas.
|Falanga on the march; Bartosz Bekier is featured on the left. Warsaw, 2011|
|Bartosz Bekier in Donetsk, May 2014|
Bekier travelled to Donetsk in May 2014; he made a speech at a pro-Russian meeting condemning NATO and the "pro-Atlanticist" government in Poland, and interviewed Denis Pushilin, the self-declared Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the so-called "Donetsk People's Republic", for Falanga's website Xportal. It has also been reported that a few activists from Falanga were going to stay in Donetsk to fight against the Ukrainian forces.
|Bekier is interviewing Pushilin, Donetsk, May 2014|
|Bekier and Pushilin, Donetsk, May 2014|
|Alleged Falanga activists and pro-Russian right-wing terrorists in Donetsk, May 2014|
In Poland, Bekier is also known - similarly to many other European right-wing extremists - as a stark supporter of Bashar al-Assad's dictatorship. On 26 August 2012, Bekier's Falanga, as well as two other right-wing extremist Polish groups - ultra-Catholic Młodzież Wszechpolska (All-Polish Youth) and Slavic pagan Niklot - held a rally in support of al-Assad in front of the Syrian embassy in Warsaw.
In June 2013, Bekier was a member of a group of several European right-wing extremists who went to Syria (and Lebanon) to express their support for al-Assad's regime. The trip was presumably sponsored by the Syrian government, and I have identified the following individuals who took part in this far right delegation (the list is not full, I will be glad for the verifiable additions):
- Bartosz Bekier, leader of Falanga, Poland
- Frank Creyelman, one of the leaders of the Vlaams Belang, Belgium
- Filip Dewinter, one of the leaders of the Vlaams Belang, Belgium
- Nick Griffin, leader of the British National Party, UK
- Roberto Fiore, leader of Forza Nuova (New Force), Italy
- Luc Michel, leader of the Parti Communautaire National-Européen and founder of the Eurasian Observatory for Democracy & Elections, Belgium
- Mateusz Piskorski, former member of Niklot, member of the Samooborona (Self-Defence), Poland
|A meeting with Syrian Prime Minister Wael Nader al-Halqi. On the left you can see Mateusz Piskorski, on the right - Filip Dewinter, Frank Creyelman, Luc Michel, and Bartosz Bekier. Damascus, June 2013|
|A closer look at the right: Filip Dewinter, Frank Creyelman, Luc Michel, and Bartosz Bekier. Damascus, June 2013|
|Syrian Prime Minister Wael Nader al-Halqi (centre) and Bartosz Bekier. Damascus, June 2013|
|Syrian Prime Minister Wael Nader al-Halqi and Luc Michel. Damascus, June 2013|
|Syrian Prime Minister Wael Nader al-Halqi and Nick Griffin. Damascus, June 2013|
|Roberto Fiore (left) and Syrian Minister of Information Omran al-Zoubi (centre). Damascus, June 2013|
|Bartosz Bekier (second from the left) with Hezbollah fighters. Lebanon, June 2013|
|Bartosz Bekier (left) and Mateusz Piskorski (right)|
By now, it becomes obvious that Bekier's involvement in the pro-Russian right-wing extremist movement in Donetsk oblast is hardly an accidental or isolated development. Rather, it should be discussed against the background of the increasingly extensive cooperation between Putin's Russia and the European extreme right.
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