At the moment, there are two things that the West should understand about the Ukrainian ultranationalists in the context of Euromaidan.
1. As I wrote before, in the article "The Ukrainian revolution is European and national", 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 major share of support for the Ukrainian far right comes from those citizens who do not share far right views but urge for Ukraine's true independence. This means that it will only be possible to neutralise the far right after Ukraine gains national independence. 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. As Roger Griffin wrote in his Modernism and Fascism, the rise of fascism may occur, in particular, due to "occupation, colonization, or acts of aggression inflicted on [a society] by other societies" (p. 104). Thus, a fight against fascism in Ukraine should always be synonymous with the fight against the attempts to colonise the country. 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.
|Ultranationalist and anarchist symbols side by side on the battlefield
See translations of this short post into German, Russian and Greek here.