28 February 2014

A comment on Cas Mudde's article "A new (order) Ukraine?"

I am in a tricky situation commenting on Cas Mudde’s article “A new (order) Ukraine? Assessingthe relevance of Ukraine’s far right in an EU perspective”. On the one hand, Mudde is one of the best experts on the European far right whose work I deeply respect and quote often in my own research. On the other hand, his article is exactly the reason why over forty world’s leading specialists on the Ukrainian nationalism and extreme right have issued a statement calling “upon all those who have either no particular interest for, or no deeper knowledge of, Ukraine to not comment on this region’s complicated national questions without engaging in some in-depth research”. As Mudde himself acknowledges that he is “not a scholar of Ukrainian nationalism”, he obviously falls into the category of academics and commentators mentioned in the statement.

While Mudde claims that he did “some serious reading on the issues” of the Ukrainian far right, his “literature review” seems to draw – not exclusively but for the most part – upon my own research published some time ago. My current research, however, has been largely ignored.

27 February 2014

Greek neo-Nazi Golden Dawn criticizes Western "usury" for supporting Ukrainian democracy

The Greek Golden Dawn, Europe's most extreme neo-Nazi party represented in a national parliament, has issued a statement criticising "the international usury of Washington and Berlin" for their "direct involvement" in the developments in Ukraine:
The Golden Dawn condemns the direct involvement of the US and the EU in a sovereign country which undoubtedly leads to bloodshed and civil war. The wretched Greek leadership headed by Venizelos does not say a word about the deadly risk of the Hellenism and Orthodoxy in Ukraine that is already manifested by the violent attacks against our compatriots.

Americans, Germans and Zionists, who are hitting nationalism of peoples in every corner of Europe , with the first objective being Greece and the Golden Dawn, are now cooperating directly with the Nazi party in Ukraine, because it serves their geostrategic goals. The People's Association [Golden Dawn] supports holding free elections, in which people will decide the future of their country, rather than the ravens of international usury of Washington and Berlin.
Nikolaos Michaloliakos, now imprisoned leader of the Golden Dawn, with his followers

Russian fascist Aleksandr Dugin's dreams of dictatorship in Russia

The newly acquired independence of the democratic Ukrainian state is now under attack from the most imperialistic and war-mongering circles in Russia who are backing pro-Russian ultranationlists in the Crimea and are forming Russian terrorist troops for subversive operations in Ukraine.

One of these circles is the neo-Eurasianist movement headed by Russian fascist Aleksandr Dugin who is openly calling for killing Ukrainians and annexing parts of the Ukrainian state to Russia to build a fascist Eurasian Union.

American anti-Semite and former leader of Ku Klux Klan David Duke with his Russian colleague Aleksandr Dugin

22 February 2014

Защитить завоевания Революции - To defend the achievements of the Revolution

(scroll down for the English version)
Слава Украинской Национальной Революции! Слава Народу Украины! Слава Украине! Вечная Память Героям!

Вместе с тем, присоединяюсь к словам Андреаса Умланда:

Yanukovych's regime is over, but two huge problems remain:
(1) The budget, economy and stability of the Hrivna.
(2) Separatism, crazy governors, and Russian "Eurasianism".
Both problems can still kill the Ukrainian state. No reason to celebrate or relax.
Я бы особенно остановился на словах Януковича о том, что происходящее в Украине является "нацистским переворотом". Очевидно, что он повторяет всю ту же кремлевско-террористическую пропаганду, о которой я так много писал в этом блоге. Сам бывший человек Янукович уже не имеет никакой власти в стране, но у него есть сторонники, которые все еще сильны.

Учитывая вышеупомянутые слова Януковича, сейчас необходимо сделать все необходимое для предотвращения возможных провокаций против представителей этнических меньшинств и их культовых и культурных памятников и сооружений. Нужно понимать, что для доказательства наличия "нацистского переворота" контрреволюционные силы могут пойти на физическое насилие и вандализм. Самооборона Майдана и лояльные Революции правоохранительные органы должны немедленно организовать охрану культовых и культурных зданий этнических и религиозных меньшинств. Это будет важным вкладом в защиту демократических завоеваний Украинской Национальной Революции.

У меня нет контактов ни с Самообороной Майдана, ни с украинскими правоохранительными органами. Если у читателей такие контакты есть, то передайте соответствующим лицам содержание этого сообщения.

Glory to the Ukrainian National Revolution! Glory to the People of Ukraine! Glory to Ukraine! Eternal Memory to the Heroes!

At the same time, I would like to support the words of Andreas Umland:
Yanukovych's regime is over, but two huge problems remain:
(1) The budget, economy and stability of the Hrivna.
(2) Separatism, crazy governors, and Russian "Eurasianism".
Both problems can still kill the Ukrainian state. No reason to celebrate or relax.
I would like to draw particular attention to Yanukovych’s words that events in Ukraine are a ‘Nazi coup’. Ostensibly, he reiterates the same Kremlin-terrorist propaganda I wrote about numerous times earlier in my blog. The former human being Yanukovych has no power in the country now, but he has supporters who are still strong.

Considering Yanukovych’s words, it is essential now to do everything to prevent possible provocations against representatives of ethnic minorities and their religious and cultural buildings and monuments. We must understand that the counter-revolutionary forces might use physical force and vandalism in order to prove the presence of the ‘Nazi coup’. The Maidan Self-Defence Force and the law-enforcement loyal to the Revolution must provide immediate security to religious and cultural monuments of ethnic and religious minorities. This will be an important contribution to the protection of democratic achievements of the Ukrainian National Revolution.

I have no contacts with the Maidan Self-Defense Force or with the Ukrainian law-enforcement. If my readers have them, please pass the contents of this message to the relevant people and officers.

Translated into English by Oleg Naumenko.

20 February 2014

The Ukrainian protests are about liberty and freedom, and not right-wing extremism

Here's my piece offered to The Guardian's "Comment is free" section, but rejected. I am not surprised because the editors of the "Comment is free" promote only the pro-Kremlin line of the argument. The piece was written 10 days ago.

Almost two centuries ago, in 1822, the National Assembly of Greece, then under Ottoman rule, issued a Declaration of Independence. In particular, it said:
“The war which we are carrying on against the Turk ... is not aimed at the advantage of a single part of the Greek people; it is a national war, a holy war, a war the object of which is to reconquer the rights of individual liberty, of property and honour, rights which the civilized people of Europe, our neighbours, enjoy to-day; rights of which the cruel and unheard of tyranny of the Ottomans would deprive us”.
Had this kind of declaration been written by leaders of a European nation today, the fighters for national independence would have been slammed by two camps. One camp would have been certain pockets of the far left criticizing the declaration for its nationalism and war-mongering. The other camp would have been a certain faction of the far right siding with an oppressor of a subjugated nation. Both camps would have identified the most extreme and violent element of a national liberation struggle and misleadingly extended this element to cover the whole liberation movement.

Russia’s role in deadly Kiev clashes

My short interview for Metro, "Analysis: Russia’s role in deadly Kiev clashes":

With the violence escalating in Ukraine, international leaders are stepping up their pressure on President Viktor Yanukovich. But why, when the situation was getting calmer, did the government shoot dozens of protesters?

Metro spoke with Anton Shekhovtsov, a Ukrainian academic specializing in political extremism.

Who’s to blame for the violence and deaths in Kiev?

Two parties are responsible: Viktor Yanukovich and his government, and Russia. Yanukovich wouldn’t have been able to attack the protesters without Russian support. It’s because he wanted a $2 billion loan from Russia. He went to Sochi, where he met with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin. Now he’s back and he’s cracking down on the protesters.

But why would Russia want to support such an unpopular president?

Russia isn’t really interested in Yanukovich. It’s interested in the eastern and southern parts of Ukraine. Russia is establishing its Eurasian Union, and without at least parts of Ukraine, it wouldn’t work. That’s why Russia was so opposed to Ukraine signing the partnership agreement with the EU: It wanted Ukraine in the Eurasian Union.

Will protesters head home now that the situation has become so dangerous?

No, they’ll stand their ground. This is a fight for Ukrainian independence. We’ve had independence since 1991, but only formally. Now people want real independence. The protests aren’t just about Ukraine signing an EU agreement; it’s really about independence. And that’s why Putin is so afraid. He knows that if Ukrainians defeat their government, Russians could want to do the same thing.

18 February 2014

The Ukrainian criminal terror regime in a war against the people

Viktor Yanukovych's criminal terror regime backed by the Russian imperialists has unleashed a full-fledged war against Ukrainians. Deadly clashes erupted this morning between riot police and anti-presidential protesters near the parliament building in central Kyiv.

At least seven protesters are reportedly dead, over 150 injured in the course of several hours. Police is presumably using live ammunition, shooting, as well as throwing Molotov cocktails, at protesters. Snipers are shooting at people from the roofs of the surrounding buildings. Armed thugs (titushki) paid by the government are acting alongside the riot police. Death toll is likely to grow rapidly.

If you read that "radicals", "extremists", "neo-Nazis" or whatever are leading the protests against the "legitimate government", DO NOT BELIEVE ONE WORD OF THESE LIES. The Ukrainian PEOPLE are fighting the terrorist regime.

And the revolution in Ukraine should end the same way it ended in Romania:

11 February 2014

Чи очікують угорські та польскі праворадикали краху України?

3 лютого, дві праворадикальні організації, угорський "Йоббік" (Jobbik) та польский "Національний Рух" (Ruch Narodowy) випустили спільну заяву, в якій закликали уряди своїх країн «негайно об’єднати зусилля для застосування дипломатичних та національно-політичних засобів для захисту національних меншин, що проживають в Україні, з особливим відношенням до польських та угорських груп».

З усіх організацій та рухів в Україні, лише праворадикальний "Правий Сектор" вирішив відповісти на заяву "Йоббіка" та "Національного Руху". В своїй дуже довгій відповіді, вони зазначають:
Ми вже кілька разів заявляли, що Національна революція в Україні не несе небезпеки для місцевої національної меншини поляків. Так само немає підстав боятися представникам інших національних меншин. Навпаки, ми вважаємо, що держава має забезпечувати реалізацію культурних прав національних меншин за умов їхньої лояльності до титульної нації.

Отож, заява угорських і польських політиків є безпідставною. При цьому вона є не лише антиукраїнською, але й антиєвропейською. Зараз націоналістичні рухи Європи мають шукати максимальної єдності. Особливо це стосується націоналістів Центральної та Східної Європи. Зокрема, представники “Правого сектору” вважають, що повинна бути подоланою ворожнеча між українцями та поляками, українцями та угорцями, українцями та румунами, а також між румунами та угорцями.

10 February 2014

Does the Hungarian and Polish far right anticipate Ukraine's downfall?

On the 3rd of February, two far right organisations, Hungarian Jobbik and Polish National Movement (Ruch Narodowy), issued a joint statement in which they called upon their respective governments "to immediately unite their efforts in applying their foreign and national political means to protect the rights of ethnic minorities living in Ukraine, with special regard for the Polish and Hungarian groups".

Of all the organisations and movements in Ukraine, the far right Right Sector decided to respond to Jobbik's and the National Movement's statement. In their lengthy reply, they, in particular, said:
We have already stated a few times that that the National revolution in Ukraine does not pose any threat to the local Polish minority in Ukraine. There is no need for any other ethnic minorities to worry, either. Quite the opposite, we feel the state must guarantee their rights to practice their own culture as long as they are loyal to Ukrainians.

Thus, this statement of certain Hungarian and Polish politicians is baseless. However, the statement itself is not only anti-Ukrainian, it is anti-European. Currently, nationalist movements throughout Europe must promote unity. This is especially true for nationalists in Central and Eastern Europe. In particular, the Right Sector feels that past animosity between Ukrainians and Poles, Ukrainians and Hungarians, Ukrainians and Romanians, as well as Hungarians and Romanians, must be put to rest.

3 February 2014

Pro-Russian network behind the anti-Ukrainian defamation campaign

Read this article in German, French, Russian and Ukrainian.

There has been a huge tide of false, incorrect and bloated reports that exaggerate or over-emphasize the significance of the far right in the current Euromaidan protests in Ukraine. A Moscow-based journalist Alec Luhn writes in The Nation about "the Ukrainian nationalism at the heart of ‘Euromaidan’", a leftist Seumas Milne argues in The Guardian that "in Ukraine, fascists, oligarchs and western expansion are at the heart of the crisis", while a self-styled "independent geopolitical analyst" Eric Draitser, in his nauseatingly misleading piece for his own Stop Imperialism (later re-published by The Centre for Research on Globalization), even goes so far as to claim that "the violence on the streets of Ukraine [...] is the latest example of the rise of the most insidious form of fascism that Europe has seen since the fall of the Third Reich".

These and many other similar articles are all written according to the same pattern, and their aim is to discredit the Euromaidan protests as the manifestations of fascism, neo-Nazism or - at the very least - right-wing extremism.

Every single mass political mobilisation in Ukraine has been accompanied by the attempts to compromise the popular uprisings by associating them with the extreme right. And not only uprisings or protests, but big events too. For example, a few weeks before the start of the Euro-2012 football championship, British media hysterically accused Ukrainians of racism and xenophobia, and warned that any non-White person going to see football matches in Ukraine would definitely and immediately be killed. After the championship was over, no British media outlet apologised to the Ukrainian people when it turned out that not one racist incident involving Ukraine fans had been reported during the tournament.

The current campaign to defame the Euromaidan protests is so far the strongest attack on the Ukrainian civil society and democratic politics. Similar attacks took place in the past too, although their intensity never reached today's level. During the "Orange revolution", the Ukrainian semi-authoritarian regime under President Leonid Kuchma was also trying to defile democratic presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko by associating him with the extreme right. And here is a story that links the past and the present.

1 February 2014

What the West should know about the Euromaidan's far right element - translations

My brief post "What the West should know about the Euromaidan's far right element" has been translated into German, Russian, Greek and Ukrainian:

Was der Westen über die extreme Rechte auf dem Euromaidan wissen sollte

Viele Menschen aus dem Westen stellen Fragen über die Rolle der ukrainischen Ultranationalisten bei den Euromaidan-Protesten in Kiew. Einige angeblich linke Websites wie die World Socialist Web Site veröffentlichen eklatante Lügen über die Euromaidan-Proteste und die Rolle der extremen Rechten. Diese Websites reden russischen Imperialisten das Wort, die alles tun, was sie können, um die Ukraine ihrer bereits geschwächten Unabhängigkeit zu berauben.

1. Wie ich bereits im Artikel „The Ukrainian revolution is european and national“ („Die ukrainische Revolution ist europäisch und national“) schrieb, ist der Euromaidan unter anderem eine nationale Revolution gegen den Imperialismus des Kremls und ein nationalistischer Aufstand gegen Russlands zerstörerischen Einfluss auf die Ukraine. Der Großteil an Unterstützung für die ukrainische extreme Rechte kommt von Bürgern, die kein rechtsextremes Gedankengut pflegen, die es aber nach einer wirklichen Unabhängigkeit der Ukraine verlangt. Das bedeutet, dass es erst möglich werden wird, die extreme Rechte zu neutralisieren, wenn die Ukraine völlige nationale Unabhängigkeit erlangt. Die ständige Bedrohung der ukrainischen Staatlichkeit ist es, die der extremen Rechten Zulauf verschafft, nicht etwa eine vermeintliche Zunahme von rechtsextremen Ansichten in der ukrainischen Gesellschaft. Wie Roger Griffin in Modernism and Fasicsm schrieb, kann es insbesondere aufgrund von „Besetzung, Kolonisierung oder Akten der Aggression, die [eine Gesellschaft] von anderen Gesellschaften erleidet“ zu einem Erstarken von Faschismus kommen (S. 104). Somit sollte ein Kampf gegen Faschismus in der Ukraine immer synonym sein mit dem Kampf gegen die Versuche, das Land zu kolonialisieren. Wer diese beiden Themen zu trennen versucht oder einseitig gegen die ukrainische extreme Rechte schlägt, ohne die dringliche Notwendigkeit einer nationalen Unabhängigkeit anzuerkennen, muss bei seinen Versuchen, die extreme Rechte zu neutralisieren, scheitern. Solche Versuche können die Situation sogar verschlimmern.

2. Zwar ist es richtig, dass die ukrainische extreme Rechte gegen das korrupte und autoritäre Regime von Viktor Janukowitsch und die brutale Polizei, die Demonstranten misshandelt und foltert, Gewalt befürwortet und auch angewendet hat, doch ist die extreme Rechte nicht die einzige gewalttätige Kraft auf dem Euromaidan. Ihr angeschlossen haben sich viele ukrainische Linke und Demokraten, die durch das Ausbleiben von Erfolgen bei dem anfangs gewaltlosen Widerstand gegen das Abrutschen des Landes in eine offene Diktatur radikalisiert wurden. Die Mehrheit der Protestierenden, sich auf Kiews eisig kalten Straßen zusammenfinden, sind Janukowitschs zynischer Ignoranz gegenüber ihren Forderungen überdrüssig und wütend über die Brutalität der Polizei. Ihre Radikalisierung ist eine traurige Reaktion auf die Politik und die Taten des Regimes, die den Anstoß zu einem Nichtangriffspakt zwischen der extremen Linken und der extremen Rechten in der Ukraine gegeben haben, welche sich nun auf derselben Seite der Barrikaden wiederfinden. Kommentatoren, die Gewalt auf dem Euromaidan ausschließlich mit der extremen Rechten in Verbindung bringen, spielen die Ursachen der Radikalisierung der Proteste auf dem Euromaidan herunter und entlasten – gewollt oder ungewollt – das autoritäre Regime von Janukowitsch.

Übersetzer: Tobias Ernst