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Sun Mar 9, 2014, 07:13 AM

The old and new European friends of Ukraine’s far-right Svoboda party (Ukraine)

Svoboda came to power with the overthrow. They and "Right sector" now are in control of the Defense and Security Divisions in the new government.
Why are we supporting an illegal minority coup and aligning with neo-nazi groups? Are we their new friends?
Neo-Nazi groups like Svoboda and Right Sector have learned "PR" techniques and are creating a friendlier image. And we are helping them to do so. There is *nothing* redeeming about these groups and their values. Why are we playing with fire???

What is the story behind what is happening in Ukraine that is not being told?

The old and new European friends of Ukraine’s far-right Svoboda party


It has long been an unchallenged assumption that the Ukrainian radical right-wing Svoboda party, which formed the first far-right parliamentary faction in Ukraine after the 2012 elections, is a member of the Alliance of European National Movements (AENM). After all, Svoboda’s leaders always said that their party was a member of the AENM, while the British National Party (BNP), which is one of the oldest members of the Alliance, explicitly mentioned Svoboda, in 2010, as an AENM member, along with the French National Front, Hungarian Jobbik, Italian Tricolour Flame, the BNP itself, the Spanish Republican Social Movement, Belgian National Front, Portuguese National Renovator Party and Swedish National Democrats.

Never trust the fascists.

Developments earlier this year revealed a different picture. The first doubts about Svoboda’s membership were raised after Polish politician Mateusz Piskorski claimed, early in 2013, that Svoboda had been excluded from the AENM because of its overtly racist stances – as the Russian sarcastic saying goes, they were “expelled from the Gestapo for brutality”. The AENM is, in fact, much more extreme than yet another pan-European right-wing group, the European Alliance for Freedom, which unites representatives from the Austrian Freedom party, French National Front, Belgian Flemish Interest, Sweden Democrats and some others.

Yet Piskorski is himself a former member of the now-defunct Polish far-right Self-Defence party, and we know that these people cannot really be trusted. Moreover, Piskorski has been associated with the Russian fascist International Eurasian Movement led by Aleksandr Dugin who is notorious for his imperialist and, in particular, anti-Ukrainian positions. Taunting the antagonistic Ukrainian ultranationalists, by claiming that they had been rejected by their European “brothers-in-arms”, could have been routine fascist harassment.

Svoboda promptly denied these allegations, with a reference to Bruno Gollnisch, the AENM’s president, who allegedly confirmed Svoboda’s membership in the Alliance. But the reference to Gollnisch, a French National Front MEP, was questionable. Already in October 2012, he posted a message on his blog saying that the AENM consisted of only four parties: Jobbik, BNP, Tricolour Flame and the miniscule Bulgarian National Democratic Party. Not only did this confirm that Svoboda’s leaders were making false boasts about their party’s membership in the AENM, but Gollnisch’s message revealed the incompetence of the BNP which issued the incorrect statement.

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