This past fall 2012 elections to the Ukrainian Parliament demonstrated a frightening trend of growth in the Ukrainian society of extremely chauvinistic, right-wing sentiments. A stunning success of a neo-nazi Party “All-Ukrainian Union VO“Svoboda” (freedom) was its manifestation. This movement professes its ideological predecessors the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists – extreme right wing terrorist organization, nazi collaborators during the World War II. Leaders of the “Svoboda” party – repulsive Ukrainian politicians Oleg Tyagnybok, Irina Farion, Andriy Ilienko, Igor Miroshnichenko and Yuriy Mikhalchishin – have gained popularity due to the repeated chauvinistic, anti-Semitic, racist and homophobic statements. In particular huge scandals caused by racial intolerance and anti-Semitic expressions of the VO“Svoboda” representative – Deputy Igor Miroshnichenko became widely recognized. These expressions are of a logic course of outrageous statements of Oleg Tyagnybok himself declared eight years ago. In his speeches he encourages his supporters to restore the ethnic cleansing of Jews, Russians and Hungarians, carried out by OUN (Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists) militiamen in the forties of the twentieth century
Profound socioeconomic crisis facing Ukraine today has led to the growth of unemployment, and drop in the living standards, country’s social infrastructure degradation and as a result – to the growth of pessimism and eloignement in the society. In the community that was at the point to find those who are guilty in the current situation and personal misfortunes, racist oratory started to be of a great demand. Within the past year an escalation of street violence of ultra-right wing militias directed towards left-wing and progressive activists, human rights defenders, trade union leaders has been noticed. Among the latest outrageous molestations of neo-nazis – the recent (December 8, 2012) attack of the peaceful action of human rights defenders and members of the LGBT community held in the capital of Ukraine by activists of VO”Svoboda”
One of the reasons for such an upsurge of right-wing sentiment in the Ukrainian society is long-standing policy of the Ukrainian government, aimed at glorification of Nazi collaborators, reinforced by an open support of neo-fascist manifestations by journalists from leading Ukrainian media. Within the recent years a considerable role in strengthening and legitimizing of neo-nazi movements played overtures to them of systematic Ukrainian politicians of the opposition, especially from the right-liberal opposition. Making public alliances with neo-nazi party VO”Svoboda” and not being ashamed to create partner’s relations with people who have established transparent relations with the most odious neo-fascist parties such as “Golden Dawn” (Greece), Jobbik (Hungary), Austria Freedom Party and “Ataсk” (Bulgaria) Ukrainian political opposition has accustomed voters to the “normalcy” of ultra-right presence with their offensive oratory full of aggression and hatred in the public discourse of Ukrainian politics. As a result, in the last elections to the Ukrainian Parliament neo-Nazi party VO”Svoboda” sensationally won more than ten percent of votes for the first time in the history of Ukrainian independence, and therefore formed a neo-fascist faction in the Ukrainian Parliament. Having gained power at the national level neo-nazis have launched a harassment campaign of those who showed signs of disagreement with methods of force. Using these methods they suppress and mask all the action of the opponents initiating legislative offensive on the rights and freedoms of the Ukrainian citizens. They provoke scraps in Parliament, they attack accounts of unconsonant journalists in social network
Growing fascization of Ukrainian society has not remained unnoticed by the representatives of left movement rapidly growing in the country. Today on the edge of anti-fascist struggle there is a left community “Borotba”. It grew out from a union of separated groups of marxist orientation and today joins thousands of activists throughout Ukraine. At the end of November 2012 the “Borotba” union announced the launch of a large-scale national campaign of the anti-fascist resistance, which will involve massive street protests aimed to attract attention of the Ukrainian and international community and to the inadmissibility of neo-Nazis presence in the Ukrainian Parliament. An important component of the “Borotba” anti-fascist struggle should become massive media propaganda campaign aimed at solving two main goals: to change idea on VO”Svoboda” movement and neo-fascism in the society and in journalist community in particular; to tell the truth about neo-nazism and its destructive role in social processes.
“Borotba” union activists believe that stirring up national hatred, artificially dividing workers, neo-nazis from VO”Svoboda” are helping largest Ukrainian capital to maintain all the power in their hands my the means of a principle “Divide and conquer”. In these circumstances, the most important role to play is reserved for the honest journalism, as the mass media today is the major distribution channel to the broad masses of nationalistic prejudices. And at the same time they also create positive public opinion about totalitarian neo-Nazi ideology, allowing them to expand their social base.
On the December 12, 2012, the opening day of the first session of the newly elected Ukrainian Parliament, “Borotba” union activists together with representatives of trade unions and human rights organizations held a massive march in Kiev under the slogan “We do not need such SSvoboda!” The march attended by up to half a thousand activists from all regions of Ukraine. In addition to the march on December 12, series of pickets and rallies were held near Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (Ukrainian Parliament), in the central square of the Ukrainian capital, near the office of the EC Delegation in Ukraine, etc. At all these events, participants demanded from the Ukrainian authorities to stop the policy leading to further fascistization of Ukraine. Opposition was demanded to stop any contacts with the representatives of VO”Svoboda”, exposing them to political isolation. Ukrainian media was demanded to stop the campaign praising neo-Nazis and their leaders.
Ukrainian left-wing “Borotba” union activists were heard in Europe, this is reflected in the recent European Parliament Resolution, which advised all democratic forces in Ukraine not to cooperate with VO “Svoboda” party. At the same time, shortsighted position of right-liberal opposition, in particular, Arseniy Yatsenyuk who said that his party “Batkivshchyna” will continue to work closely with neo-Nazis, despite condemnation from the European community, is upsetting. The above is rather illogical, given that one of the main postulates of the Ukrainian opposition program is intent to bring Ukraine into the European community in future.
Thus, cooperating with the Nazis Ukrainian right-wing opposition in fact cancels European perspective of Ukraine and promotes the growth of authoritarian attitudes in Ukraine itself, distancing it from the ideals of democracy. In these circumstances, the “Borotba” union resolves to continue and strengthen the anti-fascist wave of protest, the final result of which should be the expulsion of the neo-Nazis from public affairs in Ukrainian.
We encourage colleagues from other countries to support our anti-fascist campaign.
Fascism will not pass!