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COMMENT: Continuing our coverage of the OUN/B’s political heirs ascension to control of Ukraine’s government and politics, we note two more stories about Swoboda. Along with Pravy Sektor, Swoboda constitutes the OUN/B constituency that dominates Ukraine today.
(We have done six programs to date about the Ukrainian crisis: FTR #‘s 777 , 778 , 779 , 780 , 781 , 782 . Please examine them, including the written descriptions, and disseminate the information contained therein.)
An article in Germany’s venerable Der Spiegel  informs us that, in addition to the relationship between Germany’s top neo-Nazi party and Swoboda, the latter has interfaced with, and received support from, Germany’s ambassador to the Ukraine and NGO’s associated with Angela Merkel’s CDU.
The Orwellian coverage of the Ukraine continues, with the absence of coverage in the West of a stunning, representative action by Swoboda parlimentary deputies. Angered by a state television station’s broadcast of Vladimir Putin’s speech announcing the absorption of Crimea into the Ukraine, several Swoboda parliamentary  deputies assaulted him and forced him to sign a paper of resignation.
ENTIRE TEXT: When Holger Apfel showed up at the Saxony state parliament with a “parliamentary delegation” from Ukraine last May, few had even heard of a party called Svoboda. Apfel, who was head of the right-wing extremist National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD) at the time, proudly showed his guests — Ukrainian parliamentarian Mikhail Golovko and two municipal politicians from the Ukrainian city of Ternopol — around the parliament building in Dresden.
Speaking to other NPD parliamentarians, Apfel called the nationalist Svoboda party “one of the most important European right-wing parties.”
With a view to approaching elections for the European Parliament Apfel added that an “opposing model to the EU dictatorship of Brussels Eurocrats” must be established and said that EU officials were nothing but “willing helpers to international capital.” Svoboda, he exulted following the visit, is part of the “phalanx of patriotic powers” and encouraged the “intensification of cooperation.” Apfel’s Ukrainian guests agreed, saying that collaboration between the NPD and Svoboda should be expanded.
Given such ties, it is astounding that Germany has approached the Ukrainian right-wing extremists in a manner that would be unthinkable with the NPD. On April 29, 2013, for example, Germany’s ambassador in Kiev met with Svoboda’s parliamentary floor leader Oleh Tyahnybok. During the meeting, Berlin has insisted, the ambassador exhorted Tyahnybok to respect the inviolability of human dignity and human rights.
But the Ukrainian right wing has also received instruction financed by German taxpayers. Party members appeared at events hosted by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, the German political foundation affiliated with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives. Examples include the conference entitled “Lessons from the 2012 Parliamentary Elections,” the seminar series called “The Higher School of Politics” and a discussion on the 2012 elections.
Honoring the SS
Even the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) has supported the party. GIZ oversaw a project for the “formation of administrative capacities in the public financing sector.” Svoboda parliamentarians took part in two trips to Berlin in 2013 in conjunction with the project.
One prominent party member even gave an interview in early May 2013 to the NPD publication Deutsche Stimme. In an interview conducted by senior NPD member Jens Pühse, Ternopol Mayor Sergei Nadal was asked why Svoboda supports the recognition of descendants of former members of the Ukrainian 14th Division of the Waffen SS as national heroes. “These Ukrainian heroes must be honored irrespective of what has been written about them in the history books of those peoples who were once our enemies,” Nadal answered.
Germany’s Interior Ministry has also taken note of the Svoboda-NPD connection. In response to a parliamentary query from the Left Party, the ministry noted that the NPD had established a department tasked with maintaining contact with right-wing extremist organizations in Eastern Europe. The German government, the ministry said, considers Svoboda to be a “right-wing populist and nationalist party” which represents “in part right-wing extremist positions.” The party, for example, organized a rally to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the 14th Waffen SS Division.
Svoboda, meanwhile, has established chapters in Frankfurt, Cologne and Munich. The Anti-Fascist Information Center in Munich noted recently that in August of last year, some 40 participants gathered in a Catholic parish hall to elect a Munich student of Ukrainian descent as their chairman.
EXCERPT: Several members of the nationalist Svoboda Party scandalously assaulted the acting CEO of state-owned First National TV channel. On March 18, lawmakers Ihor Miroshnichenko, Andriy Illenko and Bohdan Beniuk arrived at the TV headquarters with several other men and forced Oleksandr Panteleymonov to quit his post.
In the video, which was first published by Svoboda spokesman Oleksandr Aronets and republished by Ukrainska Pravda after Aronets removed it, the members of parliament are seen questioning Panteleymonov in his office about Pershiy broadcasting Russian President’s Vladimir Putin’s speech about Crimea separation that took place in Moscow on March 18.
“Our viewers have the right to know…” Panteleymonov starts mumbling explanations, but gets interrupted by the lawmakers shouting “Know what? Know what?”
In the video, Panteleymonov is seen trying to explain himself and speaking politely, while the lawmakers surround him and shout rudely.
Miroshnichenko, the leading voice of the group, proceeded to accuse Panteleymonov of directing an editorial policy aimed at discrediting the EuroMaidan Revolution at the behest of the former state authorities and demanded that Panteleymonov leave his post immediately.
Panteleymonov refused to do so and mentioned that it was the Cabinet of Ministers that controlled the TV station.
“Cabinet of Ministers is over. I’m telling you — write the paper,” Miroshnichenko shouted in the manager’s face as he grabbed him and pulled him through the room to his desk.
Miroshnichenko then pushed Panteleymonov into his chair, Beniuk held him by the neck and Illienko passed him some paper. As Panteleymonov refused, Miroshnichenko and Beniuk beat him and slapped his face.
Even though the video doesn’t show it, the lawmakers did force the manager to quit.
As soon as the video was posted on the evening of March 18, it went viral and the actions of the lawmakers were widely condemned. Many were concerned that such actions coming from one of the parties that were brought to power after the EuroMaidan Revolution would fuel Russian propaganda that has focused on violence and nationalism in Ukraine.
“These are not our methods. The actions of these lawmakers are unacceptable,” was the reaction of Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk, Svoboda’s political ally.
The assault was also condemned by Ukraine’s Independent Media Union.
Even Svoboda party head and Miroshnichenko’s friend Oleh Tyahnybok condemned the attack. “Such actions were fine yesterday (during the protests), but now they are inappropriate,” Tyahnybok said in official statement.
After the scandal erupted, Svoboda’s Aronets deleted the video and all the eyes turned to the prosecutor general Oleh Maknitskiy. Also a Svoboda party member, Maknitskiy is now expected to impartially investigate the assault.
On the morning of March 19, Makhnitskiy’s office released a statement promising to justly deal with the case. Interior Minister Arsen Avakov also condemned the assault and said he was ready to have police help the prosecutor general’s office in investigating the case.