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Nazi and Fascist Roots of the Ukrainian Pro-EU Protest Movement

[1]

Heinrich Himmler inspecting troops of the 14th Waffen SS Division (Galicia)

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash drive that can be obtained here. [2] (The flash drive includes the anti-fascist books avail­able on this site.)

COMMENT: For decades, we have covered the OUN/B, a Ukrainian fascist organization allied with the German general staff in World War II. Having staffed the 14th Waffen SS (Galician) Division and the Einsatzgruppen (mobile execution squads) in the Ukraine, the OUN/B was a pivotal element in the postwar Gehlen spy outfit in its CIA and BND incarnations, the Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations and the GOP ethnic outreach organization.

For some time, the pro-EU/German bloc of Ukrainian political parties currently garnering headlines with protests in Kiev and other cities has manifested the fascist roots [3] and alliances of the OUN/B.

Both Yulia Timoshenko’s “Fatherland” party and the UDAR party [4] network with the Svoboda party of  [5]Oleg Tyagnibok (“Oleh Tiahnybok”) [5], which has evolved directly from the fascist OUN/B of Stephan Bandera.

 

[6]

Galician Division Re-enactment

OUN/B has been deeply involved with covert operations and figures in the investigation into the assassination of President Kennedy, as well as the de-stabilization of the Soviet Union during the climactic phase of the Cold War. With a profound presence in the GOP’s Ethnic division, as well as the contemporary Ukrainian political infrastructure, the OUN/B is anything but an historical relic. The development of the OUN/B in both the U.S. and the Ukraine is explained in great historical depth in AFA #37 [7].

In the past we have noted [8] that Ykaterina Chumachenko, head of the OUN/B’s leading front organization in the U.S. and Ronald Reagan’s Deputy Director of Public Liaison, went on to marry Viktor Yuschenko and become First Lady of the Ukraine after the “Orange Revolution.”

John McCain has continued the GOP tradition of networking with fascists, meeting with Oleg Tiyagnibok [9].

With the Yuschenko regime in power, OUN/B founder Stephan Bandera was named a hero of the Ukraine [10]. As we see below, Roman Shukhevych  was also granted that honor. Shukhevych lead the OUN/B-staffed Einsatzgruppe “Nightingale” in its liquidation of the Lvov Ghetto! (Lvov has also been known as Lemberg at various times in its recent history.)

Now, this political milieu is coalescing in the Ukrainian pro-EU cadre, pushing to incorporate [11] the Ukraine into the German-dominated EU.

“Pterrafractyl” informs us [12] of further evidence of the OUN/B roots [13] of the Ukrainian protest movement [13].

“Ukraine’s Forces Move Against Protesters, Dimming Hopes for Talks” by David M. Herszenhorn; The New York Times; 12/9/2013. [5]

EXCERPT: . . . . On Monday evening, Ukrainian security forces raided the headquarters of an opposition party, Fatherland, and seized computer servers.

The party’s parliamentary leader, Arseniy P. Yatsenyuk, is one of the main organizers of the protest movement, which ballooned in recent days to dominate the streets of Kiev and pressure Mr. Yanukovich after he refused to sign a political and trade pact with the European Union. Fatherland is best known, however, as the opposition coalition formed by the jailed former prime minister, Yulia V. Tymoshenko, whose release has long been demanded by Western leaders. . . . .

. . . . Despite the action against Mr. Yatsenyuk’s party, Fatherland, the authorities seemed to be holding back from similar investigations of the other two parliamentary leaders at the forefront of the protests, the champion boxer Vitali Klitschko, of the UDAR party, and Oleg Tyagnibok, of the nationalist Svoboda party.

Mr. Tyagnibok’s supporters in particular are among the most fearsome demonstrators and have led some of the more provocative efforts to occupy buildings and block government offices. . . .

“A Broad-Based Anti-Russian Alliance”; german-foreign-policy.com; 12/3/2013. [4]

ENTIRE TEXT: The German government is encouraging the protest demonstrations being staged in the Ukraine by the “pro-European” alliance of conservative and ultra-rightwing parties. The “pro-Europe rallies” in Kiev and other cities of the country are transmitting “a very clear message”, according to a government spokesperson in Berlin: “Hopefully” the Ukrainian president “will heed this message,” meaning sign the EU’s Association Agreement, which Kiev had refused to do last week, in spite of massive German pressure. To gain influence in the country, Germany has for years been supporting the “pro-European” alliance in the Ukraine. The alliance includes not only conservative parties, but also forces from the extreme right – because of their strength, particularly in western Ukraine, where a cult around former Nazi collaborators is manifesting itself. The All-Ukrainian Union “Svoboda” party is particularly embedded in the national-chauvinist milieu, under the influence of this cult. Over the past few days, the party’s leader has called for a “revolution” in Kiev.

“General Strike and Revolution”

Oleh Tiahnybok, the leader of the ultra-rightwing Svoboda (Freedom) party is quoted saying “a revolution is beginning in the Ukraine.” Tiahnybok made this proclamation in Kiev during the current protest demonstrations. On the weekend, approx. 100,000 people took to the streets protesting against the current government’s foreign policy course, and calling for the country to become associated with the EU. During their continuing – and increasingly violent – demonstrations, protesters are calling on the government to stop refusing to sign the Association Agreement with the EU. According to media reports, numerous activists from ultra-rightwing organizations are participating in the demonstrations, particularly activists from Svoboda. The party’s leader Tiahnybok is basking in the attention he is receiving from the international press. He is planning a general strike to accomplish the “revolution” he announced last weekend.[1] He can rely on ultra-rightwing forces, whose influence has grown over the past few years.

“National Liberation Movement”

The resurgence of the cult around the former Ukrainian Nazi collaborators, since the mid-1980s, has helped ultra-rightwing forces to enlarge their influence in western Ukraine and in Kiev. This cult focuses particularly on Stepan Bandera, a leader of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN). The OUN joined forces with the Nazis during the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941. “Along with German units, our militias are making numerous arrests of Jews,” wrote the OUN’s propaganda unit following the invasion of Lviv: “Before their liquidation, the Jews had used every method to defend themselves.”[2] While Lviv’s Jewish population was falling prey to pogroms and massacres in the city, Bandera was proclaiming the establishment of a Ukrainian nation.[3] One specialist explained in reference to Bandera’s attempt to proclaim a nation, that today, Bandera and the OUN play a “very important” role in the “ethnic self-identity” of West Ukrainians. The OUN is seen “less as a fascist party” than “as the climax of a national liberation movement, or a fraternity of courageous heroes in Ukrainian national history.”[4] Since the beginning of the 1990s, numerous monuments to Bandera have been erected throughout the country. One such monument crowns the “Boulevard Stapan Bandera” in Lviv’s center.[5] According to analyses, a, “for the most part, informally functioning nationalist civil society” has been created around the Bandera cult, particularly in West Ukraine.[6]

Collaborationist Traditions

As far back as the 1990s, this milieu has produced various ultra-rightwing organizations. In 1990, the UNA Party (“Ukrainian National Assembly”) was founded, forming a paramilitary wing (the “Ukrainian National Self-Defense” – UNSO) in 1991. Yuri Shukhevych, the son of Roman Shukhevych, a Nazi collaborator, was one of its first leaders. Soon the “Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists” (CUN) followed, which elected the former OUN activist Slava Stetsko to the Ukrainian Parliament in 1997. As President by Seniority, Stetsko had the honor of delivering the opening address at the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament) after the 1998 elections. After 1945, Stetsko had continued to pursue her Ukrainian activities from her exile in Munich. It was also in Munich that, since 1948, the “Ukrainian National Council” had held its meetings – in the physical and political proximity of German and US intelligence services. The National Council considered itself to be the “core of the Ukrainian state in exile.”[7] Already in 1998, the CUN received – in electoral alliances with other parties – 9.7 percent of the votes in Lviv, 20.9 percent in Ternopil and 23.8 percent in Ivano-Frankivsk. At the time, the “Social National Party of the Ukraine” (SNPU), which was co-founded in Lviv in 1991 by Oleh Tiahnybok and had violent neo-Nazi members, was not yet successful in elections. In 1998 Tiahnybok was voted into the Ukrainian parliament with a direct mandate. Only after the SNPU changed its name to the “All-Ukrainian Union ‘Svoboda’ (‘Freedom’) in 2004, did it become more successful in elections and the leader of Ukraine’s ultra-rightwing forces.

Heroes of the Ukraine

At the time, politicians, who had been closely cooperating with Berlin, particularly Viktor Yushchenko (Ukrainian President 2005-2010), had been engaged in activities aimed at forming a broad anti-Russian alliance to integrate the Ukraine into the German hegemonic sphere – thereby strengthening the ultra-rightwing forces. For the elections in 2002 and 2006, Yushchenko’s electoral platform “Our Ukraine” cooperated with CUN and enabled that organization to win three seats in the national parliament in both elections. Oleh Tiahnybok (Svoboda) had temporarily been a member of the “Our Ukraine” parliamentary group. He was excluded in the summer of 2004, following his speech at the grave of a Nazi collaborator, in which he ranted against the “Jewish mafia in Moscow.” That same year, Yushchenko announced that, if elected, he would officially declare Bandera “Hero of the Ukraine.” This did not impede Berlin’s support. With the “Orange Revolution,” Berlin also helped him to ultimately be elected President. Yushchenko declared Nazi collaborator Roman Shukhevych on October 12, 2007, and Bandera on January 22, 2010 “Heroes of the Ukraine” – as a favor to the broad anti-Russian Alliance. At that time, Svoboda had just received its first major electoral success: In the March 15 regional parliamentary elections in Ternopil, with 34.7 percent and 50 out of 120 parliamentarians, including the president of parliament, it emerged the strongest party.

Socially Acceptable

To secure the broadest possible base for their anti-Russian policy, the so-called pro-European Ukrainian parties are still cooperating with ultra rightwing forces. “Batkivschyna” (Fatherland), the party of imprisoned opposition politician Yulia Tymoshenko has entered an electoral alliance with Svoboda in the run-up to the last elections. Thanks to this alliance, Svoboda was able to obtain 10.4 percent of the votes and twelve direct mandates and is now represented in the Verkhovna Rada with 37 parliamentarians. A firm opposition coalition was formed, which included Svoboda, Batkivschyna and Vitaly Klitschko’s “UDAR” party. This coalition is not only closely cooperating in the Ukrainian parliament but also in the current protest demonstrations on the streets. Batkivschyna has “significantly aided Svoboda to become socially acceptable,” according to an expert, but it cannot be ruled out that it thereby also “dug its own grave.” Already at the 2012 elections, Tymoshenko’s party lost some of its “voters to the radical nationalists” because of its cooperation with Svoboda.[8] The dynamic of radicalization of the current protests could invigorate this development – aided by Berlin’s active encouragement.

Party Cell Munich

With its growing strength, Svoboda is also gaining influence on a European level. Since the 1990s, the party has systematically developed contacts to various ultra-rightwing parties in other European countries. For quite a while, it had been cooperating closely with the French Front National until the FN began to cultivate a “more moderate” image. Up to the beginning of this year, Svoboda had participated in a network that also included the “British National Party” and Hungary’s “Jobbik.” It has been seeking closer ties to the neo-fascist “Forza Nuova” in Italy and the German NPD.[9] But, it is also establishing its own party structures in other European countries. Last August, it founded a party cell in Munich chaired by a Svoboda city council member from Ivano-Frankivsk, who is currently studying in the Bavarian capital. Following its foundation ceremony, the new party cell visited the Munich Waldfriedhof, indicating a traditional link between Munich and the Ukraine: the two OUN leaders Jaroslav Stetsko and Stepan Bandera are buried in this cemetery. In a press release, the party’s new cell announced that the visit had been made “in honor of those, who had died for the independence of the Ukraine.”[10] Subsequent to their unsuccessful Nazi-collaboration, both had continued their struggle for Ukraine’s secession from the Soviet Union and integration into the German Federal Republic’s hegemonic sphere of influence.

“15,000 Ukraine Nation­al­ists March for Divi­sive Bandera” [AP]; USA Today; 1/1/2014. [13]

EXCERPT: About 15,000 peo­ple marched through Kiev on Wednes­day night to honor Stepan Ban­dera, glo­ri­fied by some as a leader of Ukraine’s lib­er­a­tion move­ment and dis­missed by oth­ers as a Nazi collaborator.

The march was held in Ukraine’s cap­i­tal on what would have been Bandera’s 105th birth­day, and many of the cel­e­brants car­ried torches.

Some wore the uni­form of a Ukrain­ian divi­sion of the Ger­man army dur­ing World War II. Oth­ers chanted “Ukraine above all!” and “Ban­dera, come and bring order!”

How­ever, many of Bandera’s fol­low­ers sought to play down his col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Ger­mans in the fight for Ukraine’s inde­pen­dence as the leader of the Orga­ni­za­tion of Ukrain­ian Nation­al­ists, Ukraine’s fore­most nation­al­ist orga­ni­za­tion in the first half of the 20th century.

Ban­dera, who died 55 year ago, remains a deeply divi­sive fig­ure in Ukraine, glo­ri­fied by many in west­ern Ukraine as a free­dom fighter but dis­missed by mil­lions in east­ern and south­east­ern Ukraine as a trai­tor to the Soviet Union’s strug­gle against the occu­py­ing Ger­man army.

His group also was involved in the eth­nic cleans­ing that killed tens of thou­sands of Poles in 1942–44. The Orga­ni­za­tion of Ukrain­ian Nation­al­ists por­trayed Rus­sians, Poles, Hun­gar­i­ans and Jews — most of the minori­ties in west­ern Ukraine — as aliens and encour­aged locals to “destroy” Poles and Jews.

Ban­dera was assas­si­nated in 1959 by the KGB in West Germany. [Actually, it was probably BND that killed Bandera, and his assassination at the hands of “the KGB” was involved in part of the cover-up of the JFK assassination. See AFA #’s 15 [14], 37 [7], as well as FTR #158 [15]–DE.]

In Jan­u­ary 2010, less than a month before his term in office was to end, Ukrain­ian Pres­i­dent Vik­tor Yushchenko posthu­mously dec­o­rated Ban­dera with the Hero of Ukraine award. That led to harsh crit­i­cism by Jew­ish and Russ­ian groups. The award was annulled by a court in Jan­u­ary 2011 under Pres­i­dent Vik­tor Yanukovych.

Kiev has been the scene of mas­sive pro-European protests for more than a month, trig­gered by Yanukovych’s deci­sion to ditch a key deal with the Euro­pean Union in favor of build­ing stronger ties with Russia.

The nation­al­ist party Svo­boda, which orga­nized Wednesday’s rally, was one of the key forces behind the protests, but other oppo­si­tion fac­tions have said the Ban­dera rally is unre­lated to the ongo­ing protest encamp­ment in cen­tral Kiev.

“Far-right group at heart of Ukraine Protests Meet US Sen­a­tor” ; News 4 [UK]; 12/16/2013. [16]

EXCERPT: Ukraine’s pro-EU protests show no sign of stop­ping – US Sen­a­tor John McCain dined with oppo­si­tion lead­ers this week­end, includ­ing the extreme far-right Svo­boda party.

Dur­ing his trip the for­mer US pres­i­den­tial can­di­date met with gov­ern­ment and oppo­si­tion fig­ures, but gave his endorse­ment to the pro-Europe protesters.

Sen­a­tor McCain later waved to pro­test­ers from the stage in Inde­pen­dence Square dur­ing a mass rally in Kiev, stand­ing with Oleh Tyah­ny­bok, leader of the anti-Semitic Svo­boda party. . . . .

“Far-right Para­mil­i­tary Vows Protest Defi­ance in Ukraine” [Agence France-Presse]; Global Post; 2/5/2014. [12]

EXCERPT: Even as Ukraine’s main oppo­si­tion lead­ers meet with the author­i­ties to try to resolve their long-running stand­off, one influ­en­tial and unre­pen­tant voice stands out — that of far-right para­mil­i­tary leader Dmytro Yarosh.

“The rev­o­lu­tion will win in Ukraine!” the shaven-headed 42-year-old told AFP in a rare inter­view at his field head­quar­ters — an entire floor in an occu­pied trade union build­ing on Inde­pen­dence Square in cen­tral Kiev.

Yarosh’s masked and hel­meted fol­low­ers — some armed with guns, oth­ers wield­ing base­ball bats — patrol the bar­ri­cades around the protest tent camp and were in the front­lines of clashes with riot police, throw­ing Molo­tov cocktails.

“We got things mov­ing, we breathed life into the rev­o­lu­tion,” said Yarosh, him­self a for­mer Red Army sol­dier who claims he is no fas­cist but a nation­al­ist defend­ing Ukraine against for­eign dom­i­na­tion — whether from the EU or Russia.

He said that his group does not have its own arse­nal but that he had autho­rised a “secret” num­ber of indi­vid­ual mem­bers with weapons per­mits to cre­ate “an armed pro­tec­tion unit”.

Yarosh said his fol­low­ers — who seized the agri­cul­ture, energy and jus­tice min­istries but then gave them up after pres­sure from other oppo­si­tion lead­ers — could also resume their “block­ades” of offi­cial gov­ern­ment buildings.

These kinds of warn­ings show up dif­fer­ences within oppo­si­tion ranks and cast doubt on whether the most rad­i­cal mil­i­tants will be will­ing to end their protest even if oppo­si­tion lead­ers man­age to strike a deal with Yanukovych.

Asked if he is con­cerned about being put in prison, Yarosh strikes a defi­ant tone.

“In a rev­o­lu­tion, it’s funny even to think about some­thing like that. Once it’s all over, we’ll see who puts who in prison,” he snarled.

For all the fight­ing talk, Yarosh is also keen to see a polit­i­cal future for his para­mil­i­taries — who have won sup­port and respect in Ukraine for their role in the protests even from peo­ple who do not share their far-right views.

“If the rev­o­lu­tion achieves its aim, we can talk about the cre­ation of a new polit­i­cal move­ment with its own niche,” he said.

It is not hard to see what that niche would be.

Unlike many pro­test­ers, who see greater inte­gra­tion with Europe as an ideal, Yarosh said Brus­sels was a “mon­ster” respon­si­ble for a “gay dic­ta­tor­ship and lib­eral total­i­tar­i­an­ism” that imposes “anti-Christian and anti-national rules”.

Yarosh said he has been an activist in the Ukrain­ian nation­al­ist cause for more than 20 years and is the leader of a hard­line nation­al­ist group Trizub (Tri­dent), many of whose mem­bers are now activists in Pravy Sektor.

He says his group is the “suc­ces­sor” of the con­tro­ver­sial Ukrain­ian Insur­gent Army (UPA) who bat­tled Poles, Soviet and Nazi forces in west­ern Ukraine dur­ing and after World War II.

The UPA is hated in Poland for its cam­paign of slaugh­ter against Pol­ish civil­ians in the Vol­hy­nia region in 1943 and then in Gali­cia in 1944, now con­demned as eth­nic cleansing.

The rebels on occa­sion col­lab­o­rated with occu­py­ing Nazi forces as well as fight­ing them and — most con­tro­ver­sially — some of its mem­bers served in the Gali­cia branch of the SS.

Asked how he felt about Jews, Yarosh said that he was not an anti-Semite but con­sid­ered as “ene­mies” any “eth­nic minor­ity that pre­vents us from being mas­ters in our own land”.

Even though the UPA slo­gan “Glory to the Heroes!” rings out fre­quently on Inde­pen­dence Square, Yarosh’s views are com­pletely dif­fer­ent from those of main­stream oppo­si­tion leaders.

While Yarosh does not overtly con­demn them, it seems that their on-and-off nego­ti­a­tions with Pres­i­dent Vik­tor Yanukovych are grating.

“I don’t want to crit­i­cise them or they’ll get offended and start cry­ing,” he said.