- Spitfire List - http://spitfirelist.com -

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.