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All’s Well that’s Orwell, Part 2–Yuschenko Uber Alles: The Ukrainian Ministry of Truth

Swo­boda leader Oleh Tia­hany­bok salutes

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

COMMENT: The Orwellian aspects of the Ukrain­ian cri­sis could not be exag­ger­ated and are explored at greater length in this post (and will be in upcom­ing pro­grams as well.)

(Photo source, Global Research arti­cle.)

(We have done four pro­grams to date about the Ukrain­ian cri­sis: FTR #‘s 777778779780.)

In past pro­grams and posts, we have noted that Vic­tor Yuschenko’s term as pres­i­dent of the Ukraine–realized through the so-called Orange Revolution–featured the for­mer Yka­te­rina Chu­machenko as his wife. For­merly Ronald Reagan’s Deputy Direc­tor of Pub­lic Liai­son, the for­mer Ms. Chu­machenko was a promi­nent mem­ber of the UCCA, the top OUN/B front orga­ni­za­tion in the United States. (For back­ground on the OUN/B, the Ukrain­ian fas­cist tem­plate orga­ni­za­tion for Swo­boda, see the For The Record pro­grams noted above.)

We sus­pect that the for­mer Ms. Chu­machenko was the real power behind the throne. 

While pres­i­dent of the Ukraine, Yuschenko presided over a fun­da­men­tal makeover of Ukrain­ian his­tory and, through that, polit­i­cal ideology.

The dra­matic and fun­da­men­tal nature of this revi­sion­ism paved the way for the pub­lic posi­tion­ing of the fas­cist Swo­boda party as a viable, demo­c­ra­tic entity. Swo­boda is a pri­mary ele­ment in the new Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment, dom­i­nat­ing the mil­i­tary and judi­cial processes of that country.

PLEASE take time to exam­ine the text excerpt below in detail. Note the bold-faced parts. Orwell made manifest.

Key points of Yuschenko’s ide­o­log­i­cal makeover of the Ukraine, which set up the “legit­i­macy” of Swoboda:

  • Yuschenko lit­er­ally under­took to cre­ate a min­istry of truth, in effect, des­ig­nat­ing the for­mer KGB archives as the focal point to begin a fun­da­men­tal polit­i­cal makeover of Ukrain­ian his­tory and ideology.
  • Con­trast­ing the OUN/B and its affil­i­ated orga­ni­za­tions as truth­ful and just, con­trasted with “every­thing Soviet” as false and evil, Yuschenko suc­ces­fuly effected a whole­sale revi­sion­ism of Ukrain­ian pol­i­tics and history.
  • Yushchenko appointed the young activist Volodymyr V’’iatrovych (b. 1977) direc­tor of the SBU archives [the focal point of the suc­cess­ful revi­sion­ist effort–D.E.]. V’’iatrovych com­bined his posi­tion as government-appointed mem­ory man­ager with ultra-nationalist activism; he was simul­ta­ne­ously direc­tor of an OUN(b) front orga­ni­za­tion, the Cen­ter for the Study for the Lib­er­a­tion Movement.
  • The revi­sion­ism cast the OUN/B as hav­ing fought the Nazis, a com­plete his­tor­i­cal lie.
  • The alleged anti-Nazi activ­ity of the OUN/B co-exists in a remark­able polit­i­cal land­scape with adu­la­tion of the 14th Waf­fen SS Divi­sion (Gali­cia) and its allied for­ma­tions. Even as OUN/B is por­trayed as hav­ing saved Jews from the Holo­caust, its activ­i­ties in mur­der­ing them is celebrated.
  • Directly, explic­itly and overtly evolved from the OUN/B, Swo­boda retains all of the OUN/B’s fas­cism and big­otry, masked by nation­al­is­tic fervor.
  • The fun­da­men­tals of Swoboda’s pol­i­tics and char­ac­ter can be gleaned from exam­in­ing party leader Oleh Tiahnybok’s ide­o­log­i­cal adviser. “Yurii Mykhal’chyshyn (b. 1982), Tiahnybok’s adviser on ide­o­log­i­cal mat­ters, Svoboda’s top name in the elec­tion to the Lviv city coun­cil and its can­di­date for mayor in 2010, rep­re­sents a more rad­i­cal cur­rent in the move­ment. Proudly con­fess­ing him­self part of the fas­cist tra­di­tion, Mykhal’chyshyn rel­ishes the harsh­ness, extrem­ism and uncom­pro­mis­ing rad­i­cal­ism of his idols of the 1930s and 1940s.
  • In Canada, Tiah­ny­bok was hon­ored by vet­er­ans of the 14th Waf­fen SS Divi­sion. In the Ukraine, Swo­boda held cel­e­bra­tions of the divi­sion, fea­tur­ing and hon­or­ing vet­er­ans of the unit, return­ing the grace and favor deferred upon its leader.
  • Tiah­ny­bok ide­o­log­i­cal adviser Mykhal’chyshyn openly embraces street vio­lence as a fun­da­men­tal tactic.
  • Tiah­ny­bok ide­o­log­i­cal adviser Mykhal’chyshyn cel­e­brates the Holo­caust and sup­ports Hamas.
  • Swo­boda is affil­i­ated with other Euro­pean fas­cist par­ties, includ­ing the Swedish fas­cist milieu to which Pirate Bay/WikiLeaks bene­fac­tor Carl Lund­strom belongs.

“The Return of the Ukrain­ian Far Right: The Case of VO Svo­boda,” by Per Anders Rudling;  Ana­lyz­ing Fas­cist Dis­course: Euro­pean Fas­cism in Talk and Text edited by Ruth Wodak and John E. Richardson;  Routledge [Lon­don and New York] 2013; pp. 228–255, more.

EXCERPT: . . . . . Swept to power by the Orange Rev­o­lu­tion, the third pres­i­dent of Ukraine,Viktor Yushchenko (2005–2010), put in sub­stan­tial efforts into the pro­duc­tion of his­tor­i­cal myths. He tasked a set of nation­al­is­ti­cally minded his­to­ri­ans to pro­duce and dis­sem­i­nate an edi­fy­ing national his­tory as well as a new set of national heroes. . . . .

. . . . . The OUN wings dis­agreed on strat­egy and ide­ol­ogy but shared a com­mit­ment to the man­u­fac­ture of a his­tor­i­cal past based on vic­tim­iza­tion and hero­ism. The émigrés devel­oped an entire lit­er­a­ture that denied the OUN’s fas­cism, its col­lab­o­ra­tion with Nazi Ger­many, and its par­tic­i­pa­tion in atroc­i­ties, instead pre­sent­ing the orga­ni­za­tion as com­posed of democ­rats and plu­ral­ists who had res­cued Jews dur­ing the Holo­caust. The dias­pora nar­ra­tive was con­tra­dic­tory, com­bin­ing cel­e­bra­tions of the sup­pos­edly anti-Nazi resis­tance strug­gle of the OUN-UPA with cel­e­bra­tions of the Waf­fen SS Gal­izien, a Ukrain­ian col­lab­o­ra­tionist for­ma­tion estab­lished by Hein­rich Himm­ler in 1943 (Rudling, 2011a, 2011c, 2012a). Thus, Ukrain­ian Waf­fen SS vet­er­ans could cel­e­brate the UPA as “anti-Nazi resis­tance fighters” while belong­ing to the same war vet­er­ans’ orga­ni­za­tions (Bairak, 1978). Unlike their coun­ter­parts in some other post-Soviet states, Ukrain­ian “nation­al­iz­ing” his­to­ri­ans did not have to invent new nation­al­ist myths but re-imported a nar­ra­tive devel­oped by the émigrés (Dietsch, 2006: 111–146; Rudling, 2011a: 751–753). . . . .


As pres­i­dent, Yushchenko ini­ti­ated sub­stan­tial gov­ern­ment pro­pa­ganda ini­tia­tives. In July 2005, he estab­lished an Insti­tute of National Mem­ory, assigned the archives of the for­mer KGB (now the SBU, Sluzhba Bezpeki Ukrainy, the Ukrain­ian Secu­rity Ser­vice) for­mal pro­pa­gan­dis­tic duties and sup­ported the cre­ation of a “Museum of Soviet Occu­pa­tion” in Kyiv (Jilge, 2008: 174). Yushchenko appointed the young activist Volodymyr V’’iatrovych (b. 1977) direc­tor of the SBU archives. V’’iatrovych com­bined his posi­tion as government-appointed mem­ory man­ager with ultra-nationalist activism; he was simul­ta­ne­ously direc­tor of an OUN(b) front orga­ni­za­tion, the Cen­ter for the Study for the Lib­er­a­tion Move­ment. State insti­tu­tions dis­sem­i­nated a san­i­tized, edi­fy­ingly patri­otic ver­sion of the his­tory of the “Ukrain­ian national lib­er­a­tion move­ment,” the lead­ers of which were pre­sented in icono­graphic form as heroic and saintly figures, mar­tyrs of the nation (Rasevych, 2010; Rudling, 2011c: 26–33, 2012b).

Yushchenko’s myth­mak­ing had two cen­tral com­po­nents. The first was the pre­sen­ta­tion of the 1932–1933 famine as “the geno­cide of the Ukrain­ian nation,” a delib­er­ate attempt to exter­mi­nate the Ukraini­ans which, his myth-makers claimed, resulted in the death of 10 mil­lion peo­ple in the republic.

The other com­po­nent was a heroic cult of the OUN(b), the UPA and their lead­ers. The “mem­ory man­agers” jux­ta­posed the geno­ci­dal Soviet rule with­the self-sacrificial hero­ism of the OUN-UPA, pro­duc­ing a tele­o­log­i­cal nar­ra­tive of suf­fer­ing (the famine) and resis­tance (the OUN-UPA) lead­ing to redemp­tion (inde­pen­dence, 1991). Curi­ously, Yushchenko’s legit­imiz­ing his­to­ri­ans pre­sented their instru­men­tal­ized use of his­tory as “truth,” which they jux­ta­posed to “Soviet myths.” Wil­fried Jilge, a his­to­rian at the Uni­ver­sity of Leipzig, writes that “[i]t takes place by means of dis­course, rit­u­als, and sym­bols and uses the past to pro­vide legit­imiza­tion and to mobi­lize the pop­u­la­tion for polit­i­cal pur­poses. . . . A recon­structed his­tor­i­cal mem­ory is cre­ated as ‘true mem­ory’ and then con­trasted with ‘false Soviet his­tory’ ”(Jilge, 2007:104–105). Thus, Valen­tyn Naly­vaichenko, SBU direc­tor under Yushchenko, described the task of his agency as being to dis­sem­i­nate “the his­tor­i­cal truth of the past of the Ukrain­ian peo­ple,” to “lib­er­ate Ukrain­ian his­tory from lies and falsifications and to work with truth­ful doc­u­ments only” (Jilge, 2008:179). Ignor­ing the OUN’s anti­semitism, deny­ing its par­tic­i­pa­tion in anti– Jew­ish vio­lence, and over­look­ing its fas­cist ide­ol­ogy, Naly­vaichenko and his agency pre­sented the OUN as democ­rats, plu­ral­ists, even right­eous res­cuers of Jews dur­ing the Holocaust.

The hege­monic nation­al­ist nar­ra­tive is reflected also in acad­e­mia, where the line between “legit­i­mate” schol­ar­ship and ultra-nationalist pro­pa­ganda often is blurred. Main­stream book­stores often carry Holo­caust denial and anti­se­mitic lit­er­a­ture, some of which finds its way into the aca­d­e­mic main­stream (Rudling, 2006). So too, for instance, can aca­d­e­mic works on World War II by rep­utable his­to­ri­ans inte­grate the works of Holo­caust deniers and cite the for­mer KKK Grand Wiz­ard David Duke as a “expert” on the “Jew­ish Ques­tion.” . . . .

. . . . The cul­mi­na­tion of Yushchenko’s Geschicht­spoli­tik was his des­ig­na­tion, a few days before leav­ing office, of Ban­dera as a hero of Ukraine. Again, there was lit­tle protest from intel­lec­tu­als who iden­tify them­selves as liberals. . . . .

. . . . On June 30, 2011, the 70th anniver­sary of the Ger­man inva­sion and Stetsko’s “renewal of Ukrain­ian state­hood” was re-enacted in Lviv as a pop­u­lar fes­ti­val, where par­ents with small chil­dren waved flags to re-enactors in SS uni­forms. . . .

. . . . . Iron­i­cally, the pre­sen­ta­tion of the OUN as resis­tance fight­ers against Nazi Ger­many coex­ists with an elab­o­rate cult of the Waf­fen SS Gal­izien (Rudling, 2012a). Lviv streets have been renamed after Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors­like Roman Shukhevych and Volodymyr Kubi­jovyc. In the Lviv city hall, Svo­boda is cur­rently work­ing to have the Lviv air­port renamed after Ban­dera. Svo­boda deputy Iuryi Mykahl’chyshyn stated, “We should have the air­port named after Stepan Ban­dera. I don’t want to point any fin­gers. . . . But we will have a Ban­dera air­port, a Ban­dera sta­dium, and the entire city will be car­ry­ing Bandera’s name, because he is its most liv­ing symbol”(“U L’vovi budut’ sta­dion,” 2012). In the fall of 2011, Svo­boda deputies in a munic­i­pal­ity in the Lviv dis­trict renamed a street from the Soviet-era name Peace Street (Vulyt­sia Myru ) to instead carry the name of the Nachti­gall Bat­tal­ion, a Ukrain­ian nation­al­ist for­ma­tion involved in the mass mur­der of Jews in 1941, argu­ing that “ ‘Peace’ is a holdover from Soviet stereotypes”(“Vulytsiu myru,” 2011). . . .

. . . . Svoboda’s claims to the OUN legacy are based upon ide­o­log­i­cal con­ti­nu­ity, as well as orga­ni­za­tion and polit­i­cal cul­ture (Shekhovtsov, 2011b:13–14). Pre­sent­ing Svo­boda as the suc­ces­sor of Dontsov and the OUN, Tiah­ny­bok regards Svo­boda as “an Order-party which con­sti­tutes the true elite of the nation” (Tiah­ny­bok, 2011). Like those of many other far-right move­ments, Svoboda’s official pol­icy doc­u­ments are rel­a­tively cau­tious and dif­fer from its daily activ­i­ties and inter­nal jar­gon, which are much more rad­i­cal and racist (Olszan´ski, 2011). Svo­boda sub­scribes to the OUN tra­di­tion of national seg­re­ga­tion and demands the re-introduction of the Soviet “nation­al­ity” cat­e­gory into Ukrain­ian pass­ports. “We are not Amer­ica, a mish­mash of all sorts of peo­ple,” the Svo­boda web­site states. “The Ukrain­ian needs to stay Ukrain­ian, the Pole—Polish, the Gagauz—Gagauz, the Uzbek—Uzbek” (“Hrafa ‘natsional’nost’v pas­porti,” 2005). Svoboda’s ultra-nationalism is sup­ple­mented with more tra­di­tional “white racism” (Shekhovtsov, 2011b: 15). . . . .

. . . . Con­spir­acy the­ory is inte­gral to Svo­boda Weltan­schau­ung, par­tic­u­larly con­spir­a­cies with anti-Semitic under­tones. In August 2011, in an appar­ent attempt to dis­tance them­selves from the Nor­we­gian ter­ror­ist Anders Behring Breivik, Svo­boda claimed that he was a Jew­ish Mason (Red­kole­hiia chaso-pysu “Svo­boda,” 2011). In Sep­tem­ber 2011, Svo­boda activists mobi­lized from sev­eral parts of Ukraine to orga­nize ral­lies against Hasidic pil­grims to Uman.

Fol­low­ing vio­lent clashes, the police detained more than 50 Svo­boda activists, armed with gas can­is­ters, smoke bombs and cat­a­pults. The Cherkasy branch of Svo­boda crit­i­cized the police for their alleged fail­ure “to stop and avert aggres­sion by Hasidic Jews to Ukraini­ans” (“Uman: Righ-twing activists detained,” 2011).Svoboda’s anti-Russian and anti-Jewish rhetoric is accom­pa­nied by an anti-Polish mes­sage. Svo­boda main­tains that Poland has played a neg­a­tive his­tor­i­cal role in Ukrain­ian lands. The party demands an official apol­ogy from Poland for five hun­dred years of Pol­o­niza­tion, from the 15th to the 20th cen­turies, and indem­ni­ties for “the Pol­ish ter­ror and occu­pa­tion of Ukrain­ian lands in the 20th cen­tury” (“Zaiava VO ‘Svo­boda’ shchodoproia­viv ukrain­o­fo­bii,” 2010). Focus­ing on divi­sive and sen­si­tive issues, Svo­boda provoca­tively denies any involve­ment of the Waf­fen SS Gal­izien in atroc­i­ties against the Pol­ish minor­ity in Gali­cia. For instance, on the site of Huta Pieni­acka, Svo­boda has­placed a huge bill­board deny­ing the con­clu­sion of both Pol­ish and Ukrain­ian his­tor­i­cal com­mis­sions that the fourth police reg­i­ment, which was later adjoined to the Waf­fen SS Gal­izien, burnt this Pol­ish vil­lage and slaugh­tered most of its res­i­dents on Feb­ru­ary 28, 1944. . . .

. . . . Svo­boda is a mem­ber of the so-called Alliance of Euro­pean National Move­ments, a net­work which includes theBri­tish National Party, Nation­aldemokra­terna of Swe­den, the Front National in France, Fiamma Tri­col­ore in Italy, the Bel­gian National Front, and the Hun­gar­ian Job­bik (Umland, 2011). This seem­ingly unlikely coop­er­a­tion is partly facil­i­tated by a joint fas­ci­na­tion with eth­nic purity, inspired by Alain de Benoit, the ide­o­logue of the French Nou­velle Droit. De Benoit fears the dis­ap­pear­ance of plu­ral­ism and the reduc­tion of all cul­tures into a world civ­i­liza­tion and argues that each eth­nos should be allowed to develop inde­pen­dently on its given ter­ri­tory, with­out the admix­ture of other cul­tures. Nation­aldemokra­terna, their Swedish sis­ter party, advo­cates a form of eth­nic seg­re­ga­tion, which they refer to as “ethno­plu­ral­ism” (Dahl, 1999: 68, 136).

Svo­boda has opened an office in Toronto, which has been vis­ited by sev­eral of its lead­ing figures (“Diial’nist Kanads’koho pred­stavnyt­stva ‘Svo-body,’ ” 2009). In Canada, in May 2010, Tiah­ny­bok received the golden cross “for his ser­vice to Ukraine” from the Broth­er­hood of the Vet­er­ans of the First Ukrain­ian Divi­sion of the Ukrain­ian National Army, as the vet­er­ans of the Waf­fen SS Gal­izien call them­selves (“Esesovtsy nagradil lid­er­aukrain­skikh nat­sion­al­is­tov,” 2010). Fol­low­ing the con­vic­tion and sen­tenc­ing of the death camp guard John Dem­jan­juk to five years of jail for his role as an acces­sory to the mur­der of 27,900 peo­ple at the Sobibór death camp,Tiahnybok trav­eled to Ger­many and met up with Demjanjuk’s lawyer, Ulrich Busch, pre­sent­ing the death camp guard as a hero, a vic­tim of per­se­cu­tion, who is “fight­ing for truth” (“Oleh Tiah­ny­bok iz dvo­den­nym vizy­tomvid­vi­dav Nimechynu,” 2010). 10

Tiahnybok’s hero­iza­tion of the Waf­fen SS Gal­izien and other Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors is accom­pa­nied by ide­o­log­i­cal claims that the OUN-UPA con­ducted an anti-Nazi resis­tance strug­gle against Hitler.

Yurii Mykhal’chyshyn (b. 1982), Tiahnybok’s adviser on ide­o­log­i­cal mat­ters, Svoboda’s top name in the elec­tion to the Lviv city coun­cil and its can­di­date for mayor in 2010, rep­re­sents a more rad­i­cal cur­rent in the move­ment. Proudly con­fess­ing him­self part of the fas­cist tra­di­tion, Mykhal’chyshyn rel­ishes the harsh­ness, extrem­ism and uncom­pro­mis­ing rad­i­cal­ism of his idols of the 1930s and 1940s. Con­stantly reit­er­at­ing that “We con­sider tol­er­ance a crime” and that “We value the truth of the spirit and blood over-all suc­cess and wealth” (Nasha Vatra , n.d.), Mykhal’chyshyn takes pride in the label “extrem­ist,” which he proudly shares with “Stepan Bandera,who cre­ated an under­ground terrorist-revolutionary army, the shadow of which still stirs up hor­ri­ble fear in the hearts of the ene­mies of our Nation”(Mykhal’chyshyn, “Ori­en­tyry”, n.d.). Mykhal’chyshyn serves as a link between VO Svo­boda and the so-called autonomous nation­al­ists. Mir­ror­ing the “autonomous anar­chists” of the extreme left, which they resem­ble in terms of dress code, lifestyle, aes­thet­ics, sym­bol­ism and orga­ni­za­tion, the “autonomous nation­al­ists” attract par­tic­u­larly mil­i­tant and extremely vio­lent “event-oriented” young fas­cists. Mykhal’chyshyn has com­bined the attrib­utes of var­i­ous stands of the extra-parliamentary extreme right: Doc Martens shoes, buzz cuts and bomber jack­ets are in the tra­di­tion of the skin­heads, while the nightly torch­light parades under black ban­ners with SS sym­bols resem­ble the polit­i­cal rit­u­als and Aufmärsche in Nazi Ger­many. The glorification of street vio­lence is a key com­po­nent of this polit­i­cal sub­cul­ture: in an extra ses­sion with the Lviv regional Rada in front of the Ban­dera memo­r­ial in Lviv, Mykhal’chyshyn boasted that “Our Ban­derite army will cross the Dnipro and throw that blue-ass gang, which today usurps the power, out of Ukraine. . . . That will make those Asi­atic dogs shut their ugly mouths.”

While hardly a typ­i­cal man of the belles-lettres , Mykhal’chyshyn, is actu­ally a stu­dent of fas­cism. . . . His inter­est is not exclu­sively aca­d­e­mic; under the pseu­do­nym Nachti­gall 88, Mykhal’chyshyn pro­motes fas­cist ide­ol­ogy with the pur­pose of pro­mot­ing a fas­cist trans­for­ma­tion of soci­ety in Web forums linked to Svo­boda and “autonomous nation­al­ists.” In 2005, he orga­nized a polit­i­cal think tank, orig­i­nally called “the Joseph Goebbels Polit­i­cal Research Cen­ter” but later re-named after the Ger­man con­ser­v­a­tive rev­o­lu­tion­ary Ernst Jünger. (Olszan´ski, 2011).

Explic­itly endors­ing Hamas, Mykhal’chyshyn regards the Holo­caust as “a bright episode in Euro­pean civ­i­liza­tion” which “strongly warms the hearts of the Pales­tin­ian pop­u­la­tion. . . . They hope it will be all repeated” (“Mikhal’chyshyn schi­taet Kholokost,” 2011; “Ukrain­skii nat­sist,” 2011).

We rec­og­nize the heavy empha­sis on heroes and hero­ism from the nar­ra­tive of the émigré OUN and from Yushchenko’s legit­imiz­ing his­to­ri­ans. The dif­fer­ence is that, unlike these two influences, Mykhal’chyshyn does not deny Ban­dera and Stets’ko’s fas­cism. On the con­trary, their fas­cist ide­ol­ogy con­sti­tutes the basis for his admi­ra­tion. . . .

. . . . While he is no longer a seri­ous polit­i­cal player, Yushchenko left behind a legacy of myths which helped legit­imized Svoboda’s ide­ol­ogy. Svoboda’s appro­pri­a­tion of many rit­u­als in hon­our of “national heroes” from more mod­er­ate nation­al­ists is but one expres­sion of its increased polit­i­cal strength in post-Yushchenko West­ern Ukraine. . . .

. . . . On April 28, 2011, Svo­boda cel­e­brated the 68th anniver­sary of the estab­lish­ment of the Waf­fen SS Gal­izien. Octo­ge­nar­ian Waf­fen SS vet­er­ans were treated as heroes in a mass rally, orga­nized by Svo­boda and the “autonomous nation­al­ists.” Nearly 700 par­tic­i­pants (the or-ganizers claimed 2,000) marched down the streets of Lviv, from the mas­sive socialist–realist style Ban­dera mon­u­ment, to Prospekt Svo­body, the main street, shout­ing slo­gans like “One race, one nation, one fatherland!,” . . . .

. . . . The pro­ces­sion was led by Mykhal’chyshyn . . . .


4 comments for “All’s Well that’s Orwell, Part 2–Yuschenko Uber Alles: The Ukrainian Ministry of Truth”

  1. Hi Dave,

    Sorry to have been absent for so long. On the sub­ject of Ukraine, there is a small detail that intrigues me with Chu­machenko. She has the exact same coif­fure or hairdo than Star Wars’ Princess Leia. It strikes me as no coin­ci­dence. Remem­ber that in that movie, the “free­dom fight­ers” fight against an “empire” under the tyran­nic rule of a dark figure...It strikes me as if the West wants to put her in a good light against the “evil” Putin. I also have the impres­sion that the West wanted to do what they are doing in Maidan for a long time, that movie being a pro­pa­ganda piece to pre­pare the col­lec­tive consciouness.


    Posted by Claude | March 13, 2014, 10:14 pm
  2. @Claude–

    I think it is Yulia Tim­o­shenko, not Yka­te­rina [Chu­machenko] Yuschenko, to whom you are referring.

    With all due respect, I don’t think it’s relevant.

    I’m no expert on Ukrain­ian native dress and coif­fure, but I sus­pect it has more to do with local styling considerations.



    Posted by Dave Emory | March 14, 2014, 4:01 pm
  3. @Claude: Yulia Tymoshenko’s braids are a key part of her polit­i­cal “brand”. They’re tra­di­tional peas­ant braids which is pretty handy for a oli­garch politi­cian that wants to project an “I still remem­ber my roots” image:

    Yulia Tymoshenko: Ukraine’s shape-shifting icon pre­pares for next act
    Oppo­si­tion leader has emerged from prison to find a coun­try much changed in her absence, and her polit­i­cal future far from certain.

    By: Olivia Ward For­eign Affairs Reporter, Pub­lished on Mon Feb 24 2014

    A cheer­ing crowd, a return­ing mar­tyr, an ethe­real blond woman in a wheel­chair, her head wrapped in iconic braids.

    It’s a clip straight out of Cen­tral Cast­ing. But some say the abrupt appear­ance of once-imprisoned Ukrain­ian polit­i­cal leader Yulia Tymoshenko in Kyiv’s Maidan square may not be the trailer to a happy ending.

    Since Ukraine’s protests broke out three months ago, the oppo­si­tion has been largely lead­er­less. But whether Tymoshenko is a come­back kid, or yesterday’s woman, is up for grabs as the coun­try strug­gles to find its bal­ance after the ouster of Pres­i­dent Vik­tor Yanukovych.

    “Peo­ple were hor­ri­fied by her polit­i­cal per­se­cu­tion, but when she was jailed there was no mas­sive upris­ing,” said Marta Dyc­zok, a Ukraine expert at West­ern Uni­ver­sity, who is in close touch with the Maidan pro­test­ers. “That’s the key thing to remember.”

    Tymoshenko, 53, was serv­ing a seven-year prison sen­tence for abuse of office when par­lia­ment changed the crim­i­nal code to free her last week. The charges sprang from her nego­ti­a­tions with Rus­sia over a gas deal, and many felt they were polit­i­cally dri­ven by her rival Yanukovych. As his pop­u­lar­ity plum­meted, sym­pa­thy for Tymoshenko rose and reports of bru­tal treat­ment and neglect of her health prob­lems in jail sparked an inter­na­tional outcry.

    “She’s one of Ukraine’s most famous polit­i­cal pris­on­ers and a sym­bol of resis­tance,” says Alexan­der Motyl of Rut­gers Uni­ver­sity Newark. “If she played her cards right, she could become a female Man­dela and win the election.”

    But in the 30 months Tymoshenko has been out of pub­lic view, things have moved swiftly in Ukraine, espe­cially for a woman whose much-rumoured past casts murky shad­ows of the country’s old regime.

    “Her speech to Maidan was a flop,” said Mychailo Wyn­ny­ckyj, a Canadian-born asso­ciate pro­fes­sor of soci­ol­ogy at the Kyiv-Mohyla Acad­emy. “She set her­self up as a Joan of Arc, say­ing ‘I will be the guar­an­tor that this never hap­pens to you again.’ Ukraini­ans don’t need a sav­iour now; they want to take care of themselves.”

    Tymoshenko’s famous image — peas­ant braids and designer clothes — was care­fully con­structed to appeal to Ukrain­ian nation­al­ism, while hint­ing at west­ern effi­ciency. “Her hair is the sym­bol of Ukraine’s braided wheat sheaves,” said Wynnyckyj.

    Like much of Tymoshenko’s life, the image is a work in progress.

    Born in the largely Russian-speaking research town of Dnipropetro­vsk in east­ern Ukraine, she was the child of an impov­er­ished sin­gle mother — and deter­mined never to be poor again. She stud­ied eco­nom­ics, went on to uni­ver­sity and mar­ried at 18, giv­ing birth to daugh­ter Euge­nia a year later.

    Her mar­riage to Olek­sandr Tymoshenko, a scion of the Soviet elite, started her climb up the eco­nomic lad­der, and his fam­ily joined her in an oil ven­ture, the Ukrain­ian Petrol Corp.: “the first com­pany of many that would demon­strate the murky and often Byzan­tine nature of (her) busi­ness deal­ings,” alleged MP Inna Bohoslovska in an ongo­ing biog­ra­phy on her website.

    After Ukraine’s 1991 inde­pen­dence, when for­tunes were made overnight, Tymoshenko hit the jack­pot. A newly minted mil­lion­aire, she trans­formed the petrol com­pany into United Energy Sys­tems of Ukraine, import­ing much of the country’s nat­ural gas, and win­ning her­self the label of Gas Princess.

    But her sta­tus as a Ukrain­ian oli­garch was down­graded when she entered pol­i­tics in 1996 as an MP, bat­tling Pres­i­dent Leonid Kuchma, a for­mer com­mu­nist offi­cial who retal­i­ated by destroy­ing her com­pany. She would later lead her own polit­i­cal bloc, shape-shifting to her cur­rent blond braided image and per­fect­ing her Ukrainian.

    After tumul­tuous years of com­bat with Kuchma, Tymoshenko became the most famous face of the Orange Rev­o­lu­tion against his suc­ces­sor, Yanukovych, who was accused of rig­ging the 2004 elec­tion. But destruc­tive infight­ing with fel­low rev­o­lu­tion leader Vik­tor Yushchenko, and a seri­ous eco­nomic slump, deflated her pop­u­lar­ity, and Yanukovych beat her in a 2010 pres­i­den­tial race.


    In her absence, three par­lia­men­tary lead­ers were in the fore­front, but likely pres­i­den­tial front-runners have yet to appear.

    “There is a place for Tymoshenko in a dif­fer­ent kind of role, but not polit­i­cal lead­er­ship,” says Wyn­ny­ckyj. “She doesn’t really under­stand civil soci­ety. What Ukraini­ans want now is a house­clean­ing of the whole polit­i­cal establishment.

    Notice that she lost in 2010 and her speech on the Maidan is char­ac­ter­ized as a “flop” but she’s still not really fac­ing any clear front-runner chal­lengers for the pres­i­dency. So Tymoshenko is basi­cally the front-runner if she decides to run but she’s also tainted by her own deeply cor­rupt past in a coun­try deeply tired of cor­rup­tion. This is going to be some­thing to watch over the com­ing months because if Tymoshenko’s pop­u­lar­ity plum­mets for what­ever rea­son or if she decides not to run at all there’s going to be pop­u­lar­ity vac­uum and we’re all going to have to hope that the pop­u­lar­ity vac­uum doesn’t get filled with an even worse moral­ity vac­uum.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 14, 2014, 7:26 pm
  4. OpE­d­News Op Eds 3/16/2014 at 11:26:27
    The Nazis Even Hitler Was Afraid of
    By George Eliason



    EU politi­cians that sup­ported the Maidan Rev­o­lu­tion are voic­ing con­cerns bor­der­ing on fear about how much con­trol Ultra Nation­al­ists have over the gov­ern­ment in Kiev. Chan­cel­lor Merkel’s gov­ern­ment is telling her she can no longer afford to ignore the Ultra Nation­al­ists in Ukraine. They are scared Ger­many will be respon­si­ble for set­ting up a new Reich. It’s time to strip away the rest of the veneer and take a look at what’s really there.

    For­get about the Nazi sym­bol­ism, and ultra-nationalist exu­ber­ance. I will even grant sup­port­ers of the cur­rent gov­ern­ment that much.

    Every impor­tant min­istry, from edu­ca­tion and social pol­icy to polic­ing, pros­e­cu­tion and national defense, is headed by Ultra Nation­al­ists. In every aspect of national life, Ultra Nation­al­ists now deter­mine what it means to be Ukrain­ian and all the poli­cies needed to enforce it.

    How Does Ban­dera Fit in 70 Years Later?
    On June 30, 1941 Stepan Ban­dera declared the for­ma­tion of the Ukrain­ian State in Lviv. Stepan Ban­dera made his lieu­tenant Yaroslav Stet­sko the Pre­mier. After the war the Ban­dera groups formed their Gov­ern­ment in Exile that was given quiet legit­i­macy by both the US and Cana­dian gov­ern­ments shortly after WW2. Part of this was due to their sup­port dur­ing the cold war against the Soviet Union, and part due to the size of their lob­by­ing effort. They pump a lot of money into Con­gress. That they were legit­imized by the US Gov­ern­ment is clear from all the released Nazi War Crimes Dis­clo­sure Act doc­u­ments I have come across.

    It is very clear that the most impor­tant branches of the Dias­pora gov­ern­ment are in the US and Canada. Until 2003 the exiled lead­er­ship of the Ban­dera Gov­ern­ment of Ukraine was only one step away from the per­son of Stepan Ban­dera him­self. The supreme lead­er­ship of Bandera’s Ultra Nation­al­ists world­wide changed hands twice after his assas­si­na­tion. Both supreme lead­ers had been his clos­est associates.

    The first was Yaroslav Stet­sko, Bandera’s Pre­mier in exile. He took over con­trol of the Ultra Nation­al­ist Gov­ern­ment in Exile on the death of Stepan Ban­dera and held the posi­tion until his own death in 1986. Upon his death, his wife Slava Stet­sko took over the lead­er­ship role and lived to bring the world­wide move­ment home to Ukraine.


    Most rec­og­niz­able Ukrain­ian politi­cians, includ­ing Vic­tor Yush­henko and Yulia Tymoshenko , are pro­tégés of Slava Stet­sko. This will explain why Mr. Yuschenko made Stepan Ban­dera a “Hero of Ukraine.” The EU sharply objected to this at the time, because of Bandera’s involve­ment in geno­cide, and Vic­tor Yanukovych sub­se­quently rescinded the award. That didn’t work out well for him.

    The 1st gen­er­a­tion Ban­dera gov­ern­ment, which pledged fidelity to Adolf Hitler and com­mit­ted ram­pant and bru­tal geno­cide that it still denies, was alive and well until 2003. It ruled and raised funds from the Ukrain­ian Dias­pora, which con­sti­tutes a third of the Ukrain­ian pop­u­la­tion world­wide, or 20 mil­lion people.

    Today, the Kiev gov­ern­ment is only the 2nd gen­er­a­tion of Ban­dera gov­ern­ment. Looked at real­is­ti­cally, it still pro­motes the teach­ings, poli­cies, and doc­trines of Stepan Ban­dera less than 10 years removed from their insti­tu­tional moorings.

    The Ban­dera lead­ers of today were cul­ti­vated to make sure they would not stray far. The present gov­ern­ment in Kiev can also be counted to be true to its history.


    School Kids That Scare Me

    One of the changes hap­pen­ing now in Ukraine is forced Ukrainiza­tion. If you remem­ber Nazi his­tory and the Hitler Youth, you’ll under­stand what Ukrainiza­tion means. It demands the same unques­tion­ing loy­alty from lit­tle chil­dren, a loy­alty even greater than that to family.

    What is forced Ukrainiza­tion at the pre school level ? Irina Far­ion was a favorite for the Min­is­ter of Edu­ca­tion slot, until a dis­cus­sion behind closed doors in the Sen­ate. Sergei Kvit from Trizub (Yarosh core group), a real Ultra-Nationalist, got the nod instead.

    Here is Irina Far­ion speak­ing to a lit­tle child: What is your name? Misha. It’s not Ukrain­ian. You are Mihailo!

    And your name? Masha. You are Marusa. But my mom calls me this! If you want to be Masha, go to Moscow!

    Don’t call other chil­dren Russ­ian names. It is degrad­ing. It’s like call­ing them an ani­mal that lives in the woods and walks on all fours.

    Imag­ine a gov­ern­ment offi­cial speak­ing to chil­dren like this. Chil­dren are now taught that if they have Russ­ian names they are second-class cit­i­zens. All of the chil­dren of Ukraine will grow up to be Ultra Nation­al­ists. Those instilled with National Social­ism will get a bet­ter edu­ca­tion, a bet­ter job, a bet­ter life.


    What Does This Mean for South and East Ukraine?
    South and East Ukraine don’t want their chil­dren taught these things. Would you? Vladimir Putin and Rus­sia are the only par­ties putting the brakes on that right now. The same Europe and Amer­ica that 70 years ago vio­lently over­threw the forces of big­otry and indoc­tri­na­tion are now say­ing that the Ukrain­ian peo­ple must accept them quietly!

    Dmitri Yarosh (Trizub and Pravy Sek­tor, and Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense [Mil­i­tary] and National Secu­rity): “It is bet­ter for us to build our own National State! Does that mean knives to the Moskals and ropes to the Jews? Well, not so unso­phis­ti­cated. There must be a Ukrain­ian author­ity in Ukraine; the tit­u­lar nation must dom­i­nate in busi­ness, pol­i­tics, and culture...then–forced Ukrainiza­tion. Rus­sians do not like it? Well, go back to F#cking Rus­sia! Those that don’t want to go–we can help them. Rus­sians are not even Slavs.... Next we will lib­er­ate our lands: Voronezh, Kursk, Bel­o­gorod Oblast, and Kuban. These are all Ukrain­ian lands!”

    The only prob­lem is all of these Oblasts (regions) are in Russia!


    More at link

    Posted by Swamp | March 17, 2014, 8:23 am

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