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German Support for Swoboda Includes NPD, NGO’S; Swoboda Parliamentary Debuties Brutalize State Television Executive


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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 777778779780781, 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.

“Tight on the Right: Ger­many’s NPD Main­tains Close Ties to Swo­bo­da” by Stef­fan Win­ter; Der Spiegel; 3/17/2014.

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.

 “Nation­al­ist Svo­boda Par­ty mem­bers of par­lia­ment assault First Chan­nel TV man­ager” by Olga Rudenko; Kyiv Post; 3/19/2014.

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.



2 comments for “German Support for Swoboda Includes NPD, NGO’S; Swoboda Parliamentary Debuties Brutalize State Television Executive”

  1. The head of NATO is call­ing the sit­u­a­tion in Ukraine a “wake-up call” on the need for more Euro­pean defense spend­ing. So, could we be see­ing the ker­nel of the end of EU aus­ter­i­ty here? Sure, it would be hor­ri­bly pathet­ic if gear­ing up for WWIII is the one excuse the EU’s lead­er­ship can find to end the aus­ter­i­ty poli­cies, but could that be what we’re about to see?

    Nato chief says Rus­sia may not stop at Crimea, urges Europe to “step up”

    By Phil Stew­art

    WASHINGTON Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:27pm EDT

    (Reuters) — The head of NATO warned on Wednes­day that Russ­ian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin may not stop with the annex­a­tion of Crimea and said the cri­sis should serve as a “wake-up call” for Euro­pean nations to bol­ster defense spend­ing.

    NATO Sec­re­tary-Gen­er­al Anders Fogh Ras­mussen said Rus­si­a’s move to annex Crimea fol­low­ing a Krem­lin-backed ref­er­en­dum on Sun­day had trig­gered “the gravest threat to Euro­pean secu­ri­ty and sta­bil­i­ty since the end of the Cold War.”


    Since the end of the Cold War, NATO has shift­ed its atten­tion to Afghanistan, Koso­vo and counter-pira­cy oper­a­tions off the coast of Soma­lia, as well as Libya dur­ing its 2011 civ­il war. The Ukraine cri­sis has put Rus­sia into focus and sharp­ened con­cerns about NATO defense spend­ing.

    In recent years, aus­ter­i­ty-hit Euro­pean Union coun­tries have slashed spend­ing, scal­ing back on ships, tanks and fight­er jets, and increas­ing­ly rely­ing on the Unit­ed States, which con­tributes about three-quar­ters of NATO defense spend­ing.

    Ras­mussen cau­tioned that Euro­pean secu­ri­ty could no longer be tak­en for grant­ed and that Euro­pean states need­ed to “step up polit­i­cal­ly and mil­i­tar­i­ly” after Rus­si­a’s actions.

    “The Ukraine cri­sis and what we have seen in Crimea has been a wake-up call and it must be fol­lowed by increased Euro­pean invest­ment in defense if we are to ensure a cred­i­ble deter­rence and col­lec­tive defense in the future,” he said.

    U.S. Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Biden said in War­saw on Tues­day the Unit­ed States may run more ground and naval mil­i­tary exer­cis­es to help the Baltic states bor­der­ing Rus­sia beef up their capac­i­ty.

    Ras­mussen said he expect­ed NATO to do more in the days ahead.

    “I envis­age fur­ther steps to reas­sure allies, to strength­en deter­rence and col­lec­tive defense, in light of what we have seen,” he said, with­out offer­ing details.

    Ras­mussen also pre­dict­ed some NATO assis­tance to Ukraine would be approved at a NATO for­eign min­is­ters meet­ing in ear­ly April, but did not ven­ture into specifics.

    “I agree we (NATO) should step up assis­tance to Ukraine and I am sure it will hap­pen,” he said.

    The Unit­ed States has agreed to send Ukraine mil­i­tary rations but has not yet approved requests for lethal assis­tance, like weapons.

    So less EU aus­ter­i­ty via more spend­ing on machines ded­i­cat­ed to blow­ing up pre­cious resources? Per­haps? Tragedy pos­si­bly avert­ed!

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 22, 2014, 2:20 pm
  2. So a mem­ber of the Ukrain­ian par­lia­ment charged nation­al­ist groups with pro­vok­ing eth­nic ten­sions in Ukraine. Guess what Svo­bo­da mem­bers did in response:

    Fists Fly in Ukraine Par­lia­ment as Com­mu­nists Clash With Nation­al­ists
    First pub­lished April 8th 2014, 9:39 am

    Law­mak­ers in the Ukrain­ian par­lia­ment brawled in the cham­ber on Tues­day after a com­mu­nist leader accused nation­al­ists of play­ing into the hands of Rus­sia by adopt­ing extreme tac­tics ear­ly in the Ukrain­ian cri­sis.

    Two deputies from the Svo­bo­da far-right nation­al­ist par­ty took excep­tion to the charges by com­mu­nist Petro Symo­nenko and seized him while he was talk­ing from the ros­trum.

    His par­ty sup­port­ers ral­lied to his defense and a brawl broke out with deputies from oth­er par­ties join­ing in and trad­ing punch­es.

    Symo­nenko stirred nation­al­ist anger when, refer­ring to pro-Russ­ian pro­test­ers who seized build­ings in east­ern Ukraine, he said nation­al­ists had set a prece­dent ear­li­er this year by seiz­ing pub­lic build­ings in protest at the rule of oust­ed Pres­i­dent Vik­tor Yanukovich.

    Now, he said, armed groups were attack­ing peo­ple who want­ed to defend their rights by peace­ful means.

    “You are today doing every­thing to intim­i­date peo­ple. You arrest peo­ple, start fight­ing peo­ple who have a dif­fer­ent point of view,” he said, before being pulled away from the ros­trum by the Svo­bo­da deputies.

    Video here.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 8, 2014, 12:47 pm

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