Ukraine’s Neo-Nazis Join Forces: Part 1 – Cui bono?

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March 17, 2017 – Fort Russ – 

By Eduard Popov – translated by J. Arnoldski – 

Andrey Biletsky (Azov), Oleg Tyagnibok (Svoboda), Andrey Tarasenko (Right Sector)

On March 16th, several Ukrainian neo-Nazi organizations signed a manifesto on joining forces. Signatures were provided by representatives of the All-Ukrainian Union Svoboda, the National Corps party (created out of the Azov regiment), and Right Sector. The manifesto contains 20 points, among which are recognizing Russia as an “aggressor country” and severing diplomatic relations with it, recognizing the Lugansk and Donetsk regions uncontrolled by Kiev as “occupied territories,” creating a contract army, and recognizing Ukrainian as the only state language.

The unification of these three Ukrainian neo-Nazi groups is a long overdue, partially overripe fruition. Let us provide some brief background.

One of the aspects of the Euromaidan was the unification of a most wide spectrum of Ukrainian political forces, ranging from pro-Western liberals to ultra-leftists (anarchists) and ultra-rightists (neo-Nazis), against the Yanukovych regime. During this process, the right-wing extremists created their own association, the notorious Right Sector. At the head of Right Sector stood the little-known figure from right-wing circles Dmitry Yarosh. Much of his rise can be explained by his closeness to Igor Kolomoysky, one of the richest Jewish oligarchs in Ukraine. 

Right Sector was perceived by many neo-Nazis as an attempt by Yarosh to seize the lead over the whole right-wing movement in the spur of the moment. Therefore, attitudes towards him in the neo-Nazi scene were cautious. Not only ideologically-driven Ukrainian Nazis, but also many ultra-right movements in Europe believe that Yarosh was and is serving the interests of the Ukrainian plutocracy (oligarchy). It is partially for this reason as well as due to the leadership struggle and differing strategic and tactical visions that there was no unification of Ukrainian neo-Nazi forces after the Euromaidan.

Yet today Ukraine’s neo-Nazis are in dire need of at least temporarily joining forces in order to present a more powerful opposition to the Poroshenko regime. What is happening on this flank? Many Nazis hate the founder and leader of the Azov battalion/regiment, Andrey Biletsky, whose unit is incorporated into the structure of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. In the opinion of these neo-Nazi ideologues, this incorporation is unacceptable from the point of view of the ethics of a far-right movement. Still others feel stronger hate for the “Jew” and Kolomoysky pet Yarosh, etc. Even the third anniversary of the Euromaidan was celebrated by neo-Nazi groups under different flags.

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But now it is important for Ukraine’s neo-Nazis to show Ukrainian society that they are the only force capable of defending the interests of the people (in their interpretation, the nation). To this end, at least a semblance of unity is needed. Now that the Poroshenko regime’s fall seems very close, it is becoming all the more important to take advantage of this chance to the maximum.

Without a doubt, this union of ultra-right groups is being formed with a single purpose: strengthening the position of Azov and its leader, Andrey Biletsky. The other parties, whether those that have already joined or those representing potential partners, are being used by Biletsky’s forces. This is especially true for Svoboda, whose influence fell dramatically after the Euromaidan’s victory. Svoboda’s leader, Tyagnibok, has had his participation in political games with the Yanukovych administration thrown in his face. Plus it was the paramilitary neo-Nazi organizations, such as Right Sector and Azov, that came to the forefront after the Euromaidan, whereas Svoboda’s main tool has always been politics.

Pay attention to the fact that Biletsky, nicknamed the “White Leader”, is a long-standing and sincere admirer of Hitler. One can see an analogy to the union created out of a number of German right organizations which gained fame in the Beer Hall Putsch of 1923. Then Hitler was able to manipulate his more famous and merited colleagues, such as General Ludendorff, to promote his party, the NSDAP. 

It is entirely probable that this union between neo-Nazi leaders will be short-lived, but the main point is that it will be Azov that will enjoy an influx of people from the other organizations. 

Now let us proceed to analyze the programmatic points of this joint neo-Nazi manifesto…

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Continued in Part 2 

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