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Home page > 06- Livre Six : POLITIQUE REVOLUTIONNAIRE > 1-2 Réformisme et fascisme contre la révolution sociale > The real face of Ukraine’s Maidan “democrats”

The real face of Ukraine’s Maidan “democrats”

Monday 7 April 2014, by Robert Paris

The real face of Ukraine’s Maidan “democrats”

By Ulrich Rippert

Two events this week have exposed the propaganda used by the German government and its allies to justify their actions in Ukraine: the death of Alexander Musytchko and a telephone conversation with Yulia Timoschenko, which was intercepted and made public.

Musytchko, coordinator of the fascist Right Sector in western Ukraine, was shot on Monday in a police operation near the west Ukrainian town of Rivne. Reports on his death are contradictory.

Deputy Interior Minister Vladimir Yevdokimov stated that Musytchko, who was wanted for “malicious hooliganism and resisting state forces,” was killed during an exchange of shots with the police when he put up armed resistance to his arrest.

By contrast, Right Sector activists claim that their leader was in fact executed. They said that armed men arrived in two VW buses and forced Musytchko and five others to leave a cafe in Rivne. Behind the cafe, they made sure that Musytchko was not wearing a bulletproof vest and then killed him with two shots in the heart.

The Right Sector militants have sworn they will avenge themselves on Interior Minister Arsen Asakov.

Sections of the German media tried to portray the police action against Musytchko as a welcome step in the direction of the rule of law. In fact, it reveals the character of the fascist and criminal elements upon which the West has relied to overthrow elected president Victor Yanukovitch and bring a more compliant regime to power.

The circumstances of Musytchko’s killing recall the Röhm putsch through which Hitler eliminated the leadership of the SA storm troopers in 1934 after they had fulfilled their task, rather than any move towards the rule of law.

Alexander Musytchko, better known by the name “white Sascha,” was deputy commander of Right Sector, which played a decisive role in forcing President Yanukovitch from power in February’s coup.

As leader of the paramilitary Ukrainian national assembly–Ukrainian national self-defence (UNA-UNSO), Musytchko, who had a long criminal career behind him, controlled the most militant wing of Right Sector. According to his credo, he would “fight communists, Jews and Russians as long as blood flows through my veins.”

Already in 1995, A Ukrainian court found Musytchko guilty of grievous bodily harm, and in 2003, he was sentenced to three-and-a-half years’ imprisonment for bribery. In the mid-1990s, he fought on the side of Chechen rebels against Russian government troops. At that time, he was head of a Ukrainian terrorist organisation called Viking and was the bodyguard of Chechnya’s separatist president Dudayev for a time.

Russian authorities issued an international warrant for his arrest, because he allegedly brutally tortured at least 20 imprisoned Russian soldiers in the Caucasus before killing them. “White Sascha” responded to the warrant by promising a reward of $10-$12 million to anyone who could “eliminate” Putin.

After the overthrow of Yanukovitch, Musytchko was heavily involved in acts of violence, intimidation and arbitrary measures against political opponents.

The day after the right-wing coup, he appeared in a military uniform at the regional parliament in the Rivne administrative district brandishing a Kalashnikov. He then forced a parliamentary sitting to implement his demands. These included the provision of accommodation for his supporters in Right Sector.

Three days later, he stormed the office of the district administrator of Rivne with a group of supporters and assaulted him on camera. The courts investigated complaints and statements according to which Musytchko and his supporters had arbitrarily confiscated cars and occupied houses.

When the new government in Kiev issued a warrant for his arrest, Musytchko threatened Interior Minister Asakov that he would “hang by the legs like a dog and be exterminated.”

Shortly thereafter, Musytchko was liquidated in a police operation.

Interior Minister Asakov is a member of Yulia Timoschenko’s Fatherland Party, which is also far from squeamish in its dealings with political opponents. The Western media has portrayed Timoschenko, who made millions in the gas industry in the 1990s, as an icon of the Orange Revolution and a fighter for democracy. However, an excerpt of a telephone call between Timoschenko and her close ally Nestor Chufritch appeared on the Internet on Tuesday, which exposed the “icon” as a vulgar, unscrupulous criminal driven by hatred.

It was necessary to seize arms and get rid of the Russians and their leaders, she declared, obviously referring to Vladimir Putin. She was “ready to hold a pistol and shoot the bastard in the brain.” Responding to the question of how the 8 million Russians on Ukrainian territory should be dealt with, she answered that they should “be targeted by nuclear weapons.”

Moreover, her discussion was full of obscene and insulting terms. She used the disparaging description “kazap” for Russians and peppered “the dialogue with all sorts of Russian swearwords, which are disingenuously translated with terms like ‘damned,’ ‘dirt’ and ‘Russian dogs’,” as Der Spiegel wrote.

Timoschenko subsequently confirmed the authenticity of the discussion on Twitter while declaring that her statement about the 8 million Russians had been passed on incorrectly.

Timoschenko’s hatred-filled tirades, which threaten to provoke civil war, even compelled the German government to distance itself from the leader of the Fatherland Party whom Chancellor Angela Merkel had previously repeatedly met and admitted to Germany for specialised medical treatment. Government spokesman Stefan Seibert declared on the chancellor’s behalf that there were “limits to speech and thought which should not be breached.” Timoschenko’s fantasies of violence were “beyond that limit.”

This did not prevent Timoschenko, however, from announcing on Thursday her candidacy in the Ukrainian presidential elections.

What the European Union said in 2012 about its current fascist allies in Ukraine

By Alex Lantier

Since last month’s putsch in Kiev, the US and European media have denounced reports from Russia and internationally of fascist involvement in the new, Western-backed Ukrainian regime.

The media has attacked such reports as “empty” (New York Times), “a fancy” (Guardian), “Putin plays the Nazi card” (Fox News), and “the supreme lie” (Le Monde). One source that inspires total confidence, Russian oligarch and convicted felon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, speaking on Monday to a right-wing crowd in Kiev, summed up the line of the corporate media. He called reports of fascist influence over the new regime “lying Russian propaganda.”

To evaluate this torrent of pro-fascist apologetics, it is worth recalling what the European Union itself said only two years ago about its current partners in Kiev. Today, the far-right Svoboda party holds top ministerial positions (deputy prime minister, education, ecology, and agriculture) and advisory posts in a regime that enjoys the economic and military backing of the EU and Washington.

Svoboda was condemned in an official resolution voted and adopted by the European Parliament. The document, titled “European Parliament of 13 December, 2012 on the Situation in Ukraine,” is available online.

In section 8 of the resolution, the EU’s legislative body declares itself “concerned about the rising nationalistic sentiment in Ukraine, expressed in support for the Svoboda party, which, as a result, is one of the two new parties to enter the Verkhovna Rada,” the Ukrainian parliament.

Stating that “racist, anti-Semitic, and xenophobic views go against the EU’s fundamental values,” the European Parliament “therefore appeals to pro-democratic parties in the Verkhovna Rada not to associate with, endorse, or form coalitions with this party.”

When the imperialist powers embarked on a critical foreign policy operation, however—the installation of a pro-Western regime in Kiev—they easily overcame whatever scruples EU legislators may have had about Svoboda’s racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia. It fell to a corrupt media, academic and cultural elite to package the resulting collaboration with fascists as a struggle for democracy, misleading the public through a combination of complicit silence and active falsification.

The fascist danger in Ukraine

A politically sinister propaganda offensive is underway in the media to either deny the involvement of fascists in the US-backed coup in Ukraine or present their role as a marginal and insignificant detail.

The New York Times, for example, asserted, “Putin’s claim of an immediate threat to Ukrainian Russians is empty,” while Britain’s Guardian dismissed as a “fancy” claims that events in Crimea were an attempt to “prevent attacks by bands of revolutionary fascists,” adding that “the world’s media has [not] yet seen or heard from” such forces.

This is an obscene cover-up.

The reality is that, for the first time since 1945, an avowedly anti-Semitic, pro-Nazi party controls key levers of state power in a European capital, courtesy of US and European imperialism. The unelected Ukrainian government, headed by US appointee Arseniy Yatsenyuk, includes no fewer than six ministers from the fascist Svoboda party.

Less than a year ago, the World Jewish Congress called for Svoboda to be banned. But the party’s founder and leader, Oleh Tyahnybok, who has spoken repeatedly of his determination to crush the “Russkie-Yid mafia that controls Ukraine,” was feted by US and European Union officials as they prepared last month’s coup.

Following the 2010 conviction of John Demjanjuk as an accomplice in the murder of nearly 30,000 people in the Nazi concentration camp at Sobibor, Tyahnybok called him a hero. Tyahnybok’s deputy, Yuriy Mykhalchyshyn, founded a think tank called the Joseph Goebbels Political Research Center.

Svoboda was the major political force in the Maidan protests that overthrew Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych. In return for providing the shock troops for the coup, it has been given control of vital ministries.

Svoboda co-founder Andriy Parubiy acted as “security commandant” in the protests, directing attacks by the Right Sector—an alliance of fascists and extreme right-wing nationalists, including the paramilitary Ukrainian National Assembly-Ukrainian National Self Defense (UNA-UNSO). Dressed in uniforms modelled on Hitler’s Waffen SS, its members boast of fighting Russia in Chechnya, Georgia and Afghanistan.

Parubiy is now secretary of the National Security and Defence Council, overseeing the Defence Ministry and the armed forces. Dmytro Yarosh, leader of the Right Sector, is his deputy.

Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Sych is another leading Svoboda figure, as is Oleh Makhnitsky (prosecutor-general), Serhiy Kvit (Education Ministry), Andriy Makhnyk (Ecology Ministry) and Ihor Shvaiko (Agriculture Ministry).

Others reportedly connected to UNA-UNSO are Dmytro Bulatov (youth and sports minister) and the “activist” journalist Tetyana Chernovol, who was named chair of the government’s anti-corruption committee.

The hero of Svoboda and UNA-UNSO is the Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera, leader of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (OUN), which aided the Nazis in horrific massacres of the Jewish population.

In 2010, Svoboda’s official forum posted a statement reading: “To create a truly Ukrainian Ukraine in the cities of the East and South…we will need to cancel parliamentarism, ban all political parties, nationalise the entire industry, all media, prohibit the importation of any literature to Ukraine from Russia...completely replace the leaders of the civil service, education management, military (especially in the East), physically liquidate all Russian-speaking intellectuals and all Ukrainophobes (fast, without a trial shot. Registering Ukrainophobes can be done here by any member of Svoboda), execute all members of the anti-Ukrainian political parties....”

One of the first acts of the new government was to abolish minority rights for Russian-speakers. Moves are also afoot to overturn the law that bans “excusing the crimes of fascism.”

In recent days, representatives of the Right Sector have been busy attacking Jews, Russian Orthodox Christians and legal figures. Two YouTube videos show a Right Sector leader Aleksandr Muzychko—who described his credo as fighting “communists, Jews and Russians for as long as blood flows in my veins”—physically attacking a regional prosecutor in Rovno and forcing Rovno regional parliament members to hold a session at gunpoint after he brandished a Kalashnikov, demanding, “Who wants to take away my machine-gun? Who wants to take away my gun? Who wants to take away my knives? I dare you!”

The US and European bourgeoisie, along with their media lackeys, are well aware of these facts.

Their attempts to portray the extreme right as a marginalised minority that has emerged almost overnight are equally bogus. There are numerous academic documents that detail the role and significance of the extreme right in Ukraine stretching back decades. They also illustrate how, having first reared its head again in the wake of the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the restoration of capitalism, the far right has risen to prominence, its ascendancy prepared ideologically over many years. The rise of the far right accelerated markedly following the Western-orchestrated “Orange Revolution” in 2004.

Per Anders Rudling (Organised Anti-Semitism in Contemporary Ukraine: Structure, Influence and Ideology, 2006), cites the critical role played by the Interregional Academy of Human Resources (MAUP), a private university founded in 1989 that “operates a well-connected political network that reaches the very top of the Ukrainian society.”

In 2008, the US State Department listed MAUP as “one of the most persistent anti-Semitic institutions in Eastern Europe.” Rudling states that MAUP has “educated more government officials, diplomats and administrators than any other university” in Ukraine.

MAUP’s speciality is churning out extreme-right propaganda disguised as academic research portraying Bolshevism and the October revolution as the creations of “international Jewry.” On this basis, it asserts that the crimes of the Stalinist dictatorship against the peoples of the Ukraine were part of the same “Jewish conspiracy.”

In June 2005, participants at the Fourth World Wide Conference organised by MAUP included David Duke, former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, and the extreme nationalist and former Ukrainian ambassador to Canada, Levko Lukianenko.

Lukianenko presented a paper that argued that the 1932-1933 famine, in which millions of Ukrainians died, was the work of a Jewish-run satanic government. Delegates at the conference called for the deportation of all Jews from the Ukraine.

At the time, Lukianenko was allied with the two leading figures in the Orange Revolution, Viktor Yushchenko and Yulia Tymoshenko. The two were backed by Washington and the European powers as part of a campaign to secure the presidency of Ukraine against the pro-Russian incumbent Viktor Yanukovych.

In January 2005, Yushchenko replaced Yanukovich as president. He was at the time on MAUP’s board of directors. Lukianenko was part of Tymoshenko’s electoral bloc. Only weeks before the June 2005 MAUP conference, Yushchenko made Lukianenko a “Hero of the Ukraine.”

At the end of 2005, MAUP held a conference under the title “The Jewish-Bolshevik Revolution of 1917—the Source of the Red Terrorism and the Starvation of Ukraine.” Not for nothing does Rudling note, “In the wake of the Orange Revolution, Ukraine has witnessed a substantial growth in organised anti-Semitism.”

So great was the stench of fascist reaction that, in July of that year, leading Ukrainian academics issued an appeal for the Orange leaders to disassociate themselves from the “xenophobic stance” of MAUP. “We would like to ask high government officials: at whose cost are these large-scale anti-Semitic campaigns being waged?” the appeal asked. “Do we not have a ‘fifth column’ that wishes to bring foreign ethno-political conflicts into our territory?”

The objective of this fifth column was to poison the ideological climate with reaction, as aspiring oligarchs jostled for control of Ukraine’s resources and the imperialist powers pressed forward with their plans to dominate Ukraine in order to isolate and ultimately colonise Russia.

This is the real record of the reactionary forces that the imperialist powers are aiding and abetting in Ukraine, and on whose behalf they are prepared to plunge Europe, and indeed, the entire world, into a Third World War.

Julie Hyland

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