Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
In the Ukrainian capital, leaders of the ultra-right parties “Svoboda”, “Right Sector”, “the Congress of Ukrainian nationalists”, “Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists”, “National Corps” (the political wing of the regiment of National Guard “Azov”) and the neo-Nazi C14 group formally signed a common “National Manifesto”.
The place of meeting of a kind of alliance of right-wing forces was Teacher’s House in Kiev, where on 14th October, 2016, the founding Congress of the “National Corpus” took place.
Лідери Свободи, Національного корпусу та Правого сектору в історичному Будинку Вчителя зібрались заради підписання Національного Маніфесту pic.twitter.com/UJH2rQP4XF
— ВО Свобода (@vo_svoboda) March 16, 2017
The contents of the document (published on the website of the party “Svoboda”) also implemented on the basis of the statement read out on February 22nd this year in the Verkhovna Rada after the common march of the nationalists by the leader of the “National Corps” and “Azov” Andrey Biletsky: the severance of diplomatic relations with Russia, official recognition of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics as “territories occupied by Russia”, the fight against oligarchs, creation of an acting mechanism for the impeachment of the President, a ban on the sale of agricultural land, and the nationalization of key enterprises of the country, etc.
It is possible to highlight two important aspects of the “National Manifesto”: “Return the right of the restoration of nuclear potential as a fundamental basis of national security in connection with the violation of the Budapest Memorandum” (p. 5) and “to contribute to the creation of a single local Church with its center in Kiev“ (p. 20).
Національний маніфест pic.twitter.com/EmpFR6c9Aw
— ВО Свобода (@vo_svoboda) March 16, 2017
The first paragraph already has been voiced a long time prior by the demonstratively underlined “Azov” militarism of Biletsky, while the demand for the creation of a united local Ukrainian Orthodox Church is traditionally the priority of the classical nationalists of “Svoboda”, “Right sector” and the “Congress of Ukrainian nationalists”. For the neo-Nazis of “Azov” and C14, who believe in revived slavic paganism, this moment is not so important, but in practice on the ground they support with their power resource the pretensions of the schismatic Kiev Patriarchate, which positions itself as a “National Ukrainian Church” as opposed to “Moscow” (the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church related to the Russian Orthodox Church).
The forced merger of the Orthodox community in the framework of the controlled-by the-authorities Church is supported by nationalists in the ranks of the establishment. For example, the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Andrey Parubiy (party “People’s front” of Turchinov-Yatsenyuk), who in 1990’s was one of the leaders of the Social-national party of Ukraine, which later transformed into “Svoboda”.
Also migrated into the “National Manifesto” is one of the key points of the ideology of “Azov” about the need “to form a new vector of Ukrainian geopolitics — orientation not to the West or East, but the formation of a new European unity — the Baltic-Black Sea Union.”
“‘Intermarum’, as the party ‘National Corpus’ and the battalion ‘Azov’ imagine it to be, is an alternative to the European Union, anti-Russian, anti-Western and anti-liberal,” said the expert of the Institute of Euro-Atlantic Cooperation Andreas Umland on March 4th this year.
According to the project presented in Kiev on 2nd-3rd July by “Azov”, the military-political bloc “Intermarium” should include Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and in the second stage — Finland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Romania, Moldova, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Macedonia, and Georgia. The population of this bloc is presented as the “iron fist” of Europe (obviously, against Russia), would amount to 87.8 million people, which would be comparable to the population of the European part of our country.
The project “Intermarium” is analogous on the one hand to the known geopolitical idea of medieval Poland “from sea to sea”, which the dictator Jozef Pilsudski tried to revive in 1920-1930, only wider, and on the other hand — on the ambitious projects of the UNA-UNSO of the 1990’s (the party “Right Sector”, incidentally, was created in March 22nd, 2014, on this basis).
“Ukraine can exist only as a strong State, as a determining factor in the Eurasian region,” said in 1994 in the pages of the newspaper “Za Vilnu Ukrainu” the ideologist of the UNA-UNSO Anatoly Lupynis.
In the same year, the head of military referendary (direction of activities) of the organization Colonel Vitaly Chechilo put forward in the magazine “Voice of the nation” (1994, № 23/24) the idea to “create at the first stage, a Confederation of Slavic States, and also a strong unitary empire within the former USSR under the auspices of Ukraine and with the capital in Kiev”, and in December 1997, the leader of the organization Dmitry Korchinskiy stated at the party congress that “Ukraine is only possible as a dragon with a tail in the far East, the heart in the Caucasus, and the head in the Balkans”.
It is noticeable that the Ukrainian right-wing radicals claim to use, on the one hand, the anti-Russian attitudes of elites in Eastern Europe, and on the other hand — powerful nationalist sentiment, growing in their Western neighbors and tearing apart the European Union.
Characteristically, the presentation of “Intermarium” on July 2nd, 2016, in the Kiev Radisson Blu Hotel, was visited by the military attache of Poland, Hungary, Romania, and Lithuania (let’s remember the created in 2014 Ukrainian-Polish-Lithuanian brigade), and on the next day in the headquarters of the Civil corps “Azov” — the representatives of several groups of Polish and Lithuanian nationalists and immigrant right-wing radicals from Russia, including Alexey Levkin, singer of “М8Л8ТХ”, which glorifies the feats of Hitler’s SS in the death camps and other right-wing topics. This musical group, incidentally, is so popular in “Azov” that on 28th September, 2015, the battalion organised a massive concert at their training base in Kiev.
We can add that many Croats and Slovenes appeared in the ranks of the “Azov” in recent times, professing ultra-right and hostile to Brussels sentiments, and who are already creating “veteran centers” in their homeland in cooperation with Ukrainians – the space of which suggests that it is an object of either mass propaganda or military training for locals on the model of training camps in Ukraine (and most likely both). So their hopes to unify around them the right-wing forces of Europe in Kiev are not groundless.
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