Ukrainian Ultras Are on the Rise

Actions of National Radicals in the country are becoming more energetic and aggressive. Many people think it is connected with the oncoming elections. Besides, their actions are directed not only against their ideological opponents but against everything Russian, everything that unites Ukraine and Russia in the spheres of culture and art.

So, in Dnepr a local theatre called off a stage play in the Russian language for fear that the “Pravy Sector” might visit it; while in Kharkov a local branch of the “National Corps” is planning to break up the concert of a Russian rapper Mot because of his visit to Simferopol. In Odessa their buddies started a scuffle at the concert of Svetlana Loboda, and Potap and Nastja Kamenskih can’t perform over Ukraine for a long time.

There is an active struggle with left-wing parties. Petr Simonenko and some remaining communists decided to organize a press conference in Kiev in December 2017, however, it was dispersed – raids of ‘activists’ to Socialist organizations and offices  have become an ordinary thing. These roughnecks have a right to break in everywhere being protected by the police or even an insider from the surrounding of the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. This impunity can’t fail to create an illusion of almightiness to radicals. Besides, their main activity is to appear at the places where national security members are to come. Immediately after the signal they are to disappear. This is the way to express ‘people’s will’. When there is a state trial, it is they who persecute the accused demanding to give him the longest sentence. It was the case of Ruslan Kotsab. The German journalist Bernhard Klasen is describing this in the newspaper «Die Tageszeitung».

However, extreme rightists’ slogans have become left-wing oriented. They appeal to fight with oligarchs, against privatization of strategic enterprises, for an 8-hour working day and a luxury tax. All these only underlines that National Socialism is also socialism in some extent. It became unchangeable for far rightists even after many years. In addition, Ukrainian Nazi conduct many activities to attract apolitical youth to their ranks. They attack drugstores selling drugs (often for profit), paint contacts of drug traffickers written on fences, fight illegal construction and deforestation. Using the money of sponsors, or oligarchs, the "National Corps" arranges sports events, competitions on mixed martial arts. All the cities are glued with the advertisement of this new party.

However, in reality there is no an extreme right party that would represent even the smallest part of the population. As a matter of fact, these structures are controlled by the Security Service and the police, creating a picture on television. In all opinion polls, none of the parties overcomes the 5 percent barrier in the elections and hasn’t even been close to this figure. Only "Svoboda", according to the polls of some sociological centers, gets 2.5 percent, which is not enough to claim their opinion expression in the parliament.

Now let us briefly review some of the organizations and their development over the years after the Maidan.

“National Corps”. It is the most faithful structure of the Maidan authorities, which had been both the Skinhead group and the unit of MIA - Ministry of Internal Affairs - (which Human Rights Watch accused of torture), and now it has become a political party. After the Maidan it has never opposed the authorities systematically, but recent searches at their base at the abandoned Kiev plant ATEK caused confusion. Some consider it as a conflict between Avakov and the authorities of the "corps", the others – as a banal show-off, designed to create a false image of the "anti-system" of the party before the election. The conflict developed in the following: when the ZIK TV channel was persecuted, the police defiantly refused to protect it, but the National Corps volunteered to do it. Apparently, the interests of the MIA authorities and the "corps" clash in some way.

It is this party that evolved towards National Socialism, putting forward many left-wing slogans, working with the youth better than other right-wingers and investing large expenses in military sports training of teenagers. Besides, no one sends them to the front - apparently, protecting them for some reason. There are certain signs of leadership in the party. Its leader Andrei Biletsky is positioned as a real "Fuhrer" or "Duce" and is actively promoted in the media.

When Dmitry Yarosh left the “Pravyi Sector” it weakened greatly. The structure is no longer the formidable force that was considered to be several years ago. Now its participants are more interested in fighting not with Russia, but with Poland. They hold the action "Lviv is not for the Polish Pans", and recently they even set fire to the Polish tourist bus. The organization members consider themselves the direct successors of the OUN-UIA, therefore they perceived the ban of the Bandera ideology in Poland as a personal insult. However, the authorities do not intend to compete with the Poles. The leader of the organization admitted that no one was sponsoring it.

C14, the old ultra-right grouping, once joining the "Pravyi Sector", is now one of the most rabid and aggressive. If the "corps" behave as a disciplined organization, these guys arrange brutal beatings of "quads", attack the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, its members are accused of killing Olesya Buzina, and during the Maidan times its members tortured captured Berkutians. They use the most awful methods to intimidate citizens, to which others will not descend. According to the leader of the organization Eugene Karas, their "military wing" counts only 200 people. However, there is a lot of noise from them. Karas himself is accused by other nationalists of direct work in the Security Service. Once the group was financed by owners of the “Svoboda”, but something went wrong.
"Korchinsky Bratstvo". It is the old radical grouping, which for many years was a cheap crowd, driven for paid riots to be filmed. It’s a kind of business for the "philosopher and publicist" Dmitry Korchinsky. Everyone who followed him is either someone without brains, or a disappointed personality. Since the scale and level of the organization have changed, and the participants' ideology is low, it was lost in the Maidan period and appeared now when the leaders of the right movement were either blown away or outgrew into parties and lost their former radical shade. It was Korchinsky who arranged the blocking of the channel ZIK, and now he is appealing to attack the house of the politician Viktor Medvedchuk, known for his influence and connections with Putin. In a word, only Korchinsky remained unchanged over the years.

Anyhow, right-wing movements have become more active lately. At the same time, they all expose themselves as fighters against the authorities, but mostly they satisfy their interests in one way or another. Now they are all trying to unite in one structure to win votes for getting into the parliament, but there is every reason to believe that the ambitions of the "leaders" of each of the factions and their sponsors will be stronger again. However, they perfectly perform their main functions - intimidation of the opposition and dissenters, as well as the creation of a small "informal army" of loyal servants of the ruling regime.

Дата публикации: 16 июля 2018 г.

Тэги: Ukraine

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