Background information on the current German policy toward the Ukraine

Ukraina-Umland-Tiagnipeg 1 200x150The monopoly media in Canada is playing its usual filthy role by spreading disinformation about the forces in motion in the Ukraine with their “analysis” that the battle is over “democracy” and “Euro-Atlantic values” or “Euro-Atlantic inspiration.” Nor is the situation as simple as pro-EU and trade versus pro-Putin and Russian hegemony in the region. For the information of readers, we are reproducing three informative articles on the German policy of subversion and intervention in the Ukraine, including its direct sponsorship of openly fascist and neo-nazi forces (Svoboda Party) under the twin banners of so-called Ukrainian nationalism and anti-communism. The USA is also directly involved, as this photo reveals.

When warmongering US Senator John McCain dined with Ukraine's opposition leaders in December, he shared a table and later a stage with the leader of the neo-Nazi Svoboda party Oleh Tyahnybok.

When warmongering US Senator John McCain dined with Ukraine’s opposition leaders in December, he shared a table and later a stage with the leader of the neo-Nazi Svoboda party Oleh Tyahnybok.

German expansion occurs in the context of inter-imperialist rivalry on the geostrategic path of the Drang nach Osten (“Drive to the East”) pursued by Hitler and Bismarck that has been embraced by Germany, the United States, Canada and the NATO bloc, especially since the illegal invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. This poses grave dangers for the Ukrainian people and to the people of the world.

Further, while the monopoly media likes to call Svoboda only “right wing”, this is very misleading. The Second World War forerunners of Svoboda, which sees itself as standing in the traditions of Stepan Bandera’s Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) Nazi collaborators and their Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), are well-known for collaborating with the Hitlerites in such atrocities as the Nazi massacres of 150,000 at Babi Yar, near Kiev, including many Ukrainian citizens. Unlike previous uprisings in 1990 and the Orange Revolution of 2004, slogans, symbols and followers explicitly heroizing OUN, including its red/black blood-and-soil flag, are far more notable. In this regard, see also the informative article by Brian Denny, “Ukraine: The untold story,” posted earlier today on this weblog.

1. Ukraine and ‘Ostpolitik’: Germany’s integration rivalry with Russia

german-foreign-policy.com KIEV/BERLIN (Jan. 8) – BECAUSE the German government-backed attempt to overthrow the government in Kiev has not taken place, foreign policy experts in Berlin are now discussing cautious changes of course in Germany’s policy toward the Ukraine. Retrospective analyses are now admitting that, had the Ukraine signed the EU Association Agreement, serious economic and social damage would have been inflicted on that country. The foreign policy establishment continues to assert that Berlin should bring the Ukraine into its sphere of hegemonic influence. This therefore places Berlin in an “integration rivalry with Moscow.” To integrate the Ukraine, new proposals call for either bypassing elite circles by fostering contacts to “civil society” or by compelling integration with targeted economic interventions. In any case, the rightwing extremist Svoboda Party has been able to enhance its position within the protest movement during the recent demonstrations. It could benefit from the cooperation also with German diplomats during the agitation against the current Ukrainian government.

The German’s man

In light of the fact that, more than a month and a half after massive protests began, the Ukrainian government is still sitting high in the saddle, foreign policy specialists have begun discussing cautious changes in the course of Germany’s policy toward the Ukraine. Berlin did all it could, to help overthrow the government in Kiev. This culminated in the appearance of the then German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle at a demonstration in Kiev December 4. Westerwelle made his appearance at the side of Vitali Klitschko, the politician of the Ukrainian opposition, seen internationally as “the Germans’ man.” He has been systematically groomed by the CDU-affiliated Konrad Adenauer Foundation.[1] In their efforts to support the overthrow of the government in Kiev, German diplomats have even met on various occasions with top representatives of the Svoboda opposition party, which has an extremist rightwing orientation and cooperates with the German neo-Nazi NPD. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[2])

Crisis and unemployment

In retrospective analyses, foreign policy specialists have begun admitting that, had the Ukraine signed the EU Association Agreement as demanded by Brussels and Berlin, it would have inflicted serious damage on the country. According to an analysis of the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), “very few Ukrainian products” are “competitive in the EU.”[3] The Association Agreement’s trade facilitation measures would have benefitted German-European suppliers, but hardly Ukrainian exporters. On the whole, Ukrainian industry is out of date and “hardly competitive.” If the “markets would be opened” this would lead “to enormous modernization costs and the unemployment would have shot up very high.”[4] This would have been even more probable, since the association with the EU would have driven a wedge between the Ukrainian and the Russian economies – not only to the disadvantage of Russian companies: A “separation from the prevailing main customers of Ukrainian products” would have plunged “sectors, such as the air traffic or the petro-chemical industries into a deep crisis.”[5] Specialists are parting from the premise that the economic crisis with its affiliated rise in unemployment, which could be expected in the case of a signing of the Association Agreement, would “in the course of a year, cause a drop in popular support” not only for Kiev’s government, but also for integration into the EU.”[6]

No EU entry

In light of the difficulties that the signing of the EU Association Agreement would also entail in the future, foreign policy specialists reiterate that there should nevertheless be a possibility for the Ukraine to eventually join the EU. From the Ukrainian side, the Association Agreement would already cover “nearly all prerequisites for full membership,” explained the DGAP recently. If one wants to force the Kiev government to fulfill all these obligations, one should then also permit the finance transfers associated with joining the EU.[7] Foreign policy specialists with government insider connections see no chance of this suggestion being accepted. The SPD foreign policy specialist and former State’s Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Gernot Erler, declared “there is zero consent in Europe for making new promises to other countries.” “It would be unrealistic, to expect otherwise.”[8] Berlin is not innocent, because it is not interested in an expansion of expensive finance transfers from Brussels to Eastern European zones of poverty.

Bypass the elite circles

There is wide-ranging consensus in the German foreign policy establishment that Berlin should continue its struggle to anchor the Ukraine within its hegemonic sphere of influence – at times referred to as an “integration rivalry with Moscow.”[9] There are various suggestions for the means to be used. Stefan Meister, senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin, makes a plea for placing less emphasis on future contacts to Ukrainian elite circles. The “post-Soviet elite circles” are at least partially loyal to Moscow because of their economic and hegemonic interests. “Rather than elite circles, the population and civil society are the EU’s natural partners for modernization,” contends Meister. “The main element of the EU’s strategy” should therefore “be the involvement of civil society in the implementation of reform processes.”[10]

With the oligarchs

The DGAP recently suggested that sectors of the Ukrainian economy be more closely linked to the EU. Brussels must try “to support the Ukraine’s very important small and medium enterprises,” according to a paper published by the DGAP.[11] “Strategies” must be “developed for those sectors of industry, where it is foreseeable that they would not withstand the competitive pressure of the European market.” Examples of those industries include, to a large part, enterprises of Ukrainian oligarchs, with whom Berlin and the EU must establish a modus vivendi.

Leitmotifs

While the debate over a change of course in Germany’s “Ostpolitik” is continuing, the recent protests have reinforced the most acrimonious opponents of a Ukrainian-Russian cooperation – the rightwing extremists assembled around the Svoboda Party. As political scientist Andreas Umland observes, slogans and symbols of the old Ukrainian Nazi collaborators around Stepan Bandera are much more prominent in the current protests than in earlier demonstrations – probably due to the engagement of Svoboda activists. Some “leitmotifs” associated with the Nazi collaboration are today, even “characteristic of the entire protest movement.” This is “a remarkable success” for the “neo-Banderite ethno-nationalists.”[12] The success has been measurable: the Svoboda Party reports having assembled approx. 20,000 in Kiev on January 1, for a demonstration commemorating Bandera’s 105th birthday. German diplomats have also played a role in enhancing the reputation of this party – in the framework of the common agitation against the current Ukrainian government. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[13])

Other reports and background information on the current German policy toward the Ukraine can be found here: Other reports and background information on the current German policy toward the Ukraine can be found here: Problems of Eastward ExpansionA Broad-Based Anti-Russian AllianceExpansive Ambitions and Our Man in Kiev.

[1] See also The Boxer’s Punch and Our Man in Kiev.

[2] See also Eine Revolution sozialer NationalistenA Broad-Based Anti-Russian Alliance and Termin beim Botschafter.

[3] Ewald Böhlke, Maria Davydchyk: Die Ukraine-Politik der EU ist gescheitert. DGAPstandpunkt No. 9, November 2013.

[4] Stefan Meister: Verkalkuliert in Vilnius. Warum die EU ihre Östliche Partnerschaft jetzt neu aufstellen muss, in: Internationale Politik Januar/Februar 2014.

[5] Ewald Böhlke, Maria Davydchyk: Die Ukraine-Politik der EU ist gescheitert. DGAPstandpunkt No. 9, November 2013.

[6] Stefan Meister: Verkalkuliert in Vilnius. Warum die EU ihre Östliche Partnerschaft jetzt neu aufstellen muss, in: Internationale Politik Januar/Februar 2014.

[7] Ewald Böhlke, Maria Davydchyk: Die Ukraine-Politik der EU ist gescheitert. DGAPstandpunkt No. 9, November 2013.

[8] “Es war falsch, dass Westerwelle die Demonstranten besucht hat”. Interview mit Gernot Erler. zeitschrift-ip.dgap.org 12.12.2013.

[9], [10] Stefan Meister: Verkalkuliert in Vilnius. Warum die EU ihre Östliche Partnerschaft jetzt neu aufstellen muss, in: Internationale Politik Januar/Februar 2014.

[11] Ewald Böhlke, Maria Davydchyk: Die Ukraine-Politik der EU ist gescheitert. DGAPstandpunkt No. 9, November 2013.

[12] Andreas Umland: Is Tiahnybok a Patriot? How the Spread of Banderite Slogans and Symbols Undermines Ukrainian Nation-Building. http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com 01.01.2014.

[13] See also Eine Revolution sozialer NationalistenA Broad-Based Anti-Russian Alliance and Termin beim Botschafter.

* * * *

2. The German’s man in the Ukraine

german-foreign-policy.com KIEV/BERLIN (Dec. 12) – ACCORDING to press reports, the German government would like to have boxing champion Vitali Klitschko run for president and bring him to power in the Ukraine. It would like to enhance the popularity of the opposition’s politician by staging, for example, joint public appearances with the German foreign minister. For this purpose, a meeting is also planned for Klitschko with Chancellor Merkel at the next EU summit in mid-December. The Konrad Adenauer Foundation is, in fact, not only massively supporting Klitschko and his UDAR party. According to a CDU politician, the UDAR Party was founded in 2010 on the direct orders of the CDU foundation. Reports on the foundation’s activities for the development of Klitschko’s party give an indication of how Germans are influencing the Ukraine’s domestic affairs via UDAR. Berlin’s use of Poland in its policy toward the Ukraine is also increasing. Berlin and Warsaw are cooperating with the Ukrainian ultra right-wing Svoboda (“Liberty”) party, which stands in the tradition of Nazi collaborators, who massacred 100,000 Christian and Jewish Poles during WW II.

On behalf of the Adenauer Foundation

Vitali Klitschko – the man, who, if the German government has its way, should conquer the power in Kiev and lead his country into the German-European hegemonic sphere – is not only a political ally, but – in his current role – even a product of Berlin’s foreign policy. As the CDU politician, Werner Jostmeier, reported about two years ago, Klitschko had been “instructed by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation” to establish “a Christian conservative party in the Ukraine.”[1] UDAR (“Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reforms”) was founded on April 24, 2010 and the CDU affiliated Konrad Adenauer Foundation’s assistance for its development began immediately. Klitschko, spoke of his three day visit to Berlin in January 2011, remarking that the talks were “of great help” to the party’s development: “We had many questions and found the answers” in Berlin. The foundation organized another working visit in Thuringia that fall, offering the boxing champion instructions on the implementation of local policies. Following supplementary assistance, Klitschko “explicitly” thanked the Adenauer Foundation and the CDU for their help in setting up the party.[2]

Ways of influencing

The Konrad Adenauer Foundation’s support for UDAR continues. Last June, it gave the UDAR party youth hints on “increasing their membership” and on electoral strategies. Four weeks ago, it organized a seminar on the EU Association Agreement, which clearly demonstrates how, at a lower level, the German government is using UDAR as an instrument for gaining influence in the Ukraine’s political development. According to a report, the foundation “informed” young activists at the seminar, who, as “multipliers,” should be spreading “the knowledge they had been receiving” from the German organization. At the same time, they were given the opportunity to “expand their political networks.”[3] In late November, an UDAR delegation visited Germany, to inform itself on the means and methods of parliamentary work. The CDU organization explained that “advising the party also on its work as a parliamentary group,” is “an important concern of the Adenauer Foundation.” After all “relevant laws concerning the country’s integration into the EU” must be introduced in the Verkhovna Rada by the end of the year.[4] It is in Germany’s interest that the Ukrainian system of norms can successfully be adapted to the German-European system (“EU integration”).

The Foreign Ministry’s candidate

Berlin’s government authorities have been promoting contacts with Vitali Klitschko from the very beginning. In the prelude to Klitschko’s early 2011 working visit to Berlin, the Adenauer Foundation had already announced that the world champion boxer would meet with “high ranking officials of the Chancellery and Foreign Ministry.”[5] Since then Klitschko has even been meeting the German Foreign Minister on a regular basis. The foreign ministry has documented such official encounters, usually also with photos, in November 2012, June 2013 and October 2013. Last week Guido Westerwelle appeared in public with Kiev’s opposition politician. Recent media reports show that these meetings not only serve for coordinating political maneuvers – bypassing the Ukraine’s elected government – but also for public relations. The German chancellor would like to position Vitali Klitschko “as the leader of the opposition and rival candidate to incumbent President Viktor Yanukovych” and strengthen his standing “with joint public appearances.” This is why the UDAR chairman should appear at the next EU summit meeting on December 19 and 20 and have highly publicized “consultations with Chancellor Merkel.”[6] According to a report, the Adenauer Foundation’s man in Kiev needs additional tutoring. He “still lacks rhetorical agility and political experience for waging a presidential electoral campaign.”

Anti-trade union violence

In addition to Berlins efforts to groom Vlitali Klitschko into a presidential candidate and eventually get him elected as Kiev’s ruler, leading German politicians are also continuing their coordination with the extreme rightwing Svoboda Party. While, during his visit to Kiev last week, Germany’s Foreign Minister Westerwelle was avoiding being photographed near the leader of the Svoboda Party, Oleh Tjahnybok to allude PR problems, Helga Schmid, the German assistant to the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton, was busy negotiating with the head of that extremist rightwing party.[7] The fact that its followers have become violent, will not dampen the German-EU cooperation with Svoboda. Over the weekend, Svoboda followers destroyed a statue of Lenin and threw smoke bombs. It is now being reported that they have even assaulted members of the left. According to reports, “Svoboda followers, in plain view of one or their parliamentarians, recently demolished the tent of the independent trade union federation, wounding its activists with blows and pepper spray.”[8]

German-Polish cooperation

In its efforts to overthrow the government in Kiev, Berlin is implicating Polish foreign policy to a growing extent. According to a paper published in mid-November by the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), “Berlin and Warsaw” must be “the main initiators” in the EU’s Ostpolitik. Within the framework of a German-Polish “Partnership for Europe” a “close German-Polish cooperation is essential” – particularly in relationship to the Ukraine.[9] In their “common declaration” issued in late November, the foreign ministers of the two countries declared that they are “solidly on the side of the people of the Ukraine,” who “could still benefit from the extensive European offer of a close political and economic cooperation” – referring to the EU Association Agreement.[10] In the course of their common initiatives for the Ukraine. Polish diplomats have met on various occasions, with Svoboda representatives. The Svoboda Party sees itself as standing in the traditions of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) Nazi collaborators and their Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA). In mid-October, the party celebrated – allegedly with 20,000 participants – the UPA’s founding October 14, 1942. In World War II, the UPA slaughtered up to 100,000 Poles – both Christian and Jewish – which is why Poland still officially registers it a “criminal organization.”[11]

Other reports and background information on the current German policy toward the Ukraine can be found here:  Problems of Eastward ExpansionA Broad-Based Anti-Russian Alliance and Expansive Ambitions.

[1] Jostmeier trifft Klitschko; http://www.jostmeier.de 12.12.2011
[2] see also The Boxer’s Punch
[3] Seminar mit der politischen Partei UDAR von Vitali Klitschko; http://www.kas.de
[4] Studien- und Dialogprogramm für Parlamentsabgeordnete der Fraktion UDAR aus der Ukraine; http://www.kas.de 28.11.2013
[5] see also The Boxer’s Punch
[6] Merkel kämpft für Klitschko; http://www.spiegel.de 08.12.2013
[7] see also Zukunftspläne für die Ukraine
[8] Reinhard Lauterbach: Braune Schläger in Kiew; http://www.jungewelt.de 09.12.2013
[9] Andrzej Olechowski, Adam D. Rotfeld, Rainder Steenblock, Rita Süssmuth, Karsten Voigt: Über Vilnius hinaus denken: Polen und Deutschland müssen die EU-Ostpolitik vorantreiben, DGAPstandpunkt No. 8, November 2013
[10] Deutsch-polnische Erklärung zur Ukraine; http://www.auswaertiges-amt.de 26.11.2013
[11] see also Between Moscow and Berlin (IV)
* * * *

3. A broad-based anti-Russian alliance

german-foreign-policy.com KIEV/LVIV/BERLIN (Dec. 3) – THE GERMAN government is encouraging the protest demonstrations being staged in the Ukraine by the “pro-European” alliance of conservative and ultra-rightwing parties. The “pro-Europe rallies” in Kiev and other cities of the country are transmitting “a very clear message”, according to a government spokesperson in Berlin: “Hopefully” the Ukrainian president “will heed this message,” meaning sign the EU’s Association Agreement, which Kiev had refused to do last week, in spite of massive German pressure. To gain influence in the country, Germany has for years been supporting the “pro-European” alliance in the Ukraine. The alliance includes not only conservative parties, but also forces from the extreme right – because of their strength, particularly in western Ukraine, where a cult around former Nazi collaborators is manifesting itself. The All-Ukrainian Union “Svoboda” party is particularly embedded in the national-chauvinist milieu, under the influence of this cult. Over the past few days, the party’s leader has called for a “revolution” in Kiev.

“General Strike and revolution”

Oleh Tiahnybok, the leader of the ultra-rightwing Svoboda (Freedom) party is quoted saying “a revolution is beginning in the Ukraine.” Tiahnybok made this proclamation in Kiev during the current protest demonstrations. On the weekend, approx. 100,000 people took to the streets protesting against the current government’s foreign policy course, and calling for the country to become associated with the EU. During their continuing – and increasingly violent – demonstrations, protesters are calling on the government to stop refusing to sign the Association Agreement with the EU. According to media reports, numerous activists from ultra-rightwing organizations are participating in the demonstrations, particularly activists from Svoboda. The party’s leader Tiahnybok is basking in the attention he is receiving from the international press. He is planning a general strike to accomplish the “revolution” he announced last weekend.[1] He can rely on ultra-rightwing forces, whose influence has grown over the past few years.

“National Liberation Movement”

The resurgence of the cult around the former Ukrainian Nazi collaborators, since the mid-1980s, has helped ultra-rightwing forces to enlarge their influence in western Ukraine and in Kiev. This cult focuses particularly on Stepan Bandera, a leader of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN). The OUN joined forces with the Nazis during the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941. “Along with German units, our militias are making numerous arrests of Jews,” wrote the OUN’s propaganda unit following the invasion of Lviv: “Before their liquidation, the Jews had used every method to defend themselves.”[2] While Lviv’s Jewish population was falling prey to pogroms and massacres in the city, Bandera was proclaiming the establishment of a Ukrainian nation.[3] One specialist explained in reference to Bandera’s attempt to proclaim a nation, that today, Bandera and the OUN play a “very important” role in the “ethnic self-identity” of West Ukrainians. The OUN is seen “less as a fascist party” than “as the climax of a national liberation movement, or a fraternity of courageous heroes in Ukrainian national history.”[4] Since the beginning of the 1990s, numerous monuments to Bandera have been erected throughout the country. One such monument crowns the “Boulevard Stapan Bandera” in Lviv’s center.[5] According to analyses, a, “for the most part, informally functioning nationalist civil society” has been created around the Bandera cult, particularly in West Ukraine.[6]

Collaborationist traditions

As far back as the 1990s, this milieu has produced various ultra-rightwing organizations. In 1990, the UNA Party (“Ukrainian National Assembly”) was founded, forming a paramilitary wing (the “Ukrainian National Self-Defense” – UNSO) in 1991. Yuri Shukhevych, the son of Roman Shukhevych, a Nazi collaborator, was one of its first leaders. Soon the “Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists” (CUN) followed, which elected the former OUN activist Slava Stetsko to the Ukrainian Parliament in 1997. As President by Seniority, Stetsko had the honor of delivering the opening address at the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament) after the 1998 elections. After 1945, Stetsko had continued to pursue her Ukrainian activities from her exile in Munich. It was also in Munich that, since 1948, the “Ukrainian National Council” had held its meetings – in the physical and political proximity of German and US intelligence services. The National Council considered itself to be the “core of the Ukrainian state in exile.”[7] Already in 1998, the CUN received – in electoral alliances with other parties – 9.7 per cent of the votes in Lviv, 20.9 per cent in Ternopil and 23.8 per cent in Ivano-Frankivsk. At the time, the “Social National Party of the Ukraine” (SNPU), which was co-founded in Lviv in 1991 by Oleh Tiahnybok and had violent neo-Nazi members, was not yet successful in elections. In 1998 Tiahnybok was voted into the Ukrainian parliament with a direct mandate. Only after the SNPU changed its name to the “All-Ukrainian Union ‘Svoboda’ (‘Freedom’) in 2004, did it become more successful in elections and the leader of Ukraine’s ultra-rightwing forces.

Heroes of the Ukraine

At the time, politicians, who had been closely cooperating with Berlin, particularly Viktor Yushchenko (Ukrainian President 2005-2010), had been engaged in activities aimed at forming a broad anti-Russian alliance to integrate the Ukraine into the German hegemonic sphere – thereby strengthening the ultra-rightwing forces. For the elections in 2002 and 2006, Yushchenko’s electoral platform “Our Ukraine” cooperated with CUN and enabled that organization to win three seats in the national parliament in both elections. Oleh Tiahnybok (Svoboda) had temporarily been a member of the “Our Ukraine” parliamentary group. He was excluded in the summer of 2004, following his speech at the grave of a Nazi collaborator, in which he ranted against the “Jewish mafia in Moscow.” That same year, Yushchenko announced that, if elected, he would officially declare Bandera “Hero of the Ukraine.” This did not impede Berlin’s support. With the “Orange Revolution,” Berlin also helped him to ultimately be elected President. Yushchenko declared Nazi collaborator Roman Shukhevych on October 12, 2007, and Bandera on January 22, 2010 “Heroes of the Ukraine” – as a favour to the broad anti-Russian Alliance. At that time, Svoboda had just received its first major electoral success: In the March 15 regional parliamentary elections in Ternopil, with 34.7 per cent and 50 out of 120 parliamentarians, including the president of parliament, it emerged the strongest party.

Socially acceptable

To secure the broadest possible base for their anti-Russian policy, the so-called pro-European Ukrainian parties are still cooperating with ultra rightwing forces. “Batkivschyna” (Fatherland), the party of imprisoned opposition politician Yulia Tymoshenko has entered an electoral alliance with Svoboda in the run-up to the last elections. Thanks to this alliance, Svoboda was able to obtain 10.4 per cent of the votes and twelve direct mandates and is now represented in the Verkhovna Rada with 37 parliamentarians. A firm opposition coalition was formed, which included Svoboda, Batkivschyna and Vitaly Klitschko’s “UDAR” party. This coalition is not only closely cooperating in the Ukrainian parliament but also in the current protest demonstrations on the streets. Batkivschyna has “significantly aided Svoboda to become socially acceptable,” according to an expert, but it cannot be ruled out that it thereby also “dug its own grave.” Already at the 2012 elections, Tymoshenko’s party lost some of its “voters to the radical nationalists” because of its cooperation with Svoboda.[8] The dynamic of radicalization of the current protests could invigorate this development – aided by Berlin’s active encouragement.

Party Cell Munich

With its growing strength, Svoboda is also gaining influence on a European level. Since the 1990s, the party has systematically developed contacts to various ultra-rightwing parties in other European countries. For quite a while, it had been cooperating closely with the French Front National until the FN began to cultivate a “more moderate” image. Up to the beginning of this year, Svoboda had participated in a network that also included the “British National Party” and Hungary’s “Jobbik.” It has been seeking closer ties to the neo-fascist “Forza Nuova” in Italy and the German NPD.[9] But, it is also establishing its own party structures in other European countries. Last August, it founded a party cell in Munich chaired by a Svoboda city council member from Ivano-Frankivsk, who is currently studying in the Bavarian capital. Following its foundation ceremony, the new party cell visited the Munich Waldfriedhof, indicating a traditional link between Munich and the Ukraine: the two OUN leaders Jaroslav Stetsko and Stepan Bandera are buried in this cemetery. In a press release, the party’s new cell announced that the visit had been made “in honor of those, who had died for the independence of the Ukraine.”[10] Subsequent to their unsuccessful Nazi-collaboration, both had continued their struggle for Ukraine’s secession from the Soviet Union and integration into the German Federal Republic’s hegemonic sphere of influence. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[11])

[1] Tausende versperren der Regierung den Weg; http://www.n24.de 02.12.2013
[2] Franziska Bruder: “Den ukrainischen Staat erkämpfen oder sterben!” Die Organisation Ukrainischer Nationalisten (OUN) 1929-1948, Berlin 2007
[3] see also Zwischen Moskau und Berlin (IV)
[4] Andreas Umland: Eine typische Spielart von europäischem Rechtsradikalismus? ukraine-nachrichten.de 28.05.2013
[5] see also Fatherland and Freedom
[6] Andreas Umland: Eine typische Spielart von europäischem Rechtsradikalismus? ukraine-nachrichten.de 28.05.2013
[7] see also Zwischen Moskau und Berlin (V)
[8] Andreas Umland: Eine typische Spielart von europäischem Rechtsradikalismus? ukraine-nachrichten.de 28.05.2013
[9] Anton Shekhovtsov: The old and new European friends of Ukraine’s far-right Svoboda party; http://www.searchlightmagazine.com 02.09.2013
[10] 25. August 2013; http://www.aida-archiv.de
[11] see also Zwischen Moskau und Berlin (V)

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3 responses to “Background information on the current German policy toward the Ukraine

  1. Pingback: Ukraine: Contending oligarchs and their imperialist masters feed the rise of neo-Nazism | Tony Seed's Weblog

  2. Pingback: Infographic: Gas pipeline map shows how the coup d’etat in Ukraine affects Europe | Tony Seed's Weblog

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