Originally published at Digital Journal.
Shortly before two synagogue attacks, the cancellation of a Holocaust Remembrance in Kiev, and attacks on Jews in Ukraine, US Senator John McCain stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the leader of one of the rising Neo-Nazi parties in the country. The party organizations are being accused by both Russia and external
observers of exploiting the turmoil and deep divisions in Ukrainian
society. The groups have pushed aside peaceful protesters, and employ
violence to reach their goals.
Experts on the region have criticized US funding of "democracy initiatives" which helped foster the protests, and say the Neo-Nazi thrust for power was predictable.
Sen. John McCain, center, stands with Neo-Nazi leader Oleh Tyahnybok
(image by Voice of America) DMCA
In another speech he denounced: "the Moskali, Germans, Kikes and other scum who wanted to take away our Ukrainian state."
The Svoboda deputy party chief, Ihor Miroshnychenko, once wrote an attack on Ukrainian-American actress Mila Kunis on Facebook, saying: "Kunis is not Ukrainian, she is a Yid. She is proud of it, so Star of David be with her."
And warning of a Neo-Nazi takeover, a former top Reagan official has called Secretary of State John Kerry's regional appointee, Victoria Nuland, "stupid," as well as Kerry himself. Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, a Soviet scholar and former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under Ronald Reagan, recently wrote:
"there was no one in the Obama regime who had enough sense to see the obvious result of their smug, self-satisfied interference in the internal affairs of Ukraine."
Roberts blasts the US media for
simplistic reporting which puts forth the Obama administration's version
of the events, that of peaceful, spontaneous protests met by a Russian
crackdown and invasion. Seumas Milne for The Guardian writes:
"The story we're told about the protests gripping Kiev bears only the sketchiest relationship with reality."
As McCain took to the stage
to encourage the Ukrainian protesters with promises of American
support, he was greeted and flanked by Tyahnybok, the leader of Svoboda,
which recently gained 38 seats in the Ukrainian Parliament. Svoboda
is one of a number of Ukrainian far-right parties, and has ties to other
"nationalist" movements across Europe, which preach virulent brands of anti-Semitism,
ethnic purity, intolerance of homosexuality.
Another far-right group,
Right Sector, openly took credit for engaging in violence during the
protests and issued a statement which said:
"Two months of unsuccessful tiptoeing about under the leadership of the opposition parties showed many demonstrators they need to follow not those who speak sweetly from the stage, but rather those who offer a real scenario for revolutionary changes in the country. For this reason, the protest masses followed the nationalists,"Svoboda takes credit for the iconic image, broadcast widely in the Western media, of protesters toppling the statue of Vladimir Lenin in the city center. Alec Luhn for The Nation reports that:
"Svoboda is the most visible party on the square, it has essentially taken over Kiev City Hall as its base of operations, and it has a large influence in the protestors' security forces."
Until recently, one of the official elements of Svoboda's ideology was that government should consist of a single entity, the president, with no other legislative institutions allowed, thus reminiscent of the Nazis' "Fuhrer Principle." Writing for Alternet Max Blumenthal observed that:
"I think a lot of them have gone home."
"After the 2010 conviction of the Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk for his supporting role in the death of nearly 30,000 people at the Sobibor camp, Tyahnybok rushed to Germany to declare him a hero who was "fighting for truth." In the Ukrainian parliament, where Svoboda holds an unprecedented 37 seats, Tyahnybok's deputy Yuriy Mykhalchyshyn is fond of quoting Joseph Goebbels -- he has even founded a think tank originally called "the Joseph Goebbels Political Research Center."Another element of Svoboda's ideology is that Ukraine should become a nuclear power.
One factor to which the rise of such "nationalist" movements has been attributed has been rising youth unemployment. Georgy Kasyanov, a researcher at the Institute for the Development of Education. told The Nation that:
Kasyanov worried that youth unemployment is rising in Ukraine as in the rest of Europe.
"In the 2010 and 2012 elections, it became visible that a big part of the youth are moving toward nationalism."