Document:The Maidan Revolution Neo-Fascist Problem

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Ukraine Maidan revolution redux covering the period Autumn 2013 - July 2014

Disclaimer (#3)Document.png article  by Gordon Hahn dated 2014/08/13
Subjects: Ukraine coup 2014
Source: Facebook page (Link)

Image right: Svoboda Party rally in Kiev 2014

Wikispooks Comment

This is very useful run-down on the activities and influence of extreme right wing ideologues on the internal events in Ukraine.

However, given that the real target of the Anglo-US-NATO agenda in Ukraine is Russia, the authors claims of western naivety about Kiev's fascist tendencies (and by implication its basic good intent) in his conclusion, should be taken with a hefty pinch of salt.

Those driving western policy are very far from naive and are past masters at making cynical, Machiavellian use of precisely the kind of nasty, violent extreme elements that he warns about. In a non-to-subtle variation of NATO's finely tuned Strategy of tension, epitomised by its original European Operation Gladio, That is EXACTLY what is going on in Ukraine.

Author's Note

Given the lack of an alternative outlet (US MSM will not publish and GeoStratfor's blog site is down) - posted to Facebook page

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The Maidan Revolution’s Neo-Fascist Problem and the Maidan Regime’s Coming Crisis


Americans and Europeans like to sing the national anthem at the outset of sporting events; Ukrainian nationalists do so in different settings – for example, while burning Russian, pro-federalization demonstrators alive. On May 2nd Europe saw its first major terrorist attack in years. The attack occurred in the bucolic southern Ukrainian resort city of Odessa famous for its Greek, Jewish, and artistic heritage. The usual suspects were not involved; neither Al Qa`ida, nor Taliban, nor the ISIS, nor even some offspring of the Red Brigades carried it out. The perpetrators were from a neo-fascist group with special privileges under Kiev’s new Ukrainian government born of the Western-backed February ‘Maidan’ revolution. The leader of the ultra-nationalist ‘Right Sector’ (RS), Dmitro Yarosh, had been offered but turned down the deputy chairmanship of the country’s powerful Security and Defense Council after the ouster of President [[Viktor Yanukovich]. Right Sector’s website was effusive about the Odessa atrocity: “May 2, 2014 is another bright page in our national history.” In the same announcement it also claimed responsibility for what was essentially a terrorist attck: “About a hundred members of ‘Right Sector’ and patriotic-minded Odessa residents countered the rebels,” and “Dmitro Yarosh ignored the ‘expedience’ of the election campaign to coordinate the action against the Russian aggression.” [1]. The election campaign to which the RS claim of responsibility refers was for the presidential election to be held 23 days after the pogrom/terrorist attack. In between his ‘coordination’ activities, Yarosh openly campaigned and ran for the presidency winning 1 percent of the vote. However, Yarosh’s and RS’s game is politics by distinctly other means.

RS’s Odessa pogrom is far from being an isolated incident. It is just one of many crimes committed by forces closely tied to the new regime in Kiev, and Right Sector is but one of many extremist forces being forged in the crucible of revolution and civil war spawned on the Maidan. As autumn approaches, violence continues in the east and sometimes elsewhere and ominous promise of socioeconomic breakdown persists. The strain is creating the fissures within the Maidan coalition between centrist-democratic and radical nationalist elements are growing. The conflict between the government in Kiev and the remnants of the revolutionary forces remaining on Maidan is being driven by both ideological and strategic-tactical differences. The latter rage over how to defeat the Donbass rebel resistance.

There are several Ukrainian ultra-nationalist forces in addition to Yarosh and Right Sector poised to take advantage of the divisions and chaos and bid for power, incuding Oleg Tyahnibok’s so-called Freedom Party (FP) and Oleg Lyashko’s Radical Party (RP). But in order to understand fully the nationalist element in the new regime in Kiev, we need to go back to Maidan and the heady days of the ‘pro-democracy’ revolution and overthrow of Yanukovich last winter.

Maidan and the Ultra-Nationalists

In autumn of last year, as Western governments and media enthused over the rise of yet another ‘democratic revolution in Kiev, the demonstrators gathering on the famous ‘Maidan’ or central square were from a united group ideologically, politically or socially. A key element consisted of nationalist, ultra-nationalist, and neo-fascist groups. By late November the Miadan was forming self-defence forces: the ‘holy hundreds’ or sotniki. Not surprisingly the bulk of the volunteers for the sotniki came from the nationalist and neo-fascist groups. One Andriy Parubiy, who had a history of ultra-nationalist activity, was put in charge of Maidan’s self-defense forces. In 1991 Parubiy co-founded, along with Tyahnibok, the radical nationalist Social-National Party of Ukraine, which included Nazi insignia and anti-Semitic pronouncements and evolved into Tyahnibok’s Freedom Party.

The formation of RS was part of this quasi-militarization of the Maidan. On the evening of November 26-27 three ultra-rightist groups joined forces to found RS: ‘Stepan Bandera’s Trident’ (named after the head of the Ukrainian nationalist leader who allied and carried out massacres of Poles and Jews in league with the Nazis during World War II), the Ukrainian National Assembly, White Hammer, and the ultra-fascist Social National Assembly (SNA). The SNA’s program gives a glimpse of its ideology: “nationocracy.” It proposes banning all political parties, organizations, associations, and ideological groups. The elite of the Ukrainian ethnic group or nation will hold full power: {{QB| “Political power is wholly owned by the Ukrainian nation through its most talented, idealistic and altruistic national representatives who are able to ensure proper development of the nation and its competitiveness.” “Supreme power (executive, legislative and judicial) of the Ukrainian state will be in the hands of the head of state, who is personally responsible to the nation's own blood and property.” Capitalism is to be “dismantled,” and democracy is to be “eliminated.” All actions that fail “to comply with obligations to the nation and the state will entail the restriction of civil rights or deprivation of citizenship.” “The ultimate goal of Ukrainian foreign policy is world domination.” [2] Having gotten word of this radicalization and quasi-militarization, ousted Viktor Yanukovich’s Berkut special police forces and paid informal ‘titushki’ thugs beat up demonstrators on the night of November 30th. The result was a radicalization and militarization of Maidan more generally, and a vindication for the creation of the sotniki and RS.

The Ultra-Nationalists and the Revolutionary Seizure of Power

Through the extremely cold winter months, the sotniki and RS acted as the revolution’s shock troops that not only defended Maidan but by January were increasingly on the offensive, attacking police with metal bars, baseball bats, and Molotov cocktails and occupying most government buildings in central Kiev. As the crisis deepened, the German and French foreign ministers and Russian envoy, Moscow’s former ambassador to the US, Vladimir Lukin (Washington was absent) began brokering an agreement to put an end to the crisis and negotiate Yanukovich’s extrication from power. At the same time, a series of mysterious sniper attacks unfolded during the negotiations on 18-20 February; killing some 40 people. The attacks, which were initially blamed on Yanukovich’s Berkut, served to aggravate tempers on the Maidan tipping the scales in favor of the ultimate revolutionary outcome.

However, that version of events quickly fell apart, as many eyewitnesses confirmed that the snipers targeted both police and revolutionaries and doctors reported casualties occurred on both sides. On 5th March an audiotape likely recorded by Russia or perhaps Ukrainian intelligence emerged on the Internet with Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Paet (at the time in Kiev on a fact-finding mission) and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton discussing the snipers attacks among other issues. Both verified the veracity of the call and its contents. On the tape Paet says that the people on the Miadan and elsewhere were increasingly convinced that the snipers were provocateurs and likely came from within the revolutionary camp and calls for an investigation. He also reported that the pro-Maidan physician Olga Bogomolets had examined the corpses of both demonstrators and police and both had been shot by the same bullets [3]

Since then the results of several journalistic investigations cast a grave shadow of doubt on Kiev’s version that the pro-Yanukovich forces were behind the sniper attacks and point a finger at the Maidan. The Ukrainian Maidan government’s own investigation announced preliminary findings on May 13th which conclude that the snipers’ bullets were not the kind used by Berkut. [4] German and other foreign journalists analyzed video shows that snipers fired from atop the Hotel Ukraine, which was under the control of Maidan’s sotniki. [5] [6] [7] [8]. If pro-revolutionary forces were behind the sniper attacks, then it will surely turn out to have been the word of the ‘ultras’. Democrats do not deploy snipers to make revolutiuons.

On February 21st Yanukovich came to an agreement with the opposition that would lead to his stepping down from power by the ended of the year. The agreement also stipulated that Yanukovich issue a decree within in 48 hours returning the country to the 2004 constitution weakening his executive powers, hold presidential elections by the end of the year which virtually guaranteed his removal from office country, and pull all police and Berkut forces from the city center. In return, the opposition was to abandon all squares and buildings in central Kiev.

But the Maidan’s sotniki violated the February 21 agreement within hours. Rather than withdrawing from buildings and squares in central Kiev, as mandated by the agreement, they occupied more buildings and threatened to take the presidential administration and kill Yanukovich. When Yanukovich fled Kiev for Kharkiv, the radicals stormed parliament and oversaw Yanukovich’s illegal impeachment in violation of the constitutional procedure for such. They helped prevent the required quorum and kept down the pro-Yanukovich vote in the impeachment by detaining and sometimes beating deputies from his Party of the Regions. In other words, the ultra-nationalists and neo-fascists spearheaded the revolutionary seizure of power using significant force. Violent revolutions, political science teaches us, is not a good recipe for democracy. It happens, but is rare. The examples of the French revolution in the 18th century and the Russian and Chinese in the 20th, among others, are instructive.

The Ultra-Nationalists under the Maidan Regime

The ultra-nationalists’ leading role in fighting the police on the Maidan and forcing Yanukovich from power despite the February 21 agreement translated into key appointments in the post-revolutionary Maidan government. Tyahnibok’s Freedom Party members were appointed to head five ministries in the Maidan provisional government: Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Sych, Ecology and Natural Resources Minister Andrey Mokhnyk, Agriculture Minister Ihor Shvayka, Prosecutor General Oleh Makhitskiy, and Defense Minister Ihor Tenyukh. In addition, the de facto purge by intimidation of many Party of Regions deputies from the Rada gives the FP greater weight in parliament than its 10 percent of the seats otherwise would provide. FP members proudly posted a video of themselves beating the director of Ukrainian state television for broadcasting the Kremlin ceremony officially annexing Crimea into the Russian Federation. More importantly, for his organizational efforts on the Maidan, radical nationalist Parubiy was given the key post of Chairman of Ukraine’s Security and National Defense Council. He would focus much of his activity on recruiting his ‘hundreds’ and RS-like groups into the Ukrainian army and National Guard prior and during the ‘anti-terrorist’ operation in the east.

The Ultra-Nationalists and Maidan’s Violent Consolidation of Power

The ultras are again playing the lead role; this time in Kiev’s ‘anti-terrorist’ operation to crush eastern Ukraine’s separatist/pro-autonomy rebels. This could allow them to increase their political weight once the rebels are crushed and the leaders and the volunteer battalions they control return home. Tyahnibok and the FP have been suspiciously quiet, continuing to lead the nationalist cause in parliament and government ministries. The declining authority of the Maidan-installed government is allowing competitors within the ultra-nationalist movement to overtake them. The rising dark horse within the movement is the youthful Lyashko and his Radical Party. Lyashko, a deputy in Ukraine’s parliament or Rada, champions “the sacred cause – creation of a Great Kievan Empire” [9]. His party is polling strongly, with parliamentary elections and intensifying social dislocation set for autumn. In a June-July survey conducted by the Kiev International Institute of Sociology (KIIS), the RP registered as Ukraine’s most popular party among likely voters, supported by 12.5 percent of respondents. The moderately national chauvinist and de facto ruling party, Batkyvshchina (Fatherland), took 9.3 percent, centrist Vitaliy Klitchko’s Udar Party – 7.2 percent, Tyahnibok’s FP – 3.7 percent, and Yarosh’s RS – 1 percent. Undecided voters comprised 46 percent. Therefore, according to KIIS, if the elections were held and all undecided voters stayed at home, as of July the RP would win nearly a quarter (23.1 percent) of the Rada’s seats, the FP – 5.7, and RS – 1.9 [10]. This would give the neo-fascist movement 30.7 percent – nearly a third of parliament’s seats – with some deputies from other factions also sympathetic to their cause. And this is the case before the expected hot autumn has ensued.

Lyashko and his RP and Yarosh and his RS have committed several of what can be characterized as terrorist attacks in recent months. In addition, their recruits into the Ukrainian army and National Guard are likely behind some of the raping, pillaging, and shelling of residential areas in the civil war. As I noted months ago, Lyashko claimed responsibility for organizing the storming of a government building in Torez by his “Soldiers from the Lyashko Battalion ‘Ukraine’” on May 23rd. Lyashko’s ‘soldiers’ kill an unarmed pro-Russian supporter of the breakaway Donetsk People’s Republic and maimed a second [11] [12]. Immediately after the murder, Lyashkov boasted on his Facebook page:

"Soldiers from Battalion Lyashko 'Ukraine' just liquidated and released from the Colorado the executive committee of Torez, Donetsk Oblast. Two terrorists killed, nobody among our soldiers suffered there. Glory to Ukraine!"

The post received 5,000 likes in just a few hours before Lyashko deleted it. The Kyiv Post retreived a cached mobile version [13].

Despite this record, Lyashko attended a high profile July 1st meeting with Poroshenko in which he announced his plan for the second phase of the ‘anti-terrorist’ operation in Donbass. After hearing from the president “what he had wanted to hear from him”, Lyashko returned to his nationalist vigilantism [14].

Soon Lyashko’s activities recently earned him a rebuke from Amnesty International (AI) which calls them “a terrible violation of international law and standards.” AI has asked Ukraine’s Prosecutor General to investigate Lyashko for organizing abductions, noting:

“Though he doesn't have the right to detain people, he abducts them and abuses them verbally and physically while the camera is rolling. His and other similar websites feature numerous video clips showing what appear to be cases of abduction and violations of the rights to fair trial, liberty and security of the person, and the right not to be subjected to torture and other ill-treatment," the organization's report says” [15] [12]

Lyashko boasts of his work:

“If the government and law enforcers are inactive, the patriots must act. Especially now, when Ukraine is fighting for its independence.” His RP members are also prominent in the ‘Shakhtyorsk’ Battalion ostensibly subordinated to the Internal Affairs Ministry headed by the nationalist Arseniy Avakov. Lyashko is demanding that Radical Party members fighting in the ‘anti-terrorist’ battalions “have to immediately after the war become prosecutors, judges etc” [12]

Much of the criminal activity being carried out under the cover of the ‘anti-terrorist’ operation is rooted in the recruitment of volunteers from and through Lyashko’s and Yarosh’s organizations. Lyashko was removed allegedly as a supplier of his fighters after Avakov discovered that 12 of the first 15 Lyashko recruits had criminal issues [16].

Other battalions with neo-fascist elements, like the oligarch and Dneprpetrovsk Governor Ihor Kolomoiskii’s signature ‘Dnepr Battalion’, are also making illegal arrests that include beatings and likely torture adding to the general disintegration in law and order and reflecting Ukaine’s state breakdown, democratic backsliding, and violations of human rights. [17]. These acts are often videotaped and posted on the Internet. [18] [19].

As noted above, Yarosh and RS led and promptly claimed responsibility for the horrendous May 2nd terrorist attack in Odessa. Moreover in April and May, while Kiev refused to negotiate with the rebels, regular Ukrainian army troops along with RS and RS-penetrated National Guard troops attacked southeastern resistance forces, who had undertaken no operations, and unarmed activists. For example, in late April they killed some 30 of the Donetsk resistance in and around Slavyansk, and in Mariupol two weeks they killed another 20 for refusing to crackdown on demonstrators. Some of the Mariupol casualties were unarmed civilians. One was a Russian journalist.

Yet months after Odessa and other atrocities, Yarosh remained free, was allowed to travel from his field headquarters in Dnepropetrovsk to Kiev and participate in a presidential debate, and ran in the May 25th presidential election unhindered by Kiev’s law enforcement organs controlled by leaders with ties to Tyagnibok. Ukrainian state and independent media have given Yarosh and the Right Sector a free pass. Even president-elect Poroshenko has refused to speak out against Yarosh or called for the arrest of him and his stormtroopers. At present Yarosh and many of his RS members are fighting openly under the banners of oligarch Igor Kolomoiskii’s numerous battalions nominally subordinated to the Defense or Internal Affairs Ministry and National Guard such as the Donbass, Dnepr, and Azov Battalions in Poroshenko’s Western-backed ‘anti-terrorist operation [20] [21].

The aforementioned ultra-fascist SNA predominates in the several hundred-strong Azov Battalion. The SNA’s leader, Andriy Beletskiy, is Azov’s commander and has written: “The historic mission of our nation in this critical moment is to lead the White Races of the world in a final crusade for their survival… A crusade against the Semite-led Untermenschen.” According to the one journalist who has examined this subject in any detail, the Azov Battallion’s ideology is Nazi-oriented as are many of its members, who include not just ethnic Ukrainians and Russians from Ukraine but also voluteers and mercenaries from Greece, Ireland, Italy and Scandinavia. Azov’s fighters are emblazoned with Nazi insignia, espouse Nazi ideas, and fly a neo-Nazi flag (Tom Parfitt, “Ukraine crisis: the neo-Nazi brigade fighting pro-Russian separatists,” The Daily Telegraph (London), 11 August 2014. See also Andrew E. Kramer, “Ukraine Strategy Bets on Restraint by Russia,” New York Times, 10 August 2014.)

The Donbass, Dnepr and Azov battalions along with regular army artillery units are responsible for many of the attacks on civilians and residential areas in eastern Ukraine under Avakov’s ‘anti-terrorist’ operation. The tactics appear to be as follows. Regular army artillery units soften the target, “followed by chaotic, violent assaults” by the battalions [22]. The Ukrainian army and some of the more heavily armed the neo-fascist battallions paramilitary groups are using heavy weapons, including unguided Grad rockets, in civilian-populated areas for months. Human Rights Watch released a belated report condemning Kiev’s practice last week. [23]

MVD chief Avakov, Parubiy, and other officials defend their use of neo-Nazis in their ‘anti-terrorist’ operation. Avakov’s advisor Anton Gerashchenko:

“The most important thing is their spirit and their desire to make Ukraine free and independent. A person who takes a weapon in his hands and goes to defend his motherland is a hero. And his political views are his own affair.” [24]

The Ultra Coup Threat

In reality, the political views of Ukraine’s ultra-nationalist battalions could have fare broader resonance in the present period of political violence, economic collapse, and social chaos. There is a real risk that the neo-fascist warlords like Beletskiy and Yarosh or the ultra-nationalist political patrons of the paramilitary battalions, backed by nationalistically inclined in the Ukrainian government’s ‘siloviki’ departments like the army, MVD, or Security Service (SBU), will attempt to seize power in a coup during or after the ‘anti-terrorist’ operations in the event key decisions do not go their way and/or Ukraine’s domestic circumstances continue to deteriorate.

Indeed, the powerful Donbass Battalion and its commander Semyon Semenchenko recently demonstrated this potential. On the eve of President Poroshenko’s pivotal June 30th meeting with Parubii, Avakov, and the powerful Defense and Security Council that would decide whether or not to extend the truce the newly elected president initiated on June 23rd, Semenchenko and members of his battalion led a several thousand-strong demonstration backed by two other ‘volunteer’ battalions, the ‘Dnepr’ and ‘Aidar’ battalions. [25]. The demonstrators demanded that Poroshenko end the truce, declare martial law, and destroy the eastern rebels or they would remove the president from power “like Yanukovich.” At the demonstration a journalist was beaten up and stun grenades were thrown seriously injuring several demonstrators. One demonstrator claimed he saw MVD officers hand the stun grenades to members of Avakov’s Kiev-based paramilitary group ‘17+ Sotny,’ who threw the grenades. Although Avakov condemned the violence the next day, no one was arrested [26].

Before the June 30th council meeting, President Poroshenko had said he intended to extend the truce after its June 30th deadline in accordance with the wishes of Brussels and Moscow. However, after the four-hour long meeting he emerged to announce an end to the truce and ordered a new offensive to wipe out rebels. The Donbass Battalion and its ilk had prevailed over the great powers of Europe and Russia.

The June-July scenario played out once more on August 6th when the authorities in Kiev sought to clean Maidan of demonstrators remaining their since the winter revolution. Right Sector, which constantly criticizes the government and is calling for a purge of the Ukrainian elite, attacked the government’s efforts and called for the resignation of MVD chief Avakov. Right Sector has organized small demonstrations and pickets in the nationalists’ stronghold in western Ukraine, in cities like Ternopol’ and Ivano-Frankovsk. In early August RS activists stormed a concert of an allegedly pro-Russian singer, Anna Lorak, an action that had to be put down by police. In response, the RS again called for demonstrations and Avakov’s resignation. [27]

On August 7th, Parubiy resigned as chief of the Security Council reportedly so that he can focus on his work supporting the volunteer militias. The reason for his resignation may be that Parubiy understands the Maidan government’s in its present configuration will collapse in autumn, and he is preparing for a return to power on the back of his batalions’ volunteer fighters returning home from the civil war emboldened by victory or disgruntled by stalemate or defeat. Such a situation could be ripe for a coup or electoral path to power on an ultra-nationalist agenda.


None of the above should be construed as a claim that all the forces in the post-Maidan government are neo-fascist, as some Russian statements state or imply. Rather, it should serve as a warning to the West that the threat of the fascization of the Maidan regime is growing, and Western claims that the ultra-nationalist element is non-existent or at least irrelevant are dangerously off the mark. Ignoring reality, the West’s unqualified support for Kiev’s politics and ‘anti-terrorist’ operation in the east and its refusal to negotiate with Putin over the crisis will come home to roost, if they are not already.

The West, especially Washington, is operating under and proselytizing the illusion that Maidan was purely a democratic revolution aimed at overthrowing a corrupt regime installed by devilish ‘Putin’s Russia.’ We have been shown this movie before with the West’s misplaced support in Georgia for the ‘beacon of democracy’, former president Mikheil Saakashvili, who started the August 2008 war with South Ossetiya and has been indicted in absentia for illegally nationalizing media, cracking down on demonstrators, and torturing prisoners during his rule.

The West must take off its black and white blinders. Putin and the Russians are not the only cleptocratic autocrats and opportunistic nationalists in the post-Soviet space, which includes almost nothing but such elements. The good news is that real fascists of Lyashko’s, Beletskiy’s and Yarosh’s ilk are not in power yet. The West can avoid this by demanding that Kiev clean up its act and cutting the chaos of civil war off by forcing Poroshenko to negotiate with the eastern rebels.


  1. Eugene Trofymenko, “ATO Po-narodnomu, Abo chomu ne Vladimir Putin ne vviv viyska,” - Pravyi Sektor, 2 May 2014
  2. Programa Sotsial’no-Natsional’ny Asambley (Program of the Social-National Assembly) - Accessed 30 April 2014
  3. Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and Catherine Ashton discuss Ukraine over the phone - YouTube video 5 March 2014
  4. “Puli, kotoryie byly obnaruzheny posle tragicheskikh cobytii v Kieve, ne podkhodyat k oruzhiyu spetspodrazdeleniya ‘Berkut’,” - Ekho Moskvy, 13 May 2014,
  5. Zweifel an Berichten zu Maidan-Scharfschützen - 10 March 2014
  6. Monitor Nr 664 31 July 2014
  7. Scharfschützen auf dem Maidan-Platz - Mittags Magazin 10 March 2014
  8. BREAKING: German state TV ARD blames Ukraine opposition for massacre at Maidan Live Leak, 11 April 2014
  11. Militia backed by presidential candidate Lyashko takes credit for assassination of Russian-backed separatist (VIDEO) - Kyiv Post 23 May 2014
  12. a b c 'Vigilante' Ukrainian lawmaker Lyashko gets slammed by Amnesty International report -Kiev Post 6 August 2014
  15. AI report
  16. Arsen Avakov, “Lozh’ i pravda,” - Ekho Moskvy, 17 June 2014
  22. Andrew E. Kramer, “Ukraine Strategy Bets on Restraint by Russia,” New York Times, 10 August 2014.
  23. Ukraine: Unguided Rockets Killing Civilians - Human Rights Watch 24 July 2014
  24. Tom Parfitt, “Ukraine crisis: the neo-Nazi brigade fighting pro-Russian separatists,” The Daily Telegraph (London), 11 August 2014.
  26. Olga Omelyanchuk, “Pod Kabminom nachali vzryvat’ granaty,” -, 1 July 2014