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Civic Nation Unity in Deversity

Radical Right-Wing Political Parties and Groups

Radical Right-Wing Political Parties and Groups "Right Sector" is one of the most active right-wing radical organizations of Ukraine.

The largest ultra-nationalist organisation in Ukraine is the All-Ukrainian Union “Svoboda”, which has significant representation in Ukrainian parliament and regional councils in western regions. Svoboda organises summer camps, which aim to “bring up a nationalist from a regular Ukrainian. A lot of attention is paid to the physical education of the youth. Particular focus is made on disciplines such as various martial arts, shooting sports, and mountain climbing. Camp members receive first aid training, survival and orientation. Besides physical training, much attention is paid to the spiritual education of these young men. This includes the national-liberation movements of the 20th century”.

"Right Sector", an organisation that was established during 2013 “Euromaidan” protests and united several nationalist groups, became relatively prominent in 2014. The organisation maintained its own armed units, which merged into Ukrainian Volunteer Corps in July 2014 (around 10 000 people). One of the oldest organisations with historical roots, is the Ukrainian Nationalist Assembly – Ukrainian People’s Self-Defence (UNA-UNSO), adhering to “integral nationalism” ideology , as well as anti-Semitism. UNA was incorporated into the Right Sector, but UNSO continues as a non-governmental organisation.

In early September, 2014, Ukrainian TV Channel Inter broadcasted a story about family training camps organised by far right organisations in Ivano-Frankovsk and Transcarpathia, where women and children were given military training to participate in the war.

"Right Sector" and UNSO became the foundation of volunteer battalions fighting in the south-east (Azov, Aidar, and others). They often demonstrate Nazi symbols and greetings.

All extreme right organisations were completely legal in 2014. Following a number of Presidential decrees and resolutions (see Section 12), UNO-UNSA ideology became official in Ukraine; Stepan Bandera and Ukrainian Insurgent Army became national heroes.

As a parliamentary party, Svoboda has to maintain a certain decorum. Its programme contains calls to develop Ukrainian culture and identity. In practice, however, the party interprets it as a call to assimilation of ethnic minorities and discrimination against their culture. In this regard, it is worth citing the aforementioned statements of Irina Farion. Svoboda made regular calls to harassment of various minorities part of its daily political agitation. The party demands nationally proportionate representation in government institutions (thereby implying that there are too many non-Ukrainians in these institutions), and advocates the introduction of an “ethnicity” clause in passports.

"Right Sector" itself noted that the interview was clearly provocative and claimed that “dishonest journalists intentionally asked provocative questions and took the responses out of context.” Organisation stated that it respects Polish rights to recognise their heroes. “Similarly, we hope that Poles themselves will abandon chauvinistic stereotypes and will also recognise our right to respect our heroes. "Right Sector" issued a statement to the Russian-speaking citizens of Ukraine on the social networks. The association claims that the “anti-people regime” is making every effort to tarnish the revolutionary movement and depict the Right Sector fighters as “extremists”, “terrorists”, “fascists” and “Russophobes”. In an April interview, Dmintry Yarish said that Right Sector is very “cautious” of EU membership, which according to him “takes measures to nullify national identity, traditional family and implement anti-Christian policies”. Right Sector denies having anti-Semitic views, even though some of its member organisations, such as the UNA or White Hammer, are blatantly anti-Semitic.

The official ideology of the "Right Sector" is “integral nationalism”, based on social Darwinism and open racism. Ukrainian nationalists aim to create a Ukrainian nation-state, which they interpret as a state built around the traditions of a titular nation (classic European model). Part of them define “nation” as just ethnicity. "Right Sector" Congress, held in July 2015, decided to change the name of the organization from “Military-Political Movement Right Sector” to “National Liberation Movement Right Sector”.

In November 2015, D. Yarosh was forced to leave the movement, which from that moment stated becoming more marginal. Members of the movement took an active part in the attempt of the so-called “Third Maidan” in February 2016, which indicates the preservation of its radical thrust.

In 2015, there was a further growth in the ratings of right-wing parties in Ukraine. In local elections in October, the political party “Svoboda” was supported by 6.7% of voters - ranking 5th in the country. Compared to 2014, the level of support for this party grew by 2%.

The electoral support of the Right Sector party remains stable: 3.1-3.7% (compared to 2014, it almost doubled).

Today, the right-wing radical movement of Ukraine is largely divided - there are at least 59 parties, public organizations, informal groups. Potentially, they can rely on the support of 20-30% of the population.

In addition, right-wing radical rhetoric in their political activities and hate speech has also been used more often by national-democratic parties such as the Popular Front, the Bloc of Petro Poroshenko, the Fatherland, the Radical Party O. Lyashko, UKROP and others, the aggregate rating of which is more than 60% of the vote.

On the whole, it can be said that a process similar to the those that take place in many European countries is taking place in the country: majority parties that have passed into parliament are adopting nationalist slogans previously put forward by small nationalist groups and gained popularity among the voters.

Thus, major parties take out the competition, but they themselves turn towards national radicalism, which is successfully presented as patriotism.

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