Ever since the Maidan, pundits and Ukrainian officials have been trying to minimise, or outright deny the role of radical nationalists in Ukrainian life. Their reasoning is that Russia used it to justify takeover of Crimea, and operation in support of separatists in the Donbass. However, the fact Russians are saying it does not mean they don’t have a point…
But the denial has a deeper dimension, the denial of radical nationalism is in my opinion caused by Ukrainian society’s indifference. The Ukrainians have been conditioned to accept radical nationalism. Take for instance the story of Vasyl Marushynets, former Ukrainian consul in Hamburg. Vasyl suffers from a peculiar form of advanced Svidomism with symptoms of Hitlerophilia. Marushynets was writing various Antisemitic posts on Facebook, and his posts were liked by colleagues from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. And likely, he would continue doing this if Anatoly Shariy didn’t out him, and did not threaten to inform German MPs about his activities. Marushynets has filed a lawsuit against his sack from the ministry, claiming that Shariy is a Russian propagandist.
Even more recently, Shariy outed a journalist from Channel 5 (a major purveyor of Russophobia belonging to the president, Petro Poroshenko), Natalka Kotskovych (seen above in Vienna), who likes to throw “Sieg Heils”. Her colleagues came to troll the Netherlands resident Shariy, bleating something about “Russian World”.
In 2016, Tomasz Maciejczuk brought attention to pictures of neo-nazi, Volodymyr Vasyanovych, whose pictures were presented at a photo presentation of Ukrainian war amputees, at the European Parliament. The presentation titled “Peremozhtsi” was organised by the TV channel TSN and journal VIVA. They even did an interview with Vasyanovych to which he arrived in hoodie with SS symbols. The reaction of the Ukrainian organisers was to deny Vasyanovych is a neo-nazi, and to label incriminating evidence a fake.
Which brings me to a question, do Ukrainians want to deny neo-nazis helped the Kiev regime to maintain power in the South-East of Ukraine? Well, not quite and not always! When earlier this year, US congressmen expressed concern about there being rehabilitation of naziism and an openly pro-neo-nazi battalion, the “Azov” fighting in the east of the country. The Ministry of Interior, had this to say:
“This professional subdivision is one of the most motivated and capable of fighting, from the first day of Russian armed aggression are resisting it, is defending the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our state, functions in strict compliance with the law, [has] military and disciplinary statutes of military formations of Ukraine, and has a heroic victorious history, among others liberation from pro-Russian occupiers of the city of Mariupol.”
The Ministry of Interior does not deny they are neo-nazis, does not deny the Ukrainian state uses neo-nazi goons to suppress its own population. And everything is cool because they have been able to win over poorly armed protesters and policemen in Mariupol.