As far right political bodies join forces and consolidate their position ahead of scheduled elections in Ukraine this coming July, Oksana Chelysheva reports on who is representing this new unified nationalist party.
Far right forces of Ukraine have consolidated their position going into the parliamentary elections as one bloc. Svoboda, National Corps, Right Sector, veteran and civil organisations affiliated with these three main forces have decided to participate in early parliamentary elections scheduled for July 21st as a single nationalist party.
According to the Svoboda’s party Facebook page, the first five candidates of the united force of nationalists on Svoboda’s party list include; Oleh Tyahnybok – the leader and founder of the Svoboda party and first commander of Azov, National Corps party leader Andriy Biletsky and leader of the National movement Diya (Acts), ex-Right Sector leader and independent MP Dmytro Yarosh, current Right Sector leader Andriy Tarasenko plus ex-vice speaker of the parliament and head of the Svoboda party secretariat Ruslan Koshulynsky. Also running is the actor Bohdan Benuik, an active member of the Svoboda party. Benuik got known for a violent attack on the president of the National TV company of Ukraine in March 2014.
Oleh Tyahnybok, the leader of Svoboda (founded in 1991 as the Social-National Party of Ukraine), stated at a press conference that the consolidated nationalist bloc is going to field candidates in almost all majoritarian districts, according to Interfax-Ukraine news agency. Their plan is to cover, at least 200 out of 213 districts in Ukraine. Tyahnybok also emphasised that members of the nationalistic bloc have overcome “internal squabbles” and have “a clear ideology and common world view” – which, according to Tyahnybok, “is the only thing that can prevent the revenge of pro-Russia forces in parliament.”
On June 16, 2019 Andriy Biletsky, the leader of the National Corps party, gave one and a half-hour long interview to Ukraine’s 112 TV channel. Biletsky is the former commander of the Azov regiment. In a 2014 program declaration called Ukrainian Racial Social Nationalism, Biletsky bluntly stated “Our nation’s historical mission is to lead the global white race in its final crusade for survival.”
In a 2014 program declaration called Ukrainian Racial Social Nationalism, Biletsky bluntly stated “Our nation’s historical mission is to lead the global white race in its final crusade for survival”
In the same interview Andriy Biletsky also commented that all the members of the new bloc “delegate their candidates to Svoboda party” as this is the only legitimate way to go for elections as a bloc. Biletsky expressed his firm expectation that he personally would lead the Parliamentary Committee on Security and Defence (sarcastically referring to Pashinkiy as a less competent person).
He announced that abandoning the Minsk process and replacing the Normandy format with the Budapest 1 policy will be among the first legislative initiatives of the bloc. Biletsky stated that he regards the Minsk process as illegal. He continued by stating that the nationalistic bloc expects that the US and the UK as guarantors of the Budapest Memorandum will have to “be actively involved into defending Ukraine’s territorial integrity.” He threatened that in case they didn’t agree, Ukraine under their leadership will feel the right to “create a new nuclear shield.”
…the nationalistic bloc expects that the US and the UK as guarantors of the Budapest Memorandum will have to “be actively involved into defending Ukraine’s territorial integrity”. He threatened that in case they didn’t agree, Ukraine under their leadership will feel the right to “create a new nuclear shield”
Among enemies of the National Corps (as well as their allies), Biletsky referred to the “Fifth Column” inside Ukraine as well as accusing the Former President of Ukraine Poroshenko of having “latter disguised his own interests under the nationalistic patriotic rhetoric.” He lambasted Poroshenko for “ransacking the country” and taking money abroad. He states, “True Ukrainian patriots are going to fight Poroshenko’s marauders.”Among the nationalist bloc suggestions on the economic policy, Biletsky told of a “demonopolisation of Ukraine” and “a return back home of the funds taken offshore.”
Speaking on the anti-corruption mechanism, Biletsky suggested to follow the “Chinese method” of public executions of corrupt officials and party functionaries. If it is not feasible, he proposed “enforced life labour for the benefit of the country without parole.”
Answering the question of the level of public support, Biletsky stated, “The youth supports us, those who defend the motherland at the front support us.”
Speaking about the incumbent President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and the Servant of the People party, Biletsky stated that “…they can’t be identified as either enemies or allies because nobody knows which way these people would go – as they don’t have clear domestic or foreign policy.” As for their own plans, he stated that all the nationalist forces of Ukraine “are going towards the united nationalistic body.”