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(en) France, UCL AL #326 - Antifascism, Ukraine: Internazionale solidarity? (ca, de, it, fr, pt, tr)[machine translation]

Date Tue, 10 May 2022 09:10:25 +0300

To justify his invasion launched on February 24, Putin announced his intention to "denazify" Ukraine. If the assimilation of the whole country to a fascist regime is grotesque, an extreme right of neo-Nazi inspiration is very present in Ukraine. Today, a significant number of French fascists show the desire to join their "Ukrainian friends". ---- There is a "historical" extreme right in Ukraine, which reactivated after the disappearance of the USSR. Divided today into several parties, they have a common root through the figure of the pro-Nazi collaborationist Stepan Bandera, and share an ultra-nationalism based on racial purity and a violently anti-Russian and anti-Communist policy.

These various organizations gained notoriety during the Euromaidan events in 2013-2014, which ousted pro-Russian President Yanukovych from power. Indeed, their paramilitary organization allowed them both to prevent a radical left implantation in the movement, but also to appear credible by standing up to the anti-riot forces.

After Yanukovych's flight, the far-right Svoboda party obtained responsibilities in the government, and in the streets their activists actively took part in clashes with opponents of the policy resulting from Maidan, with many casualties, including in Odessa where the fascists set fire to the House of Trade Unions, leading to the death of around sixty people[1].

Fascists on all levels
If finally, faced with its ever-increasing street violence, the far right did not last long in the government, it nevertheless remained integrated into the state machine and in particular well established in the active and reserve army. Indeed, when the Ukrainian civil war broke out, the neo-Nazis and all the nationalists created paramilitary units to make up for the shortcomings of the army. This is where the infamous Azov Regiment was born. Led by a notorious neo-Nazi, Andriy Biletsky, later founder of the "National Corps" party, his "efficiency" in combat earned him integration into the Ukrainian National Guard.

Supported by the Ukrainian state, financed by oligarchs, and even armed by certain Western countries, autonomous or almost from power, it now has nearly 5,000 soldiers, its own armored vehicles, its training centers and serves as a rallying point. to all ultranationalist paramilitary units.
It is also the basis for the emergence of a new neo-Nazi network spanning all of Europe and North America, the "Misanthropic Division International".

Practical internship in Ukraine
This explains the reversal of the position of the radical far right in France. If a large majority of executives and parties of the "institutional" far-right have long been supporters of Putin, who repays them well, the ultra-right groups have evolved. At the start of the civil war, it was on the side of the pro-Russian separatists that we found French fighters, particularly within the "Continental Unit" group from 2014 and then in other battalions until 2016. revolutionary nationalism for the most part, they adhere to the "neo-eurasist" theories (the union of continental white Europe against "Atlanticism") which greatly influence Russian politics.

Today, it is the return to the traditional rhetoric of National Socialism that prevails: there are the "Aryans", the white superior race of Western Europe against the Slavic and Muslim "Asian hordes" represented by the Russian armies, against whom Azov is in the front line, has become a meeting point for Western fascists. The Russian invasion stirs the whole European movement, which shares on the networks, solidarity collections and videos of Russian corpses, accompanied by calls to come and defend "Europe".

And in France? For a long time, networks very popular with the fascists, such as "Ouest Casual" have not hidden their admiration for their Ukrainian comrades. There is also a whole neo-Nazi network in France linked to Ukraine, through the NSBM (National Socialist Black Metal) scene or semi-clandestine Nazi MMA fights.

If for the moment this admiration has not translated into a confirmed departure, around 60 to 70 sympathizers of the ultra-right would be tempted by the experience[2]. It is not difficult to imagine how it represents an imminent danger to see the French fascists going into battle, and returning with experience, if not more, from Ukraine.

Hugues (UCL Saint-Denis)

To validate
[1]L'Humanité, "When will there be light and justice on the Odessa massacre ?», February 5, 2015

[2]Le Monde, "Intelligence services attentive to the departure of French volunteers for Ukraine", March 9, 2022.

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