Recent days have seen several comments touching on the allegedly fascist or anti-Semitic leanings of Ukrainian nationalists involved in the revolution. Most recently, Vladimir Putin has stated that the revolutionaries are a band of “fascists” and “reactionary anti-Semitic forces” that have gone “on a rampage.” Commentators remain divided on whether Putin truly believes Ukraine to be on the cusp of a fascist takeover, or whether this is simply an excuse for Russian military intervention in Crimea. Nonetheless, despite the ambiguous nature of the nationalist coalition, Abraham Foxman, still lingering at ADL headquarters and still apoplectic at any sign of nationalism among Whites, recently took to the pages of the Huffington Post to assert that “the Ukrainian Jewish community is nervous,” and urged the new government to “reassure” Ukrainian Jews.
Foxman and many news outlets have singled out the Svoboda party, and other groups and individuals within the loose alliance of nationalists, as being particularly concerning. Since many of these individuals and groups (as well as their attitudes towards Jews, multiculturalism, and the West) are likely to be unfamiliar to Western readers, what I hope to achieve in this article is to provide an historical overview and some analysis of the trends in Ukrainian nationalism. It is hoped that this might aid the development of a clearer understanding of events in Ukraine from a Western White Nationalist perspective.
Ukrainian nationalism has always had to struggle for free expression. Ukrainian lands have been the subject of incursions from Poles, Turks, Cossacks and Russians since at least the seventeenth-century, and in the eighteen-century these lands were divided between the Russian Empire and Austria. Even today, scholars Andres Umland and Anton Shekhovtsov have noted that “present day Western Ukraine belongs to the Central rather than to the East European context, and in some ways resembles the Baltic countries more closely than it does other former Soviet republics.” Read more »