Violence has spilled out onto the streets of Ukraine. Residents are living in fear of armed thugs from the Right Sector that – with the backing of Western forces – led a coup which ousted former president, Victor Yanukovych.

Thugs have been parading the streets armed with clubs, helmets and bombs and have unleashed brutal violence on the police, overtaken government buildings, and beaten up anyone suspected of being in favour of the former government.

The new government, under the leadership of prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, also has more than a few worrying ties to far-right groups which are fiercely anti-Russian, racist, anti-immigrant, and anti-Jewish among other things.

The installation and appointment of the new government has occurred in tandem with an outbreak of violence on the streets of Ukraine led by the political formation known as “Pravy Sektor” (Right Sector), which is essentially an umbrella organization for a number of far-right groups including supporters of the “Svoboda” (Freedom) Party, “Patriots of Ukraine”, “Ukrainian National Assembly – Ukrainian National Self Defense” (UNA-UNSO), and “Trizub”.

So what direct ties does the new government have to these fascist groups? Enter Andriy Parubiy, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council. He helped to found the Svoboda party, formerly known as the Social-National Party of Ukraine, with Oleh Tyahnybok.

Andriy Parubiy

Andriy Parubiy

The Social-National Party of Ukraine is a reference to national socialism, aka nazism.

Svoboda members also control the prosecutor general office, the deputy prime minister position and the ministries of ecology and agriculture.

Oleksandr Sych, for example, is a member of Svoboda, and has been appointed as deputy prime minister in the country.

He is also known as a vehement anti-abortion activist – even in the case of rape.

Svoboda is backed by the Right Sector – the same thugs who incidentally, helped to overthrow the former president, Victor Yanukovych.

Then there is Dmytro Yarosh, leader of Stepan Bandera Treezoob and the Right Sector coalition. He is also Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council (the body which presides over the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces).

Minister of defence, Ihor Tenyukh is also reported to have ties with Svoboda and participates in their meetings. Tellingly, he trained in the United States and directed joint Ukraine/NATO maneuvers.

Dmytro Yarosh

Dmytro Yarosh

Education minister Serhiy Kvit, and Andriy Mokhnyk, minister of ecology and natural resources are also members of the Svoboda party, as is Ihor Shvaika, minister of Agrarian Policy and Food and prosecutor general Oleh Makhnitsky.

Meanwhile, chair of the anti-corruption committee Tetiana Tchornovol and Dmytro Boulatov, minister of Youth and Sports are both members of the Ukrainian National Self-Defence (UNA-UNSO) – another far right group.

Ihor Shvaika

Ihor Shvaika

UNA-UNSO is an alliance of paramilitary far-right hardliners, who are so committed to the neo-nazi cause, they even modelled their uniforms on Hitler’s Waffen SS. Its members, mainly comprised of former right-wing soldiers and thugs, boast of fighting Russia in Chechnya, Georgia and Afghanistan.

The Patriots of Ukraine are another group that have joined the Right Sector. They are yet another paramilitary band of thugs which was created by Svoboda. In essence, Svoboda is the “respectable” parliamentary front, while the Patriots of Ukraine are the thugs that hit the streets.

Oleh Tyahnybok

Oleh Tyahnybok

Trizub are another group which helped to form the core of the Right Sector, and have also been instrumental in creating terror on the streets.

They have played a major role in the outbreaks of violence committed by the Right Sector. Think of them as the ‘enforcement arm’ of the ultra-nationalist umbrella group.

The stated aim of the Right Sector is to genetically cleanse Ukraine of ethnic minorities, Jews, Russians and other “undesirables”.

Oleh Makhnitsky

Dmytro Boulatov

Dmytro Boulatov

The formation of the Right Sector represents an extremely worrying trend in Ukraine, because it is a sign of just what can happen when extreme far-right groups get organised and united under one organisation – in a very similar way to Hitler’s Nazi Party.

The rise and growing strength of nazi parties in Ukraine must be viewed in the context of a worrying rise of fascism and far-right nationalism across Europe that threatens our way of life as we know it.

If Ukraine were an isolated example, then it would not be a sign of a growing trend. However, there is a worrying rise in fascist groups across the continent. What we are not witnessing is a disorganised, disenfranchised group of men and women with no real power or realistic hope of getting into parliament.

What we are seeing is powerful coalitions of neo-nazis, Hitler supporters and fascists slowly but steadily gaining a stranglehold over Europe.

In Greece for example, the economic crash resulted in thousands of previously well-off families forced to go to food banks to survive. The austerity imposed by the Troika (IMF, ECB, and European Commission) crippled the country’s economy, resulting in a depression as bad, if not worse, than the Great Depression in the United States.

The Golden Dawn took advantage of the disenfranchisement of Greek residents and blamed immigrants and minority groups for the widespread poverty and job losses.They have been responsible for many attacks against black and Asian residents. Last year, pictures surfaced of them carrying out hospital raids and dragging unwell immigrants and minorities off of their hospital beds and beating them up.

Golden Dawn hospital raid

Golden Dawn hospital raid

It was also revealed that Golden Dawn members were targeting Greek nurseries and had asked the country’s Interior Ministry to supply a list of names of foreign and non-white nursery-school children to the hate group. As a result, teachers in schools across the country reported that they received documents from local authorities asking for information on ‘foreign’ schoolchildren.

In times of economic crisis, neo-nazi, anti-EU and anti-austerity rhetoric appeals to many people and immigrants and minorities become the natural scapegoats.

Recently, the Golden Dawn’s leader was arrested after the fatal stabbing of an anti-fascist rapper. However other party members are still in parliament and running for major political positions such as Mayor of Athens.

The party has also infiltrated the police force, resulting in many anti-fascist protesters being brutally beaten up, strip-searched, with police officers threatening to upload the naked images of them onto the internet.

In Spain, the ruling pro-austerity People’s Party has established draconian laws restricting protest and free speech, as well as empowering and sanctioning repressive police tactics.

Meanwhile, in France, the National Front party won nearly twenty percent of the vote in the first round of presidential elections.

The party is most famous for targeting Muslims, Africans and minority groups in the country.

Scandinavia has also seen the rise of fascist parties, which although once were small, have won significant victories in elections, while in the Netherlands, the anti-muslim and racist Party for Freedom is the third largest in the country.

In the UK, far-right party UKIP has grown increasingly popular among those disillusioned with the three main parties.

The party is known for its homophobic, anti-muslim and chauvinistic approach. US backed right-wing parties are also on the rise in Latin American countries such as Paraguay and Honduras.

So across Europe and the rest of the world, extreme, far-right, and nationalistic views are closing their grip, as is predictable in times of hardship.

And the truth is, far-right groups are an incredibly useful tool for a global power-base that seeks to justify the formation of an all-powerful global power structure of which the EU and NATO is a part.

For that reason, far-right politics must be exposed for the destructive ideology that it is, while blame for economic hardships and conflict must be placed squarely at the feet of the powerful cult of government officials and corporations that manufacture these crises.

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