Radis, the AZOV regiment commander, says to carry on the war of his Karelian-born grandfather
“‘Look,’ he said, 'the fact of the matter is that my grandfather is Karel by nationality. He was born and raised in Finland. Participated in the Winter war against the Soviets. When the Second World War began, the Soviet Union attacked Finland, to seize the Karelian Isthmus in order to prevent the danger of possible artillery bombardments of Leningrad: as it is known, the Soviet-Finnish border was only 32 km away from Leningrad, the largest center of Soviet industry and the second largest city of the country.
Naturally, peaceful negotiations ended in nothing, and the war began. My grandfather was 9 years old. The whole family died there, but grandfather miraculously survived and moved to Ukraine. To Kyiv. Here he settled down and had been working in the metro-building industry, for 44 years, by the way. Here he met his wife, my grandmother. I was born here, too.
And, you know, I have a feeling that I have continued the same war, but in another section of the front, the war against the occupation regime of the Kremlin. My grandfather had such a terrible hatred for communism, Bolshevism, Soviets… and, can you imagine, to lose his family? That is, all of his brothers died, his relatives. I do not know if they were killed or taken prisoner somewhere unknown. But the region where he lived was like this: it was East Karelia, Suoyarvsky District, northward of Lake Ladoga. And there were really lots of reds.
One can draw a parallel with our Donbas. Namely, supposedly pro-Russian population lives in the territory of Ukraine. The same goes for Finland: there were many Russians and many Karelians whose national consciousness was destroyed by the Soviet authorities. And he was against it.
But imagine that now you have relatives living in Novoazovsk, and they are pro-Ukrainian, and they have rifles and do not want to surrender for nothing. He chose this way: to defend his land at the cost of his life.
It happened so that I grew up with my grandfather (in Kyiv). He brought me up, and I had been growing up there
until I turned 7, then moved to my parents, started going to school. But my grandfather has always been a big authority for me, and I supported his ideas. I cannot say that he imposed them on me, he just told me a lot of stories, and I deliberately shared his views. This is a blood feud for me..”
(An excerpt from the interview first published in the Black Sun frontline newspaper of the AZOV regiment, issue #23).
March 17, in the Polish city of Cracow took place the 1st 3Seas Conservative Forum, which is meant to become a cyclic event for the discussion and networking between (non-)governmental organizations in the Central and Eastern Europe region. The organizers (Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Foundation for the Polish Commonwealth, Foundation of Janusz Kurtyka, Student Association for the Polish Commonwealth and Institute of Roman Rybarsky) have already undertaken similar initiatives with success, having co-organized, inter alia, Together for the Future Forum (Forum Wspólnie dla Przyszłości). German supporters of the Intermarium project, who submitted the photo report, were also present at the event.
Energy policy, strategic security and economic cooperation of Central and Eastern European countries, as well as their vision of the transatlantic cooperation and the future of “16 + 1 format” were the main topics addressed at the event.
The first panel session was dedicated to the energy sector. The speakers (Dr. Tomasz Nałęcz, GeoInformation director, deputy director of the PGI-NRI, Wojciech Jakóbik, University of Warsaw, editor-in-chief of BiznesAlert.pl, Mariusz Swora, Attorney At Law, PhD in Law, founder of the Office Dr. Mariusz Swora, Paweł Musiałek, Analysis Center of the Jagiellońian Club) came to the conclusion that the region’s states can carry out some common projects in the energy sector right now, but spectacular projects should not be expected that soon in this area. First of all, these countries must work on safety and think about financial factors. In this context, current geopolitical developments must be taken into consideration as the energy sector is a highly multifaceted industry.
The second panel session was focused on the strategic security issues. A high-ranking guest of this discussion was Romuald Sheremetiev, Professor and a long-time lecturer of the Warsaw Academy of martial arts, former Deputy Minister of Defence of Poland. Other important speakers were Jiří Hynek, candidate in the 2018 presidential election in the Czech Republic, president of the Defense and Security Industry Association of the Czech Republic, and Dr. Maciej Lisowski, representative of Scientific and Production Association in the city of Tarnów, “Zakłady Mechaniczne Tarnów SA.”
The speakers stressed that we should not underestimate the threat of Russia and its attempts to build a political alliance from Moscow to Lisbon, especially in the context of the impending destabilization in the middle East and in the far East, which affects the policy of countries in Eastern Europe. A German-speaking participant of the event also took the floor in the end of this block. He raised the problem of chauvinism as a historical obstacle to the effective cooperation today, as well as talked on the importance of current political developments in Germany for Europe and a metapolitical third-way solution to secure the military, economic and cultural independence of Europe from America and Russia alike.
The last session of the event was dedicated to the economic cooperation in the region. Among the panelists, there were Dr. Mariusz Patey, director of the Institute of Roman Rybarsky, regular participant of the conferences of the Intermarium Development Assistance Group, Sławomir Metzen, entrepreneur, vice president of the Wolność party and Dr. Jevgenij Bilonozhko, Kyiv University, editor-in-chief of POLONEWS. Experts contended that the conditions for the cooperation in this field do exist, but due to the weakness of economies of the region’s states there is no alternative to the economic cooperation of individual states with Germany at the moment.
In addition to the panel sessions, several experts explained the current international developments in the global economics network. Dr. Michał Lubina, expert in the Russian-Chinese relations, highlighted the tendencies in the “China-Russia-USA” triangle. Jacek Zimmer disclosed the prospects for the liberalization of the energy market in Poland. Dariusz Materniak discussed the scenarios of the future Polish-Ukrainian relations. Prof. Andrzej Bryk talked about the ideological basis for the cooperation between the US and the region’s states in the context of the current political situation in the United States.
To conclude, the event organizers stressed the importance to avoid the sharp confrontation with the European Union before the alternative economic market has been created. The cooperation can yield positive results in the near future, but the current economic power balance of the region’s countries is determined by their orientation towards Germany. The success of the alternative regional integration depends on the professionalism of the specialists involved, as well as on the expected political changes in Germany.
Anti-oligarchic march of allied Ukrainian nationalist forces took place in Kyiv
April 3, the anti-oligarchic rally of Ukrainian allied nationalist forces (National Corps, Svoboda, Right Sector, C14), as well as Karpatska Sich and Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists (KUN), “For the Ukrainian future without the oligarchs!”, has managed to attract to its ranks thousands of Ukrainians dissatisfied with the policies of the Ukrainian government (overall, up to 20 000 participants).
As the leader of National Corps Andriy Biletsky put it, current authorities, instead of winnig the war, rebuilding the country’s economy and making real reforms, chose to increase their control over the power structures and media, which itself is a death sentence to their efforts. Not incidentally, as the slogan displayed on one of the banners says, current president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko should better stay at Maldives where he recently had a good rest with a family while suggesting the Ukrainians to cut gas consumption.
After a series of subsequent rallies in front of Cabinet of Ministers, Verkhovna Rada (Parliament) and Presidential Administration, representatives of allied nationalist forces submitted to the government the Anti-oligarchic package of reforms. Massive presence of National Squads was a good warning to the law enforcement in case they try to disperse the meeting.
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Charter of Regional Nationalism (Charter 2018) was introduced by Belarusian intellectuals
It is offered to think within the confines of a single space from the Baltic to the Black Sea.
1. Culture is something that is created. Elites are capable of founding and developing an autonomous culture with its own specific features in any given territory.
2. Culture not only unites but also divides. The diversity of identities aggravates this division and isolates social communities one from another, which becomes an obstacle to their unity.
3. Once a single area from the Baltic to the Black Sea, today it is divided by nation states each of which has an egocentric interpretation of the common past and its own interests that intensify contradictions, self-isolation and disunity.
4. In the past, the national idea mobilized people and contributed to the flowering of the states, whereas today it is unable to withstand the challenges of a global world that only a global player can take on.
5. None of the nations of the region is this global player which cuts the potential and the horizon of opportunities for each of them. Such a global player can be developed not by the ethnic, state-patriotic or cultural nationalism but only by the regional nationalism.
6. Regional nationalism is a metanationalism based on the understanding of the nation as a historical, geographical, metaphysical and sociopolitical community. It allows to rise above the private interests, contradictions, boundaries and cultural differences of the region and is meant to walk the path from an abstract formula to a tangible and meaningful identity that sets the format for a common perspective, culture and destiny.
7. The principles of regional nationalism:
- a common territory “from sea to sea”;
- the historical and metaphysical unity of the population of this territory.
Regional nationalism considers these principles as prior to the principles of an ethnos, separate nation, culture, state and language.
8. What is to be done?
- to accept, to be guided by and to spread the principles of regional nationalism;
- to perceive, comprehend and conceive of the region as a single conceptual space wherein nothing is “foreign” but only our “own”;
- to cross, explore and integrate the space “from sea to sea” in all its unity and diversity;
- to highlight, to emphasize and to cultivate the internal regional commonality, not differences;
- to prevent attempts to differentiate the region and favor the removal of its internal contradictions and borders;
- to create the culture of a regional scale and a world level;
- to perform constructive actions in order to awaken the regional subject.
We will definitely raise our flag. Together, we are the POWER!
Aujourd’hui, la Hongrie et la Pologne se situent à l’avant-garde de la résistance politique contre la mondialisationn agressive menée par l’Union Européenne et pourraient aisément pousser vers la mise en place d’une union alternative, l’Intermarium, sur les bases des quatre pays du groupe de Visegrad et de l’Initiative des Trois Mers, aux côtés de l’Autriche comme passerelle entre l’Ouest et l’Ukraine en tant facteur clé de stabilité dans la région.
Cependant, les nationalistes de la région, qu’ils soient ukrainiens, hongrois ou polonais, ont souvent tendance à protéger leurs intérêts nationaux avec une certaine étroitesse d’esprit (en prétendant posséder la bonne version de l’histoire nationale, en luttant catégoriquement en faveur ou contre l’autonomie culturelle des minorités nationales, etc.), qui les empêche d’établir entre eux une coopération stratégique dans l’intérêt de tous, seule manière d’améliorer la situation de chaque pays en particulier.
Nous devons comprendre est qu’être nationaliste aujourd’hui signifie être avant tout identitaire et paneuropéen. Faute de quoi, les tierces parties intéressées à entretenir les divisions dans la région, ne cesseront jamais d’exciter les chauvinismes au sein des ethno-nationalistes d’Europe. À défaut d’unir leurs efforts, chaque pays de la région, englué dans un «nationalisme» étroit, sera vite en butte à un déclin démographique et/ou économique.
La déclaration ci-dessous condamnant les récentes provocations anti-hongroises et anti-polonaises, a été rédigée par le parti politique Corps National, pour exprimer naturellement le point de vue ukrainien. Cette formation politique reste à l’heure actuelle le plus important mouvement nationaliste à se prononcer pour une intégration dans le cadre d’un Intermarium alternatif et anticipe un rapprochement avec ses deux alliés géopolitiques naturels sinon au niveau étatique, du moins à celui des forces nationalistes alliées, de part et d’autre.
Après tout, du mal peut surgir un bien: en conséquence des récentes provocations, les patriotes hongrois et ukrainiens ont initié un dialogue dans le but de résister ensemble au chauvinisme et aux provocations en tout genre, tout en faisant la promotion d’une vision identitaire de l’Europe qui pourrait résoudre la question des minorités nationales dans les pays voisins.
Ces derniers temps, il est difficile de considérer les relations ukraino-hongroises comme amicales ou neutres. L’histoire de nos relations est typique de celle d’états qui se sont côtoyés sur la durée. Naturellement, beaucoup de choses ont pu se passer au cours d’un tel laps de temps.
Cependant, certains ont récemment tenté d’allumer délibérément un conflit ethnique dans la région des Carpates en ayant recours à des coups fourrés. La Transcarpatie est une région unique. En dépit du fait que selon le dernier recensement, les Ukrainiens constituent plus de 80% de la population de l’oblast et les Hongrois seulement 12%, le gouvernement hongrois fait tout son possible pour utiliser cet état de fait comme un argument dans les négociations en cours et comme un moyen de pression sur les autorités ukrainiennes.
La Hongrie a investi beaucoup de fonds pour le développement des écoles hongroises en Transcarpatie et désormais, sous le régime de la nouvelle loi «sur l’éducation», les écoliers magyarophones seront obligés d’étudier la langue ukrainienne. Il est clair que notre voisin occidental n’entend pas renoncer à ce territoire qu’il considère comme sien.
Au même moment, il est intéressant de noter que les Hongrois se sont depuis longtemps sentis très à l’aise en raison de la loyauté des autorités ukrainiennes qui ont laissé les choses en l’état en espérant qu’elles s’amélioreraient d’elles-même. Or, comme on peut le constater, il n’en a rien été. La situation est donc tendue comme elle ne l’a jamais été.
Rien que pour le mois de février, deux événements ont eu lieu, constituant une sérieuse alerte pour rappeler que l’ennemi extérieur ne s’est pas assoupi et tente toujours de tirer les marrons du feu de cette exacerbation des relations entre la Hongrie et l’Ukraine. Nous faisons allusion aux deux attaques qu’a subies le bâtiment abritant la Société Culturelle Hongroise.
La première a eu lieu le 4 février dernier. Les auteurs de l’attaque ont utilisé des cocktails Molotov pour incendier les locaux, mais n’ont réussi qu’à endommager la fenêtre et la façade du bâtiment. La seconde attaque s’est déroulée dans la nuit des 26 et 27 février. Cette fois, les attaquants ont eu recours à un engin explosif, ce qui a provoqué un incendie généralisé à l’étage.
Le dernier incident en date est un montage vidéo dans lequel quatre pseudo nationalistes ukrainiens brûlent des drapeaux nationaux hongrois et polonais, menacent les minorités hongroises et polonaises en Ukraine et promettent d’effectuer des actions de sabotage sur les territoires hongrois et polonais avec l’aide d’Ukrainiens résidant sur place.
Cette vidéo est devenue virale sur le web hongrois et polonais. Il est inutile de dire que les tournures étrangères à la langue ukrainienne renvoyant plutôt à la langue russe, qui ressortent d’une écoute de la vidéo, n’échapperont pas à des oreilles hongroises et polonaises attentives. Ce n’est pas la première fois que ce genre de provocations a lieu. Quelqu’un tente visiblement et de manière répétée de transformer la Transcarpatie en une zone de confrontation: cela a commencé par des inscriptions murales avec des slogans comme «Mort aux Magyars», puis on a eu affaire à la destruction par des vandales du monument érigé en l’honneur du héros national hongrois Ferenc Rakoczi.
Cette tentative de déstabilisation est-elle dans l’intérêt de l’Ukraine? Évidemment que non.
À un moment où le pays est confronté à une crise majeure et une guerre qui continue sur ses frontières orientales, tous ces conflits ne peuvent que faire le jeu d’un troisième protagoniste, la Fédération de Russie.
À l’appui de cette hypothèse, il suffit de se référer aux personnes qui ont commis l’attaque du bâtiment de la Société Culturelle Hongroise le 4 février: deux ressortissants polonais, membres de l’organisation «nationaliste» pro-russe Falanga, qui se sont battus dans le Donbass aux côtés des séparatistes de la LNR et de la DNR et sont désormais détenus par les services de sécurité intérieurs polonais. Et il y a une quasi-certitude que ces individus, fans de la pseudo Novorussia et de la politique agressive de Poutine, ont été à l’origine de la deuxième attaque.
Se fait alors jour une question logique: où étaient les services de renseignement ukrainiens à ce moment-là et surtout, comment ont-ils pu laisser entrer sur le territoire national des mercenaires qui se sont battus contre l’Ukraine ?
Et il y a même plus sérieux, dans la mesure où ce n’est pas un question rhétorique: qu’est-ce qu’a fait le ministre des affaires étrangères ukrainiens depuis 4 ans, depuis la révolution du Maidan? Visiblement pas grand chose pour développer les relations internationales avec les états de la région qui pourraient être nos alliés.
Des nouvelles plus agréables sont venues de Joseph Bortot, vice-président de la Société Culturelle Hongroise, qui, dans un communiqué, a nié que les provocations en Transcarpatie soient venues du côté ukrainien. «Je suis convaincu qu’il n’y a pas une seule personne en Ukraine et en Transcarpatie en particulier qui aurait pu commettre ce crime. On y trouve certes des nationalistes, voire des ultranationalistes, mais je ne crois pas que des citoyens ukrainiens aient pu être impliqués», a-t-il déclaré.
Par conséquent, nous devrions saisir cette opportunité pour redoubler d’efforts afin d’affronter la Fédération de Russie et de renforcer les relations de bon voisinage.
Oui à la fraternité entre peuples libres d’Ukraine et de Hongrie, non aux manifestations de chauvinisme artificiellement provoquées!
LE CORPS NATIONAL CONTRE LA POLICE: LE COMBAT POUR ATEK A COMMENCE
À la veille des élections, le régime post-révolutionnaire en Ukraine dirigé par Petro Porochenko a finalement déclenché une guerre ouverte contre un mouvement bien organisé et en croissance rapide, le Corps National, seul parti politique d’Ukraine à aussi posséder une aile militaire, le régiment AZOV.
Le 23 mars 2018, à 6h du matin, environ 300 représentants de la police (Ministère de l’Intérieur), du Service de Sécurité (SBU) et du Bureau du Procureur de l’Ukraine ont bloqué les locaux de l’ONG «Corps Civil Azov», plateforme de toutes les organisations publiques (projets sociaux) mises en place par le Mouvement Azov, le Centre de recrutement du régiment AZOV et l’école militaire Colonel Evhen Konovalets.
Les forces de sécurités (unité spéciale de la police KORD) ont pénétré par effraction dans les bâtiments et ont entrepris une fouille illégale à l’intérieur sans la présence d’un enquêteur et de témoins diligentés.
Ils ont, entre autres, confisqué les effets personnels de volontaires ukrainiens qui font respecter la loi et l’ordre dans les rues du pays et sont pour l’instant cantonnés à cet endroit. Les représentants de la loi se sont même emparés des décorations militaires des combattants de l’ATO («Opération anti-terroriste», terme officiel désignant les opérations militaires menées dans le Donbass par les forces ukrainiennes-NDT) exposées sur les murs.
En réponse à ces agissements, les propriétaires de ces locaux, qui , il faut le préciser, les ont complètement remis à neuf et reconstruits, ont invité un groupe d’investigation à prendre acte de ces actions illégales.
Le chef du Corps National, Andriy Biletskyi, a personnellement pris part à la défense du Quartier Général du Mouvement et a clairement précisé dans son allocution aux militants et sympathisants que tout cela n’était rien d’autre qu’une tentative de répression politique des forces nationalistes.
De plus, des activistes du Corps National ou issus d’autres formations nationalistes ukrainiennes (C14, Svoboda, Secteur Droit), rejoints par des membres motivés des bataillons Aidar et Dnipro, et de simples citoyens ont érigé une barricade et bloqué les policiers présents à l’intérieur de l’enceinte même d’Atek afin de ne pas les laisser partir avec les effets confisqués, volés devrions-nous dire, au cours de la fouille.
Les représentants des forces de l’ordre n’ont pas osé engager une épreuve de force avec les manifestants présents en nombre croissant et ces derniers ont formé un « corridor de la honte » autour des représentants de la loi invités à vider les lieux.
Pour le moment, ils ont tous quitté l’enceinte, mais ce n’est probablement que partie remise. Les locaux sont situés dans la zone industrielle de Kyiv, sur le territoire de l’usine Atek où ont eu lieu les départs des premiers volontaires du bataillon AZOV. Les épreuves du fameux brevet Sparta accomplies par les nouvelles recrues se sont régulièrement déroulées dans la cour et les allées autour du bâtiment.
En 2015, les autorités avaient déjà tenté d’expulser des lieux les nationalistes qui se battaient à l’Est et accomplissaient leur devoir au quotidien dans l’intérêt de la nation et de l’Etat ukrainiens.Mais du point de vue du public, le choix fut aisé à faire entre eux et un affairiste qui avait eu l’intention de transformer les lieux en un ensemble de bureaux à louer, sans parler des liens financiers avérés de ce monsieur avec la Crimée annexée.
Aujourd’hui, après que les représentants de la loi aient quitté Atek, le porte parole de la police nationale a déclaré que les «ONG» qui avaient leur siège à cet endroit ne représentaient «aucun intérêt» pour eux. Seule le documentation sur place était de nature à les intéresser depuis que le tribunal du district Chevtchenkivskyi de Kyiv a donné satisfaction à une requête du SBU (Service de Sécurité de l’Ukraine-NDT), le 13 mars 2018, pour mettre fin aux activités de la base d’entraînement du régiment AZOV sur le site de l’usine Atek.
Cependant, il devient évident que le régime a déclenché une répression planifiée du Corps National et du Mouvement Azov, avec un calendrier précis qui ne doit rien au hasard. Pour l’instant, l’attention du public se focalise sur le cas de Nadia Savtchenko, l’ancienne pilote militaire et combattante de l’ATO qui a été détenue en captivité dans une prison russe.
Après sa libération, elle s’est d’abord trouvée élevée au statut de martyr de la guerre menée à l’Est par les autorités ukrainiennes, une Jeanne d’Arc nationale, avant de se voir conférer un siège de député à la Rada (Parlement). À présent, elle encourt une sentence d’emprisonnement à vie pour «avoir planifié une attaque terroriste sur le Parlement ukrainien».
Le 22 mars, Andriy Biletskyi s’est exprimé sur ce sujet sur la chaîne de télévision ukrainienne 112. Selon lui, le matériel vidéo affirmant présenter les plans de Savtchenko pour détruire deux loges dans le Parlement ukrainien en utilisant des grenades et des armes automatiques ne peut être pris au sérieu. En effet, ce n’est pas un secret de dire que l’actuel président et son gouvernement sont extrêmement impopulaires et que des conversations de ce type ressortant du registre émotionnel peuvent être entendues partout. L’état mental de Savtchenko, consécutif à sa sortie de prison, a suscité de nombreuses interrogations à plusieurs reprises, a-t-il ajouté, ainsi que le fait que des conversations enregistrées ne prouvaient rien. Le seul motif pour poursuivre l’enquête était lié aux armes transportées par elle et Volodymyr Rouban, des territoires occupés des régions de Donetsk et de Louhansk jusqu’à Kyiv.
Au lieu de s’appesantir sur ce point, Andriy Biletskyi a préféré attirer l’attention sur le cas beaucoup plus scandaleux d’un autre Savtchenko, prénommé Oleksiy, placé à la tête de l’administration d’Etat de la région de Mykolayiv dont les agissements ont mené au suicide de Vladislav Volochyne, alors directeur de l’aéroport international de Mykolayiv, ancien pilote militaire et vétéran de la guerre du Donbass. Des informations font part du fait qu’Oleksiy Savtchenko aurait fait pression sur Volochyne pour l’impliquer dans une affaire de corruption de haut vol.
Le 21 mars, Le Corps National, Svoboda et le Secteur Droit ont établi des piquets devant l’Administration présidentielle pour exiger la démission d’Oleksiy Savtchenko.Ils ont mis en évidence le fait que les autorités ont créé des scandales artificiels pour faire diversion de leurs faits de corruption à même de choquer véritablement l’opinion.
Le 22 mars, la police a entrepris des perquisitions dans les logements de deux jeunes activistes du Corps National résidant à Dnipro (anciennement Dnipropetrovsk-NDT), Denys Kotenko et Daryna Sloutskovska, alors qu’ils étaient à Kyiv. Le prétexte était ridicule et apparemment inspiré par le cas de Nadia Savtchenko: rechercher des grenades et des explosifs. Le 23 mars, la branche locale du Corps National à Dnipro a organisé une manifestation avec un slogan d’une pertinence de plus en plus évidente: «Perquisitionnez les maisons des criminels, pas celles des patriotes!».
Du reste, il n’y a pas si longtemps qu’au cours d’une conférence de presse, le président de l’Ukraine, Petro Porochenko a exprimé sa préoccupation au sujet de l’aggravation de la situation sécuritaire dans le pays due, selon lui, à l’avènement des unités de la Droujina Nationale, constituées de volontaires du Corps National qui effectuent des patrouilles dans les rues.
Auparavant, les autorités s’en étaient tenues à la stratégie d’ignorer la montée en puissance rapide du Corps National ainsi que ses critiques du régime. Cependant, depuis récemment, il est devenu impossible de prétendre que le Corps National ne puisse pas constituer une menace politique directe pour le gouvernement actuel qui perd rapidement en crédibilité.
L’attaque inexpliquée du 23 mars sur le QG du Mouvement AZOV qui a été présentée comme la simple «mise en œuvre d’une décision de justice», était indubitablement de nature à vouloir intimider les activistes de cette force politique en pleine ascension et les nationalistes en général.
A la suite de la légalisation du bataillon Azov, devenu ensuite régiment, sous les auspices de la garde Nationale d’Ukraine rattachée au ministère de l’Intérieur, de nombreuses voix malveillantes se sont élevées pour commencer à propager des rumeurs sur le fait que le Corps National/Mouvement AZOV aurait bénéficié de la «protection» du ministre du l’intérieur Arsen Avakov. D’aucuns attribuaient cette présumée bienveillance à une rivalité entre le clan Avakov et celui de Porochenko.
Il est devenu maintenant évident que, premièrement, ce protectorat n’a jamais existé, deuxièmement que les autorités ne peuvent conjurer plus longtemps le défi politique que constitue l’alliance des forces nationalistes (Accord conclu entre le Corps National, Svoboda et le Secteur Droit ainsi qu’avec d’autres organisations moins importantes-NDT).
Cela signifie que la perspective d’une prochaine phase de la révolution nationale ukrainienne n’est pas si éloignée.
National Corps against the police: the fight for Atek
On the eve of election, the post-revolutionary regime
in Ukraine headed by president Petro Poroshenko finally started an open war
against the well-organized and rapidly growing movement of National Corps, the
only political party in Ukraine that also has a military wing, the AZOV
March 23, at 6 am, about 300 representatives of the
police (Ministry of Internal Affairs), Security Service and Prosecutor’s Office
of Ukraine blocked the office of the NGO “AZOV Civil Corps,” the hub
of public organizations (social projects) of the AZOV movement, the
Recruitment Center of the AZOV regiment and the Military School of Colonel
Security forces (KORD police special unit) broke the doors down and conducted
illegal searches indoors without the presence of the investigator and the
attesting witnesses. Among others, they confiscated personal items of Ukrainian
volunteers who secure law and order in the Ukrainian streets and are currently
stationed there. Official law enforcement even took away the military awards of
the ATO participants that were displayed on the walls.
In response, owners of these premises, who, by the way, completely
rebuilt and renovated them, invited the investigative group to register these
unlawful actions. The leader of the National Corps movement Andriy Biletsky
personally participated in the defense of the headquarters and made it clear in
his address to the supporters that it was nothing but the attempted political
repression of nationalist forces.
Further, activists of National Corps and other Ukrainian
nationalist forces (C14, Svoboda, Sokil, Pravyi (Right) Sector), as well as
concerned members of the Aidar and Dnipro battalions built a barricade and blocked the police inside the
factory premises themselves in order not to let them out with the confiscated,
more precisely, stolen property. The authorities did not dare to start the
clashes with the growing number of protesters, and the latter formed the
“corridor of shame” to let the individual representatives of the law
enforcement out. Currently, they left the office area completely, but the continuation
is more than probable.
The office is located in the industrial part of Kyiv, in the territory of the Atek
factory where the first departures of the AZOV battalion’s volunteers took
place. Famous reports of recruits passing the Spartan test were made precisely
in the backyard of the office and the alleys around it.
In 2015, the authorities have already made an attempt
to expel Ukrainian nationalists fighting in the East and doing the hard daily
work to the benefit of the Ukrainian nation and state. But the choice between
them and a businessman who wanted to use the factory premises as an office
space for lease and had financial ties in the annexed Crimea was easy from a
public point of view.
Today, after the law enforcement left Atek, spokesman
of National Police has stated that “civil organizations”
headquartered there were “of no interest” to the police, only
documentation, since March 13, 2018, the Shevchenkivskyi District Court of Kyiv
satisfied the request of the Security Service of Ukraine and arrested the training
base of the AZOV Regiment at the ATEK plant.
However, it is obvious that the regime started a
planned repression of the National Corps movement, and the beginning of the
latter was also carefully planned in time. Currently, the society’s attention
is focused on Nadiya Savchenko’s case, the former Army aviation pilot and ATO
soldier who was held captive in the Russian prison. After the release, she was
first turned into a martyr of the war in the East by the Ukrainian authorities
and was granted a deputy’s seat but at present is threatened with a lifetime
sentence for “planning a terror attack on the Ukrainian parliament.”
Just yesterday, the leader of National Corps Andriy
Biletsky commented on this issue on the air of the 112.ua TV channel. In his
opinion, the video footage disclosing Savchenko’s plans to destroy two lodges
in the parliament using grenades and automatic weapons should not be taken
seriously. Indeed, it is no secret that the current government and president
are highly unpopular, and purely emotional talks like that may be heard
everywhere. Savchenko’s mental health after the release from prison was
questioned many times, he went on to say, so even recorded conversations prove
nothing. The only reason to conduct investigation is the arms transported by her
and Volodymyr Ruban from the occupied territories of the Donetsk and Luhansk
regions to Kyiv.
Instead, Andriy Biletsky drew attention to the much
more outrageous case of another Savchenko meaning Oleksiy Savchenko, the head
of the Mykolayiv Regional State Administration whose actions have led to the
suicide of Vladyslav Voloshyn, acting director of Mykolaiv International
Airport and a former military pilot and veteran of the Donbas war. There is
information that Oleksiy Savchenko put a pressure on Voloshyn to get him
involved in high-ranking corruption. March 21, National Corps, Svoboda, and
Right Sector picketed the Presidential Administration demanding the dismissal
of Oleksiy Savchenko. They made it clear that the authorities create artificial
scandals in order to distract the society’s attention from really shocking acts
March 22, the police conducted searches in the houses
of young activists of National Corps, residents of Dnipro Denys Kotenko and
Daryna Slutskovska, while they were in Kyiv. The pretext was ridiculous and
apparently inspired by the case of Nadiya Savchenko: searching for the grenades
and explosives. Today, March 23, the Dnipro branch of National Corps held a rally
chanting the slogan of the growing relevance, “Make the searches in the
houses of criminals, not patriots!”
Besides, not so long ago, during the press conference,
president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko expressed his concern on the aggravation
of the security situation in Ukraine with the advent of National Squads, the
volunteer forces of the National Corps movement that patrol the streets.
Previously, the authorities sticked with the strategy
of ignoring the rapid growth of National Corps along with its criticism of the
regime. However, since recently, it has become impossible to pretend that
National Corps does not pose a political threat to the current government which
increasingly loses credibility.
Today’s unexplained attack on the headquarters of the
AZOV movement which turned out to be a mere “implementation of the court decision,”
undoubtedly, was meant to intimidate the activists of this political force and
nationalists in general.
After the legalization of the AZOV battalion, later
regiment, under the auspices of National Guard of Ukraine as a part of the Ministry
of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, many ill-wishers started spreading rumors about
the police protectorate of Interior Minister Arsen Avakov over the National
Corps / AZOV movement. Some connected this presumable defense with the rivalry
between Poroshenko’s and Avakov’s “clans.” Now it is obvious, first,
that this protectorate is non-existent, second, that the authorities can no
longer dismiss the political challenge by the allied nationalist forces.
It means that the next phase of the Ukrainian nationalist
revolution is not far off.
Currently, Remembrance day of the Latvian legionnaires or the Latvian Legion Day is an unofficial holiday, although it was not always like that, and nationalist forces keep introducing legislative bills on recognizing the Latvian Legion Day an official state holiday. Nevertheless, every March 16, when the Latvian Legion for the first time was deployed against the Red Army in 1944, thousands of Latvians participate in festivities in memory of the Latvian fighters for the country’s independence.
National Alliance “All for Latvia!”, traditionally, is in the forefront of this struggle. Not only in a legal field. Members of the youth organization of the party annually form a living corridor in front of the Freedom Monument in Riga holding Latvian national flags in their hands. Girls in wreaths lay flowers to the monument.
This year, party representatives (Raivis Dzintars, Jānis Dombrava, Kārlis Krēsliņš and Einārs Cilinskis) also headed the procession along with other public march supporters. Commemoration of the legionnaires’ feat at Freedom Square, as usual, was followed by the solemn program at the legionnaires’ memorial in Lesten. Edgars Skreija, veteran, Latvian legionnaire, representative of the Latvian National Soldiers’ Association, expressed his regret regarding the decision of the Latvian Saeima not to recognize March 16 the official state holiday.
The controversy around this holiday is usually stirred up by various leftist groups that are trying to imitate the society’s polarization on this subject. For the vast majority of Latvians, these soldiers, though, will always remain freedom fighters who should not bear responsibility for the war crimes of one of the ideological camps striving for a world domination in the former century.
Above all, these are pro-Kremlin groups that strive to represent Latvian freedom fighters as “henchmen of Adolf Hitler” who, in particular, committed atrocities against the Jewish people. This time, several dozens of the march opponents met the procession with the slogans of this kind. However, most Latvians consider these efforts an unconvincing attempt to disctract attention from the very fact of the Soviet occupation of Latvia and the war crimes of the leftist regimes. On the other hand, there are liberals targeting the Latvian national myth by means of political correctness. Their goal is easy to guess: the Latvians, according to the survey
conducted by Eurobarometer in November 2017, are the most skeptical among the EU nations about immigrants (86 percent).
The political weakness of the Latvian parliament is especially unfortunate given that the Russian Duma pushes for the introduction of sanctions against all politicians in favor of the Latvian Legion Day.
Ukrainian nationalists have always supported the endeavors of their Latvian colleagues. Till recently, they had been facing the same problem: namely, the legislative resistance of the pro-Kremlin lobby to the official recognition of the UPA (Ukrainian Insurgent Army’s) veterans and members of the OUN (Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists). Although commemoration of the Halychyna Division (1st Galician in German) annually took place in Lviv no matter what, the official recognition of the anti-Soviet veterans happened only after the Maidan revolution in 2015.
Undoubtedly, Russia uses this fact as a justification for its ongoing hybrid warfare against the Ukrainian state, however, the Ukrainian society has long abandoned the fear of “irritating Russia,” and the rapid decommunization across Ukraine speaks for itself.
That’s why Ukrainian nationalists closely observe the developments in Latvia where the artificial pro-Kremlin minority is quite strong. Last year, representative of National Corps Vladyslav Kovalchuk participated in the commemorative events in Riga on the Latvian Legion Day along with Polish colleagues who associated this date also with an anniversary of the Crimea’s annexation by the Russian Federation.
It was also easy to spot in the crowd
Lithuanian, Estonian, and Swedish representatives at the Latvian Legion Day 2018.
This year, Tetiana Lazda, face of the Ukrainians’ Congress in Latvia, as always, came to support the symbols of the Latvian struggle for independence, too.
This time, National Corps had a chance to congratulate on the independence anniversaries two other Baltic nations: Estonians and Lithuanians. February 23-24, representative of National Corps, Olena Semenyaka, delivered a speech at the 2nd Entofutur conference in Tallinn on the topic “Intermarium as a Laboratory of European Archeofuturism” and participated in the torchlight march on the occasion of the centenary of Estonia’s independence.
March 10-11, the delegation of National Corps of 20 people visited Vilnius to present new structures of the movement (National Squads, Veteran Brotherhood) and the Lithuanian-Ukrainian project of planting 2100 Lithuanian oaks in the Ukrainian island of Khortytsia, hold meetings with Lithuanian nationalists and take part in the march dedicated to the Restoration of Lithuania’s Independence (from the Soviet Union).
However, although Ukrainian nationalists were not present physically
at the Latvian Legion Day on March 16, 2018, they send their regards to Latvian patriots and anticipate the times when nobody but the Latvians themselves will determine the meaning of the legionnaires’ struggle and their place in the world history.
This poster, among other gifts disclosing the Latvian national history, was presented to Ukrainian nationalists by Konstantins Pupurs, officer, member of National Alliance, Latvian delegate for the Intermarium Development Assistance Group and, overall, highly educated person who, unfortunately, has left this world last autumn. This is another strong link between the Latvian and Ukrainian nationalists striving for the global recognition of their national liberation traditions: in 1987, Konstantins Pupurs was the first to raise and carry through the city center the Latvian national flag banned at that time. Soon afterwards, as a member of the Latvian National Anti-Communist Resistance Group Helsinki-86, he was forced to leave his country by the KGB. At present, the issue of the Latvian national self-determination, again, is acute as never before.
To sum up, respect for the national historiographic traditions of each region’s country (especially mutually exclusive ones) and the joint resistance to the left-liberal corrosion for the national mythologies of European countries is the prime task for the Intermarium states today. Success of these nations literally caught in the crossfire between the two competing world projects in the former century will mark the new era in the European history released from the imposed cage of guilt. Baltics, as always, is in the epicenter of this struggle.
Nationalists take under their protection Polish and Ukrainian memorials in Lviv: a statement by National Corps
March 13, an act of vandalism took place in Lviv: the memorial of the Polish soldiers who were buried in the Ukrainian land a hundred years ago was plundered by the unknown. The explosion the purpose of which was an international provocation was committed cowardly, at night. It is clear that Putin’s strategists are struggling to provoke a full-scale war between the friendly peoples of Ukraine, Poland, Hungary and Romania.
The provocations take place every day in Lviv, Uzhgorod, Berehove, Chernivtsi and other cities. The purpose of Putin and his agents is to destroy the Ukrainian statehood in any way.
We, the Ukrainian nationalists, do not fight the dead. Even if these are the soldiers who were fighting against our ancestors. Unlike the Polish provocateurs who destroy today the historical memory plundering the graves of our Warriors. We are warriors ourselves, and we know the price of memory of those who took up arms in the name of the Motherland.
At present, Ukrainian nationalists are forces that remember common victories over the enemy and respect the tragic moments of every nation in Europe. We strive to unite our efforts in the name of the mighty and great common future of Eastern Europe. To achieve this, we will do everything possible to prevent any provocations of the Kremlin bastards. We take on the responsibility to protect both the Memorial of Polish soldiers and the graves of Sich Riflemen in Lviv.
Hopefully, the Polish nationalists are aware of the fact that Russia’s goal is to make mischief between our nations. Remembering the glorious victories of our Ancestors, we have no right to let ourselves play according to the rules of our eternal enemy. We extend our hand to our Polish friends, but we warn that our hand will turn into a fist if you try to encroach upon our Land!
National Corps in Vilnius on the Restoration of
Independence Day 2018
March 10-11, Ukrainian National Corps party has been
on the visit to Vilnius, Lithuania, which has marked the 28th anniversary of
Restoration of Independence (from Soviet Union) Day after having celebrated the
centenary of Restoration of the State Day on February 16.
Lithuania is a top country that aids Ukraine during
the ongoing confrontation with Russia, including with arms. Historically,
Ukrainians (back then Ruthenians) and Lithuanians, along with
Belorussians-Litvins, have had a common state for three centuries (XIII-XVI),
with each ethnicity enjoying a broad cultural autonomy: the Grand Duchy of
That’s why a numerous delegation of National Corps,
among other prominent architectural sights of Vilnius, paid tribute to the Holy
Trinity Church and the Basilian Gates built by Konstanty Ostrogski, Ruthenian
Hetman of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (Konstantinas Ostrogiskis) after his
victory over much prevailing forces of the Grand Duchy of Moscow at the Battle
of Orsha in 1514. Although the region’s countries define the current
confrontation with Russia in terms of the resistance against the neo- or
quasi-Soviet revanchism of Putin, it’s hard to overlook the symbolism of this
battle in the context of the century long struggle for a leadership in Eastern
This part of Old Town area in Vilnius begins with its
probably most famous historical landmark, Aušros Vartai (Gate of Dawn), in
Polish, also referred to as Ostra Brama, either meaning “sharp,” or
bearing the resemblance to Ostrogski’s name, since he entered the city through
this gate after the battle. As opposed to a later function of a place of
worship, at that time, it was a part of the fortification line.
It comes as no surprise that Vilnius, which fairly
gained fame of one of European cultural capitals, apart from Konstanty
Ostrogski’s legacy (who was not only a talented commander but also a Maecenas
whose son founded the oldest Ukrainian educational institution, Ostroh Academy),
also has a monument to Taras Shevchenko (1814-1861), the great Ukrainian poet
and the oracle of the Ukrainian national awakening.
National Corps arrived in Vilnius during the
Shevchenko Days, March 10-11, which are the dates of his birth and death
respectively. What is important, Taras Shevchenko was also a member of the Cyril and
Methodius Brotherhood which advocated the federation of free Slavic nations,
the prototype of the modern Intermarium union. In contrast with some other
members of this secret political organization, Taras Shevchenko was
a true national revolutionary, which meets the intuitions of his successors well
aware of the connection between capitalist consumerism and multicultural
globalism. Thus the representatives of the National Corps movement put flowers
to his monument in Vilnius, said commemorative speeches and recited the Prayer
of Ukrainian Nationalist, which is a traditional rite of the movement.
Further, National Corps proceeded to one of the main
goals of the visit: a three-part press conference aimed to present new
structures of the movement, as well as a joint symbolic Ukrainian-Lithuanian
Right before the delegation’s departure to Vilnius, a
Ukrainian society received sad news of another volunteer’s passing on the frontlines: Yuriy “Barreth” Lugovsky, highly acclaimed reconnaissance soldier of the AZOV regiment,
was killed by a sniper while performing a military task. Vladyslav “Borysphen” Sobolevsky,
ATO volunteer, ex-head of headquarters of the AZOV regiment under whose command
Barreth also operated, opened the press conference with a moment of silence in
his honor (March 14, on the Ukrainian Volunteer’s Day, as a result of a heavy
gunshot wound, also died 20-year-old volunteer of the AZOV regiment Mark
Next, Ihor “Cherkas” Mykhailenko, head of National
Squads, ATO (the “anti-terror operation” against the Kremlin-backed forces in
the East of Ukraine) volunteer, second commander of the AZOV regiment,
disclosed the mission of National Squads, the newly established unit of the
National Corps movement that secures law and order in the streets of all
biggest Ukrainian cities and beyond, including the struggle against illegal cutting
of Western Ukrainian forests and selling the raw wood to the EU.
Recently, the inauguration of National Squads that
marched through the center of Kyiv in uniforms in the amount of over 600
people, stirred up fearful reactions in the mainstream media, both foreign and
Ukrainian, as well as “an expression of concern” on the part of the current Ukrainian
President Petro Poroshenko regarding the challenge to the state monopoly on
violence. However, Ukrainian volunteers have seen very well where was “the
state monopoly on violence” when the war in the East began and consider
National Squads a prototype of the Ukrainian territorial defense, too.
Last spring, the Lithuanian experience of constructing
territorial defense forces in defiance of the pro-Kremlin preachers of
disarmament was highlighted by Audrius Baciulis, Lithuanian expert at the 2nd
conference of the Intermarium Development Assistance Group held April 27 in
Kyiv. In July, representatives of National Corps and the AZOV regiment held the
meeting with veterans of Forest Brothers, anti-Soviet fighters for free
Baltics, as well as Lithuanian nationalist youth. This time, National Corps
issued a call for an official cooperation with Lithuania in the field of
military and defense.
Besides, the voice of the AZOV regiment was also
represented at the press conference by Dmytro Shatrovsky, head of the “Veteran
Brotherhood,” ATO volunteer. He told the audience about the hardships of not
only overcoming a post-war stress but also securing a legal status to the ATO
volunteers and their rights. As a new organization, though, “Veteran
Brotherhood” has already achieved significant success. In addition, he talked
about the international cooperation of the region’s veterans.
Oleg Petrenko, MP, ATO volunteer, higher board member
of National Corps, thanked the Lithuanians on behalf of all Ukrainians for the enormous
support to Ukraine’s struggle against Putin’s invasion and destabilization of
the country. As opposed to “Western partners,” he went on to say, Lithuania did
not express “deep concerns” with the Crimea’s annexation and war in the Donbas
region. This country has always called things by their name and aided Ukraine
by deeds not words.
The concluding part of the press conference was
dedicated to the joint Ukrainian-Lithuanian project of planting 2100 (!)
Lithuanian oaks in the Ukrainian island of Khortytsia. Quite expectedly, the
action, which will be attended by a variety of official countries’
representatives, has a symbolical meaning: both historical and modern.
Olexandr Alf’orov, historian by education, spokesman
of National Corps’ leader Andriy Biletsky, remarked that the island of
Khortytsia has always born a huge significance for the Ukrainian history. It
was the place of the final battle of great King Sviatoslav, a key historical
figure for the National Corps movement. It was the residency of Zaporozhian
Cossacks. After the collapse of the Russian Empire, a new generation of
fighters for the Ukrainian independence, for the first time in the contemporary
history of Ukraine, performed symbolic rites to underline the continuity
between the heroes who have been putting their lives on the line for Ukraine
Thus the idea to plant 2100 Lithuanian oaks on
Khortytsia, which is promoted, on the Lithuanian side, by Gediminas
Armonavicius, and on the Ukrainian side, by National Corps representatives
Kateryna Prokhorenko and Dmytro Kostenkov, is meant to emphasize the Lithuanian
support for the Ukrainian national liberation struggle which had been
“headquartered” in this island for a considerable period of time. But not only
this. As Gediminas Armonavicius remarked during the press conference, these
oaks will symbolize the fallen defenders of Ukraine and their eternal life in
the hearts of their comrades. At last, a big oak grove of the Khortytsia island
was completely cut out in the former century, so it is time to restore it.
Besides, oak, a sacred tree of Europe, is a perfect
match for the island known for its own many ancient sacred landmarks. A
geopolitical alliance between Ukraine and Lithuania, therefore, will be
reinforced by the power of Khortytsia’s sacred geography.
Press conference ended with a presentation of the regional newspaper of the Cherkasy branch of National Corps by its leader Dmytro Kuharchyk as the edition which pays a special attention to the Baltic-Black Sea Union.
In the evening, representatives of National Corps attended
the festive concert on the occasion of Lithuania’s Restoration of Independence
Day at which, apart from the Lithuanian bands, also performed well-known
Ukrainian RAC band Sokyra Peruna.
The next day, Vladyslav Sobolevsky, who has been
already introduced above, and Olena Semenyaka, international secretary, higher
board member of National Corps, held a meeting with the promising Lithuanian
youth from Kryptis and Pro Patria. This time, Vladyslav Sobolevsky represented not so much the AZOV regiment as the party of National Corps.
Vladyslav Sobolevsky disclosed the history of the
National Corps movement and the AZOV regiment starting with the “little black
men” (Black Corps) who took up arms against the Kremlin-backed occupants in
spring of 2014 despite the lack of military experience. He stressed that they
were no professional militaries like many of Lithuanian Forest Brothers, yet
today the AZOV regiment is the most battle-ready and developed unit of the
National Guard of Ukraine, if not all of the country’s armed forces. Today, the
movement has reached the level at which the volunteers can teach other units of
the Ukrainian military thanks to the Commanders’ Military School of Colonel
As a party, National Corps started with the AZOV Civil
Corps, initially, an organization created to assist the front. However, it has
soon become clear that the victorious war on the front lines transforms into
defeat in the officials’ cabinets. It is enough to mention 10 000 strong
party’s demonstration against the so-called Morel plan in 2016 that would
basically mean capitulation of the Ukrainian forces in the Donbas region and
devaluation of its defenders’ sacrifice.
After the introduction of the National Corps movement
by Vladyslav Sobolevsky, Olena Semenyaka delivered a lecture on a topic “Promotion
of the Intermarium as a Prerequisite for the Nationalists’ Coming to Power in
Eastern Europe.” The choice of the subject was influenced by the discussions
within the Etnofutur II conference in Tallinn on the occasion of Estonia’s own
centenary of independence. More precisely, by the speech of its Lithuanian
participant on behalf of Lithuanian Nationalist Union Tomas Skorupskis who
admitted that Lithuanian nationalists face the same problem as the Ukrainian
ones: liberals trying to represent all those undermining the pro-EU /
pro-Western choice as the ones consciously or unconsciously working to the
benefit of Russia or even outright “Putinists.” Although the growing
disappointment of the Ukrainians with the West significantly increased their interest
for the Intermarium union, overall, this natural for the region’s countries
geopolitical project remains unforgivably unpopular.
Olena Semenyaka demonstrated the fallacy of the logic
according to which the nationalist forces of the region should first come to power
and only afterwards proceed to the international projects. In her opinion, it
rests on the substitution of concepts, for it is obvious that the preparatory
work should go on, anyway, and nobody claims it to be of a state value. The
issue in question is the direct dependence between the deconstruction of the postcolonial
pro-Western mythology in Eastern Europe, along with the East-West dichotomy in
general, and the credibility of the nationalist parties in its societies.
The event owed to the conference in Tallinn not only
this. It was under influence of the ethnofuturist studies of EstonianSinine
Äratus led by Ruuben
Kaalep and Latvian New Nationalism platform launched by Raivis Zeltits that the
Lithuanian youth decided to establish their own ethnofuturist organization,
Kryptis. Besides, it was they who for the first time initiated the torchlight
march during the all-national celebration of Restoration of State Day on
February 16, 2018, again, following the Latvian and Estonian example.
During the discussion, Ukrainian guests answered the
questions of the historical perplexities with Poland common for Ukraine and
Lithuania alike, response to these challenges from the Intermarium’s
perspective, change of the rhetoric after the transition from the phase of Intermarium
to Paneuropa, attitude to NATO after Trump’s election, electoral prospects of
National Corps, ways to reconquer the Crimea, and more.
Further, everyone proceeded to the Monument of Grand Duke
Gediminas at Cathedral Square to line up for the march. While the participants
were gathering at the square, it was easy to recognize Ukrainian, Estonian, and
Representatives of National Squads in uniforms
attracted a special attention of the media and other march participants. On the
other hand, their presence at the march side by side with Lithuanian Riflemen
was more than organic.
The procession walked along the Gediminas Avenue, the
central street of Vilnius, bypassing the monument to Vincas Kudirka, Lithuania's national anthem’s writer, and
other historical sites. The destination point
was Lukiškės Square where Kastus
Kalinouski was executed, the leader of the January Uprising of 1863 in the former Grand Duchy of Lithuania and, overall,
the champion for the Belarusian, Polish and Lithuanian national revival and liberation
from the Russian occupation. Symbolically, there was held the nationalist
Sakalas Gorodeckis, leader
of the Lithuanian Nationalist and Republican Union, opened the meeting with a
festive speech. Next, he invited to take the floor Audrius Rudys, Liutauras
Stoškus, MP, representative of the “Lietuvos sąrašas” party in the
Vilnius City Council, Romas Pakalnis, member of Sąjūdžio initiative group, Maik
Müller, head of JN, the youth branch of NPD in Saxony and
Dresden, as well as representatives of the allied nationalist forces of Ukraine:
MP of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the higher board member of National Corps Oleg
Petrenko, who has been already introduced above, Yuri Noievyi, the political board
member of the all-Ukrainian association “Svoboda,” Arseniy Bilodub, the
council member of the “Right Sector” (Pravyj Sektor) party (also, the
vocalist of Sokyra Peruna).
Mikalojus Statkevičius (Мікалай Статкевіч),
presidential candidate in 2010, political prisoner, leader of the unregistered Belorussian
social-democratic party “Narodna Hromada,” also addressed the march
Juozas Valiušaitis, a
long-time enthusiast of the Lithuanian-Ukrainian cooperation, did an excellent
job as a translator since his Ukrainian (and Belorussian) is perfect.
Afterwards, Ukrainian nationalists
were present at the party meeting of the Lithuanian Nationalist and Republican
Union at the same Užupio cafe where the lecture of the National Corps
representatives was held in the morning. Which is not surprising given that Sakalas
Gorodeckis is not only the leader the Lithuanian Nationalist Union but also prime
minister of the famous art Republic of Užupis.
To sum up, the first visit of the National Corps
delegation to Vilnius was more than fruitful. Pro Patria, Kryptis, members of the
LNRU and other newly established contacts were eagerly invited by the
international department of the party to participate in the upcoming conference
of the Intermarium Development Assistance Group in Kyiv.
After almost two years in action, Militant Zone introduces some of the faces behind the project! Press the play button to discover the headquarters together with Alexey and Famine. An 8-bit journey through Kiev awaits: https://youtu.be/B2ZxvkB5flM
National Corps honored Taras Shevchenko in Vilnius
March 10 in Vilnius, the delegation of National Corps (party representatives, National Squads and the Veteran Brotherhood) put flowers to the monument to Taras Shevchenko (born March 9, 1814, died March 10, 1861), the great Ukrainian poet and awakener of the Ukrainian national consciousness, the cultural icon of the Ukrainian people.
Taras Shevchenko, a former serf and political prisoner, was also a skilled painter and engraver, as well as a folklorist and a prose writer. However, he was not only an enlightener who envisaged the independent Ukrainian state, and, as a member of the Cyril and Methodius Brotherhood, the federation of free Slavic nations which may be considered a demo version of the Intermarium. He was also a champion for the social liberation, Prometheus who forged the Ukrainian national revolutionary spirit.
This is the flame that will turn the Intermarium union into the cradle of the new European dawn, for no political sovereignty is possible without the struggle for the social justice and self-determination at the international level.
PARTICIPATION DU PARTI POLITIQUE UKRAINIEN CORPS NATIONAL A LA CONFERENCE ETNOFUTUR-II A TALLINN (ESTONIE)
Le 23 février 2018, à la veille du 100ème anniversaire de l’indépendance de l’Estonie, « Réveil Bleu » (Sinine Aratus), la branche jeunesse du Parti Conservateur du Peuple Estonien (EKRE), qui organise depuis cinq années consécutives une marche aux flambeaux chaque 24 février, a une fois de plus démontré qu’elle joue un rôle de choix au sein des organisations qui concourent à forger un avenir alternatif pour les nations européennes, en organisant la seconde conférence internationale « Etnofutur » à Tallinn.
Ce n’était pas la première fois que le Corps National prenait part au cycle de conférences « Etnofutur ».Il était représenté cette année par sa secrétaire à l’international, membre du Conseil suprême du parti, Olena Semenyaka, qui a fait une intervention intitulée « l’Intermarium en tant que laboratoire de l’archéofututisme européen ». Des intervenants venus d’Estonie, de Lituanie, de Finlande et du Royaume-Uni se sont également exprimés. D’autres invités n’ayant pu être présents, comme le Français Pascal Lassalle (Reconquista France), étaient excusés.
Avant de rentrer dans le vif du sujet, qui reflète les fondements du programme du parti, Olena Semenyaka a fait un rappel de l’histoire de son mouvement et de son développement extensif, des « petits hommes noirs » (Corps Noir) du futur régiment AZOV au vaste ensemble de structures et de projets mis en place par le Corps national et destiné à changer la face de l’Ukraine d’aujourd’hui (le Corps de la Jeunesse, le Corps Sportif, le projet culturel et historique « Mémoire de la Nation », l’école militaire de sous-officiers Evhen Konovalets, le club littéraire « Plomin’ » basé dans la « Maison Cosaque » à Kyiv, et les activités du Groupe d’Assistance pour le Développement de l ‘Intermarium, lui-même mis en place par le leader du Corps National, Andriy Biletskyi).
Elle a aussi souligné que la tâche d’établir un nouveau système régional de sécurité, que personne n’effectuera à leur place, incluant la restauration du statut nucléaire pour l’Ukraine, réunit toutes les conditions pour la redécouverte et une mise en œuvre réussie du projet continental de l’Intermarium au XXIème siècle. Olena Semenyaka a décrit cet Intermarium comme un espace de percée technologique pour les nations d’Europe orientale, représentant une combinaison unique de potentiel intellectuel et de « passionarité » (« pasionarnost », concept repris au penseur eurasiste russe Lev Goumiliov-NDT).
« Les nations de l’Intermarium, au seuil de deux mondes, entre Ouest et Est, matérialisent l’équilibre entre les extrêmes du fondamentalisme oriental et du progressisme occidental, dans le domaine également de la culture politique. Cette position médiane, non seulement dans l’espace, mais aussi dans le temps, sous-tend l’intuition de l’archéofuturisme en tant que voie spécifique de modernisation pour l’Europe orientale. Dans ce contexte, l’Intermarium se présente comme un véritable laboratoire pour le renouveau, non seulement pour chaque nation concernée, mais aussi pour l’ensemble de l’Europe qui subit une lourde crise et a depuis longtemps perdu son statut de leader au niveau mondial » a-t-elle déclaré.
Les allocutions des représentants estoniens (le leader de Sinine Aratus, Ruuben Kaalep, Remi Sebastian Kits, Fiodor Stomakhine), dédiées au programme de l’ethnofuturisme en tant que réponse est-européenne à la globalisation illimitée, se sont appuyées sur des fondements conceptuels similaires : d’un réveil national initié en tant qu’expérience subjective à la métaphysique de l’ethnofuturisme et à la victoire de la Droite sur les processus d’aliénation.
Tomas Skorupskis, représentant de l’Union Nationaliste Lituanienne, a dévoilé les différentes manières de développer une organisation nationaliste dans le contexte actuel, parmi d’autres choses, prenant souvent en exemple le Corps National et le mouvement des volontaires ukrainiens après la révolution du Maidan.
Le participant finnois à la conférence, Tuukla Kuru, délégué du mouvement nationaliste et patriotique Suomen Sisu, a critiqué en détail l’idéologie multiculturaliste et la politique de la « porte ouverte » des leaders tacites de l’Union Européenne, fixant ainsi le cap en faveur d’une extension du format initial de l’Union Baltique-Mer Noire qui est l’objet de discussions entre nationalistes ukrainiens et baltes.
Pour finir, le fameux blogueur écossais Colin Robertson alias Millenial Woes, s’exprimant pour défendre les efforts ardents du psychologue canadien Jordan Peterson en vue de déconstruire les arguments de ceux qui considèrent l’identité comme un « mythe », a ouvert de nouveaux horizons pour la collaboration des nationalistes de la région de l’Intermarium avec les collègues anglo-saxons et les cercles proche de l’Alt-Right américaine.
Le jour suivant, Olena Semenyaka a participé à la procession aux flambeaux en l’honneur du centenaire de l’indépendance estonienne, au nom du Corps National, en marchant aux côtés des organisateurs de la marche, les représentants de Sinine Aratus, et d’autres délégués d’organisations nationalistes provenant de Lituanie, de Lettonie, de Suède, de Finlande, de Pologne et de Hongrie, venus à Tallinn pour féliciter les Estoniens en ce jour de fête nationale, soutenir le programme politique du Parti Conservateur du Peuple Estonien et renforcer les liens entre les pays de la région de l’Intermarium.
After the “historical battles” between
Poland and Ukraine: a friendship with open eyes
What is the real message of
the Lviv march in honor of Roman Shukhevych?
March 4, 2018, both Ukrainian and Polish media, as
well as the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, were alarmed by the march
in honor of the legendary UPA (Ukrainian Insurgent Army) commander Roman
Shukhevych that was held by the Lviv branch of National Corps under the slogan
emphatically aimed against the recent Polish law banning the rejection of documented
crimes committed by Ukrainian nationalists and collaborationists with the Third
Reich, “The city of Lviv is not for Polish pany!” (meaning a Polish upper class
once ruling in the Ukrainian city of Lviv and, overall, what has been perceived
as a Polish occupation by the Ukrainians of Eastern Galicia, in the first half of
the XXth century, a disputed province of the collapsed Austro-Hungarian empire).
Two factors, the harsh Polonization and a Ukrainian
majority in the province, have led to the emergence of the Organization of
Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) established in 1929 in Vienna and first headed by
Colonel Eugen Konovalets. The OUN-B faction of the organization, which was
named after Stepan Bandera as opposed to the more moderate OUN-M wing led by
Andriy Melnyk, relied on the uncompromising struggle against the Polish
administration of the region.
Precisely the OUN-B faction formed the Ukrainian
Insurgent Army (UPA) which is blamed by the Poles for the ethnic cleansing of
the Polish population in the German controlled Volhynia (Wolyn) and Eastern
Galicia regions in the 1940-s. Further, despite the fact that at that time
Stepan Bandera, whose hopes to proclaim the independent Ukrainian state with
the support of the Third Reich were not satisfied, was held captive in the
German concentration camp, the Poles treat him as a mastermind of the Wolyn
massacre and, by association, consider anti-Polish, at least potentially, all
contemporary Ukrainian nationalists who view him as a national hero and raise
the black and red banner of the UPA. Likewise, although Roman Shukhevych, also
just after the escape from the German custody, assumed command of the UPA only
in August of 1943, after the climax of the Wolyn casualties in July of 1943,
the Poles believe him to be responsible for the latter.
In contrast with this vision, the recent march in Lviv
rather referred to Shukhevych’s role in times of the Second Polish Republic
when he perpetrated and coordinated the sabotage acts against the Polish
authorities and property in Galicia, which was followed by the punitive
pacification and, as a result, increased radicalization of the Ukrainian
population of the region.
Moreover, although Ukrainian nationalists do not deny
the decisive role of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army in regaining control over the
region by the Ukrainians in the 40-s, both the UPA and Polish Armia Krajowa
(Home Army) joined the peasant clashes only after they were in full swing.
There is not a single document proving that the Wolyn tragedy, as the Ukrainian
historiography refers to these events, was preplanned by the Ukrainian command
and had an exact beginning in time. There was a rivalry in the Ukrainian
underground movement, which also resulted in the mortal struggle between its
moderate and radical wings, and the presumable extermination program could not
emerge under such conditions. The conflict is regarded by the Ukrainians as an
almost Balkan-style clash of the locals who had a good reason to hate each
other, especially when it comes to the deprived of political rights Ukrainians. If
it was an “ethnic cleansing,” it was definitely mutual.
Regardless of the horrors of rural wars and the
difference of the Polish and Ukrainian death toll in the clashes (according to
the Polish historiography, it is up to 100,000 of Polish civilians vs 20-30,000
of Ukrainian civilians, and the numbers tend to grow, although initially AK
reported about 15,000 of Polish losses; according to the Ukrainian one, the
casualties on both sides are at least two times lesser, and the contrast
between them is not so sharp), the Ukrainians, especially the residents of
Volhynia, consider the ethnic conflict as the liberation struggle against the
The joint commemorative action that was simultaneously
held in 2016 by Polish and Ukrainian nationalists who put flowers and lit
candles at the gravesites of Ukrainian and Polish civilian victims of that
period respectively, was not easy to organize precisely for that reason. The
Wolyn branch of National Corps argued that the memory of their grandfathers’
struggle against the oppressors was still fresh, and the locals did not
understand what they should regret for. Of course, the party activists
supported the initiative of the headquarters and currently even suggest holding
the next Intermarium conference in their city of Lutsk, the center of the Wolyn
region, with the participation of the Poles, as always. But this episode proves
that the difference of the historical memories is something we should reckon
with instead of relying on the power of legal resolutions and bans.
The interest of the Polish society for this topic rose
after the symbols of the UPA, as well as the famous greeting of its soldiers
“Slava Ukraini! – Geroyam Slava! / Glory to Ukraine! – Glory to the Heroes!” were
adopted by the participants of the Maidan revolution, including liberals, as
their own. The reasons for this are clear: above all, the UPA is known for its
lasting and effective guerilla warfare against the Soviet Union which continued
till the mid-1950-s, albeit on a much smaller scale after Shukhevych’s
assassination by an NKVD agent in 1950. Today, when the Russian Federation
restored the quasi-Soviet mythology as an excuse to invade the “fascist”
Ukraine and annex the Crimea, Bandera’s figure and the UPA, heavily demonized
by the Kremlin, have become the symbols of the Ukrainian decommunization and
the novel struggle for independence in general. When the Ukrainian parliament
adopted in 2015 the bill recognizing the veterans of OUN-UPA as freedom fighters,
it was aimed against the post-Soviet criminalization of the Ukrainian national
heroes which is promoted by modern Russia.
Initially, Poland enthusiastically supported the
Maidan revolution. However, with the flow of time, several factors contributed
to the growing concern of the Polish society with the legacy of the UPA and the
Ukrainian nationalist cause: Kremlin’s provocations (including the destruction
of the monuments on both sides), blind pro-EU stance of the current Ukrainian
authorities which confront the conservative Polish government formed by the PiS
party, and the populistic interest of PiS which exploits the image of the
external enemy to consolidate the electoral base. The collision reached the wider public when former Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski issued the statement that “Ukraine will not enter the EU with Bandera.” While Ukrainian nationalists are fine with the first part of the message as they care only about the Intermarium union, they perceived this statement as Poland’s political hybris and thus the threat to the latter, too.
It goes without saying that the Polish society, above
all, allies of National Corps like Szturmowcy, were severely disappointed by
the main motto of the Shukhevych march in Lviv, which they estimated as a
treacherous return to the rhetoric of “historical resentment” that has always
been condemned by National Corps. Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs had an
even more respectable reason to reproach the Ukrainians for the “Polish pany”
slogan given that Poland, as a state, once again has proven to be a loyal ally
of Ukraine. After the Russian Gazprom suddenly decided to terminate the gas
supplies to Ukraine on March 2 (which showed the real value of Ukrainian
post-revolutionary authorities’ fairytales about the ongoing diversification of
the energy sources), Poland initiated urgent gas supplies to the country. At the
same time, the slogan didn’t come out of the blue and concerned exclusively the
“historical” pressure put by the Polish government on Ukraine.
Although the fears of the hidden Polish-Russian
alliance seem to be far-fetched and unrealistic, there are more questions than
answers: if Poland wants to strengthen the region in defiance of Putin’s hybrid
warfare, why does the Polish government suddenly discover the Wolyn massacre
instead of the Polish operation of the NKVD which took lives of over 111,000
ethnic Poles who were executed by the Soviets? Why does the Polish Sejm
recognize the Wolyn ethnic conflict a genocide of the Polish nation by the
Ukrainians and keeps silence, say, about up to 200,000 civilian victims of the
Warsaw uprising, among them, up to 50,000 victims of the Wola massacre which was definitely “planned”? Would not it be more logical to highlight the joint
operations of the UPA and the post-AK WiN (Freedom and Independence) against
the NKVD? Instead of criminalizing the discussion of the violence on the part of
the Ukrainian “collaborationists with the Third Reich,” would not it be more
favorable for both countries to assess the Wolyn clashes in the broader context
of the Ukrainian-Polish disputes over the territory, which includes the
pacification of the Ukrainians by the Polish authorities and the Vistula operation,
that is, a forced resettlement of the Ukrainian minority from post-war Poland
which also had signs of the ethnic cleansing?
Both Ukraine and Poland, the same as the entire
Intermarium region, would benefit from the latter decision. What is remarkable,
Polish allies of National Corps defend the recent Polish law not only because
it, in their opinion, “does not introduce anything new” as compared to the
earlier ban on the demonstration of the OUN-UPA symbolics in Poland. As far as
you know, apart from the documented acts of violence committed by Ukrainian “collaborationists
with the Third Reich,” Polish Sejm introduced the criminal responsibility for
the definition “Polish death camps,” which is meant to counter Israel’s
attempts to make the European nations, the Poles in particular, share the
responsibility for Holocaust. The argument of Polish nationalists is as
follows: when attacked by the external force, European nations should unite
against the latter.
In spite of these natural expectations, for Ukrainian
nationalists, this law is still problematic, just like the reaction to it by
Polish partners who consider it the acceptable form of the state care for the
historical memory of the Polish nation. On the one hand, this is the internal
affair of the Polish state, indeed. On the other hand, Ukrainian nationalists
are convinced that no alliance of the European peoples against the external
(super)power may take place at the expense of one of these peoples. Just like
infamous Russia’s “getting off its knees” “in defiance of the US,” as some
“Putin-understanders” believe, cannot occur at the expense of Ukraine. Although
this analogy is not so precise, not only Ukrainian nationalists are worried
about the potential chauvinistic outcomes of the discussed Polish law, first of
all, in the Polish society.
No matter what, National Corps has always been proud
of the successful reconciliation with the Poles and posed it as a role model for
other European nations with a complicated picture of historical relations. However, as a
broad movement the party ranks of which only include over 10,000 people,
National Corps has to take into account not only the position of other members
of the allied Ukrainian nationalist forces but also moods of the residents of
Western Ukraine who often go to Poland and are anxious about the possible
deterioration of the Ukrainian-Polish relations. Lectures on the paneuropean values are not enough anymore.
In this respect, National
Corps cannot avoid political populism and be the voice crying in the
wilderness. As of now, the movement’s strategy to set an example of the
identitarian approach to the historical memory both to the Ukrainian and Polish
society may be fully successful only if it receives the wide and systematic
support of Polish nationalists and public figures. This is the real message of
the Lviv march in honor of Roman Shukhevych.
Intermarium and the cooperation
with Polish nationalists
In spite of certain similarities of attitudes and
priorities, the international activities of National Corps should not be viewed
as something like its modern “OUN-M” faction. There is a principled difference between
a postcolonial cosmopolitanism of nations released from the Soviet “prison of
peoples” and paneuropean new nationalism that is equally far from petty patriotism
and political correctness. As Ukrainian nationalists striving for the integral Ukrainian state, National Corps is an heir of OUN-B, too.
National Corps has sworn to be, and still performs
this function, a vanguard of not only Ukrainian but, potentially, all-European
nationalism of the new generation, which is essentially paneuropean. However,
to make it viable, it is important to prevent delusions that threaten to turn
the alternative (of the EU) European integration into another utopian
humanitarian sidetalks detached from the political reality.
In this respect, initiated by the Polish government exposure
of the crimes committed by Ukrainian nationalists in the former century, which
has led to the reciprocal glorification of the struggle by Ukrainian
nationalists against the Polish yoke by their modern successors, means not the
termination of the Intermarium project but only the end of its first naïve
phase that may be defined as the “declaration of goodwill” on both sides. Now
it is time to support this declaration with real deeds, that is, a long-term
strategy of cooperation that takes into account the dominating historical
narrative in each country. This is the friendship with open eyes, or the
Intermarium integration after the reality check on the part of the countries
involved. Paradoxically enough, this disillusioned friendship, by and large,
means an ability to turn a blind eye to the aforementioned historical
narratives before a new reality or a deeper understanding of each other will let
us modify them.
In the Ukrainian-Polish case, this is quite a task for
the Polish side given that Ukrainian allied nationalist forces (National Corps,
Swoboda, Right Sector, C14 and others) have signed the National Manifesto which,
among others, contains a provision on the development of the Intermarium union,
whereas three biggest Polish nationalist parties (Młodzież Wszechpolska, Obóz
Narodowo-Radykalny and Ruch Narodowy) still
exclude the very possibility of the dialogue with Ukrainian nationalists.
Ruling Polish conservative party Prawo i Sprawiedliwość, in turn, initiated the
bill recognizing the Volhynia massacre a genocide of the Polish nation and the
latest bill criminalizing the debating of crimes committed by Ukrainian
nationalists against the Polish population in the XXth century.
Only Szturmowcy as the unique
Polish new nationalist organization (uniting several others like Niklot which
also participated in the international events of National Corps) started the
cooperation with National Corps, but even they will have to revise their
strategy after National Corps “returned the slap” to the Polish circles
targeting the Ukrainian national myth. As for National Corps, the principle “The
history can never be a starting point for international relations, but every
nation has the right to glorify its heroes in its own land” remained unchanged.
The same as the readiness to provide a broad formal or informal support to the
promising organizations like Szturmowcy if needed.
That is why National Corps
was not shocked when Ruch Narodowy displayed the banner “We remember Vilnius
and Lviv” (that is, as Polish cities) at the latest Independence March in
Warsaw (at which within the Black Bloc formed by Szturmowcy also participated
Olena Semenyaka, the delegate of National Corps), posted a statement defending
the Polish society when the Ukrainian and Lithuanian media were outraged by
this banner, as well as spread the article by Szturmowcy’s spokesman Witold
Dobrowolski who argued that a cultural nostalgia for the cities once owned by
this or that nation was perfectly acceptable in the paneuropean perspective.
Likewise, explanations to
the Polish nationalist audience given by Olena Semenyaka at the “Europe of the
Future-II” conference organized by Szturmowcy are still valid and will always
be. According to them, the figure of Bandera revived at the national scale
during the Maidan revolution has never meant to be anti-Polish. Even the slogan
at the recent march in honor of Roman Shukhevych is not “anti-Polish” and is
addressed exclusively to the Polish government that gives a green light to
chauvinism between the Polish and Ukrainian nations. According to the
organizers from the Lviv branch of National Corps, it was not the warning or
the threat but just the way to communicate to the initiators of the historical
war between Ukraine and Poland that this is the dead end, for the Ukrainian
society can also make symmetric legal steps and mobilize the popular support
for the latter.
Finally, in the context of
the geopolitical program of National Corps, this historical duel between the
Ukrainian and Polish national mythologies is just another reason to leave the
history for the historians and switch to the by definition supranational
spheres which enable the Intermarium union in the 21st century:
geostrategy, economy, defense, science and education, technology and
communications. In other words, this archeofuturistic program also remained
Maintaining the balance between paneuropeanism and
national interests of member states of the envisioned Intermarium and
Paneuropean confederation has always been a focal point of international events
held by the Intermarium Development Assistance Group and the Reconquista
Among others, the problem of inherited historical
tensions was raised at these conferences by the Lithuanians and the Poles, the Croats and the Serbs, the Germans and the Poles, the Bulgarians and the Greeks, the Russians and the Ukrainians.
The Polish-Ukrainian case is especially important
given that the cooperation of these two biggest Eastern European nations is
considered to be a core or the trigger of the Intermarium integration according
to the geopolitical program of National Corps.
Polish and Ukrainian historiographic
Historically, relations of Ukraine and Poland were
uneasy albeit not without bright and promising pages. Regardless of the
historiographic tradition, XVII-XVIII centuries was a period when the Ukrainian
state has been reborn in the form of the Ukrainian Hetmanate after the glorious
past of Kyivan Rus’ and the decent status of the Ruthenian elite in the Grand Duchy
And the revival of the Kyiv-centric politics in Ukraine
first happened under the banner of the joint Cossack (the Ukrainian military
aristocracy) and peasant uprising against the Polish Commonwealth, which is
believed to be caused by the social (Polish nobles vs. Ukrainian peasants) and
religious (Polish Catholic church vs. Orthodox Ukrainians) oppression, later as
the struggle for the political independence from the Russian Empire. In this
respect, the awakening of the modern Ukrainian national consciousness occurred
under conditions similar to the German Peasants’ War in 1524-25 led by the
German knight and diplomat Florian Geyer.
However, the Polish historiography considers
anachronistic the projection of the modern Polish-Ukrainian national tensions
onto the historical reality of the XVI-XVIII centuries when the Polish and
Ukrainian noblemen, roughly speaking, comprised a single “political
nation” separated from both Polish and Ukrainian peasantry. According to
many Polish historiographers, this vision of Poland as an occupying, repressive
and denationalizing (polonizing) state was promoted, above all, by the biased
Moscow-centric Soviet historiography. This criticism is shared by some
Ukrainian historians, mostly liberal ones.
In the XIX century, which is the time of the Romantic
flowering of national mythologies across Europe, Poland, which has always been
considered a window into the “civilized West” for peoples to the
East, was even fascinated with the mysterious Ukrainian spirit, freedom loving
yet far from the invective of the “no man’s land.” But it comes as no
surprise that the icon of the Ukrainian national consciousness, poet and former
serf Taras Shevchenko, as well as many other literary mouthpieces of the
Ukrainian nation’s state building were not fond neither of the Polish nobility
(panstvo, pany, shliakchta), nor tsarist Russia, which partially overlapped
with the national hostility towards the “liakhy” (the Poles) and the “moskali”
(the Russians, Muscovites).
Of course, not only Ukrainian nationalism was affected
by the liberation pathos of the French Revolution of 1789 and the Springtime of
the Peoples of 1848: Eastern European nationalism in general was born on the
ruins of two empires, Russian and Austro-Hungarian, albeit not without its
conservative and even monarchist wings. It may be considered both as a birth
trauma to overcome, in cases when the quest for the national liberation
degenerates into the postcolonial liberalism in search for a more cunning
master, which is not unusual for the contemporary Eastern European political scene,
and as the common for Western and Eastern European successors of the Romantic
rebellion against the Enlightenment pursuit for the national and social
justice. Likewise, the historiographic criticism of the Polish nobility and tsarist
Russia may threaten with a dangerous leftist deviation from the conservative
European tradition and at the same time may provide a solid basis for the third
positionist social politics in Ukraine.
Moreover, in the Ukrainian nationalist rendition, which
follows from the second of the outlined possibilities, the confrontation with
the Western (Poland) and Eastern (Russia) neighbor of Ukraine, as opposed to
other lasting historical conflicts (for instance, with Turkey), is considered
to be the 1st and the 2nd national liberation struggle of the Ukrainian nation
respectively (the Cossack-Polish wars of 1648-57 led by Bohdan Khmelnytsky and
the Koliyivshchyna of 1768-69, and the period of 1917-1921 when the Ukrainians had
been fighting for their independent state after the Russian Empire’s collapse,
above all, against the Bolsheviks). Today, precisely due to the failure of the
2nd national liberation struggle, the Ukrainians conduct the 3rd national liberation
struggle against the neo-Soviet revanchism of the Kremlin.
Such a scheme might seem simplistic and leftist, but
if we look at this struggle not only through the prism of a late ambition for
the independence of the Ukrainian nation state but as the long-lasting quest of
the local elite for the political Kyiv-centrism, it won’t look so anachronistic
and, what is more important, chauvinistic.
This is the historical background of the
Ukrainian-Polish relations in the XXth century when the geopolitical idea of
the Intermarium union was suggested on both sides and simultaneously when
happened the bloodiest conflicts among the two nations which complicate the
implementation of this union today.
Today, when we refer to the Intermarium integration,
we put outside the brackets the rivalry between the national versions of the
latter and refer to their common intuitions. Similarly, till recently, we have
been focusing on the reconciliation between Ukrainian and Polish nationalists rather
than pointing at the mistakes committed by the region’s countries in the former
century which prevented the Intermarium union from coming to life. For the Lithuanians, no doubt, the Polish occupation of Vilnius in 1919 was one of them.
On the one hand, the most important precedent which we
discuss with the Poles at the Intermarium conferences is the joint successful
campaign against the Bolshevik occupation of Kyiv which was held in 1920 under
the banner “For Our Freedom And Yours” and was led, on the Polish
side, by Marshall Josef Pilsudski, the author of the Polish Intermarium
doctrine, and by Symon Petliura, the leader of Ukrainian People’s Republic, on
the Ukrainian side. On the other hand, we should not forget that it was preceded
by the suppression of Western Ukrainian People’s Republic by Pilsudski’s troops
and followed by the Peace of Riga agreement between the 2nd Polish
Commonwealth and the Soviet Union which Pilsudski had to sign in 1921 out of
concern for Poland’s fate and which put an end to the international recognition
and the very existence of the Ukrainian People’s Republic.
In spite of this and the pacification operation
conducted by Josef Pilsudski in 1930, after the Organization of Ukrainian
Nationalists arranged a series of sabotage acts against the Polish property in
Eastern Galicia, which also struck mostly innocent peasants and escalated the
social tensions between the Poles and the Ukrainians in the province the Ukrainians
considered to be theirs, the Intermarium Development Assistance Group and the
Reconquista movement depicted Polish Marshall as the figure of the European
significance who put his efforts into the creation of the Polish-Ukrainian
Federation, the foundation of the future Intermarium union.
Even when this ambitious plan failed, as a far-sighted
politician, Pilsudski tried to keep the Ukrainians in Eastern Galicia loyal to the
Second Polish Republic rather than the Soviets given that the League of Nations
hesitantly decided in 1923 to let this region be incorporated into Poland only
on condition of securing a broad cultural autonomy to the Ukrainians. However,
after his death in 1935, Polish authorities had been conducting growingly
centralizing and oppressive policies, which alarmed the “international
community” of that time.
In the Austrian province of Galicia, which has been
disputed between the Poles and the Ruthenians since the medieval times, the Poles comprised
a majority only in the region’s capital city of Lviv (Lwow, Lemberg), whereas
in other administrative centers and in a rural area the Ukrainians constituted up
to 65-68 percent. However, the Poles considered Lviv a true cultural center,
and after the proclamation of the West Ukrainian People’s Republic in 1918 the
clash was predestined. Thanks to Austrian Archduke Wilhelm aka Vasyl Vyshyvanyi
(from the Ukrainian word “vyshyvanka” meaning a key element of a traditional Ukrainian
costume, a folk embroidered shirt), who became a Ukrainian patriot by vocation,
two Ukrainian regiments were dislocated in Lviv. As a result, young Ukrainian
officers of Sich Riflemen, the unit of the former Austro-Hungarian army,
succeeded in taking over the city. On the Polish side, the symbol of resistance
were “Lwow Eaglets,” the Polish youth and even children who fought for Polish
The first step in the reconciliation between contemporary
Ukrainian and Polish nationalists took place in 2016,
when National Corps supported the Polish request to the Lviv city
administration not to relocate two Lions, the sculptural elements of the
memorial complex at the Eaglets’ cemetery in Lviv, which contain the
inscriptions that might be interpreted as a “glorification of the Polish
occupation of Lviv.” In 2016, some MPs from the Swoboda party also considered their stance against the Lions as the acceptable form of caring for the national memory. Whatever it was, as of 1919, aspirations of the West Ukrainian
People’s Republic, which were supported by Symon Petliura, ended with the
Polish victory, and Petliura’s subsequent alliance with Pilsudski who sealed
the fate of the Republic increased the grudge of the Western Ukrainian veterans
of that war.
Consequently, when the ethnic conflict of 1943 between
the Ukrainians and Poles in the neighboring region of Volhynia broke out, old
social, economic, religious and territorial collisions manifested themselves at
a much more dangerous and global national level. In addition, Poland’s
partition between the Third Reich and Soviet Union, which reminded the Ukrainians
of their own condition since 1921, and the eventual German reoccupation of the
Soviet part of Poland was perceived by the OUN-B faction of the Organization of
Ukrainian Nationalists as a favorable chance to settle historical scores with
the country they could not help perceiving as an occupant themselves. The
vicious circle of the sabotage actions carried out by OUN-B and reprisals by
the Polish authorities made the Ukrainians embrace the idea that only the
uncompromising underground struggle may end their suffering, until the
accumulated frustration of the Ukrainian national feelings erupted into the
medieval-like mutual animosity with the Poles.
The conclusion is not merely “no more brother wars,”
but, above all, “no more conditions” which have caused the latter, which
includes the economic and social factors. In economic terms, modern Poland, no
doubt, is the friend of Ukraine weakened by the ongoing confrontation with
Russia. Thousands of the Ukrainians work in Poland without any resentment towards
the “Polish pany.” Overall, the Ukrainians are still fond of the Poles as a nation. At the same time, recent Polish historical laws were
perceived by the Ukrainian public as Poland’s way to seize the moment of
Ukraine’s dependence and show “who’s the master in the region.” The offense is
not critical, of course, yet it is important for the Poles to comprehend the
roots of the Ukrainian patriots’ determination to defend their national pride,
which has nothing to do with economy.
In the view of the above, on the one hand, the Polish historiographic
tradition is more fitting to the identitarian paneuropean mindset which lays
stress on what unites the European peoples historically rather than what
separates them. Hence, instead of celebrating their own heroic traditions, both
the Ukrainians and the Poles should commemorate, for instance, John III
Sobieski, their “joint” king of the
Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth who defeated the “external power,” Turks, at the
Battle of Vienna in 1683. No doubt, it is the part of our common historical
On the other hand, an anti-oligarchic stance is more
than relevant in Ukraine, and the mass economic migration of the Ukrainians to
Poland will stop only after the improvement of the economic situation in
Ukraine. That’s why the Ukrainian historiographic tradition, which also has its statist school, is quite appealing
to the European third positionists who strive for the global economic
alternative to capitalism. Changed historical realities require a kind of universalism “from the Right,” whereas the nostalgia for the cultural glory of the former imperial centers is an obstacle to the latter.
At any rate, Poland may also benefit from the economic
cooperation with Ukraine, the biggest European country with quite a strong
scientific and industrial potential, as well as a broad field for the
archeofuturist experiments. The only precondition is to accept the difference
in the historical narratives and thus not to let our future be the hostage of
In this respect, the crisis of the Ukrainian-Polish
relations performs a positive role as a test for the political maturity of the
interested sides. After all, disappointment and mutual hostility is exactly
what our enemies expect us to display in the current situation which is likely
to continue in the near future. In the meanwhile, nobody cancelled the next
conference of the Intermarium Development Assistance Group which is unimaginable
without the Poles.