In Ukraine one hears ad nauseum how that country is an integral part of European civilization and how the Ukrainian people wholeheartedly endorse European values. But is that truly the case?
Between fifteen and twenty percent of the Ukrainian public defend an ideology known as «Ukrainian integral nationalism». Or, to be more precise, they believe in a particular strain of this doctrine that was developed by the radical wing of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) headed by Stepan Bandera, an agent of the German Abwehr military intelligence service. According to the creators of this ideology, which was drafted in the 1920s / 1930s, it represents a synthesis of German Nazism and Italian fascism, tweaked to take into account the intrinsic nature of Ukrainian life.
«Ukrainian integral nationalism» primarily involves the creation of a militarized totalitarian state, in which only ethnic Ukrainians are entitled to any rights or freedoms, and they are under the sole control of the leader of the single authorized political party. Any political activity in such a state is considered illegal and all forms of media are aggressively censored. Representatives of other ethnic groups are to be either deported or forcibly assimilated. Interethnic marriages, especially between different races, are to be strictly prohibited.
After the legitimate government in Ukraine was overthrown in February 2014, this ideology was then imposed from the state level. In fact, the official state slogan is now the ritualized greeting/response used by the Nazis in the OUN (b): «Glory to Ukraine! - Glory to our heroes!» What’s more, the red and black Banderite flag, with its symbolic representation of the German Nazis’ «blood and soil,» has become Ukraine’s semi-official flag. Today the failure to properly respond to this Nazi rallying cry is seen as a sign of political unreliability in Ukraine and can get one fired or subjected to indignities or physical abuse. «Trashcan lustration» (tossing a human being into a dumpster), which has become an everyday event in Ukraine, is as humiliating as the use of castor oil as an instrument of torture by the Italian fascists who consorted with Mussolini.
The new Ukrainian government has introduced into its pantheon of national heroes the SS soldiers from the Galicia division, Stepan Bandera, and Roman Shukhevych - a Wehrmacht captain guilty of the massacre of Jews and Poles in Lviv in July 1941, as well as the deaths of thousands of Polish peasants in 1943-44. Petro Poroshenko declared Oct. 14 - the anniversary of the founding of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army - to be Defenders of Ukraine Day, although that army fought against the anti-Hitler coalition.
Is Europe prepared to share these values held by Ukrainian neo-Nazis?
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One of Ukraine’s biggest problems is that of political corruption.
Buying seats in parliament and bribing MPs is commonplace. In years past when Poroshenko served as Ukraine’s minister of foreign affairs, no diplomat could find work in a foreign embassy without presenting the minister with a financial contribution of a certain amount.
Many other corruption scandals are also associated with Poroshenko’s name. After he took office as president, the bank he owns immediately increased its assets by 50%, and the shipbuilding company to which he holds title was once again granted a state order that had previously been stripped away because it had been improperly filled.
Corruption is so entrenched in the Ukrainian government that after only a few months as prosecutor general, a representative of the Svoboda party, not a man of extraordinary wealth, was able to purchase an entire Hyatt hotel in downtown Kyiv. And now a case has been opened against senior officials in the Ukrainian Ministry of Fuel and Energy who are suspected of corruption in regard to purchases of coal from South Africa, after that country refused to supply further shipments in an effort to avoid damage to its reputation.
The negotiations of oligarch Igor Kolomoisky that were published shortly before the elections indicate that political corruption in Ukraine has escalated even further in recent months. For example, some of the parliamentary seats reserved for the Samopomich Union party were given to the employees (and relatives of employees) of the American food-processing corporation Cargill.
The deeply rooted political dynasties found in Ukraine are also alien to European tradition. Accusations of political corruption have been lodged against former President Viktor Yanukovych, whose son - never regarded as a brilliant politician - was given a seat in parliament as a member of the Party of Regions. And once Poroshenko’s administration came to power, his own son also became a member of parliament. Many relatives of deputies and senior officials can be found among the new faces in the Verkhovna Rada. Within the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry operate entire family dynasties, which in times past were founded by Deputy Vasyl Filipchuk and Ambassador Danylo Lubkivsky. According to the police, while he was working in the Balkans, Lubkivsky’s son Markiyan was tied to groups involved in smuggling and human trafficking. Now Markiyan is the advisor to the director of Ukraine’s counterintelligence service, and his brother serves in the diplomatic corps.
Such is the Ukrainian mentality: once you manage to claw your way into public office, you begin to assemble a professional entourage of relatives, childhood friends, and familiar faces from your native village. These are hardly European values - this is an example of what Europeans refer to as «Eastern backwardness».
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The official Ukrainian tax system could not be further removed from the method for collecting taxes in Europe, where the money is primarily used to fund local budgets, which then make transfers into the state coffers. In Ukraine, all the money is amassed «on high,» and only then is it permitted to trickle down. Local officials are forced to beg for what they need from the central government, where one’s manifested loyalty determines the degree of largesse shown.
European legislators are very attentive to the rights of national minorities, ensuring that they are not only able to preserve their identity, language, and culture, but are even granted the right to self-governance.
But in Ukraine, any discussion of the rights of national minorities is viewed as separatism, and any who dare speak up in defense of their own find themselves hauled into court or subjected to violence.
For example, during the last elections, the Hungarian minority was brusquely refused in its request to form its own district, so as to ensure a Hungarian representative in the Verkhovna Rada. This was despite the fact that the Ukrainian minority in Hungary enjoys extensive legal protections as a national minority and is defended by the full force of the law. Nor can one forget Ukraine’s repeated attempts to derail ratification of the European Convention to protect regional and minority languages in Europe.
Dissent is openly persecuted in Ukraine. Objectionable publications are shut down, television broadcasting can be prohibited, and journalists systematically suffer harassment and reprisals. The country employs a draconian system of censorship, referred to as a «moratorium on criticism of the government». Criminal charges of treason are trumped up against opposition journalists.
Violating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Charter of Social Rights and Protections for Citizens of Independent Nations has become state policy in Ukraine. The true nature of the political forces that have taken power can be clearly seen in their belief that the country’s citizens are not individuals, but rather cogs in the machinery of government. The ideological orientation of many of the parties that have taken part in the «National Revolution of Dignity» demands that all citizens obediently fulfill the role assigned them by the state apparatus to which they are subordinate.
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Upon closer inspection, it seems that the Ukraine being industriously constructed by the current regime, which established itself in Kyiv after the coup, is actually something intrinsically anti-European. This anti-Europe is a Trojan horse capable of subverting European civilization from within.