French Senators Question Government on Ukraine’s ‘Right Sector’ Neo-Nazis
June 19, 2021 (EIRNS)—Three French senators are asking questions about the neo-Nazi “Right Sector” in Ukraine after inadvertently running into one of its events in Kyiv. According to coverage today in the “Emerging Europe” platform, the three senators, Nathalie Goulet, Jean-Pierre Moga and Joel Guerriau, were wandering around the streets of Kyiv on the last weekend in May on the occasion of the city’s annual birthday celebration when they ran into something quite different and macabre. “On Andrievskiy Descent, a scenic, historic road in central Kyiv, members of the Ukrainian far-right party Right Sector and its youth wing, Right Youth, put on a militaristic show for children,” Emerging Europe reports. “They invited kids to shoot from air rifles at a paper target of the Kremlin and at pictures of Colorado beetles (a derogatory term for Russians).” The three senators “did not like what they saw.”
On June 10, the delegation officially submitted a request to the French Foreign Ministry to find out “the position of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs on this subject and what measures it intends to take to avoid the contagion of this deadly ideology.
“The neo-Nazi parties are developing increasingly visible activities, including in the center of Kyiv, with shooting ranges, practices of assembling and dismantling Kalashnikovs and recruitment offices for young people for militias that clearly claim Nazi ideology,” they wrote. The senators further described that they had seen pro-Nazi memorabilia being sold by Right Sector cadres, including identity papers of members of SS-Sonderkommando units.
Unfortunately Emerging Europe does not identify Right Sector and other right-wing outfits such as Svoboda Party as overtly coming from the pro-Nazi Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists-Ukrainian Insurgent Army (OUN-UPA) of Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukhevych, agents of the Nazi German Abwehr. During the Maidan “peaceful demonstrations” in 2014, the Right Sector brandished posters of Bandera and Shukhevych, and shouted the official greeting of the wartime Ukrainian Nazis “Slava Ukraine, heroyam slava!” [“Glory to Ukraine, to the heroes, glory!”]. They also chanted “Knife the Moskali [Russians], hang the Communists,” wore swastikas, and attacked unarmed police and civilians with Molotov cocktails.
Incidents such as that witnessed by the French delegation this month continue to fuel perceptions that the far-right in Ukraine, while electorally unpopular to the point of almost complete irrelevance, nevertheless enjoys a substantial degree of institutionalization and clout within Ukrainian politics, Emerging Europe says. It also notes that Ukraine has become a magnet for militant Westerners seeking combat experience. Some commentators suggest that this may be one reason for the lack of progress on Ukraine’s accession to NATO and the European Union