November 1, 2014 (Ulson Gunnar – NEO) – Curiously, Didier Burkhalter, Swiss Foreign Minister and Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Chairperson-in-Office, congratulated Ukrainians for their elections of the parliamentary assembly and hailed them as another important step toward “stabilization.” It is a curious statement considering the nature of the elections themselves, carried out under the duress of deadly internal conflict, with multiple regions of the country not even participating in the elections and the intimidation and barring of opposition parties from participating in campaigning and polling.
Despite claims of Ukraine’s elections leading to “stabilization,” instead it appears they are leading to the rise in prominence of ultra-right Neo-Nazi parties like Svoboda whose supporters are pictured above. This recent rally demanded “war hero” status for their ideological fore-bearers who fought alongside Nazis in WW2. Troubling to some, NATO’s Atlantic Council calls the emerging political order in Ukraine “pro-European” and “reformist.” (AFP Photo / Genya Savilov)
Surely if “stabilization” is achieved, it will not be by heeding the voices of all Ukrainian people, but rather through the silencing of the lesser half who reject the authority of Kiev’s regime after it seized power in a violent coup in late 2013 and early 2014 amid the Euromaidan demonstrations.
Less shy about the desired and predictable outcome of Ukraine’s latest round of show-elections, was NATO itself who had openly backed Euromaidan and the subsequent violent response by Kiev’s new regime in response to nationwide protests against its seizing of power. Among the pages of NATO’s Atlantic Council website is a story titled, “Ukrainians Vote for a European Future and for Reform.” In it, NATO openly flaunts the results as a blow to Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin. It also celebrates the eradication from Ukrainian politics of any opposition.
It stated specifically that,
The poll indicates that the Batkivshchyna party of former Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko and the nationalist Svoboda party also surpassed the 5 percent threshold of votes needed to win party-list seats. Altogether, pro-reform parties won roughly two-thirds of the vote. Among parties opposed to a distinctly Europe-oriented Ukraine, only the Opposition Bloc passed that threshold to win a place in the next parliament. (The next legislature will be the first since Ukraine’s independence from Moscow in 1991 in which the Communist Party will have failed to win party-list representation.)
All of this means that there will be little opposition in the next Verkhovna Rada to policies aimed at synchronizing Ukrainian policies with Europe.
Does NATO and its Atlantic Council truly believe democracy is best served when opposition parties are stamped out of existence and a majority has the unobstructed ability to push through highly divisive policies? Does NATO believe the prominence of the Svoboda Party, a Neo-Nazi ultra-right front, represents the best interests of the Ukrainian people or constitutes European values and “reform?” Apparently when these factors all add up to the benefit of NATO and the special interests it represents, the answer is, “yes.” And how exactly did the Communist Party in Ukraine end up pushed out for the first time since 1991?
OSCE, who had congratulated Ukraine on its elections, provides the answers in daily reports it has issued since beginning an extensive monitoring mission in the troubled Eastern European country in March 2014. It was during Ukraine’s last elections that the OSCE reported on opposition parties being regularly intimidated or outright prevented from campaigning before the May 25, 2014 polls. Right Sector was mentioned at least once by name as intervening in political proceedings in an attempt to bar opposition members from participating and attacks on the Communist Party’s offices were reported, specifically in the capital of Kiev itself.
The BBC would even travel with ultra-right Neo-Nazi militants to the Communist Party headquarters in Kiev they had taken over. The office was ransacked and defaced with Nazi runes. Upon watching the video earlier this year, it would have been unthinkable that the Communist Party could ever participate in Ukrainian politics again, as long as the current regime remained in power. And of course, that is precisely the case.
Since then, the OSCE’s daily reports have included activity by Neo-Nazi groups not only taking part in direct military action against Ukrainians in the east, but also in confronting opposition groups, protesters and politicians throughout the rest of the country. It is under these conditions of fear and intimidation by Neo-Nazis and other far-right extremists, that Ukraine’s most recent round of elections took place. It is no surprise that “stabilization” is expected, just as similar “stabilization” was seen after the Nazi Party seized power in Germany in the 1930’s and overwrote or absorbed its opposition entirely as well.
Once again democracy’s abuse by special interests across Europe and among their partners across the Atlantic in Washington is neither a victory for civilization nor the Ukrainian people, but rather a victory for those who seek “stabilization” through the eradication of their enemies. It is a “stabilization” standing opposed to, rather than for civilized coexistence and compromise, representing domination posing as “democracy.” Each and every time democracy is abused in this manner, it denigrates its value as well as the legitimacy others derive from it.
After previous elections, believing that it had a renewed mandate, Kiev’s regime had carried out a bloody and destructive campaign of mass murder against its own population. It may believe it once again possesses the leverage to try again. NATO’s rhetoric regarding the elections included warnings that Russia may respond with a “new aggressive move in Ukraine.” It is more likely however, that with NATO and its chosen regime in Kiev in search of “stabilization” through eradication, such moves will instead be moving west to east.
Ulson Gunnar, a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.