Aktuelles > FES Perspective: The Extreme Right in Ukraine

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EU-Erweiterung, Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik, Europäische Wertegemeinschaft

FES Perspective: The Extreme Right in Ukraine

Von Mridula Ghosh
Am vergangenen Sonntag hat die Ukraine ein neues Parlament gewählt. Ein Ergebnis: Mit voraussichtlich mehr als 30 Mandanten wird erstmals die rechtsextreme Partei „Swoboda“ (Freiheit) in der Werchowna Rada vertreten sein. Die FES-Analyse von Mridula Ghosh zur extremen Rechten in der Ukraine befasst sich ausführlich mit dem Aufstieg der Freiheits-Partei.

The paper analyses the growth of right-wing extremism and of the main right-wing extremist political force, the Svoboda (Freedom) party, in the context of the upcoming parliamentary elections in Ukraine in October 2012. As background, it draws on two earlier pieces of research on diversity and tolerance in the context of Euro-2012 and the parliamentary elections, which focused on prevention strategies (including creating new institutions and counter-forces). Two major aspects are analysed: first, the entry of right-wing extremism into mainstream politics via Svoboda and its relationship with other rightist groups; and second, the strategies adopted by the state and political and civil society to counter this phenomenon. On the basis of this analysis, the paper draws some conclusions and makes recommendations.
During the years of independence and before – between the late 1980s and early 1990s – right-wing extremism and ultra-nationalism, expressed in slogans such as »Ukraine for the Ukrainians«, was never characteristic of mainstream politics in Ukraine. Laws on language (1989), citizenship (1991), ethnic minorities (1992) and later the Constitution (1996) laid down the foundations of Ukraine as a political nation. However, two decades of faltering economic and social reforms have led to the fragmentation of the democratic bloc and a simultaneous strengthening of the conservative far right. A short history of this evolution follows.
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