Dmitro Yarosh, the founder and leader of the fascist Right Sector organization, has been appointed official advisor to the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian army. The Ukrainian Ministry of Defence announced the appointment. In addition, the paramilitary militias of Right Sector are to be integrated into the armed forces.
A statement on the Ministry of Defence’s web site on Sunday read: “Colonel-General Viktor Muschenko, chief of staff, and Dmitri Yarosh have agreed on the form of cooperation between the Right Sector and the Armed Forces of Ukraine.” The Ukrainian army expressed its great “appreciation” for the “contributions” of the volunteer battalions, which “rendered outstanding services to the defense of Ukraine.”
Muschenko is quoted as saying: “We understand the need of changes and increase of efficiency at all the army levels. We also consider various models of formation of the army reserve. We are developing the reforms and will implement them. We gathered all the patriots and defenders of Ukraine under a single leadership. The enemy understands our unity and that its attempts end in failure. We have one goal and the united Ukraine. The Army becomes stronger each week.”
For his part, Yarosh declared that “unity was the key precondition for further successful fighting.” In order to “protect the state against external enemies,” Right Sector’s volunteer battalions were prepared to integrate themselves into the official Ukrainian army.
These announcements make clear that the fascist militias that played a central role in the overthrow of President Viktor Yanukovych on February 22, 2014 are increasingly setting the tone in the pro-Western regime led by oligarch Petro Poroshenko. They are needed to continue fighting pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine and suppressing protests against the unpopular war and austerity policies of the regime in western Ukraine.
The program of the Right Sector, which regards itself as a successor to the fascist Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), is well known. It is right wing and nationalist, recalling in many respects the fascist ideology of the Nazis with whom the OUN collaborated during World War II. Like the Nazis, Yarosh and the Right Sector regard communists, liberals, homosexuals, Jews, Russians and the working class as their enemy.
A few weeks after the Maidan coup of February 2014, Yarosh gave an interview to Spiegel Online in which he said: “I am a Ukrainian nationalist. My goal is a strong state.” He described liberalism as “a variant of totalitarianism,” said he was “against gay marriage,” and criticized the “anti-Christian” character of the European Union. He expressly supported Ukraine’s Association Agreement with the EU, which involves massive attacks on the living standards of the working class.
In his pamphlet Nation and Revolution, Yarosh formulates his program even more clearly. He opposes parliamentary democracy and advocates ethnically-based nationalism. He seeks to spread “nationalist ideology across the entire territory of our state,” strip eastern Ukraine of all Russian influence, and enforce the “leading role of the core nation in the state.”
Further programmatic points of the Right Sector include the nuclear rearmament of Ukraine and a ban on the Party of Regions and the Communist Party.
The integration of the Right Sector into the Poroshenko regime shatters the official propaganda about a “democratic revolution” in Ukraine. Amid intensifying social attacks and preparations for a new military offensive in eastern Ukraine, the program of the fascist Right Sector, which is responsible for terrible crimes such as last year’s massacre in Odessa, has effectively been given the official imprimatur of the government.
The formal integration of the Right Sector into the regime goes hand in hand with the announcement that the Ukrainian parliament (Rada) plans to proscribe “communist ideology.” Ukrainian Justice Minister Pavel Petrenko announced on television: “In the near future, namely May 9, parliament is expected to adopt a package of laws banning communism. We should have done this twenty years ago.”
Petrenko added that the current parliament has the political will and requisite majority to “draw the curtain over the communist veil that has draped itself across Ukraine for 20 years.”
The regime applied for a ban of the Communist Party of Ukraine last July and dissolved the Communist faction in the Rada. The Communist Party, which had worked closely with the Yanukovych regime, criticized the government’s offensive in eastern Ukraine as a “war against its own people.”
On the basis of the struggle against “communism,” the regime installed and financed by the West is turning ever more directly into an ultra-right dictatorship. From the perspective of the ruling elite in Ukraine and its backers in Washington and Berlin, the creation of such a regime is necessary to impose a program of austerity and war in the face of mounting popular opposition.
In an interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung this weekend, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk painted a bleak picture of the country. “Our time has already expired,” he said. “Sometimes it is very hard to explain to people why we pass through so many painful reforms at the same time.”
Nevertheless, he added, reforms were “inevitable” and “the only way to save our economy.” He continued, “And yes, many people are disappointed, tired, tired of war.”
Die Zeit recently described the social disaster in Ukraine as follows: “Ukraine, which is actually replete with important raw materials such as iron ore, coal and natural gas, and was once the granary and center of engineering of the Soviet Union, cannot even pay its people a minimum wage above the level of Ghana and Zambia, the poorest countries in Africa.”
The article continued: “Those who in the past thought of poverty spreading to ever broader layers of society thought of Greece or Portugal, where poor elderly people have killed themselves because they could not pay for electricity and food. Ukraine has now moved onto this list. This does not apply only to areas where there is war. Even in the west of the country the lack of money and opportunities plagues more and more families. In a recent survey, 40 percent reported they felt poor.”
Early last week, Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov announced that starting April 20, American soldiers will begin training units of the Ukrainian National Guard in western Ukraine, near the Polish border. The US will also deliver weapons for the Guard units.
The fascist forces of the Right Sector will now work directly with, and be armed by, the US military in order to serve as shock troops against the Ukrainian working class and a component of NATO’s preparations for war against Russia.