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    “Upstarts and Wrong Patriots”. Why the warring “National Corps” and “Svoboda” unite once a year

    “Svoboda” considers “National Corps” to be street upstarts and wrong nationalists

    Andrey Biletsky and Oleg Tyagnibok unite in pursuit of their goals. Photo: collage “Today”

    On Thursday, October 14, Ukrainian nationalists will hold “March of Glory of the UPA”… The protesters said that the event will not only commemorate the day of the creation of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, but also protest against the current government.

    Among the organizers of the march there are two large national-patriotic organizations: VO “Svoboda” and “National Corps”. At first glance, it may seem that they have the same ideas and goals, but this is not entirely true. The site “Segodnya” has figured out how the “old” nationalists differ from the “new” nationalists, whether they are partners or enemies, and why they hold joint marches.

    Union of Nationalists

    VO “Svoboda” and “National Corps” can be called the leaders of the modern movement of Ukrainian nationalists, who were able to take the “palm” away from the “Right Sector” and “C14”, who recently terrified the Russian media, and also left behind another two dozen Ukrainian organizations. patriots.

    In 2017, a veteran of Ukrainian politics with 30 years of experience, the VO Svoboda party decided to unite with the young but ambitious National Corps and Right Sector to achieve political goals. Organization leaders Oleg Tyagnibok, Andrey Biletsky and Andrey Tarasenko at the Teachers’ House in Kiev signed a document of unification called “National Manifesto”.

    “This is a historic moment. We are not just coordinating, but joining forces.”– said then the leader of “Svoboda”.

    At the same time, Biletsky added that the manifesto is not the program of any party.

    “This is the document with which we begin our crusade against this power.”, – he said.

    Oleg Tyagnibok, Andrei Tarasenko and Andrei Biletsky signed the "National Manifesto".  Photo: Hristya Ravlyuk / Facebook

    Oleg Tyagnibok, Andrei Tarasenko and Andrei Biletsky signed the “National Manifesto”. Photo: Hristya Ravlyuk / Facebook

    The manifesto said that Ukraine should focus its efforts on the creation of the Baltic-Black Sea Union, return its nuclear status, break off diplomatic relations with Russia, and allow citizens to own firearms. In addition, the parties intended to cultivate traditional values ​​in Ukraine, increase criminal liability for corruption, conduct an effective fight against illegal migration, and create a single local church centered in Kiev.

    Joint actions

    After the signing of the agreement, VO Svoboda and the National Corps held protests and rallies together. Opposed the adoption of bills by President Petro Poroshenko under the Rada, recognizing part of Donbass as occupied and continuing the law on special status for a year. Picketed Polish consulates in Lvov, Kiev, Vinnitsa, Lutsk, Odessa and Kharkov in protest against the adopted law on “Bandera ideology”. They smashed illegal, in their opinion, construction sites and held joint marches in honor of the UPA and the initiator of its creation, Stepan Bandera.

    VO “Svoboda” and “National Corps” protested against Poroshenko’s bills. Photo: VO “Svoboda”

    Split in Right Unity

    In November 2018, relations between VO Svoboda and the National Corps soured after the National Corps refused to support Head of the Secretariat of the VO “Svoboda” Ruslan Koshulinsky as the single candidate from the nationalist forces in the 2019 presidential elections.

    “The decision to support Koszulinsky by the“ nationalist movement ”was made behind the scenes, without widespread discussion and in spite of the“ Manifesto of Nationalist Forces. ”The people who put their signatures on the“ document ”have no real authority among millions of Ukrainian nationalists. old merits, but real actions here and now and wide support of society “, – explained in the “National Corps”, stating that the organization nominates its leader – Andrey Biletsky for the presidency.

    The National Corps has nominated its leader Andrei Biletsky for the presidency.  Photo: National Corps "

    The National Corps has nominated its leader Andrei Biletsky for the presidency. Photo: National Corps “

    Thus, the right-wing unity gave rise to serious cracks, and between the VO “Svoboda” and “National Corps” began, if not enmity, then at least competition.

    This manifested itself even in such trifles as the installation of two scenes at once on the European Square during the next joint action. Initially, Svoboda staged its own stage, but the National Corpus did not like the “Svoboda” fonts and design too much, and had to edit another one.

    But neither Biletsky, nor Koszulinsky scored a tangible rating.

    What is the difference between VO “Svoboda” and “National Corps”

    Today, VO “Svoboda” and “National Corps” sometimes continue to hold joint actions, but they exist on parallel planes. This is what “Today” says political scientist Vadim Karasev.

    “These are different movements. Svoboda is a strong party with a 30-year history, a powerful political program and an ideological group. The National Corps, which emerged against the backdrop of the Maidan and the war in Donbass, is a more radical street organization. “Young nationalists are treated like upstarts,” Karasev tells us.

    Enmity or competition

    In addition, according to the expert, the representatives of Svoboda, who initially came to the organization from Western Ukraine, do not really like Russian-speaking Ukrainian nationalists.

    “Andrei Biletsky is a Russian-speaking from Kharkov, his right-hand man Sergei Korotkikh (Boatswain) is also a Russian-speaking from Belarus. Most of the activists of the National Corps speak Russian. In Svoboda they are considered wrong nationalists,” says Karasev.

    The political scientist also notes that there is “dislike” between Svoboda and the National Corps because of the former Interior Minister Arsen Avakov.

    “Avakov had a difficult relationship with Svoboda after the story of the death of three national guardsmen from the explosion of a grenade at a party rally in 2015. At the same time, many talked about the minister’s friendship with Biletsky and the open support of the National Corps of Avakov’s initiatives to de-occupy Donbass,” – says Karasev.

    Many talked about the friendship of Arsen Avakov with Andrei Biletsky / Photo: UNIAN

    As the political scientist notes, after Avakov’s departure from office, his support for Biletsky has significantly decreased, and the pressure of the President’s Office on the “National Corps” has increased. The movement had to go into opposition. This is also evidenced by the fact that activists of the National Corps are increasingly supporting Petro Poroshenko.

    “Svoboda” is closer to Bankova today. It cannot be said that it has become a manual organization of the Office of the President, but rather more loyal, “says Karasev.

    Why VO “Svoboda” and “National Corpus” unite again

    Despite the fact that VO “Svoboda” and “National Corps” are now on different sides of the barricades, they sometimes continue to carry out joint actions.

    “In this way, the organizations are trying to demonstrate to the public that the nationalist movement in Ukraine is powerful and can draw red lines to the authorities,” Karasev summed up.

    Vadim Karasev: "Freedom" and "National Corps" want to show that the nationalist movement in Ukraine can draw red lines to the authorities "

    Vadim Karasev: “Freedom” and “National Corps” want to show that the nationalist movement in Ukraine can draw red lines to the authorities “ / Photo: Facebook


    VO “Freedom”

    On October 13, 1991, the Social-National Party of Ukraine (SNPU) was founded. On February 14, 2004, it was renamed the All-Ukrainian Association “Svoboda”, and Oleg Tyagnibok was elected chairman of the party. In 2012, the party won 37 seats out of 450 in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of the VII convocation, gaining 10.44% of the vote.

    The party advocated the rehabilitation of the OUN-UPA, the recognition of the Holodomor as genocide of the Ukrainian nation, demanded a ban on the communist party and lustration to cleanse the power structures of “agents of Moscow”.

    “National Corps”

    On October 14, 2016, the founding congress of the political party created on the basis of the “Azov movement”, which includes the public association “Civil Corps” Azov “, veterans of the” Azov “regiment, the National Guard, volunteers, participants of the Euromaidan, was held. Ukrainian Deputy Andriy Biletsky, former commander of the Azov National Guard regiment.

    On February 22, 2017, the party, together with the All-Ukrainian Association “Svoboda”, the organization “C14”, “Eastern Corps” and “Right Sector” held a “March of National Dignity” in Kiev, following which an ultimatum was adopted by the authorities, in which, in particular, radical nationalists announced their joint efforts to “resist the surrender of the country to the armed occupiers from the East and financial extortionists from the West.”

    Earlier, the Segodnya website reported that the founder of the Azov regiment, a former People’s Deputy and leader of the “National Corps” Andrei Biletsky believes that for a democratic country, street protests and actions are normal phenomenon… But the summer rallies showed that especially violent provocateurs from the ranks of the “National Corps” are waiting for a pre-trial detention center or house arrest.

    We also informed that an event took place in Lviv on the occasion of the next anniversary of the formation of the SS “Galicia” division, which fought on the side of Nazi Germany during the Second World War. During the rally, Vasily Bychko, deputy chairman of the young reserve of the Galician Brotherhood of the SS “Galicia” division, spoke about plans to hold the next march of the “Galicia division” Donetsk and Moscow.



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