Torchlight procession: an update on Ukrainian ‘Social Nationalism’

A second news report has finally appeared in the local press on Friday evening’s torchlight procession, which I covered here. Writing about this subject during Russian troop movements in Crimea was a danger to Ukraine, according to some here. Well, a new local news report has finally appeared, with Blitz.info carrying the story today.

Its report is heavily redacted, mentioning only the mildest slogans – honouring dead local patriots and dead heroes more generally (“Честь і слава героям Станіслава!” та “Герої не вмирають!”). However, it does not seem comfortable giving any mention at all to even the more everyday slogan, evident on this, er, Mexican-Italian pizza and tequila restaurant below, for example, or in everyday conversation. Nor is it prepared to mention the more extreme, ‘Glory to the Nation/ Death to the Enemies!’

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The report does note, however, that leading the procession were representatives of the organisation Patriot of Ukraine (“Патріот України”), whose ideology is ‘social-nationalism‘, whose followers have formed a Social Nationalist Assembly. You can read their programme on their website, only in Ukrainian of course, but it’s grim reading. They call for nationalisation of the entire economy, to be placed in the hands of the ‘Nation’, forming a ‘Nationocracy’, with an end to immigration ‘which weakens to nation’. They also want a Central European Confederation with Ukraine at the centre running from Baltic to the Caucuses, to be run through an openly ‘authoritarian’ system which does not recognise any religions or sects ‘whose main centres are outside Ukraine’.

It is worrying that such an organisation, or Assembly, of organisations including Patriot of Ukraine, Pravy Sektor (Right Sector) and ‘Healthy Nation’ are mainstream in the city. Maybe not in terms of actual numbers of members, but they are most visible on the streets, forming the various self-defence units, which patrol the streets with police, or provide protection at various meetings. They are colonising the city space and the protests in this city, as they have done in Kyiv, which began as a civic expression of frustration and hopes for a European future.

One thought on “Torchlight procession: an update on Ukrainian ‘Social Nationalism’

  1. Pingback: After the Revolution: The everyday, getting ready for war and a sticker album. | Revolution, lecturing and life in Ukraine

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