Ukrainian Far-Right: Unraveling Controversies Amidst the Ongoing War

Event: NEC seminar

Location: NEC conference hall & Zoom

29 November 2023, 11.00-13.00 (Bucharest time)

Lesia BIDOCHKO, GCE St. Gallen Fellow; Senior Lecturer, National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy

This research delves into the intricacies of Russian propaganda strategies, specifically their parasitism on the anti-fascist consensus, with the aim of portraying Ukraine as a hotbed of the far-right thus aiming to engage a Western left-liberal audience. The narrative unfolds against the backdrop of the Ukrainian far-right’s evolution in the 1990s and 2000s, providing crucial context for understanding contemporary political dynamics. The investigation meticulously examines the electoral trajectory of Ukrainian right-wing factions, from their significant success in 2012 to a subsequent dramatic decline, shedding light on the factors contributing to this shift. A critical aspect of this analysis involves the exploration of military formations and paramilitary organizations with a right-wing orientation, dissecting their roles and influence within Ukrainian society. The research also draws parallels between right-wing street violence witnessed in Ukraine and comparable occurrences across Europe, offering a comparative perspective on extremist movements. Furthermore, the article contemplates a perceptible rightward shift in Ukrainian post-Maidan politics, focusing on key domains such as language, religion, historical narratives, political discourse, the Minsk process, and social dynamics. It also explores the evolving role of far-right units within the Ukrainian Armed Forces and National Guard, highlighting the changing imagery and identities within far-right groups, particularly in response to the full-scale invasion. By scrutinizing these multifaceted dimensions, the article aims to unravel the complex interplay of ideological, cultural, and political forces shaping contemporary Ukrainian society.