INTOLERANT ACTIVITIES AND
ORGANISATIONS IN UKRAINE
RESULTS OF SOCIAL RESEARCH
Kharkiv Institute for Social Research
Ministry of Interior of Ukraine
Intolerant Activities and Organisations in Ukraine
Results of Social Research
FOR LOCAL INITIATIVES
This publication was prepared with the assistance of Canada Fund for Local Initiatives.
Viewpoints of the authors may differ from the official position of the Fund
Kobzin D.O., Chernousov A.M. Intolerant activity and organisations in Ukraine. Results
of Social Research. – Kharkiv, HICD. – 2008.
(Кобзін Д. О., Черноусов А. М. Нетолерантна діяльність та організації в Україні.
Результати соціологічного дослідження. - Харків, ХІСД. – 2008.)
Social Research “Intolerant activities and organisations in Ukraine” was undertaken in 2008
by the Kharkiv Institute for Social Research with the assistance of the Ministry of Interior of
Ukraine. Results of the research provide answers to a number of questions about the modern
ultra-right movement in Ukraine, including its forms, methods and participants. The research
discloses how and who are involved in intolerant activity and recommend a number of steps to be
taken in order to combat spread of racism and xenophobia in Ukraine.
The authors would like to express their sincere gratitude to the Department on
monitoring human rights observance of Ministry of Interior of Ukraine Oleg
Martinenko and Yuriy Belousov for assisting in arrangements and providing
information during the research.
1. Intolerance in Ukrainian Internet Space
2. Intolerant activity. Levels of Organization
2.1 Street Extremism
2.2 Organised National-Socialism
2.3 Ukrainian Nationalism
3. Conclusions and recommendations
“On 20 July at around 9 o’clock in the evening in the Desnyanskiy district of Kyiv
near the market “Troyeshina” three fellows attacked five students from China. Three
students, among them two boys and a girl managed to run away. The other two
students were seriously wounded. The victims with stab wounds were taken to the
emergency hospital, with one of them being in coma. The victims were not robbed.
Criminal proceedings were initiated under the article “hooliganism”.”
Data from Electronic information bulletin “Anti-Semitism, xenophobia and rights of national minorities in
Ukraine: chronicle” №7 (11), July 2008, with reference to the information provided by Amnesty
International in Ukraine (http//xenodocuments.org.ua).
“On 3 July a barbarous act was committed against the memorial to victims of
Holocaust at the railway station from which Nazis sent Jewish people to death camps
on the territory of Poland”
Data form Electronic information bulletin “Anti-Semitism, xenophobia and rights of national minorities in
Ukraine: chronicle” №7 (11), July 2008, with reference to Bigotry monitor, Vol.8, No 27, 3 July 2008.
Day after day this one and other not less worrisome pieces of news went public in
Ukrainian media. If two or three years ago hate crimes involving race and national
intolerance were extraordinary events today they have become a part of day-to-day reality
of the inhabitants of big cities. Foreign students, whose study fees brought Ukrainian
universities roughly €73 millions in 2006 (that is government’s data provided by the
Third ECRE’s Report on Ukraine approved on 29 June 2007 [CRI (2008)], р. 17) more
and more fear for their health and life and do not risk going out when it is dark and avoid
certain districts. This growing tension is felt by refugees, asylum seekers, migrants and
citizens of Ukraine who do not look Slavic.
All this takes place given constant actions in which stocky boys in camouflage smock,
black or sports clothing with different flags (from those of football clubs to flags of the
Galician Division) set up different claims coming to the following short spoken phrases
“Ukraine is for Ukrainians” or “Ukraine is for Whites”.
Taking into consideration the commitments to observe human rights regardless of colour,
nationality and religion of a person, undertaken by Ukraine through having signed a
number of international documents and having fixed them by constitutional guarantees
and as well looking over the experience of Russia, where general background of the
growing patriotism periodically entails a wave of race violence spreading from big cities
into regions, civil society and state institutions must go to any lengths to prevent such a
scenario in Ukraine.
Today as never before it is necessary therefore to understand to what extent extremist
racism and intolerance are organized; whether there really exist organizations aimed at
driving out all Non-Slavs from the territory of Ukraine by any means in the country; who
and how is involved in that activity; how open and orderly propaganda of racism and
intolerance in Ukraine is. In our opinion it will allow us to comprehend the essence and
peculiarities of the phenomenon and work out elements of the strategy of combating
organised xenophobia in the country.
Thus the research is aimed at examining peculiarities of the activity of intolerant
Nationalist, Nation-Socialist and other organizations in Ukraine and at recommending a
number of steps to combat their activity. Such goals imply fulfilling the following tasks,
namely to examine ties between organizations, reasons for involvement, methods and
ways of recruitment of new members, types of activities, and objects of hatred of
Taking into account complexity of the research field due to the latent nature of the
phenomenon and non-transparency of organizations for direct investigation we chose
content-analysis, focus-groups and interviews as research methods. We have conducted
20 interviews and 3 focus groups with participants of Nazi-mobs and representatives of
different organizations (including UNTP, Patriot of Ukraine, UNA-UNSO) in several
regions (Kyiv, Kharkiv, Donetsk, and Lvyv).
In addition we have carried out content-analysis of the Ukrainian Internet space. We
have analysed 50 Internet sources belonging to intolerant and nationalist organizations,
and groups disseminating intolerant information in the course of analysis.
1. Intolerance in Ukrainian Internet Space
Content-analysis of Internet sources carried out in order to determine how right ideas are
represented in Ukrainian Internet space. 50 web-sites, whose authors or visitors express
rights ideas to this or that extent, were selected for the examination.
The analysis showed that the title of a web-site rather seldom indicates that its materials
(all the materials or only some of them) are dedicated to racism, xenophobia, National-
Socialism, or Fascism. Such web-sites number less than a fifth of all web-sites. More
often in order to demonstrate openly their stand they use word combinations with prefix
Nazi (e.g. unazi, nsportal, slavnazi) or figures 88, 14, 18 (e.g. сhurch18, ss88).
At the same time one should admit that as within right organizations ideas of racism and
xenophobia are interrelated and have different meanings, they are similarly expressed
with different extent of radicalism in the Internet space.
Among the examined web-sites only a third turned out to be web-sites of organizations
(by organization we mean an organized group of people professing general ideology and
which has no obligatory legal registration). We should note that the more an organization
claims to participate in political life, declares its political ambitions, intends to be
registered, the fewer open statements of racist and xenophobic nature are placed on its
web-site. Thus, two right Nationalist organizations have openly declared goals of their
activity and posted the statute and the program to their web-sites. The statutes of these
organizations (UNA-UNSO and Banderivets) provide granting national minorities similar
rights as Ukrainians enjoy.
According to the analysis racism and xenophobia more often use anonymity, which can
easily be achieved in the Internet space. As it was mentioned above, the more radical
ideas an organization expresses the less probable it is that it is officially registered. For
instance, open calls for violence were identified on 6 web-sites. Basically materials
posted to web-sites do not include explicit calls (though the call for ignoring
representatives of national minorities is rather widespread). However such calls are
frequent in forums where visitors of web-sites can express their ideas. We can be fully
confident that much of what is contained on web-sites may virtually provoke discussions
on radical activities in forums.
The same situation is with the anonymity of leaders. Authors and leaders wished to be
anonymous at all web-sites where ideas of racism and xenophobia are expressed. Some
web-sites contained contacts (UNTP and Patriot of Ukraine), namely addresses and
telephone numbers. Though authors didn’t want to publicize their names. Interviews with
participants of such organizations show that they constantly fear shadowing and
controlling by the authorities (Ministry of Interior or Security Service of Ukraine) which
adds excitement and attracts young people who like protesting.
Despite the fact that we analysed Ukrainian Internet some web-sites contained materials
in Russian or were made in Russian language as a whole. In a number of cases that was
due to the fact that authors of the web-sites were close to the ideas of Pan-Slavism or in
other cases that was due to the ties with Russian Fascists and Nazists (See picture 1).
For the majority of Nationalist web-sites the Russian language is a taboo, especially
given current rivalry between Russian and Ukrainian in the country. It is not only
improbable to see materials in Russian on such web-sites but even a person who dared to
write in Russian in the forum would be ostracized as well. By the way one of the web-
sites (the only one which set its own rules) has a rule to write exceptionally in Ukrainian
(along with the rule to avoid quarrels). Other web-sites do not have clear-cut rules. The
same situation is with position documents. Most of web-sites do not offer any position
documents. Among the provisions of the position documents, where they exist, (these are
web-sites of Nationalist organisations) we could note “development of the Ukrainian
nation as a titular nation in Ukraine”, “enhancement of the consolidating role of church in
the society”, “recognition of Holodomor”, “privileged quotes for Ukrainians in
authorities”, “all officials must be bearers of the national idea”, “reintroduction of the
section “nationality” into the documents”, and “development of Ukrainian language”.
The majority of the web-sites do not incorporate requests for financial assistance. Only
two of them indicate account numbers and address its visitors with a request to assist
financially. Though it is worth noting that the web-site of the organization “Patriot of
Ukraine” does not contain concrete information on its leaders (except for contact
telephone numbers and articles written by ideological leaders). However it has the
request for financial assistance and account numbers.
The exact object of hatred depends basically on the ideological component of the web-
site. At the same time it is a complicated task to classify web-sites under this criterion.
Every creator of an Internet source and of an organization understands different things
under “Nationalism”, “Fascism”, and “Racism”. For the web-sites which propagandize
the idea of Nationalism the objects of hatred are often represented by Russians (they are
considered to be responsible for Holodomor, destruction of Ukrainian culture, opposition
to renaissance of the Ukrainian nation and statehood, and misinterpretation of history)
and Jewish people (as a reason for hatred they cite competition with Ukrainians on their
land, indirect relation to Holodomor, ignorance of interests of Ukrainians, parasitism,
usurpation of resources, unlike traditions and even cannibalism (!)). Alongside Russians
as subjects of illegal emigration to Ukraine do not cause worry for both this group and
Nationalist organizations more often favour religion and place materials dedicated to
Christian propaganda as well as religious intolerance, for instance, advocating intolerance
towards Islam, other churches or concrete preachers.
A number of web-sites representing more radical Nationalist ideas consider migrants to
be the object of non-admittance №1. We should admit that under this word often all those
who do not meet traditional image of a Ukrainian or do not look like Slavs are
generalized in the Internet space. The majority of web-sites’ authors and visitors do not
pay much attention to the status of a concrete person of a different nationality or race. For
them they are all “migrants”. And it makes no difference whether migrants are legal or
illegal. Judging by the number of materials against this group we can surely conclude that
they, in the opinion authors and visitors of web-sites, are scapegoats for lack of
employment, drug trafficking, human trafficking, garbage on the streets and dangerous
situation in big cities. Most sins are associated with people who have more typical
appearance of this or that national minority. For instance, if a person has black skin than
he/she is stereotyped as a drug dealer, criminal, a person who ignores our traditions and
norms of behaviour, and a human trafficker. Arabic people are perceived as people who
“spoil our women”, ignore our traditions and norms of behaviour. Chinese, Vietnamese
and Korean people are accused of conquest of our territory and liquidation of our
producers. Roms are regarded only as thieves, rapists and drug dealers. Such paranoid
tension result in dissemination of materials about “Conquest of Ukraine”, and genocide
of Ukrainians on their own land.
The most radical web-sites, namely. National-Socialist web-sites, are likely to impute all
sins to people of a different race and nationality, and to describe them as retrograde and
more close to animals than to people. In addition they believe that assimilation of
representatives of national minorities and mixed marriages pose particular danger. In
opinion of the authors of materials phenotype of Ukrainians should consist only of Slavic
or Nordic people. Thus a marriage with a representative of a different race is regarded to
Ukrainians as well might be regarded as objects of hatred. More often two groups are
distinguished, namely homosexuals and oligarchs. Non-traditional sexual orientation is
described as abnormality, a certain incurable disease of people who must be isolated.
Representatives of “big business” are considered to be oligarchs. Allegedly they “rob
people”. In the opinion of the authors of material their property is to be nationalized. A
separate group which is stigmatized and “attacked” at some web-sites is represented by
Antifascists who are described as dull-witted people who had betrayed the interests of
people of their race.
The above mentioned ideas are often contained in materials of different formats including
books, articles, news. In more than a half of cases web-sites encompassed their own
libraries. The contents of libraries are very various and include:
Feature literature, poetry (for example poems by T.Shevchenko, stories by
K.Hamsun, E.Po, H.Hesse, written by the authors and visitors poems about
skin-heads, poems of Nationalist or openly Fascist nature);
Philosophic essays (usually F.Nitse);
Compositions on Nationalism (M.Sciborskiy, S.Bandera, Miron-Orlik, works
with such titles as “Key of blood”, “Russian predator”, “Nordic idea”, “Idea of
History (works dedicated to Cossaks, the World War Two);
Works devoted to Fascism (“Bible of a skin”, works by J.Goebbels), F.Berg.
A.Hitler, V.Avdeev “Racelogie”, D.Lane, “Russian sky”, “Fascism as style”);
Religion (“History of Christianity”, “Runic art”);
Political journalism (articles by M.Cenchenko, Schokina, Klimova, “Jews in
Ukraine”, “Zionist protocols”, “Myth about Holocaust”, lists of masked Jews).
The pieces of news placed at web-sites are mostly subordinated to these topics. As most
spread topics we can single out emancipation of Ukraine from Russia, danger of
migration for Ukraine, mockery about oligarchs, gays, national minorities (news on right
actions, organizations in Ukraine and other countries). It is worth noting that more often
even materials that are not xenophobic are presented in a way to depict them as
xenophobic. For example several web-sites placed the following information as news -
results of the research “Security of Ukraine: possible risks”. According to this research
Ukrainians believe that migration poses a threat to Ukraine. However if we analyse the
research itself we can notice that 30% of Ukrainians regard “mass influx of migrants to
Ukraine as a not very probable or improbable threat”.
Other propaganda activities imply placing images and posters to the direction of web-
sites work. In most cases posters are worked out by the authors of the web-sites or
designed on the basis of the relevant foreign organizations. Usually posters are to be seen
on National-Socialist web-sites.
We can divide the suggested images into four types:
- portrait gallery’s of leaders (Hitler, Lane);
- photos of events (concerts, marches, meetings)
- propaganda posters (‘do not buy, do not communicate, do not give rent – together
we will stop them, “Sevostopol for Whites”, “White Power, ACAB” (“all
policemen are spawns”), “Ukrainians will be like that in 2050”, „I am as well a
citizen of Ukraine” (with grotesque image of people of other races), “We are
ready to kill”)
- pictures (by А. Hitler, B.Vasileyv, T.Shevshenko).
Some web-sites as well have video and audio materials. Among audio materials we can
single out sound files with records of various Nationalist rock groups, ethnic rock (Comu
vnyz, Nakhtingeil, Sokyra Peruna), statements (Hitler, J. Metews). Posted to the web-
sites video files include scenes of beating “foreigners (non-Russians)”, skirmish between
football fans and police, fragments from documentaries (“Zionists’ activity”, “Amicable
plot”, fragments from training films (“basis of hand-to-hand fighting”). Some web-sites
support radio-broadcasting (radio “Nation”).
Some web-sites include appeals and statements, which in our opinion testifies the fact
that organisations act on a regular basis by means of those web-sites. Among the appeals
one can find an appeal to the President of Ukraine (on the issue of Kosovo), open letter
(e.g. “Patriot of Ukraine” to the All-Ukrainian organisation “Freedom”, appeals to the
heads of Rondover organisations), calls for free sale of weapons, and prohibition of loan
According to the analysis web-sites do not practically use such a wide-spread in the web
method of feedback as polls. Among those web-sites using polls (there were found only 7
likewise web-sites there) most polls are focused on the web-design. Nationalist web-sites
use polls in order to give their participants the opportunity to decide where to arrange
next gathering, study the attitude towards the Russian language and vaccination.
The opportunities of the forums are not used fully either. The majority of the web-sites,
which we had analysed, didn’t have such a form of Internet-communication as forum.
Some National-Socialist web-sites (designed in the Russian language) had links to
Russian forums. At the same time the number of visitors on the web-sites with forums is
around 61 to 10 355. Among sections of web-sites we can single out traditional for any
forums news, chat, announcements, entertainment and specific sections including
ideology, Ukraine-phobia, and skinheads. Such issues as Anti-Semitism and Nationalism
are widely discussed. Unfortunately we have to admit that discussions of Anti-Semitism
and xenophobia are present as well on the forums of the organisations which declare
progressive and tolerant ideas in their programs and ideology.
The most difficult task of the research implied mapping mutual links of right web-sites.
The task was complicated since some of the web-sites were blocked at the moment of
research. The research permitted to built the following Internet-map of the right web-sites
(See Picture 1).
The scheme demonstrates that Nationalist, National-Socialist and Nazist web-sites do not
exist as separate groups in Ukrainian Internet. There is a number of portals playing the
role of mediators between those flanks of the right movement in Ukraine. Thus the web-
site ND RID, Reactor and People’s Reviewer exchange banners with both Nazi-skins’
web-sites and Nationalists’ web-sites. Accordingly there emerges an opportunity for both
of them to meet on joint forums and find their points of contact. And we should also
admit that this opportunity is already being used, which leads to dangerous prospect of
radicalization of the part of Nationalist activists and their consolidation with less tolerant
groups. Given that both use symbols of UPA and Galician Division in their propaganda
we can unfortunately conclude that unprepared readers cannot as a rule distinguish
between Nationalism, National-Socialism and Nazism.
2. Intolerant activities. Levels of organisation
Unfortunately the research cannot outline the whole circle of parties, organisations and
groups whose ideology, actions, programs and calls involve racist and xenophobic
rhetoric. At the same time we can set apart several vectors which include fulfilment of
relevant social moods in Ukraine.
2. 1 Street Extremism
Subject. Most extremist and radical subjects of xenophobia and racism in Ukraine are
least organised. Mobs (small, fragile groups of young boys, in which the age of the eldest
boys does not exceed 20 years) emerged on the wave of fashion in separate districts,
schools or colleges and represent most dangerous and criminal wing of intolerant
Ukrainians. High level of aggression, absence of social commitments, family, readiness
to go on risks, adventurism, intention to participate in protests and clear “friend-or-foe”
division represent a dangerous cocktail. Given it is combined with viewpoints that people
of other colour are “foes” it will result in attacks, beating and harassment of foreign
citizens as well as citizens of Ukraine of non-Slavic appearance.
On 10 January at the bus station near “Shulyavska” metro station a citizen of
Ghana Charles Asante-Eboa, the Director of the African Centre in Kyiv, was
attacked. Charles was granted refugee status and lived in Ukraine for 10 years. He
informed a representative of the Amnesty International that he was attacked by a
group of around 10 young boys who were 16 – 25 years old. They hit his head with
something and then beat with legs till he fell to the ground. They beat him with iron
rods and bottles. The victim informed the representative of Amnesty International
that he heard one from them asking: “Where is the knife?”. Then the attackers were
discussing if they should cut his throat. A young men stabbed him several times to
his face and head and then headlights of a minibus glittered. Charles Asante-Eboa
was hospitalized with grave wounds.
Amnesty International Report (2008) – Ukraine: Government must take steps to
liquidate race discrimination
At the same time we shouldn’t underestimate lack of organisation of this category. Lack
of organisation means unwillingness of those people to participate constantly in regular
formal party’s or organisation’s activity (pay fees, attend meetings, and read materials).
At the same time they are able to keep in touch with each other, involve other people to
this activity, conduct discussions, plan actions and mobilize people quickly for different
occasions. More often it is done through mobile phones and Internet. Thus we can
conclude that this segment of the right-wing representatives exist as a community but not
Close contacts, which representatives of skins maintain with their colleagues from Russia
and Poland, testify that there are attempts to achieve a higher level of organisation within
their movement. Thus the web-site of Lvyv Nazi-skinheads has amicable appeal to the
Russian web-site dedicated to the “big game” which is an Internet project offering web-
money for executing a number of racist actions (from pasting leaflets to attacking
foreigners and spoiling property which belongs to them). All this is presented as
“resistance to the system”.
Through paying joint visits from time to time and conducting concerts they find points of
contact (in both ideology and practical activity). Moreover absence of the language
barrier permits to export Ultra-right ideology from Russia where more experienced and
organized skins already publish large numbers of magazines, newspapers and books.
General ideology shared by them is based upon the idea that white race has advantage
over all the other races. They also fear challenges threatening to white race such as mixed
marriages, influx of immigrants, plots of Jewish people. It is provided that in order to
combat all that a skinhead must be healthy and physically trained and avoid smoking and
drinking alcohol. However as experience shows the majority of this community’s
members do not manage to fulfil two last demands.
Football fans today represent fruitful field for flourishing right radical ideas in Ukraine.
Among them we can meet intolerant, adventurous, radical, and aggressive young people,
who divide the world into “friends and foes” and who are not afraid and sometimes even
deliberately intend to arise conflict with police or representatives of other clubs or just
Their part among football fans isn’t that big. However their actions usually go public in
media. And they are proud of that. Besides even a not numerous group of radicals can in
a number of cases “fuel” an essential number of less radical ultra representatives and
provoke them into some criminal actions. According to the data provided by police there
are around 6000 – 8000 people in fan clubs of Ukrainian football teams (and this number
continues to grow). Thus the interest of ideologists of different organisations, parties,
movements to recruit people into their activity becomes obvious. Clubs whose fans-ultras
do not hide their racist viewpoints today are represented first of all by Dinamo (Kyiv)
(mobs Capitals, Kefirs Crew, Working balances, U’27, Kids of Capital, Ultra’ Fazione),
“Carpathians” (Lvyv) (Green Lions, West Boys, Werwolf, Lviv City Firm, the Pride),
"Dnipro" (Dnipropetrovsk) (River Sharks Firm, Barracuda's, Avangard Fight Club). As a
whole it very strange when one declares that he/she is not a racist since such a statement
from any fan or club automatically will lead to constant collisions with the
representatives of the above mentioned clubs.
“People come to mobs in order to fight. Maybe that is for the first time in their life.
A fight for us is a way to become stronger. Physically and mentally… majority of us
are representatives of Straight edge that is a movement for purification of blood,
will and intelligence. That is why you wouldn’t see us drinking in different corners
lying somewhere or speaking some drunken nonsense. You wouldn’t see and
wouldn’t hear us misbehaving or attacking somebody. We don’t want others to see
us as lowbrow or scam. We can say that we discriminate races in the direct
meaning of this word… We are not against other races we are only for continuation
of life of ours. Only for our children to live in a worthy world. This is our racism!”
Notification form the web-site of football fans “Veres” (Rivne).
Often web-sites of ultras have intolerant discussions concerning sexual minorities, Roms
and Jewish people. At the same time not always a fan-ultra being a racist will partake in
activities of Nazi-mobs or even in an organisation. Many of those interviewed are
interested only in running their own clubs without any ideology about “greatness of the
It is worth noting that the greatness of the white race itself becomes to great extent a
sticking point between Nazi-skins and Nationalists. Believing that “Ukraine is above all”
Nationalists have a much more tolerant position on many issues and do not encourage
Motive. Among motives which stimulate young people to engage in street intolerant
activities of this kind we should first of all single out:
Unfortunately it has become fashionable to be a skinhead in some circles of young
people. This is encouraged by the halo of secrecy, elusiveness, danger, power and
impunity, which are made up by some materials in media.
Because of the intention to meet some fashionable image young people sometimes prefer
quite expensive clothing or shoes of certain trade marks. Thus a widespread viewpoint
that a convinced skinhead is from a poor district or family does not often correspond
Some young people become gradually engaged into the extremist activity and are
influenced by the ideology of “elder fellows” despite the fact that at the beginning they
perceived all this a means to stand out in a crowd.
- intention to belong to a group;
After becoming a skin, shaving head, participating in gatherings, actions, and Internet-
discussions one can feel as a part of something bigger, and feel power of comrades who
would support one when he/she is in trouble. Besides participation in some mobs requires
certain level of self-discipline from the participants (for example some of them strictly
keep to health lifestyle and go in for sports). All this can help a boy answer the eternal
question “what to do” during the difficult teenage period. The leader or the group will
decide instead of him what to do and he will only have to execute their tasks, which is
much simpler than to take one’s own decisions and bear responsibility for them.
- reaction (revenge, offence)
In a number of cases people became mobs’ participants because of personal offence, wish
to revenge or personal misfortunes. Having become a victim of a crime committed by a
criminal of non-Slavic appearance and having no opportunity to arrange personal life one
can immediately mark whole national groups with the label “criminal” and “illegal” and
look for ways to strike back. Besides we have to admit that traditionally less would be
forgiven to a foreigner residing on the territory of Ukraine than to a representative of the
titular nations, who can allow him/herself bad behaviour and expressions. Classical “why
they stick to our girls?” which was an argument in Soviet times for fights between village
boys and students who came to reap harvest has been extrapolated to ethnic groups of
non-Slavic appearance. Some people expect representatives of ethnic groups to be
subordinated, fragile, unnoticed and are not ready to perceive them as people who can
have the same problems, disadvantages and advantages.
Admiration by history, attempt to comprehend the existence of oneself, country, nation
(often interest in the issues of the World War Two) together with availability (both
through Internet and at the book market) of a great number of materials (first of all
superficial and speculative) and first sources of classics on the issues of Nazism, Fascism,
often play a low-down trick with young people. Inspired by such available falsifications
as “Protocol of Zionist wise men” or misinterpretations of the tragedy of Holocoust,
works by Klimov, Hitler, Goebbels they gradually change themselves by deepening in the
study of such issues. Some time later a part from them look for accomplices,
interlocutors, forming ideological communities in Life Journal and on forums in the
Internet. Imagined social importance of their activity (based on 14 words of Nazi
skinheads of D.Lane) (in the city, country, Europe and in the whole world) allow many of
them to cope with inevitably existential crisis which every teenager or young man, who
enters the life of adults, faces in his life. Even if everything is bad in his life he has a
mission that is to protect whites from all others, to protect Ukraine and Europe from
Some actions that are undertaken by radical mobs are of spontaneous nature. A company
of young who spend time together can suddenly or by somebody’s prompt decide to
begin something. Without any final aim they can beat a foreigner or draw swastika on the
Jewish cemetery. By doing that they sometimes cannot even explain their motives and
refer to “everyone did and I did” or “I do not remember. I was drunk”. In this case we can
conclude that these people translate into life some of their convictions under the influence
of group violence or alcohol, when the control over actions reduces.
Internet represents most essential space for such moods. Internet is practically
uncontrolled and provides unlimited opportunities for communication. That is way it
appears to form favourable basis for formulating and developing even most radial ideas.
Anonymity gives the opportunity to place and use any materials, comment on any events
and actions and express oneself with any level of intolerance. It makes life journals, blogs
and forums some kind of “primordial soup” in which intolerant communities are born.
One can easily and quickly jump from one link to another, participate in several
communities simultaneously and exchange links. It creates favourable conditions for
quick growth of a number of people who visit Internet sources, where xenophobia
materials are placed. The popularity of such materials determines the number of those
recruited for the next activity.
We should admit that some people participating actively in Internet discussions never
participate in other types of activities. Anyway Internet remains very useful for those who
are ready to act and for those who already act because it is a great resource for looking
for accomplices, reaching consensus, exchanging information and placing accounts on
the results of the activity, receiving comments and research for new accomplices etc.
The second most important space for spreading such moods is represented by concerts,
football matches and different types of gathering. They include both specific ones (where
discussion of xenophobic and Nazi issues are the main motive for gathering) and alcohol
gatherings (where racism will be one of the topics for discussion).
Thus, it is possible to state that personal communication and Internet interaction
constitute the main instrument of recruiting people for street mobs’ activities.
Communication is based upon personal contacts (they can be fans of one and the same
football club, study together or be neighbours) or it is based on interaction in the Internet
(they visit the same forums or participate in similar Internet life journals). Such
communication enables young people to find like-minded people, spend time together,
exchange information and carry out street actions in future.
It is worth noting that most participants, when they become older and gain more
experience, give up extremism and put their army boots away. Possibly they remain
xenophobic deep in their souls. Though the majority of them inevitably become an
integral part of the society which does not tolerate radicalism in any its manifestations. At
the same time one of the interviewees said:
“....I do not need at all to shave my head and have tattoos. I know, who I am and
decide myself whom I should report about my persuasions. But it doesn’t mean that
I left them. Now it is simply another level...”.
This quotation illustrates brightly that part of yesterday's skinheads understand the danger
and lack of prospect of street extremist and afterwards involve in more latent forms of
activity which is connected to organizations.
As we have already mentioned this category does not prefer formal actions. Therefore
they do not want to participate in any gatherings and meetings constantly. Except for
actions and get-togethers, they can be found on mass meetings and marches. Generally it
is more convenient for them to meet at football matches, concerts or come to weekly get-
togethers. Some of these groups have leaders and a few “devoted” participants who form
the basis of the movement and decide on further activities. These people are engaged in
planning and arranging actions, get and distribute literature, form ideology of the group,
search for contacts and keep in touch with ideological colleagues in other cities and
countries. Often they observe some code of ethics providing the rules “not to drink, not to
smoke, not to take drugs, not to communicate with people of a different race, to go in for
sports, to be trained and to be prepared to attack”. Web-sites and Internet life journals
have plenty of detailed instructions on how to arrange and carry out actions against
people of other nationality and race and not to be punished. In particular it is
recommended to “buy forged mobile phones”, “to put on special clothing” and “to take a
torture instrument, a long knife or sharpened screwdriver or a small hammer” etc.
On the other hand we should note in most cases groups do not have permanent
composition and purpose for permanent existence. They arise up for spending time at a
particular moment. Participants easily meet and leave new acquaintances, friends,
girlfriends and casual people. Extremist actions towards people with other colour of skin
or other nationality can be carried out spontaneously, when someone from the members
of the group suggests going out to “beat blacks” or hangs out swastika flag on the football
stadium. A participant can always take such flag with him without any certain purpose.
At the same time such groups may become organised (for example, for the day of Hitler’s
birth or without any formal purpose) in order to carry out some actions and afterwards
they can be disintegrated till the next action.
2.2 Organised National-Socialism
Having certain political ambitions and professing ideology of National-Socialism, ultra-
right organisations intend to broaden the circle of their potential followers. That is why
apart from football fans they are as well interested in pupils and students as their
followers. By participating in various actions, protesting against oligarchs and
criminalisation of economy they come up with an opportunity to work with apolitical
segments such as workers, petty traders and clerks. For example, in that way their actions
aimed at protecting rights of the workers of the Hotel “Sport” in Kyiv became known to
the traders of some markets in Kharkiv.
One more category that can easily be recruited under the flag of Ukrainian National-
Socialism (and Nationalism as well) consists of people who are extremely concerned
about ideas of greatness of Ukrainian nations. This phenomenon was described in details
already in 1946 by Sartre, a French philosopher, in his essay “Reflections over the
European issue” (Sartre J.-P. Picture of Anti-Semite. – St.Petersbourg.: Azbuka-classica,
2006. - 256 p.). The intention to react is provoked by anomie, absence of consistent
political line in internal and external policy, and social and political shocks, which have
remained present for many years. One of the reactions implies declaring that Ukrainian
nation is an elite club which gives some alleged advantage over other nations or
approaching to nations that are traditionally considered as “great”. Therefore a nation is
regarded as a inalienable and natural feature typical for a person from his/her very birth
and which entitles him/her to access resources and opportunities in order to take
important decisions (regardless of his/her personal features and competence). In this
regard an achievement of one representative of the titular nation is considered as an
achievement of all its representatives and a crime committed by a representative of
national minorities is regarded as a crime of all its representatives.
We should also note one more paradoxical peculiarity which was exposed during the
interview. Development of organisations of that kind is directly liaised to the
democratization of society and its institutions (first of all of law enforcement agencies).
During deep political crisis, which Ukraine underwent in 2004, all ultra-right
representatives supported actively the Orange revolution (for different reasons including
the fear that if the other party had come to power it would have “tightened the screw”)
and they didn’t regret. The period of next changes in all realms of the civil life allowed
many organisations to come out from shadow:
“….during the last year action dedicated to the Memory Day of Victims of
Holodomor 1932-1933 our boys jagged an ear of the Memorial to Postyshev. And
there was “Berkut” nearby but they didn’t do anything. If that had taken place in
2003-2004 when Kuchma was in power we would probably have been beaten with
sticks and taken to the police. Hereby the weakness of state becomes evident. It is
weak not only regarding us but in all other realms”
from the interview with an activist of “Patriot of Ukraine”
The most serious organisation in this circle which has political ambitions and claims its
further political legalization is “Patriot of Ukraine”. Presence of branches in different
regions of Ukraine and resonant actions provide constant presence in media which in its
turn facilitates involvement of new members. At the same time we shouldn’t exaggerate
its dimensions. The estimated number of members of its biggest branch in Kharkiv given
by its own members is around 150 people.
Serious approach of “Patriot of Ukraine” towards organisational activity could be
explained by the fact that its leaders already have had experience in working in parties,
particularly in Social-Nationalist Party of Ukraine (SNPU).
Today “Patriot of Ukraine” is based upon ideas of Ukrainian Nationalism, study of
history and national self-consciousness. The Draft program of the organisation “Patriot of
Ukraine” as any election program of most political parties represents a quite utopian
complex of ideal concepts about a society in which everyone would like to live. “Support
of small and medium size enterprises”, “protection by all possible means of national
producers” , “financial provision of crediting village”, “introduction of fixed non-
speculative prices on agricultural production”, “money compensations to Ukrainian
people during learning Ukrainian language”, “prohibition of bringing any harmful
substances and transgenic products”, “free of charge medicine”, “propaganda and state
support of healthy lifestyle for citizens” and other promises without any clear action plan
can be seen in the election program of any political force. However there is a number of
differences allowing to separate this organisation out of the general political stream and
to analyse more thoroughly its activity there.
“The European Council is the creator of the human civilisation and culture. All
high, worth and best is connected with a White Person. Although now Europeans
are on the breach of biological extinction. A well planned war against the White
Race is waged on physical, mental, cultural and civilization levels. Ukraine has been
an advance-guard of the White Civilisation during all its history. Now it is time to
execute its main task that is to become not a shield but a sword of the White Europe
and to save the White Person from extinction, to create new ideals and to become
the new Sun which would shine to European Nations”.
Quotation from the draft program of the activity of “Patriot of Ukraine”
According to law ‘a not offensive phrase’ does not fuel national or race hostilities in any
way. However incorporated into the program of the organisation it discloses the true
goals of its members. Attentive reading of the draft program shows what Ukrainians
should expect in case such ideology is distributed:
“Ukrainian state maximally encourages individual development of every Ukrainian
person and his/her creative forces and also supports all forms of self-organisation
within professional groups and territorial communities. Alongside political parties,
groups, organisations and ideological unions are prohibited in Ukrainian State”
“Final gaol of the Ukrainian foreign policy is world domination”
“Introduction of death penalty for grave crimes as a method of cure of the society”
“Toughening of punishments for crimes against Nation and State”
Quotations from the draft program of “Patriot of Ukraine”
Even more information about true intentions of the organisation as provided in the article
by the organisation’s leader Andrey Bilesky “Ukrainian Social-Nationalism”. Among the
reflections on the nature and essence of Social-Nationalism in Ukraine and on the role
which his organisation should play therein the author draws several key principals of
activity. The second most important principle is based on ‘belonging to a certain race’.
“……..if Ukrainian mentality, culture and language are unique it is only due to the
fact that our Race nature is unique.….Accordingly the cure of our National
Organism should begin with Race purification of the Nation. ….. White people from
all around the world for the last crusade for its existence. Crusade against Semites-
It goes without saying that there is no picture of Hitler in the office of “Patriot of
Ukraine”. In the materials posted to the web-site its leaders indicate that the open
declaration of National-Socialism as ideological platform is a route to nowhere in today’s
Ukraine. However all this doesn’t mean that they do not share similar ideas. Ideological
brainwashing, brand spelling of the word nation in Ukrainian with the first capital letter
N (“Nація”), reflections on race and nation, military training of members, intention to be
legalized, open anti-Semitism, torchlight processions testify that the leadership of the
organisation and its members intend to repeat the Nazist triumph, which took place in
Germany in 1930-s, evidently considering the situation in Ukraine as a similar one and
having chosen the same methods for it. Activists of “Patriot of Ukraine” regularly
communicate through Internet with Russian Format-18. Many leaders of the White
movement in Russia, for example Tessaka, are regarded as heroes who suffer for the just
cause. They believe that their partner in Ukraine is UNTP - Ukrainian National-Labour
It is important to note that we should not underestimate the seriousness of intentions of
the leaders of this organization despite the fact that they seem utopian in the modern
world. “Patriot of Ukraine” is a real “organization” since it has a clear hierarchy, action
plan, and methods of work with young people and media. Today “Patriot of Ukraine”
conducts informative work, recruiting, brainwashing of its members, physical training,
and instructs how to handle weapons. By having registered almost all members as
members of Kharkiv association “Enlightenment”, organization got the opportunity to
conduct work with young people legally in educational establishments.
It is sad to conclude that today “Patriot of Ukraine” is one of some organizations that is
really engaged in development of young people. For many it gives an excellent
possibility to play a game like Soviet “Summer lightning”. All active members wear
military uniform with soldiery boots. There are stripes sewn to their jackets with the
image of trident stylized as swastika. It is interesting to mention that all members of
Patriot are at the same time members of Ukrainian Society of Assistance to Armed Forces
and Fleet, of Register Ukrainian Cossacks, and of Slabojanske Cossack Army. The
structure of the organization reminds of the Cossacks army. There are petty officers and
foremen in the organization. Members have healthy lifestyle, alcohol is forbidden and
one can be expelled because of taking drugs. Several times per month young people who
are members of the organization go in the countryside and take part in so called
“trainings”. “Trainings” include physical training, quick-march and ideological
conversations. It is fascinating for young people, it gives them some self-confidence,
support of comrades, organization and naturally attracts young people. Thus, it should be
noted that the organization is funded by voluntarily donations. For example, in Kharkiv
activists of the organization go out to the tank near the metro station on Fridays with
boxes on which it is written „Support of Ukrainian State”. All people concerned put
money in those boxes. Averagely the sum makes about 30-40 hryvnas.
All experience gained at trainings is applied during regularly conducted actions. Apart
from the direct gaols and resonance such actions help verify new members and enhance
teambuilding capacities among activists. Actions are conducted constantly and include
the real actions, but not only announced to the media events. A considerable part of
actions have intolerant nature and include pickets of dormitories, anti-migration
meetings, picketing of Ministry for education and science demanding to cancel the
“Tolerance” course in schools and torchlight processions. We would like to note that the
leaders of “Patriot of Ukraine” tend expressly to operate within the legal frameworks.
There are even lawyers in the organisation who deal with registering requests for
conducting marches, mass meetings, and actions. In the interview activists proudly
specified, that there were cases when “Patriot of Ukraine” appealed against the decision
of municipal authorities to prohibit conducting mass actions and when their complaints
At the same time the organization gradually transfers into an organisation of the direct
action. ” “Patriot of Ukraine” casting aside disorderly street violence that is skin mobs as
useless and bringing no harm to the “cause”. On the other hand “Patriot of Ukraine”
patrols streets near student dormitories, allegedly in order to prevent foreigners from
committing crimes. In reality it is a part of large strategy on intimidation of foreigners
and establishment of unendurable terms of stay for them in Ukraine in order to make
them leave the country. A case of cooperating with police is known as well. Fighters
from “Patriot of Ukraine” detained several Vietnamese people who stayed half legally
and passed them to the Department of Ministry of Interior of Ukraine in Kharkiv region.
The fact that they had no rights to enter the territory where these people lived and even
more so to detain them is kept silent for some reason. Police pays no attention to it.
Besides nobody knows what happened next to the detainees and whether they really were
All the activity of “Patriot of Ukraine” has allegedly social orientation and cannot be
examined separately from its ideology. At the same time recruited people and members
become more and more intolerant. The organization accepts and encourages open
statements against national minorities, especially Jewish people, Africans and
Caucasians. The leaders of the organization make difference between “normal people”
and “yids”. During ideological trainings it is constantly underlined that Ukraine is not
headed by representative of the Ukrainian ethnic group.
The organization uses the following main channels of recruiting new members:
• Meetings in education establishments. Old members of the organisation
have to arrange regular meetings with students in education
establishments. They come to lecture rooms and tell young people about
their organization They say that they wear uniform, they are taught hand-
to-hand fight, they are trained to handle cold and firearms. They also tell
young people about their “missions”. Conduct of meetings in education
establishments is accorded through agreements or is legally permitted. For
example, in Kharkiv it is done through the organisation “Enlightment”,
status and reputation of which allow conducting such measures in
• Web-site of the organization. Organization has a professionally designed
web-site which is regularly updated. The web-site includes all the
information about “Patriot of Ukraine”, its aims, actions, contact telephone
numbers and e-mail. The web-site as well contains news section, in which
events that take place in Ukraine and in the world are highlighted (through
the prism of threat to “the nation” and to “a white person”), a library,
photo and video materials, and a forum.
• Actions. Organization constantly plans and conducts actions. Some of
them have scandalous and provocative character including torchlight
processions, pickets (they draw mostly the attention of media), and some
of them have social nature, for example activists of Patriot of Ukraine help
protect rights of workers of enterprises which are liquidated, or clean
forests from garbage, and look after graves of UPA warriors. A possibility
to show one’s worth in that way attracts young people.
“Around two years ago I saw an action. That was a mass meeting at the square; I
walked up and asked what was happening. Before that I was a member of PORA,
participated in the Orange Revolution but some time later I got disappointed and
joined Patriot. It is a more radical and more active organization. I participated
actively in many actions”
from the interview with an activist of “Patriot of Ukraine”
• Musical gatherings or festivals. It is not a new but still working idea to
use musical passions of young people as a channel of recruiting new
members. In such cities as Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odesa there are clubs which are
interested in providing their stages for radical music groups and even
conduct festivals of such music. At first people are attracted by music,
then by clothing, then by joint actions and then by ideas.
“I went in for sports and listened to music before Patriot, but after joining the
organization I understood that it was really what I had been looking for ....
movement of non-professional musicians – radicals. We borrow it from Scotland
and England, where it developed long ago. They play rock in style of RAC (Rock
Against Communism). The main idea of this music is anticommunism and
intolerance. National Social Black Metal, in general. By playing such music, I
execute the same mission as boys who participate in actions and mass meetings. But
we are Ukrainians above all and must not forget about it. Therefore try to use
national musical instruments such as domras, trembiti, and dulcimers. If our music
helps to realize our ethnic belonging, it is already good. A person should be proud of
being a Ukrainian. 2-3 times per year Nationalist organizations conduct musical
festivals «Navya night», mainly in Odesa, Donetsk, and Kharkiv”.
from the interview with an activist of “Patriot of Ukraine”
• Football matches. As some other organisations Patriot of Ukraine
conduct propaganda and recruit young people from among football
club fans. Mostly it includes distribution of leaflets and conversations
on the tribunes and in the sectors of ultras.
• Personal contact. At the ideological training conducted once per
week, all activists are reminded of the necessity to popularize
constantly Nazi ideas, tell about organizations, attract new participants
from their work, studies, and everyday life.
„I found out about the existence of such an organization soon after it was
established from my friends from the institute. I became interested in reading
Nationalist literature, I read I.Franko, T. Shevchenko, and L. Ukrainka. It is
interesting that my parents do not speak Ukrainian in day-to-day life at all and are
not interested in that issue. Though neither they have anything against it, nor they
from the interview with an activist of “Patriot of Ukraine”
The novices are interviewed. During the interviews they are asked about their viewpoints,
physical condition. Their propensity to alcohol and drugs is estimated. Drug abuse is an
obstacle to join the organization; moreover organization severely punishes its members
for drunkenness up to the expulsion from the membership. One of the interviewees cited
the following example. There was a joint action with another Nationalist organisation
when all activists of that organisation after several hours of picketing simply began to
drink beer and behave like hooligans. As a result activists of “Patriot of Ukraine” were
dissatisfied with that. Recruited young people are “brainwashed” during 3 months,
watched closely, and are given the opportunity to show themselves. Only afterwards they
are administered the oath.
UNTP (Ukrainian National-Labour Party) is another organisation close to the ideology
and partners of “Patriot of Ukraine”. Residents of Kyiv often run into its symbols and
leaflets which are pasted in metro and other public places. Despite a resonant title “party”
it is not a formal organization and is not registered by the Ministry of Justice. The
organisation was established in 2005. The leaders of the party profess ideology of
National-Socialism which could be seen from their statements and interviews.
Statute and program of the organization available at the web-site are too general and
include thesis traditional for any statute documents. Among them there is a principle of
non-profitability. It pursues universal goals such as facilitating “growth of national-
patriotic consciousness among Ukrainian young and senior people”, “social and political
activity of Ukrainian people”, “protection of rights and interests of Ukrainian nation” and
“healthy lifestyle”. In order to achieve all these goals it is foreseen to conduct “ruthless
struggle against criminality, introduce death penalty and issue just punishment to the
‘parasites’, first of all to price speculators and all those who rob people.....all non-
labour oligarchic incomes and stolen money must be confiscated”. It is envisaged that
strict measures and tough national policy will lead to execution of the following demands
“proper salaries for workers and their increase depending on the incomes of enterprises;
creation and development of middle class through state support of small and medium size
enterprises; reforms in villages aimed at its revival in line with interests of peasants; and
comprehensive support of pensioners”.
Ideologists of UNTP see the main precondition of success in changing national policy of
the state according to which “only a person of Ukrainian or Ukrainian family origin may
be considered a Ukrainian citizen” and “only Ukrainian citizens may occupy state
posts”. These ideas become more disclosed at interviews and during propaganda. In
reality they come to banal “Ukraine is for Ukrainians”.
Interviews with the UNTP leaders, analysis of materials placed on their web-site and of
Life Journal manifest that the ideology of the organisation is based on Anti-Semitism and
race intolerance. For example, national labour wing representatives believe that all
problems are caused by the “Zionist occupation” which led to “hegemony of
international capital” and “destructive impact of hostile states”. Among other problems
that are important for Ukraine they note “extinction of people, degradation, poverty,
immigration and related thereto criminality and blood mixture” etc. They believe that
those problems could be neutralized through “struggle against System and problems, a
new generation of politicians and leaders who will be nationally oriented and who will
have strong will”.
As supporters of socialism and followers of ideas of Sciborskiy, Hitler and Mussolini,
leaders of UNTP believe that one should liquidate usury (financial operations’ interests);
liquidate “non-labour incomes” (everybody gets only what he had earned through direct
labour); introduce land reform and nationalization (prohibition of land market)”.
Similarly to National-Socialists of 30-ss of the 20th century they are against oligarchs,
demand nationalization of capitals, and insist on supporting small and middle size
enterprises. According to the UNTP ideology state should be governed by a strong leader
with extraordinary numerous powers.
Migrants are those silent objects accused of most misfortunes. Moreover the leaders of
UNTP are not interested whether these are legal or illegal migrants, refugees or citizens
of Ukraine with another colour of skin. A priori they are against all types of migration to
Ukraine “letting” foreigners be on territory of Ukraine only as specialists or tourists.
However, real actions show that there are members among ordinary UNTP participants
who stand on more radical positions and believe that Ukraine must be “white”.
“Ukraine is for Ukrainians. Representatives of other white people can be citizens
but their quota for state posts cannot exceed the quota of Ukraine population, which
definitely would not be large”
from the interview with one of the leaders of UNTP
The information posted to the web-site and interviews with the leaders of the
organization are aimed at ensuring that the organization has got all-Ukrainian spread and
has active branches in all cities of Ukraine. However it is more an attempt to pass the
desirable for reality. Even within the right circles UNTP is perceived as a Kyiv
organization, whose activity is basically concentrated in the capital.
As one of their resources for recruiting the leaders of UNTP chose “uniting ideology”.
They believe that it would help unite activists from both Western and Eastern Ukraine.
For this reason they tolerate the language issue, they are against pedalling Ukrainian
language, They Ukrainian language must be introduced but it must be done gradually.
UNTP divides its supporters into three groups:
activists who do not hide their viewpoints (several tens of people);
activists who do not parade their viewpoints (according to the organization
there are around 1000 – 1200 such activists in Ukraine, however it is an
like-minded people (they sympathize the ideology but not take any active
actions). Even for UNTP it is difficult to estimate the number of members of this
group. There are lots of people who could be interested in the ideas of mono-
ethnic authority and nationalization of wealth of Ukraine).
UNTP works intensively through Internet. It has its own web-site which is updated
regularly and Life journal with ideological video materials being posted thereto. This
organization took part in preparation and conducting of several actions which were
widely covered by media including marches and pickets. We should mention that
currently UNTP is actively looking for partners and target audience for their activity. For
this reason they conduct active propagandist work among Nazi-skins and schoolboys who
sympathise with skins and cooperate with trade unions and political associations. They
work together with partner organizations. Among them the biggest partner is “Patriot of
Ukraine” close to its spirit and ideology. All-Ukrainian organisation “Freedom” is
another partner of UNTP, with which they carry out joint actions in regions. They also
consider UNA-UNSO as a partner, because they meet each other at actions devoted to the
memorable dates of UPA, Galician Division and on football tribunes. However UNA-
UNSO denies cooperation between those organisations and considers such statements as
aimed at discrediting their organization. UNTP keeps in touch with foreign National-
Patriotic organizations from Poland, Russia, and Serbia.
The organization has a clear-cut position relating to the issues of religious tolerance. So
leaders tolerate all types of religion, Christian and Slavonic religions, since they consider
them to be religions of “whites”. They are highly intolerant towards Islam and Judaism in
Ukraine. In their opinion these religions of “non-whites” have suprastate nature and can
subordinate the ideas of Ukrainian nationalism to religious ideas.
Social status of participants of the organization is quite different. Essential part of active
members consists of young people, particularly students. At first their parents do not
accept such admiration but gradually their attitude transfers towards tolerance and even
A number of people (who are more than 30 years old) due to being overloaded with
work, personal problems and plans do not participate in the activities. However they
share these ideas and support party by paying fees. They include both office workers and
small size businessmen, and more often were skinheads in past and are old friends of the
leaders of organisation.
UNTP carries out recruiting by several methods. The most spread and effective method to
recruit is to use personal contact. It is facilitated by the intention of many members of
the organisation to communicate, as well as by the possibility to meet at places of “right”
gatherings and communicate trough Internet-forums. The leaders of the organization
marked in the interview that even negative highlighting of their activity in media causes
the splash of activeness on their web-site and encourages recruiting. In addition, personal
contact is an instrument for verification of a potential member who is firstly examined
and only then accepted to the organization.
We can single out two schemes of involvement to such activity:
- through subculture (when it goes from external to internal admiration i.e. from the
wish to follow, to be notable and extraordinary, to be dangerous, to be like members of
your group and to act as they act, towards ideology, to the desire to be not only a part of a
small group but to intend to be a part of great power and to change the situation, the wish
to step aside from street fights, aggression, and understanding of their criminal danger
and nonsense for a member personally).
- avoiding subculture (exclusively ideological approach based on reading literature,
studying theories and large volume of related information, growth of individual national
consciousness, exaggeration of the national idea). It allows recruiting intellectuals who
share the ideas of intolerance but are frightened off by aggressive and based on violence
Internet is regarded as a key organ of agitation by means of the posted programs,
materials and possibility to communicate through forum.
Discipline in the organization is rather strict. A member must share the ideology; execute
tasks provided by the organization; keep to healthy way of life and go in for sports.
Similarly to “Patriot of Ukraine” it is prohibited for UNTP members to show up drunk in
public or take drugs. If one fails to adhere to these rules, he/she will be expelled from the
organisation. A voluntarily walkout from the organisation is possible and nobody would
Strained relationship with law enforcement agencies implies that police regularly
reminds members of the organisation that they are being “controlled”. More often it
includes illegal detention of the members under far-fetched grounds for three days with a
view to intimidation. The interviewees know that the police made up “a list of
skinheads”. They take it rather sceptically since it includes many random people
(including representatives of Antifa) and is as a whole a rather confusing list. They admit
that police is not interested in working with organizations seriously. And measures are
taken by police for accountability only.
At the same time they mention that the methods applied to the right became a bit softer.
And there is no illegal use of force and tortures there anymore. However probably it is
due to the general humanization of police activities.
The leaders of UNTP set the followings tasks for the future:
struggle for party status (registration, expansion membership, participation in
optional participation in other movements;
accession to power (at first in districts);
reaching wide masses of population through more active propagandist work and
search for funding first of all from small and middle size enterprises.
In general, we should admit that currently there are not many organisations, ideology of
which contains provisions based on racism and xenophobia openly in Ukraine. Among
them we can single out another one that is ND “RID” (national action “RID”). Its leaders
consider themselves to be nationalists and openly declare their antidemocratic position.
Their statute provisions include mass armament of citizens, introduction for all non-
Ukrainians status of temporal residence on the territory of the country, apartheid and
prohibition of marriages between representatives of different races. The organisation
positions itself as a national movement pursuing the goals of waging information war,
propaganda of ideas of nationalism, historical researches, and carrying out actions. The
web-site of the organization contains a number of materials of Anti-Semitic and Anti-
Immigration orientation; articles demonstrating intolerance towards other nationalities
and “Jehovas Witnesses”. ND RID is a partner of Patriot of Ukraine and UNTP, they
jointly participated in the actions “Foreigners, go away” and in march in the memory of
UPA in Kyiv in November 2008 (both actions ended up in collisions with Antifa and
At the same time it is worth noting that similar organizations more often are represented
by only local groups and cells which often even do not lose their time to be registered.
We are informed about temporal activities of such local organizations in cities of
Donetsk, Kyiv, Kharkiv and Lviv. Their activity and forms of work mostly include
meetings, discussions and reading literature; rarer they paste leaflets, draw graffiti and
agitate young people. In most cases they are quickly disintegrated. Some of them may
continue to exist transferring into a local cell of UNTP or “Patriot of Ukraine”. For this
reason it is an extremely difficult task to estimate the number of Ukrainians being
involved into such organisations.
«..... The Organisation split several times. When I came there were around 30-40
people there, those, who had participated in it before said that there had been more
members there. After another split there were only 10 people left and afterwards
only three of us assembled. It was told to everyone that organization existed on
membership fees. We paid 50 copecks weekly. For reading a book we paid 2 - 5
hryvnas. And if someone from comrades found new job with the assistance of the
organization, 5% from the salary was paid to the organization. A newspaper was
published annually and we had leaflets.
In my opinion, this organization in general was established by the intelligence
service in order to control Nazi-moods among young people, and that is why its
number never exceeded 50 people. There was a possibility to propagandize ideas,
but nobody was engaged in it. It was difficult for the leader to keep people together.
People wanted to operate, but nothing was done, that is why they left.
(from an interview with one of activists of National-Socialist organization. Donetsk)
Factors which facilitate involvement in the activity of National-Patriotic organizations
resemble factors which stimulate recruiting in mob’s activity:
Personal reasons. People are involved because of offence or desire to take
Clear Anticommunist, Anti-Soviet persuasions. Hatred to all “Soviet”.
Wish to be a part of a certain circle of acquaintances (at school, in district). To
spend time with them, to listen to music and to be in a group. Desire to keep to
Wish to protest, desire, to do something, to change something, to achieve
something – self actualization.
Wish to have power and to govern, possibility to determine one’s or
Non-acceptance of people with other colour of skin existing in family, Anti-
However among organizations which take part in regular activities, we can as well single
out other motives:
Sense of social injustice, disappointment in the social policy of the state, his/her
status in social structure, tough position of “Ukrainians”
Strong and focused on the study of history (Ukraine, Third Reich) cognitive
“... at school I was fascinated by history. Then searched for skinheads. Found. I was
disappointed. As if it was not my company and I felt a stranger there. Then entered
an organization, studied its ideology, carried out activity of the party, understood
that I cannot limit myself to it and my interests do not meet the ideology. In two
years I left the organization. Left and kept some ideas and now peacefully live in
(from the interview with one of the activists of National-Socialist organization.
Organizations differ from mobs mostly because of political ambitions of their leaders,
which result in:
- masking National-socialist, Nazi, and racist rhetoric in the programs, statutes and other
position papers in order to get political support, funding and possibilities of legalization;
- regular activity, including gatherings, organizational work, study of documents,
literature, planning, actions, ideological and physical training;
- propagandist activity (both in the Internet and on streets, in educational establishments,
and on stadiums).
On the one hand it excludes the participation of most radical and uncontrolled elements
(or limits their activity in a certain way), and on the other hand it allows to attract and use
people, whose views are radical to different extents but who avoid criminality and
violence. We would like to note that due to this fact these organisations become
extremely dangerous in spreading xenophobia and racism in Ukraine. Their ideology is
hidden under the abstract formulations like “development of national self-consciousness”,
“mental and physical development of youth”. Their activity is mostly based within the
legal field, it is planned and contains socially attractive elements, although has alike goals
with street skin-mobs. In addition, National-Socialist and National-Patriotic organizations
choose as “icons” symbols and forms similar to those of Nationalist movement. They
honour “the memory of UPA”, admire SS Galician Division and its activists. It
sometimes makes them similar to the general circle of right movement in Ukraine and
allows to expect recruiting of Nationalist young people and next legalization within the
framework of Nationalist movements, associations as it happened with one of factions of
the former Social-National Party of Ukraine (SNPU) which was the base for All-
Ukrainian organisation “Freedom” and “Patriot of Ukraine”. Moreover statements of
their leaders manifest that there are ideas of such reanimation there:
“Organisation “Patriot of Ukraine” that is built on the principle “party-army”
strategically aims at establishing powerful All-Ukrainian Social-Nationalist
Movement in which new Social-Nationalist Party will occupy a worthy place
together with armed detachments of “Patriot of Ukraine” and Social-Nationalist
From the text of declaration of the organization “Patriot of Ukraine” on severance of
relations between “Patriot of Ukraine” and All-Ukrainian Organisation “Freedom”
(on December, 17, 2007).
We should note that certain fears are caused by involving modern Ukrainian Cossacks in
everyday activity of radical organizations. For example, the march in honour to OUN-
UPA which took place in Kyiv on 18 October 2008 was organized by “Patriot of
Ukraine”, UNTP, civil organisation “Alternative”, National Action “RID”, civil
organisation “Sich”, Typical Cossacks and, Sainted Andrievskiy Cossacks Kuren.
According to some data “Patriot of Ukraine” cooperates closely with the Cossacks during
conducting physical trainings and some of their members are Cossacks.
Unfortunately we can come to a conclusion that the main factor which restrains growth
and distribution of similar organizations in Ukraine today mostly does not depend on the
efforts of law enforcement agencies or civil society, but it is conditioned by the absence
of funding which does not allow to conduct large-scale propagandist work.
2.3 Ukrainian Nationalism
We cannot deny that Ukrainian Nationalism played the leading role in many events
which determined history of Ukraine at the end of the twentieth and beginning of the
twenty first centauries. Activists of Nationalism represented a leading and driving force
in many crucial for the country actions during 1991 - 2004. Nationalist ideas are the most
discussed issues during any elections, either parliamentary or presidential. What has
mainly determined relationship between Ukraine and Russia, Western and Eastern
Ukraine for twenty years is ideas and actions of Nationalist organizations, deputies, and
movements, which by chance or purposely become an object for many speculations or a
target for criticism and labels. Having made many mistakes, having taken emotional
actions and having issued emotional statements, through betrayals and splits Ukrainian
Nationalism today becomes more and more politicized, which inevitably leads to a more
balanced position and taking precautions in choosing partners and planning activities.
At the same moment we would exaggerate it greatly if we said that there was a unique
idea concerning attitude towards people of a different nationality, religion, race among
Ukrainian nationalists. Diversity of organizations with similar ideology, names, creates a
very complicated situation in which it is quite easy to mask racism and xenophobia under
struggling for the revival of the Ukrainian state. The most serious organizations
understand the probable consequences may on the one hand lead to growing racism and
xenophobia in the country as a whole and spoil the image of nationalism in particular on
the other hand. That is why such organisations try to dissociate themselves from radical
movements. For example on 22 January 2008 at the Congress of Nationalist parties and
movements UNA-UNSO, All-Ukrainian organisation "Freedom", "Trizub”, "Ukrainian
party", "National alliance", OUN (UPA), OUN (UPA), "Youth nationalistic congress"
and "Patriot is a defender of motherland" declared their cooperation. At the same instant
Ukrainian National-Labour Party and "Patriot of Ukraine" were not invited to participate
"These are very suspicious organizations, obviously, funded by those interested in
depicting Ukrainian Nationalism as a savage image. Such organisations have no
reputation to be equal participants of the union"
Chairman of the Kyiv unit of UNA-UNSO Ihor Mazur.
It as well explains clear position of some Nationalist organizations which try to move
away from any accusations of racism and xenophobia and from partnership with
organizations whose ideology includes such viewpoints.
"We address members of OUN who simultaneously participate in the activities of
"Patriot of Ukraine", skinhead groups, and other groups carrying out provoking
extremist actions. We demand to decide the following issue during the nearest
month: if one is an OUN member, he/she must cease cooperating with such
organizations, associations and groups. Otherwise upon the decision of Board, such
persons will have to leave the membership of OUN. The board of Ukrainian
Nationalists insists on its strong decision to clean the organization from ideologically
strange people and provocateurs up to liquidation of certain emerging organizations
that oppose implementation of Board’s”
Resolution of the Board Ukrainian Nationalists (PUN) on political issues.
Unfortunately, for many the address of PUN remained just an address, but not guidance
for action. We can just take a look at the forums of most Nationalist organizations and we
will see numerous discussions of Anti-Semitic nature, appeals to drive out foreigners
from Ukraine and discussions of actions of “Patriot of Ukraine”. The analysis showed
that the Internet-sources and the web-sites of Nationalist organizations contain links to
portals and web-sites that include plenty of xenophobic materials. And vice versa
National-Socialist and Nazi web-sites place links to Nationalist organizations as their
partners. It proves one more time that even if leaders of these organizations understand
that racism and xenophobia should not be present in the modern state, they do not take
enough efforts to ensure tolerance towards people of a different race or nationality.
All-Ukrainian Organisation “Freedom” is another “dangerous” organisation because its
ideology provides advantage of titular nations over other nations in Ukrainian society. It
was established in 2004. Due to this party’s prehistory its leaders have close relation to
the leadership of Patriot of Ukraine, UNTP and an odious person of the Ukrainian Nazi-
movement Oles Vakhniy. Once they meant to do political careers in Social-Nationalist
Party of Ukraine (SNPU). Afterwards part of the backbone of this party refused to
demonstrate radical ideas, particularly the advantage of Ukrainian nations over others.
Under the direction of Oleh Tyagnibok they decided to follow political way separately.
Unfortunately it does not mean that they gave up those ideas within the party. In 2004
Tyagnibok got into a scandal because his Anti-Semitic statement reached the TV
The web-site of the All-Ukrainian organisation “Patriot of Ukraine” does not encompass
materials on fuelling national hostility and race hatred. However it contains quite enough
information on disproportion of Ukrainian representatives in the authorities. Visitors of
forums appear to be more frank. The hottest topic is “What to do with foreigners?”. There
are lots of Anti-Semitic moods in the discussions. At the same time, the web-site “Patriot
of Ukraine” Lugansk branch contains articles in which ideas about prohibition of
marriages between representatives of different races and any migration to Ukraine are
It should be noted that after some splits and rearrangements two different UNA-UNSO
organizations were formed in Ukraine. The first one (the representatives of which are
Shukhevich, Voronov, Zaychenko, and Mazur) cooperates closely with “Trizub”. It
emphasizes absence of racism and xenophobia in its position papers, ideology and
activity. It assumes that every habitant of the country who cares about its future can be
considered Ukrainian, regardless of nationality. The leaders of this organization have
good relationship with Chechens, Georgians against whom they fought in local conflicts.
However they fear distribution of Islam in the country.
Today their activity is directed first of all at young people, in particular football fans,
people interested in country’s history and culture, former activists of PORA. That is not
actually huge space for actions. To some extent we may conclude that Nationalist, Social-
Nationalist organizations and skin and hooligan mobs often have to compete in order to
attract new potential candidates, entering into an ideological struggle.
“We believe that there are lots of normal people among fascists, anti-fascists, and
football fans. Maximalism will pass some day. For this reason, we want to involve
them into Nationalism. Our task is to prove that it is cooler to be a Nationalist than
to be a Fascist”
from the interview with one of UNA-UNSO leaders (Shukhevich)
At the same time, the leaders of this organization favour incorporation of a special
section “nationality” into passports and tough migration regime in Ukraine. UNA-UNSO
regards “Freedom” and “Ukrainian Party” as potential partners and its leaders flourish the
idea of creating wide influential right political front in Ukraine. However at this moment
the organisation does not see such a possibility.
The other UNA-UNSO (represented by Tima, Kovalenko, Bobrovich, Dolzhenko)
expresses much more radical positions which are substantially more close to the ideology
of National-Socialism in the interpretation of UNTP and “Patriot of Ukraine”. For
example it is suggested in the program “to resolve the problem of migration by its
complete liquidation”. It is as well suggested “to ensure the right to permanent
residence only to foreigners of Ukrainian origin who can prove it and meet
Ukrainian legislation”. The web-site of this UNA-UNSO contains intolerant materials
on refugees and asylum seekers who come to Ukraine, criticism of draft laws aimed at
defending their rights, and also sharp criticism of the project to introduce a course
‘Tolerence” at schools.
“The race policy has two aspects. First it includes the understanding of the fact that
the White race is now in catastrophic stand and a systematic war on elimination is
conducted against it. As Ukrainian nation is its integral part, the future of race is
also its future. There is no way to hope that at the time when all Europe will transfer
into a Semite-negro-mongoloid substrate our future would be different. Secondly,
since Ukrainian nation is an assimilating nation we must determine, who can be
assimilated, and who cannot. Obviously, we have to assimilate only representatives
of the White race”.
from the materials from the UNA-UNSO web-site (Tima, Kovalenko, Bobrovich,
“Patriot of Ukraine” is a partner of this UNA-UNSO which is an important fact
determining this organization’s activity. The statement of “Patriot of Ukraine” about the
rapture of relations with All-Ukrainian organisation „Freedom” is placed on their web-
For this reason the information stating that “marching of patriots united in its ranks
activists of National-Labour Party, UNA-UNSO, Kharkiv “Patriot of Ukraine”,
skinheads, football hooligans, followers of Hetman Pavlo Skoropadskiy, supporters of
III Hetmanat,, Movement against illegal migration, delegations of right forces form
regions” was posted to the right radical web-sites.
Another organization which has status of a party but at the same time openly declares its
adherence to some aspects of National-Socialism is the party “SPAS” that is Social-
Patriotic Assembly of Slavs. The party is headed by Nationalist activists, who had been
members of UNA-UNSO and SNPU before and today claim “establishment of the Slavs’
right to be the owners of their land, natural resources and means of production,
establishment of Slavonic state management system based on Socialism”. Setting aside
traditional for every party program declarations about peoples’ welfare and statehood we
shall pay our attention to the party’s Manifest posted to the web-site. Being one of
position papers of the party the Manifest contains the following ideas. “Authority and
large capital in Ukraine are presented by Non-Slavs. Slavs are slaves on their own
land today”. In the manifest “SPAS” calls for “national-liberation fight and proclaims
returning of Slavs to power in Ukraine and other Slavonic states”.
It should be noted that position papers are influenced essentially by the ideology of
SNPU and the idea of advantage of white race over others, which are transformed into the
idea of “Slavic brotherhood”. The Manifest of “SPAS” calls for “uniting all Slavs in
the ranks of “SPAS” and under the flag of National–Liberation struggle. Slavonic
brothers in Ukraine (Russians, Belarussions, Bulgarians etc.) to help Ukrainians in
building the state and creating real, just, and strong Slavonic state”.
Partners of the organization include Ukrainian National-Socialist portal, “People’s
Reviewer”, and right radical organizations from Austria, Czech Republic and Germany.
Materials placed on the web-site and some of actions conducted by the activists of the
party are far more radical. The web-site of the party contains Anti-Semitic articles and
notes; materials about inferiority of people of other than white race; materials devoted to
criticising tolerance, and also demonizing migration to Ukraine. Publications traditionally
end with the slogan “Ukraine is for Ukrainians!”. It is naturally and logically interrelated
with anti-American rhetoric and opposing to Euro-integration of Ukraine. The purpose of
patriots from “SPAS” is to integrate Ukraine into the “unit of brotherly Slavonic states”.
Regarding the party’s activity we should mark that it has scandalous and sporadic nature
and it is conducted in a way to be known to media. For example, the activists of SPAS
picketed the OSCE embassy, opposed antiracist marching in Kyiv, pelt the notorious
black pastor with bananas, demanded replacement of the non-Slavic mayor of the town
in Enerhodar (Zaporizka region), picketed different institutions and press-conferences
opposing to NATO and favouring Russia’s position in the Georgia –Abkhaz conflict.
During this conflict a number of activists even visited the war zone with a view to
supporting “Brothers-Slavs” in “their struggle against the USA and Georgia”.
The recruiting activity of the party is not paraded, however it is known that its leaders
meet young people in Higher education establishments, conduct propagandist work
during actions. Like many Nationalist movements in Ukraine and Russia “SPAS” works
with the radical young people and even made an attempt to create its battle wing
3. Conclusions and recommendations
Thus, we can ascertain that the following situation in the right movement in Ukraine was
established. Most extremist groups are poorly organized and uncoordinated. The more
claims for political future an organization has the more thoroughly its leaders try to avoid
extremism both in public statements and in actions with a view to operating within legal
frameworks. At the same time given general intolerance of Ukrainian society towards
representatives of a different race or nationality, such organizations pose a serious threat.
They conduct work aimed at recruiting new members, distribute ideology and literature
containing racist statements and carry out actions in big cities.
According to the research the most radical and violence-inclined groups are so called
“mobs”. These are small groups of young people that emerge sporadically and consist
usually of football clubs fans. Composition of these groups is rather democratic and
heterogeneous. They can include teenagers and students, both young people from
workings districts and representatives “golden youth”. Implementing the ideology of the
Third Reich and modern representatives of Nazi Skin Culture, these groups plan and
carry out actions in order to intimidate representatives of other races and nationalities
(including attacks), exchange experience in the Internet, oppose Anti-Fascists. Prevention
measures taken in relation to the representatives of these groups are rather poor, because
police opt for reacting to what has already happened and what has already been done by
these groups (thus avoiding qualification of their actions as rousing race hatred). From
time to time (for example, on the eve of Hitler’s birthday), most “staunch activists” are
detained under far-fetched grounds in order to isolate them from society. However these
actions are ineffective. Unfortunately there is no information on what actions
Prosecutor’s office and Security Service of Ukraine take there.
Taking into account that this subculture spread extremely quickly in Russia and that we
are going to host Football Championship in 2012 a more principle position of police and
prosecutor’s office is today required in order to prevent, identify and investigate hate
crimes and more energetic participation of civil society in this sphere is needed as well.
According to the research today there are transitional forms of extremism which trend to
transfer from street violence to gradual organization in Ukraine, with main ideological
motives being conserved. That is the biggest challenge for civil society for the next
several years. The border between activity of half legal civil National-Socialist
organizations and some organizations, which set off themselves to less radical Nationalist
movement, becomes transparent given legal uncertainty regarding everything related to
hate crimes, propaganda of racial intolerance and rousing international hostility. Similar
national symbols used by both groups (the Cossacks, myth about the Aryan origin of
Ukrainians, SS Galician Division, veterans of OUN-UPA) make ordinary people think of
that all these organizations share common ideas and cooperate closely. At the same time
the outlined global trends including world financial crisis, growth of migration together
with absence of clear state policy in the sphere of development of tolerance in the society
are likely to cause substantial growth of radical intolerant moods in society and
accordingly increase the number of active members of the above mentioned
There are several ideological tendencies in modern Ukrainian Nationalism. Unfortunately
a number of them incorporate grounds for growth of racism and xenophobia. For this
reason state institutions (first of all Ministry of Education and Science and Ministry of
Interior of Ukraine) should pay more attention to developing tolerance generally among
citizens and within nationalistically adjusted young people. It requires cooperating with
the most progressive Nationalist organizations on developing and introducing special
programs on tolerance, acquaintance with the representatives of national minorities in
Ukraine and vice versa, arranging measures aimed at getting minorities acquainted with
the history and culture of Ukraine.
Joint activity of the state, media and civil society, must first of all target control and
prevention of distributing information rousing intolerance towards the representatives of
other nationalities (thus, both during street actions and in printed publications and in the
Internet). This activity must be based on the developed system of indicators which would
allow estimating whether materials or actions are of racist and xenophobia nature.
Besides it is necessary to revise the criteria of legal activity of many organizations and
parties in Ukraine. In particular their activity should be analysed but not aims and
methods declared in the programs and regulations.
At the same time, in order to increase efficiency of measures taken by the Ministry
of Interior with a view to combating racism and xenophobia in Ukraine it is
- to create a separate unit within the structure of the Ministry of Interior of Ukraine,
which would focus exceptionally on investigating hate crimes. Main attention of this unit
must be concentrated on activity of extremist groups;
- to analyse experience of foreign countries in the sphere of combating racism and
xenophobia, in particular in the sphere of investigating hate crimes;
- to polish up the procedure of registration and accounting information on hate crimes.
To that end it is useful to create a unique computer database which would allow
accumulating such information;
- to introduce into the system of professional training of the Ministry of Interior separate
lessons on the racism and xenophobia problematic, specialized courses on the methods of
investigation of hate crimes for operation and investigation units and as well lectures for
public information centres’ staff on prevention of using hate speech in the media;
- to provide special courses in educational establishments of the Ministry of Interior of
Ukraine on different levels, devoted to the issues of racism and xenophobia and also to
the modern methods of investigation of hate crimes;
- to develop a series of booklets and practical manuals for the everyday use of services
and units of the Ministry of Interior on international and national standards of protecting
people from any manifestations of racism and discrimination.