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"Neonazis & Euromaidan" is available for free download in PDF

The book "Neonazis & Euromaidan: From Democracy to Dictatorship" is available for free download in PDF. The book deals with the Ukrainian political  nationalism and its impact on the contemporary history of the country.

"Neonazis & Euromaidan" was published in English, Russian and Polish. The French edition is being prepared for release. The book was presented at the European Parliament (Brussel) and the Russian State Duma (Moscow), at the OSCE ODIHR sessions in Warsaw and Vienna, as well as in Berlin, Paris and Athens.




“Whoever is not jumping is a Moskal ” is a chant that women and men of different ages who took to Kiev Independence Square in winter 2013-2014 repeated trying to get warm. They kept jumping and laughing, for nobody in the ‘brave new world’ of the Ukrainian revolution under Stepan Bandera’s banner fancied gaining the character of a staunch enemy of Ukrainian statehood. 

Mass demonstrations of “angry citizens” in Ukraine had objective reasons. This was a protest against ineffective and corrupt government, against police and bureaucratic abuse of power, against unclear and dead-end policies of the President and the Government. 

All national liberation movements use the popular ideas and political sentiments that dominate the society as their positive manifesto. Thus, exclusively left-wing ideologies were mainstream in the Russian Empire in 1917, radical Islamism was most popular in Arab countries during the Arab spring of 2012, whereas nationalism, also radical, turned mainstream in the Ukraine of 2013-2014.

The book describes the development of Ukraine’s nationalist groups since 1991 until present day. It focuses on the history of the right-wing radical Svoboda party and the Right Sector movement. The authors study the ideology, psychology and methods of political struggle of these structures. The experts seek to answer the question: how did the radical neo-Nazi groups manage to become the key driving force behind the Ukrainian revolution? 

Preface to the second English edition

Russia, whether in the form of an Orthodox monarchy of the country of soviets, has never been a colonial empire, like Spain, France of Great Britain. Russia did not exploit its provinces, but rather tried to develop them economically and culturally to the level of the central-Russian “heartland” or even higher. This makes the “post-colonial guilt complex” typical of a significant part of the post-Soviet intelligentsia and creative class so astonishing. It has been most glaring in the light of the tragic events in Ukraine in 2013-2014.

Ranging from “the Maidan has nothing to do with Russophobia” and “individual manifestations of anti-Russian sentiments in Ukraine mean nothing – we have many idiots too” to “never will we be brothers” and “they have every right to hate us for all we did to Ukraine.” The attitude based on an irrational feeling of guilt could be explained by media propaganda, but with a very significant “but”. There is a plethora of available sources of information nowadays, and everyone who has access to the Internet (that is to say any resident of any Russian city) can choose if they want to watch the government-run First Channel or the liberal oppositional Dozhd (Rain), the Russia Today or ВВС and CNN, the Russian LifeNews or Ukrainian Inter. A freedom of choice is obviously predetermined by an internal or/and external framework. 

As Joseph Goebbels rightfully stated that the bigger the lie, the more people believe it. And it’s especially true when a big lie is promoted by those who are assumed to be competent experts on the issue involved. And so it happens that people believe such “qualitative” judgments as: 

“Members of the Right Sector and other ultra-nationalist activists comprise only a small portion of the total Euromaidan Self-Defense forces – dozens of various “hundreds” that jointly mounted violent opposition to Yanukovich attempts to clamp down on the protesters. Nevertheless, it is largely the right radicals who have been shown and are being discussed in the Kremlin’s large-scale international information campaign against the new government in Kiev. Russian officials, leading diplomats, pseudo-journalists and lobbyists in the West have widely used hyperboles, half-correct reports, fakes and alarmist statements towards radical-right activists of Ukraine in order to discredit the pro-European revolution in Ukraine as at least partly fascist.” (link) 

This short but very illustrative “expert” opinion has both a big lie and an underlying appeal to the irrational guilt feeling of a certain segment of the Russian society. Apolitical residents of Kiev constituted a vast majority during the protests on the Independence Square at the turn of 2013-2014. On the other hand, it was only radical ideologically-motivated Ukrainian nationalists equipped and managed from a consolidated center who took part in the violent confrontations with the police, takeovers of administrative buildings and set-up of the Maidan Self-Defense and the Right Sector. It is only the dispersal of the first student Euromaidan on the night of November 30, 2013 that could be called a confrontation of the totalitarian Berkut and liberal democratic hipsters who shielded themselves from watchdogs of the regime with the last model of iPad. What happened later is a completely different story, with a confrontation of completely different forces and resources.

Even after the Maidan Self-Defense burned alive dozens of unarmed people in Odessa on May 2, even after the National Guard made up of radical nationalists shot at the peaceful demonstration in Mariupol on May 9, the voices blaming Russia have become just a little quieter. However, few are willing to answer the question: “who is to blame?” The “civilizational” gloss of the Euromaidan is too powerful for many, while the antagonism between “bad” Russia and the “good” West associated with post-revolutionary Ukraine is too well-established. The emperor proved to not only have no clothes, but also to be a sadist and a serial killer. 
One has to agree with Dmitry Galkovsky, a modern Russian philosopher, who described the events in Ukraine in 2013-2014 saying that “when cultists in Lviv chanted “Guillotine Moskals,” easily amused Orthodox Ukrainians with a sense of humor giggled. For residents of Kiev, “beheading a Moskal” or “burning a Moskal alive” was an ironical exaggeration of an everyday enmity and a political chant, like the popular “the ref needs glasses!” But when cultists chant such things, they are actually going to put the glasses on the ref. Unless somebody stops them.”


Stanislav Byshok – psychologist, writer, graduate of Moscow State University, political analyst of the International election monitoring organization CIS-EMO, member of Modus expert club, author of books on contemporary Russian and Ukrainian politics.

Alexey Kochetkov – political scientist, journalist, head of CIS-EMO in 2003-2013, head of Public Diplomacy foundation since 2013, international elections expert, author of a number of methodologies for electoral processes monitoring.


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