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Cablegate: Subject: Ukraine's Main Extremist Groups

VZCZCXRO0234
PP RUEHIK RUEHLN RUEHPOD RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHKV #2323/01 3311152
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 261152Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY KYIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6792
INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KYIV 002323

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM SOCI UP
SUBJECT: SUBJECT: UKRAINE'S MAIN EXTREMIST GROUPS

Summary
-------

1. (U) Extremist groups in Ukraine espouse a wide range of
ideologies. Groups such as the UNA-UNSO and Patriot of
Ukraine are ultra nationalists while the Ukrainian
National-Labor Party and the Ukrainian Movement Against
Illegal Immigration have a neo-Nazi following. The group
Bratsvo has an anarchic outlook while the Russia-based
Eurasian Youth Union promotes Russian neo-imperialism. These
fringe groups lack political clout but promote intolerant
ideologies, which can influence alienated youth and
contribute to social problems such as hate crimes. The
Embassy has compiled background information from open sources
on these groups. End Summary.

UNA-UNSO
--------

2. (U) The Ukrainian National Assembly/Ukrainian National
Self-Defense Organization (UNA-UNSO) is a right-wing
nationalist organization and registered political party
founded in 1990 by Yuriy Shukhevych, son of Ukrainian
Insurgent Army (UPA) commander Roman Shukhevych. Originally
a coalition of nationalist groups that venerated Mussolini,
it declared itself a political party in 1991. In response to
the August 1991 anti-Gorbachev coup attempt, the organization
formed a paramilitary wing - the Ukrainian People's Self
Defense Organization (UNSO). UNSO fighters were reported to
have participated in the 1992 Moldova-Tranistria conflict
against Moldovan forces, the 1993 Georgia-Abkhazia war on the
side of Georgia, the 1995 conflict in Chechnya on the side of
the Chechyens, and in the 1999 Kosovo conflict on the side of
the Serbs.

3. (U) The organization first registered as a political
party in 1994 and was subsequently deregistered in 1995 for
its radicalism. It was reregistered in 1997. UNA-UNSO has
limited representation on local councils in western Ukraine
and received 16,379 votes in the March 2006 Rada elections.
It was involved in the "Ukraine without Kuchma" movement in
2000-2001 and 18 of its members were arrested for violent
clashes with police, including Andriy Skhil, who later left
the party and is now an MP with the Yulia Tymoshenko bloc.
UNA-UNSO supported Yushchenko in the 2004 elections.

Bratsvo (Brotherhood)
---------------------

4. (U) A civic movement without clear ideology or platform
founded in 2002 by Dmytro Korchynskiy, a former UNA-UNSO
activist. The movement focuses on radical means to change
the political process and honors disparate figures such as
Stalin and Stepan Bandera, a Ukrainian Nationalist who headed
the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) 1940-1944.
In 2004 Korchynskiy ran for president and got 0.17 percent.
In 2005 Bratsvo joined forces with Natalia Vitrenko's extreme
left-wing Progressive Socialist Party in an unsuccessful
effort to attract votes for the 2006 parliamentary elections.


Patriot of Ukraine
------------------

5. (U) Originally the youth wing of the Svoboda political
party, it was dissolved in 2004. In 2005, it was registered
as a civic organization and is not officially connected with
Svoboda or any other political party. Patriot of Ukraine
protested against Kharkiv court rulings making Russian the
second official language in the city. It has local branches
in Kyiv (2006), Poltava (2008), and Chernihiv (2008). Its
official ideology is Social Nationalism, a cult of the nation
within a state, which is anti-immigrant ("Ukraine for
Ukrainians"), anti-capitalist, and anti-globalist. In April
2008, it began to cooperate with organizations such as the
Ukrainian National-Labor Party and pro-Russian Crimean
Cossack groups.

Ukrainian National-Labor Party
------------------------------

6. (U) An unregistered organization led by Yevhen
Herasymenko. This party bases its ideology on
national-socialism. Its members are mainly skinheads and
neo-Nazis believed to have been involved in physical attacks
against minorities. It has regional representation in the
cites of Simferopol, Uman, Vinnytsia, Zaporizhia,
Ivano-Frankivsk, Kyiv, Kirovograd, Lviv, Kotovsk, Rivne,
Ternopil, Kharkiv, and Kherson. The organization is reported
to cooperate with Svoboda and the Ukrainian Conservative
Party lead by the president of the Interregional Academy for
Personnel Management (MAUP) Heorhiy Shchokin, known for

KYIV 00002323 002 OF 002


promoting anti-Semitism.

Ukrainian Movement Against Illegal Immigration
--------------------------------------------- -

7. (U) This unregistered organization, which is reported to
have a following among neo-Nazis, promotes white supremacy
and is opposed to immigrants - especially from Asia and
Africa. The movement has two wings, a pro-Russian wing
mostly based in Crimea and a pro-Ukrainian wing. Some
experts allege that both wings get financing and guidance
from Russia while others assert that the two wings are
independent of one another and have ideological differences.
The pro-Ukrainian movement is headed by Oleksander Bielov.

Eurasian Youth Union
--------------------

8. (U) The organization was established in February 2005 in
Russia as a youth wing of the International Eurasian Movement
led by Aleksandr Dugan. With its leadership based in Moscow,
it claims to have branches in Ukraine, Moldova, Transnistria,
Belarus, the UK, Turkey, and Poland. In Ukraine, it has a
presence in 15 oblasts and is most active in Crimea, as well
as in the cities of Sumy, Donetsk, Kyiv, and Kharkiv. The
organization's ideology favors Russian imperialism and is
opposed to the "color" revolutions in the post-Soviet space.
It is extremist and anti-American. Analysts allege that it
is controlled by the Kremlin. In August 2007, a Kharkiv
court banned the organization for destroying a memorial sign
to UPA soldiers in the city. Its activists vandalized
Ukrainian national symbols on Hoverla Mountain in October
2007.
TAYLOR

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