Voices from Russia

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Oleg Tyagnibok: Neo-Nazi, Anti-Semite… and One of the Maidan Leaders

00 Evil to Triumph. Oleg Tyagnibok. 09.02.14


Out of all the ultra-nationalists on the Maidan, Oleg Tyagnibok is probably the most noticeable one. There are several reasons for that. Firstly, he’s the official leader of the legal neo-Nazi all-Ukrainian Union Svoboda (Freedom), which has seats in the Rada. Secondly, he’s one of the “troika” or Big Three of the Maidan’s leaders. This made him eligible for many photo-ops with Catherine Ashton, John McCain, and a number of other Western dignitaries who came to support Ukrainian nationalists fighting what they call “bad guys in Russia”. The third reason comes last, but certainly, it isn’t the least one. The Simon Wiesenthal Center, which tracks anti-Semitism around the world, put Mr Tyagnibok into the international top ten of Jew-haters. One should note that Mr Tyagnibok certainly toiled a lot to deserve this title. Ten years ago, he called on the Ukrainian people to get rid of what he called “the Jewish-Russian mafia” allegedly running the Ukraine.

If Mr. Tyagnibok limited himself to the word “Russian” in his description of the Ukraine-running mafia, that would’ve earned him some title like “European of the year” and Catherine Ashton and Herman Van Rompuy would want to shake hands with him a thousand times more after their first meeting in München. However, he added the J-word, and this brought Mr Tyagnibok some bad headlines, even in the USA. A member of the top-five of Tyagnibok party, named Igor Miroshnichenko, made things even worse by describing the Ukrainian-born Hollywood star Mila Kunis as, well, not entirely Ukrainian. In fact, Mr Miroshnichenko described her as, I quote, “a Yid who says nothing but bad things about the country where she was born”. Again, if Mila Kunis had nothing but scorn for the USSR, for that was the true name of the country where she was born, that’d be OK with the USA and Tyagnibok, who suggested outlawing all Soviet symbols in his party programme. However, Mila Kunis allegedly criticised the Ukraine, and this was something Tyagnibok’s people couldn’t stomach. Therefore, instead of being a Ukrainian-American, she simply became a Jew in their eyes.

The question remains… how long are the EU and the USA going to stomach Mr Tyagnibok? The people whom Tyagnibok called the Jewish-Russian mafia are waiting for their answer.

7 February 2014

Dmitri Babich

Voice of Russia World Service


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