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Ukraine: Why Andriy Parubiy is not welcome in Britain

ALEX GORDON tells the story of the neonazi leader who is being hosted by our country as we speak

SOLIDARITY with the Anti-fascist Resistance in Ukraine (SARU) has called on the British government to ban a far-right Ukrainian politician from entering Britain.

Andriy Parubiy, deputy speaker of the Verkhovna Rada — Ukraine’s parliament — is due in Britain to meet government officials and securocrats at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) this Friday.

When challenged on Parubiy’s invitation to address the institute on “hybrid warfare,” projects and events director Sabrina Downey responded: “The situation in Ukraine is a key concern for UK security, and Mr Parubiy has been an important participant in recent transitions there.

“Before arranging for Mr Parubiy to speak at the institute, RUSI has considered both the speaker’s past and his current political activities and has decided that none fail the stringent qualifying tests applied by the institute.”

Parubiy is in the country to plead for British military aid for Petro Poroshenko’s beleaguered Kiev regime.

SARU has called public protests against the visit today from 10am outside the institute and at 6.30pm at the Ukrainian Cultural Centre in Holland Park, where Parubiy is due to speak.

According to Channel 4 News: “Parubiy was the founder of the Social National Party of Ukraine, a fascist party styled on Hitler’s nazis, with membership restricted to ethnic Ukrainians. The Social National Party would go on to become Svoboda, the far-right nationalist party.”

The Social National Party of Ukraine (SNPU) founded by Parubiy in 1991 adopted an ideology of radical nationalism and neonazism and a modified nazi Wolfsangel symbol, which later became the symbol of the neonazi Azov Battalion.

“The SNPU distinguished itself by openly revolutionary ultranationalism, demands for violent takeover of power in the country, and willingness to blame Russia for all of Ukraine’s ills.

“SNPU was the ?rst relatively large party to recruit nazi skinheads and football hooligans,” researchers reported in 2013.

From 1998-2004 as head of SNPU’s paramilitary youth wing Patriot of Ukraine, Parubiy made torchlight parades his trademark. In 2014 Patriot of Ukraine merged with Right Sector.

In 1999 Parubiy wrote: “Young men with loose long dirty hair and worn out jeans propagate dissoluteness and pacifism — that’s the result of expansion into Ukraine of [the] American way of life and liberal ideology.

“[The] Russian-speaking criminal world, devoid of spirituality, without national roots — is the legacy of communist rule in Ukraine.”

Parubiy and other activists of Patriot of Ukraine went on trial for beating communist demonstrators in Lviv on November 7 1997.

The trial was moved to another region because of pressure from the far right and the case was closed due to the statute of limitations.

Parubiy has projected a more moderate public image since, but in 2004 a change of name and image provoked a split with Patriot of Ukraine.

This paramilitary youth wing led by Parubiy refused to join the new organisation Svoboda.

They then continued to exist autonomously and went on to set up the Social-National Assembly, led by Parubiy’s trainee Andriy Biletsky.

Parubiy’s far-right Ukrainian nationalism is based on the heritage of Stepan Bandera, head of the OUN-UPA, a fascist organisation which collaborated with the nazis during WWII and was involved in carrying out acts of genocide against Poles, Jews and others.

Parubiy was appointed “commander” of EuroMaidan in 2014 and Maidan paramilitary units took an oath of allegiance to him.

When fatal shots were fired on police and demonstrators in Maidan Square from a building known as the Conservatory, Parubiy claimed his men investigated but found no gunmen. But a photographer who accessed the Conservatory that morning — shortly after 8am — took pictures of men with guns.

BBC correspondent Gabriel Gatehouse interviewed a man called Sergei in Untold Story of the Maidan Massacre, published on February 12 this year. He claimed to have fired on police in Maidan Square: “I was just reloading. They ran up to me and one put his foot on top of me, and said: ‘They want a word with you, everything is OK, but stop doing what you’re doing’.”

Sergei says the men who dragged him away were Parubiy’s security unit.

After Maidan, Parubiy became a prominent figure in the new regime, appointed secretary of the National Security and Defence Council (NSDC) until he resigned in August 2014.

Parubiy was seen on April 29 2014 delivering military-grade bullet-proof vests to Mykola Volkov, a key participant in the Odessa Trade Union House massacre three days later.

Volkov was wearing one of the bullet-proof vests on the day of the atrocity arguing on the phone that his men should be allowed through police lines to “take care of the rest.”

Three days before the bloody massacre, Parubiy told the National Security and Defence Council: “I have talked with the major law enforcement officers, we know the situation in detail for each department — they are willing to perform tasks.”

In his position as secretary of the NSDC, Parubiy was also responsible for having launched the so called “Anti-Terrorist Operation” in Donbass as well as incorporating far-right paramilitary battalions — the same he commanded in the Maidan — into the armed forces.

In 2014, Parubiy founded the People’s Front party, which has a “military council” with Azov Battalion commander Biletsky and Ihor Lapin, commander of the Aidar Battalion, another far-right outfit condemned by Amnesty International for war crimes conducted in eastern Ukraine.

In December 2014, Parubiy was elected deputy speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. In this role he has visited both Canada and the US, begging these countries to send lethal weapons to Ukraine that will be used in the continued onslaught against the people of Donbass.

- SARU will protest outside the Royal United Services Institute at 61 Whitehall from 10.30am, when Andriy Parubiy will be speaking on “hybrid warfare,” and at the Ukrainian Cultural Centre, 154 Holland Park Avenue, W11 4UH from 6.30pm today.

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