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Saturday, 7 April 2012

Ukraine's Nationalist Party Asserts It's Self & Grows In Membership

In L’viv, it comes under the guise of Svoboda, a party calling for a Ukraine that is “one race, one nation, one Fatherland.” Originally known as the Social-National Party, it is rooted in Nazi collaboration.

(Here comes the usual whine: )
-This wasn't supposed to happen.- In 2004, following a disputed national election, the Orange Revolution, a peaceful campaign of protest, swept a coalition of moderate nationalist politicians into power. They quickly fell out among themselves. A blizzard of allegations of corruption swirled around them. One of the original leaders of the Orange Revolution, Yulia Tymoshenko, is in prison, convicted of "abuse of office,” although rights groups say her incarceration is politically motivated.

From journalists, cab drivers and young entrepreneurs, to peasant women who run market stalls to supplement their state pension by selling homemade cheese and pickles, everyone says the same thing: the politicians of all parties are only in it for themselves, grabbing every penny they can. Meanwhile, Svoboda has grown in popularity. Young people are drawn to the nationalist rhetoric, and older supporters are more used to life under the kind of authoritarian views it holds.

Svoboda is now the largest party on L'viv city council and in the regional council. It has taken power in other major urban centers of western Ukraine, like Ternopil and Ivano-Frankivsk. Come this October, when the country holds elections, Svoboda is expected to make the jump to the next level and win seats in the Verkhovna Rada, the national parliament, for the first time.

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