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Peru: Sendero harass pipeline project

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THE FAR RIGHT IN UKRAINE: A NEW ORDER?

by Cas Mudde, openDemocracy

The Euromaidan "revolution" will undoubtedly remain one of the key political events of 2014. Most domestic and foreign observers were completely taken by surprise by the events that followed President Viktor Yanukovych's decision not to sign an integration treaty with the European Union (EU) in November 2013. While the initial demonstrations in downtown Kiev were somewhat expected, few had ever thought that they could spiral so out of control that, just three months later, a democratically elected government with one of the most popular politicians in the country was forced out of power.

Euromaidan has also been interesting in terms of the propaganda battle that has been fought in the traditional and social media. As is now standard for "revolutions" in the twenty first century, activists were quick to set up several Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, and other websites to provide their own positive view of the ‘revolution,’ countering the negative reports from the official Ukrainian media and, particularly, the largely Kremlin-controlled Russian media. They were very successful in disseminating their message, in part through networks of sympathizers in the west (including Ukrainian émigré communities in North America and post-Soviet scholars across the globe).

One of the main struggles has been over the importance of "fascists" in the Euromaidan. Almost from the beginning the pro-Kremlin media emphasized the importance of "Ukrainian fascists" among the anti-government demonstrators, and within days the whole uprising was to be portrayed as "fascist." This was to be expected, as both Soviet and post-Soviet Russian elites have tended to equate Ukrainian nationalism with fascism, linking any and every anti-Soviet or anti-Russian movement to the infamous Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) of Stepan Bandera, which (temporarily) collaborated with Nazi Germany in a misguided attempt to gain Ukrainian independence from Stalin's brutal Soviet regime.

At the same time, most domestic and foreign sympathizers of "Euromaidan" have minimalized the importance of the far right, arguing that Euromaidan was a genuine democratic and pro-European uprising in which far right elements were insignificant.

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