Interview with a member of “Tryzub” (“Trident”), philosopher, nationalist and publicist Ihor Zahrebelnyi
1. Please explain us, why did you refuse from the membership in the party “Right Sector”?
I feel natural disgust to parties of any king. Certainly, if a nationalistic party is being an element of a broader nationalistic system it will make a positive impact on the process of preparation as well as conduction of a true national revolution. But if we talk about me in particular I must say I have no skills and wish to work as a party member. My peculiar mental features can be described in a simple way: a metaphysician, an ideologist. What I do appreciate in Nationalism the most is its philosophy and direct action. Party’s policy has nothing to do with my nature.
2. You fought for the national revolution in Ukraine. Today the Kyiv government gave the east to the Russians. We have the impression that Kyiv wants your heads, in accordance with the conspiratorial agreement with Moscow and Washington. Is it true?
I am a strong believer that the national revolution’s aim is to devastate the current oligarchical system and to establish an authoritarian nationalistic regime, the one that will be guided by nationalistic and conservative Cristian values, the regime that will succeed in rebuilding Ukraine fully independent from both Moscow and the West. There were some chances for us to conduct a revolution of this type in February-March 2014. The general situation in the country was quite unstable. At the same time “The Right Sector” felt strong support. In fact, it was a Street that was defining country’s policy at that time. Moreover, “The Right Sector” had all the possibilities for the coup d'état. But for Russia’s aggression, Ukrainian liberals and oligarchs would have had no chances to escape people’s reprisal. It was risky enough to carry out seizure of power whilst we were having military conflicts with Russia. If we had done that, we would have received not just out-and-out warfare with Russia, but also complete ignoring from the West. No recognition at all. To say more, no one knows for sure what sabotage level could have been practiced in different parts of Ukraine by those who refused to recognize nationalistic government.
Talking about the current situation “The Right Sector” and its numerous volunteers are like a bur in the throat of Poroshenko’s Government. If there were no repulse from our side he would definitely give Donbas up to Russia. It’s obvious and predictable for me that there will be large-scale repressions against nationalists observed soon like it was during the Croatian war for independence. Nationalists bring no profit to Moscow, as well as Washington and our current political elite.
3. Which are the feelings of Ukrainians for their fighters? Do you have sufficient people’s support to expect the failure of the offensive of the triad Kiev-Moscow-Washington?
We are now observing increase in patriotic moods of people. But the major part of Ukraine is still being under strong impact of Mass Media controlled by oligarchs. Thus, in a case of physical confrontation between nationalists and Poroshenko’s regime we will have small support from the society’s side. Media are working for Government so it’s not surprising at all that they will reflect the situation as if we were “instigators”, “bandits” or even “Kremlin agents”. Unfortunately, a lot of average citizens will believe in this tale.
4. The Right Sector is a federation of national movements but is not homogeneous. Can you quickly cover the differences?
“The Right Sector” appeared as a confederacy of nationalistic movements but it changed a little bit with time to have become quite a monolithic structure. With the lapse of time the Social-national Assembly decided to come off from “The Right Sector” and become an independent political subject. But I am sure that unity of nationalistic movements of different types is not the main problematic issue for “The Right Sector” these days. The question under consideration is new people, fresh blood. These people may have blurred nationalistic worldview and that is the main threat for us.
5. Often, when a movement is committed to fighting on the front line, the politicians who are in the rear abjure the spirit and the line of movement. It happened to the Palestinians and to the Peronists in Argentina, there is a risk of this happening in Greece, and we are afraid about the same scenario concerning Ukraine. Is there a gap between you and many of those who claim to represent you?
Yes, I consider there is such a risk indeed. Moreover, there is one more unpleasant situation for us. A part of nationalists may degrade and assimilate, i.e. the output of this phenomenon may be the so-called hybrid of an ideological nationalist and a pragmatically oriented politician. In other words, this is a risk for true nationalists to be infected by bourgeois spirit. But I still hope that won’t happen.
6. Can you summarize your programmatic and ideological lines, especially those concerning foreign policy?
In my opinion, after the national revolution gains victory the 1st task under our prioritization will be establishing the Baltic-Black Sea axis (the Baltic-Black Sea Union). Such countries as Ukraine, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia are its potential members. Belarus can become one more participant of the Union. The union with Transcaucasia countries as well as consolidation with Central and Eastern Europe are of great importance for us too. I am sure that it is only a matter of time when consolidated geopolitical space appears between the Adriatic and Black and Baltic Seas. If we compare this territory with the Western Europe the first one is considered to be much more conservative and people inhabiting those countries have all the chances to create a common project being an alternative to both western liberalism and Russian neo-bolshevism.
As Olexandr Maslak, a philosopher and a good friend of mine, has noticed the ruling ideology in Russia can be called cultural Stalinism. Like cultural Trotskyism, cultural Stalinism is in good relations with capitalism and liberalism but succeeds in combining them with soviet mythology and quasi-conservatism.
7. Recently, some members of the PS in Kyiv have praised Israel. If Moscow had not formed a military and political agreement with Tel Aviv, the position of these PS members in favor of Israel could have confirmed suspicions of those who think that Soros has something to do with the revolt of Ukraine. Would you mind clarifying the positions of combatants and the base and explain the differences between you and some careerists?
What I know for sure is just the action organized by Andriy Denysenko. This person is quite liberal and the “Right Sector” needed him for some time because of pragmatic reasons. I'm not deeply concerned into this case but he must have been expelled from the party. Anyway, he is running for a Parliament deputy as a Poroshenko party member. In my opinion what he did that time is shameful. However, I want to note that most Ukrainian Nationalists find themselves in the golden mean in relation to the Jews. On the one hand, few people have sympathy for Israel. Some can be defined as Christian anti-Semites (by the way, I am one of them). But on the other hand, we cannot accept the following things:
1) total and pathological anti-Semitism;
2) declaratory anti-Semitism.
The first case presupposes to consider every Jew as the evil. It’s a wrong position. For example, a friend of mine is Jew. She converted to Christianity and was fascinated by the ideas of Ukrainian nationalism. In particular, she honors a lot Dmytro Dontsov, the famous Ukrainian conservative revolutionary thinker. It is clear that I feel no hate about her. Vice versa: she is more valuable to me than many ethnic Ukrainians, those who have liberal views or support Russia.
Declaratory anti-Semitism is beneficial to particular Jewish circles. One case comes into my mind. It took place in one of American cities, New York I guess. Some vandals painted an Israeli cultural center with swastikas. Police arrested them. Those barbarians turned to be members of this cultural center. I see no value in bringing benefit to those Jews who get moral and political dividends.
8. What do you think of the attitude of many Western nationalist movements and parties which are against you and support Russia? Is it the end of any sense of belonging and every perception of the sacred? Do we have to and are we still able to have faith?
Many Western nationalists led by their naivety support Russia. Being surrounded by totalitarian liberalism they want to believe that there is a nationalist and conservative government somewhere in the world which is in strong opposition to the USA and the EU. They do not know that multiculturalism is a usual phenomenon in Russia. They reject the fact that there are as many Muslims in the streets of Moscow as in the streets of many European cities. They have no idea about Putin's regime which persecutes Russian nationalists in a rude manner. They do not even know how robust are the roots of liberalism concerning modern pop culture of Russia (in order to make sure it is true all you need to do is to watch modern Russian films which promote promiscuity, enrichment cult and many other bourgeois values). They do not understand that Russian imperialism makes numerous peoples of Eastern Europe approach the West. They just idealize Russia because they want to believe that there is a state in the world which meets at least some of their ideals.
Some time I feel the same because quite a lot of naive Ukrainians still idealize life in the EU. They want to believe that life is much better somewhere, that there are those countries where there is no corruption at all. The list can be endless… However, they do not realize that the EU membership leads to limitation of sovereignty, a fatal blow to our economy and adoption of destructive pseudo-values of Europe. When some of us (nationalists) distribute unmasking information about the EU, some of those who were expected to support us either do not understand these issues or just call us Moscow mercenaries. For instance, we can spread some information on gender policy, but ordinary inhabitants call it Moscow propaganda. Of course, we find some understanding. Sometimes we succeed in convincing people. However, there are those who honestly believe that the EU is the good and the United States are our friends. The same story with some Western nationalists who just do not want to take the reality as it is. But there is one good thing. I am pleased with the fact that many Western nationalists figured out what's really happening in Ukraine. They realized the following thing: all that Ukrainians want is life in a country where the word “fair” or “just” doesn’t awake sarcasm, and Ukrainian nationalists are opposed to the "brave new world" just as they are.
I do not know when a true nationalist revolution in Ukraine can be implemented. But I believe that when that happens, many of those European nationalists who are supporting Russia will realize how wrong they are.