The scary fascists who, according to Russia, have taken over Ukraine since the “coup d’état” and ousted the former president didn’t do too well. Who did do well were the actual scary fascists in Western Europe who were supported by, well, Russia.
According to one report:
The supposed reservoirs of reactionary thinking in Western Ukraine generated an embarrassing 1 percent of the vote for Oleh Tyagnibok of ultra-nationalist Svoboda Party and less than 1 percent for Dmitry Yarosh of the new Right Sector party that sprung up during the protests. A story run by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency notes that Tyagnibok and Yarosh together received fewer votes than Vadim Rabinovich, a Jewish candidate who captured a little over 2 percent of the ballots.
There’s no doubt that Svoboda and Right Sector are bad actors. But the overweening propaganda from Moscow claiming that Kiev is being ruled by “fascists” is now proved to be ridiculous. (Not that Moscow’s propaganda since the Ukraine crisis erupted has been anything but ridiculous, starting with its claims that it wasn’t invading Crimea and its claims that it isn’t secretly behind the eruption of ersatz “people’s republics” in Eastern Ukraine’s Donets Basin region.)
Meanwhile, the elections for the European Parliament—admittedly, a weak institution—reflect a troubling shift toward right-wing, fascist-leaning and ultra-nationalist politics in several European countries, including France and Great Britain. While some left-leaning parties did well, too, the biggest gains were made by parties such as the UK Independence Party, France’s National Front and a pair of far-right Greek parties. As I wrote in this space on May 21, Russia has formed an anti-EU alliance of convenience with many of these self-same fascist parties in Europe.
Timothy Snyder, writing in The New York Review of Books, pointed out last March that the Russians, so quick to denounce fascism and anti-Semitism in Ukraine, are themselves among the worst offenders:
The point man for Eurasian and Ukrainian policy in the Kremlin is Sergei Glazyev, an economist who like Dugin tends to combine radical nationalism with nostalgia for Bolshevism. He was a member of the Communist Party and a Communist deputy in the Russian parliament before cofounding a far-right party called Rodina, or Motherland. In 2005 some of its deputies signed a petition to the Russian prosecutor general asking that all Jewish organizations be banned from Russia.