Svoboda (political party)
|Founded||October 13, 1991
Registered as political party on October 16, 1995.
|Preceded by||Social-National Party of Ukraine|
|Slogan||"20 Years of Fight"|
7 / 450
1,731 / 158,399
The All-Ukrainian Union Svoboda (Ukrainian: Всеукраїнське об’єднання «Свобода», Vseukrayinske obyednannia "Svoboda"), translated as Freedom, is a Ukrainian nationalist political party. The party won 6 seats in the late October 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election ; losing 30 seats of the 37 seats (its first seats in the Ukrainian Parliament) it had won in the 2012 parliamentary election.[nb 1] From 27 February 2014 till 12 November 2014 three members of the party held positions in Ukraine's government.
The party was founded in 1991 as the Social-National Party of Ukraine (Ukrainian: Соціал-національна партія України) and acts as a populist proponent of nationalism and anti-communism. It is positioned on the right of the Ukrainian political spectrum, particularly in the far right. It is widely considered a fascist and/or anti-semitic party, while others have disputed the neo-fascist label, and simply considers it a radical nationalist party.
- 1 History
- 2 Political image
- 3 In government
- 4 Ideology
- 5 Platform
- 6 Party Leaders
- 7 Election Results
- 8 See also
- 9 Literature
- 10 Notes
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Social-National Party of Ukraine
The Social-National Party of Ukraine (SNPU) was registered as a party on October 16, 1995; the constituent congress of the party took place on October 13, 1991, in Lviv. The party was established by the Soviet Afghan War veterans organization, the youth organization "Spadshchyna" (Heritage, headed by Andriy Parubiy), the Lviv Student Fraternity (headed by Oleh Tyahnybok), the Rukh Guard (headed by Yaroslav Andrushkiv and Yuriy Kryvoruchko). The leader of the party was elected doctor Yaroslav Andrushkiv. The party adopted a party emblem that could be associated with fascist formation and in Europe is used by Neo-Nazi organizations.
Due to a corporate raid threat on temples of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kiev Patriarchate), there were created SNPU formations for their protection, particularly the Holy-Dormition Church of Volodymyr-Volynsky and the Saint Trinity Church in Lutsk. Due to the 1993 Massandra Accords, SNPU formed the Extraordinary Committee in Rescue of Nation and State which in the fall of 1993 picketed the Ukrainian parliament in regards to eliminate the threat of loss by Ukraine the Crimea and Black Sea Fleet.
The SNPU's official program defined itself as an "irreconcilable enemy of Communist ideology" and all other parties to be either collaborators and enemies of the Ukrainian revolution, or romanticists. According to Svoboda's website, during the 1994 Ukrainian parliamentary elections the party presented its platform as distinct from those of the communists and social democrats.
In the 1998 parliamentary elections the party joined a bloc of parties (together with the All-Ukrainian Political Movement "State Independence of Ukraine") called "Less Words" (Ukrainian: Менше слів), which collected 0.16% of the national vote. Party member Oleh Tyahnybok was voted into the Ukrainian Parliament in this election. He became a member of the People's Movement of Ukraine faction.
The SNPU established the paramilitary organization Patriot of Ukraine in 1999 as an "Association of Support" for the Military of Ukraine and registered with the Ministry of Justice. The paramilitary organization, which continues to use the Wolfsangel symbol, was disbanded in 2004 during the SNPU's reformation and reformed as an independent organization in 2005. Svoboda officially ended association with the group in 2007, but they remain informally linked, with representatives of Svoboda attending social campaigns such as protests against price increases and leafleting against drugs and alcohol. In 2014, Svoboda was noted for clashing with the far-right group Right Sector, a coalition which includes Patriot of Ukraine.
In 2001, the party joined some actions of the "Ukraine without Kuchma" protest campaign and was active in forming the association of Ukraine's rightist parties and in supporting Viktor Yushchenko's candidacy for prime minister, although it did not participate in the 2002 parliamentary elections. However, as a member of Victor Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine bloc, Tyahnybok was reelected to the Ukrainian parliament. The SNPU won two seats in the Lviv oblast council of deputies and representation in the city and district councils in the Lviv and Volyn oblasts.[third-party source needed]
In 2004 the party had less than 1,000 members.
All-Ukrainian Union Svoboda
In February 2004, the arrival of Oleh Tyahnybok as party leader led a significant change in moderating the Social-National Party's image. Then still the Social-National Party of Ukraine, it changed its name to the All-Ukrainian Union "Svoboda", and abandoned the "I + N" (Ukrainian «Ідея Нації» "Idea Natsii" = "idea of a nation") Wolfsangel logo (a symbol popular among neo-Nazi groups) with a three-fingered hand reminiscent of the 'Tryzub' pro-independence gesture of the late 1980s. Svoboda also pushed neo-Nazi and other radical groups out the party, distancing itself from its neofascist past while retaining the support of extreme nationalists. Andrushkiv, former head of the party, rejected Tyahnybok's claim that Svoboda was successor party to the SNPU and called Svoboda 'a different political phenomenon.' Both he and Andriy Parubiy would leave the 'new' party following its transformation.
However, according to Polish lawyer and political scientist Tadeusz A. Olszański, party leader Tyahnybok never concealed that these changes were made primarily for image purposes. The party remained associated with the ‘wide social nationalist movement’ (consisting of numerous organisations and websites) and gathered around the Social-Nationalist Assembly which was set up in 2008. Yuri Mykhailyshyn, Tyahnybok’s adviser who topped the list of Svoboda's Lviv branch in the 2010 municipal council elections, founded the Internet Joseph Goebbels Political Research Centre (the centre later changed Goebbels for Ernst Jünger) in 2005. Ukraine’s Patriot, a paramilitary organisation dissolved in 2004 and re-established in 2005 in a different legal form, continued to maintain ties with Svoboda. It was not until 2007 that this paramilitary organisation announced the break-up of all relationships with "Svoboda". Even then, some prominent Svoboda members, such as Andriy Illienko from Svoboda's Kiev branch, continued to identify themselves with the ideas of "Patriot of Ukraine". This neo-Nazi organisation still uses the Wolfsangel symbol.
In 2004, Tyahnybok was expelled from the Our Ukraine parliamentary faction for a speech calling for Ukrainians to fight against a "Muscovite-Jewish mafia", and celebrated the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists for having fought "Moscovites, Germans, Jews and other scum who wanted to take away our Ukrainian state." The speech was delivered at the grave-site of a commander of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army where Tyahnybok praised its struggle against "Moskaly", a derogatory term for either Russians or pan-Russian nationalists; Germans; and "Zhydy", an archaic but controversial term for Jews in Ukraine due to it being a slur when used in the Russian language. Tyahnybok's 2004 comments were widely circulated on the three TV channels controlled by the head of the Presidential Administration, Viktor Medvedchuk: State Channel 1, 1+1 and Inter.
In the 2006 local elections the party had obtained 4.2% of the votes and 4 seats in the Ternopil Oblast Council, 5.62% of the votes and 10 seats in the Lviv Oblast Council and 6.69% of the votes and 9 seats in the Lviv city council.
In the 2007 parliamentary elections, the party received 0.76% of the votes cast, more than double their share during the 2006 parliamentary elections, when they received 0.36%. It was ranked eighth out of 20 parties (in the 2007 elections) and the non-participation of the Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists made the party the only far-right party to participate in the 2007 parliamentary elections.
2009 Electoral breakthrough
The party's electoral breakthrough was the 2009 Ternopil Oblast local election when they obtained 34.69% of the votes and 50 seats out of 120 in the Ternopil Oblast Council. This was the best result for a far-right party in Ukraine’s history.
Tyahnybok's candidacy in the 2010 presidential election did not build on the 2009 Ternopil success. Tyahnybok received 1.43% of the vote. Most of his votes he gained in Lviv oblast, Ternopil oblast and Ivano-Frankivsk oblast accounted to 5% of the vote. In the second round, Tyahnybok did not endorse a candidate. He did present a list of some 20 demands for second round candidate Yulia Tymoshenko had to fulfil first before gaining his endorsement—which included publicizing alleged secret deals Tymoshenko had with Vladimir Putin and ridding herself of what he called Ukraine-haters in her close circles.
During the 2010 Ukrainian local elections the party won between 20-30% of the votes in Eastern Galicia, where it became one of the main forces in local government. The 2009 provincial elections in Ternopil had previously been the greatest success of the Svoboda party, when it won 34.4 per cent of votes cast. During the 2010 Ukrainian local elections, Svoboda surpassed this figure, accounting for 5.2% of the vote nationwide. Analysts explained Svoboda’s victory in Galicia during the 2010 elections as a result of the policies of the Azarov Government, who were seen as too pro-Russian by the electorate. According to Andreas Umland, Senior Lecturer in Political Science at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Svoboda's increasing exposure in the Ukrainian media has contributed to its recent successes.
As of 2011 Svoboda had factions in eight of Ukraine's 25 regional councils, and in three of those Svoboda is the biggest faction. Reportedly, the members and supporters of Svoboda are predominantly young people.
Several clergymen of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyivan Patriarchate, Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church and Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church are Svoboda members and have stood for election as Svoboda candidates. According to the party, they were chosen on election lists "to counterbalance opponents who include “Moscow priests” in their election lists and have aspirations to build the “Russian World” in Ukraine". Per the party's desire to separate the clergy from politics, all churchmen will be recalled if a draft Constitution of Ukraine proposed by the party is approved.
In early 2012 Svoboda was criticized in domestic and international media after party member Yuri Sirotyuk said that Ukrainian pop star Gaitana, who is of African descent, was a poor choice to represent Ukraine at the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 because she was "not an organic representative of the Ukrainian culture" Sirotyuk stated that "It looks like we don't want to show our face, and Ukraine will be associated with a different continent, somewhere in Africa."
2012 elections: Growing support
In the run-up to the 2012 election, some Ukrainian media commentators and political analysts expected Svoboda's rising support would come at the expense of more mainstream elements of the opposition and to the benefit of the ruling Party of Regions. In July 2012 the party agreed with Batkivshchyna on the distribution of the candidates in single-seat constituencies (its share was 35 constituencies) in the October 2012 parliamentary elections. In the run up to these elections various opinion polls predicted the national vote (in a parliamentary election) of the party to sixfolded or sevenfolded which would make it possible that the party would pass the 5% election threshold. But the party's results in the elections were much better than that with 10.44 percent [nb 2] (almost a fourteenfold of its votes compared with the 2007 parliamentary elections) of the national votes and 38 out of 450 seats in the Ukrainian Parliament. The lion's share of these votes were won in Western Ukraine (30-40% in three Oblasts), while in Eastern Ukraine it won 1% of the votes. At the at 116 foreign polling stations Svoboda won most votes of all parties with 23,63% of all votes. In Lviv the party reportedly won over 50% of the votes. In Kiev it became the second most popular party, after Fatherland. Voting analysis showed it was the party most popular among voters with a higher education (about 48% of its voters had a higher education). Oleh Tyahnybok was elected leader of the party's parliamentary faction (also) on 12 December 2012. On 19 October 2012 the party and Batkivshchyna signed an agreement "on the creation of a coalition of democratic forces in the new parliament". The party is also coordinating its parliamentary activities with Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform (UDAR).
In recent years, the BBC writes that "Svoboda" has "tapped a vast reservoir of protest votes" because of its anti-corruption stance and because it has softened its own image. According to Sociological group "RATING" the percentage of the party's electorate who only use the Ukrainian language decreased from 75% to 68% between September 2012 and March 2013.
2012 election aftermath and Euromaidan campaign
During the first two sessions of the newly elected parliament, Svoboda deputies and other opposition politicians physically clashed with MPs during the election of a prime minister and speaker amid allegations of continued voting for absent colleagues by government deputies. Clashes again erupted in March 2013 between Svoboda and Party of Regions MPs, when ruling Party of Regions MP Oleksandr Yefremov delivered a speech in Russian; the speech was drowned out by Svoboda MPs, shouting "Speak Ukrainian!" A later speech by Tyahnybok provoked chants of "Fascist" and a large, brief fist-fight between the two parties.
Svoboda MP and deputy leader Ihor Miroshnychenko attracted international criticism in December 2012 for writing on his Facebook wall that American actress Mila Kunis, who was born in the Ukrainian SSR of Jewish descent, is "not Ukrainian but a zhydivka" (a pejorative term for a Jew). According to Svoboda, the word does not have the antisemitic connotation in Ukrainian that it does in Russian. Citing a Ukrainian academic dictionary, the Ministry of Justice considered the word archaic but not necessarily a slur. Svoboda has repeatedly said that it would not stop using words it considers legitimate Ukrainian parlance. Attempts to use antisemitism as a propaganda weapon against the Euromaidan movement were noted, and reports of widespread antisemitism were disputed by analysts, historians and human-rights activists. In May 2013, Svoboda, Fatherland and UDAR announced that they would coordinate during the 2015 Ukrainian presidential election.
A December 7–17, 2013 opinion poll indicated that in a presidential election between Viktor Yanukovych and Svoboda leader Tyahnybok Tyahnybok would win 28.8 percent of the popular vote to Yanukovych's 27.1 percent. Svoboda participates in the ongoing pro-European Union protest campaign to influence regime change and integration with the EU. When the Vladimir Lenin monument in Kiev was toppled during Euromaidan, MP Ihor Myroshnichenko accepted responsibility for the act on behalf of Svoboda.
Eighteen Svoboda members were killed in the Euromaidan protests and the 2014 Ukrainian revolution. On 27 February 2014 the Yatsenyuk government was formed, including three Svoboda ministers: Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Sych, Agrarian Policy and Food Minister Ihor Shvaika and Environment and Natural Resources Minister Andriy Mokhnyk. Party members were appointed governors of Poltava (Viktor Buhaychuk on 2 March 2014), Ternopil (Oleh Syrotyuk on 2 March) and Rivne Oblasts (Sergey Rybachka on 3 March 2014).
On 18 March 2014, Svoboda members posted an online video of party MPs beating acting National Television Company of Ukraine president Oleksandr Panteleymonov and trying to force him to sign a letter of resignation because he broadcast the Crimea ascension to the Russian Federation ceremony in the Kremlin. In the video Panteleymonov's broadcast was called "state treason" by Svoboda MP Miroshnychenko, deputy head of the Parliamentary Committee on Freedom of Speech and Information. Tyahnybok condemned the attack ("Such actions were fine yesterday (during the protests), but now they are inappropriate"), which was also condemned by Amnesty International and acting prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. On 20 March 2014 Svoboda withdrew as observers from the Alliance of European National Movements (AENM) over sympathy by several alliance members for the Russian military intervention, and in June the party formed the Sich Battalion to fight the war in Donbass.
2014 elections: Losing support
In the October 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election the party won constituency 6 seats; the party came 0,29% short to overcome the 5% threshold to win seats on the nationwide list. The parties election results thus halved compared with the 2012 election because of negative assessments of the activities of the local governments that included Svoboda members. In its former stronghold Lviv Oblast Svoboda won no constituencies. Also the fact that in this election the party was not the only one using radically patriotic, anti-communist and anti-Russian slogans undermined its election outcome.
On 12 November 2014 the party's ministers in the Yatsenyuk Government resigned (they became acting ministers till a new Government was formed). The parties governors of Poltava Oblast, Ternopil Oblast and Rivne Oblast also resigned and were formally dismissed by President Petro Poroshenko on 18 November 2014.
In West Ukraine Svoboda improved its electoral performance in the October 2015 Ukrainian local elections. In the elections its candidate Ruslan Martsinkiv was elected Mayor of Ivano-Frankivsk.
Olexiy Haran, a political science professor at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, says “There is a lot of misunderstanding surrounding Svoboda" and that the party is not fascist, but radical. Ihor Kolomoyskyi, president of the United Jewish Community of Ukraine, stated in 2010 that the party has clearly shifted from the far-right to the center.
Political scientist Andreas Umland predicted the party would continue to become more moderate over time, and that "there's a belief that Svoboda will change, once in the Verkhovna Rada, and that they may become proper national democrats." Since then, the party has gained seats in parliament and has net over 10% of the national vote in the 2012 parliamentary elections. The US ambassador in Kiev, Geoffrey Pyatt, said in 2014 that he had been "positively impressed" by Svoboda's evolution in opposition and by its behavior in parliament. "They have demonstrated their democratic bona fides," the ambassador asserted. Alexander J. Motyl argues that Svoboda's brand of nationalism "has significantly diminished during, and possibly as a result of, the Euro Revolution."
Membership was restricted to ethnic Ukrainians, and for a period the party did not accept atheists or former members of the Communist Party. The party has been accused of recruiting skinheads and football hooligans.
Former government officials
- Ihor Tenyukh - acting Minister of Defense, resigned on own initiative, resignation accepted by parliament after repeated voting
- Oleh Makhnitsky - acting General Prosecutor (not part of the Cabinet of Ukraine, officially unaffiliated)
- Oleksandr Sych - Vice Prime Minister
- Andriy Mokhnyk- Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources
- Ihor Shvayka - Minister of Agriculture
Svoboda's ideological base emanates from Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists leader Yaroslav Stetsko's "Two Revolutions" doctrine (written in 1951). The essence of this doctrine states: "the revolution will not end with the establishment of the Ukrainian state, but will go on to establish equal opportunities for all people to create and share material and spiritual values and in this respect the national revolution is also a social one". A crucial condition for joining Svoboda is that its members must belong to the Ukrainian nation.
Svoboda is a party of Ukrainian nationalism and in 2011 was noted for favoring a solely presidential regime. In 2013, however, the party pushed for constitutional reform which would limit the president's powers and return power to parliament.
The party describes its own agenda in an article entitled "Nationalism and pseudonationalism" published on its official website. Svoboda member Andriy Illienko calls for a "social and national revolution in Ukraine," a "major shift in [the] political, economic, [and] ethical system", and the "dismantling [of] the liberal regime of antinational occupation". Illienko explains that "only the revolution can now prevent Ukraine from the brink, and make it the first modern nationalist state that will ensure continuous development of the Ukrainian nation, and show other nations the path to genuine sovereignty and prosperity."[third-party source needed]. Illienko continues that cultural details are not important for a nationalist who "must wake up with the idea that he is a metal political soldier of Nation." ("Націоналіст... забов'язаний просинатися з думкою, що він – залізний політичний солдат Нації..."). This document sets up the enemy of Svoboda, a pseudonationalist, a person who wants "all-ukrainian values" ("українськість","щоб все було українське") and adheres to "conventional liberalism [of] 'civilized' Western democracy and capitalism". Another attribute of a pseudonationalist is the belief in "Free market", "democracy", "fighting authoritarianism" [the quotes are from the original document].
Party leader Tyahnybok has argued that "depicting nationalism as extremism is a cliché rooted in Soviet and modern globalist propaganda" and that "countries like modern Japan and Israel are fully nationalistic states, but nobody accuses the Japanese of being extremists." Tyahnybok defined nationalism as love of one's homeland and drew a distinction from chauvinism and fascism which he defined as the superiority of one nation over another.
The party has often staged commemorations honouring Ukrainian nationalist leader Stepan Bandera and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA). Bandera lead the UPA in its struggle against the Soviets and later the Germans during World War II to establish an independent Ukrainian state but also engaged in acts of ethnic cleansing including the massacres of Poles in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia. In a 2011 march organized by Svoboda to celebrate the WW2-era Waffen-SS Galicia Division, participants shouted “one race, one nation, one Fatherland."
The party views the dominating role of Ukraine's oligarchy as "devastating".[third-party source needed] While oligarchs have typically played a major role in the funding of other Ukrainian parties, Svoboda claims to receive no financial support from oligarchs, but rather from Ukraine's small and medium-sized businesses.[third-party source needed]
The party seeks to put a stop to immigration into Ukraine, and to make sure that only ethnic Ukrainians can be employed as civil servants.
On February 16, 2013, police in Ukraine opened a criminal case on charges of hooliganism against nationalist activists led by Svoboda Supreme Rada deputy Ihor Miroshnychenko for the dismantling of a statue of Vladimir Lenin in Okhtyrka, Sumy Oblast. "There is no place for Communist symbols and ideology in European Ukraine and if the authorities cannot get rid of them, we will do it ourselves", said Miroshnychenko. According to police, Miroshnychenko climbed the statue and put a rope around Lenin’s figure, which was then pulled down by a truck.
Svoboda supports conservative values, and opposes abortion and gay rights. In 2012, Human Rights Watch condemned Svoboda for disrupting a gay rights rally, called "a Sabbath of 50 perverts" in an official statement by Svoboda.
Svoboda opposed legislation in 2013 that would have barred employers from discriminating against workers on the basis of their sexual orientation. Journalist David Stern describes the party as a "driving force" behind anti-gay politics in Ukraine, but states that many of its members may not share all its controversial positions.
In April 2013, three Svoboda MPs sponsored a bill banning abortions except in cases involving severe pathology, a medical risk to a woman's life, and rape when proven in court. Future Vice Prime Minister Oleksandr Sych, who has long opposed abortion, was one of the authors of the bill and responded to a question about what a pregnant woman should do if she failed to prove the rape in court by encouraging women to "lead the kind of lifestyle to avoid the risk of rape, including refraining from drinking alcohol and being in controversial company."
Allegations of neo-nazism and political extremism
Svoboda has been described as an anti-Semitic and sometimes a Neo-Nazi party by some journalists, organizations that monitor hate speech, Jewish organizations, and political opponents.
Svoboda advisor Yuriy Mykhalchyshyn started a blog called "‘Joseph Goebbels Political Research Centre" in 2005, later changing "Joseph Goebbels" to "Ernst Jünger." Mykhalchyshyn wrote a book in 2010 citing works by Nazi theorists Ernst Röhm, Gregor Strasser and Goebbels. Elsewhere Mykhalchyshyn referred to the Holocaust as a "period of Light in history".
In December 2012, the European Parliament expressed concern regarding Svoboda's growing support, recalling "that racist, anti-Semitic and xenophobic views go against the EU's fundamental values and principles," and appealed "to pro-democratic parties in the Verkhovna Rada not to associate with, endorse or form coalitions with" Svoboda. Party leader Oleh Tyahnybok stated in March 2013 that the EU warning against Svoboda's influence was the result of "Moscow agents working through a Bulgarian socialist MP". Referencing a similar resolution made by the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, Tyahnybok claimed it to be a result of a mud-slinging campaign by political opponents, stating: "When we did not have a parliamentary faction or normal channels for contacting influential groups in the European Union, a very negative image of Svoboda was created and in an extremely crude fashion." However, after speaking to European MP's he stated they "admitted that they had received completely different information about us." Tyahnybok furthermore stated that "spin doctors who are working against Svoboda" cover up the non-controversial points in the party's election programme "by promoting some clearly secondary issues through mass media outlets controlled by pro-government forces".
During a Party of Regions rally in Kiev to counter the ongoing Euromaidan protests, MP Olena Bondarenko called Tyahnybok a "traitor" and one "who helps the Kremlin and Moscow." Her words were altered to read on her party's website that he was instead a "Nazi" and that "Nazis are not just disrespected, they are outlawed in Europe and throughout the civilized world".
Svoboda members have denied the party is anti-Semitic. Party leader Tyahnybok stated in November 2012 “Svoboda is not an anti-Semitic party, Svoboda is not a xenophobic party. Svoboda is not an anti-Russian party. Svoboda is not an anti-European party. Svoboda is simply and only a pro-Ukrainian party”. In defense of these accusations, Tyahnybok has stated "I have repeatedly said that Svoboda is not an anti-Semitic organization. If you have any comments on our views, go to court. But nobody will, because everyone understands that even biased Ukrainian courts cannot pass any sentence against Svoboda because we do not violate Ukrainian laws." Tyahnybok says a criminal case was opened against him for promoting racial rights, but he managed to win all the court cases and protect his name.
Certain political experts write that the name of the party was an intentional reference to the Nazi Party in Germany, and that "Social National" is a reference to "National Socialism", the ideology claimed by the Nazi Party.
According to Der Spiegel, "anti-Semitism is part of the extremist party's platform," which rejects certain minority and human rights. The paper writes that Svoboda's earlier "Social-National Party" title was an "intentional reference to Adolf Hitler's National Socialist party," and that in 2013 a Svoboda youth leader distributed Nazi propaganda written by Joseph Goebbels. According to Algemeiner Journal, "Svoboda supporters include among their heroes leaders of pro-Nazi World War II organizations known for their atrocities against Jews and Poles, such as the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), and the 14th Waffen-SS Galicia Division."
Prominent Ukrainian journalist and president of TVi Channel Vitaly Portnikov defended Svoboda against criticism, as he noted he is often questioned for supporting party leader Oleh Tyahnybok despite himself being Jewish. Portnikov said, "I [stand with them] with great pleasure, because Oleh wants Ukraine to be part of the European Union" and that "presently Svoboda is acting in a very decent way, and I see no problem there. Right-wing parties function in every European country."
Ukrainian media associated with the Party of Regions, the Communist Party of Ukraine, and Russophile groups contributed to a trend of characterizing Svoboda as a "Nazi menace." Political analyst Olszański argued that voters from southern or eastern Ukraine, especially those who are poor, less educated, or attached to a "Soviet historical narrative," are hostile to nationalism, easily convinced that Svoboda is the modern analog of the Nazi invaders, and further that the Party of Regions is the only force capable of stopping a 'brown revenge'. According to political scientist Taras Kuzio, the label "nationalist" is "disastrous" in Russian-speaking regions of Ukraine and used as an epithet by political opponents.
Statements by political scientists
Political scientist Tadeusz A. Olszański writes that the social-nationalist ideology which Svoboda formerly adhered to has included "openly racist rhetoric" concerning 'white supremacy' since its establishment, and that comparisons with National Socialism are legitimized by its history; however, Svoboda's policy documents contain no racist elements.
Andreas Umland, a political scientist at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, has asserted in 2010 that "Svoboda was a racist party promoting explicitly ethnocentric and anti-Semitic ideas". He also believes that internally, Svoboda "is much more radical and xenophobic than what we see”. However, Umland has also stated that he believes the party will continue to become more moderate over time, stating that "there's a belief that Svoboda will change, once in the Verkhovna Rada, and that they may become proper national democrats".
Alexander J. Motyl contends that Svoboda is not fascist, neither in behaviour or in ideology, and that "they are far more like the Tea Party or right-wing Republicans than like fascists or neo-Nazis."
According to Anton Shekhovtsov, expert on radical parties in Europe, "The main peculiarity of the Ukrainian far right is that its main enemy is not immigrants or national minorities, as often happens with the EU-based far right, but the Kremlin".
Statements by Jewish organizations
Thirty members of the Israeli Knesset condemned the party in a signed letter addressed to the President of the European Parliament. In the letter the Israeli politicians accused Svoboda of "openly glorifying Nazi murder" and "Nazi war criminals". In May 2013 the World Jewish Congress labelled the party as "neo-Nazi" and called for European governments to ban them.
Ukraine's chief rabbi Yaakov Bleich said "Svoboda is an enigma in many ways," calling it "a right-wing, nationalist party with anti-Semitic elements in it." Vyacheslav A. Likhachev of the Eurasian Jewish Congress, said that the "party has a very anti-Semitic core in its ideology," and that it leads to "symbolic legitimization of neo-Nazis and anti-Semitic ideology in the eyes of society."
Member of parliament with the pro-presidential Party of Regions, and president of the Jewish Committee of Ukraine Oleksandr Feldman criticized Svoboda as a "party which is notorious for regularly injecting anti-Semitism into their speeches and public pronouncements" and accused the party of "rallying behind this recognition and exploited mistrust of Jews to gain popularity among some in the lower class who painfully welcomed the chance to be a part of campaigns of hate". Feldman also writes that Svoboda has helped erode the shame associated with open expressions of anti-Semitism and other ethnic hatreds. Feldman has been an advocate for the Party of Regions and president Viktor Yanukovych, reportedly also funding the latter's public relations firm. During the Euromaidan protests, Feldman said the protests had degenerated into "ultra-nationalism and anti-Semitism," and called for opposition leaders Arseniy Yatseniuk and Vitali Klitschko to distance themselves from Svoboda. Four groups, including the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, said they have seen no upsurge in anti-Semitic attacks. "We call on Ukrainian citizens and foreign observers to remain calm and critically assess the panic-mongering statements in the media regarding anti-Semitism in the country," the groups said in a statement on the website of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress.
In 2012 international human rights organization The Simon Wiesenthal Center placed Svoboda party leader Oleg Tyahnybok fifth in its list of the top 10 anti-Semites and haters of Israel, based on his previous comments regarding Jews in Ukraine.
Party leader Oleh Tyahnybok (in January 2011) has described the Azarov Government and the presidency of Viktor Yanukovych "a Kremlin colonial administration", referencing Svoboda's opposition to perceived Russian influences in Ukrainian politics.
Before the 2012 Ukrainian parliamentary election most of the radical points which were present on the Svoboda’s original party platform vanished from the official election program that Svoboda filed with the Central Election Commission of Ukraine. In its place, a tamer, populist program focused on the impeachment of President Viktor Yanukovych and the renunciation of the 2010 Kharkiv agreements that let Russia's Black Sea Fleet stay in Crimea through 2042 was used. In its campaign for the 2008 Kiev local elections the party also used less ethnic nationalist terms and it relied more on a strong anti-establishment, populist and anti-corruption rhetoric.
Svoboda's platform is called “Our Own Authorities, Our Own Property, Our Own Dignity, on Our Own God-Given Land.” and includes the following points:
- Ukraine—a presidential republic, head of state is the head of government
- Lustration of state authority: publication of lists of all Soviet KGB agents that served or continue to serve in Ukraine, dismissal of such people as well as members of the former Communist Party of the Soviet Union from state leadership positions, replace them with graduates of the Ukrainian universities
- Criminal prosecution for "Ukrainophobia"
- Only those born in Ukraine can become Ukrainian citizens, with the exceptions for those who have lived in Ukraine for more than 15 years, know the Ukrainian language, culture and Ukrainian Constitution
- Renunciation[nb 3] of the 2010 Kharkiv agreements
- Impeachment of President Viktor Yanukovych
- Ban on abortion, except in cases of medical necessity, or rape; and imprisonment from three to seven years for those who violate this ban
- Criminalization of public promotion of abortions or calls for abortions (by introducing a fine for doing so)
- The right to keep and bear arms
- Cancelling taxes on Ukrainian language products—films, music and literature—and instead imposing taxes on non-Ukrainian language products. The proceeds obtained this way will be channeled into developing Ukrainian language products
- Nationalization of major enterprises, greater state control of the banking system and a ban on privatization of land
- Energy independence for Ukraine
- The development of competitive industries, particularly food processing and aircraft engineering, shipbuilding, machine-tool construction, machine manufacturing, the military industrial complex and the aerospace industry
- Ban on the import of the food products that are also produced inside Ukraine and import only exotic food that is not domestically grown
- The restoration of the Soviet practice of indicating ethnic origin on passports and birth certificates
- Proportional representation on executive bodies of ethnic Ukrainians, on the one hand, and national minorities, on the other
- Ban on adoptions by non-Ukrainians of Ukrainian children
- Preferential treatment for Ukrainian students in the allocation of dormitory places, and a series of similar changes to existing legal provisions
- Ordained persons should have no right to be elected to state authorities or local self-government authorities
- Abolition of Crimean autonomy
- Abolition of value added tax
- Farmlands are to be state-owned and given to farmers in hereditary use
- The state is to implement a firm pro-family policy
- Dismissal of employees of state structures who had been active in the Soviet apparatus before 1991
- Decommunization of public space (monuments, names of streets and places)
- Russia should apologize "for its communist crimes"
- Ukraine is to leave the Commonwealth of Independent States "and other post-Soviet structures"
- An explicit guarantee of accession to NATO within a set period of time
- Ukraine should again re-acquire tactical nuclear weaponry
Svoboda also states in its programme that it is both possible and necessary to make Ukraine the “geopolitical centre of Europe”. The European Union is not mentioned in the programme. According to Party leader Oleh Tyahnybok the programme is a worldview based on Christian values and the "rejection of various deviations".
Member of parliament Ihor Miroshnychenko asked the head of the Kiev City State Administration Oleksandr Popov on 7 March 2013 to ban a march that was held the next day because he believed it would "contribute to promoting sexual orientation" and he further stated in his request "homosexuality provokes sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS". The 8 March rally was in fact not an LGBT march but organized by feminist organizations.
In late January 2013 Svoboda urged Ukrainians to boycott revised Ukrainian history textbooks and to give up the teaching of the Russian language in school, calling Ukrainians "to categorically refuse to study in school the language of the occupier – Russian, as a further reliable means of the assimilation of Ukrainians". On February 13, 2014 following the 2014 Ukrainian revolution, Svoboda supported legislation abolishing the law on regional languages making Ukrainian the sole state language at all levels. This proposal was vetoed by acting President Oleksandr Turchynov.
|Year||Popular vote||% of popular vote||Overall seats won||Seat change||Government|
0 / 450
1 / 450
|2002||did not participate||
0 / 450
0 / 450
0 / 450
37 / 450
6 / 450
|Election year||Candidate||# of 1st round votes||% of 1st round vote||# of 2nd round votes||% of 2nd round vote|
Representation in regional councils
|Svoboda %||Svoboda individual seats won||Svoboda total seats won|
|Ternopil oblast council||
|Lviv oblast council||
|Ivano-Frankivsk oblast council||
|Volyn oblast council||
|Rivne oblast council||
|Chernivtsi oblast council||
|Kyiv oblast council||
|Khmelnytskyi Oblast council||
Change in party voting
- Olszański, Tadeusz A. (2011), Svoboda Party – The New Phenomenon on the Ukrainian Right-Wing Scene (PDF), OSW Commentary (56), Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW)
- Rudling, Per Anders (2013), "The Return of the Ukrainian Far Right: The Case of VO Svoboda" (PDF), Analysing Fascist Discourse: European Fascism in Talk and Text, Routledge, pp. 228–255
- Shekhovtsov, Anton (2011), "The Creeping Resurgence of the Ukrainian Radical Right?: The Case of the Freedom Party", Europe-Asia Studies, 63 (2), doi:10.1080/09668136.2011.547696
- Shekhovtsov, Anton (2013). From Para-Militarism to Radical Right-Wing Populism: The Rise of the Ukrainian Far-Right Party Svoboda. Right-Wing Populism in Europe: Politics and Discourse. London/New York: Bloomsbury. pp. 249–263. ISBN 978-1-78093-343-6.
- Umland, Andreas (2011), "Ukraine's Right-Wing Politics: Is the Genie out of the Bottle?", Open Democracy Russia and beyond
- In the 2012 Ukrainian parliamentary elections, Svoboda won its first seats in the Ukrainian Parliament, garnering 10.44% of the popular vote and the 4th most seats among national political parties; this transposed into 37 parliamentary seats.
- An electoral result similar to results of far-right parties in countries neighboring Ukraine in previously held elections since 1990.
- In June 2013 Ukraine's First Deputy Foreign Minister Ruslan Demchenko stated an unilateral denunciation of the 2010 Ukrainian–Russian Naval Base for Natural Gas treaty was not possible from a legal point of view.
- Oblast Council demands Svoboda Party be banned in Ukraine, Kyiv Post (May 12, 2011)
- Olszański, Tadeusz A. (4 July 2011). "Svoboda Party – The New Phenomenon on the Ukrainian Right-Wing Scene". Centre for Eastern Studies. OSW Commentary (56): 6. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
- Nordsieck, Wolfram. "Ukraine". Parties and Elections in Europe. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
- Kuzio, Taras (November–December 2010), "Populism in Ukraine in a Comparative European Context" (PDF), Problems of Post-Communism, M.E. Sharpe, 57 (6): 6, 15, doi:10.2753/ppc1075-8216570601, retrieved 16 October 2012,
Anti-Semitism only permeates Ukraine’s far-right parties, such as Svoboda… Ukraine’s economic nationalists are to be found in the extreme right (Svoboda) and centrist parties that propagate economic nationalism and economic protectionism.
- Ivaldi, Gilles (2012). "The Populist Radical Right in European Elections 1979-2009". In Uwe Backes; Patrick Moreau. The Extreme Right in Europe. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. p. 20. ISBN 978-3-525-36922-7. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
- Harding, Luke. "Larry King got $225,000 to interview Viktor Yanukovych's PM, says Ukraine politician". The Guardian.
The ledgers also suggest that Yanukovych’s Party of Regions was giving clandestine funding to the far-right ultra-nationalist Ukrainian party Svoboda
- Кандидати, яких обрано депутатами рад. www.cvk.gov.ua (in Ukrainian). 15 November 2015. Retrieved 15 November 2015.
- (Ukrainian) "Свобода" і європейські націоналісти: конфлікти є, війни нема "Svoboda" and European nationalists: conflicts are not the war, BBC Ukrainian (24 January 2013)
Europe's Far Right Is Embracing Putin, Business Insider (10 April 2014)
Oleh Tiahnybok withdraws Svoboda's membership within the Alliance of European National Movements
- Ukraine election:President Yanukovych party claims win, BBC News (29 October 2012).
- "Results of the vote count". Kyiv Post. Nov 9, 2012.
- Party of Regions gets 185 seats in Ukrainian parliament, Batkivschyna 101 - CEC, Interfax-Ukraine (12 November 2012)
- Poroshenko Bloc to have greatest number of seats in parliament, Ukrainian Television and Radio (8 November 2014)
People's Front 0.33% ahead of Poroshenko Bloc with all ballots counted in Ukraine elections - CEC, Interfax-Ukraine (8 November 2014)
Poroshenko Bloc to get 132 seats in parliament - CEC, Interfax-Ukraine (8 November 2014)
- After the parliamentary elections in Ukraine: a tough victory for the Party of Regions, Centre for Eastern Studies (7 November 2012)
- Svoboda party members in Ukrainian government resign – Deputy Premier Sych, Interfax-Ukraine (12 November 2014)
- Encyclopaedia Britannica (2010). Britannica Book of the Year 2010. Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. p. 478.
- "Ukraine publishes final polls results". The Voice of Russia. 13 November 2012.
- Radzina, Natallia (7 February 2014). "Vitaliy Portnikov: First Belarus, then Russia will follow after Ukraine". Charter '97.
- Rudling, Per Anders (2012), "Anti-Semitism and the Extreme Right in Contemporary Ukraine", Mapping the Extreme Right in Contemporary Europe: From Local to Transnational, Routledge, p. 200
- Bojcun, Marko (2012), "The Socioeconomic and Political Outcomes of Global Financial Crisis in Ukraine", Socioeconomic Outcomes of the Global Financial Crisis: Theoretical Discussion and Empirical Case Studies, Routledge, p. 151
- Likhachev, Viacheslav (September–October 2013). "Right-Wing Extremism on the Rise in Ukraine". Russian Politics and Law. 51 (5).
- Syal, Rajeev (1 June 2012). "Guardian Weekly: Shadow of racism over Euro 2012 finals: Black football fans face uncertain welcome in Ukrainian host city". The Guardian Weekly. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
- "Head of Israel-Ukraine association surprised at agreement signed by Ukrainian opposition and Svoboda". Ukraine General Newswire-Interfax News Agency. 23 October 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
- Weinthal, Benjamin (28 December 2012). "Wiesenthal ranks top 10 anti-Semites, Israel-bashers. Muslim Brotherhood's rise in Egypt catapults two religious figures into No. 1 spot". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
- Spyer, Jonathon (9 January 2014). "Kiev Showdown". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
The far-right, anti-Semitic Svoboda party of Oleh Tyahnybok is also in evidence in the square. The third organized element is the Batkivschnya (Fatherland) party, which is close to Timoshenko.
- Stern, David (13 December 2013). "What Europe Means to Ukraine's Protesters". The Atlantic. Retrieved 27 March 2014.
- Grey, Stephen (18 March 2014). "In Ukraine, nationalists gain influence - and scrutiny". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 27 March 2014.
- Shekhovtsov, Anton (5 March 2014). "From electoral success to revolutionary failure: The Ukrainian Svoboda party". Eurozine. Retrieved 27 March 2014.
- Tiahnybok reelected Svoboda party head, Kyiv Post (8 December 2012)
- Local government elections in Ukraine: last stage in the Party of Regions’ takeover of power, Centre for Eastern Studies (October 4, 2010)
- (Ukrainian)Генеральна репетиція президентських виборів: на Тернопільщині стався прогнозований тріумф націоналістів і крах Тимошенко, Ukrayina Moloda (March 17, 2009)
- (Ukrainian)Всеукраїнське об'єднання «Свобода», Database ASD
- Andrusechko, P. Way of Tyahnybok to Freedom. Poznan: "Ukrayinskyi zhurnal", May 2009
- Party's history. Svoboda website.
- "About party". Svoboda. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
- Elections of folk deputies of Ukraine on March 29, 1998 the Election programmes of political parties and electoral blocs, Vernadsky National Library of Ukraine (1998)
- "Central Election Commission of Ukraine". Archived from the original on 19 February 2014.
- Candidates list for Less words, Central Election Commission of Ukraine
- (Ukrainian) Олег Тягнибок, Ukrinform
- "�аява Організації "Патріот України" про розрив стосунків з ВО "Свобода"". Retrieved 30 October 2014. replacement character in
|title=at position 1 (help)
- "BBC News - Svoboda: The rise of Ukraine's ultra-nationalists". BBC News. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- "Jewish World" (PDF). The Jerusalem Project. December 12, 2012.
- Shekhovtsov, Anton (24 July 2012). "Security threats and the Ukrainian far right". Open Democracy. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
- Shekhovtsov, Anton (2013). Right-Wing Populism in Europe: Politics and Discourse. A&C Black. p. 256.
- Andrew Higgins and Andrew E. Kramer (Feb 20, 2014). "Converts Join With Militants in Kiev Clash". The New York Times.
- Shekhovtsov, Anton (2011)."The Creeping Resurgence of the Ukrainian Radical Right? The Case of the Freedom Party". Europe-Asia Studies Volume 63, Issue 2. pp. 203-228. doi:10.1080/09668136.2011.547696 (source also available here)
- Umland, Andreas; Anton Shekhovstsov. "Ultraright Party Politics in Post-Soviet Ukraine and the Puzzle of the Electoral Marginalism of Ukraine Ultranationalists in 1994-2009.". Russian Politics and Law. 51 (5): 33–58. doi:10.2753/rup1061-1940510502.
- Rudling, Per Anders (2013). Ruth Wodak and John E. Richardson, ed. The Return of the Ukrainian Far Right: The Case of VO Svoboda. New York: Routledge. pp. 229–247.
- ISN Editors. "Svoboda Party – The New Phenomenon on the Ukrainian Right-Wing Scene". Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- Anton Shekhovtsov, “From Para-Militarism to Radical Right-Wing Populism: The Rise of the Ukrainian Far-Right Party Svoboda,” in Media of Right-Wing Populism in Europe, eds. Wodak, Mral, and KhosraviNik (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2013), 255.
- Svoboda party – the new phenomenon on the Ukrainian right-wing scene, OSW Commentary, July 5, 2011
- Заява Організації „Патріот України” про розрив стосунків з ВО „Свобода”, una-unso.inf, 18.12.2007
- Svoboda: The rise of Ukraine's ultra-nationalists, BBC News (26 December 2012)
- Edyta M. Bojanowska (2007) "Nikolai Gogol: Between Ukrainian And Russian Nationalism" ISBN 0-674-02291-2, p. 55: "In the 'low', folksy world of the provincial narrators, a Russian is a moskal ("Muscovite")", a foreigner and an intruder, at best a carpetbagger, at worst a thief in league with the devil."
- Yushchenko Finally Gets Tough On Nationalists, The Jamestown Foundation (August 3, 2004)
- "Birth Pangs Of a Nation -- A special report.; Ukraine Facing the High Costs of Democracy". 6 November 1992.
- Winer, Stuart. Ukraine okays ‘zhyd’ slur for Jews, The Times of Israel, December 19, 2012.International Business Times, Svoboda: The Rising Spectre Of Neo-Nazism In The Ukraine, 27 December 2012.
- Harvest of Despair: Life and Death in Ukraine Under Nazi Rule by Karel C. Berkhoff, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2008, ISBN 0674027183 (page 60)
- (Ukrainian) ЦВК оприлюднила офіційні результати 1-го туру виборів, Gazeta.ua (January 25, 2010)
- (Ukrainian) Election results and map by region, Ukrainska Pravda (4 February 2010)
- Tymoshenko’s Looming Defeat: How Did She Make It Inevitable?, Serhiy Kudelia (January 29, 2010)
- Nationalist Svoboda scores election victories in western Ukraine, Kyiv Post (November 11, 2010)
- (Ukrainian)Підсилення "Свободи" загрозою несвободи, BBC Ukrainian (November 4, 2010)
- Ukraine right-wing politics: is the genie out of the bottle?, openDemocracy.net (January 3, 2011)
- On the move: Andreas Umland, Kyiv – Mohyla Academy, Kyiv Post (September 30, 2010)
- Research, European Union Democracy Observatory
- Ukraine: Comprehensive Partnership for a Real Democracy, Center for International Private Enterprise, 2010
- Ukrainians unhappy with domestic economic situation, their own lives, Kyiv Post (September 12, 2011)
- Ukrainian nationalist leader thriving in hard times, Business Ukraine (January 20, 2011)
- Tiahnybok: Priests on Lists of Svoboda Party Are to Counterbalance 'Moscow Priests' on Lists of Opponents, Religious Information Service of Ukraine (19 October 2010)
- Danilova, Maria (22 February 2012). "Ukrainian party accused of racism in pop scandal". CNS News. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
- "Euromaidan: The Dark Shadows Of The Far-Right In Ukraine Protests". International Business Times. 19 February 2014. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- Zhuk, Alyona (Feb 21, 2012). "Racist comments about Gaitana stir controversy, anger". Kyiv Post.
- (Ukrainian)Кого насправді "розкручує" влада? Факти проти міфів, Ukrayinska Pravda (June 14, 2011)
- Ukraine viewpoint: Novelist Andrey Kurkov, BBC News (January 13, 2011)
- (Ukrainian) Candidates, RBC Ukraine
- Governing Party Claims Victory in Ukraine Elections, The New York Times (28 October 2012)
Batkivschyna United Opposition, Svoboda agree on single-seat constituencies among their candidates, Kyiv Post (26 July 2012)
- Parliament passes law on parliamentary elections, Kyiv Post (17 November 2011)
- If parliamentary elections were held next Sunday how would you vote? (recurrent, 2008-2010), Razumkov Centre
(Ukrainian)Динаміка виборчих орієнтацій громадян України, Razumkov Centre (February 10, 2011)
Electoral moods of the Ukrainian population: September 2011, Sociological group "RATING" (September 30, 2011)
Ratings of parties, Sociological group "RATING"
Electoral moods of the Ukrainian population: February 2012, Sociological group "RATING" (March 5, 2012)
- "Ukraine's Ultranationalists Show Surprising Strength at Polls". Nytimes.com. 8 November 2012.
- (Ukrainian)Proportional votes, Central Electoral Commission of Ukraine
- After counting all ballots at 116 foreign polling stations "Svoboda" wins in parliamentary elections in Ukraine, National Radio Company of Ukraine (29 October 2012)
No violations reported at Ukraine’s overseas polling stations, ITAR-TASS (28 October 2012)
- "Experts weigh in on rise of Ukrainian Svoboda party". Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- Gorchinskaya, Katya. "Svoboda tames radicals to get into parliament". Kyiv Post. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
- Five factions, including Communist Party, registered in parliament, Kyiv Post (12 December 2012)
- United opposition, Svoboda sign coalition agreement, Klitschko absent at ceremony, Kyiv Post (19 October 2012)
Batkivschyna plans to cooperate with Svoboda in parliament, Kyiv Post (13 December 2012)
- Batkivschyna, UDAR, Svoboda to create opposition council to coordinate activity in Rada, Kyiv Post (17 December 2012)
- (Ukrainian) Підтримка КПУ та Партії регіонів знизилась - соціологи Support CPU and the Party of Regions fell - sociologists, Ukrayinska Pravda (6 March 2013)
- Victoria Butenko, for CNN (13 December 2012). "New Ukraine parliament packs punches -- literally -- in first session". CNN.
- Maria Danilova, Associated Press (13 December 2012). "Ukraine parliament erupts into violent brawls during vote over speaker". National Post. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- "Punch and Judy politics: Ukraine's new parliament session turns into brawl (VIDEO)". Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- "BBC News - MPs throw punches in Ukraine parliament brawl". BBC News. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- "Rada riot: Ukrainian MPs exchange 'fascist' insults, start brawl (VIDEO, PHOTOS)". Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- "Parliament breaks due to scuffle between Svoboda, Regions Party (VIDEO)". Kyiv Post. March 19, 2013.
- "Ukrainian government: Anti-Semitic pejorative used against Mila Kunis is legal". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- "Anti-Semitism on EuroMaidan: Not seen, just heard about". Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- "Don't Let Putin Grab Ukraine". The New York Times.
- Batkivschyna, UDAR, Svoboda to coordinate their actions at presidential election, Interfax-Ukraine (16 May 2013)
- Interfax-Ukraine (Dec 25, 2013). "Poll: Yanukovych to lose to opposition candidates in second round of presidential elections". Kyiv Post.
- "Svoboda assumes responsibility for pulling down Lenin monument in Kyiv". ZIK. 8 December 2013. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
- Harding, Luke. "Ukraine uprising: fascist coup or broad-based grassroots movement?". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 March 2014.
- Maidan nominates Yatseniuk for prime minister, Interfax-Ukraine (26 February 2014)
Ukrainian parliament endorses new cabinet, Interfax-Ukraine (27 February 2014)
- "У Рівному представили нового голову ОДА Сергія Рибачка". zik.ua.
- "Тернопольскую ОГА возглавил Сиротюк - Криминал и происшествия в Украине - Об этом говорится в указах 221 и 222 от 2 марта | СЕГОДНЯ". Segodnya.ua. 2014-03-02. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
- "Kremenchuzhanin Victor Bugaychuk appointed Governor of Poltava". :.
- "Crimea crisis: Pro-Russians seize Ukrainian naval bases". BBC. 19 March 2014. Retrieved 19 March 2014.
- "Ukrainian TV boss assaulted and forced to resign by far-right Svoboda MPs". euronews. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- "OSCE". Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- "Humiliation: Ukrainian MP & thugs beat state TV Channel head into resigning (VIDEO)". Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- Rudenko, Olga (March 19, 2014). "Nationalist Svoboda Party members of parliament assault First Channel TV manager (VIDEO)". Kyiv Post.
- Mirkinson, Jack (20 March 2014). "Far-Right Attack On Ukrainian TV Chief Condemned". Huffington Post. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
- "Партія Свобода створює власний батальйон". Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- Olszański, Tadeusz A. (29 October 2014), A strong vote for reform: Ukraine after the parliamentary elections, OSW—Centre for Eastern Studies
- Poroshenko dismisses governors of Poltava, Ternopil and Rivne regions – decree, Interfax-Ukraine (18 November 2014)
- Why a 'Star Wars' Emperor Won Office in Ukraine, Bloomberg News (26 October 2015)
Exit Polls Show Ukraine Divided For, Against Poroshenko Rule, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (27 October 2015)
After Ukraine’s Local Elections: Early Misinterpretations, Carnegie Europe (27 October 2015)
Poroshenko hobbles on, Politico Europe (26 October 2015)
Week’s milestones. Elections to be continued, blackmail in Minsk, and emotional lustration, UNIAN (27 October 2015)
- Mayors of Mykolayiv, Ivano-Frankivsk become known after elections, Ukrinform (16 November 2015)
- Miller, Christopher (17 January 2014). "Svoboda's rise inspires some, frightens many others". Kyiv Post. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
- "Коломойский предрекает большое будущее ВО "Свобода"". 2 December 2010. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- Motyl, Alexander J. (21 March 2014). "'Experts' on Ukraine". World Affairs Journal.
- Announcement of the All-Ukrainian Union "Svoboda" about resignation from duties members of government and chair persons of regional administration. All-Ukrainian "Svoboda" website. 12 November 2014
- The Extreme Right in Ukraine by Mridula Ghosh, Friedrich Ebert Foundation (October 2012)
- Olszański, Tadeusz A. (17 September 2014), Ukraine’s political parties at the start of the election campaign, OSW—Centre for Eastern Studies
- "Oleh Tiahnybok: Decriminalization, derussiafication and deputinisation will change the state and Ukraine's political system for the better". Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- "Tiahnybok wants parliament to consider constitutional reform, ratify Rome Statute". Kyiv Post. Feb 4, 2014.
- "Андрій Іллєнко: Націоналізм і псевдонаціоналізм". Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- Faryna, Oksana (18 October 2012). "Extreme Choices: Svoboda plays nationalist card". Kyiv Post. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- "BBC News - Ukraine's far-right Svoboda party hold torch-lit Kiev march". BBC News. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- Artem Dzyubenko. "Svoboda Party march for Stepan Bandera birthday large but uneventful". Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- Norman Davies. (1996). Europe: a History. Oxford: Oxford University Press
- Aleksander V. Prusin. Ethnic Cleansing: Poles from Western Ukraine. In: Matthew J. Gibney, Randall Hansen. Immigration and asylum: from 1900 to the present. Vol. 1. ABC-CLIO. 2005. pp. 204-205.
- Timothy Snyder. The reconstruction of nations: Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 1569–1999. Yale University Press. 2003. pp. 169-170, 176
- John Paul Himka. Interventions: Challenging the Myths of Twentieth-Century Ukrainian History. University of Alberta. 2011. p.4.
- Grzegorz Rossoliński-Liebe. "The Ukrainian National Revolution" of 1941. Discourse and Practice of a Fascist Movement. Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History. Vol. 12/No. 1 (Winter 2011). p. 83.
- Goldfarb, Michael (12 April 2012). "Ukraine's nationalist party embraces Nazi ideology". Global Post. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
- Analysing Fascist Discourse. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- (Ukrainian)Олігархи, Parties official website
- Central and East European Politics:From Communism to Democracy by Sharon Wolchik and Jane Curry, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2007, ISBN 978-0-7425-4068-2 (page 347)
- Ukraine on its Way to Europe by Juliane Besters-Dilger, Peter Lang, 2009, ISBN 3-631-58889-5 (page 113)
- (Ukrainian)Олег Тягнибок – єдиний кандидат у президенти України, який несе світоглядові бачення побудови української держави!, Parties official website (November 25, 2009)
- International Business Times, Svoboda: The Rising Spectre Of Neo-Nazism In The Ukraine, 27 December 2012.
- Ukraine's Orange band loses its voice, BBC News ()
- Monument to Lenin was opened with scandal, UNIAN (November 27, 2009)
- Police detain two persons who threw bottle of paint at Lenin monument in Kyiv, Kyiv Post (November 27, 2009)
- (Ukrainian) Події за темами: У Києві облили фарбою пам’ятник Леніну під час його відкриття після реставрації, UNIAN (November 27, 2009)
- Svoboda activists questioned due to explosion of monument to Stalin, Kyiv Post (January 3, 2010)
- "Ukraine's Police Open Criminal Case over Lenin Statue Dismantling". RIA Novosti. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- Isachenkov (3 December 2013). "Main players in Ukraine's political drama". The New Zealand Herald.
While Svoboda campaigns firmly for EU membership and Western values, their leaders, including Tyahnybok, have made anti-Semitic and racist remarks to protests by Jewish and other rights groups. The group also campaigns for strict conservative values and has called for banning abortions and spoken out against gay rights.
- Ghosh, Ghosh (19 February 2013). "Euromaidan: The Dark Shadows Of The Far Right In Ukraine Protests". International Business Times News.
Moreover, Svoboda expresses extreme hostility towards homosexuals - party members once attacked and sprayed tear gas at the participants of a gay rights rally in the capital Kiev.
- "Ukraine: Investigate Attacks on Peaceful Protest". Human Rights Watch. 18 December 2012. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
- "Ukraine shelves gay rights vote amid protests". Agence France Presse. 14 May 2013.
The parliament of ex-Soviet Ukraine on Tuesday indefinitely postponed a vote on a bill that would have barred employers from rejecting workers based on their sexual orientation as hundreds of anti-gay activists protested outside. The European Union-backed legislation had been up for a vote on Tuesday after a strong bid by President Viktor Yanukovych's government -- keen to eventually join the 27-nation bloc -- to get its rights laws in line with Western standards. But the bill was opposed in parliament by the Communist Party and the nationalist Svoboda group that sees most of its support in Catholic Ukrainian-speaking regions in the west of the country.
- Stern, David (13 December 2013). "What Europe Means to Ukraine's Protesters". The Atlantic. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
- "Ukrainian Lawmakers Propose to Ban Abortions · Global Voices". Global Voices. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- "Ukrainian Lawmakers Propose to Ban Abortions". Global Voices, delivered by Newstex. Apr 29, 2013.
- Pyzik, Agata (21 March 2014). "Amid Ukraine's turmoil, women's rights must not be forgotten". The Guardian.
- Salem, Harriet (14 March 2014). "Ukraine: Kiev cabinet". The Guardian.
- Spiegel Staff (27 January 2014). "The Right Wing's Role in Ukrainian Protests". Der Spiegel. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
- Kramer, Andrew (18 December 2013). "Protests in Ukraine lift nationalist right; Anti-Russia feelings help Svoboda party spread unyielding message". International New York Times.
- Sokol, Sam (19 January 2014). "Attacker stabs kollel student in Kiev". Jerusalem Post.
- Feldman, Oleksandr (13 January 2014). "The Sad Progression of the Ukrainian Protest Movement From Democracy and the Rule of Law to Ultra-nationalism and Anti-semitism". The Huffington Post.
- "�еонацизм і ВО Свобода - Українська правда". Українська правда. Retrieved 30 October 2014. replacement character in
|title=at position 1 (help)
- "Жизнь после выборов". Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- 13/12/2012 Text adopted by Parliament, single reading, European Parliament (13 December 2012)
- Oleh Tyahnybok: “The three opposition parties should not be required to act completely in sync”, The Ukrainian Week (31 March 2013)
- "Партія регіонів відцензурувала виступ регіоналки Бондаренко". Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- Reuters (25 September 2011). "Ukrainian nationalists protest over Jewish pilgrims". Kyiv Post. Retrieved 25 September 2011.
- Ukrainian party picks xenophobic candidate, Jewish Telegraphic Agency (May 25, 2009)
- Tiahnybok denies anti-Semitism in Svoboda, Kyiv Post (27 December 2012)
- "Tiahnybok denies anti-Semitism in Svoboda". Kyiv Post. 27 December 2012.
- Umland, Andreas; Shekhovtsov, Anton (September–October 2013). "Ultraright Party Politics in Post-Soviet Ukraine and the Puzzle of the Electoral Marginalism of Ukrainian Ultranationalists in 1994–2009". Russian Politics and Law. 51 (5): 41. doi:10.2753/rup1061-1940510502. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
- "Svoboda Fuels Ukraine’s Growing Anti-Semitism". Algemeiner Journal. May 24, 2013.
- The rise of the radical right in Ukraine by Andreas Umland, Kyiv Post (October 21, 2010)
- Hoye, Bryce (18 March 2014). "'Will Ukraine survive Yanukovych?': Alexander Motyl provides theories on threat posed by Putin". The Manitoban. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
- Ukraine's parliament to remain a rowdy place, Associated Press via Yahoo! News (28 October 2014)
- "Israeli Knesset sign protest letter against anti-Semitism and Russophobia in Ukraine". The Voice of Russia. 9 July 2013.
- World Jewish Congress calls Svoboda a neo-Nazi party, Ukrinform (14 May 2013)
- Espino, Nathaniel (Feb 7, 2014). "Anti-Semitism rears its ugly head in PR war over protests". Kyiv Post.
- Feldman, Oleksandr (Feb 14, 2013). "Svoboda promoting hatred in Ukraine". Kyiv Post.
- "#43 Richest: Oleksandr Feldman, 50". Kyiv Post. Dec 17, 2010.
- "Ukrainian Jews worry that rise of Svoboda party will bring anti-Semitism back into vogue". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- "Wiesenthal ranks top 10 anti-Semites, Israel-haters". Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- Kyiv cannot denounce Kharkiv accords unilaterally, says Foreign Ministry, Interfax-Ukraine (19 June 2013)
- Rada fails to support bill on denunciation of Kharkiv accords on Black Sea Fleet basing in Ukraine, Interfax-Ukraine (19 June 2013)
- Svoboda MPs propose legislatively banning abortions in Ukraine, Interfax-Ukraine (8 April 2013)
- Alarm at rise in Ukraine ultra-nationalist popularity, BBC News (7 January 2012)
- (Ukrainian) "Свободівець" попросив Попова заборонити марш сексуальних меншин "Svobodivets" Popov asked to ban the march of sexual minorities, Ukrayinska Pravda (7 March 2013)
- (Ukrainian) У Києві марширували феміністки In Kyiv marched feminists, Ukrayinska Pravda (8 March 2013)
- "Svoboda urges Ukrainians to boycott new history textbook and not to learn Russian". Kyiv Post. Jan 29, 2013.
- Traynor, Ian (24 February 2014). "Western nations scramble to contain fallout from Ukraine crisis". The Guardian.
- "На Украине отменили закон о региональном статусе русского языка". Lenta.ru. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
- "Ukraine's parliament-appointed acting president says language law to stay effective". ITAR-TASS. 2014-03-01.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to All-Ukrainian Union "Freedom".|