A tragic death, which took place on April 17 in Odessa, of Maksim Chaika, a right-wing football fan and one of the leaders of a radical nationalist organization “SICH”, has immediately lead to heated discussions on the Internet. Whereas everything is clear for the closest companions of the killed: “the white warrior” had perished in the unequal battle with “degenerative subcultures”; more “reputable” national-democratic editions promote a more sophisticated version. In their opinion, those responsible for the tragedy are some “Russian militants”, controlled by the leader of “Rodina” (“Motherland”) party Igor Markov. What happened after that on the Internet were lamentations of the “genuine Ukrainians” from every quarter about “the nationally conscious fellow” killed by “Moscow agents”. However, they paid little attention to the fact that the killed was Russian-speaking and on the whole was rather a “white” racist than a traditional classical Ukrainian nationalist. Where does the “Russian hand” come from in this story?
The “Russian” and “Markov’s” trace in media has as it seems three components:
1) An unidentified source in Odessa “Prosvita” which gave the first commentary to UNIAN news agency. The reason is clear: the Odessa “Prosvita” is being controlled by local activists of Tiahnybok’s “Svoboda” [the major Ukrainian far right party which recently made electoral breakthrough in regional elections in Ternopol], and they bear a grudge against Markov and his Russian chauvinistic party of a fascist sort. They claim that in September 2007 he organized beating up of its participants during the peaceful piquet near the Odessa Oblast State Administation apartment. [misto]
Another thing is that local “Svoboda” doesn’t have an opportunity to promote itself whenever it wants and free of charge through UNIAN and to speculate on a question which is not directly connected with it. It costs a lot. Therefore, it seems that the initiative to interview someone from “Prosvita-Svoboda” belonged to the journalist of Ukrainian news agency himself. But where such an initiative comes from is another question which I’ll return to further.
2) Participants of Chaika’s group, for whom it was crucial to explain the motivation of the actions of Ukrainian fascists on that day, have thought out without much reflections a logically possible version for them about “the attack of the pro-Russian militants” (surely, that would hardly be Chinese), imputing the pro-Russian trace to the anti-fascists, which totally corresponds to the ideological position of the “SICH”. Moreover, during recent 2-3 months I have happened to hear from different indirect sources the information that the whole “Ukrainian nationalist” gathering believed that “Antifa” is “a pro-Moscow organization financed by Markov”. I even head people say that “Markov’s son was the leader of Odessa “Antifa””. It’s unclear though whether Markov has a son at all.
3) An activity of spreading information by the local bourgeois-bureaucratic clan of Gurvits-Klimov (the former being the mayor of Odessa, the latter being the leader of a local organization of the “Party of Regions” and of “Chornomorets” FC) and their attendants from “Free Odessa” (a younger regional sister of the pro-fascist organization “Bratstvo” of Korchynskyi), who immediately tried to use the informational event for their purposes in order to connect the murder of Chaika to Markov as the main opponent (in their eyes) of the city ruling team: [korrespondent], [bratstvo], [svobodnaya1], [svobodnaya2]
By the way, four deputies of Markov’s “Rodina” have recently been deprived of their mandates rudely but perfectly in conformity with the law, which was achieved with the help of the “Block of Natalia Vitrenko”, through the list of which they were elected to the City Council. The former deputies were disoriented and lost their heads a bit.
It is worth mentioning here a harsh struggle during the last months between the clan of Gurvits-Klimov and other local bourgeois groups: Markov’s, Kotusev-Goncharenko’s, Kozachenko’s, Azarov’s, which were forbidden access to squandering of the local budget and public property.
Gambling on the largest of the regional capitalists Klimov, Gurvits gained control over the major part of the City Council in cooperation with him, and his support was totally sufficient for the latter. His methods of struggle with opponents overtly transgress the limits of bourgeois “democracy”: there are inscriptions like “Kozachneko is a murderer”, “Goncharenko is a fag”; an utter campaign of defamation and persecutions is being held against Goncharenko (Kostusev’s son), with public insults, spilling him with brilliant green, setting fire to his office, municipal officials conducting illegal actions towards his private apartment, and even making physical attacks; Markov is being persecuted by Ukrainian Security Service, a criminal case is being held against him and his group of deputies have been depraved of their mandates; Azarov seems to have lost a part of his advertising business, and the office of his business-pyramid is being picketed by the “Free Odessa” pro-power supporters with the demands to “bring the fraudster to account”… As a result all the city bourgeois “opposition” have been cornered.
Returning to Chayka’s “SICH”, it can be inferred with a great deal of veracity that the organization had been supported at least from two sources: the members worked as hired participants in street actions of “Free Odessa” supporting Gurvits and persecuting his opponents, and actively participated in the fan-movement of “Chornomorets” FC. In other words, through the mediators “SICH” actively served the interests of bourgeois-bureaucratic Gurvits-Klimov clan. There is also fragmental information on “SICH” participation in the action of Korchynskyi group “Down with everyone!” in close collaboration with utterly fascist party UNTP (Ukrainian National Labor Party).
Concerning UNIAN journalist, it is most likely that he is the agency’s own correspondent in Odessa region, and as far as I know, earlier he was a close relative of the head of a department of the Odessa City Council, which is directly controlled by the mayor. Therefore it seems that it was quite easy to direct him to the local “Prosvita-Svoboda”, all the more so because the informational occasion was at hand and the ideological position of that organization was known beforehand, their compulsive trend to blame Russia, Markov, and “Rodina” party for everything in the world. The intended informational effect had been achieved. Further it was “Free Odessa” who joined the fight. [unian]
And not to forget the motif of “Moscow’s hand” and “fifth column” had been very organically inscribed into the all-Ukrainian informational field.
In general, taking into account all the above-mentioned, the adventurism of Gurvits-Klimov and Markov group, as well as great interconnection, interpenetration and entanglement of pro-governmental, fanatic, fascist and quasi-fascist organizations in Odessa, it wouldn’t be surprising if the investigation showed that the provocation had been planned in order to use it as an informational or even legal pretext against their political opponents.
And a hide-and-seek children’s game, which lasted for several months, between the street fascists and “Antifa”, which sometimes echoed outside this context, ideological and organizational closure of the anti-fascists, their atomization, “conspiration” only assisted to that. On the other hand though, the conspiration of the Odessa “Antifa” is easily explainable: unlike in the other parts of Ukraine, here in Odessa big capital’s overtly fascist methods of “working” runs the show.
And the last question: why did all that happen namely in Odessa?
Surely because Odessa has always been walking one step ahead the rest of Ukraine! If the prices for heating and public service to be leveled up, then Odessa is the first in the list! If we remember the clan wars, then in 1997-98, when in the rest of Ukraine “the flies have been dying of boredom”, Odessa had seen “hot days” of Gurvits-Bodelan confrontation! If it is for political killing, then long before Gongadze it was in Odessa that Borys Derevianko, Ihor Svoboda and Sergei Varlamov were killed.
Alas, for the last 18 years Odessa has always appeared to be the main test area for the power to test politically dubious solutions and for the bourgeois clans to test new political technologies which subsequently to be extrapolated to the rest of Ukraine.
It is crucial to make conclusions, to forecast the development of the situation on the all-Ukrainian level. And I’d also like to advise the anti-fascists to fight not the effects, street everyday fascism (because the power and money can always hire new hooligans) but to fight with the cause, the fascists in the higher cabinets of Odessa city administration, their financial sponsors and what is the most crucial, the system of unfairness established by them.
Translated from Russian in liva_dumka network