Article by: Oleksandr Volodarskyi
Andriy Medvedko, also known under his alias “Manson”, is a 26-year-old far-right activist who has recently been named as the main suspect in the murder of Oles Buzina, a Ukrainian publicist who was known for his explicit pro-Russian views and was found dead in April of 2015. As of now the police have two suspects in custody, one of them Andriy Medvedko, a fighter of Kyiv-2 battalion, ATO veteran. Before joining the Kyiv-2 battalion, “Manson” had been a member of C14 – the most influential far-right street group, one which had changed its course of action with the beginning of ATO but is now making a comeback into political hooliganism.
The most common rhetoric which can be heard in defense of the suspects in this murder case can be described in two ways: the first insists that they are innocent ATO fighters being framed by the police due to their having taken a stand against corruption, while the second claims they are brave patriots who should be rewarded for having eliminated an enemy. Sadly, both points can sometimes be heard from the same people, which means that the contradiction of them is going straight over their heads. Needless to say, this doesn’t make the defense any more believable.
This, as well as the recent arrest of the “Tornado” fighters, clearly demonstrates that the ultra-right didn’t get the license for violence they thought they did. It is true that in January they were the main storm force at Maidan, but in February their place was taken by the apolitical Samooborona (“Self-Defense”). The same applies to the armed forces. In the spring of 2014, voluntary battalions, whose numbers contained many far-right activists, had been the core of Ukraine’s defense. Today, most military operations are conducted by the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and most of the volunteers and those who help them do not share this far-right ideology. Furthermore, the far-right volunteers are usually the ones the army blames for misconduct, both tactical and reputational, as these are the units who are generally most likely to disobey orders and act on their own. The harm inflicted by these units can sometimes even outweigh the good they do.
Therefore, even though the modern Ukrainian government can be blamed for many things, it cannot be accused of acting illogically. This means that the so-called “repressions against patriots” are going to continue for however long said patriots are going to assume they are above the law. Although, admittedly, this will cause many problems to those who are still theorizing about the “fascist junta in Ukraine”: most probably, they are going to have to raise the level of absurdity in their mythology, otherwise the junta myth is not going to last.