Taras Bilous is a Ukrainian historian, an editor of Commons: Journal of Social Criticism, and an activist in Sotsialniy Rukh (Social Movement). He is currently serving in the Ukrainian army. He was interviewed by Stephen R. Shalom, a member of the New Politics editorial board. Denys Pilash helped with the translation.
New Politics (NP): How would you assess the influence of far-right forces in Ukraine? We have seen claims that, on the one hand, suggest that Ukraine is a Nazi state, or, on the other hand, that the far right is an insignificant factor in Ukrainian life. What is your assessment?
Taras Bilous (TB): Basically, their electoral influence is abysmal, it is small, but they use their strengths in other fields, like on the streets, to try to influence policies. Their extra-parliamentary influence should be neither diminished nor exaggerated.
NP: Is it the case that the far right has the ability to block policies it doesn’t like by threatening violence?
TB: The most significant example of this was the so-called “protest against capitulation,” the protest against peace initiatives in late 2019 after Zelensky was elected president. This was an effort by the nationalist right to stop the initiation of the peace process.
Continue reading @ New Politics.