Cheap propaganda

February 27, 2013

If there is one thing that remains a constant and exceptionally annoying hangover from the USSR era in Ukraine – it is cheap Soviet style propaganda and childish political point scoring amongst a political elite – none of whom would have a chance of standing in most democratic nations due to their nefarious histories and on-going shenanigans.

Let us be quite clear, none of the politicians that have been on the scene since independence, and the vast majority that have since appeared in Ukraine, are not without skeletons in cupboards and often contradictory, confusing, opaque and anachronistic accounts of their usually nefarious past and current wealth – far beyond both their capabilities and the transparent opportunities life has afforded them.

As many readers know, I am not a big fan of much of the Svoboda nationalist ideology.  That is because I am not a fan of nationalist ideology full stop – in any nation.  As anybody with an IQ greater than that of a potato will know, there is a huge difference between nationalism and patriotism.

That does not mean I do not agree with some of what Svoboda has to say, I just completely disagree with the ideology that sits behind it.

It also has to be said I often despair at the more centre ground political parties inability and lack of desire to tackle nationalist ideology head on and publicly, not only in Ukraine but across Europe and beyond.  Instead all we see is the centre ground politicians assimilating the least radical parts of the ideology they can get away with and regurgitating it within their own rhetoric to try and capture a small part of any nationalist voter base that is not entirely rabid.

With equal disdain, it has to be said, I hold the cancer that is Communism.

Extremes of political ideology (or theocracy) do not serve a nation or its people well – particularly in the world in which we now live.

However, it appears that the leader of Svoboda, Oleh Tyahnybok, is currently subject to a rather cheap smear campaign relating to his current and long time professed nationalist political ideology, and his past whilst living and growing up in Communist Ukraine.


This set of photographs is doing the rounds on the Ukrainian websites showing Mr Tyahnybok  in Communist styled uniform and wearing the Леннского комсомолу (Lennin Party) badge, in an effort one supposes, to undermine his now Ukrainian ultra-nationalist views, marking of all (contentious or otherwise) Ukrainian historical dates, and support of (and rehabilitation of) Ukrainian national figures (contentious or otherwise).

Cheap propaganda to say the least.

If as is stated, he was a member of the Lennin Party between 1982 and 1989, we should recall that at this time very few, if anybody, foresaw the collapse of the USSR.  Being a member of the Lennin Party opened doors – and certainly not being a member closed them – to university, good jobs and careers – something rather necessary for somebody who wanted to be a medical doctor (which he subsequently qualified as after the collapse of the USSR).

To be clear, both my parents-in-law were also in the Lennin Party, however my father-in-law was a member because as a merchant seaman, being a member allowed you to go ashore in foreign lands more often than not –  whereas not being a member would prevent you even getting on the ship.

Thus membership served a purpose, rather than any belief at all in the ideology of the party necessarily.  A means to an end for many – no more and no less.  Alternatively, not being a member could be an end to your means by way of life’s opportunities.  – You get my point I’m sure.

As such, quite what the rationale behind this extremely transparent and cheap propaganda campaign is, I am unsure.  To alienate the significant number of young people who follow Svoboda?  Those same young people who have parents that where in the Lennin Party – who also used it, rather than necessarily believed in it, to gather in the opportunities is provided?

It is obviously an attempt to display some form of inconsistency of character and ideology in the Svoboda leader, but it is one easily put through the political spin machine to have him cleverly emerge as a user of the system to his own ends – like many others undoubtedly.

Nobody really likes propaganda (other than those paid to generate it) – and most people these days see it for exactly what it is – but cheap and less than clever propaganda is a Soviet legacy you would hope Ukraine had grown out of by now.  Particularly given the availability of some very slick international “smear and spin” companies available for hire.



  1. Noone’s going to believe this crap or even pay attention to it – one can’t even call it cheap propaganda.

    Everyone in the sovok union knew exactly what your dad knew – membership got you privileges.

    Every one of these politicians that you mention, except maybe for dissidents, was a member. They then “converted” – to insider sovok mafiosi, after independence.

    The writings of Lenin were taught as if they were Holy Gospel.

    One didn’t have to believe – one only had to pretend to believe.

    This is laughable, one last cheap attempt for sovok mafiosi to hold on the their power by topic shifting, self-praise, and smear campaigns (which are used very often in Zookraine).

    Remember the Konotop Witch when she ran for president, using sovok videos of the glorious victory of the “people’s Red Army,” an posting pictures of herself as a proud Commie schoolgirl, complete with good grades in sovok commie uniform?

    She lost.

    Mark Twain said that patriotism is supporting one’s country all of the time, and one’s government when it deserves support.

    By that definition, Svoboda and the opposition are patriots, because there is only a pretend government right now in Ukraine, under yanusvoloch and Yefremov and Chechetov and the rest of that banda.

    Of course, one can try to wear some sort of false patriotism on one’s sleeve.

    “patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels.”

    This attack on Tyahnybok is just absolutely laughable.

  2. But he’s dressed up in uniform. Did your in-laws have to do that as well? I mean wasn’t it enough just to sign the papers and keep them in your wallet? Did everyone have to don uniform as well?

    • The uniform he is wearing is military .- presumably from serving his conscription. The Lennin Party membership used to allow membership from that last year of school onwards. As he was born in 1968, and the supposed Lennin Party membership was 1982 – 1989 that would infer membership at school.

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