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Svyatoslav Vyshinsky

Given that Semenyaka's contributions to Poliltosophia cease at this point one might imagine that in the course of the Maidan events there was a rupture between herself and Vyshynsky. But in fact Vyshynsky appears later at Azov sponsored conferences organised by Semenyaka. (24) I'm not in a position to know what importance, if any, Vyshynsky has in Ukrainian intellectual life but I find him interesting. His articles prior to 2014 cover much the same territory as Semenyaka's - the overlap between traditionalism (following on the work of René Guénon) and the German Conservative Revolution of the 1920s, territory held in common with Alexander Dugin, whom they both seem at that time to regard favourably. Perhaps Vyshynsky leans more to the traditionalist side, Semenyaka to the Conservative Revolution side. Vyshynsky has an article comparing Guénon and Heidegger, Semenyaka has the article I quoted earlier on the relations between Ernst Jünger and Heidegger. There is a long, almost unreadable (perhaps due to the machine translation) dialogue between them - 'About "Body and Law in Ap. Paul"', December 23, 2011, apparently based on the book 'Saint Paul, The Foundation of Universalism' by the French philosopher Alain Badiou. But after Maidan, Vyshynsky begins to comment much more concretely than Semenyaka on the actual details of Ukrainian politics and he takes positions that might appear surprising in someone associated with the Ukrainian right.

(24) eg Olena Semenyaka: The Azov Movement held the Inaugural Conference of the Intermarium Support Group account of a conference held in Kyiv on July 2nd 2016, 'on the initiative of Andriy Biletsky, the leader of the Azov Movement, MP of Ukraine, the founder and the first commander of the Azov Regiment' - - 'Speeches by other Ukrainian participants on the geopolitical, educational, scientific and cultural topics (Olexandr Maslak, Olena Semenyaka, Edward Yurchenko and Svyatoslav Vyshynsky), among others, made especially clear that the “eurointegration” line of the current Ukraine’s government was artificial and untimely.'

In Frontline Ukraine, Sakwa draws a distinction in Ukrainian politics between those he calls 'monists' and those he calls 'pluralists'. The monists want a monolithic, monolingual Ukrainian state, a tight identification of state and national consciousness. The pluralists want to take account of and give space to the different peoples and languages in the Ukrainian population, most obviously the Russian but there are also substantial Hungarian, Romanian and Polish minorities, not to mention the Tatars in Crimea. Following Sakwa one would see the monists as the right wing of Ukrainian politics and the pluralists as the left liberal wing. Yet the apparently right wing Vyshynsky is a thoroughgoing pluralist, to the extent of calling for a federalisation of Ukraine:

'Analysis of the political discourse of the most influential Ukrainian right-wing parties - the All-Ukrainian Association "Freedom" [Svoboda - PB] and "Right Sector", which after their defeat in the parliamentary elections on October 26, 2014 (4.71% and 1.80% of the vote, respectively), expected , already in the next election cycle they will create some kind of block - indicates the general "dead end" into which the nationalists have entered. Their demands, reduced to the formula "One nation, one language, one state", are increasingly difficult to fulfill in the real situation, which will inevitably lead to the marginalization of the right-wing movement, and in the worst case - to its transformation into a destabilizing factor of domestic Ukrainian politics. The impossibility of restoring even formal control over Crimea and Eastern Donbas in the foreseeable future only deepens the negative perception by society of theses about the need to reduce Crimea to the status of a region, repeal of the legislation on local languages and, in general, all specific nationalist rhetoric, associated for the majority with colonial "Western" influence and such that is perceived at bayonets even in the western Ukrainian regions. The images, topics and actions peddled inertially by nationalists at best play the role of indestructible fantasies, at worst - become a means of media intimidation from the outside, but they clearly preserve the movement, not allowing it to formulate adequate answers to real, not virtual, political challenges.'  (25)

(25) Svyatoslav Vyshinskyi (Institute of Western Ukrainian Studies): Ukrainian (Con)Federation. Integral separatism, 20th April 2015, (machine translation)

The 'legislation on local languages' referred to is legislation passed under Yanukovich allowing the regions latitude in using different languages (chiefly Russian) for official business. It repealed legislation passed under Yuschenko imposing Ukrainian as the sole official language. Vyshynsky is referring to the programme of Svoboda which includes the following under the heading 'Preservation of identity and development of culture':

'6.1. Protect the status of the Ukrainian language as the only state language.

6.2. Ensure the functioning of a full-fledged national information space by de-Russifying it and guaranteeing information security. To prevent the dissemination of content that poses a threat to the national security of Ukraine, and to provide for strict criminal liability for the dissemination of such information.

6.3. Introduce a mandatory Ukrainian language exam for civil servants and candidates for elected positions. Create a network of licensed institutions for taking Ukrainian language exams and issuing international certificates under the name "Ukrainian language diploma". Oblige all civil servants to use the Ukrainian language at work and during public speeches.

6.4. Deprive media outlets that violate language legislation, demean the national dignity of Ukrainians, spread disinformation or carry out anti-Ukrainian propaganda.' (26)

(26) 'The Svoboda Higher Education Program is the Program for the Protection of Ukrainians', (machine translation)

Vyshynsky goes on to argue that: 

'A conventional, "traditional", monolithic Ukrainian nation can exist incontrovertibly only within the specified framework  [the traditionally Ukrainian speaking areas broadly West of the Dnieper  PB] — outside of these frameworks, Ukrainian identity acquires unconventional features. It does not mean, that the southeastern lands are not ethno-politically Ukrainian - but they are related to Kyiv and northwestern Ukraine as colonies with the metropolis, which in itself should not be evaluated either negatively or positively. The territory of the Wild Field, "New Russia", Novorossiya from Bessarabia to the Kuban is the "New World" of Eastern Europe, a nomadic space conquered in the East, which historically never took shape in a stable and independent national organism, but was oriented either towards Ukrainian or then to the Russian project, always choosing between the metropolis-Kyiv and the metropolis-Moscow.'

I find this argument interesting. The model he is employing is not the model of the nation state but the model of Empire. 'Novorossiya' is disputed territory between two Empires - the Ukrainian and the Russian. To refuse to recognise the cultural specificity of the area is to lose it. Svoboda and the Right Sector are heading towards the 'fate of the Communist Party.' By insisting on the purity of the 'usual "nationalist" agenda' they are driving themselves into a political ghetto, they are 'a threat to the peaceful coexistence of the Ukrainian - and Russian - speaking parts of the state.'

But Vyshynsky is no mere pacifist. There is a war to be fought between Kyiv and Moscow over the possession of colonial territories - territories without a clearly defined ethnic character of their own. In this war it is 'first of all the Russian-speaking vanguard of the Ukrainian right-wing movement who are able to take responsibility for reformatting the ideological mainstream in accordance with the situation that has developed in the field of Realpolitik [with the separatist revolt in Donetsk - PB]… 

'if Ukraine is experiencing difficulties as a national unitary state, then it should turn into a supranational federal state. The destructive tension of permanent defense and resistance must be turned back - into the energy of permanent expansion, offensive, both in the humanitarian and economic and geopolitical spheres ("either us or them"). "Squeezing the spring", freeing public forces and state resources to solve a big problem - can only be done by the most ambitious and radical groups, capable not only of heroic deeds , but also of fundamental thinking.' 

Indeed, the 'permanent expansion, offensive' envisaged goes beyond the Donbass since the Don Basin and the Kuban are also regarded as colonial territories.