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Olena Semenyaka, la « première dame » du nationalisme ukrainien

Street Art à Kiev (auteur de la photographie inconnu)

Nous évoquions il y a quelques jours le fait que le programme “Transnational History of the Far Right” menée par Marlène Laruelle (et auquel participent divers contributeurs de #FTP) publiera désormais des recherches sur la plateforme de l’Illiberalism Studies Program. Une première étude vient d’être mise en ligne, et nous continuerons à les signaler. Fruit du travail d’Adrien Nonjon elle traite de la rénovation du nationalisme ukrainien :

For years, Ukrainian nationalist movements such as Svoboda or Pravyi Sektor were promoting an introverted, state-centered nationalism inherited from the early 1930s’ Ukrainian Nationalist Organization (Orhanizatsiia Ukrayins’kykh Natsionalistiv) and largely dominated by Western Ukrainian and Galician nationalist worldviews. The EuroMaidan revolution, Crimea’s annexation by Russia, and the war in Donbas changed the paradigm of Ukrainian nationalism, giving birth to the Azov movement. The Azov National Corps (Natsional’nyj korpus), led by Andriy Biletsky, was created on October 16, 2014, on the basis of the Azov regiment, now integrated into the Ukrainian National Guard. The Azov National Corps is now a nationalist party claiming around 10,000 members and deployed in Ukrainian society through various initiatives, such as patriotic training camps for children (Azovets) and militia groups (Natsional’ny druzhiny). Azov can be described as a neo-nationalism, in tune with current European far-right transformations: it refuses to be locked into old-fashioned myths obsessed with a colonial relationship to Russia, and it sees itself as outward-looking in that its intellectual framework goes beyond Ukraine’s territory, deliberately engaging pan-European strategies.

Olena Semenyaka (b. 1987) is the female figurehead of the Azov movement: she has been the international secretary of the National Corps since 2018 (and de facto leader since the party’s very foundation in 2016) while leading the publishing house and metapolitical club Plomin (Flame). Gaining in visibility as the Azov regiment transformed into a multifaceted movement, Semenyaka has become a major nationalist theorist in Ukraine. The “First Lady” of Ukrainian nationalism has shifted the movement toward a regional dimension that embraces both Eastern Europe and the wider continent, reactivating the old geopolitical myth of the Intermarium. She has also aimed to de-compartmentalize the Azov movement, enabling it to consolidate fruitful partnerships with other European nationalist movements through projects of which she is the main architect, “Reconquista-Pan Europa” and “the Pact of Steel.” Last but not least, she has been working to forge political ties that are sufficiently broad to ensure the Azov movement goes beyond mere military action.

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