Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird enjoyed another boffo trip to Kiev in February, shaking his pom-poms for the anti- Yanukovych militias and photo-opping his way through a who’s who of, well, whoever was available.
There really isn’t much time for vetting when history’s on the march.
Thus, among the luminaries of the opposition gripping and grinning with Baird on his last walkabout in December was Oleh Tyahnybok, leader of the ultra-nationalist Svoboda (Freedom) Party.
Oleh’s the kind of freedom fighter you simply must make the trip to Ukraine to meet — because he’s increasingly unwelcome elsewhere in the world. The U.S. banned him from entry last year at the urging of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, in recognition of his distinguished career of lusty Jew-booing.
Any Tyahnybok highlight reel must include his synagogue-burner of a speech at the graveside of a Commander of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, the nationalist paramilitary group that spent much of WWII massacring Poles and Jews.
“They were not afraid and we should not be afraid. They took their automatic guns on their necks and went into the woods, and fought against the Moskali, Germans, kikes and other scum who wanted to take away our Ukrainian state,” Oleh told his supporters, flattering them as the movement’s true heirs. “[You are the ones] that the Moscow-Jewish mafia ruling Ukraine fears most.”
In April 2005, Tyahnybok co-signed an open letter to President Viktor Yushchenko calling for a parliamentary investigation into the “criminal activities of organized Jewry in Ukraine.”
If Beard was perhaps a little under-briefed on just who the wild-eyed bohunk in the buzz cut was, it seems the cluelessness was at least mutual.
Last year, when Germany’s shirt-lifting Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle visited Ukraine, Oleh was left off his itinerary, and was under no illusions as to why: “I would go, but I was not invited,” he shrugged. “The Mіnіster is a well-known person, who has, let’s put it this way, a non-traditional sexual orientation.”
Not like that manly specimen from Canada!