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Political persecution leads, in the long run, to political power. Just ask Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi. So the news that three MPs from the Ukrainian opposition party Svoboda were seriously injured by riot police in Kiev on the 11th of January should not be overlooked. Since the protests began, a myriad of similar incidents have occurred on the capital’s streets, prompting suspicions of premeditation on the part of the authorities.
Following the 2012 elections, Svoboda increased its share of the popular vote, from 0.76% (2007) to 10.44%, making it the 4th largest Ukrainian party. By all accounts this is an impressive and somewhat unexpected rise. But who exactly are they and how will the protests change their role in Ukrainian politics?
The party traces its roots to the Ukrainian partisan army of World War II, loosely allied with Nazi Germany. Against this ideological backdrop, and following the fall of […]

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