- Colorado judge strikes voter-backed gay marriage ban, but issues stay
- Brooklyn Bridge flag-swapping suspects identified by nickname
- Christian woman in Sudan spared for apostasy flies to Italy
- Iraq: 60 dead in attack on prisoner convoy
- Marco Rubio: U.S. at social, moral crossroads
- ‘We’re coming for you, Barack Obama’: Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL
- White flags baffle NYPD: ‘We’re lucky it wasn’t a bomb’
- N.Y. Gov. Cuomo’s office interfered with, pressured corruption commission: report
- Brit lawmaker: I would fire on Israel if I lived in Gaza
- VA apologizes to forgotten Marine veteran locked in Fla. clinic, forced to call 911
Nationalists perform strongly in Ukraine vote
Question of the Day
KIEV (AP) — A right-wing party has promised to fight for greater democracy and a pro-Western course for Ukraine and to defend the Ukrainian culture and language. But the Svoboda (Freedom) party has also been tainted by its anti-Semitic protests and its leaders’ xenophobic statements.
The party made a strong showing in Ukraine’s parliamentary election Sunday, leading some opposition supporters to hope it can help the country’s two main pro-Western parties challenge the presidential party’s strong grip on power. But others are worried about Svoboda’s radical far-right rhetoric in a country already riven by strong cultural and political divisions.
Here’s a look at Svoboda:
With more than 90 percent of precincts counted, Svoboda was poised to get about 8 percent of seats in the 450-seat parliament. Such results are outstanding for a party that was scrambling to pass the 5 percent threshold just a few weeks ago.
Svoboda plans to initiate laws to ban communist ideology, annul a recent law that upgrades the status of the Russian language and oust the Russian navy from a base it leases in Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula.
Svoboda has called the other two opposition groups — the Fatherland Party, led by jailed ex-premier Yulia Tymoshenko, and the Udar (Punch) party, headed by world boxing champion Vitali Klitschko — to form an anti-government alliance in parliament.
Flamboyant leader, abusive rhetoric
Svoboda is headed by Oleh Tyagnybok, a charismatic 43-year-old former urologist usually clad in a traditional Ukrainian embroidered shirt. Born in the western city of Lviv, the stronghold of Ukrainian nationalism, Mr. Tyagnybok is a skilled orator, known for his passionate speeches.
But some of his and his colleagues’ statements have been openly insulting.
Mr. Tyagnybok has repeatedly used derogatory terms to refer to Jews, and last year Svoboda activists protested a pilgrimage by thousands of Hassidic Jews marking the Jewish New Year in a Ukrainian city.
Yuri Sirotyuk, a senior member of Svoboda, caused an uproar last year when he said that a singer of African descent was a bad choice to represent the country in the Eurovision song contest because she is not part of Ukrainian culture.
Mr. Tyagnybok, however, denies that his party promotes ethnic hatred.
TWT Video Picks
The subsidies are a hit with patients who don't exist
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- EDITORIAL: Poor Hillary, rock-star wannabe
- Netanyahu's Wikipedia page replaced with giant Palestinian flag
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Hezbollah in Syria could join fight against Israel
- Hamas orders civilians to die in Israeli airstrikes
- Democratic Sen. John Walsh plagiarized War College master's thesis: report
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of mixing politics and business
- FIELDS: A tale of a boy, a Bible and a gun
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq