Olena Semenyaka (*1987) is one of the figureheads of the Ukrainian nationalist scene. In an interview with Oleg Odnorozhenko from 2015, at the time the deputy commander of the Azov regiment, published on the Ukrainian Traditionalist Club website, Semenyaka is introduced as "coordinator of the Department of International Relations of the 'Azov' regiment 'Azov Reconquista'."1
Semenyaka is well-integrated into neo-Nazi countercultural circles. She appeared as speaker on all consecutive events of the “Pact of Steel” (Stalevyi Pakt) conferences in Kyiv since its inception in 2016, taking place in the framework of the neo-Nazi Black Metal “Asgardsrei Festival”, for example on the topic of "Aristocracy of the Spirit and the Great European Reconquista" in 2016, and on "Wotan, Pan, Dionysus: at the gates of the Grand European Solstice" in 2017. While formerly having been a follower of the Russian far-right neo-Eurasianist ideologue Alexander Dugin, a proponent of a federation ‘from Lisbon to Vladivostok’, Semenyaka then turned into a Dugin-critic latest with the Maidan events.
Semenyaka appears as moderator and main face of the Paneuropa Conference, taking place yearly in Kyiv since 2017, bringing together pro-Ukrainian far-right groups from all over Europe, and the United States. A summary of Semenyaka's speech in the framework of the 1st Paneuropa conference gives a good overview of her ideological positioning:
"The concluding speaker who represented the Paneuropean vision on behalf of the Reconquista movement was Ukrainian Reconquista project coordinator and International Secretary of National Corps Olena Semenyaka. Her speech had a lot of common points with that of Pascal Lassalle’s, as well as some other speeches, and was dedicated precisely to the projects of the United Europe “from the Right” by well-known theorists of the Third Way like Ernst Jünger, Pierre Drieu la Rochelle, Julius Evola, Oswald Mosley, and more. The title of her speech, accordingly, was “The Third Geopolitical Way and Paneuropa.”
Olena Semenyaka reminded of the fact that an archetype of the united Europe, except for the excesses of the imperial Romanization, has always remained the Roman Empire. The Second Reich of Otto von Bismarck, in turn, has become an embodiment of the dynamic defensible power bloc. Although his wars were compared by Gustav Droysen to the “civilizational mission” of Alexander the Great who first united under Macedonia’s rule Greek poleis and then conquered Eurasia, Bismarck has chosen the so-called “little German” solution and focused on the state’s “modernization from the Right.” Not incidentally, precisely Friedrich the Great, Bismarck’s predecessor, is considered a founder of the geopolitical “Third Way.” The “Greater German” solution was revived during the first world war, went on to say Olena Semenyaka, and we are interested in its both identity-based and free of chauvinism or aggressive pan-Germanism models like that of Friedrich Naumann or Rudolf Kjellen who offered a political and military protectorate to Eastern Europe with its growing national liberation movements. Their geopolitical doctrines may be viewed as the authentic project of the European Union. Original idea of the Third Reich elaborated in the interwar period by Arthur Moeller van den Bruck also presupposed “a broad alliance” of “old” Western and “young” Eastern European nations.
Nevertheless, probably the first theorist of the united / imperial Europe beyond nationalist chauvinism and liberal cosmopolitanism was Friedrich Nietzsche, self-proclaimed “bad German, albeit a good European” who was one of the first to introduce the organic concept of the “old” vs. “young” peoples. In his opinion, Germans represented a yet incomplete, although “young” nation that preserved its vital forces. French, on the contrary, were an “older” people, which is proved by their humanism and skepticism resulting into an all-European illness of the “will’s paralysis,” but they were much more sophisticated in terms of culture and morals. That is why Nietzsche welcomed the German-French or, wider, Romano-Germanic synthesis which could enrich each side with lacking features. “Synthetic” personalities who, according to Nietzsche, productively transcended their national limitations, were Friedrich the Great, Napoleon, Beethoven, Heinrich Heine, Goethe, Stendhal, Richard Wagner.
The same division is true with regard to West and East Europe. Considering himself an heir of Polish aristocrats, Nietzsche sympathized with “young” Eastern European peoples and hoped that accumulated might of Russia would finally force Europe to become equally dangerous and powerful, thus making it abandon its “long comedy of small states and dynastic as well as democratic multi-willing.” Nietzsche’s ideas were revived in times of the first world war by Georg Simmel (“Idea of Europe,” “Europe and America in World History”). Combined with Oswald Spengler’s distinction of the “culture” as the maximum of vital powers of a cultural organism, or a being of the higher type, and the “civilization” as a phase of its collapse, when only a material and technical shell of the once creative culture remains, the difference between the “old” and “young” (or belated) nations explains why the Intermarium union plays a role of the platform for the Paneuropean Reconquista, or the laboratory of the all-European revival. Of course, underlined Olena Semenyaka, it is not a dogma, there are no such peoples sensu stricto, and modern Scandinavians, for instance, under certain conditions can regain their passionary (“Viking”) potential anew.
Post-(inter-)war theories of the united Europe suggested by Ernst Jünger, Pierre Drieu la Rochelle, Julius Evola, Oswald Mosley, etc., who advocated different yet similar models of the supranational European unity, may be summarized under the idea of the Paneuropean confederation of sovereign nations which tends to the full-scale implementation of the imperium principle as understood by New Right."
Semenyaka is a member of the antifeminist group "Silver Rose" (Срібло Троянди), which in March 2020 has organized a happening, where they symbolically buried feminism.2
Semenyaka has since been promoting the Intermarium project on Facebook, but also through extensive travels in Europe to meet with various local far-right proponents. In February 2018 she appeared in Tallin at the Annual Ethnofutur Conference organised by Sinine Äratus, the youth-wing of Estonian nationalist party Blue Awakening, where she spoke on the “Intermarium as a Laboratory of European Archeofuturism,” and participated in the torchlight march on the occasion of the centenary of Estonia’s independence.
In May 2018 she attended the European Congress of the "Young Nationalists" (Junge Nationalisten), the youth wing of the German neo-Nazi National Democratic Party NPD, in Riesa, Germany, holding a lecture entitled "Beyond the ‘Wall of Time’: Ernst Jünger and Martin Heidegger on the New Metaphysics."3
On June 8, 2018, she appeared at the Identitarian Club house Kontrakultur in Halle, Germany, which held an “Ukrainian Evening” where she spoke on the topic of "identity, geopolitics, perspectives" and, according to information from the Identitarians, introduced the concept of Intermarium to the audience.4
From August 3-5, 2018, Semenyaka was invited to a conference organized by the German Jungeuropa publishing house, together with Valerio Benedetti and Alberto Palladino from CasaPound. She held a lecture on Nietzsche, Jünger and Paneurop,5 and "described to German and Austrian identitarians the geopolitical, cultural and philosophical foundations of Intermarium."6
In January 2019, Semenyaka visited Rome to attend the yearly Acca Larentia march, commemorating the killing of three members the Youth Front of the Italian Social Movement (MSI), an Italian far-right party, that occurred in Rome on January 7 1978, organized by CasaPound. A video of the march is available on the Facebook page of the Karpatska Sich (Карпатська Січ), which also had sent a delegation ton Rome.7
Semenyaka was given a tour through Rome, by Sébastien de Boëldieu (aka Sébastien Magnificat),9 a CasaPound member, who appeared on the 1st Paneuropa Conference in Kyiv in 2017 as a speaker.10 He can be seen on a picture inside CasaPound, while another photo shows Semenyaka together with Yaroslav Zakalyk, a Ukrainian from Lwiw residing in Rome and his wife.
Olena Semenyaka did another trip to Germany in February 2019. First she attended a far-right rally in Dresden called “Dresden Unvergessen” (Dresden Unforgotten), which commemorates the Allied bombing of Dresden on February 13, 1945, organised by various far-right groups.11 On the day after, she spoke in Pirna, Saxony about the "The Evolution of the Azov Movement,"12 organized by a formation called Kraftquell (Source of Power) as well as the NPD in Saxony.13 Kraftquell describes itself as follows on its Facebook page:14
“Kraftquell is a Ukrainian-Norwegian-German non-profit organization based in Germany. Our main task is the support of Ukrainian families whose fathers, husbands or brothers who are on the frontlines in the east of Ukraine. To support them, we want to help them spend some free days in Norway or Germany, to have a rest together as a family. To reach this goal, we work in groups and cooperate with our partner organization in Ukraine to establish a respective infrastructure.
In our logo, the symbol of the Germano-Scandinavian 'axis mundi' of our common European homeland, the Yggdrasil ash tree, is combined with the Slavonic symbolism of Alatyr Star, a mythical stone on which the Tree of Life grows, a visualization of the unfolding Universe and an ancient sign of protection. Placed against the trunk of Yggdrasil, it symbolizes the idea of Ukraine as a shield of Europe, a protector of the European cultural and civilizational type.”
On February 15, Semenyaka appeared, assumedly with her German hosts (unidentified), at the Königstein fortress near Dresden.
On 23 February 2019 she spoke on the Etnofutur III conference in Tallinn about "Mid-Europe in the Age of Caesarism and the Purpose of Ethnofuturism," organized by the far-right EKRE’s youth wing Sinine Äratus.
On March 30, 2019, Semenyaka was scheduled to talk on the Scandza Forum15 taking place in Stockholm, Sweden, this year running under the headline "Anarcho-Tyranny." The Intermarium Support Group announced her participation in a Facebook post that states:
"The event in Sweden, a strategic ally of the Intermarium Union, will be attended by a Ukrainian representative and a secretary of the Intermarium Support Group Olena Semenyaka. Other renowned speakers (Jared Taylor, Greg Johnson, Mark Collett and Fróði Midjord, the founder of the Scandza Forum) are revealed in the conference poster!"16
According to a Facebook comment by her, her lecture was dealing with "Anarcho-Tyranny (which is the topic of the Forum) through the prism of the Third Way (Spengler, Jünger, Schmitt) + Intermarium and Swedish-Ukrainian connections and the prospects for cooperation."17
As of April 2019 her two main Facebook accounts were deactivated or deleted.
- 1. - "Azov Reconquista: Interview with Oleg Odnorozhenko," Ukrainian Traditionalist Club, June 9, 2015. uktk.org/azov-reconquista-interview-with-oleg-odnorozhenko-text-photo-video/. - "Interview with Oleg Odnorozhenko. Part 1," Reconquista Youtube page, May 9, 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBtp6DLgIck.
- 2. Facebook post by Срібло Троянди, March 8, 2020, https://www.facebook.com/sriblo.troyandy/posts/2618955424990324.
- 3. "Unsere Referenten [our speakers]: Olena Semenyaka (UA)," Europa in Aktion, January 18, 2018, https://europa.aktion-widerstand.de/2018/01/18/unsere-referenten-our-speakers-olena-semenyaka-ua/.
- 4. "Vortrag im IB-Hausprojekt: Das Regiment Asow zu Gast in Halle," Sachsen-Anhalt Rechtsaussen, June 13, 2018, https://lsa-rechtsaussen.net/das-regiment-asow-zu-gast-in-halle/.
- 5. Twitter post by Jungeuropa Verlag, August, 6, 2018, https://twitter.com/jungeuropa_2016/status/1026543669556301824.
- 6. "The Azov Movement in the West: achievements in 2019," Interregnum (Blog), https://interregnum-intermarium.tumblr.com/post/184469943719/the-azov-movement-in-the-west-achievements-in/embed.
- 7. Facebook post of the "Karpatskia Sich," https://www.facebook.com/karpatska.sich14/videos/378855692687948/.
- 8. "'Presente!' Nationalrevolutionäre Aktivisten beim 'Acca Larentia' Gedenken in Rom," Der III. Weg, January 12, 2019, https://der-dritte-weg.info/2019/01/presente-nationalrevolutionaere-aktivisten-beim-acca-larentia-gedenken/https://der-dritte-weg.info/2019/01/presente-nationalrevolutionaere-aktivisten-beim-acca-larentia-gedenken/.
- 9. Facebook post by Olena Semenyaka, 10 January 2019, https://www.facebook.com/olena.semenyaka/posts/2302191273124405.
- 10. "1st Paneuropa Conference Report," Demon of an Old World (undated), https://demonofoldworld.tumblr.com/post/161878114630/reconquista-europe-1st-paneuropa-conference.
- 11. Facebook post by Olena Semenyaka, 15 February 2019, https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2357170200959845&set=a.173886785954875&type=1&theater.
- 12. "'The Evolution of the Azov Movement' at the event of NPD in Saxon Switzerland," Interregnum on Tumblr (Blog), 21 February 2019, https://interregnum-intermarium.tumblr.com/post/182962639724/the-evolution-of-the-azov-movement-at-the-event.
- 13. https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2362659820410883&id=100000006657027&refid=28.
- 14. Facebook page of "Project Kraftquell," https://m.facebook.com/projectkraftquell/.
- 15. Scandza Forum Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/ScandzaForum.
- 16. Facebook post by the Intermarium Support Group, January 30, 2019, https://www.facebook.com/intermariumsupportgroup/photos/a.172349573457635/284174035608521.
- 17. Facebook post by Olena Semeyaka, 30 March 2019, https://www.facebook.com/olena.semenyaka/posts/2421422897867908?comment_id=2421441984532666&reply_comment_id=2421636284513236&comment_tracking=%7B%22tn%22%3A%22R%22%7D.