According to the tabloid Aftonbladet, the Left Party’s international forum, VIF, has sent several hundred thousand kronor in development aid to the Ukrainian Borotba organisation, which is said to have links to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The exact sum is uncertain, but it is known that between 2010 and 2012 a total of SKr 219,000 was channelled to the Organisation of Marxists and Borotba, which was formed in 2011 by former members of the aforesaid Organisation.
VIF describes Borotba as a left-wing movement opposed to neo-Nazism and or feminism, but according to Jakob Hedenskog, a security policy analyst at FOI, the defence research agency, Borotba is “a pawn in President Putin’s power game”. The organisation is coloured by Soviet nostalgia and separatism, Hedenskog says.
“As an active part of the anti-Maidan movement, they are in practice on the same side as the pro-Russian separatists in the Donbass. The long-term aim is to divide Europe,” he tells Aftonbladet.
The tabloid also reports that SKr 250,000 was paid directly from VIF to a bank account belonging to one of the Borotba leader’s girlfriends. This goes against Swedish regulations; recipients of aid must be classed as organisations. After the irregularities were discovered, SKr 128,000 has been paid back to VIF. The last payment was made in 2012.
Ann-Margrethe Livh, VIF chair, stresses that the organisation has ceased its co-operation with Borotba. According to her, Borotba’s main goal during the years of co-operation was the fight against the neo-Nazi Svoboda group.
“They were young people who were not at all warlike, but renounced violence. I do not know what happened after 2011-2012, when we ended the co-operation. If someone has flipped out or things have gone wrong, I can only express regret,” she says.
Left MP Hans Linde is critical, saying this is an unacceptable attitude. “We defend Ukraine’s territorial integrity. If Borotba takes this type of stance then it underlines how important it is that we no longer co-operate with them,” he says.