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A motley crew of “observers” in Crimea

The Interpreter live blog on the Crimean “referendum” reports:

While Russia is presenting the referendum today as a move to save the region from neo-Nazis, a large number of the ‘independent observers’ spotted monitoring the vote today come from Europe’s extreme right.

A sample of the far right figures here includes:

Bela Kovacs – a Hungarian MEP for the neo-Nazi Jobbik party.

Aymeric Chauprade – a nationalist, pro-Russian political theorist and member of France’s far-right Front National, whose leader, Marine Le Pen has supported Russia’s stance on Ukraine and condemned “extremists” in the Maidan movement.

Frank Creyelman – a Belgian MEP for the far-right Vlaams Belang party (formerly Vlaams Blok).

Ewald Johann Stadler – an MEP in the late Jörg Haider’s Bündnis Zukunft Österreich (Alliance for the Future of Austria).

Luc Michel – active with various neo-nazi groups in Belgium and is a supporter of Eduard Limonov’s National Bolshevik party.

Others include communists or those with nostalgic sympathies for the Soviet Union such as Angourakis and Al-Sabty, or those with extremely close ties to United Russia such as Johan Bäckman. Bäckman is a Finnish political activist who has been involved with pro-Russian actions in both Finland and Estonia, including involvement with Nashi activity.

Die Linke is the post-reunification incarnation of the East German Communist party, much admired in certain quarters of the British Left.

I have no idea who the Israeli or American parties to this tragic farce are.