Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #1014 Update on Fascism in Ukraine

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This broad­cast was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment.

Babchenko’s prospec­tive killer: Olek­siy Tsim­biyal­iuk, from Pravy Sek­tor, on the far right, giv­ing the Nazi salute.

Intro­duc­tion: As indi­cat­ed by the title, this broad­cast updates and flesh­es out a long path of inquiry into the devel­op­ment of fas­cism in Ukraine, imple­ment­ed by the OUN/B suc­ces­sor orga­ni­za­tions that were empow­ered by the Maid­an Coup of 2014.

In past com­men­tary, we have not­ed the pro­found Ukrain­ian and Gehlen-derived links to the sup­posed “Russ­ian” hacks lead­ing up to, and dur­ing, the 2016 U.S. elec­tion cam­paign.

These high-pro­file “hacks” have all the ear­marks of a “cyber-false flag” oper­a­tion, which we com­pared to the “Paint­ing of Oswald Red” in FTR #‘s 925 and 926.

Now, we learn that Vic­to­ria Nuland, a key play­er in the Euro­Maid­an Coup that placed the OUN/B fas­cist suc­ces­sor orga­ni­za­tions in pow­er in Ukraine was informed of the sup­posed “Russ­ian” hacks months before senior DNC offi­cials were informed.

There was a peri­od, from around May of 2015 to March of 2016, where Vic­to­ria Nuland–again, a key Euro­Maid­en instigator–knew about these hacks, but the DNC effec­tive­ly didn’t. In addi­tion, oth­er State Depart­ment offi­cials, as well as Vic­to­ria Nuland, were informed about the DNC hacks in Decem­ber of 2015 and tasked with devel­op­ing a US response.

” . . . . That con­clu­sion was rein­forced Wednes­day by anoth­er wit­ness, Vic­to­ria Nuland, who served as assis­tant sec­re­tary of state for Europe dur­ing the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion. She told the pan­el that she had been briefed as ear­ly as Decem­ber 2015 about the hack­ing of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Com­mit­tee — long before senior DNC offi­cials were aware of it — and that the intru­sion had all the hall­marks of a Russ­ian oper­a­tion. . . . As she and oth­er State Depart­ment offi­cials became ‘more alarmed’ about what the Rus­sians were up to in the spring of 2016, they were autho­rized by then Sec­re­tary of State John Ker­ry to devel­op pro­pos­als for ways to deter the Rus­sians. . . . ”

This rais­es the ques­tion of whether the “response” she devel­oped may have involved engag­ing and mobi­liz­ing the OUN/B and Gehlen-derived ele­ments we looked at in FTR #‘s 943 and 981.

Next, we note that Ukraine’s embrace of neo-Nazi vig­i­lan­tism con­tin­ued, with the fourth attack on a Roma camp in six weeks, cov­ered live on Face­book. The attack was launched by mem­bers of the new formed Azov Nation­al Druzhy­na mili­tia, an off­shoot of the Azov Bat­tal­ion formed in Jan­u­ary to patrol the streets. Ukrain­ian police just stood around approv­ing­ly watch­ing it hap­pen.

CORRECTION: For­mer Azov Bat­tal­ion com­man­der Vadim Troy­an is described as head of Ukraine’s police estab­lish­ment. He was, but is now the Deputy Inte­ri­or Min­is­ter to Arsen Avakov.

Azov Bat­tal­ion Nation­al Druzhy­na Mili­tia

We have not­ed that the neo-Nazi Azov Bat­tal­ion runs a youth camp. Ukraine’s Youth and Sports Min­istry pub­lished a video last week show­ing its offi­cials unan­i­mous­ly vot­ing to fund var­i­ous­ly orga­ni­za­tions for “nation­al-patri­ot­ic edu­ca­tion projects”. Among the recip­i­ents of those funds: Svo­bo­da and C14.

Specif­i­cal­ly, the mon­ey went to three far right orga­ni­za­tions found­ed by mem­bers of C14 and Svo­bo­da. The Edu­ca­tion­al Assem­bly, found­ed by C14 head Yevhen Karas; C14 Sich, found­ed by Volodymyr Karas, who shares the same patronymic, sur­name, and address as the C14 head; and Holosiyiv Hide­out, whose founders include sev­er­al mem­bers of Svo­bo­da.

The Svo­bo­da group will by about $29,200 for four fes­ti­val. That alone is pro­found­ly dis­turb­ing. But even more dis­turb­ing is what The two C14 groups got funds for: The C14 ‘Edu­ca­tion­al Assem­bly’ and C14 Sich’s children’s sum­mer camp will received about $16,900 for three children’s events.

There has been yet anoth­er attack on a Roma camp in Ukraine, this time on the out­skirts Lviv. A 24 year old was stabbed to death and four oth­ers were injured, includ­ing a 10 year old boy. Sev­en sus­pects ages 16 and 17 have been arrest­ed and a 20 year old is accused of plan­ning the attack.

Might these youth be affil­i­at­ed with, or moti­vat­ed by, any of the fas­cist youth groups fund­ed by the Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment?

In any event, it’s clear that it’s ‘open sea­son’ on Roma in Ukraine.

Next, we look at the faked assas­si­na­tion of Arkady Babchenko. The alleged hit­man sup­pos­ed­ly hired by the Rus­sians was a mem­ber of Pravy Sek­tor and a vet­er­an of the com­bat in the civ­il war in Ukraine’s East. Anoth­er play­er in the alleged “Russ­ian” plot was an exec­u­tive with a Ger­man-Ukrain­ian arms man­u­fac­tur­er that man­u­fac­tured sights for sniper rifles.

Anoth­er ques­tion in the Babchenko affair con­cerns the alleged planned pur­chase of 300 AK-47s and large quan­ti­ties of explo­sives.  These muni­tions were sup­pos­ed­ly part of a “Russ­ian” ter­ror cam­paign, linked to the alleged “Russ­ian” plot against the life of Babchenko and the oth­er jour­nal­ists.

Recall that, back In March, it was learned that far right Ukrain­ian war hero, Nadia Savchenko, was alleged by Ukrain­ian author­i­ties a plot­ting a dev­as­tat­ing ter­ror plot on Ukraine’s par­lia­ment? That was 2–3 months, right around the time the SBU alleged­ly got its intel­li­gence about about this new alleged Moscow-direct­ed assassination/terror plot. Is this the Savchenko ter­ror plot mis­rep­re­sent­ed under the guise of a Russ­ian ter­ror plot?

One of the sig­na­ture fea­tures of the Babchenko affair is the list of 47 names of jour­nal­ists alleged­ly tar­get­ed by Rus­sia was unof­fi­cial­ly leaked yes­ter­day. A num­ber of Ukrain­ian jour­nal­ists, includ­ing those on the list, ques­tion its cred­i­bil­i­tyThey note the list is filled with the names of peo­ple crit­i­cal of the Ukrain­ian author­i­ties.

Ana­toliy Matios, Ukraine’s chief mil­i­tary pros­e­cu­tor, gave an exten­sive inter­view where he said that Jews are behind all wars and want to “drown eth­nic Slavs in blood.” He would the­o­ret­i­cal­ly be in charge of pros­e­cu­tor abus­es by the Ukrain­ian mil­i­tary units fight­ing in the East – like the neo-Nazi ‘vol­un­teer bat­tal­ions.’

In addi­tion, recall the cryp­tic state­ment Matios made back in 2016 about the iden­ti­ty of the peo­ple involved with the 2014 sniper attacks: “When pub­lic learns who is involved in this, peo­ple will be very sur­prised.” In FTR #‘s 982993 and 1004, we exam­ined evi­dence that Ukrain­ian fas­cists may well have exe­cut­ed those sniper attacks. It is not reas­sur­ing to learn that the chief mil­i­tary pros­e­cu­tor who is involved in that inves­ti­ga­tion is a neo-Nazi.

Before approach­ing the state­ments of May­or Moskal (of the Ukrain­ian vil­lage of Skole), we note that a diplo­mat work­ing in Ukraine’s Ham­burg (Ger­many) con­sulate expressed open­ly fas­cist state­ments.

We con­clude with a look at some of the fruit borne on the vine of Ukrain­ian revi­sion­ist his­to­ry.

The may­or of Skole cit­ed the work of Volodomyr Via­tro­vych (Eng­lish trans­la­tions from the Ukrain­ian vary) and his “Ukrain­ian Insti­tute of Nation­al Mem­o­ry” as doc­u­men­tary jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for an anti-Semit­ic tirade.

Pro­gram High­lights Include:

1. In past com­men­tary, we have not­ed the pro­found Ukrain­ian and Gehlen-derived links to the sup­posed “Russ­ian” hacks lead­ing up to, and dur­ing, the 2016 U.S. elec­tion cam­paign.

These high-pro­file “hacks” have all the ear­marks of a “cyber-false flag” oper­a­tion, which we com­pared to the “Paint­ing of Oswald Red” in FTR #‘s 925 and 926.

Now, we learn that Vic­to­ria Nuland, a key play­er in the Euro­Maid­an Coup that placed the OUN/B fas­cist suc­ces­sor orga­ni­za­tions in pow­er in Ukraine was informed of the sup­posed “Russ­ian” hacks months before senior DNC offi­cials were informed.

There was a peri­od, from around May of 2015 to March of 2016, where Vic­to­ria Nuland–again, a key Euro­Maid­en instigator–knew about these hacks, but the DNC effec­tive­ly didn’t. In addi­tion, oth­er State Depart­ment offi­cials, as well as Vic­to­ria Nuland, were informed about the DNC hacks in Decem­ber of 2015 and tasked with devel­op­ing a US response.

” . . . . That con­clu­sion was rein­forced Wednes­day by anoth­er wit­ness, Vic­to­ria Nuland, who served as assis­tant sec­re­tary of state for Europe dur­ing the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion. She told the pan­el that she had been briefed as ear­ly as Decem­ber 2015 about the hack­ing of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Com­mit­tee — long before senior DNC offi­cials were aware of it — and that the intru­sion had all the hall­marks of a Russ­ian oper­a­tion. . . . As she and oth­er State Depart­ment offi­cials became ‘more alarmed’ about what the Rus­sians were up to in the spring of 2016, they were autho­rized by then Sec­re­tary of State John Ker­ry to devel­op pro­pos­als for ways to deter the Rus­sians. . . . ”

This rais­es the ques­tion of whether the “response” she devel­oped may have involved engag­ing and mobi­liz­ing the OUN/B and Gehlen-derived ele­ments we looked at in FTR #‘s 943 and 981.

“Oba­ma Cyber Chief Con­firms ‘Stand Down’ Order against Russ­ian Cyber­at­tacks in Sum­mer 2016” by Michael Isikoff; Yahoo News; 06/20/2018.

The Oba­ma White House’s chief cyber offi­cial tes­ti­fied Wednes­day that pro­pos­als he was devel­op­ing to counter Russia’s attack on the U.S. pres­i­den­tial elec­tion were put on a “back burn­er” after he was ordered to “stand down” his efforts in the sum­mer of 2016.The com­ments by Michael Daniel, who served as White House “cyber secu­ri­ty coor­di­na­tor” between 2012 and Jan­u­ary of last year, pro­vid­ed his first pub­lic con­fir­ma­tion of a much-dis­cussed pas­sage in the book, ““Russ­ian Roulette: The Inside Sto­ry of Putin’s War on Amer­i­ca and the Elec­tion of Don­ald Trump,” co-writ­ten by this reporter and David Corn, that detailed his thwart­ed efforts to respond to the Russ­ian attack. . . .

. . . . That con­clu­sion was rein­forced Wednes­day by anoth­er wit­ness, Vic­to­ria Nuland, who served as assis­tant sec­re­tary of state for Europe dur­ing the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion. She told the pan­el that she had been briefed as ear­ly as Decem­ber 2015 about the hack­ing of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Com­mit­tee — long before senior DNC offi­cials were aware of it — and that the intru­sion had all the hall­marks of a Russ­ian oper­a­tion.

As she and oth­er State Depart­ment offi­cials became “more alarmed” about what the Rus­sians were up to in the spring of 2016, they were autho­rized by then Sec­re­tary of State John Ker­ry to devel­op pro­pos­als for ways to deter the Rus­sians. But most of those steps were nev­er tak­en — in part because offi­cials assumed they would be tak­en up by the next admin­is­tra­tion.

“I believe there were deter­rence mea­sures we could have tak­en and should have tak­en,” Nuland tes­ti­fied. . . .

2. Ukraine’s embrace of neo-Nazi vig­i­lan­tism con­tin­ued, with the fourth attack on a Roma camp in six weeks, cov­ered live on Face­book. The attack was launched by mem­bers of the new formed Azov Nation­al Druzhy­na mili­tia, an off­shoot of the Azov Bat­tal­ion formed in Jan­u­ary to patrol the streets. Ukrain­ian police just stood around approv­ing­ly watch­ing it hap­pen.

“With Axes And Ham­mers, Far-Right Vig­i­lantes Destroy Anoth­er Romany Camp In Kyiv” by Christo­pher Miller; Radio Free Europe/Radio Lib­er­ty; 06/08/2018

Swing­ing axes and sledge­ham­mers as a cam­era rolled, mem­bers of the far-right Azov Nation­al Druzhy­na mili­tia destroyed a Romany camp in Kyiv’s Holosiyivskiy Park on June 7. The attack marks the sec­ond such inci­dent by far-right vig­i­lantes in Kyiv and the fourth in Ukraine in the past six weeks.

The Nation­al Druzhy­na, a mili­tia formed in Jan­u­ary by vet­er­ans of the far-right Azov Bat­tal­ion, had vis­it­ed the camp ear­li­er in the day and spo­ken threat­en­ing­ly with a woman who lived there, an encounter that was filmed by the group and pub­lished on its Face­book page.

The mili­tia also issued an ulti­ma­tum in the Face­book post for the Roma to clear out with­in 24 hours or be forced out by a “mob.”

“When the police don’t act, the Nation­al Druzhy­na takes con­trol of the sit­u­a­tion,” the mili­tia wrote.

But the mili­tia didn’t wait. Hours lat­er, what appeared to be around two dozen nation­al­ists returned to destroy the camp and harass the few Romany women still there.

The attack was broad­cast live on the militia’s Face­book page.

That video, which has since been removed, shows the Nation­al Druzhy­na mem­bers in T‑shirts adorned with the group’s insignia hack­ing at the camp’s makeshift homes with axes and ham­mers.

A more com­plete, 12-minute clip of the nation­al­ists’ raid was even­tu­al­ly uploaded to YouTube by Euro­May­dan, a polit­i­cal group born from the 2013–14 upris­ing of the same name.

At one point, the mili­tia mem­bers mock a woman and child flee­ing with their belong­ings, ask­ing if they planned to eat a near­by dog. “I heard you eat dogs,” one of the men says. Lat­er, anoth­er belit­tles a woman try­ing to col­lect belong­ings from the debris by sug­gest­ing her actions might be accept­able “in India, but not here.”

Near the end of the video, uni­formed Ukrain­ian police offi­cers appear and casu­al­ly make con­ver­sa­tion as the nation­al­ists wind up their raid.

With police look­ing on, more than a dozen of the vig­i­lantes pose togeth­er to a cry of “Glo­ry to the nation! Death to ene­mies!”

Kyiv police spokes­woman Oksana Blyshchik told Hro­madske TV the Romany group had already fled the camp when mili­tia mem­bers arrived, which the video clear­ly con­tra­dicts. She added that no one had been injured and nobody had been detained. . . .

. . . . Right-Wing Immu­ni­ty?

The Holosiyivskiy camp attack fol­lows three oth­ers with­in the past month and a half.

In May, right-wing thugs attacked a Romany camp in west­ern Ternopil. That fol­lowed the burn­ing of one in the near­by vil­lage of Rudne in the Lviv region.

In April, mem­bers of the right-wing extrem­ist group C14 chased a group of Roma from their camp at Lysa Hora nature reserve in Kyiv. Masked attack­ers hurled stones and sprayed gas as they chased ter­ri­fied Romany men, women, and chil­dren from the makeshift set­tle­ment.

Police did noth­ing until a video of the attack went viral online, forc­ing them to open an inves­ti­ga­tion, the results of which remain unclear. . . .

3. We have not­ed that the neo-Nazi Azov Bat­tal­ion runs a youth camp. Ukraine’s Youth and Sports Min­istry pub­lished a video last week show­ing its offi­cials unan­i­mous­ly vot­ing to fund var­i­ous­ly orga­ni­za­tions for “nation­al-patri­ot­ic edu­ca­tion projects”. Among the recip­i­ents of those funds: Svo­bo­da and C14.

Specif­i­cal­ly, the mon­ey went to three far right orga­ni­za­tions found­ed by mem­bers of C14 and Svo­bo­da. The Edu­ca­tion­al Assem­bly, found­ed by C14 head Yevhen Karas; C14 Sich, found­ed by Volodymyr Karas, who shares the same patronymic, sur­name, and address as the C14 head; and Holosiyiv Hide­out, whose founders include sev­er­al mem­bers of Svo­bo­da.

The Svo­bo­da group will by about $29,200 for four fes­ti­val. That alone is pro­found­ly dis­turb­ing. But even more dis­turb­ing is what The two C14 groups got funds for: The C14 ‘Edu­ca­tion­al Assem­bly’ and C14 Sich’s children’s sum­mer camp will received about $16,900 for three children’s events.

“Ukrain­ian Mili­tia Behind Bru­tal Romany Attacks Get­ting State Funds” by Christo­pher Miller; Radio Free Europe/Radio Lib­er­ty; 06/14/2018.

Amid a recent wave of far-right attacks against minor­i­ty groups, human rights activists have ques­tioned how Ukrain­ian police could stand and watch the vio­lence and destruc­tion unfold.

But it seems they may now have an expla­na­tion: some of the groups involved receive finan­cial sup­port from the Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment.

C14, a group whose mem­bers have open­ly expressed neo-Nazi views and been involved in the recent vio­lent attacks on Romany camps in Kyiv, and the far-right affil­i­at­ed Svo­bo­da polit­i­cal par­ty, are the recip­i­ents of Youth and Sports Min­istry grants for “nation­al-patri­ot­ic edu­ca­tion projects,” accord­ing to a June 13 report by Hro­madske Radio.

The report’s infor­ma­tion comes direct­ly from a video that the Youth and Sports Min­istry pub­lished itself on YouTube on June 8 that shows its offi­cials vot­ing unan­i­mous­ly to fund the orga­ni­za­tions.

That these far-right extrem­ist groups have been award­ed grants from the Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment is like­ly to be of great con­cern to Kyiv’s West­ern back­ers and lead­ing inter­na­tion­al human rights orga­ni­za­tions, four of which pub­lished an open let­ter to author­i­ties on June 14 decry­ing what they called a sharp spike in polit­i­cal vio­lence from these groups, who they say pose a great dan­ger to Ukrain­ian democ­ra­cy.

In a state­ment pub­lished on its web­site, the Youth and Sports Min­istry said it does not direct­ly finance any pub­lic groups, includ­ing far-right ones, but does finance the projects of those groups. . . .

. . . . Mon­ey For ‘Patri­ot­ic Edu­ca­tion’

Three far-right groups won a Youth and Sports Min­istry com­pe­ti­tion for “nation­al-patri­ot­ic edu­ca­tion projects” fund­ed with tax­pay­er mon­ey: the Edu­ca­tion­al Assem­bly, found­ed by C14 head Yevhen Karas; C14 Sich, found­ed by Volodymyr Karas, who shares the same patronymic, sur­name, and address as the C14 head; and Holosiyiv Hide­out, whose founders include sev­er­al mem­bers of the Svo­bo­da polit­i­cal par­ty.

C14’s Edu­ca­tion­al Assem­bly and a C14 Sich children’s sum­mer camp will receive 440,000 hryv­nia (about $16,900) from the min­istry for three children’s events. Holosiyiv Hide­out will get 760,000 hryv­nia (about $29,200) for four fes­ti­vals.

C14 takes its name from a 14-word phrase used by white suprema­cists and it has open­ly offered to pro­vide mem­bers for hire to work as thugs. . . .

4. There has been yet anoth­er attack on a Roma camp in Ukraine, this time on the out­skirts Lviv. A 24 year old was stabbed to death and four oth­ers were injured, includ­ing a 10 year old boy.

Sev­en sus­pects ages 16 and 17 have been arrest and a 20 year old is accused of plan­ning the attack. So far there isn’t an indi­ca­tion of whether or not the sus­pects are mem­bers of the ‘usu­al sus­pects:’ orga­ni­za­tions like the Azov Bat­tal­ion or C14. It’s  evi­dent that it’s ‘open sea­son’ on Roma in Ukraine.

“Roma Camp Attack Leaves One Dead;” BBC; 06/24/2018.

One per­son has been killed in an attack on a Roma camp in west­ern Ukraine late on Sat­ur­day night.

A masked group armed with batons and oth­er weapons tar­get­ed the camp on the out­skirts of the city of Lviv short­ly before mid­night, accord­ing to police.

A 24-year-old man died of stab wounds, while four oth­ers – includ­ing a 10-year-old boy – were injured. 

It is the lat­est in a series of attacks on Ukraine’s Roma com­mu­ni­ty (also known as gyp­sies).

Sev­en sus­pects aged 16 and 17 have been arrest­ed, as well as a 20-year-old accused of plan­ning the attack. . . .

4. Next, we look at the faked assas­si­na­tion of Arkady Babchenko. The alleged hit­man sup­pos­ed­ly hired by the Rus­sians was a mem­ber of Pravy Sek­tor and a vet­er­an of the com­bat in the civ­il war in Ukraine’s East. Anoth­er play­er in the alleged “Russ­ian” plot was an exec­u­tive with a Ger­man-Ukrain­ian arms man­u­fac­tur­er that man­u­fac­tured sights for sniper rifles.

“After the Faked Jour­nal­ist Killing in Ukraine, the Murk Deep­ens” by Neil Mac­Far­quhar; The New York Times6/1/ 2018.

The strange cast of char­ac­ters emerg­ing in the faked assas­si­na­tion of a promi­nent Putin crit­ic — includ­ing a Rus­sia-hat­ing right-wing priest and the direc­tor of a Ukrain­ian arms man­u­fac­tur­er — set the already bizarre case on a path to a murky, up-is-down mess of the sort that Ukraine seems to spe­cial­ize in.

Both the priest and the exec­u­tive claimed to be work­ing for Ukraine’s intel­li­gence ser­vices. Ukrain­ian offi­cials at first denied that but, in the case of the priest, sub­se­quent­ly reversed them­selves and admit­ted he had played a role. They would not say what.

Senior Ukrain­ian offi­cials have been on the defen­sive since Wednes­day, when the head of the secu­ri­ty ser­vices and the chief pros­e­cu­tor announced that they had staged the shoot­ing death of a dis­si­dent Russ­ian war cor­re­spon­dent in order to trace his would-be killers back to Russ­ian intel­li­gence.

How­ev­er, in the absence of sol­id facts and real evi­dence about any plot to kill the dis­si­dent, Arkady Babchenko, some­what implau­si­ble fig­ures have emerged from the shad­ows, per­haps the most unlike­ly being the priest, who claimed he was hired to car­ry out the hit.

Olek­siy Tsim­ba­lyuk, once a monk and a dea­con in the Ukrain­ian Ortho­dox Church who used the cler­i­cal name Aris­tarkh, wrote on his Face­book page that he was the man who went to the author­i­ties after being hired to kill Mr. Babchenko.

The cler­ic has nev­er made a secret of his long­stand­ing antipa­thy toward Rus­sia, fight­ing Russ­ian-backed mili­tias in east­ern Ukraine and switch­ing his reli­gious affil­i­a­tion from the Russ­ian Ortho­dox Church to a break­away branch of the Ortho­dox Church that has declared its inde­pen­dence from Moscow.

Pic­tures on his Face­book page show him in green com­bat fatigues includ­ing a patch from the Right Sec­tor, a Ukrain­ian ultra­na­tion­al­ist orga­ni­za­tion that some, par­tic­u­lar­ly the Krem­lin, por­tray as a neo-Nazi group. In a 10-minute doc­u­men­tary about him that appeared online in Jan­u­ary 2017, he called killing mem­bers of the Russ­ian-backed mili­tias in east­ern Ukraine “an act of mer­cy.”

Giv­en such strong and pub­licly avowed enmi­ty toward Rus­sia, it is odd to say the least that Mr. Tsim­ba­lyuk would be select­ed to car­ry out the con­tract killing of a promi­nent Krem­lin crit­ic.

When he first post­ed the infor­ma­tion on Face­book, a spokes­woman for the Secu­ri­ty Ser­vice of Ukraine, known by its ini­tials, S.B.U., denied that he was involved. But she lat­er acknowl­edged that he had been.

Then there is the accused orga­niz­er, who Ukrain­ian offi­cials said was just warm­ing up with the killing of Mr. Babchenko and had a list of some 30 oth­ers Moscow sup­pos­ed­ly want­ed to elim­i­nate.

That man, Boris L. Her­man, was arraigned in a Kiev court on Thurs­day night and ordered to be held in cus­tody for two months. Pros­e­cu­tors said he had giv­en the sup­posed assas­sin a down pay­ment of $15,000, half what he was promised for car­ry­ing out the hit.

In court, Mr. Her­man tried both to link the plot to Pres­i­dent Vladimir V. Putin and to claim that he, too, had been work­ing for Ukraine all along. He was first con­tact­ed six months ago, he said. . . . .

. . . . Claim­ing that he was work­ing for Ukrain­ian coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence, he said he had known per­fect­ly well that there would be no killing. A monk was hired because he would not kill an unarmed man, he said in court, and once Mr. Babchenko’s “assas­si­na­tion” had tak­en place, he said, his Russ­ian con­tact had giv­en him the list of 30 more names, which he says he passed to Ukrain­ian coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence.

Mr. Herman’s lawyer, Eugene Solod­ko, wrote on Face­book that his client was the exec­u­tive direc­tor of Schmeiss­er, a Ukrain­ian-Ger­man joint ven­ture and the only arms man­u­fac­tur­er in Ukraine not owned by the gov­ern­ment. It spe­cial­izes in man­u­fac­tur­ing sights for sniper rifles, he wrote. . . . 

5. Alleged “Russ­ian” Olek­siy Tsym­bal­iuk is a mem­ber of Pravy Sek­tor, an unlike­ly vehi­cle for a Russ­ian plot.

“Babchenko’s ‘Hit­man’ Reveals Iden­ti­ty: Ortho­dox Monk, Right Sec­tor Mem­ber, Don­bas War Vet­er­an;” UNIAN.info; 6/1/2018.

He is a mem­ber of the Right Sec­tor Orga­ni­za­tion, which is out­lawed in Rus­sia.

“Hit­man” who was hired to assas­si­nate Russ­ian jour­nal­ist and Krem­lin crit­ic Arkady Babchenko in Ukraine has revealed his iden­ti­ty: Olek­siy Tsym­bal­iuk is a for­mer Ortho­dox church monk, a Right Sec­tor mem­ber, a vol­un­teer and a Don­bas war vet­er­an.

Tsym­bal­iuk explained his deci­sion by the fact that after tapes with his voice, which was not dis­guised, were made pub­lic, he saw no point in “hol­ing up.” . . . . 

. . . . He said he would not give any inter­views in the near future as long as the inves­ti­ga­tion is under way. Besides, he signed a non-dis­clo­sure agree­ment. . . .

6. Anoth­er ques­tion in the Babchenko affair con­cerns the alleged planned pur­chase of 300 AK-47s and large quan­ti­ties of explo­sives.  These muni­tions were sup­pos­ed­ly part of a “Russ­ian” ter­ror cam­paign, linked to the alleged “Russ­ian” plot against the life of Babchenko and the oth­er jour­nal­ists.

Recall that, back In March, it was learned that far right Ukrain­ian war hero, Nadia Savchenko, was alleged by Ukrain­ian author­i­ties a plot­ting a dev­as­tat­ing ter­ror plot on Ukraine’s par­lia­ment? That was 2–3 months, right around the time the SBU alleged­ly got its intel­li­gence about about this new alleged Moscow-direct­ed assassination/terror plot. Is this the Savchenko ter­ror plot mis­rep­re­sent­ed under the guise of a Russ­ian ter­ror plot?

“Arkady Babchenko Reveals He Faked His Death to Thwart Moscow Plot” by Luke Hard­ing and Andrew Roth; The Guardian; 5/30/2018.

Russ­ian jour­nal­ist fools world’s media by stag­ing his mur­der in elab­o­rate scheme with Ukraine

. . . . Details of the pre­cise threat to Babchenko’s life were murky. Vasyl Hryt­sak, the head of the SBU, said Russia’s spy agen­cies had con­tact­ed a mid­dle­man, iden­ti­fied only as G, and paid him $40,000 to arrange the mur­der.The mid­dle­man in turn approached a for­mer Ukrain­ian vol­un­teer sol­dier to car­ry out the hit, togeth­er with addi­tion­al “ter­ror­ist acts”, he said.

The mid­dle­man was now in cus­tody, Hryt­sak said, show­ing video of a mid­dle-aged, white-haired man being bun­dled by offi­cers into a van. Hryt­sak added that phone inter­cepts had revealed his con­tacts in Moscow. Dozens of con­tract killings had been avert­ed, he sug­gest­ed, claim­ing that the list of poten­tial vic­tims in Ukraine stretched to 30 names.

The Ukrain­ian sus­pect was sup­posed to buy a large quan­ti­ty of weapons and explo­sive, includ­ing 300 AK-47 rifles and “hun­dreds of kilos of explo­sives”, Hryt­sak alleged. . . . .

8. One of the sig­na­ture fea­tures of the Babchenko affair is the list of 47 names of jour­nal­ists alleged­ly tar­get­ed by Rus­sia was unof­fi­cial­ly leaked yes­ter­day. A num­ber of Ukrain­ian jour­nal­ists, includ­ing those on the list, ques­tion its cred­i­bil­i­tyThey note the list is filled with the names of peo­ple crit­i­cal of the Ukrain­ian author­i­ties.

“In Ukraine, Promi­nent Jour­nal­ists Tar­get­ed By ‘Russ­ian Hit List’ Ques­tion Its Authen­tic­i­ty” by Christo­pher Miller; Radio Free Europe/Radio Lib­er­ty; 06/06/2018.

The leak of an alleged “Russ­ian hit list” has stirred anx­i­eties and raised more ques­tions about the bizarre Ukrain­ian stag­ing of jour­nal­ist Arkady Babchenko’s death after jour­nal­ists on the list said they doubt­ed its authen­tic­i­ty. . . .

. . . . Instead of details in the bizarre case becom­ing clear­er, they have grown murki­er by the day, with author­i­ties fin­ger­ing the direc­tor of a Ukrain­ian arms man­u­fac­tur­er that pro­vides sights to snipers of its armed forces as the orga­niz­er who hired a right-wing, anti-Russ­ian, for­mer monk-turned-vol­un­teer sol­dier to be the shoot­er.

Both have claimed to have been in league with Ukraine’s intel­li­gence ser­vices, some­thing Ukrain­ian offi­cials first denied, then part­ly cor­rect­ed, say­ing the would-be shoot­er, Olek­siy Tsim­ba­lyuk, had indeed been work­ing with them. The man­u­fac­tur­er, Borys Her­man, was remand­ed in cus­tody by a Kyiv court on May 31.

The whole affair took a strange new turn on June 5 when a pur­port­ed “hit list” of 47 peo­ple — main­ly jour­nal­ists and polit­i­cal activists — that the Secu­ri­ty Ser­vice of Ukraine (SBU) claims to have dis­cov­ered dur­ing the Babchenko oper­a­tion was leaked to Strana.ua, an oppo­si­tion news site, and pub­lished online. . . . .

. . . . Then lat­er, on June 5, the SBU announced it had launched a crim­i­nal inves­ti­ga­tion into the unau­tho­rized leak of “a list of per­sons whose details are con­tained” in mate­ri­als relat­ed to a pre­tri­al inves­ti­ga­tion, seem­ing­ly lend­ing cre­dence to Strana.ua’s report. . . .

. . . . List ‘Mul­ti­plies Before Our Eyes’

The “hit list” caused wor­ry and con­fu­sion for many jour­nal­ists as they open­ly doubt­ed the authen­tic­i­ty of a doc­u­ment that had been so var­i­ous­ly described in such a short peri­od of time.

Dmytro Gnap, a jour­nal­ist for inde­pen­dent Hro­madske TV’s Slidstvo.info inves­tiga­tive unit, who is not among those on the list, seemed to doubt its verac­i­ty in a post on Face­book, ask­ing sar­cas­ti­cal­ly how the num­ber of peo­ple on the list seemed to “mul­ti­ply before my eyes.”

Oth­ers also doubt­ed its prove­nance, say­ing they found the make­up of it odd, since so many peo­ple on it were crit­ics of the Ukrain­ian author­i­ties. Olek­siy Bra­tushchak, a jour­nal­ist for the inde­pen­dent Ukrayin­skaya Prav­da news site, won­dered whether this sig­naled an attempt by Ukraine’s intel­li­gence ser­vices to con­trol “all [the] move­ments, all [the] meet­ings” of its crit­ics ahead of elec­tions.

Reached by RFE/RL on June 4, three jour­nal­ists on the list who spoke on the con­di­tion that their names be with­held due to the poten­tial threat to their lives (and because the SBU had them sign a nondis­clo­sure agree­ment) said they doubt­ed the authen­tic­i­ty of the list for a num­ber of rea­sons.

They con­firmed the list pub­lished by Strana.ua was sim­i­lar to the one they had been shown by the SBU but said it had some slight dif­fer­ences, includ­ing vari­a­tions in the order of the names and some spellings. All of them not­ed that Babchenko’s name was not on the list.

The three said they had been offered state secu­ri­ty but declined it, say­ing they did not trust the Ukrain­ian author­i­ties to pro­tect them or not to spy on them.

One of the jour­nal­ists brought in said the SBU had also ques­tioned them. Among the ques­tions they were asked: What is your opin­ion of Russ­ian aggres­sion in Ukraine?

No Crit­i­cism Allowed?

Jour­nal­ists in Ukraine have long faced harass­ment, intim­i­da­tion, dox­ing, and phys­i­cal attacks — some of which has come from author­i­ties.

On May 30, Larysa Sarhan, spokes­woman for Pros­e­cu­tor-Gen­er­al Yuriy Lut­senko, pub­lished on her Face­book page a list of jour­nal­ists that includ­ed Myrosla­va Gongadze, head of Voice of America’s Ukrain­ian ser­vice and the wid­ow of mur­dered Ukrain­ian jour­nal­ist Heo­rhiy Gongadze, and Nation­al Union of Jour­nal­ists of Ukraine Chair­man Ser­hiy Tomilenko.

Sarhan took them to task for crit­i­ciz­ing the author­i­ties’ han­dling of the Babchenko oper­a­tion, which was also lam­bast­ed by inter­na­tion­al groups.

Harlem Desir, the Orga­ni­za­tion for Secu­ri­ty and Coop­er­a­tion in Europe’s (OSCE) rep­re­sen­ta­tive on free­dom of the media, con­demned Sarhan’s words.

“The pub­lish­ing of a list includ­ing names of jour­nal­ists, accus­ing them of being trai­tors, is unac­cept­able and dan­ger­ous. This can have seri­ous reper­cus­sions for the safe­ty of jour­nal­ists,” Desir wrote in a let­ter to the author­i­ties. “I strong­ly encour­age the author­i­ties to inter­vene and sus­pend such prac­tices, espe­cial­ly those under­tak­en by gov­ern­ment offi­cials, giv­en the sen­si­tive and dif­fi­cult envi­ron­ment in Ukraine at the moment.” . . . .

9. Ana­toliy Matios, Ukraine’s chief mil­i­tary pros­e­cu­tor, gave an exten­sive inter­view where he said that Jews are behind all wars and want to “drown eth­nic Slavs in blood.” He would the­o­ret­i­cal­ly be in charge of pros­e­cu­tor abus­es by the Ukrain­ian mil­i­tary units fight­ing in the East – like the neo-Nazi ‘vol­un­teer bat­tal­ions.’

Also recall the cryp­tic state­ment Matios made back in 2016 about the iden­ti­ty of the peo­ple involved with the 2014 sniper attacks: “When pub­lic learns who is involved in this, peo­ple will be very sur­prised.” In FTR #‘s 982993 and 1004, we exam­ined evi­dence that Ukrain­ian fas­cists may well have exe­cut­ed those sniper attacks. It is not reas­sur­ing to learn that the chief mil­i­tary pros­e­cu­tor who is involved in that inves­ti­ga­tion is a neo-Nazi.

“Jews Want to Drown Ukraine in Blood, Ukraine’s Mil­i­tary Pros­e­cu­tor Says Amid Wave of Racist and Anti-Semit­ic Attacks” by Cristi­na Maza; Newsweek; 06/27/2018

In an exten­sive inter­view with the Ukrain­ian news out­let Insid­er, Ana­toliy Matios, Ukraine’s chief mil­i­tary pros­e­cu­tor, espoused anti-Semit­ic con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries in which he implied that Jews want to drown eth­nic Slavs in blood.

Refer­ring to Alexan­der Parvus, a Belaruss­ian-born Marx­ist the­o­reti­cian who was active in Germany’s Social Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty in the late 19th cen­tu­ry, and who also hap­pened to be Jew­ish, Matios claimed that Jews can be found financ­ing all great con­flicts.

“In each war, there is always a Parvus, who brought Lenin mon­ey for a rev­o­lu­tion which flood­ed Slavs with blood for decades. Parvus was also Jew­ish. In this case, they want to do the same to Ukraine,” Matios told the Insid­er. . . .

10. Before approach­ing the state­ments of May­or Moskal (of the Ukrain­ian vil­lage of Skole), we note that a diplo­mat work­ing in Ukraine’s Ham­burg (Ger­many) con­sulate expressed open­ly fas­cist state­ments.

“Ukrain­ian may­or and diplo­mat caught engag­ing in anti-Semit­ic rhetoric”; Jew­ish Tele­graph­ic Agency; 05/15/2018.

. . . . Sep­a­rate­ly, screen­shots shared online show that Vasyl Marushchynets, who works at Ukraine’s con­sulate in Ham­burg, Ger­many, blamed on Face­book Jews for World War II and say­ing “death to the anti-fas­cists” on his pri­vate Face­book page, Reuters report­ed Mon­day.  . . .

. . . .  In 2015, the Ukrain­ian Par­lia­ment passed a law that crim­i­nal­izes deny­ing the “hero­ism” of some of these allies of Nazi Ger­many, which over­saw the near anni­hi­la­tion of the region’s Jews. . . . 

11. The may­or of Skole cit­ed the work of Volodomyr Via­tro­vych (Eng­lish trans­la­tions from the Ukrain­ian vary) and his “Ukrain­ian Insti­tute of Nation­al Mem­o­ry” as doc­u­men­tary jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for an anti-Semit­ic tirade.

“Exam­ple from Ukraine: East Euro­pean Holo­caust Revi­sion­ism Feeds Direct­ly Into Bla­tant Anti­semitism”; Defend­ing His­to­ry; 05/17/2018

Evi­dence con­tin­ues to mount that the nox­ious far-right, state-sup­port­ed mem­o­ry pol­i­tics of Volodymyr Viatrovych’s “Ukrain­ian Insti­tute of Nation­al Mem­o­ry” are direct­ly lead­ing to grow­ing anti­semitism in Ukraine.

The may­or of a town in West­ern Ukraine says the cur­rent gov­ern­ment is a “Mus­covite-Yid.” What’s strik­ing is how he cites how Vyatrovych’s Insti­tute to embold­en and legit­imize his views:

“From his­tor­i­cal infor­ma­tion and now Vladimir Vya­tro­vich reveal­ing his­tor­i­cal­ly truth­ful doc­u­ments [we know]: When the Bol­she­viks came to pow­er from 70% to 95% were Jews who destroyed the nation and its peo­ples.”

The full video has added to the pic­ture pro­vid­ed by var­i­ous recent quotes from the may­or in pub­lic venues:

“The per­for­mance of the Moscow-Jew­ish author­i­ties is drag­ging on for four years.” “For four years, the per­for­mance is not Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment, but, say it cor­rect­ly, the Moscow-Jew­ish author­i­ties.”

The may­or also asserts that he ana­lyzed the “extract from the Kab­bal­ah and the Torah” in the book of Pavel Stepanov Mafia and Ukraine and came to the con­clu­sion that Jew­ish chil­dren are taught from child­hood to rec­og­nize the ene­my and how to destroy him: “By the way, a lot of that work is devot­ed to the death of the goy­im: they con­sid­er any­one except the Jews to be goy­im, all of them — Chris­tians, Arabs, Bud­dhists, they are not peo­ple, they are not peo­ple for them. After their com­ing to world dom­i­na­tion, because they are clear­ly head­ing for this, they form the pol­i­cy of cos­mopoli­tanism and lib­er­al­ism, to destroy all nations, to leave the polit­i­cal nation, mixed up in a heap, with migra­tions, with Blacks,” the may­or said.

He added that “World Jew­ry” pro­vid­ed Joseph Stal­in with a vic­to­ry in World War II, and admir­ing­ly not­ed that the Amer­i­can indus­tri­al­ist Hen­ry Ford once called for “iso­lat­ing the 50 rich­est Jews” so that there would be no more wars.

Com­ment­ing on the ethics of his state­ments, the may­or said: “Who did I offend? I just told the truth.” Moskal has been the may­or of Skole since 2010.

Judg­ing by the poster behind the mayor’s back, he uttered his mono­logue at a con­fer­ence of the Dontsov Sci­en­tif­ic and Ide­o­log­i­cal Cen­ter. For those famil­iar with the 1930s in this part of the world, Dmytro Dontsov was the chief the­o­rist behind the devel­op­ment of Ukrain­ian Inte­gral Nation­al­ism (kind of a fan­cy way of say­ing: fas­cism), which formed a the­o­ret­i­cal basis for OUN-UPA, a World War Two-era ultra­na­tion­al­ist orga­ni­za­tion which engaged in mass mur­der of hun­dreds of thou­sands of Jew­ish and Pol­ish civil­ians in its quest to build an eth­ni­cal­ly pure Ukrain­ian state.

 

Discussion

7 comments for “FTR #1014 Update on Fascism in Ukraine”

  1. just got done lis­ten­ing to one of your pro­grams on Bush, Zap­a­ta and CIA from 1992; in it you talk excit­ed­ly about a “new” book: “The Old Boys”; I thoughtt it was so cool that you’ve been talk­ing about that book for 30 years!

    Speak­ing of Zap­a­ta Oil, I read that the Koch Broth­ers stole at least 300 mil­lion dol­lars of oil from pub­lic lands and got sued and lost.

    any­way, LOVE YOU DAVE, YOU’RE IN MY HEART MAN.

    Posted by mike | July 11, 2018, 6:47 pm
  2. Here’s a pair of arti­cle about what appears to be a Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment-spon­sored cam­paign of intim­i­da­tion against jour­nal­ists and the use of the “Myrotvorets” group of Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment-backed hack­ers:

    First, here’s an arti­cle about how Belaru­sian writer and Nobel Lit­er­a­ture Prize win­ner Svet­lana Alex­ievich had to can­cel an event at the Green The­ater in Odessa due to the implied threats of vio­lence after a Ukrain­ian ‘nation­al­ist’ web­site that spe­cial­izes in iden­ti­fy­ing ‘ene­mies of Ukraine’, Myrotvorets, declared Alex­ievich one of those ene­mies. Myrotvoret­s’s ‘ene­mies of Ukraine’ announce­ment hap­pened four hours before the event. Myrotvorets removed her name from the ‘ene­mies’ list sev­er­al hours lat­er but the event remained can­celled out of an abun­dance of cau­tion:

    Radio Free Europe/Radio Lib­er­ty

    Belaru­sian Nobel Lau­re­ate Alex­ievich Can­cels Event In Ukraine Amid Threats

    August 09, 2018 09:19 GMT

    Belaru­sian writer and Nobel Lit­er­a­ture Prize win­ner Svet­lana Alex­ievich says she has can­celed her meet­ing with read­ers in the Ukrain­ian city of Ode­sa amid threats.

    Alex­ievich said in a video state­ment on August 8 that she learned about threats against her and the orga­niz­ers of the meet­ing and there­fore decid­ed to can­cel the event planned at the Green The­ater in the Black Sea port city.

    The Green The­ater wrote on Face­book that Alex­ievich’s name was added to a list of “ene­mies of Ukraine” by the Ukrain­ian nation­al­ist web­site Myrotvorets (Peace­keep­er) four hours before Alex­ievich’s sched­uled meet­ing with read­ers on August 8.

    The Myrotvorets site accused Alex­ievich of “prop­a­gat­ing intereth­nic dis­cord and manip­u­lat­ing infor­ma­tion impor­tant for soci­ety” in a speech she deliv­ered in Brook­lyn, New York, in 2016.

    Although the site removed Alex­ievich’s name from the list sev­er­al hours lat­er, the writer and the the­ater decid­ed to can­cel the event “to avoid pos­si­ble risks for Alex­ievich and the audi­ence in the the­ater.”

    In her video state­ment, Alex­ievich called Myrotvorets’ state­ment about her anti-Ukrain­ian stance “absolute­ly far-fetched.”

    ...

    In her very first pub­lic state­ment after she was announced the Nobel Prize win­ner in lit­er­a­ture in 2015, Alex­ievich con­demned Rus­si­a’s annex­a­tion of Crimea in 2014, call­ing it an armed inter­ven­tion.

    ———-

    “Belaru­sian Nobel Lau­re­ate Alex­ievich Can­cels Event In Ukraine Amid Threats”; Radio Free Europe/Radio Lib­er­ty; 08/09/2018

    “The Green The­ater wrote on Face­book that Alex­ievich’s name was added to a list of “ene­mies of Ukraine” by the Ukrain­ian nation­al­ist web­site Myrotvorets (Peace­keep­er) four hours before Alex­ievich’s sched­uled meet­ing with read­ers on August 8.”

    Yeah, it’s prob­a­bly not safe to hold an event after a gov­ern­ment-con­nect­ed web­site declares you an ene­my of Ukraine. Specif­i­cal­ly, Myrotvorets accused Alex­ievich of “prop­a­gat­ing intereth­nic dis­cord and manip­u­lat­ing infor­ma­tion impor­tant for soci­ety”, which is a rather iron­ic accu­sa­tion com­ing from a site like Myrotvorets:

    ...
    The Myrotvorets site accused Alex­ievich of “prop­a­gat­ing intereth­nic dis­cord and manip­u­lat­ing infor­ma­tion impor­tant for soci­ety” in a speech she deliv­ered in Brook­lyn, New York, in 2016.

    Although the site removed Alex­ievich’s name from the list sev­er­al hours lat­er, the writer and the the­ater decid­ed to can­cel the event “to avoid pos­si­ble risks for Alex­ievich and the audi­ence in the the­ater.”

    In her video state­ment, Alex­ievich called Myrotvorets’ state­ment about her anti-Ukrain­ian stance “absolute­ly far-fetched.”
    ...

    And while this isn’t men­tioned in the above RFE/RL report, Myrotvorets is a gov­ern­ment-backed hack­ing crew, as we’ve seen before.

    So, to get a bet­ter sense of Myrotvoret­s’s ties to the Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment, here’s an arti­cle from two years ago about a leak of infor­ma­tion about jour­nal­ists cov­er­ing the war in Ukraine. And the leak of that list appeared to have been done by gov­ern­ment-backed hack­ers and was sup­port­ed by numer­ous peo­ple in gov­ern­ment and nation­al­ist groups (includ­ing the euromaidanpress.com). the charges against the jour­nal­ists were basi­cal­ly that they had request­ed press pass­es from the sep­a­ratists republics in East­ern Ukraine (they would hack the rebels and got cor­re­spon­dences with jour­nal­ists). And, sur­prise!, that gov­ern­ment-backed hack­er group is Myrotvorets. Yep, Myro­tovorets is basi­cal­ly a Ukrain­ian-gov­ern­ment hack­er col­lec­tive.

    In May of 2016, sev­er­al months before this indi­ci­dent, there was the release of a jour­nal­ist black­list. Myrotvorets was behind that list too. As the arti­cle notes, Min­is­ter of Inte­ri­or Affairs Arsen Avakov excused the actions by Myrotvorets, say­ing, “Those jour­nal­ists passed their per­son­al data to ban­dits from the occu­piers’ regime.” And as the arti­cle also notes, Avakov’s far right advis­er, Anton Geraschenko, is wide­ly alleged to be the men­tor of Myrotvorets:

    The Dai­ly Beast

    Mali­cious Leaks Make Jour­nal­ists Tar­gets in Ukraine
    Secu­ri­ty ser­vices and rabid nation­al­ists in Kiev are work­ing hard to intim­i­date reporters try­ing to do their job cov­er­ing the Ukraine con­flict. The con­se­quences could be dead­ly.

    Anna Nemtso­va
    08.08.16 1:00 AM ET

    MOSCOW — Reporters cov­er­ing the con­flict in Ukraine are in con­stant dan­ger. At least six jour­nal­ists have lost their lives in the two and a half years since the “hybrid” war there began. Dozens have been abduct­ed, dragged away by masked men, and threat­ened with exe­cu­tions.

    On one of the ear­ly days of the war, on May 24, 2014, three journalists—Italian pho­tog­ra­ph­er Andy Roc­chel­li, his co-author, a human rights defend­er and jour­nal­ist Andrei Mironov, and French reporter William Roguelon drove up the road out­side of Andreyev­ka vil­lage, known for almost dai­ly fire­fights between Ukrain­ian and pro-Russ­ian rebel forces.

    They were sea­soned cor­re­spon­dents. Mironov, 60, was a vet­er­an of Afghan and Chechen wars.

    A few min­utes after they stopped their car to inter­view civil­ians liv­ing on the front line, there were bursts of gun­fire fol­lowed by the blast of a grenade launch­er and a mor­tar bar­rage that left Roguelon wound­ed and Roc­chel­li and Mironov dead. The mor­tar had torn off Mironov’s head.

    Those of us cov­er­ing the war then said “his num­ber came up” in Ukraine as we cried over our friends, whose bod­ies were found in a ditch on the fol­low­ing day.

    More than two years lat­er, the war in Ukraine goes on and on. And in the last cou­ple weeks it has inten­si­fied: dozens of sol­diers die or are injured in fresh clash­es every week. Jour­nal­ists are the wit­ness­es to this car­nage, doc­u­ment­ing the casu­al­ties both among the mil­i­tary and civil­ians suf­fer­ing from the con­flict.

    But in the last few days jour­nal­ists have been hor­ri­fied, if not entire­ly sur­prised, to dis­cov­er that many peo­ple in the Kiev gov­ern­ment were out to intim­i­date them, or worse, for doing their jobs.

    A group of hack­ers known to be sup­port­ed by Ukraine’s police and secret ser­vice leaked a dig­i­tal archive con­tain­ing per­son­al pho­tographs, copies of pass­ports, accred­i­ta­tions, and oth­er doc­u­ments, as well as email address­es and per­son­al cor­re­spon­dence between jour­nal­ists cov­er­ing the war in the Rus­sia-backed part of Don­bas, or East­ern Ukraine.

    Hack­ers called the leaked archive “The Dump.” It includ­ed pri­vate infor­ma­tion about jour­nal­ists from more than 30 inter­na­tion­al media out­lets, includ­ing CNN, the BBC, the Asso­ci­at­ed Press, Al Jazeera, Voice of Amer­i­ca, Radio Free Europe, and The Dai­ly Beast.

    Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists and offi­cials sup­port­ing the leak—and, dis­turbing­ly, there are many—claimed that for the last two years jour­nal­ists cov­er­ing the war on the rebel side were “col­lab­o­rat­ing with ter­ror­ists.”

    The hacked email inbox in ques­tion belonged to Tatyana Yegoro­va, a rebel admin­is­tra­tor from the self-pro­claimed Donet­sk republic’s secu­ri­ty ser­vice. Most of the leaked emails were ask­ing Yegoro­va to give jour­nal­ists accred­i­ta­tions and press pass­es. With­out such cre­den­tials a reporter can­not pass through check­points at all, and even with that piece of paper issued by the rebels there were few guar­an­tees of pro­tec­tion for reporters, who crossed check­points dozens of times every day, fac­ing star­ing down the bar­rels of Kalash­nikovs, fac­ing deten­tions, abduc­tions, and inter­ro­ga­tions.

    An attempt by some fac­tions in the Kiev gov­ern­ment to black­list so-called “col­lab­o­rat­ing” jour­nal­ists did take place once before. In May a group affil­i­at­ed with secu­ri­ty agen­cies and Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists, Myrotvorets, tar­get­ed the reporters by draw­ing up black­lists.

    Min­is­ter of Inte­ri­or Affairs Arsen Avakov excused the actions by the Myrotvorets group, say­ing, “Those jour­nal­ists passed their per­son­al data to ban­dits from the occu­piers’ regime.”

    Min­is­ter Avakov’s advis­er, Anton Geraschenko (wide­ly alleged to be the men­tor of Myrotvorets) thanked it for leak­ing the per­son­al data of dozens of jour­nal­ists. But in May, unlike now, the reac­tion to the black­list­ing was imme­di­ate and sharp: Ukraine’s Pres­i­dent Petro Poroshenko con­demned Myrotvorets and all its sup­port­ers. The Com­mit­tee to Pro­tect Jour­nal­ists sup­port­ed Pres­i­dent Poroshenko and also sup­port­ed the inves­ti­ga­tion by Ukrain­ian pros­e­cu­tors into the web­site that put jour­nal­ists at risk.

    This time the country’s top lead­er­ship remained silent, and by Sun­day the silence had become very loud indeed.

    Accord­ing to an arti­cle by the Asso­ci­at­ed Press it was the same group, Myrotvorets, that pub­lished the per­son­al data of dozens of jour­nal­ists. And as a result of this week’s leak, reporters have received numer­ous death threats on social media.

    In some envi­ron­ments, that might seem like just anoth­er troll-fest, with creeps com­ing out of the wood­work on their own, or on com­mis­sion from oth­ers. But in Ukraine, this tru­ly is a mat­ter of life and death.

    “This attack on the media is very dan­ger­ous for local jour­nal­ists, because after every pub­li­ca­tion we can see a wave of hate speech—local jour­nal­ists already got mes­sages with threats,” Pol­ish jour­nal­ist Pawel Pieni­azek, who cov­ered Ukraine for Polit­i­cal Cri­tique told The Dai­ly Beast. “These kinds of lists are cre­at­ing an atmos­phere of mis­trust. I have already heard ques­tions from Ukrain­ian sol­diers about the leaks and my pres­ence on these lists.”

    The Dai­ly Beast inter­viewed jour­nal­ists from nine intim­i­dat­ed pub­li­ca­tions who have watched in con­ster­na­tion as a group of Ukrain­ian state offi­cials have waged a delib­er­ate cam­paign against the free­dom of press, inspired pub­lic hate against jour­nal­ists, and jeop­ar­dized the secu­ri­ty of reporters work­ing in Ukraine.

    But it’s not just the col­lec­tion of gov­ern­ment trolls in Kiev who present a prob­lem. If one down­loads The Dump, a 2.2. GB file, one could find among the emails there many reveal­ing com­ments among admin­is­tra­tors in the so-called Donet­sk People’s Repub­lic as they talk with con­tempt about jour­nal­ists and make lists of those denied press accred­i­ta­tion.

    There is even some­thing in those emails about the U.S. pres­i­den­tial cam­paign of Don­ald Trump (who has been accused of late in the Unit­ed States of being far too cozy with Russ­ian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin).

    One of the intim­i­dat­ed jour­nal­ists, Piotr Andrusieczko from the Pol­ish Gaze­ta Wybor­cza, said that Dump was part of a larg­er cam­paign “by Ukraine’s law enforce­ment agen­cies and nation­al­ists, who did not like it that jour­nal­ists from all over the world cov­ered both sides of the con­flict.”

    Reporters who had been risk­ing their lives crawl­ing in trench­es with both Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment and rebel sol­diers, believed they were doing their jobs, being wit­ness­es, telling the true sto­ry about the dev­as­tat­ed areas dur­ing the two-year-long cri­sis. Many jour­nal­ists had begun to report from Donet­sk long before Kiev start­ed refer­ring to it as “ter­ror­ist con­trolled” ter­ri­to­ry.

    What Myrotvorets has done in recent days is to dis­trib­ute the leaked emails while lam­bast­ing jour­nal­ists for “coop­er­a­tion with ter­ror­ists” just because they received press accred­i­ta­tions on the ene­my side of the front line.

    Reporters and advo­cates for free­dom of speech are con­cerned that this hate mon­ger­ing could endan­ger jour­nal­ists on either side of the front line.

    But to many in Ukraine, who clear­ly are not con­cerned about the future of free­dom of the press, the con­dem­na­tion and endan­ger­ment of jour­nal­ists seems some­how appro­pri­ate.

    The leaked data was “a good thing,” said Alya Shan­dra, the man­ag­ing edi­tor of Euro­maid­an­press, an online mag­a­zine found­ed as a grass­roots resource after the pro-EU rev­o­lu­tion in 2014.

    Euro­maid­an­press media “strives to be the go-to bridge between Ukraine and the Eng­lish-speak­ing world,” the magazine’s web site says.

    Shan­dra told us: “What Myrotvorets has done is very valu­able. They showed how the pro­pa­gan­da machine works in Donet­sk— that is much more impor­tant than any per­son­al data of jour­nal­ists,” she said. “Besides, jour­nal­ists are not as endan­gered as Ukraini­ans attacked by the sep­a­ratists army in the east,” Shan­dra said.

    What Shan­dra does not under­stand, it seems, is that her pub­li­ca­tion broke the country’s law, vio­lat­ed the rights of jour­nal­ists it also humil­i­at­ed the pres­i­dent of Ukraine, who very clear­ly con­demned Myrotvorets at a news con­fer­ence in Kyiv on June 3, for pub­lish­ing the data of more than 4,000 jour­nal­ists and for attack­ing reporters.

    What inter­na­tion­al media expect­ed from Pres­i­dent Poroshenko was to pro­tect reporters, who clear­ly are under attack.

    Last month, some­body assas­si­nat­ed one of Ukraine’s most respect­ed reporters, the founder of a school for jour­nal­ism, Pavel Sheremet, right in the cen­ter of Kiev, a few meters away from the Ger­man embassy.

    Sheremet worked for a local radio and Ukrayin­s­ka Prav­da (Ukrain­ian Truth), a news­pa­per.

    Ear­li­er this month anoth­er Ukrain­skaya Prav­da jour­nal­ist, Yeka­te­ri­na Ser­gatsko­va, received threats from noto­ri­ous right-wing nation­al­ist Dmytro Korchin­sky: after she pub­lished an inter­view about Ukrain­ian Secu­ri­ty Ser­vices tor­tur­ing pris­on­ers. Ser­gatsko­va came to live in Ukraine from Crimea in 2014; the jour­nal­ist renounced her Russ­ian cit­i­zen­ship.

    Pres­i­dent Petro Poroshenko per­son­al­ly grant­ed Ser­gatsko­va her Ukrain­ian cit­i­zen­ship. “I received threats from Korchin­sky, after I pub­lished an inter­view with a man about SBU tor­tur­ing him in their prison in Kram­a­torsk; that was when some­body wrote to me on Face­book: ‘Die, crea­ture,’” Ser­gatsko­va told The Dai­ly Beast.

    “Korchin­sky, who coop­er­ates with state secu­ri­ty agen­cies, threat­ened me on his Face­book page,” Diane Ser­gatsko­va said that the pres­i­dent should have not have grant­ed me my cit­i­zen­ship, that I should not be work­ing as a jour­nal­ist in Ukraine.” Hra­madske TV edi­tor-in-chief Natalia Gumenyuk also expressed con­cerns: “We con­stant­ly receive threats and insults from offi­cials.”

    ...

    On Fri­day, Euro­maid­an­press repub­lished a link to the entire leaked archive on their web­site, again.

    “The leak is anoth­er exam­ple of how obliv­i­ous some indi­vid­u­als and groups are when they put jour­nal­ists at risk in the con­flict zone,” an AP jour­nal­ist who asked not to be named told The Dai­ly Beast. “The pub­li­ca­tion is a dis­gust­ing attempt to divide reporters into good and bad.”

    Human Rights Watch defend­ers rec­om­mend­ed that jour­nal­ists whose per­son­al data was leaked fight for their rights through the legal sys­tem. “We are con­sid­er­ing tak­ing the abusers who pub­lished the leaked data to court,” says Timur Olevsky, a pre­sen­ter at Cur­rent Time, a part of Radio Free Europe media group based in Prague. “The Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment is silent because the min­istry of inte­ri­or affairs obvi­ous­ly is involved this cam­paign against free­dom of speech.”

    Clear­ly, nobody in Ukraine was seri­ous about pun­ish­ing the group intim­i­dat­ing jour­nal­ists by dis­trib­ut­ing their per­son­al infor­ma­tion. The pros­e­cu­tors’ inves­ti­ga­tion was for­got­ten and Myrotvorets was giv­en a green light to con­tin­ue attack­ing jour­nal­ists work­ing in Ukraine.

    Ear­li­er this week, inte­ri­or min­istry advi­sor Anton Gerashchenko declared that from now on Myrotvorets would be a “reg­is­tered media” out­let.

    “Min­is­ter Arsen Avakov and his advi­sor Gerashchenko are the worst rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Ukrain­ian offi­cials,” said Oliv­er Car­roll, a reporter who has cov­ered the war exten­sive­ly. “They are cre­at­ing a smoke screen between the country’s soci­ety and gov­ern­ment, and that smoke is the jour­nal­ists.”

    ———-

    “Mali­cious Leaks Make Jour­nal­ists Tar­gets in Ukraine” by Anna Nemtso­va; The Dai­ly Beast; 08/08/2016

    “But in the last few days jour­nal­ists have been hor­ri­fied, if not entire­ly sur­prised, to dis­cov­er that many peo­ple in the Kiev gov­ern­ment were out to intim­i­date them, or worse, for doing their jobs.”

    That was the unfor­tu­nate news jour­nal­ists had to report in Aug­sut of 2016: the Kiev gov­ern­ment appears to be out to intim­i­date them.

    And a key part of that gov­ern­ment intim­i­da­tion cam­paign appears to revolve around the use of the Myrotvorets hack­ing col­lec­tive:

    ...
    A group of hack­ers known to be sup­port­ed by Ukraine’s police and secret ser­vice leaked a dig­i­tal archive con­tain­ing per­son­al pho­tographs, copies of pass­ports, accred­i­ta­tions, and oth­er doc­u­ments, as well as email address­es and per­son­al cor­re­spon­dence between jour­nal­ists cov­er­ing the war in the Rus­sia-backed part of Don­bas, or East­ern Ukraine.

    Hack­ers called the leaked archive “The Dump.” It includ­ed pri­vate infor­ma­tion about jour­nal­ists from more than 30 inter­na­tion­al media out­lets, includ­ing CNN, the BBC, the Asso­ci­at­ed Press, Al Jazeera, Voice of Amer­i­ca, Radio Free Europe, and The Dai­ly Beast.

    Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists and offi­cials sup­port­ing the leak—and, dis­turbing­ly, there are many—claimed that for the last two years jour­nal­ists cov­er­ing the war on the rebel side were “col­lab­o­rat­ing with ter­ror­ists.”
    ...

    This was a replay of a sim­i­lar intim­i­da­tion cam­paign against jour­nal­ists con­duct­ed in May of 2016 that also involved Myrotvorets. Min­is­ter of Inte­ri­or Affairs Arsen Avakov defend­ed it at the time by say­ing, “Those jour­nal­ists passed their per­son­al data to ban­dits from the occu­piers’ regime.” Keep in mind that the jour­nal­ists were basi­cal­ly ask­ing for press pass­es from the rebels. That was what land­ed them on the “ene­mies list”:

    ...
    An attempt by some fac­tions in the Kiev gov­ern­ment to black­list so-called “col­lab­o­rat­ing” jour­nal­ists did take place once before. In May a group affil­i­at­ed with secu­ri­ty agen­cies and Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists, Myrotvorets, tar­get­ed the reporters by draw­ing up black­lists.

    Min­is­ter of Inte­ri­or Affairs Arsen Avakov excused the actions by the Myrotvorets group, say­ing, “Those jour­nal­ists passed their per­son­al data to ban­dits from the occu­piers’ regime.”
    ...

    And Avakov’s far right advis­er, Anton Geraschenko, is wild­ly alleged to be the men­tor of Myrotvorets:

    ...
    Min­is­ter Avakov’s advis­er, Anton Geraschenko (wide­ly alleged to be the men­tor of Myrotvorets) thanked it for leak­ing the per­son­al data of dozens of jour­nal­ists. But in May, unlike now, the reac­tion to the black­list­ing was imme­di­ate and sharp: Ukraine’s Pres­i­dent Petro Poroshenko con­demned Myrotvorets and all its sup­port­ers. The Com­mit­tee to Pro­tect Jour­nal­ists sup­port­ed Pres­i­dent Poroshenko and also sup­port­ed the inves­ti­ga­tion by Ukrain­ian pros­e­cu­tors into the web­site that put jour­nal­ists at risk.

    This time the country’s top lead­er­ship remained silent, and by Sun­day the silence had become very loud indeed.
    ...

    And it was Myrotvorets that was behind the hack and sub­se­quent release of that August 2016 “ene­mies list”:

    ...
    Accord­ing to an arti­cle by the Asso­ci­at­ed Press it was the same group, Myrotvorets, that pub­lished the per­son­al data of dozens of jour­nal­ists. And as a result of this week’s leak, reporters have received numer­ous death threats on social media.
    ...

    Dis­turbing­ly, it’s not just Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment offi­cials who sup­port­ed Myrotvoret­s’s actions. Euro­maid­an­press, was ful­ly sup­port­ive and even repub­lished the black­list:

    ...
    In some envi­ron­ments, that might seem like just anoth­er troll-fest, with creeps com­ing out of the wood­work on their own, or on com­mis­sion from oth­ers. But in Ukraine, this tru­ly is a mat­ter of life and death.

    “This attack on the media is very dan­ger­ous for local jour­nal­ists, because after every pub­li­ca­tion we can see a wave of hate speech—local jour­nal­ists already got mes­sages with threats,” Pol­ish jour­nal­ist Pawel Pieni­azek, who cov­ered Ukraine for Polit­i­cal Cri­tique told The Dai­ly Beast. “These kinds of lists are cre­at­ing an atmos­phere of mis­trust. I have already heard ques­tions from Ukrain­ian sol­diers about the leaks and my pres­ence on these lists.”

    The Dai­ly Beast inter­viewed jour­nal­ists from nine intim­i­dat­ed pub­li­ca­tions who have watched in con­ster­na­tion as a group of Ukrain­ian state offi­cials have waged a delib­er­ate cam­paign against the free­dom of press, inspired pub­lic hate against jour­nal­ists, and jeop­ar­dized the secu­ri­ty of reporters work­ing in Ukraine.

    ...

    What Myrotvorets has done in recent days is to dis­trib­ute the leaked emails while lam­bast­ing jour­nal­ists for “coop­er­a­tion with ter­ror­ists” just because they received press accred­i­ta­tions on the ene­my side of the front line.

    Reporters and advo­cates for free­dom of speech are con­cerned that this hate mon­ger­ing could endan­ger jour­nal­ists on either side of the front line.

    But to many in Ukraine, who clear­ly are not con­cerned about the future of free­dom of the press, the con­dem­na­tion and endan­ger­ment of jour­nal­ists seems some­how appro­pri­ate.

    The leaked data was “a good thing,” said Alya Shan­dra, the man­ag­ing edi­tor of Euro­maid­an­press, an online mag­a­zine found­ed as a grass­roots resource after the pro-EU rev­o­lu­tion in 2014.

    Euro­maid­an­press media “strives to be the go-to bridge between Ukraine and the Eng­lish-speak­ing world,” the magazine’s web site says.

    Shan­dra told us: “What Myrotvorets has done is very valu­able. They showed how the pro­pa­gan­da machine works in Donet­sk— that is much more impor­tant than any per­son­al data of jour­nal­ists,” she said. “Besides, jour­nal­ists are not as endan­gered as Ukraini­ans attacked by the sep­a­ratists army in the east,” Shan­dra said.

    What Shan­dra does not under­stand, it seems, is that her pub­li­ca­tion broke the country’s law, vio­lat­ed the rights of jour­nal­ists it also humil­i­at­ed the pres­i­dent of Ukraine, who very clear­ly con­demned Myrotvorets at a news con­fer­ence in Kyiv on June 3, for pub­lish­ing the data of more than 4,000 jour­nal­ists and for attack­ing reporters.

    What inter­na­tion­al media expect­ed from Pres­i­dent Poroshenko was to pro­tect reporters, who clear­ly are under attack.

    ...

    On Fri­day, Euro­maid­an­press repub­lished a link to the entire leaked archive on their web­site, again.

    “The leak is anoth­er exam­ple of how obliv­i­ous some indi­vid­u­als and groups are when they put jour­nal­ists at risk in the con­flict zone,” an AP jour­nal­ist who asked not to be named told The Dai­ly Beast. “The pub­li­ca­tion is a dis­gust­ing attempt to divide reporters into good and bad.”
    ...

    And, of course, we can’t for­get that this all hap­pened a month after the assas­si­na­tion of Pavel Sheremet:

    ...
    Last month, some­body assas­si­nat­ed one of Ukraine’s most respect­ed reporters, the founder of a school for jour­nal­ism, Pavel Sheremet, right in the cen­ter of Kiev, a few meters away from the Ger­man embassy.

    Sheremet worked for a local radio and Ukrayin­s­ka Prav­da (Ukrain­ian Truth), a news­pa­per.
    ...

    Keep in mind that evi­dence has sub­se­quent­ly come out indi­cat­ing the Ukrain­ian intel­li­gence ser­vices were behind Sheremet’s assas­si­na­tion.

    So that’s all a big reminder that the gov­ern­ment-backed intim­i­da­tion cam­paign against jour­nal­ists in Ukraine using the Myrotvorets hack­ers con­tin­ues. Although it’s unclear if any actu­al hack­ing took place in this lat­est inci­dent against Svet­lana Alex­ievich. They’re appar­ent­ly just jump­ing straight to com­pil­ing ene­mies lists at this point.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 9, 2018, 1:30 pm
  3. @Pterrafractyl–

    Some­thing worth keep­ing in mind in con­nec­tion with this excel­lent com­ment:

    As dis­cussed in FTR #981, Anton Geraschenko is also a key fig­ure in traf­fick­ing the “Russ­ian hacks” meme at the heart of the Rus­sia-Gate psy-op.

    http://spitfirelist.com/for-the-record/ftr-981-the-ukrainian-fascist-foundation-of-the-russia-gate-psy-op/

    Best,

    Dave Emory

    Posted by Dave Emory | August 10, 2018, 2:24 pm
  4. Here’s the lat­est string of news that shock­ing­ly unshock­ing at this point in Ukraine’s descent into the offi­cial embrace of Nazism: the June 30, 941 dec­la­ra­tion of an inde­pen­dent Ukrain­ian state by Stepan Ban­dera was offi­cial­ly cel­e­brat­ed in an exhib­it in the Ukrain­ian Rada recent­ly. The orga­niz­ers of the even were as fol­lows:
    1. The All-Ukrain­ian char­i­ta­ble Sobor­nist foun­da­tion
    2. Inter­na­tion­al char­i­ta­ble Jaroslav Stezko foun­da­tion. Jaroslav Stezko, of course, led the OUN from 1968 until his death. Stezko’s per­son­al sec­re­tary, Roman Zvarych, became the spokesman for the neo-Nazi Azov bat­tal­ion.
    3. MP Jury Shuchevich. Jury Shukhevych, hap­pens to be the son of Roman Shukhevych — who led the SS Nachti­gall bat­tal­ion in a pogram against the Jews of Lviv also start­ing on June 30, 1941.

    The exhi­bi­tion includes blown-up images from pro-Nazi news­pa­pers dat­ed June 1941 herald­ing “the Act of estab­lish­ing the Ukrain­ian state”, along with large images of Ban­dera, Shukhevych, and Stezko who all are pre­sent­ed as heroes. Also, many of the doc­u­ments at the exhi­bi­tion open­ly glo­ri­fy Nazism.

    As the arti­cle notes, asked recent­ly by the Kyiv Post if it’s not “too much glo­ri­fi­ca­tion of the Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists?”, Jury Shukhevych replied by bring­ing up Jews who turned in oth­er Jews: “It’s a very com­pli­cat­ed ques­tion which has to be exam­ined in full detail. But what about those Jews? Those ones who were in Juden­rats, and who were after their own peo­ple in ghet­tos? I saw it with my own eyes. But Jews don’t like to talk about it.” Yes, when asked about the role peo­ple like his father played in the holo­caust, Jury appeared to try and deflect blame onto the Jews. That’s the kind of guy he is.

    The arti­cle also note that a sim­i­lar exhi­bi­tion called Fight­ers for the Ukrain­ian State opened at the Nation­al His­to­ry of Ukraine Muse­um in Kiev at the same time.

    So the Ukrain­ian Rada had the son of the guy who led a WWII pogram against the Jew of Lviv orga­nize an exhib­it held in the par­lia­men­tary build­ing itself to cel­e­brate the dec­la­ra­tion of inde­pen­dence that took on the same day the pogram start­ed. And that was just one of the exhibits offi­cial­ly glo­ri­fy­ing Ukraine’s Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tor heroes. Which is more or less what we should expect from Ukraine’s gov­ern­ment at this point:

    IsraelNationalNews.com

    Exhi­bi­tion in Ukrain­ian par­lia­ment glo­ri­fies Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors

    Months after hun­dreds march streets of Lvov com­mem­o­rat­ing 75th anniver­sary of SS divi­sion’s cre­ation.
    Mordechai Sones, 08/07/18 20:05

    An exhi­bi­tion inside the Ukrain­ian par­lia­ment, the Rada last week glo­ri­fied the lead­ing Ukrain­ian Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors of World War II.

    Infor­ma­tion on the exhi­bi­tion is avail­able on the Ukraine Par­lia­men­t’s offi­cial web­site in Ukrain­ian and Russ­ian, but on the Rada’s Eng­lish-lan­guage web­site the infor­ma­tion is absent.

    The Ukrain­ian site says, “A spe­cial exhi­bi­tion has been orga­nized in the par­lia­ment of Ukraine in Kiev. The dates of the exhi­bi­tion: July 3- July 6, 2018. The name of the exhi­bi­tion: Cel­e­brat­ing the Restora­tion of the Ukrain­ian State­hood, June 30, 1941–2018.

    “The orga­niz­ers of the exhi­bi­tion: All-Ukrain­ian char­i­ta­ble Sobor­nist foun­da­tion, Inter­na­tion­al char­i­ta­ble Jaroslav Stezko foun­da­tion, MP Jury Shuchevich.”

    Jaroslav Stezko was leader of Stepan Ban­der­a’s Orga­ni­za­tion of the Ukrain­ian Nation­al­ists (OUN) mil­i­tary brigades from 1968 until his death. A fer­vent Ukrain­ian Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tor, in 1941 dur­ing the Nazi Ger­man inva­sion of the Sovi­et Union, he was self-pro­claimed tem­po­rary head of the osten­si­bly inde­pen­dent Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment declared by Stepan Ban­dera. Stet­sko was the head of the Anti-Bol­she­vik Bloc of Nations from the time of its foun­da­tion until 1986, the year of his death.

    MP Jury Shuchevich is the octo­ge­nar­i­an son of Roman Shuchevich, who was the one of the lead­ers of the infa­mous the SS Nachti­gall bat­tal­ion. SS Cap­tain Roman Shuchevich was award­ed the Nazi Iron Cross for his “exploits” dur­ing the Sec­ond World War in Ukraine and was an Abwehr agent from 1926.

    “The fact that the son of the polit­i­cal leader of the SS Nachti­gall bat­tal­ion and the bear­er of the Nazi Iron Cross is the most respect­ed – accord­ing to Ukrain­ian author­i­ties – mem­ber of their par­lia­ment is telling all by itself,” wrote co-founder and Pres­i­dent of the Rogatchi Foun­da­tion Dr. Inna Rogatchi. “He spent many decades in the Sovi­et Gulag and is clear­ly moti­vat­ed against any­thing Russ­ian – he even added a new Ukrain­ian name to his exist­ing name of Jury. But it’s ridicu­lous to see how a per­son­al vendet­ta has dri­ven the pol­i­cy of a coun­try with a pop­u­la­tion of 45 mil­lion.

    “Rec­og­nized in his coun­try as a polit­i­cal heavy-weight, Jury Shuchevich was asked recent­ly by the very pro-gov­ern­men­tal Kyiv Post Eng­lish-lan­guage news­pa­per, ‘is it not too much glo­ri­fi­ca­tion of the Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists, with the his­tor­i­cal­ly known record of their activ­i­ties?’ The senior MP of the Ukrain­ian par­lia­ment respond­ed: ‘It’s a very com­pli­cat­ed ques­tion which has to be exam­ined in full detail. But what about those Jews? Those ones who were in Juden­rats, and who were after their own peo­ple in ghet­tos? I saw it with my own eyes. But Jews don’t like to talk about it’.”

    ...

    The exhi­bi­tion shows blown-up images from pro-Nazi news­pa­pers dat­ed June 1941 herald­ing “the Act of estab­lish­ing the Ukrain­ian state”, after Nazi Ger­many occu­pied Ukraine. There are also enlarged images of doc­u­ments issued by the Ukrain­ian Nazi col­lab­o­rat­ing bod­ies at the time, and large por­traits of the lead­ing Ukrain­ian Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors — Ban­dera, Shuhe­vich, Stezko, and Kono­valetz who all are pre­sent­ed as heroes. The col­ors of the exhi­bi­tion are those of the cur­rent Ukrain­ian flag.

    The exhi­bi­tion’s stand fea­tures the fol­low­ing text from the Act of the Estab­lish­ing of the Ukrain­ian State dat­ed June 30, 1941:

    “3. New­ly estab­lished Ukrain­ian State will close­ly co-oper­ate with Nation­al Social­ist Great Ger­many under the lead­er­ship of its Leader Adolf Hitler build­ing the New Order in Europe and the world”.

    This text has become the clas­sic doc­u­ment on the Nazi char­ac­ter of Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists and their bod­ies.

    Many oth­er doc­u­ments at the exhi­bi­tion open­ly glo­ri­fy Nazism.

    At the exhi­bi­tion’s open­ing, cur­rent lead­ers of Ukraine’s nation­al­is­tic orga­ni­za­tions spoke, along with open­ly pro-Nazi MP Jury Shuchevich, son of the SS cap­tain and the com­man­der of the Nachti­gall divi­sion Roman Shuchevich.

    In his open­ing speech, MP Jury Schuchevich said: “The fact of us hav­ing an inde­pen­dence today, in truth, is a huge cor­ner­stone of the edi­fice called today the Ukrain­ian State. That huge cor­ner­stone was laid into this edi­fice by this very strug­gle (of the Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists) and by these very peo­ple (Ukrain­ian Nazi-col­lab­o­ra­tors), and I beseech you all very much to vis­it this exhi­bi­tion which the Con­gress of the Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists is car­ry­ing on in com­mem­o­ra­tion of this date.” In any oth­er offi­cial sources the par­tic­i­pa­tion of the pro-Nazi Ukrain­ian Nation­al­ists Con­gress is not men­tioned.

    The offi­cial site of the Ukraine Par­lia­ment said: “In the begin­ning of the Sec­ond World War, OUN under Stepan Ban­der­a’s lead­er­ship start­ed prepar­ing for re-estab­lish­ing Ukraine’s inde­pen­dence. As the Ger­man-Bol­she­vic War (Nazi term for WWII used today by Ukraine’s Par­lia­ment) ignit­ed, mobile OUN groups went to Ukraine to estab­lish there Ukrain­ian pow­er.

    “On June 30th, Nachti­gall divi­sion under the com­mand of Roman Shuchevich and OUN group under the com­mand of Jaroslav Stazko entered Lvov with their first aim to announce re-estab­lish­ing Ukrain­ian state­hood. The Act of re-estab­lish­ing Ukrain­ian state­hood declared the inde­pen­dent pol­i­cy of Ukraine. By it, it has been stat­ed to the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty that the Ukrain­ian peo­ple is con­tent nei­ther with an impe­r­i­al occu­pa­tion, nor with a com­mu­nist one ... it will con­tin­ue its strug­gle to the end.”

    Upon enter­ing Lvov, the Nachti­gall divi­sion and OUN forces ini­ti­at­ed and con­duct­ed the unprece­dent­ed­ly hor­rif­ic mas­sacre of Lvov’s Jews known in his­to­ry as Lvov mas­sacre of June-July, 1941 in which at least sev­en-thou­sand Jews were bar­bar­i­cal­ly mur­dered. The exhi­bi­tion in Ukraine’s Par­lia­ment opened on July 3rd, the peak day of the hor­ren­dous Lvov mas­sacre, the one of the most ter­ri­ble geno­cides of the twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry.

    At the same time, a sim­i­lar exhi­bi­tion called Fight­ers for the Ukrain­ian State opened at the Nation­al His­to­ry of Ukraine Muse­um in Kiev. That exhi­bi­tion was cer­e­mo­ni­al­ly vis­it­ed by Vice Prime Min­is­ter Vyach­eslav Kir­ilenko, as stat­ed on the Ukraine gov­ern­men­t’s offi­cial web­site, who said: “It’s only rel­a­tive­ly recent­ly when we start­ed to get famil­iar with his­to­ry works, art works cel­e­brat­ing UPA (Ukrain­ian Patri­ot­ic Army, Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors and war crim­i­nals). It was a long way for Ukraine to rec­og­nize UPA, which is our com­mon his­to­ry.”

    Dr. Rogatchi respond­ed to the exhi­bi­tion: “Just imag­ine that inside the Bun­destag today there would be a non-crit­i­cal exhi­bi­tion demon­strat­ing in full seri­ous­ness and with pride the Third Reich news­pa­pers from 1941 on col­or­ful big stands with cap­tions com­ment­ing that those slo­gans, poli­cies, events, doc­u­ments, and peo­ple who per­pe­trat­ed them were all ‘assur­ing and strength­en­ing Ger­many’s Inde­pen­dence and state­hood.

    “Imag­ine the same thing at any par­lia­ment of any Euro­pean coun­try or 90% of the coun­tries world-wide, for that mat­ter. Imag­ine this being done at the Unit­ed Nations or UNESCO. They’d be called lunatics, quite cor­rect­ly.

    “But this is exact­ly what’s going on today inside the Ukraine Par­lia­ment, and the world’s lead­ers are shy to con­demn. Or per­haps they’re unaware of it. After all, there were ‘just’ three big stands for ‘just’ four days, and the exhi­bi­tion was­n’t pub­lic, it was inside the Par­lia­ment, and one needs jour­nal­ist accred­i­ta­tion to get inside to be hon­ored to view this sheer Nazi salu­ta­tion.

    “I’d like to hear the com­ment and reac­tion of Chan­cel­lor Merkel, the big patron of the cur­rent Ukraine and its lead­er­ship to that open glo­ri­fi­ca­tion of Hitler and Nazism as dis­played in the par­lia­ment of Ukraine. And I hope the State of Israel won’t tol­er­ate such open dec­la­ra­tion of pro-Nazi sym­pa­thies by the par­lia­ment of Ukraine.

    “By orga­niz­ing and exhibit­ing this open glo­ri­fi­ca­tion of Nazism, and iden­ti­fy­ing Ukrain­ian state­hood with it as done in this exhi­bi­tion, the Ukrain­ian leg­is­lat­ing body and gov­ern­ment rep­re­sent­ed by its Vice Prime Min­is­ter who vis­it­ed the exhi­bi­tion with a sup­port­ive speech, declared to the world who they are: Fol­low­ers of the Nazis. Peri­od. And they should be treat­ed like that, world-wide and offi­cial­ly. They asked for it them­selves. Nev­er before have the Ukrain­ian pro-Nazis gone that far. When giv­en free reign they enjoy it. And Europe and the rest of the world stay silent, again. Not one or anoth­er Nazi-glo­ri­fy­ing exhi­bi­tion in the mod­ern-day Ukraine, which is a dai­ly real­i­ty there, but Europe’s and the world’s ongo­ing numb­ness regard­ing it is out­ra­geous and intol­er­a­ble,” Rogatchi said.

    ———-

    “Exhi­bi­tion in Ukrain­ian par­lia­ment glo­ri­fies Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors” by Mordechai Sones; IsraelNationalNews.com; 08/07/2018

    “The Ukrain­ian site says, “A spe­cial exhi­bi­tion has been orga­nized in the par­lia­ment of Ukraine in Kiev. The dates of the exhi­bi­tion: July 3- July 6, 2018. The name of the exhi­bi­tion: Cel­e­brat­ing the Restora­tion of the Ukrain­ian State­hood, June 30, 1941–2018.”

    It’s an offi­cial cel­e­bra­tion of that June 30th, 1941, dec­la­ra­tion of state­hood. A dec­la­ra­tion that hap­pened to be declared by the lead­ing Nazi col­lab­o­rat­ing ‘Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists’ at the time. So it should come as no sur­prise that this was orga­nized by the Jaroslav Stezko foun­da­tion and Jury Shukhevych, son of Roman Shukhevych:

    ...
    “The orga­niz­ers of the exhi­bi­tion: All-Ukrain­ian char­i­ta­ble Sobor­nist foun­da­tion, Inter­na­tion­al char­i­ta­ble Jaroslav Stezko foun­da­tion, MP Jury Shuchevich.”

    Jaroslav Stezko was leader of Stepan Ban­der­a’s Orga­ni­za­tion of the Ukrain­ian Nation­al­ists (OUN) mil­i­tary brigades from 1968 until his death. A fer­vent Ukrain­ian Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tor, in 1941 dur­ing the Nazi Ger­man inva­sion of the Sovi­et Union, he was self-pro­claimed tem­po­rary head of the osten­si­bly inde­pen­dent Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment declared by Stepan Ban­dera. Stet­sko was the head of the Anti-Bol­she­vik Bloc of Nations from the time of its foun­da­tion until 1986, the year of his death.

    MP Jury Shuchevich is the octo­ge­nar­i­an son of Roman Shuchevich, who was the one of the lead­ers of the infa­mous the SS Nachti­gall bat­tal­ion. SS Cap­tain Roman Shuchevich was award­ed the Nazi Iron Cross for his “exploits” dur­ing the Sec­ond World War in Ukraine and was an Abwehr agent from 1926.

    “The fact that the son of the polit­i­cal leader of the SS Nachti­gall bat­tal­ion and the bear­er of the Nazi Iron Cross is the most respect­ed – accord­ing to Ukrain­ian author­i­ties – mem­ber of their par­lia­ment is telling all by itself,” wrote co-founder and Pres­i­dent of the Rogatchi Foun­da­tion Dr. Inna Rogatchi. “He spent many decades in the Sovi­et Gulag and is clear­ly moti­vat­ed against any­thing Russ­ian – he even added a new Ukrain­ian name to his exist­ing name of Jury. But it’s ridicu­lous to see how a per­son­al vendet­ta has dri­ven the pol­i­cy of a coun­try with a pop­u­la­tion of 45 mil­lion.
    ...

    This would be the same Jury Shukhevych who recent­ly deflect­ed ques­tions about the role of his father and these oth­er ‘heroes’ in car­ry­ing out the Holo­caust by blam­ing the Jews for their own slaugh­ter:

    ...
    “Rec­og­nized in his coun­try as a polit­i­cal heavy-weight, Jury Shuchevich was asked recent­ly by the very pro-gov­ern­men­tal Kyiv Post Eng­lish-lan­guage news­pa­per, ‘is it not too much glo­ri­fi­ca­tion of the Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists, with the his­tor­i­cal­ly known record of their activ­i­ties?’ The senior MP of the Ukrain­ian par­lia­ment respond­ed: ‘It’s a very com­pli­cat­ed ques­tion which has to be exam­ined in full detail. But what about those Jews? Those ones who were in Juden­rats, and who were after their own peo­ple in ghet­tos? I saw it with my own eyes. But Jews don’t like to talk about it’.”
    ...

    And the exhib­it does­n’t just cel­e­brate these promi­nent Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors. It appears to also con­tain numer­ous doc­u­ments that open­ly glo­ri­fy Nazism:

    ...
    The exhi­bi­tion shows blown-up images from pro-Nazi news­pa­pers dat­ed June 1941 herald­ing “the Act of estab­lish­ing the Ukrain­ian state”, after Nazi Ger­many occu­pied Ukraine. There are also enlarged images of doc­u­ments issued by the Ukrain­ian Nazi col­lab­o­rat­ing bod­ies at the time, and large por­traits of the lead­ing Ukrain­ian Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors — Ban­dera, Shuhe­vich, Stezko, and Kono­valetz who all are pre­sent­ed as heroes. The col­ors of the exhi­bi­tion are those of the cur­rent Ukrain­ian flag.

    The exhi­bi­tion’s stand fea­tures the fol­low­ing text from the Act of the Estab­lish­ing of the Ukrain­ian State dat­ed June 30, 1941:

    “3. New­ly estab­lished Ukrain­ian State will close­ly co-oper­ate with Nation­al Social­ist Great Ger­many under the lead­er­ship of its Leader Adolf Hitler build­ing the New Order in Europe and the world”.

    This text has become the clas­sic doc­u­ment on the Nazi char­ac­ter of Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists and their bod­ies.

    Many oth­er doc­u­ments at the exhi­bi­tion open­ly glo­ri­fy Nazism.
    ...

    On the plus side, the fact that Jury’s open­ing speech includ­ed a plea for the par­lia­ment to con­tin­ue com­mem­o­rat­ing this date going for­ward sug­gests that this isn’t yet an annu­al occur­rence. Of course, there’s no rea­son at this point to assume that it won’t be an annu­al cel­e­bra­tion:

    ...
    At the exhi­bi­tion’s open­ing, cur­rent lead­ers of Ukraine’s nation­al­is­tic orga­ni­za­tions spoke, along with open­ly pro-Nazi MP Jury Shuchevich, son of the SS cap­tain and the com­man­der of the Nachti­gall divi­sion Roman Shuchevich.

    In his open­ing speech, MP Jury Schuchevich said: “The fact of us hav­ing an inde­pen­dence today, in truth, is a huge cor­ner­stone of the edi­fice called today the Ukrain­ian State. That huge cor­ner­stone was laid into this edi­fice by this very strug­gle (of the Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists) and by these very peo­ple (Ukrain­ian Nazi-col­lab­o­ra­tors), and I beseech you all very much to vis­it this exhi­bi­tion which the Con­gress of the Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists is car­ry­ing on in com­mem­o­ra­tion of this date.” In any oth­er offi­cial sources the par­tic­i­pa­tion of the pro-Nazi Ukrain­ian Nation­al­ists Con­gress is not men­tioned.
    ...

    Adding to the his­toric revi­sion­ism here, the par­lia­men­t’s offi­cial web­site actu­al­ly used the Nazi term (the Ger­man-Bol­she­vic War) to refer to WWII. It’s descrip­tion of the June 30th actions by the Nachti­gall bat­tal­ion also just hap­pens to make no men­tion of the Jew­ish pogram unleashed by that same group on that very day. And the exhib­it opened on July 3rd, the anniver­sary of the peak day of vio­lence of the Lviv mas­sacre:

    ...
    The offi­cial site of the Ukraine Par­lia­ment said: “In the begin­ning of the Sec­ond World War, OUN under Stepan Ban­der­a’s lead­er­ship start­ed prepar­ing for re-estab­lish­ing Ukraine’s inde­pen­dence. As the Ger­man-Bol­she­vic War (Nazi term for WWII used today by Ukraine’s Par­lia­ment) ignit­ed, mobile OUN groups went to Ukraine to estab­lish there Ukrain­ian pow­er.

    “On June 30th, Nachti­gall divi­sion under the com­mand of Roman Shuchevich and OUN group under the com­mand of Jaroslav Stazko entered Lvov with their first aim to announce re-estab­lish­ing Ukrain­ian state­hood. The Act of re-estab­lish­ing Ukrain­ian state­hood declared the inde­pen­dent pol­i­cy of Ukraine. By it, it has been stat­ed to the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty that the Ukrain­ian peo­ple is con­tent nei­ther with an impe­r­i­al occu­pa­tion, nor with a com­mu­nist one ... it will con­tin­ue its strug­gle to the end.”

    Upon enter­ing Lvov, the Nachti­gall divi­sion and OUN forces ini­ti­at­ed and con­duct­ed the unprece­dent­ed­ly hor­rif­ic mas­sacre of Lvov’s Jews known in his­to­ry as Lvov mas­sacre of June-July, 1941 in which at least sev­en-thou­sand Jews were bar­bar­i­cal­ly mur­dered. The exhi­bi­tion in Ukraine’s Par­lia­ment opened on July 3rd, the peak day of the hor­ren­dous Lvov mas­sacre, the one of the most ter­ri­ble geno­cides of the twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry.
    ...

    Oh, and that was just one of the exhi­bi­tions of this nature to open around this time. The Nation­al His­to­ry of Ukraine Muse­um in Kiev also had an exhib­it open­ing about “Righter for the Ukrain­ian State”, which appears to fea­ture art works cel­e­brat­ing the UPA:

    ...
    At the same time, a sim­i­lar exhi­bi­tion called Fight­ers for the Ukrain­ian State opened at the Nation­al His­to­ry of Ukraine Muse­um in Kiev. That exhi­bi­tion was cer­e­mo­ni­al­ly vis­it­ed by Vice Prime Min­is­ter Vyach­eslav Kir­ilenko, as stat­ed on the Ukraine gov­ern­men­t’s offi­cial web­site, who said: “It’s only rel­a­tive­ly recent­ly when we start­ed to get famil­iar with his­to­ry works, art works cel­e­brat­ing UPA (Ukrain­ian Patri­ot­ic Army, Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors and war crim­i­nals). It was a long way for Ukraine to rec­og­nize UPA, which is our com­mon his­to­ry.”
    ...

    As one observ­er apt­ly put it, it would be like the Bun­destag open­ing an exhi­bi­tion cel­e­brat­ing the Third Reich. It’s lit­er­al­ly exact­ly like that. Except no one seems to care in this instance:

    ...
    Dr. Rogatchi respond­ed to the exhi­bi­tion: “Just imag­ine that inside the Bun­destag today there would be a non-crit­i­cal exhi­bi­tion demon­strat­ing in full seri­ous­ness and with pride the Third Reich news­pa­pers from 1941 on col­or­ful big stands with cap­tions com­ment­ing that those slo­gans, poli­cies, events, doc­u­ments, and peo­ple who per­pe­trat­ed them were all ‘assur­ing and strength­en­ing Ger­many’s Inde­pen­dence and state­hood.

    “Imag­ine the same thing at any par­lia­ment of any Euro­pean coun­try or 90% of the coun­tries world-wide, for that mat­ter. Imag­ine this being done at the Unit­ed Nations or UNESCO. They’d be called lunatics, quite cor­rect­ly.

    “But this is exact­ly what’s going on today inside the Ukraine Par­lia­ment, and the world’s lead­ers are shy to con­demn. Or per­haps they’re unaware of it. After all, there were ‘just’ three big stands for ‘just’ four days, and the exhi­bi­tion was­n’t pub­lic, it was inside the Par­lia­ment, and one needs jour­nal­ist accred­i­ta­tion to get inside to be hon­ored to view this sheer Nazi salu­ta­tion.

    “I’d like to hear the com­ment and reac­tion of Chan­cel­lor Merkel, the big patron of the cur­rent Ukraine and its lead­er­ship to that open glo­ri­fi­ca­tion of Hitler and Nazism as dis­played in the par­lia­ment of Ukraine. And I hope the State of Israel won’t tol­er­ate such open dec­la­ra­tion of pro-Nazi sym­pa­thies by the par­lia­ment of Ukraine.

    “By orga­niz­ing and exhibit­ing this open glo­ri­fi­ca­tion of Nazism, and iden­ti­fy­ing Ukrain­ian state­hood with it as done in this exhi­bi­tion, the Ukrain­ian leg­is­lat­ing body and gov­ern­ment rep­re­sent­ed by its Vice Prime Min­is­ter who vis­it­ed the exhi­bi­tion with a sup­port­ive speech, declared to the world who they are: Fol­low­ers of the Nazis. Peri­od. And they should be treat­ed like that, world-wide and offi­cial­ly. They asked for it them­selves. Nev­er before have the Ukrain­ian pro-Nazis gone that far. When giv­en free reign they enjoy it. And Europe and the rest of the world stay silent, again. Not one or anoth­er Nazi-glo­ri­fy­ing exhi­bi­tion in the mod­ern-day Ukraine, which is a dai­ly real­i­ty there, but Europe’s and the world’s ongo­ing numb­ness regard­ing it is out­ra­geous and intol­er­a­ble,” Rogatchi said.

    So that was how the Ukrain­ian par­lia­ment cel­e­brat­ed Ukraine’s Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tor fas­cist mil­i­tary units back in July. Here’s how they’re cel­e­brat­ing them in August: “Glo­ry to Ukraine! — Glo­ry to the Heroes!”, the same slo­gan used by the UPA, is about to become the offi­cial slo­gan of the Ukrain­ian army in a few days:

    IsraelNationalNews.com

    Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tor greet­ing becomes offi­cial Ukraine army salute

    ‘Glo­ry to Ukraine! Glo­ry to the Heroes! These words and this greet­ing will become Armed Forces of Ukraine offi­cial mil­i­tary greet­ing.’

    Mordechai Sones, 16/08/18 18:28

    August 24th, Ukrain­ian Inde­pen­dence Day, will see a cer­e­mo­ny intro­duc­ing the coun­try’s new offi­cial army salute, as pre­scribed by Ukraine’s Pres­i­den­tial decree: Glo­ry to Ukraine! — Glo­ry to the Heroes!

    “We have con­sult­ed with the Min­is­ter of Defense, Nation­al Secu­ri­ty and Defense Coun­cil, Gov­ern­ment and I have decid­ed that start­ing from August 24 these words will be heard for the first time as part of the offi­cial mil­i­tary parade cer­e­mo­ny on the Inde­pen­dence Day of Ukraine,” Petro Poroshenko was quot­ed say­ing on the Ukraine Pres­i­den­t’s offi­cial site.

    Glo­ry to Ukraine! — Glo­ry to the Heroes! is a slo­gan of the UPA, the Ukraine Rebel Army who fought on the side of the Nazis. The slo­gans, their ori­gin, and his­to­ry are well known in Ukraine, although the Pres­i­den­t’s web­site does not make men­tion of these. Present neo-Nazi Ukrain­ian mil­i­tary for­ma­tions estab­lished by order of the Ukrain­ian author­i­ties appro­pri­at­ed the slo­gan from the end of 2013 onward. Now, the Ukrain­ian Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tor’s greet­ing will become the offi­cial salute in that coun­try’s army.

    ...

    The Head of State also not­ed the new mil­i­tary greet­ings will be enshrined offi­cial­ly in the doc­u­ments after the begin­ning of the Verk­hov­na Rada’s reg­u­lar ses­sion and Par­lia­men­t’s cor­re­spond­ing deci­sion, as it requires changes in par­tic­u­lar to statutes of all Armed Forces of Ukraine troops. But after com­ple­tion of prop­er pro­ce­dures, “these words and this greet­ing will become the offi­cial mil­i­tary greet­ings of the Armed Forces of Ukraine”.

    ...

    “When the Croats use Ustasha salutes, it’s a source of con­cern,” said Swedish his­to­ri­an Sin­ga­pore Uni­ver­si­ty senior vis­it­ing fel­low Per Rudling. “When Ukraini­ans use the OUN salute it needs to be seen in a dif­fer­ent con­text, and a dif­fer­ent stan­dard need to be employed.”

    In Ger­many and Aus­tria, as in many oth­er coun­tries, the mere men­tion of such slo­gans qual­i­fy one for crim­i­nal pun­ish­ment. Ukraini­ans are proud of their Nazi asso­ci­a­tions today and are enshrin­ing them as offi­cial pol­i­cy.

    “If a coun­try adopts pro-Nazi slo­gans of crim­i­nal forces, mur­der­ers who com­mit­ted numer­ous crimes of geno­cide, that coun­try is doomed,” said co-founder and Pres­i­dent of the Rogatchi Foun­da­tion Dr. Inna Rogatchi. “But the world should­n’t turn a blind eye to this, as it repeat­ed­ly does with regard to Ukraine.”

    ———

    “Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tor greet­ing becomes offi­cial Ukraine army salute” by Mordechai Sones; IsraelNationalNews.com; 08/16/2018

    “August 24th, Ukrain­ian Inde­pen­dence Day, will see a cer­e­mo­ny intro­duc­ing the coun­try’s new offi­cial army salute, as pre­scribed by Ukraine’s Pres­i­den­tial decree: Glo­ry to Ukraine! — Glo­ry to the Heroes!

    It’s offi­cial. Or at least it will be offi­cial soon: The slo­gan of UPA Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors is going to be the offi­cial slo­gan of the Ukrain­ian army:

    ...
    “We have con­sult­ed with the Min­is­ter of Defense, Nation­al Secu­ri­ty and Defense Coun­cil, Gov­ern­ment and I have decid­ed that start­ing from August 24 these words will be heard for the first time as part of the offi­cial mil­i­tary parade cer­e­mo­ny on the Inde­pen­dence Day of Ukraine,” Petro Poroshenko was quot­ed say­ing on the Ukraine Pres­i­den­t’s offi­cial site.

    Glo­ry to Ukraine! — Glo­ry to the Heroes! is a slo­gan of the UPA, the Ukraine Rebel Army who fought on the side of the Nazis. The slo­gans, their ori­gin, and his­to­ry are well known in Ukraine, although the Pres­i­den­t’s web­site does not make men­tion of these. Present neo-Nazi Ukrain­ian mil­i­tary for­ma­tions estab­lished by order of the Ukrain­ian author­i­ties appro­pri­at­ed the slo­gan from the end of 2013 onward. Now, the Ukrain­ian Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tor’s greet­ing will become the offi­cial salute in that coun­try’s army.
    ...

    So how is the world going to respond to this lat­est offi­cial insult to his­to­ry? Well, the way Swedish his­to­ri­an Per Anders Rudling puts it, when, for instance, the Croa­t­ions start using Ustasha salutes that’s obvi­ous­ly a source of con­cern. But when Ukraine starts offi­cial­ly using OUN‑B and UPA slo­gans, “it needs to be seen in a dif­fer­ent con­text, and a dif­fer­ent stan­dard need to be employed”:

    ...
    “When the Croats use Ustasha salutes, it’s a source of con­cern,” said Swedish his­to­ri­an Sin­ga­pore Uni­ver­si­ty senior vis­it­ing fel­low Per Rudling. “When Ukraini­ans use the OUN salute it needs to be seen in a dif­fer­ent con­text, and a dif­fer­ent stan­dard need to be employed.”

    In Ger­many and Aus­tria, as in many oth­er coun­tries, the mere men­tion of such slo­gans qual­i­fy one for crim­i­nal pun­ish­ment. Ukraini­ans are proud of their Nazi asso­ci­a­tions today and are enshrin­ing them as offi­cial pol­i­cy.

    “If a coun­try adopts pro-Nazi slo­gans of crim­i­nal forces, mur­der­ers who com­mit­ted numer­ous crimes of geno­cide, that coun­try is doomed,” said co-founder and Pres­i­dent of the Rogatchi Foun­da­tion Dr. Inna Rogatchi. “But the world should­n’t turn a blind eye to this, as it repeat­ed­ly does with regard to Ukraine.”
    ...

    It would be nice of Rudling expand­ing on what exact­ly he meant by that, because it sounds like he’s sug­gest­ing that this con­text (a civ­il war and con­flict with Rus­sia) makes it fine for Ukraine to offi­cial­ly exalt its Nazi collaborating/sympathizing his­toric fig­ures who per­pe­trat­ed the Holo­caust in Ukraine. And yet, if we assume Rudling was indeed assert­ing that it’s ok if Ukraine embraces Nazis because of its cur­rent con­flicts, it’s hard to ignore the real­i­ty that this appears to large­ly be the atti­tude of the almost every gov­ern­ment in world at this point. For some rea­son almost every­one is total­ly cool with Ukraine going full Nazi.

    At the same time, it’s worth keep­ing in mind that one Euro­pean coun­try after anoth­er has been open­ly embrac­ing the far right in recent years with a pret­ty mut­ed out­cry over­all. So in that sense, Ukraine isn’t actu­al­ly get­ting treat­ed by a dif­fer­ent stan­dard. It’s the same stan­dard of the world not car­ing when gov­ern­ments offi­cial­ly embrace the far right. Ukraine is just fur­ther along in that embrace.

    And don’t for­get that the Croa­t­ian soc­cer team actu­al­ly kicked off a mem­ber who shout­ed the “Glo­ry to Ukraine” slo­gan dur­ing a World Cup match against Rus­sia. This is, of course, the same team that invit­ed a pro-Ustasha pop singer to its World Cup cel­e­bra­tions. So, at this point, the Croa­t­ian soc­cer team, which open­ly embraced a fas­cist pop star is still more respon­si­ble regard­ing the con­dem­na­tion of creep­ing fas­cism than most gov­ern­ments around the world. This is where we are.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 21, 2018, 2:41 pm
  5. The gov­ern­ment of the Lviv region­al coun­cil just passed a mora­to­ri­um on all Russ­ian-lan­guage books, films, and songs in Lviv province. The move prompt­ed no short­age of out­cry from var­i­ous diplo­mats. Canada’s ambas­sador called it dis­crim­i­na­to­ry and just plain dumb while the UK’s ambas­sador agreed with Canada’s ambas­sador and declared, “I could­n’t agree more. C’mon Lviv oblast, you’re bet­ter than this... (And I say this as a fan/student of both the Ukrain­ian and Russ­ian lan­guages) #tol­er­ance #diver­si­ty.” And as the arti­cle notes, it is indeed a gen­uine­ly dis­crim­i­na­to­ry law giv­en that Rus­sia is still wide­ly spo­ken in Lviv province. So it looks like the Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment just pulled anoth­er eth­nona­tion­al­ist stunt one would expect from a bunch of Nazis and got the pre­dictable “stop act­ing like this because that just plays into Rus­si­a’s nar­ra­tive” response from Ukraine’s West­ern back­ers.

    As the arti­cle also notes, the Lviv coun­cilors back­ing the bill called on oth­er regions to take sim­i­lar mea­sures, and said they planned to appeal to Ukraine’s par­lia­ment to intro­duce a bill to ban Russ­ian con­tent across the coun­try:

    Radio Free Europe/Radio Lib­er­ty

    Crit­ics Blast Lviv’s Ban On Russ­ian-Lan­guage Cul­ture

    Christo­pher Miller
    Sep­tem­ber 20, 2018 14:52 GMT

    KYIV — It’s a mea­sure some Ukraini­ans claim is nec­es­sary to fight Rus­si­a’s potent “hybrid war­fare.”

    But crit­ics, includ­ing West­ern diplo­mats in Kyiv, are blast­ing a mora­to­ri­um in west­ern Ukraine on all Russ­ian-lan­guage books, films, and songs as big­ot­ed and mis­guid­ed.

    Fifty-sev­en of 84 region­al coun­cilors in Lviv, regard­ed by some as Ukraine’s cul­tur­al cap­i­tal, approved the region­wide ban on Sep­tem­ber 18.

    The response has been large­ly mut­ed with­in Ukraine, where there are doubts about how ener­get­i­cal­ly it will be enforced, but some influ­en­tial out­siders are ques­tion­ing the move.

    Canada’s ambas­sador to Ukraine, Roman Waschuk, respond­ed by call­ing it “just plain dumb.”

    “The Lviv oblast ban as for­mu­lat­ed is nar­row-mind­ed, dis­crim­i­na­to­ry and #just­plain­dumb. And I say this as a dias­poric native speak­er of Ukrain­ian, and con­sis­tent advo­cate of affir­ma­tive action for cul­tur­al prod­ucts in that lan­guage — but also #diver­si­ty,” he tweet­ed.

    While Ukrain­ian is the pre­dom­i­nant lan­guage in west­ern Ukraine — espe­cial­ly in Lviv, a province with around 2.5 mil­lion res­i­dents — Russ­ian is still wide­ly spo­ken there.

    Rus­sia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Penin­su­la in March 2014 and has backed a con­tin­u­ing sep­a­ratist con­flict in the coun­try’s east­ern Don­bas region. Moscow has cracked down on pro-Ukrain­ian activists and closed Ukrain­ian-lan­guage schools in Crimea, and more than 10,300 peo­ple have been killed in the con­flict, which drags on despite two peace deals and mul­ti­ple attempts at a cease-fire.

    Accord­ing to the motion, a copy of which was pub­lished on the coun­cil’s web­site, the mora­to­ri­um aims to “over­come the con­se­quences of pro­longed lin­guis­tic Rus­si­fi­ca­tion” and will remain in place “until the [Russ­ian] occu­pa­tion of Ukrain­ian ter­ri­to­ries comes to an end.”

    ‘Play­ing Into Moscow’s Hands’

    Moscow jus­ti­fied its inva­sion of Ukraine by claim­ing that the gov­ern­ment that came to pow­er in Kyiv after street unrest sent Krem­lin-friend­ly Pres­i­dent Vik­tor Yanukovych into exile was dis­crim­i­nat­ing against Ukraine’s Russ­ian-speak­ing pop­u­la­tion.

    Some of Kyiv’s sub­se­quent mea­sures appear to have played into its crit­ics’ hands. In Sep­tem­ber, Ukrain­ian Pres­i­dent Petro Poroshenko signed into law a con­tro­ver­sial bill that made Ukrain­ian the required lan­guage of study in state schools from the fifth grade on. The bill still allows stu­dents to study their native lan­guages as a sep­a­rate sub­ject.

    Some Ukrain­ian politi­cians expressed their dis­con­tent, includ­ing Yev­geniy Murayev, a law­mak­er from the For Life oppo­si­tion par­ty. “As politi­cians and mem­bers of par­lia­ment are sup­posed to do, I speak the state lan­guage [Ukrain­ian] and use it to com­mu­ni­cate in mat­ters of the state,” he wrote on Face­book.

    “But the rest of the time I do not use it in prin­ci­ple,” he added, as a sign of protest against what he called the gov­ern­men­t’s “cul­tur­al war.”

    The pas­sage of the mora­to­ri­um on Russ­ian-lan­guage con­tent came as the city of Lviv opened its 25th annu­al book forum, the slo­gan for which is “Mar­ket of Free­dom.”

    Judith Gough, the British ambas­sador to Kyiv, joined Waschuk in blast­ing the move, which she sug­gest­ed was intol­er­ant. “I could­n’t agree more. C’mon Lviv oblast, you’re bet­ter than this... (And I say this as a fan/student of both the Ukrain­ian and Russ­ian lan­guages) #tol­er­ance #diver­si­ty.”

    ...

    ‘How Things Have Changed’

    Despite the mora­to­ri­um, it is unlike­ly that Russ­ian books will dis­ap­pear from store shelves or Russ­ian films will be inac­ces­si­ble, espe­cial­ly giv­en their avail­abil­i­ty online.

    The coun­cil’s motion does not explain how it plans to enforce the mora­to­ri­um.

    The Lviv coun­cilors who sup­port­ed the mea­sure called on oth­er regions to take sim­i­lar mea­sures, adding that they planned to appeal to the Verk­hov­na Rada, Ukraine’s par­lia­ment, to intro­duce a bill to ban Russ­ian con­tent across the coun­try.

    Ukraine has already banned pop­u­lar Russ­ian social net­works and blocked the import of sev­er­al Russ­ian books.

    It land­ed in hot water when a his­to­ry of the Bat­tle of Stal­in­grad authored by British his­to­ri­an and best­selling author Antony Beevor was dis­cov­ered to be among them.

    Lament­ing the deci­sion of the Lviv region­al coun­cil and per­haps fear­ing a turn­ing point in Ukraine, Yuliya Kom­s­ka, the Ukrain­ian-born author of books about the Cold War and an asso­ciate pro­fes­sor of Ger­man at Dart­mouth Uni­ver­si­ty, recalled a time when there was sup­port for lan­guage diver­si­ty from west to east. It showed itself when a Yanukovych-era law allow­ing minori­ties to intro­duce their lan­guages in regions where they rep­re­sent­ed more than 10 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion looked set to be repealed in Feb­ru­ary 2014, she explained in a tweet.

    “My home­town, Lviv, switched to Russ­ian for a day, in protest. Donet­sk, then unoc­cu­pied, to Ukrain­ian,” she wrote. “Things could­n’t be more dif­fer­ent now.”

    ———-

    “Crit­ics Blast Lviv’s Ban On Russ­ian-Lan­guage Cul­ture ” by Christo­pher Miller; Radio Free Europe/Radio Lib­er­ty; 09/20/2018

    “But crit­ics, includ­ing West­ern diplo­mats in Kyiv, are blast­ing a mora­to­ri­um in west­ern Ukraine on all Russ­ian-lan­guage books, films, and songs as big­ot­ed and mis­guid­ed.”

    Gee, that’s not wild­ly divi­sive an inflam­ma­to­ry or any­thing: a com­plete ban on all Russ­ian-lan­guage books, films, and songs. This was backed by 57 of the 84 regions coun­cilors and the response with­in Urkaine has been large­ly mut­ed despite the fact that Russ­ian is still wide­ly used in the region:

    ...
    Fifty-sev­en of 84 region­al coun­cilors in Lviv, regard­ed by some as Ukraine’s cul­tur­al cap­i­tal, approved the region­wide ban on Sep­tem­ber 18.

    The response has been large­ly mut­ed with­in Ukraine, where there are doubts about how ener­get­i­cal­ly it will be enforced, but some influ­en­tial out­siders are ques­tion­ing the move.

    ...

    While Ukrain­ian is the pre­dom­i­nant lan­guage in west­ern Ukraine — espe­cial­ly in Lviv, a province with around 2.5 mil­lion res­i­dents — Russ­ian is still wide­ly spo­ken there.
    ...

    The diplo­mat­ic response was the typ­i­cal “see no evil, hear no evil, sud­den­ly call out evil when it’s too obvi­ous to ignore, go back to not see­ing or hear­ing evil” kind of response we should expect at this point:

    ...
    Canada’s ambas­sador to Ukraine, Roman Waschuk, respond­ed by call­ing it “just plain dumb.”

    “The Lviv oblast ban as for­mu­lat­ed is nar­row-mind­ed, dis­crim­i­na­to­ry and #just­plain­dumb. And I say this as a dias­poric native speak­er of Ukrain­ian, and con­sis­tent advo­cate of affir­ma­tive action for cul­tur­al prod­ucts in that lan­guage — but also #diver­si­ty,” he tweet­ed.

    ...

    Judith Gough, the British ambas­sador to Kyiv, joined Waschuk in blast­ing the move, which she sug­gest­ed was intol­er­ant. “I could­n’t agree more. C’mon Lviv oblast, you’re bet­ter than this... (And I say this as a fan/student of both the Ukrain­ian and Russ­ian lan­guages) #tol­er­ance #diver­si­ty.”
    ...

    And as we should also expect, it’s being frames as “play­ing into Moscow’s hands”, as opposed to sim­ply being a reflec­tion of the extrem­ist eth­nona­tion­al­ist that has gripped much of the nation and stands in the way of an mean­ing­ful peace and rec­on­cil­i­a­tion process:

    ...
    ‘Play­ing Into Moscow’s Hands’

    Moscow jus­ti­fied its inva­sion of Ukraine by claim­ing that the gov­ern­ment that came to pow­er in Kyiv after street unrest sent Krem­lin-friend­ly Pres­i­dent Vik­tor Yanukovych into exile was dis­crim­i­nat­ing against Ukraine’s Russ­ian-speak­ing pop­u­la­tion.

    Some of Kyiv’s sub­se­quent mea­sures appear to have played into its crit­ics’ hands. In Sep­tem­ber, Ukrain­ian Pres­i­dent Petro Poroshenko signed into law a con­tro­ver­sial bill that made Ukrain­ian the required lan­guage of study in state schools from the fifth grade on. The bill still allows stu­dents to study their native lan­guages as a sep­a­rate sub­ject.

    Some Ukrain­ian politi­cians expressed their dis­con­tent, includ­ing Yev­geniy Murayev, a law­mak­er from the For Life oppo­si­tion par­ty. “As politi­cians and mem­bers of par­lia­ment are sup­posed to do, I speak the state lan­guage [Ukrain­ian] and use it to com­mu­ni­cate in mat­ters of the state,” he wrote on Face­book.

    “But the rest of the time I do not use it in prin­ci­ple,” he added, as a sign of protest against what he called the gov­ern­men­t’s “cul­tur­al war.”

    The pas­sage of the mora­to­ri­um on Russ­ian-lan­guage con­tent came as the city of Lviv opened its 25th annu­al book forum, the slo­gan for which is “Mar­ket of Free­dom.”
    ...

    “Some of Kyiv’s sub­se­quent mea­sures appear to have played into its crit­ics’ hands.” LOL! Yeah, some of the stuff Kyiv does sure plays into its crit­ics’ hands. Like mak­ing Andriy Paru­biy — a co-founder of of Ukraine’s Nation­al Social­ist par­ty in the 90’s — the cur­rent speak­er of the par­lia­ment. That def­i­nite­ly ‘played into Moscow’s hands’. It’s fun­ny how these far right ‘oop­sies’ keep hap­pen­ing.

    And note how the law the Lviv region­al coun­cil passed states that the ban will remain in effect “until the [Russ­ian] occu­pa­tion of Ukrain­ian ter­ri­to­ries comes to an end”:

    ...
    Rus­sia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Penin­su­la in March 2014 and has backed a con­tin­u­ing sep­a­ratist con­flict in the coun­try’s east­ern Don­bas region. Moscow has cracked down on pro-Ukrain­ian activists and closed Ukrain­ian-lan­guage schools in Crimea, and more than 10,300 peo­ple have been killed in the con­flict, which drags on despite two peace deals and mul­ti­ple attempts at a cease-fire.

    Accord­ing to the motion, a copy of which was pub­lished on the coun­cil’s web­site, the mora­to­ri­um aims to “over­come the con­se­quences of pro­longed lin­guis­tic Rus­si­fi­ca­tion” and will remain in place “until the [Russ­ian] occu­pa­tion of Ukrain­ian ter­ri­to­ries comes to an end.”
    ...

    Keep in mind that these moves that appear to explicite­ly be tar­get­ing Russ­ian speak­ers were some of the main cat­a­lysts for gen­er­at­ing pop­u­lar sup­port for the sep­a­ratists move­ments in the first place. So the Lviv region­al coun­cil just passed a law that expires once a last­ing peace is achieved while simul­ta­ne­ous­ly mak­ing that last­ing peace a lot less like­ly.

    And this high­ly inflam­ma­to­ry law might not be lim­it­ed to the Lviv region. Its back­ers are already call­ing on oth­er regions to take sim­i­lar mea­sures and are push­ing to make it a nation­al law:

    ...
    ‘How Things Have Changed’

    Despite the mora­to­ri­um, it is unlike­ly that Russ­ian books will dis­ap­pear from store shelves or Russ­ian films will be inac­ces­si­ble, espe­cial­ly giv­en their avail­abil­i­ty online.

    The coun­cil’s motion does not explain how it plans to enforce the mora­to­ri­um.

    The Lviv coun­cilors who sup­port­ed the mea­sure called on oth­er regions to take sim­i­lar mea­sures, adding that they planned to appeal to the Verk­hov­na Rada, Ukraine’s par­lia­ment, to intro­duce a bill to ban Russ­ian con­tent across the coun­try.

    Ukraine has already banned pop­u­lar Russ­ian social net­works and blocked the import of sev­er­al Russ­ian books.

    It land­ed in hot water when a his­to­ry of the Bat­tle of Stal­in­grad authored by British his­to­ri­an and best­selling author Antony Beevor was dis­cov­ered to be among them.
    ...

    And note that when Yuliya Kom­s­ka, the Ukrain­ian-born author of books about the Cold War and an asso­ciate pro­fes­sor of Ger­man at Dart­mouth Uni­ver­si­ty, laments how much more sup­port for diver­si­ty there used to be and recalls how Lviv switched to Russ­ian for a day in protest when sim­i­lar mea­sures looked like­ly to pass in 2014, it’s impor­tant to keep in mind that she’s actu­al­ly refer­ring to one of the very first things the post-Maid­an gov­ern­ment did and which strong encour­age sep­a­ratist sen­ti­ments at the time:

    ...
    Lament­ing the deci­sion of the Lviv region­al coun­cil and per­haps fear­ing a turn­ing point in Ukraine, Yuliya Kom­s­ka, the Ukrain­ian-born author of books about the Cold War and an asso­ciate pro­fes­sor of Ger­man at Dart­mouth Uni­ver­si­ty, recalled a time when there was sup­port for lan­guage diver­si­ty from west to east. It showed itself when a Yanukovych-era law allow­ing minori­ties to intro­duce their lan­guages in regions where they rep­re­sent­ed more than 10 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion looked set to be repealed in Feb­ru­ary 2014, she explained in a tweet.

    “My home­town, Lviv, switched to Russ­ian for a day, in protest. Donet­sk, then unoc­cu­pied, to Ukrain­ian,” she wrote. “Things could­n’t be more dif­fer­ent now.”
    ...

    So it’s worth tak­ing a quick look back on how that late-Feb­ru­ary 2014 move by the post-Maid­an gov­ern­ment to rescind a 2012 law that would have allowed Russ­ian to be treat­ed by an offi­cial lan­guage (and any oth­er lan­guage spo­ken by 10 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion of a region) not only fueled the sep­a­ratists in the break­away regions like Donet­sk, but also made the pop­u­la­tion of Crimea strong­ly against the new gov­ern­ment. When peo­ple won­der why such a high per­cent­age of Crimea’s pop­u­la­tion actu­al­ly sup­port­ed the ref­er­en­dum to join Rus­sia, it was stuff like the move to re-ban Russ­ian, pushed by Svo­bo­da and its far right allies, right after the col­lapse of the Yanukovych gov­ern­ment that appeared to con­firm their worst fears:

    Chris­t­ian Sci­ence Mon­i­tor

    Is it too late for Kiev to woo Russ­ian-speak­ing Ukraine?

    A series of mis­steps may mean the new gov­ern­ment in Kiev has lost what influ­ence it had in Ukraine’s Rus­sia-friend­ly south­ern regions.

    By Sabra Ayres Cor­re­spon­dent
    Sev­astopol, Ukraine
    Feb­ru­ary 28, 2014

    With Russ­ian mil­i­tary forces now in Crimea and the region­al gov­ern­ment claim­ing loy­al­ty to impeached Pres­i­dent Vik­tor Yanukovych, it looks as if the new gov­ern­ment in Kiev may have already lost any influ­ence it had in Ukraine’s south­ern regions.

    But if Kiev los­es the most­ly Russ­ian-speak­ing pop­u­la­tions in the east as well as the south, many say much of the fault will be at the hands of the lead­ers of the antigov­ern­ment protests in Kiev and the polit­i­cal oppo­si­tion lead­ers, who have done very lit­tle to woo vot­ers in these regions. As a result, the coun­try is now more deeply divid­ed than it ever has been its 23 years of inde­pen­dence.

    “They don’t take our opin­ion into account on the Maid­an,” says Andrey Foman, refer­ring to Kiev’s Inde­pen­dence Square. The actor, from Sim­fer­opol, stood with demon­stra­tors out­side the Crimean par­lia­ment this week and showed sup­port for greater inte­gra­tion with Rus­sia. “This is a clash of two cul­tures now in Ukraine.”

    Mr. Foman’s com­plaint of not being con­sult­ed about the gov­ern­ment reshuf­fle is a com­mon theme among Russ­ian-speak­ing Ukraini­ans. In many ways, they are right.

    The antigov­ern­ment demon­stra­tions that start­ed in late Novem­ber were sparked by Mr. Yanukovych’s back­track­ing on a cam­paign promise he had made to sign a trade and asso­ci­a­tion agree­ment with the Euro­pean Union. The demon­stra­tions spi­raled into an antigov­ern­ment, anti­cor­rup­tion move­ment that called for Yanukovych’s removal. Ukraini­ans across the coun­try agree that cor­rup­tion with­in the rul­ing elite has plagued the coun­try for too long and hin­dered its devel­op­ment.

    But the protests on the Maid­an evolved into a move­ment in which nation­al­ist groups devel­oped a key role. This wor­ried the Russ­ian-lean­ing east and south, which are dense­ly pop­u­lat­ed, heav­i­ly indus­tri­al­ized areas, where a large per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion is employed by state-sub­si­dized, Sovi­et-era indus­tries. They val­ue polit­i­cal and eco­nom­ic sta­bil­i­ty above all else, and fear that inte­gra­tion into the Euro­pean Union will erode the basic stan­dards of liv­ing they have now. They are nos­tal­gic about the Sovi­et Union and believe many of the west­ern Ukrain­ian nation­al­ist groups col­lab­o­rat­ed with Nazi Ger­many dur­ing World War II.

    Oppor­tu­ni­ty missed?

    Most Maid­an sup­port­ers say that they are not anti-Russ­ian; in fact, it’s not uncom­mon to hear even the more rad­i­cal nation­al­ist groups, such as the Right Sec­tor, speak­ing Russ­ian to each oth­er. The Right Sec­tor leader, Dmit­ry Yarosh, is from the east­ern city of Dniprodz­erzhyn­sk. The issue of which lan­guage to speak has not been a focal point in the three-month long demon­stra­tions.

    But Russ­ian media chan­nels – which dom­i­nate the air­waves in the east and south of Ukraine – have broad­cast dai­ly images of Mr. Yarosh and oth­er ski-masked, body-armor-clad pro­test­ers on the Maid­an, talk­ing about build­ing a new Ukraine and dis­card­ing the old, Sovi­et ways and influ­ence of Russ­ian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin.

    These pic­tures over­shad­owed what most pro­test­ers on the Maid­an said was the main goal of their move­ment: Oust Yanukovych and reboot the entire cor­rupt sys­tem in order to take Ukraine toward a more pros­per­ous future, where the rule of law and human rights would be respect­ed.

    Some say the oppo­si­tion lead­ers rep­re­sent­ing the Maid­an move­ment could have done more to ral­ly sup­port for such an anti­cor­rup­tion, pro-democ­ra­cy move­ment. But a lack of action in the Russ­ian-speak­ing regions on the lead­ers’ part meant the tele­vi­sion images won out.

    “Nobody ever tried to com­mu­ni­cate with the peo­ple of east­ern Ukraine or Crimea,” says Sergey Chep­ik, direc­tor of the Agency of Social-Polit­i­cal Mod­el­ing, a think tank in the east­ern city of Donet­sk.

    ...

    Lin­guis­tic mis­step

    Per­haps the most obvi­ous of the new Kiev gov­ern­men­t’s mis­takes came last week, when deputies in the nation­al­ist par­ty Svo­bo­da, or Free­dom, pushed through the can­cel­la­tion of a law that gave equal sta­tus to minor­i­ty lan­guages, such as Russ­ian.

    The pre­vi­ous law had allowed regions across the coun­try to use lan­guages oth­er than the offi­cial nation­al lan­guage, Ukrain­ian, on com­mer­cial signs, in schools and gov­ern­ment doc­u­ments. When it passed in 2012, it was seen as a vic­to­ry for the areas where Russ­ian was the dom­i­nant lan­guage, par­tic­u­lar­ly in the east and south. The law also applied to areas in Ukraine in which oth­er lan­guages, such as Roman­ian, Hun­gar­i­an, and Tatar, are spo­ken by small­er eth­nic groups.

    The can­cel­la­tion of this lan­guage law only served to infu­ri­ate Russ­ian-speak­ing regions, who saw the move as more evi­dence that the antigov­ern­ment protests in Kiev that man­aged to top­ple Mr. Yanukovy­ch’s gov­ern­ment were intent on press­ing for a nation­al­is­tic agen­da. It only deep­ened ten­sions in the Crimea, for exam­ple, where the idea that the pro­test­ers on Maid­an were rad­i­cal fas­cists.

    “This was a very bad deci­sion that they made in Kiev,” says Vik­tor Neganov, a region­al advis­er in Sev­astopol for the new­ly appoint­ed inte­ri­or min­is­ter, Arsen Avakov. “It pro­voked the peo­ple here and was not nec­es­sary.”

    In prac­tice, the can­cel­ing of the minor­i­ty-lan­guage pro­tec­tion law will not affect life in Sev­astopol, or the rest of the pre­dom­i­nant­ly Russ­ian-speak­ing areas of Ukraine, Neganov says. “But sym­bol­i­cal­ly, it is a big deal. It shows that they in Kiev are not tak­ing into account what peo­ple down here think are impor­tant.”

    The Crimean sit­u­a­tion

    As a result, any poten­tial for trust in the new gov­ern­ment has been lost in places like Sev­astopol, where this week the pop­u­la­tion declared over­whelm­ing­ly that they were pro-Rus­sia. They would not, they said, be ruled by Kiev, where nation­al­ists are try­ing to erad­i­cate their Russ­ian cul­ture, lan­guage and val­ues.

    But in Crimea, there like­ly was lit­tle Maid­an lead­ers could have done to win them over. This is par­tic­u­lar­ly true in Sev­astopol, where the Russ­ian Black Sea Fleet is based and res­i­dents see their city as Russ­ian. When Russ­ian armored per­son­nel car­ri­ers were seen on the high­ways around this city, many greet­ed them as old friends return­ing back home.

    “They should have come in a lot ear­li­er. If Yanukovych had been a real leader, he would have crushed those fas­cists in Kiev way before it got to this stage,” says Roman, a taxi dri­ver in Sev­astopol as he passed sev­er­al of the Russ­ian armored per­son­nel car­ri­ers on the high­way about 10 miles out­side of the city.

    As the Russ­ian mil­i­tary pres­ence increased in Crimea Fri­day and the Ukrain­ian inte­ri­or min­istry declared it an “armed inva­sion,” the dif­fi­cul­ty Kiev faces in con­vinc­ing Sevastopol’s pop­u­la­tion of 350,000 to rec­og­nize the author­i­ty of the new cen­tral gov­ern­ment inten­si­fied.

    “The present Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment was formed at the square. It was done before the legit­i­mate Rada con­firmed their can­di­da­cies,” Mr. Chep­ik says. “If tomor­row there will be anoth­er Maid­an, and they will form anoth­er gov­ern­ment? Keep in mind that there are 45 mil­lion Ukraini­ans” – and they are like­ly to want a say in the process, he added.

    ———-

    “Is it too late for Kiev to woo Russ­ian-speak­ing Ukraine?” by Sabra Ayres; Chris­t­ian Sci­ence Mon­i­tor; 02/28/2014

    But if Kiev los­es the most­ly Russ­ian-speak­ing pop­u­la­tions in the east as well as the south, many say much of the fault will be at the hands of the lead­ers of the antigov­ern­ment protests in Kiev and the polit­i­cal oppo­si­tion lead­ers, who have done very lit­tle to woo vot­ers in these regions. As a result, the coun­try is now more deeply divid­ed than it ever has been its 23 years of inde­pen­dence.”

    As was obvi­ous to any­one watch­ing the sit­u­a­tion unfold­ing at that time, the accep­tance of the far right right into the post-Maid­an gov­ern­ment more or less made the sep­a­ratist move­ment inevitable. Because it’s hard to imag­ine a more divi­sive act than have a gov­ern­ment that was large­ly sup­port­ed by Ukraine’s large Russ­ian-speak­ing pop­u­lace and replac­ing it with a gov­ern­ment com­prised of peo­ple who define all things Russ­ian as a nation­al threat. But that’s what hap­pened, which is why so much of what has unfold­ed in Ukraine was trag­i­cal­ly pre­dictable:

    ...

    “They don’t take our opin­ion into account on the Maid­an,” says Andrey Foman, refer­ring to Kiev’s Inde­pen­dence Square. The actor, from Sim­fer­opol, stood with demon­stra­tors out­side the Crimean par­lia­ment this week and showed sup­port for greater inte­gra­tion with Rus­sia. “This is a clash of two cul­tures now in Ukraine.”

    Mr. Foman’s com­plaint of not being con­sult­ed about the gov­ern­ment reshuf­fle is a com­mon theme among Russ­ian-speak­ing Ukraini­ans. In many ways, they are right.

    The antigov­ern­ment demon­stra­tions that start­ed in late Novem­ber were sparked by Mr. Yanukovych’s back­track­ing on a cam­paign promise he had made to sign a trade and asso­ci­a­tion agree­ment with the Euro­pean Union. The demon­stra­tions spi­raled into an antigov­ern­ment, anti­cor­rup­tion move­ment that called for Yanukovych’s removal. Ukraini­ans across the coun­try agree that cor­rup­tion with­in the rul­ing elite has plagued the coun­try for too long and hin­dered its devel­op­ment.

    But the protests on the Maid­an evolved into a move­ment in which nation­al­ist groups devel­oped a key role. This wor­ried the Russ­ian-lean­ing east and south, which are dense­ly pop­u­lat­ed, heav­i­ly indus­tri­al­ized areas, where a large per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion is employed by state-sub­si­dized, Sovi­et-era indus­tries. They val­ue polit­i­cal and eco­nom­ic sta­bil­i­ty above all else, and fear that inte­gra­tion into the Euro­pean Union will erode the basic stan­dards of liv­ing they have now. They are nos­tal­gic about the Sovi­et Union and believe many of the west­ern Ukrain­ian nation­al­ist groups col­lab­o­rat­ed with Nazi Ger­many dur­ing World War II.
    ...

    Also note how the fact that Dmit­ry Yarosh, leader of the neo-Nazi Right Sec­tor group, hails from the east­ern city of Dniprodz­erzhyn­sk and speaks Russ­ian was hilar­i­ous­ly cit­ed as an exam­ple of how most of the Maid­an sup­port­ers weren’t anti-Russ­ian. It was quite pos­si­bly the worst exam­ple of a non-anti-Russ­ian Maid­an sup­port the arti­cle could have picked:

    ...
    Oppor­tu­ni­ty missed?

    Most Maid­an sup­port­ers say that they are not anti-Russ­ian; in fact, it’s not uncom­mon to hear even the more rad­i­cal nation­al­ist groups, such as the Right Sec­tor, speak­ing Russ­ian to each oth­er. The Right Sec­tor leader, Dmit­ry Yarosh, is from the east­ern city of Dniprodz­erzhyn­sk. The issue of which lan­guage to speak has not been a focal point in the three-month long demon­stra­tions.

    But Russ­ian media chan­nels – which dom­i­nate the air­waves in the east and south of Ukraine – have broad­cast dai­ly images of Mr. Yarosh and oth­er ski-masked, body-armor-clad pro­test­ers on the Maid­an, talk­ing about build­ing a new Ukraine and dis­card­ing the old, Sovi­et ways and influ­ence of Russ­ian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin.

    These pic­tures over­shad­owed what most pro­test­ers on the Maid­an said was the main goal of their move­ment: Oust Yanukovych and reboot the entire cor­rupt sys­tem in order to take Ukraine toward a more pros­per­ous future, where the rule of law and human rights would be respect­ed.

    Some say the oppo­si­tion lead­ers rep­re­sent­ing the Maid­an move­ment could have done more to ral­ly sup­port for such an anti­cor­rup­tion, pro-democ­ra­cy move­ment. But a lack of action in the Russ­ian-speak­ing regions on the lead­ers’ part meant the tele­vi­sion images won out.

    “Nobody ever tried to com­mu­ni­cate with the peo­ple of east­ern Ukraine or Crimea,” says Sergey Chep­ik, direc­tor of the Agency of Social-Polit­i­cal Mod­el­ing, a think tank in the east­ern city of Donet­sk.
    ...

    But as the arti­cle accu­rate­ly not­ed, it was the can­cel­la­tion of a 2012 law that gave equal treat­ment to minor­i­ty lan­guages like Russ­ian that infu­ri­at­ed the Russ­ian-speak­ing regions. It was a response that was com­plete­ly obvi­ous at at the time, espe­cial­ly in places like Crimea:

    ...
    Lin­guis­tic mis­step

    Per­haps the most obvi­ous of the new Kiev gov­ern­men­t’s mis­takes came last week, when deputies in the nation­al­ist par­ty Svo­bo­da, or Free­dom, pushed through the can­cel­la­tion of a law that gave equal sta­tus to minor­i­ty lan­guages, such as Russ­ian.

    The pre­vi­ous law had allowed regions across the coun­try to use lan­guages oth­er than the offi­cial nation­al lan­guage, Ukrain­ian, on com­mer­cial signs, in schools and gov­ern­ment doc­u­ments. When it passed in 2012, it was seen as a vic­to­ry for the areas where Russ­ian was the dom­i­nant lan­guage, par­tic­u­lar­ly in the east and south. The law also applied to areas in Ukraine in which oth­er lan­guages, such as Roman­ian, Hun­gar­i­an, and Tatar, are spo­ken by small­er eth­nic groups.

    The can­cel­la­tion of this lan­guage law only served to infu­ri­ate Russ­ian-speak­ing regions, who saw the move as more evi­dence that the antigov­ern­ment protests in Kiev that man­aged to top­ple Mr. Yanukovy­ch’s gov­ern­ment were intent on press­ing for a nation­al­is­tic agen­da. It only deep­ened ten­sions in the Crimea, for exam­ple, where the idea that the pro­test­ers on Maid­an were rad­i­cal fas­cists.

    “This was a very bad deci­sion that they made in Kiev,” says Vik­tor Neganov, a region­al advis­er in Sev­astopol for the new­ly appoint­ed inte­ri­or min­is­ter, Arsen Avakov. “It pro­voked the peo­ple here and was not nec­es­sary.”

    In prac­tice, the can­cel­ing of the minor­i­ty-lan­guage pro­tec­tion law will not affect life in Sev­astopol, or the rest of the pre­dom­i­nant­ly Russ­ian-speak­ing areas of Ukraine, Neganov says. “But sym­bol­i­cal­ly, it is a big deal. It shows that they in Kiev are not tak­ing into account what peo­ple down here think are impor­tant.”
    ...

    So it should have come as no sur­prise when the pop­u­lace of Crimea, which was large­ly eth­nic-Russ­ian, over­whelm­ing­ly vot­ed to join Rus­sia. The new gov­ern­ment was lit­er­al­ly pass­ing laws that appeared to be aimed at them:

    ...
    The Crimean sit­u­a­tion

    As a result, any poten­tial for trust in the new gov­ern­ment has been lost in places like Sev­astopol, where this week the pop­u­la­tion declared over­whelm­ing­ly that they were pro-Rus­sia. They would not, they said, be ruled by Kiev, where nation­al­ists are try­ing to erad­i­cate their Russ­ian cul­ture, lan­guage and val­ues.

    But in Crimea, there like­ly was lit­tle Maid­an lead­ers could have done to win them over. This is par­tic­u­lar­ly true in Sev­astopol, where the Russ­ian Black Sea Fleet is based and res­i­dents see their city as Russ­ian. When Russ­ian armored per­son­nel car­ri­ers were seen on the high­ways around this city, many greet­ed them as old friends return­ing back home.

    “They should have come in a lot ear­li­er. If Yanukovych had been a real leader, he would have crushed those fas­cists in Kiev way before it got to this stage,” says Roman, a taxi dri­ver in Sev­astopol as he passed sev­er­al of the Russ­ian armored per­son­nel car­ri­ers on the high­way about 10 miles out­side of the city.

    As the Russ­ian mil­i­tary pres­ence increased in Crimea Fri­day and the Ukrain­ian inte­ri­or min­istry declared it an “armed inva­sion,” the dif­fi­cul­ty Kiev faces in con­vinc­ing Sevastopol’s pop­u­la­tion of 350,000 to rec­og­nize the author­i­ty of the new cen­tral gov­ern­ment inten­si­fied.

    “The present Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment was formed at the square. It was done before the legit­i­mate Rada con­firmed their can­di­da­cies,” Mr. Chep­ik says. “If tomor­row there will be anoth­er Maid­an, and they will form anoth­er gov­ern­ment? Keep in mind that there are 45 mil­lion Ukraini­ans” – and they are like­ly to want a say in the process, he added.
    ...

    Note that the 2014 can­cel­ing of that 2012 law was quick­ly rescind­ed, but the dam­age was done. And the dam­age con­tin­ues to be done with moves like what the Lviv region­al coun­cil just did.

    Also note that broad sup­port for join­ing Rus­sia remains the case today among Crimea’s pop­u­lace. Now why might that be?

    And in oth­er Lviv news...

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 21, 2018, 3:00 pm
  6. It looks like the main­stream­ing of vig­i­lante neo-Nazi groups in Ukraine now includes glow­ing nation­al TV new cov­er­age: A group of C14 mem­bers, along with the ‘Kyiv Munic­i­pal Watch’ orga­ni­za­tion which is led by C14 activist Ser­hiy Bon­dar, car­ried out anoth­er raid on a group of Roma. This time they were dri­ven out of the area around the South­ern Rai­ly­way Sta­tion in Kyiv. Bon­dar post­ed a video of raid on his Face­book page on Octo­ber 24, which he enti­tled “A purge of gyp­sies at the capital’s rail­way sta­tion”. Bon­dar then back­tracked and claimed that C14 were mere­ly tak­ing videos of “gyp­sies who rob peo­ple” and that the police were the ones who actu­al­ly con­duct­ed the raid. That same day, the TSN.ua news broad­cast report­ed on the raid, where the news pre­sen­ter vir­tu­al­ly par­rots part of Bon­dar’s video and nev­er men­tions the eth­nic­i­ty of the tar­gets. The fea­ture is sim­ply enti­tle: ‘Police and civic activists tried to clean the capital’s sta­tion of thieves’:

    Kharkiv Human Rights Group

    Neo-Nazi C14 vig­i­lantes appear to work with Kyiv police in lat­est ‘purge’ of Roma

    25.10.2018 | Halya Coy­nash

    Mem­bers of the neo-Nazi C14 move­ment, togeth­er with the ‘Kyiv Munic­i­pal Watch’ civic orga­ni­za­tion which is led by C14 activist Ser­hiy Bon­dar, have car­ried out anoth­er raid, dri­ving Roma cit­i­zens out of the area around the South­ern Rail­way Sta­tion in Kyiv. The raid does not appear to have been accom­pa­nied by shock­ing images of vio­lence like some five oth­ers this year, but that is the only pos­i­tive dif­fer­ence. What is much more dis­turb­ing is that the action appears to have been with the coop­er­a­tion of the police, and was essen­tial­ly giv­en glow­ing cov­er­age on a nation­al tele­vi­sion news broad­cast.

    Bon­dar post­ed a video on his Face­book page on 24 Octo­ber, togeth­er with a cap­tion read­ing (in his words): “A purge of gyp­sies at the capital’s rail­way sta­tion”. He lat­er began back­track­ing, claim­ing that they had not dri­ven any­body away that they had sim­ply post­ed videos “with gyp­sies who rob peo­ple” – as their “eth­nic trade” — and that the police, to their amaze­ment, had done it them­selves.

    It is worth not­ing that the above lan­guage, and worse, are used exten­sive­ly by Bon­dar and oth­er C14 activists. This is just one of the rea­sons for con­cern at indi­ca­tions that these far-right vig­i­lantes appear to be work­ing close­ly with the police. That is cer­tain­ly the impres­sion giv­en by the TSN.ua news broad­cast on 24 Octo­ber, which Bon­dar proud­ly post­ed on his FB page. It is small won­der that he was pleased since the pre­sen­ter of the fea­ture vir­tu­al­ly par­rots parts of the C14 video, with only two Roma peo­ple dri­ven out shown in a neg­a­tive light. There is one telling detail, name­ly that the tele­vi­sion pro­gram is care­ful­ly not to eth­ni­cal­ly label the peo­ple dri­ven out, with the fea­ture enti­tled: ‘Police and civic activists tried to clean the capital’s sta­tion of thieves’. It does, how­ev­er, show the activists wear­ing cam­ou­flage gear and chevrons clear­ly show­ing the C14 sym­bol, and lit­tle effort would be required to find out how C14 presents its vig­i­lante activ­i­ties, and why this orga­ni­za­tion has gained noto­ri­ety over recent months.

    There may well be a prob­lem with thieves at Kyiv sta­tions, and there is lit­tle sense in clos­ing ones eyes to the fact that some of the Roma who come to Kyiv and live tem­porar­i­ly near the sta­tions are involved in crim­i­nal activ­i­ties. Thieves should undoubt­ed­ly be stopped, but that is the task of the police, not of C14 vig­i­lantes with racist views, a a shock­ing track record and open­ly declared will­ing­ness to cause trou­ble to people’s ‘ene­mies’ for mon­ey.

    There have been a min­i­mum of five attacks on Roma camps since April this year; with the last leav­ing one young man dead and a woman and child injured. All of the attacks — at Lysa Hora in Kyiv on 21–22 April; Rudne on 9 May; the Ternopil Oblast on 22 May; at Holosiyiv Park in Kyiv on 7 June and near Lviv on 24 June — seem to have been car­ried out by activists involved in far-right groups. One C14 activist, Ser­hiy Mazur, was recent­ly placed under house arrest over charges relat­ing to the attack on a Roma set­tle­ment on Lysa Hora in Kyiv.

    As report­ed, there was effec­tive­ly a pogrom on April 21–22, with fam­i­lies dri­ven out and their makeshift homes burned. All of this was described in detail, albeit with euphemisms, by Mazur on his Face­book page.

    The Kyiv police con­tin­ued to down­play this raid by vig­i­lantes with neo-Nazi lean­ings right up until 25 April when the Inter­net pub­li­ca­tion LB.ua post­ed a video show­ing whole fam­i­lies run­ning in ter­ror from young men, many in masks, hurl­ing stones and spray­ing gas can­is­ters in the direc­tion where fam­i­lies with some very small chil­dren were try­ing to take shel­ter. One Roma man can be seen on the video try­ing to use a thin branch in defence, but then real­iz­ing he is out­num­bered and also flee­ing. That evening the Kyiv police final­ly announced that a crim­i­nal inves­ti­ga­tion had been ini­ti­at­ed. Human rights activists are report­ed­ly work­ing to ensure that the police keep their promise and change the clas­si­fi­ca­tion of the crime from ‘hooli­gan­ism’ to that of a hate crime under Arti­cle 161 of the Crim­i­nal Code.

    It was notice­able, and wor­ry­ing, that in his report on 19 April, Mazur assert­ed that the C14 activists had first appeared, with an ulti­ma­tum to get out by the fol­low­ing day, togeth­er with rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Holosiyiv admin­is­tra­tion.

    ...

    ———

    “Neo-Nazi C14 vig­i­lantes appear to work with Kyiv police in lat­est ‘purge’ of Roma”; Halya Coy­nash; Kharkiv Human Rights Group; 10/25/2018

    “Mem­bers of the neo-Nazi C14 move­ment, togeth­er with the ‘Kyiv Munic­i­pal Watch’ civic orga­ni­za­tion which is led by C14 activist Ser­hiy Bon­dar, have car­ried out anoth­er raid, dri­ving Roma cit­i­zens out of the area around the South­ern Rail­way Sta­tion in Kyiv. The raid does not appear to have been accom­pa­nied by shock­ing images of vio­lence like some five oth­ers this year, but that is the only pos­i­tive dif­fer­ence. What is much more dis­turb­ing is that the action appears to have been with the coop­er­a­tion of the police, and was essen­tial­ly giv­en glow­ing cov­er­age on a nation­al tele­vi­sion news broad­cast.

    This is how bad the neo-Nazi sit­u­a­tion is in Ukraine: the most dis­turb­ing aspect of these neo-Nazi vig­i­lante attacks is the grow­ing pub­lic embrace of them. An embrace that, in this instance, includ­ed the Kyiv police and the TSN.ua news broad­cast:

    ...
    Bon­dar post­ed a video on his Face­book page on 24 Octo­ber, togeth­er with a cap­tion read­ing (in his words): “A purge of gyp­sies at the capital’s rail­way sta­tion”. He lat­er began back­track­ing, claim­ing that they had not dri­ven any­body away that they had sim­ply post­ed videos “with gyp­sies who rob peo­ple” – as their “eth­nic trade” — and that the police, to their amaze­ment, had done it them­selves.

    It is worth not­ing that the above lan­guage, and worse, are used exten­sive­ly by Bon­dar and oth­er C14 activists. This is just one of the rea­sons for con­cern at indi­ca­tions that these far-right vig­i­lantes appear to be work­ing close­ly with the police. That is cer­tain­ly the impres­sion giv­en by the TSN.ua news broad­cast on 24 Octo­ber, which Bon­dar proud­ly post­ed on his FB page. It is small won­der that he was pleased since the pre­sen­ter of the fea­ture vir­tu­al­ly par­rots parts of the C14 video, with only two Roma peo­ple dri­ven out shown in a neg­a­tive light. There is one telling detail, name­ly that the tele­vi­sion pro­gram is care­ful­ly not to eth­ni­cal­ly label the peo­ple dri­ven out, with the fea­ture enti­tled: ‘Police and civic activists tried to clean the capital’s sta­tion of thieves’. It does, how­ev­er, show the activists wear­ing cam­ou­flage gear and chevrons clear­ly show­ing the C14 sym­bol, and lit­tle effort would be required to find out how C14 presents its vig­i­lante activ­i­ties, and why this orga­ni­za­tion has gained noto­ri­ety over recent months.
    ...

    So it will be inter­est­ing to learn if the police did actu­al­ly car­ry out the raids on the Roma and C14 mem­bers mere­ly filmed the Roma, basi­cal­ly act­ing as spot­ters for the police as Bon­dar lat­er claimed and the news broad­cast par­rot­ed, or if that was just a pub­lic rela­tions move the media was hap­py to play along with. Either way it would be pret­ty damn dis­turb­ing.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | October 26, 2018, 2:46 pm
  7. AND, to top it all off, the Ukrain­ian lead­er­ship has good diplo­mat­ic rela­tions with Ben­jamin Netanyahu’s Israel.

    Posted by Atlanta Bill | June 9, 2019, 7:20 pm

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