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FTR #1014 Update on Fascism in Ukraine

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This broad­cast was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment. [5]

[6]

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 [7], we have not­ed the pro­found Ukrain­ian [8] 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 [9]and 926 [10].

Now, we learn that Vic­to­ria Nuland, a key play­er [11] 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. [12]

” . . . . 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 [7] and 981 [8].

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 [13]. Ukrain­ian police just stood around approv­ing­ly watch­ing it hap­pen [14].

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.

[15]

Azov Bat­tal­ion Nation­al Druzhy­na Mili­tia

We have not­ed that the neo-Nazi Azov Bat­tal­ion runs a youth camp [16]. 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 [17]. 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 [18].

Next, we look at the faked assas­si­na­tion of Arkady Babchenko [19]. The alleged hit­man sup­pos­ed­ly hired by the Rus­sians was a mem­ber of Pravy Sek­tor [20] 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 [21] explo­sives [21].  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 [22]? 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 cred­i­bil­i­ty [23]They note the list is filled with the names of peo­ple crit­i­cal of the Ukrain­ian author­i­ties.

Ana­toliy Matios, Ukraine’s chief mil­i­tary pros­e­cu­tor [24], 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 [25] 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 982 [26]993 [27] and 1004 [26], 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 [24].

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 [28] 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 [29] cit­ed the work of Volodomyr Via­tro­vych (Eng­lish trans­la­tions from the Ukrain­ian vary) and his “Ukrain­ian Insti­tute of Nation­al Mem­o­ry” [30] as doc­u­men­tary jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for an anti-Semit­ic tirade.

Pro­gram High­lights Include:

1. In past com­men­tary [7], we have not­ed the pro­found Ukrain­ian [8] 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 [9]and 926 [10].

Now, we learn that Vic­to­ria Nuland, a key play­er [11] 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. [12]

” . . . . 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 [7] and 981 [8].

“Oba­ma Cyber Chief Con­firms ‘Stand Down’ Order against Russ­ian Cyber­at­tacks in Sum­mer 2016” by Michael Isikoff; Yahoo News; 06/20/2018. [12]

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 [41]” 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 [42],” 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 [13]. Ukrain­ian police just stood around approv­ing­ly watch­ing it hap­pen [14].

“With Axes And Ham­mers, Far-Right Vig­i­lantes Destroy Anoth­er Romany Camp In Kyiv” by Christo­pher Miller; Radio Free Europe/Radio Lib­er­ty; 06/08/2018 [14]

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 [13] 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 [43].

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 [44] 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 [45] 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 [16]. 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. [17]

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 [46].

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 [47] from a 14-word phrase used by white suprema­cists and it has open­ly offered [48] 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 [18].

“Roma Camp Attack Leaves One Dead;” BBC; 06/24/2018. [18]

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. [19]

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 [49] 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 [50] 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 [51] 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. [20]

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 [21] explo­sives [21].  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 [22]? 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. [21]

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 cred­i­bil­i­ty [23]They 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. [23]

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 [52] 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.  [53]. . . .

. . . . Then lat­er, on June 5, the SBU announced [54] 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 [55], 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 [56] 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 [57], 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 [58] 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 [25] 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 982 [26]993 [27] and 1004 [26], 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 [24].

“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 [24]

In an exten­sive inter­view [59] 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 [28]; 05/15/2018. [28]

. . . . 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” [30] 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 [29]

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  [60]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 [61] 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.