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

For The Record  

FTR #783 Can You Put Lipstick on a Nazi?

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash dri­ve that can be obtained here. (The flash dri­ve includes the anti-fas­cist books avail­able on this site.)

Lis­ten: MP3

Side 1  Side 2

Swo­bo­da leader Oleh Tia­hany­bok salutes

Intro­duc­tion: This pro­gram con­tin­ues analy­sis of the instal­la­tion in the Ukraine of a gov­ern­ment com­posed large­ly of polit­i­cal forces evolved from, and man­i­fest­ing ide­o­log­i­cal con­ti­nu­ity with, the fas­cist OUN/B.

(We have done six pro­grams to date about the Ukrain­ian cri­sis: FTR #‘s 777778779780781782.)

Hav­ing staffed the 14th Waf­fen SS (Gali­cian) Divi­sion and the Ein­satz­grup­pen (mobile exe­cu­tion squads) in the Ukraine, the OUN/B was a piv­otal ele­ment in the post­war Gehlen spy out­fit in its CIA and BND incar­na­tions, the Anti-Bol­she­vik Bloc of Nations and the GOP eth­nic out­reach orga­ni­za­tion.

OUN/B has been deeply involved with covert oper­a­tions and fig­ures in the inves­ti­ga­tion into the assas­si­na­tion of Pres­i­dent Kennedy, as well as the de-sta­bi­liza­tion of the Sovi­et Union dur­ing the cli­mac­tic phase of the Cold War. With a pro­found pres­ence in the GOP’s eth­nic divi­sion, as well as the con­tem­po­rary Ukrain­ian polit­i­cal infra­struc­ture, the OUN/B is any­thing but an his­tor­i­cal rel­ic. The devel­op­ment of the OUN/B in both the U.S. and the Ukraine is explained in great his­tor­i­cal depth in AFA #37.

The Orwellian aspects of the Ukrain­ian cri­sis could not be exag­ger­at­ed and are explored at greater length in this pro­gram.

An impor­tant new post by George Elia­son rais­es a num­ber of impor­tant points and, in so doing, deep­ens our under­stand­ing of the hor­ror show unfold­ing in Ukraine.

Mr. Elia­son informs us:

  • That Yat­se­niuk is cut from the same OUN/B fab­ric as Swo­bo­da and Pravy Sek­tor: ” . . . . Even Prime Min­is­ter Arseniy Yat­senyuk falls among this mod­er­ate [?!–D.E.] major­i­tyFor gen­er­a­tions his own fam­i­ly has had a proud tra­di­tion of ser­vice to the Ultra- Nation­al­ist cause and has won awards for their ser­vice. . . .” [That is not much of a sur­prise, con­sid­er­ing he was the cen­tral banker under OUN/B front man Yuschenko–D.E.]
  • Giv­ing us some work­ing num­bers for the mur­ders com­mit­ted by the for­bear­ers of Swo­bo­da and Pravy Sek­tor: ” . . . . Under the mil­i­tant lead­er­ship of Stepan Ban­dera in World War II, the ultra-nation­al­ists orga­nized the Ukrain­ian Waf­fen SS Gali­cian, Nicht­en­gall, and Roland Divi­sions that col­lab­o­rated with the Nazis and were respon­si­ble for the geno­cide of over 500,000 peo­ple. . . .”
  • Like the Ustachi, the OUN/B mur­der­ers went about their mur­der­ous busi­ness with a medieval cru­el­ty; ” . . . . Accord­ing to Szawlowski’s descrip­tion of the meth­ods the Ban­derites employed against the Poles at Vol­hy­nia, treach­ery was the most fre­quently used. The Ban­derites told the Poles they were one peo­ple and fam­ily with them and that it would be trea­son if they left. The Ban­dera groups even promised to pro­tect them–in writ­ing! What else sep­a­rates the Ban­deras from every oth­er geno­ci­dal per­pe­tra­tor of the war is this: Even though the Ger­man SS had units ded­i­cated to geno­cide, the Orga­ni­za­tion of Ukrain­ian Nation­al­ists (OUN) approached this mis­sion with a zeal and bar­bar­ity that Hitler’s own units could not muster. They rou­tinely tor­tured peo­ple with saws and axes, and used the most painful meth­ods they could devise as means to kill them. The Ban­dera would attack using “self defense groups” that were local­ly orga­nized. These civil­ian Ban­deras were the main force used to attack and slaugh­ter the Poles. If any of the mas­sacre vic­tims man­aged to sur­vive, they were torched, robbed, and killed by fol­low-up groups of women and chil­dren. . . . .”
  • As we saw in pre­vi­ous dis­cus­sion, the crimes of the OUN/B urder units are cel­e­brat­ed by their heirs in Swo­bo­da and Pravy Sek­tor. ” . . . . Szawlowski’s work on the geno­cide com­mit­ted by Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists dur­ing World War II is brought up to date by the recent obser­va­tions of Ukrain­ian Wik­tor Poliszczuk. “... he con­demns the dan­ger­ous activ­i­ties of the post-UPA [Ukrain­ian Insur­gent Army] nation­al­ists in present-day Ukraine, tak­ing place not only in Lvov, but even in Kiev, ‘Gali­cian Fun­da­men­tal­ism,’ and oth­er such phe­nom­ena. Also crit­i­cized by him are the pro­mot­ing of the total­i­tar­ian and geno­ci­dal doc­trines of the Ukrain­ian Dmytro Dontsov, the erect­ing of mon­u­ments to the SS-men of the 14th Ukrain­ian SS Divi­sion “Gal­izien” (“Haly­chyna”), the OUN [Orga­ni­za­tion of Ukrain­ian Nation­al­ists] and UPA lead­ers: Yevhen Kono­valets, Andryi Mel­nyk, Stepan Ban­dera, Roman Shukhevych and oth­ers, and the glo­ri­fy­ing of the mur­der­ers of Poles, Jews, Rus­sians and Ukraini­ans as nation­al heroes of the Ukraine, after whom streets and squares are named, awak­ing the spir­it of the Dontsov and Ban­dera era, so much hat­ed by peo­ple.” This was writ­ten only a few years ago. . . .”
  • Attempt­ing to put lip­stick on the prover­bial pig, Dymytro Yarosh, head of Pravy Sek­tor, met with the Israeli Ambas­sador to the Ukraine and pumped him up with some Min­istry of Truth PR: ” . . . . Accord­ing to Huff Post, “Dmitri Yarosh, leader of Right Sec­tor, met with Israel’s ambas­sador to Ukraine, Reuven Din El, and told him that their move­ment rejects anti-Semi­tism and xeno­pho­bia and will not tol­er­ate it. . . . ”  
  • Both Vic­tor Yuschenko and Yulia Tim­o­shenko were pro­teges of Sla­va Stet­sko, the wid­ow of Yaroslav Stet­sko and the head of the OUN/B Ukrain­ian Nazi gov­ern­ment in exile: ” . . . On June 30, 1941 Stepan Ban­dera declared the for­ma­tion of the Ukrain­ian State in Lviv. Stepan Ban­dera made his lieu­tenant Yaroslav Stet­sko the Pre­mier. After the war the Ban­dera groups formed their Gov­ern­ment in Exile that was giv­en qui­et legit­i­ma­cy by both the US and Cana­di­an gov­ern­ments short­ly after WW2. Part of this was due to their sup­port dur­ing the cold war against the Sovi­et Union, and part due to the size of their lob­by­ing effort. They pump a lot of mon­ey into Con­gress. That they were legit­imized by the US Gov­ern­ment is clear from all the released Nazi War Crimes Dis­clo­sure Act doc­u­ments I have come across. It is very clear that the most impor­tant branch­es of the Dias­po­ra gov­ern­ment are in the US and Cana­da. Until 2003 the exiled lead­er­ship of the Ban­dera Gov­ern­ment of Ukraine was only one step away from the per­son of Stepan Ban­dera him­self. The supreme lead­er­ship of Ban­der­a’s Ultra Nation­al­ists world­wide changed hands twice after his assas­si­na­tion. Both supreme lead­ers had been his clos­est asso­ciates.The first was Yaroslav Stet­sko, Ban­der­a’s Pre­mier in exile. He took over con­trol of the Ultra Nation­al­ist Gov­ern­ment in Exile on the death of Stepan Ban­dera and held the posi­tion until his own death in 1986. Upon his death, his wife Sla­va Stet­sko took over the lead­er­ship role and lived to bring the world­wide move­ment home to Ukraine. Most rec­og­niz­able Ukrain­ian politi­cians, includ­ing Vic­tor Yush­henko and Yulia Tymoshenko , are pro­tégés of Sla­va Stet­sko. This will explain why Mr. Yuschenko made Stepan Ban­dera a “Hero of Ukraine.” The EU sharply object­ed to this at the time, because of Ban­der­a’s involve­ment in geno­cide, and Vic­tor Yanukovych sub­se­quent­ly rescind­ed the award. That did­n’t work out well for him.The 1st gen­er­a­tion Ban­dera gov­ern­ment, which pledged fideli­ty to Adolf Hitler and com­mit­ted ram­pant and bru­tal geno­cide that it still denies, was alive and well until 2003. It ruled and raised funds from the Ukrain­ian Dias­po­ra, which con­sti­tutes a third of the Ukrain­ian pop­u­la­tion world­wide, or 20 mil­lion peo­ple. . . . .”
  • Under the OUN/B gov­ern­ment hold­ing sway in Ukraine, the edu­ca­tion­al sys­tem is indoc­tri­nat­ing Ukrain­ian chil­dren with a doc­tri­naire Rus­so­pho­bia: ” . . . . One of the changes hap­pen­ing now in Ukraine is forced Ukrainiza­tion. If you remem­ber Nazi his­tory and the Hitler Youth, you’ll under­stand what Ukrainiza­tion means. It demands the same unques­tion­ing loy­alty from lit­tle chil­dren, a loy­alty even greater than that to fam­i­ly.What is forced Ukrainiza­tion at the pre school lev­el? Iri­na Far­ion was a favorite for the Min­is­ter of Edu­ca­tion slot, until a dis­cus­sion behind closed doors in the Sen­ate. Sergei Kvit from Trizub (Yarosh core group), a real Ultra-Nation­al­ist, got the nod instead.  Here is Iri­na Far­ion speak­ing to a lit­tle child: “What is your name? Misha. It’s not Ukrain­ian. You are Mihai­lo! And your name? Masha. You are Marusa. But my mom calls me this! If you want to be Masha, go to Moscow! Don’t call oth­er chil­dren Russ­ian names. It is degrad­ing. It’s like call­ing them an ani­mal that lives in the woods and walks on all fours. . . .” Imag­ine a gov­ern­ment offi­cial speak­ing to chil­dren like this. Chil­dren are now taught that if they have Russ­ian names they are sec­ond-class cit­i­zens. All of the chil­dren of Ukraine will grow up to be Ultra Nation­al­ists. Those instilled with Nation­al Social­ism will get a bet­ter edu­ca­tion, a bet­ter job, a bet­ter life. . . .”
  • Yarosh is talk­ing about “lib­er­at­ing” ter­ri­to­ry that is in Rus­sia: ” . . . Dmitri Yarosh (Trizub and Pravy Sek­tor, and Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense [Mil­i­tary] and Nation­al Secu­rity): “It is bet­ter for us to build our own Nation­al State! Does that mean knives to the Moskals [Rus­sians] and ropes to the Jews? Well, not so unso­phis­ti­cated. There must be a Ukrain­ian author­ity in Ukraine; the tit­u­lar nation must dom­i­nate in busi­ness, pol­i­tics, and culture...then–forced Ukrainiza­tion. Rus­sians do not like it? Well, go back to Fuck­ing Rus­sia! Those that don’t want to go–we can help them. Rus­sians are not even Slavs.... Next we will lib­er­ate our lands: Voronezh, Kursk, Bel­o­gorod Oblast, and Kuban. These are all Ukrain­ian lands!” The only prob­lem is all of these Oblasts (regions) are in Rus­sia! . . .”
  • As we have seen in pre­vi­ous pro­grams and posts, both Pravy Sek­tor and Swo­bo­da have a his­to­ry and tac­ti­cal asso­ci­a­tion with street fight­ing. In that con­text, the for­mal mil­i­ta­riza­tion of these ele­ments in the Ukraine are omi­nous. The pos­si­bil­i­ty for provo­ca­tion and a sub­se­quent out­break of war are very seri­ous: ” . . . The Russ­ian inva­sion of Crimea took a turn for the weird yes­ter­day. The Prime Min­is­ter of Crimea, Sergei Aksy­onov, direct­ed Crimea’s vol­un­teer mili­tia to arrest any per­son they see that looks like a Russ­ian sol­dier! Crimean author­i­ties have heard that Pravy Sek­tor is mas­querad­ing as Russ­ian sol­diers, try­ing to pro­voke con­flict. The now offi­cial Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment orga­ni­za­tion tried to set off a bomb at a cafe in Crimea 2 days ago. . . . ”
  • The Swo­bo­da-dom­i­nat­ed gov­ern­ment has passed a law legal­iz­ing the dis­sem­i­na­tion of Nazi pro­pa­gan­da, as well as gar­nish­ing 10% of the pay of Ukraini­ans in the south­east to sub­si­dize the fam­i­lies of their sup­port­ers. It is dif­fi­cult to imag­ine that the lat­ter move did not affect Crimea’s deci­sion to secede.: ” . . . . But, quite to the con­trary, the first thing the Kiev gov­ern­ment did was to make laws that legal­ized the teach­ing of Nazi pro­pa­gan­da. With­out rep­re­sen­ta­tion, they decid­ed that 10 per­cent of peo­ple’s pay in the south­east would be tak­en with­out con­sent and giv­en as sup­port to the fam­i­lies of peo­ple that over­threw a con­sti­tu­tion­al gov­ern­ment. . . . .”

Of major sig­nif­i­cance in under­stand­ing the Ukraine sit­u­a­tion is the sup­port giv­en to the out­right Nazis and fasists of Swo­bo­da by West­ern gov­ern­ments. (Swo­bo­da dom­i­nates the “new” Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment.) An arti­cle in Germany’s ven­er­a­ble Der Spiegel informs us that, in addi­tion to the rela­tion­ship between Germany’s top neo-Nazi par­ty and Swo­boda, the lat­ter has inter­faced with, and received sup­port from, Germany’s ambas­sador to the Ukraine and NGO’s asso­ci­ated with Angela Merkel’s CDU.

A fac­tor that is cen­tral to the Ukrain­ian sit­u­a­tion is that country’s nat­ural gas reserves. The Ukraine has a quar­ter of the world’s proven nat­ural gas reserves. The Russ­ian absorp­tion of the Crimea will sig­nif­i­cant­ly improve Rus­si­a’s abil­i­ty to devel­op the off­shore gas fields.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: The pride in the OUN/B mileiu of the dom­i­nant Ukrain­ian par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Babi Yar mas­sacre dur­ing World War II; review of the OUN/B milieu’s delib­er­ate dis­tor­tion of the Holo­caust, mak­ing it seem as though their Nazi/SS col­lab­o­ra­tors were actu­al­ly resis­tance fig­ures; dis­cussing the pos­si­bil­i­ty of NATO arm­ing of the Ukraine, Defense Sec­re­tary Hagel has been speak­ing with his counter part Ihor Tenyukh of Swo­bo­da .

1. A very impor­tant arti­cle by George Elia­son illus­trates just how extreme the OUN/B heirs dom­i­nat­ing Ukrain­ian pol­i­tics real­ly are.

“The Nazis Even Hitler Was Afraid Of” by George Elia­son; OpE­d­News; 3/16/2014.

EU politi­cians that sup­port­ed the Maid­an Rev­o­lu­tion are voic­ing con­cerns bor­der­ing on fear about how much con­trol Ultra Nation­al­ists have over the gov­ern­ment in Kiev. Chan­cel­lor Merkel’s gov­ern­ment is telling her she can no longer afford to ignore the Ultra Nation­al­ists in Ukraine. They are scared Ger­many will be respon­si­ble for set­ting up a new Reich. It’s time to strip away the rest of the veneer and take a look at what’s real­ly there.

For­get about the Nazi sym­bol­ism, and ultra-nation­al­ist exu­ber­ance. I will even grant sup­port­ers of the cur­rent gov­ern­ment that much.

Every impor­tant min­istry, from edu­ca­tion and social pol­i­cy to polic­ing, pros­e­cu­tion and nation­al defense, is head­ed by Ultra Nation­al­ists. In every aspect of nation­al life, Ultra Nation­al­ists now deter­mine what it means to be Ukrain­ian and all the poli­cies need­ed to enforce it.

Even Prime Min­is­ter Arseniy Yat­senyuk falls among this mod­er­ate [?!–D.E.] major­i­ty. For gen­er­a­tions his own fam­i­ly has had a proud tra­di­tion of ser­vice to the Ultra- Nation­al­ist cause and has won awards for their ser­vice. Before Maid­an it hurt his chances for elec­tion. After Maid­an he did­n’t need to wor­ry about elec­tion.

What is Scary

In an OpEd in the LA Times, enti­tled “Ukraine’s Threat from With­in,” Direc­tor of the School of Inter­na­tion­al Rela­tions at USC Robert Eng­lish very con­cise­ly warns that “the way Ukrain­ian Ultra Nation­al­ists white­wash Ban­dera his­to­ry, which is their past, makes the present and future all that much more scary.”
The Ban­deras, or Ban­derites, are activists in the Ukrain­ian Ultra Nation­al­ist move­ment that is now in con­trol of the gov­ern­ment in Ukraine. Under the mil­i­tant lead­er­ship of Stepan Ban­dera in World War II, the ultra-nation­al­ists orga­nized the Ukrain­ian Waf­fen SS Gali­cian, Nicht­en­gall, and Roland Divi­sions that col­lab­o­rat­ed with the Nazis and were respon­si­ble for the geno­cide of over 500,000 peo­ple. Fol­low­ing the war, how­ev­er, Ukrain­ian Nazis were the only group to escape tri­al at Nurem­burg for crimes against human­i­ty. More­over, nei­ther the Ban­deras, the Ukrain­ian Waf­fen SS, nor any oth­er Ukrain­ian col­lab­o­ra­tors have ever apol­o­gized for their par­tic­i­pa­tion in geno­cide.

In the land­mark work on the sub­ject , Geno­cide Com­mit­ted by Ukrain­ian Nation­al­ists on the Pol­ish Pop­u­la­tion Dur­ing World War II, Ryszard Sza­wlows­ki char­ac­ter­izes it this way:

“...the Ger­mans have long admit­ted to their crimes, and have apol­o­gized for them pub­licly .... [The] pres­i­dent of the Fed­er­al Repub­lic of Ger­many, Roman Her­zog, [said] in his speech in War­saw on August 1, 1994 ... ‘I bow before the fight­ers of the War­saw Upris­ing, and before all the Pol­ish war vic­tims. I beg for­give­ness for what the Ger­mans did.’ Russ­ian pres­i­dent Boris Yeltsin, when he kissed mon­sign­or Zdzis­law Peszkows­ki on the hand, whis­pered the words ‘I apol­o­gize’ ....

“Ukrain­ian geno­cide com­mit­ted against the Poles dur­ing World War II sur­passed Ger­man and Sovi­et geno­cide .... [It] was marked by the utmost ruth­less­ness and bar­bar­i­ty, and ... up until the present day, it has been denied or, at best, pre­sent­ed with reminders that all is “rel­a­tive’ or oth­er such eva­sions.”

Accord­ing to Sza­wlowski’s descrip­tion of the meth­ods the Ban­derites employed against the Poles at Vol­hy­nia, treach­ery was the most fre­quent­ly used. The Ban­derites told the Poles they were one peo­ple and fam­i­ly with them and that it would be trea­son if they left. The Ban­dera groups even promised to pro­tect them–in writ­ing!

What else sep­a­rates the Ban­deras from every oth­er geno­ci­dal per­pe­tra­tor of the war is this: Even though the Ger­man SS had units ded­i­cat­ed to geno­cide, the Orga­ni­za­tion of Ukrain­ian Nation­al­ists (OUN) approached this mis­sion with a zeal and bar­bar­i­ty that Hitler’s own units could not muster. They rou­tine­ly tor­tured peo­ple with saws and axes, and used the most painful meth­ods they could devise as means to kill them.

The Ban­dera would attack using “self defense groups” that were local­ly orga­nized. These civil­ian Ban­deras were the main force used to attack and slaugh­ter the Poles. If any of the mas­sacre vic­tims man­aged to sur­vive, they were torched, robbed, and killed by fol­low-up groups of women and chil­dren.

Sza­wlowski’s work on the geno­cide com­mit­ted by Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists dur­ing World War II is brought up to date by the recent obser­va­tions of Ukrain­ian Wik­tor Poliszczuk. “... he con­demns the dan­ger­ous activ­i­ties of the post-UPA [Ukrain­ian Insur­gent Army] nation­al­ists in present-day Ukraine, tak­ing place not only in Lvov, but even in Kiev, ‘Gali­cian Fun­da­men­tal­ism,’ and oth­er such phe­nom­e­na. Also crit­i­cized by him are the pro­mot­ing of the total­i­tar­i­an and geno­ci­dal doc­trines of the Ukrain­ian Dmytro Dontsov, the erect­ing of mon­u­ments to the SS-men of the 14th Ukrain­ian SS Divi­sion “Gal­izien” (“Haly­chy­na”), the OUN [Orga­ni­za­tion of Ukrain­ian Nation­al­ists] and UPA lead­ers: Yevhen Kono­valets, Andryi Mel­nyk, Stepan Ban­dera, Roman Shukhevych and oth­ers, and the glo­ri­fy­ing of the mur­der­ers of Poles, Jews, Rus­sians and Ukraini­ans as nation­al heroes of the Ukraine, after whom streets and squares are named, awak­ing the spir­it of the Dontsov and Ban­dera era, so much hat­ed by peo­ple.” This was writ­ten only a few years ago.

Every major schol­ar­ly work–a prime exam­ple is the papers of Pers Anders Rudling–show that the Ban­deras mur­dered 500,000 peo­ple with­out even the pre­text of an apol­o­gy. They have lied and tried to change his­to­ry in an effort to make Stepan Ban­dera and the Waf­fen SS heroes of the Great War. Among oth­er tac­tics, they have tried to peti­tion the UN to reclas­si­fy Ban­dera and take his name off the UN’s list of lead­ing Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors and per­pe­tra­tors of geno­cide. Legit­imiz­ing these men would irrev­o­ca­bly change the his­to­ry of the Great War.

Accord­ing to Huff Post , “Dmitri Yarosh, leader of Right Sec­tor, met with Israel’s ambas­sador to Ukraine, Reuven Din El, and told him that their move­ment rejects anti-Semi­tism and xeno­pho­bia and will not tol­er­ate it.”

Right Sec­tor became famous at the begin­ning of the Euro Maid­an protests and sub­se­quent rev­o­lu­tion. It serves as the umbrel­la group for the com­bined mil­i­tant Ultra Nation­al­ist groups that exist­ed in Ukraine pri­or to the rev­o­lu­tion and that insist on a pure Ultra Nation­al­ist Ukrain­ian nation under the most rigid con­for­mi­ty to Stepan Ban­der­a’s phi­los­o­phy. Mr. Yarosh is the leader of Tryzub (Tri­dent) which is the core Right Sec­tor group. He has spent twen­ty years doing noth­ing else but prepar­ing for the rev­o­lu­tion that will sweep Ukraine’s gov­ern­ment into extreme Ultra Nation­al­ism.

Despite his words to the Israeli ambas­sador, Dmitri Yarosh has been very clear from his first inter­views that he is guid­ed only by Ban­der­a’s writ­ings and the writ­ings of the group’s found­ing lead­ers. He adheres to noth­ing else. Mr. Yarosh is adamant about the fact that Stepan Ban­dera was not an anti-Semi­te.

Both the Anti-Defama­tion League (ADL) and the State of Israel accept at face val­ue that, giv­en Yarosh’s claim that Ban­dera was not an anti-Semite–a claim he him­self believes–the Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty can now relax about any con­tem­po­rary threat from Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists.

But can the State of Israel, or Abe Fox­man, chair­man of the ADL, or any­one else stick­ing his fin­gers into this pie explain away the deaths of over 200,000 Jews at Ban­derite hands? No! The ADL describes its main pur­pose as fight­ing anti-Semi­tism and all forms of big­otry, and defend­ing demo­c­ra­t­ic ideals. Coun­ter­pose to that the entire his­to­ry of the Ukrain­ian Ultra Nation­al­ist move­ment, includ­ing its his­to­ry of today. When you do, can there be any assur­ances from its rep­re­sen­ta­tives that don’t ring hol­low?

Babi Yar

The think­ing today is true to pre-WW2 form: “This can’t hap­pen again.” Part of what is cloud­ing the issue is the very Jew­ish back­grounds of some in the Kiev government–including Yat­senyuk. A few of the Oli­garchs-turned-gov­er­nors even have Israeli cit­i­zen­ship.

Dur­ing WW2, Babi Yar was the sin­gle most hor­rif­ic act of holo­caust at the time. Even today, the Ban­derite response to Babi Yar is “I am proud of the fact that among 1,500 Polizei exe­cu­tion­ers in Babiy Yar there were 1,200 OUN men but only 300 Ger­mans.” This quote is from a Rivne city offi­cial named Shku­ratiuk, and appears in the book Orga­nized Anti-Semi­tism in Con­tem­po­rary Ukraine: Struc­ture, Influ­ence and Ide­ol­o­gy by Pers Anders Rudling.

Babi Yar

The atroc­i­ties at Babi Yar, and the accom­pa­ny­ing bru­tal­i­ty, were left to SS Nachti­gall and the polizei. Both were Ban­derite. The rea­son was sim­ple. The bru­tal work of geno­cide at this lev­el made even hard­ened Ger­man SS uncom­fort­able. This fact is even obscured in the Holo­caust Ency­clo­pe­dia at the Unit­ed States Holo­caust Muse­um.

Dur­ing the peri­od Sep­tem­ber 29–30, 1941, the first mas­sacre at Babi Yar killed over 30,000 Jews. Over the next few years the geno­cide piled up. Vic­tims from the Roma (Gyp­sies) alone num­bered almost 200,000. Ban­derite apol­o­gists have offered a range of ratio­nal­iza­tions, from “Ukraini­ans suf­fered too” to the sur­re­al “Ban­der­a’s men stepped back and the Jews did it them­selves.” No kid­ding. Babi Yar was racial sui­cide.

What sep­a­rates Ger­many from the Ban­dera Nation­al­ists in Ukraine is that Ger­many has tak­en respon­si­bil­i­ty for the atroc­i­ties they com­mit­ted. Until recent events, they could say believ­ably, “Nev­er Again.” Con­trast this to Lviv, Ukraine, where sur­viv­ing mem­bers of the WW2 Gali­cian SS, will­ing par­tic­i­pants in geno­cide, still parade on hol­i­days, proud­ly dis­play­ing medals giv­en them by the Ger­man Third Reich.

Instead of apolo­gies, the Ukrain­ian OUN/Banderites/UCCA offer apolo­get­ics and write hand­books on how to escape respon­si­bil­i­ty for griev­ous crimes against human­i­ty. They paint them­selves, quite lit­er­al­ly, as both vic­tims and heroes, not per­pe­tra­tors.

Iron­i­cal­ly, one such hand­book is enti­tled “Geno­cide- NEVER AGAIN- The Teacher and Stu­dent Work­book”, print­ed by the UCCA (Ukrain­ian Con­gres­sion­al Com­mit­tee of Amer­i­ca) on the 75th anniver­sary of the Ukrain­ian Geno­cide. The “NEVER AGAIN” in the title is of course the cry of peo­ple that man­aged to sur­vive the geno­cide. Can it also be used by the peo­ple that com­mit­ted it, unre­pen­tant­ly?

How can a group that unques­tion­ably com­mit­ted the most bru­tal tor­ture and bar­bar­ic mur­der in WW2 morph into cham­pi­ons of social jus­tice? They con­tin­u­al­ly deny involve­ment and try to con­vince the world of the same thing they teach their own peo­ple. They were vic­tims and heroes. At the same time, they glo­ri­fy their SS heroes at will. The 1st Divi­sion link is their homage to the Gali­cian SS.

Typ­i­cal UCCA Ban­derite pro­pa­gan­da looks like this: ” The only impor­tant OUN idea from the past that sur­vived is a desire for a free and demo­c­ra­t­ic Ukraine where all Ukraini­ans, regard­less of their eth­nic back­grounds, can live in peace.”

This response from a for­mer Ari­zona UCCA state chap­ter pres­i­dent real­ly needs to be con­sid­ered in the light of his­to­ry and present cir­cum­stances. That one state­ment says it all. The only ques­tion he leaves unan­swered is, Who is a Ukrain­ian? Do they include all fam­i­lies that have lived there for hun­dreds of years and speak Russ­ian? How about peo­ple that do not sup­port Ban­dera?

How Does Ban­dera Fit in 70 Years Lat­er?

On June 30, 1941 Stepan Ban­dera declared the for­ma­tion of the Ukrain­ian State in Lviv. Stepan Ban­dera made his lieu­tenant Yaroslav Stet­sko the Pre­mier. After the war the Ban­dera groups formed their Gov­ern­ment in Exile that was giv­en qui­et legit­i­ma­cy by both the US and Cana­di­an gov­ern­ments short­ly after WW2. Part of this was due to their sup­port dur­ing the cold war against the Sovi­et Union, and part due to the size of their lob­by­ing effort. They pump a lot of mon­ey into Con­gress. That they were legit­imized by the US Gov­ern­ment is clear from all the released Nazi War Crimes Dis­clo­sure Act doc­u­ments I have come across.

It is very clear that the most impor­tant branch­es of the Dias­po­ra gov­ern­ment are in the US and Cana­da. Until 2003 the exiled lead­er­ship of the Ban­dera Gov­ern­ment of Ukraine was only one step away from the per­son of Stepan Ban­dera him­self. The supreme lead­er­ship of Ban­der­a’s Ultra Nation­al­ists world­wide changed hands twice after his assas­si­na­tion. Both supreme lead­ers had been his clos­est asso­ciates.

The first was Yaroslav Stet­sko, Ban­der­a’s Pre­mier in exile. He took over con­trol of the Ultra Nation­al­ist Gov­ern­ment in Exile on the death of Stepan Ban­dera and held the posi­tion until his own death in 1986. Upon his death, his wife Sla­va Stet­sko took over the lead­er­ship role and lived to bring the world­wide move­ment home to Ukraine.

Most rec­og­niz­able Ukrain­ian politi­cians, includ­ing Vic­tor Yush­henko and Yulia Tymoshenko , are pro­tégés of Sla­va Stet­sko. This will explain why Mr. Yuschenko made Stepan Ban­dera a “Hero of Ukraine.” The EU sharply object­ed to this at the time, because of Ban­der­a’s involve­ment in geno­cide, and Vic­tor Yanukovych sub­se­quent­ly rescind­ed the award. That did­n’t work out well for him.

The 1st gen­er­a­tion Ban­dera gov­ern­ment, which pledged fideli­ty to Adolf Hitler and com­mit­ted ram­pant and bru­tal geno­cide that it still denies, was alive and well until 2003. It ruled and raised funds from the Ukrain­ian Dias­po­ra, which con­sti­tutes a third of the Ukrain­ian pop­u­la­tion world­wide, or 20 mil­lion peo­ple.

Today, the Kiev gov­ern­ment is only the 2nd gen­er­a­tion of Ban­dera gov­ern­ment. Looked at real­is­ti­cal­ly, it still pro­motes the teach­ings, poli­cies, and doc­trines of Stepan Ban­dera less than 10 years removed from their insti­tu­tion­al moor­ings.

The Ban­dera lead­ers of today were cul­ti­vat­ed to make sure they would not stray far. The present gov­ern­ment in Kiev can also be count­ed to be true to its his­to­ry.

One of the changes hap­pen­ing now in Ukraine is forced Ukrainiza­tion. If you remem­ber Nazi his­to­ry and the Hitler Youth, you’ll under­stand what Ukrainiza­tion means. It demands the same unques­tion­ing loy­al­ty from lit­tle chil­dren, a loy­al­ty even greater than that to fam­i­ly.

What is forced Ukrainiza­tion at the pre school lev­el ? Iri­na Far­i­on was a favorite for the Min­is­ter of Edu­ca­tion slot, until a dis­cus­sion behind closed doors in the Sen­ate. Sergei Kvit from Trizub (Yarosh core group), a real Ultra-Nation­al­ist, got the nod instead.

Here is Iri­na Far­i­on speak­ing to a lit­tle child: “What is your name? Misha. It’s not Ukrain­ian. You are Mihai­lo!

And your name? Masha. You are Marusa. But my mom calls me this! If you want to be Masha, go to Moscow!

Don’t call oth­er chil­dren Russ­ian names. It is degrad­ing. It’s like call­ing them an ani­mal that lives in the woods and walks on all fours.”

Imag­ine a gov­ern­ment offi­cial speak­ing to chil­dren like this. Chil­dren are now taught that if they have Russ­ian names they are sec­ond-class cit­i­zens. All of the chil­dren of Ukraine will grow up to be Ultra Nation­al­ists. Those instilled with Nation­al Social­ism will get a bet­ter edu­ca­tion, a bet­ter job, a bet­ter life.

What Does This Mean for South and East Ukraine?

South and East Ukraine don’t want their chil­dren taught these things. Would you? Vladimir Putin and Rus­sia are the only par­ties putting the brakes on that right now. The same Europe and Amer­i­ca that 70 years ago vio­lent­ly over­threw the forces of big­otry and indoc­tri­na­tion are now say­ing that the Ukrain­ian peo­ple must accept them qui­et­ly!

Dmitri Yarosh (Trizub and Pravy Sek­tor, and Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense [Mil­i­tary] and Nation­al Secu­ri­ty): “It is bet­ter for us to build our own Nation­al State! Does that mean knives to the Moskals and ropes to the Jews? Well, not so unso­phis­ti­cat­ed. There must be a Ukrain­ian author­i­ty in Ukraine; the tit­u­lar nation must dom­i­nate in busi­ness, pol­i­tics, and culture...then–forced Ukrainiza­tion. Rus­sians do not like it? Well, go back to Fuck­ing Rus­sia! Those that don’t want to go–we can help them. Rus­sians are not even Slavs.... Next we will lib­er­ate our lands: Voronezh, Kursk, Bel­o­gorod Oblast, and Kuban. These are all Ukrain­ian lands!”

The only prob­lem is all of these Oblasts (regions) are in Rus­sia!

No, I am not talk­ing about the US and Rus­sia. The spit pro­pa­gan­da that became west­ern media por­trays this as Cold War redux. Are you for the West? Good, you sup­port democ­ra­cy! Not so fast.

The Russ­ian inva­sion of Crimea took a turn for the weird yes­ter­day. The Prime Min­is­ter of Crimea, Sergei Aksy­onov, direct­ed Crimea’s vol­un­teer mili­tia to arrest any per­son they see that looks like a Russ­ian sol­dier!

Crimean author­i­ties have heard that Pravy Sek­tor is mas­querad­ing as Russ­ian sol­diers, try­ing to pro­voke con­flict. The now offi­cial Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment orga­ni­za­tion tried to set off a bomb at a cafe in Crimea 2 days ago.

This isn’t about East vs. West. The choice is sim­pler than that. It is about life and death. There are no com­pro­mis­es to make. If Kiev declares Stepan Ban­dera and all asso­ci­at­ed groups are ille­gal and geno­ci­dal war crim­i­nals, the south­east in Ukraine will relax. But, quite to the con­trary, the first thing the Kiev gov­ern­ment did was to make laws that legal­ized the teach­ing of Nazi pro­pa­gan­da. With­out rep­re­sen­ta­tion, they decid­ed that 10 per­cent of peo­ple’s pay in the south­east would be tak­en with­out con­sent and giv­en as sup­port to the fam­i­lies of peo­ple that over­threw a con­sti­tu­tion­al gov­ern­ment.

Ukraine is not West vs. East. They want you to make the same deci­sion with them. Are you for a world ruled by Ultra Nation­al­ists? Ukraine says no. Are you for a gov­ern­ment that sup­ports the doc­trines of the 3rd Reich? Will you sup­port one? Are you sup­port­ing one?

If the Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment that was pro­pelled into pow­er is not Ultra Nation­al­ist, why are they mak­ing every move to show oth­er­wise? Does the US gov­ern­ment sup­port Ultra Nation­al­ist val­ues? If not, why are they show­ing oth­er­wise?

Clar­i­fi­ca­tion starts with both gov­ern­ments adher­ing to the rule of law. Oth­er­wise, as I once heard some­one I respect­ed put it: “You can put lip­stick on a pig, but at the end of the day it is still a pig.”

2. An arti­cle in Germany’s ven­er­a­ble Der Spiegel informs us that, in addi­tion to the rela­tion­ship between Germany’s top neo-Nazi par­ty and Swo­boda, the lat­ter has inter­faced with, and received sup­port from, Germany’s ambas­sador to the Ukraine and NGO’s asso­ci­ated with Angela Merkel’s CDU.

“Tight on the Right: Germany’s NPD Main­tains Close Ties to Swo­boda” by Stef­fan Win­ter; Der Spiegel; 3/17/2014.

When Hol­ger Apfel showed up at the Sax­ony state par­lia­ment with a “par­lia­men­tary del­e­ga­tion” from Ukraine last May, few had even heard of a par­ty called Svo­boda. Apfel, who was head of the right-wing extrem­ist Nation­al Demo­c­ra­tic Par­ty of Ger­many (NPD) at the time, proud­ly showed his guests — Ukrain­ian par­lia­men­tar­ian Mikhail Golovko and two munic­i­pal politi­cians from the Ukrain­ian city of Ternopol — around the par­lia­ment build­ing in Dres­den.

Speak­ing to oth­er NPD par­lia­men­tar­i­ans, Apfel called the nation­al­ist Svo­boda par­ty “one of the most impor­tant Euro­pean right-wing par­ties.”

With a view to approach­ing elec­tions for the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment Apfel added that an “oppos­ing mod­el to the EU dic­ta­tor­ship of Brus­sels Euro­crats” must be estab­lished and said that EU offi­cials were noth­ing but “will­ing helpers to inter­na­tional cap­i­tal.” Svo­boda, he exult­ed fol­low­ing the vis­it, is part of the “pha­lanx of patri­otic pow­ers” and encour­aged the “inten­si­fi­ca­tion of coop­er­a­tion.” Apfel’s Ukrain­ian guests agreed, say­ing that col­lab­o­ra­tion between the NPD and Svo­boda should be expand­ed.

Giv­en such ties, it is astound­ing that Ger­many has approached the Ukrain­ian right-wing extrem­ists in a man­ner that would be unthink­able with the NPD. On April 29, 2013, for exam­ple, Germany’s ambas­sador in Kiev met with Svoboda’s par­lia­men­tary floor leader Oleh Tyah­ny­bok. Dur­ing the meet­ing, Berlin has insist­ed, the ambas­sador exhort­ed Tyah­ny­bok to respect the invi­o­la­bil­ity of human dig­nity and human rights.

But the Ukrain­ian right wing has also received instruc­tion financed by Ger­man tax­pay­ers. Par­ty mem­bers appeared at events host­ed by the Kon­rad Ade­nauer Stiftung, the Ger­man polit­i­cal foun­da­tion affil­i­ated with Chan­cel­lor Angela Merkel’s con­ser­v­a­tives. Exam­ples include the con­fer­ence enti­tled “Lessons from the 2012 Par­lia­men­tary Elec­tions,” the sem­i­nar series called “The High­er School of Pol­i­tics” and a dis­cus­sion on the 2012 elec­tions.

Hon­or­ing the SS

Even the Ger­man Soci­ety for Inter­na­tional Coop­er­a­tion (GIZ) has sup­ported the par­ty. GIZ over­saw a project for the “for­ma­tion of admin­is­tra­tive capac­i­ties in the pub­lic financ­ing sec­tor.” Svo­boda par­lia­men­tar­i­ans took part in two trips to Berlin in 2013 in con­junc­tion with the project.

One promi­nent par­ty mem­ber even gave an inter­view in ear­ly May 2013 to the NPD pub­li­ca­tion Deutsche Stimme. In an inter­view con­ducted by senior NPD mem­ber Jens Pühse, Ternopol May­or Sergei Nadal was asked why Svo­boda sup­ports the recog­ni­tion of descen­dants of for­mer mem­bers of the Ukrain­ian 14th Divi­sion of the Waf­fen SS as nation­al heroes. “These Ukrain­ian heroes must be hon­ored irre­spec­tive of what has been writ­ten about them in the his­tory books of those peo­ples who were once our ene­mies,” Nadal answered.

Germany’s Inte­rior Min­istry has also tak­en note of the Svo­bo­da-NPD con­nec­tion. In response to a par­lia­men­tary query from the Left Par­ty, the min­istry not­ed that the NPD had estab­lished a depart­ment tasked with main­tain­ing con­tact with right-wing extrem­ist orga­ni­za­tions in East­ern Europe. The Ger­man gov­ern­ment, the min­istry said, con­sid­ers Svo­boda to be a “right-wing pop­ulist and nation­al­ist par­ty” which rep­re­sents “in part right-wing extrem­ist posi­tions.” The par­ty, for exam­ple, orga­nized a ral­ly to mark the 70th anniver­sary of the found­ing of the 14th Waf­fen SS Divi­sion.

Svo­boda, mean­while, has estab­lished chap­ters in Frank­furt, Cologne and Munich. The Anti-Fas­cist Infor­ma­tion Cen­ter in Munich not­ed recent­ly that in August of last year, some 40 par­tic­i­pants gath­ered in a Catholic parish hall to elect a Munich stu­dent of Ukrain­ian descent as their chair­man.

3a. A fac­tor that is cen­tral to the Ukrain­ian sit­u­a­tion is that country’s nat­ural gas reserves. The Ukraine has a quar­ter of the world’s proven nat­ural gas reserves. Those reserves may well be seen as the answer to the EU’s ener­gy sit­u­a­tion. We won­der if the Fis­ch­er-Trop­sch process might be used to derive motor fuel from that nat­ural gas, as is being done in the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood–affil­i­ated nation of Qatar.

“This Oil Giant Could Get Crushed by Ukraine” by Lawrence Lewitinn; Yahoo News; 3/06/2014.

 Once known as the “Bread­bas­ket of Rus­sia”, Ukraine is now also Russia’s fuel tank. And, one Amer­i­can com­pany has 10 bil­lion rea­sons to hope noth­ing goes wrong.

Ukraine sits on 39 tril­lion cubic feet of nat­ural gas reserves. That’s about one-quar­ter the world’s entire proven reserves. . . .

3b. The Russ­ian absorp­tion of Crimea is very sig­nif­i­cant for the Ukrain­ian nat­ur­al gas sit­u­a­tion. It will sig­nif­i­cant­ly facil­i­tate Russ­ian extrac­tion of the nat­ur­al gas from off­shore fields. It also com­pli­cates things for U.S. and West­ern firms that had con­tract­ed with the old gov­ern­ment in Ukraine for devel­op­ing those nat­ur­al gas fields.

“The Bear Steps In–A Russ­ian Thriller” by Andreas Jenei; Nat­ur­al Gas Europe; 3/12/2014.

. . . . Russ­ian con­trol over the Crimean Penin­sula — beside the fact that it would solve the eth­nic prob­lem and the ques­tion of the fleet — would cre­ate a brand new sit­u­a­tion regard­ing the oil and gas mar­ket, because the stakes are high: if Crimea falls under Russ­ian author­ity, Rus­sia will be able to great­ly expand its bor­ders in the Black Sea, among oth­ers, to the three enor­mous oil and gas field that can be found next to Crimea.

Fur­ther­more, there is a tremen­dous amount of gas under the shal­low waters of the Sea of Azov, as there are fields with great poten­tial to the south­east and to the west of Crimea as well. Each one of the hydro­car­bon loca­tions can be found on the shal­low con­ti­nen­tal shelf, which has the advan­tage of the sig­nif­i­cantly cheap­er extrac­tion of the oil and gas there, com­pared to the deep­er parts of the Black Sea.

Amer­i­can and Ital­ian com­pa­nies have con­ces­sions in these ter­ri­to­ries, but their terms were made with the Ukrain­ian state, and the cre­ation of a Russ­ian enclave sim­i­lar to Kalin­ingrad would cre­ate a rather sen­si­tive legal sit­u­a­tion. Addi­tion­ally, the Ukrain­ian lead­er­ship knows well the impor­tance of these ter­ri­to­ries, as beside the uncon­ven­tional ter­res­trial uti­liza­tion of nat­ural gas, the Black Sea loca­tions form one of the key­stones of their ener­gy strat­egy. So Kiev will fight for the Crimean Penin­sula tooth and nail, not only because of its sov­er­eignty, but because of its hydro­car­bon trea­sures as well. . . .

4. As NATO weighs mil­i­tary assis­tance to Ukraine, Defense Sec­re­tary Hagel is join­ing the ranks of those inter­fac­ing with Swo­bo­da offi­cials. Ihor Tenyukh is the top Ukrain­ian defense offi­cial and a mem­ber of Swo­bo­da.

“NATO Weighs Assis­tance for Ukraine to dis­suade Fur­ther Moves by Moscow” by Michael R. Gor­don; The New York Times; 3/20/2014.

. . . . The Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion has not sig­naled what addi­tion­al steps it is pre­pared to take, but not­ed that it would par­tic­i­pate in a pre­vi­ous­ly planned multi­na­tion­al mil­i­tary exer­cise in Ukraine this sum­mer, called Rapid Tri­dent. Mr. Hagel spoke by phone with his Ukrain­ian coun­ter­part, Ihor Tenyukh [from Swo­bo­da–D.E.], on Wednes­day. Car­los Pas­cual, the State Department’s spe­cial envoy for inter­na­tion­al ener­gy affairs, left on Wednes­day for a meet­ing in Kiev on how to lessen Ukraine’s ener­gy depen­dence on Rus­sia. . . .

Discussion

4 comments for “FTR #783 Can You Put Lipstick on a Nazi?”

  1. The cycle of vio­lence can take many forms one of the most fre­quent being vio­lent flares up fol­lowed by a “hun­ker­ing down and dig­ging in” peri­od when both sides pre­pare for the next round of vio­lence:

    Buz­zFeed
    Rad­i­cal Fac­tions Square Off In East Ukraine

    As fear of immi­nent inva­sion fades, pro-Rus­sia and pro-Ukraine groups hun­ker down for the long fight in Kharkiv.
    post­ed on March 23, 2014 at 11:56am EDT
    Mike Giglio Buz­zFeed Staff

    KHARKIV, Ukraine — The local leader of the Right Sec­tor, a mil­i­tant nation­al­ist Ukrain­ian group, had the air of a hunt­ed man as he sat down for an inter­view at a hotel in this east­ern city last week. His eyes dart­ed ner­vous­ly. Two of his men stood guard in the park­ing lot. “I’m tak­ing what pre­cau­tions I can,” he said. “But it might not be enough.”

    With Rus­sia just 20 miles away, Kharkiv, Ukraine’s sec­ond largest city and a bas­tion of sup­port for Russ­ian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin, would be a like­ly first tar­get of a poten­tial Russ­ian incur­sion, and the man said it was impor­tant to show that there would be resis­tance here.

    “Peo­ple in Kharkiv are not near­ly as sup­port­ive of Rus­sia as peo­ple in Crimea,” he said. Protests call­ing for ref­er­en­dums on seces­sion and for Russ­ian pro­tec­tion have been grip­ping cities around the region since Russ­ian troops took con­trol of the Crimean penin­su­la this month. If these pro-Rus­sia move­ments weren’t con­front­ed, the man said, “the Crimea sce­nario would like­ly play out in the east” — mean­ing that Rus­sia could use the cov­er of local sup­port to invade.

    Vir­u­lent­ly nation­al­ist, the Right Sec­tor is the group that most unnerves Ukraini­ans opposed to last month’s rev­o­lu­tion, espe­cial­ly here. Its Kharkiv leader declined to use his name, but he’s well known to his ene­mies in the city. The names, pho­tos and home address­es of sev­er­al Right Sec­tor mem­bers, him­self includ­ed, had recent­ly been leaked online — some­thing he saw as the lat­est sal­vo in a sim­mer­ing con­flict between his group and the pro-Rus­sia forces in the city.

    The con­flict turned dead­ly on the night of March 14, when pro-Rus­sia pro­test­ers stormed the Right Sector’s local office. The pro­test­ers said mem­bers of the Right Sec­tor had attacked them while gath­ered around the Lenin stat­ue that tow­ers over Kharkiv’s main square. What hap­pened next is dis­put­ed by both sides. The Right Sec­tor leader claimed that he and his com­rades who gath­ered to defend the build­ing faced rub­ber bul­lets, stun grenades and even live bul­lets from the pro-Rus­sia crowd. When the dust set­tled that night, though, it was two pro-Rus­sia activists who had been shot and killed.

    The con­fronta­tion jolt­ed ten­sions in the city, as well as fears of Russ­ian inter­ven­tion, with the Krem­lin hav­ing repeat­ed­ly invoked a right to pro­tect Russ­ian-speak­ers in east­ern Ukraine — its same jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for tak­ing over Crimea.

    It also saw the hard­lin­ers from both sides hun­ker down.

    The Right Sec­tor leader said the group was keep­ing its guard up, and he declined to make oth­er mem­bers avail­able for inter­views. His coun­ter­part on the pro-Rus­sia side — Eugene Zhilin, who leads a group called Oplot that made up much of the crowd storm­ing the Right Sec­tor office — adamant­ly refused an inter­view request when con­tact­ed via Skype.

    Zhilin is a for­mer police offi­cer who report­ed­ly served prison time for armed rob­bery and is known for run­ning mixed mar­tial arts (MMA) tour­na­ments in Kharkiv. Many of Oplot’s mem­bers are drawn from a local MMA club of the same name, and they form the mus­cle of the pro-Rus­sia move­ment in Kharkiv. Zhilin took refuge in Rus­sia this month, fear­ful that Ukraine’s new gov­ern­ment would tar­get him with crim­i­nal charges, pos­si­bly in retal­i­a­tion for his activism. Short­ly after he was con­tact­ed on Skype, he post­ed a mes­sage on his Face­book page warn­ing Oplot mem­bers not to speak to for­eign jour­nal­ists, whom he accused of being provo­ca­teurs.

    The ten­sion between the city’s two most extreme fac­tions has left many in Kharkiv feel­ing caught in the mid­dle, as the geopo­lit­i­cal strug­gle being waged over Ukraine plays out on the streets. “They are just instru­ments,” said one pro-Rus­sia activist in Kharkiv, an engi­neer and father of two who gave only his first name, Dmit­ry, because he was con­cerned for his safe­ty. “It’s a polit­i­cal con­flict for polit­i­cal pow­er in east Ukraine. They’re just meat for the fire.”

    “Blood was spilled. Peo­ple were killed,” said Igor Korol, the region­al head of the Ukrain­ian Demo­c­ra­t­ic Alliance for Reform, a polit­i­cal par­ty that sup­ports the new gov­ern­ment in Kiev. “It’s not sup­posed to hap­pen.”

    ...

    Some­times the cycle of vio­lence can be alle­vi­at­ed with out­side help. But some­times that out­side help, shows up to help with the vio­lence:

    Vio­lence erupts in Kharkiv amid polit­i­cal tur­moil

    Though Kharkiv was large­ly spared the vio­lent protests that rocked Kyiv last month, eth­nic ten­sions have since increased. Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists and pro-Russ­ian activists are fac­ing off for con­trol of the divid­ed city.

    Date 22.03.2014
    Author Charles McPhe­dran, Kharkiv, Ukraine
    Edi­tor Mar­tin Kue­bler

    “I saw unarmed peo­ple wear­ing black masks, hel­mets and ban­dages like those on Maid­an, run­ning away from an office and being shot at,” Marc, who declined to give his last name, told DW from his cam­pus locat­ed on Kharkiv’s cav­ernous Free­dom Square.

    Marc saw lit­tle more than that — he ducked away amidst the gun­fire. But wit­ness­ing what appeared to him to be a mas­sacre on Fri­day night (14.03.2014) has unnerved the Ukrain­ian-speak­ing teenag­er, who chain-smoked and scanned the street as he spoke with DW.

    Last week­end, two peo­ple died as rival polit­i­cal groups opened fire at an office hous­ing far-right Ukrain­ian nation­al­ist group Pravy Sek­tor in Kharkiv.

    DW vis­it­ed the site of the inci­dent and spoke to eye­wit­ness­es and activists on both sides about what hap­pened that night, recon­struct­ing a sto­ry of increas­ing eth­nic ten­sions in east­ern Ukraine.

    ...

    Accounts from those on site sug­gest that both sides were armed, but the nation­al­ists opened fire first. The build­ing’s secu­ri­ty guard said they shot out the win­dow at the pro-Rus­sians gath­ered out­side, an account match­ing that of three pro-Russ­ian lead­ers. By the time the build­ing’s own­er, Alex­ei Popov, arrived, both sides were shoot­ing as police watched on.

    Accord­ing to Popov, the two sides were uneven­ly matched in the fire­fight that fol­lowed. Around 15–20 nation­al­ists were con­cealed inside his build­ing, and more than 200 pro-Russ­ian activists were crowd­ed in the nar­row street out­side.

    Popov told DW that the city’s may­or even­tu­al­ly showed up to try to nego­ti­ate an end to the sit­u­a­tion, talk­ing with both sides until 5 a.m. before the nation­al­ists agreed to come out. They were then tak­en into cus­tody, where around 30 remained until the week­end, accord­ing to Pravy Sek­tor. The far-right group said that none of the pro-Rus­sians involved were arrest­ed and have demand­ed the deten­tion of the Oplot mem­bers.

    ...

    Pro-Russ­ian lead­ers said two of their com­rades were killed in Fri­day’s fire­fight. Pravy Sek­tor say they do not know who died in the inci­dent, but have denounced the sub­se­quent arrest of their mem­bers and blamed a pro-Russ­ian mob for descend­ing on the office and trig­ger­ing the vio­lence. Artem Sko­ropad­sky, a spokesman for Pravy Sek­tor, said that giv­en their rel­a­tive weak­ness in Kharkiv, there was no way that they would have pro­voked the inci­dent.

    “We are not doing any­thing that could be described as a provo­ca­tion,” said Sko­ropad­sky, speak­ing in Kyiv. “We are under a lot of pres­sure from the Russ­ian mass media, which will take any oppor­tu­ni­ty to smear us.”

    While sev­er­al cru­cial parts of the Rumars­ka Street inci­dent remain con­test­ed, the fire­fight appeared to mark yet anoth­er esca­la­tion in the local polit­i­cal strug­gle between pro-Russ­ian and pro-Maid­an forces. The for­mer is seek­ing greater auton­o­my for their region, while the lat­ter aims to clean out rem­nants of for­mer Pres­i­dent Vik­tor Yanukovy­ch’s regime in the east.

    “Right now the civ­il cold war has bro­ken down,” said Alexan­dr S. Alexan­drovskiy, a polit­i­cal con­sul­tant from Yanukovy­ch’s one-time rul­ing Par­ty of the Regions, in rela­tion to events both local and through­out Ukraine. “We are now mov­ing into an active phase.”

    Polit­i­cal tur­moil

    Unlike in Kyiv, where dozens of pro­test­ers and scores of police died in Feb­ru­ary’s clash­es, Kharkiv and east­ern Ukraine have large­ly been spared fatal­i­ties dur­ing the polit­i­cal unrest that has gripped the coun­try since last Novem­ber.

    But the areas have not been spared polit­i­cal tur­moil. Each side blames the oth­er for vio­lence in the city, which is locat­ed just 40 kilo­me­ters (about 25 miles) from the Russ­ian bor­der. Riot police stand pro­tect­ing gov­ern­ment head­quar­ters in the cen­tral Free­dom Square, which has been occu­pied by both pro-Maid­an pro­test­ers and pro-Russ­ian crowds in recent weeks.

    Pro-Russ­ian activists have said the cycle of vio­lence was sparked by the release of a local Pravy Sek­tor leader from prison under an amnesty in ear­ly March. Accounts from locals, how­ev­er, dif­fer. They say that after attacks on the office of the Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists, which was orig­i­nal­ly used by Maid­an, by pro-Rus­sians, Pravy Sek­tor bussed in rein­force­ments from else­where in Ukraine and lat­er took con­trol of the Rumars­ka Street space.

    Some in Kharkiv have inter­pret­ed the vio­lence as being part of a strug­gle for con­trol and influ­ence fol­low­ing the Feb­ru­ary rev­o­lu­tion in Kyiv. Based on accounts giv­en to DW, both sides appear to have draft­ed sup­port­ers from out­side the city in their attempt to win con­trol of Kharkiv’s streets.

    Caught between them are locals, most of whom have divid­ed loy­al­ties. “The city is neu­tral,” said Dmitri, a soci­ol­o­gy stu­dent at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Kharkiv, who also declined to give his last name. “We sup­port Euro­pean val­ues but have a con­nec­tion to Rus­sia.”

    “It’s only a small num­ber of those who are strong­ly for and against — the sit­u­a­tion is unde­ter­mined.”

    A rejec­tion of vio­lent, intol­er­ant, extrem­ist philoso­phies gen­er­al­ly helps break the cycle of vio­lence and that rejec­tion appears to be still be tak­ing place amongst all sides in Ukraine’s soci­ety so there’s still hope out here. The grow­ing con­cen­tra­tion of street fight­ers in eth­ni­cal­ly divid­ed cities is far less hope­ful.

    The recent killings of Right Sec­tor’s coor­di­na­tor in the West­ern city of Rivne is anoth­er very omi­nous event, although the recent fir­ing of Svo­bo­da mem­ber Ihor Teny­huk as Ukraine’s min­is­ter of Defense is poten­tial­ly pos­i­tive (if you ignore that fact that he’s being fired due to inde­ci­sion over Crimea). Now Right Sec­tor in Rivne is promis­ing revenge. The cycle con­tin­ues:

    25 March 2014 Last updat­ed at 09:19 ET
    BBC
    Ukraine far-right leader Muzy­chko dies ‘in police raid’

    A Ukrain­ian ultra-nation­al­ist leader has been shot dead in what offi­cials describe as a spe­cial forces oper­a­tion.

    Olek­san­dr Muzy­chko, bet­ter known as Sashko Bily, died in a shoot-out with police in a cafe in Rivne in west­ern Ukraine, the inte­ri­or min­istry said.

    He was a leader of Right Sec­tor, a far-right group which was promi­nent in the recent anti-gov­ern­ment protests.

    Mean­while, Ukraine’s par­lia­ment has vot­ed to accept the res­ig­na­tion of Defence Min­is­ter Ihor Tenyukh.

    Mr Tenyukh had been accused of inde­ci­sion in the face of Rus­si­a’s mil­i­tary takeover of Crimea.

    The shoot­ing of Muzy­chko hap­pened just hours after Russ­ian For­eign Min­is­ter Sergei Lavrov had held talks with his Ukrain­ian coun­ter­part Andriy Deshchyt­sia — their first meet­ing since Rus­si­a’s move into Crimea trig­gered a diplo­mat­ic cri­sis.

    Ukraine’s Deputy Inte­ri­or Min­is­ter Vladimir Yev­doki­mov said Muzy­chko died after open­ing fire at police and Sokol spe­cial forces, who had raid­ed a cafe to arrest him and fel­low ultra-nation­al­ists. The author­i­ties described Muzy­chko as a crim­i­nal gang-leader.

    Dur­ing the raid, Muzy­chko fired at police as he was try­ing to flee, wound­ing one of them. Police then returned fire and cap­tured him and three oth­ers in his “crim­i­nal gang”, Mr Yev­doki­mov said.

    “He was still alive as they were arrest­ing him — but then the para­medics, called to the scene, found that he had died,” Mr Yev­doki­mov said. The three arrest­ed gang mem­bers have been tak­en to Kiev for ques­tion­ing.

    A Right Sec­tor organ­is­er in Rivne has now threat­ened revenge for the killing of Muzy­chko, say­ing he had not been sum­moned by inves­ti­ga­tors.

    “We will avenge our­selves on [Inte­ri­or Min­is­ter] Arsen Avakov for the death of our broth­er. The shoot­ing of Sashko Bily is a con­tract killing ordered by the min­is­ter,” said Roman Koval of the Right Sec­tor in Rivne region, quot­ed by the Ukrayin­s­ka Prav­da web­site.

    Con­flict­ing account

    Ear­li­er, a Ukrain­ian MP, Oles Doniy, gave a dif­fer­ent ver­sion of events. He said two cars had forced Muzy­chko’s car to stop, and he had then been dragged into one of the oth­er cars. Lat­er his body was found dumped, his hands tied behind his back and two bul­let wounds in his heart, Doniy wrote overnight on his Face­book page.

    Cor­re­spon­dents say Muzy­chko acquired noto­ri­ety in Ukraine after he was filmed bran­dish­ing an AK-47 assault rifle at a town hall ses­sion in west­ern Ukraine, and then harass­ing a local pros­e­cu­tor. After that, in Feb­ru­ary, the Ukrain­ian inte­ri­or min­is­ter con­demned his behav­iour and promised to inves­ti­gate.

    Moscow says the activ­i­ties of Right Sec­tor and oth­er Ukrain­ian nation­al­ist groups pose a threat to the large Russ­ian-speak­ing minor­i­ty in Ukraine. Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin gave that as one of his rea­sons for inter­ven­ing in Crimea.

    How­ev­er, some com­men­ta­tors say Rus­sia has delib­er­ate­ly whipped up such fears, and that the influ­ence of Right Sec­tor in Ukrain­ian pol­i­tics is exag­ger­at­ed.

    Ear­li­er, Russ­ian author­i­ties issued an arrest war­rant for Muzy­chko, accus­ing him of atroc­i­ties against Russ­ian sol­diers in Chech­nya.

    The Russ­ian indict­ment says he tor­tured cap­tive Russ­ian sol­diers in the 1990s, when Moscow was try­ing to crush Chechen sep­a­ratist guer­ril­las. Muzy­chko denied the alle­ga­tions. Reports say he led a group of Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists who fought along­side the Chechen rebels.

    Crimea with­draw­al

    In the Ukrain­ian par­lia­ment on Tues­day MPs appoint­ed Gen Mykhay­lo Koval as the new defence min­is­ter, after approv­ing the res­ig­na­tion of his pre­de­ces­sor, Ihor Tenyukh.

    Mr Tenyukh had offered to leave the post fol­low­ing grow­ing crit­i­cism of his response to the Russ­ian annex­a­tion of Crimea. Many deputies had described that response as inde­ci­sive.

    Gen Koval has served in the coun­try’s Bor­der Ser­vice, and was briefly detained by pro-Russ­ian forces dur­ing their takeover of Crimea.

    ...

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 25, 2014, 8:27 am
  2. Fol­low­ing the res­ig­na­tion of Ukrain­ian min­is­ter of defense, Ihor Tenyukh of Svo­bo­da, the leader of Svo­bo­da, Oleh Tiah­ny­bok, is now say­ing the Ukraine faces two ene­mies: Rus­sia, and “our inner ene­mies — those trai­tors who work for Rus­sia ... and now we should do our best to track the trai­tors and remain unpro­voked – because only Ukraine’s future mat­ters now”:

    Kyiv Post
    Par­lia­ment names new defense min­is­ter as Turchynov calls Rus­si­a’s takeover of Crimea ‘our gen­er­al tragedy’

    March 25, 2014, 1:06 p.m. | Pol­i­tics — by Ole­na Gon­charo­va

    In a day of accu­sa­tions and recrim­i­na­tions over Ukraine’s inabil­i­ty to repel Rus­sia mil­i­tar­i­ly from the Crimean penin­su­la, par­lia­ment on March 25 vot­ed to replace its defense min­is­ter.

    Law­mak­ers named Colonel-Gen­er­al Mykhai­lo Koval, 58, as the new act­ing defense min­is­ter with 251 out of 450 votes.

    While adress­ing the deputies, Koval said he under­stands his respon­si­bil­i­ty and said that “he believes in the armed forces of Ukraine.” Koval, who pre­vi­ous­ly head­ed the spe­cial group of the State Bor­der Ser­vice on the sit­u­a­tion in Crimea, was kid­napped on March 5 near Yal­ta by Russ­ian troops. He was sur­round­ed by a group of 40 armed peo­ple, but released lat­er in the day.

    Koval, who holds the rank of colonel gen­er­al of Ukraine’s bor­der guard troops, was born in the town of Iziaslav on Feb. 26, 1956.

    Koval’s appoint­ment came after the Verk­hov­na Rada accept­ed the res­ig­na­tion of inter­im Defense Min­is­ter Ihor Tenyukh, who has been under fire for the mil­i­tary’s slow response to the Russ­ian inva­sion. Before the vote, Tenyukh talked about war-time prepa­ra­tions. “We pre­pared nine mil­i­tary units in Kyiv and Kyiv Oblast to accom­mo­date the mil­i­tants and I need to stress that all Ukrain­ian troops will be rede­ployed to the main­land” and that the army is on full alert now and the mobi­liza­tion cam­paign con­tin­ues.

    But Tenyukh’s res­ig­na­tion was backed by 228 votes, a major­i­ty in the 450-seat par­lia­ment.

    The change is just one sign that Ukraine’s lead­ers are strug­gling in their response to Rus­si­a’s annex­a­tion of the Crimean penin­su­la and the pos­si­ble broad­er mil­i­tary inva­sion of the Ukrain­ian main­land.

    Ukraine’s inter­im Pres­i­dent Olek­san­dr Turchynov called Rus­si­a’s annex­a­tion of the nation’s Crimean penin­su­la “our gen­er­al tragedy.”

    Vitali Klitschko, the leader of Ukrain­ian Demo­c­ra­t­ic Alliance for Reforms par­ty, said that all offi­cials who can’t do their jobs should be fired.

    “The Rada doesn’t work effec­tive now as we see it. So we will soon include into agen­da the appoint­ment of a new Verk­hov­na Rada chair­man,” Klitschko said. “And the defense min­is­ter should be replaced by a pro­fes­sion­al. We should stop wait­ing for help from the West and do some­thing. Nobody will come and res­cue us. Ukraine needs to close, strength­en the secu­ri­ty on the bor­ders and track all those respon­si­ble for sep­a­ratist moves,” Klitschko said.

    Han­na Her­man, a law­mak­er from Par­ty of Regions, is cer­tain that Ukraine is a state of war now.

    “And now Ukrain­ian par­lia­ment needs to thinks about laws which will help to pre­serve Ukraine’s sov­er­eign­ty and we need to find some kind of nation­al idea to unite peo­ple in east and west,” Her­man said.

    Her­man said she doesn’t sup­port the idea of fight­ing and said that the “Verk­hov­na Rada should rather think about the leader who can unite the coun­try and calm down the cit­i­zens. Anoth­er task is to sup­port Ukrain­ian army, which is left in the occu­pied ter­ri­to­ry of Crimea.”

    Her­man, a Par­ty of Regions mem­ber who was a top advis­er to oust­ed Ukrain­ian Pres­i­dent Vik­tor Yanukovych, said the gov­ern­ment needs to ini­ti­ate a Ukrain­ian-Russ­ian round­table to find the way out of the cri­sis.

    ...

    Oleh Tiah­ny­bok, the leader of Svo­bo­da Par­ty said that “Ukraine faces two ene­mies now” — Rus­sia and trai­tors in Ukraine.

    “The invad­er — Putin’s Krem­lin – is ene­my No. 1 in Ukraine has to deal with. On the oth­er hand, we still have our inner ene­mies – those trai­tors who work for Rus­sia,” Tiah­ny­bok said. “And Svo­bo­da Par­ty warned every­one the talks with Rus­sia couldn’t be as mild as Ukraine used to do it.”

    The law­mak­er is cer­tain that the Russ­ian gov­ern­ment just wants Ukraine to “be divid­ed.”

    But the three oppo­si­tion par­ties – Svo­bo­da, UDAR and Batkivshchy­na unit­ed to oust the dic­ta­tor­ship. And now we should do our best to track the trai­tors and remain unpro­voked – because only Ukraine’s future mat­ters now. We need to unite and make it till the end – to the vic­to­ry – that’s what Ukraini­ans will appre­ci­ate now,” Tiah­ny­bok said.

    Note that Vladimir Klitschko also says “Ukraine needs to close, strength­en the secu­ri­ty on the bor­ders and track all those respon­si­ble for sep­a­ratist moves”. So is track­ing eth­nic Rus­sians now going to be the unit­ing force that keeps the coun­try togeth­er? That does­n’t seem very uni­fy­ing.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 25, 2014, 11:20 am
  3. The inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty has more good news for Ukraine:

    The Wire
    Ukraine Gets $27 Bil­lion Bailout Pack­age, as Tymoshenko Enters the Pres­i­den­tial Race
    Danielle Wiener-Bron­ner
    3/27/2014

    The Inter­na­tion­al Mon­e­tary Fund announced today that it will give Ukraine up to $18 bil­lion in loans over the next two years, to shore up its frag­ile econ­o­my in the midst of equal­ly per­ilous polit­i­cal cri­sis. Once oth­er coun­tries join the bailout plan Ukraine should see a total of $27 bil­lion in loaned funds over that peri­od. But the mon­ey comes at a steep price.

    On Wednes­day, lead­ers in Kiev agreed to hike up gas prices by 50 per­cent start­ing on May 1, and to phase out all ener­gy sub­si­dies by 2016 in prepa­ra­tion for the bailout deal Accord­ing to Prime Min­is­ter Arse­ny Yat­se­niuk, the price in local gas could rise by 79 per­cent alto­geth­er. Yat­se­niuk explained to par­lia­ment that the aus­ter­i­ty mea­sures were nec­es­sary to secure the deal, with­out which the Ukrain­ian econ­o­my could shrink by up to 10 per­cent this year. In short, he said, “Ukraine is on the edge of eco­nom­ic and finan­cial bank­rupt­cy.”

    In a state­ment, IMF Mis­sion Chief for Ukraine Niko­lay Gue­orguiev offered more details on the deal, which is pend­ing approval by the IMF Man­age­ment and the Exec­u­tive Board next month:

    The mis­sion has reached a staff-lev­el agree­ment with the author­i­ties of Ukraine on an eco­nom­ic reform pro­gram that can be sup­port­ed by a two-year Stand-By Arrange­ment (SBA) with the IMF. The finan­cial sup­port from the broad­er inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty that the pro­gram will unlock amounts to US$27 bil­lion over the next two years. Of this, assis­tance from the IMF will range between US$14–18 bil­lion, with the pre­cise amount to be deter­mined once all bilat­er­al and mul­ti­lat­er­al sup­port is account­ed for...

    Gue­orguiev also explained the ulti­mate pur­pose of the bailout:

    The goal of the author­i­ties’ eco­nom­ic reform pro­gram is to restore macro­eco­nom­ic sta­bil­i­ty and put the coun­try on the path of sound gov­er­nance and sus­tain­able eco­nom­ic growth while pro­tect­ing the vul­ner­a­ble in the soci­ety. The pro­gram will focus on reforms in the fol­low­ing key areas: mon­e­tary and exchange rate poli­cies; the finan­cial sec­tor; fis­cal poli­cies; the ener­gy sec­tor; and gov­er­nance, trans­paren­cy, and the busi­ness cli­mate.

    ...

    Speak­ing of elec­tions, today for­mer prime min­is­ter Yulia Tymoshenko for­mal­ly announced that she will run for pres­i­dent in the upcom­ing May elec­tion:

    Max­im Eris­tavi @MaximEristavi

    Tymoshenko: Ukraine’s future is not pos­si­ble with oli­garchs
    7:25 AM — 27 Mar 2014

    Tymoshenko, who was released from prison last month after oust­ed prime min­is­ter Vik­tor Yanukovych fled from his palace, is a con­tro­ver­sial fig­ure with her own his­to­ry of cor­rupt lead­er­ship, which she denies:

    Max­im Eris­tavi @MaximEristavi

    .@Yuli­aTy­moshenko: my record is com­plete­ly clean, even Yanukovych could­n’t find any dirt on me
    7:34 AM — 27 Mar 2014

    Based on her announce­ment, if Tymoshenko wins things could get pret­ty heat­ed in Kiev again:

    Max­im Eris­tavi @MaximEristavi

    Tymoshenko: We are at war with Rus­sia
    7:40 AM — 27 Mar 2014

    So a 50%-79% rise in gas prices and aus­ter­i­ty is offi­cial­ly on the way for Ukraine and now Yulia Tymoshenko just threw her hat into the pres­i­den­tial race and declared war on Rus­sia. Yeah, things could get pret­ty heat­ed in Kiev again. They could also get, uh, ‘pret­ty heat­ed’ in the East too:

    Wash­ing­ton Post
    In lat­est wire­tap­ping leak, Yulia Tymoshenko appears to say ‘nuclear weapons’ should be used to kill Rus­sians

    By Adam Tay­lor
    March 25 at 12:17 pm

    On Mon­day night, a leaked record­ing pur­port­ing to be of for­mer Ukrain­ian Prime Min­is­ter Yulia Tymoshenko appeared on the video shar­ing Web site YouTube.

    Accord­ing to the Moscow Times, the record­ing, appar­ent­ly made March 8, details a con­ver­sa­tion between Tymoshenko and Nestor Shufrych from Ukraine’s Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil, and has Tymoshenko sug­gest­ing that Ukraini­ans should kill Rus­sians, and, in par­tic­u­lar, Russ­ian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin. The record­ing, which may have been altered, also appar­ent­ly fea­tures Tymoshenko sug­gest­ing that the 8 mil­lion Rus­sians liv­ing in Ukraine should be killed with “nuclear weapons.”

    The video con­tain­ing the record­ing was ini­tial­ly uploaded to a YouTube account under the name Sergiy Vechirko, and has since been wide­ly shared on pro-Krem­lin media out­lets, with Rus­sia Today pro­duc­ing its own ver­sion with trans­la­tion:
    [see video]

    While the Moscow Times reports that Shufrych has denied the record­ing is real, a tweet from Tymoshenko appears to sug­gest she believes at least part of it is:
    [see tweet]

    In the above tweet, Tymoshenko says that the record­ing has been edit­ed, and that she in fact said that the Rus­sians in Ukraine “were Ukrain­ian.” She also added “Hel­lo FSB :)” in ref­er­ence to Rus­si­a’s secu­ri­ty agency. Tymoshenko, wide­ly con­sid­ered a poten­tial can­di­date for the Ukrain­ian pres­i­den­tial elec­tion in May, does not have a rep­u­ta­tion for being anti-Rus­sia, which has struck some as strange, and had enjoyed a work­ing rela­tion­ship with Putin in the past.

    The inci­dent is the lat­est in a series of leaks that appear to show offi­cials involved in Ukraine have been tar­get­ed by wire­taps. In Feb­ru­ary, Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of State for Euro­pean and Eurasian Affairs Vic­to­ria Nuland was record­ed say­ing “F— the E.U.” in a pri­vate con­ver­sa­tion with the U.S. ambas­sador to Ukraine, Geof­frey Pyatt, that was appar­ent­ly record­ed and uploaded to YouTube. Anoth­er leaked phone call between Eston­ian For­eign Min­is­ter Urmas Paet and Euro­pean Union for­eign pol­i­cy chief Cather­ine Ash­ton appeared to show Paet raise the pos­si­bil­i­ty that snipers who shot dead pro­test­ers in Kiev could have been work­ing under orders from Maid­an oppo­si­tion lead­ers.

    While all these calls appear gen­uine, there are sug­ges­tions that they have been pre­sent­ed to appear more con­tro­ver­sial than they should: Esto­nia lat­er released a state­ment that said: “We reject the claim that Paet was giv­ing an assess­ment of the oppo­si­tion’s involve­ment in the vio­lence.”

    This is one of those sto­ries that should remind us that Nazis don’t get elect­ed in a vac­u­um. It’ll be inter­est­ing to see what the rest of her plat­form looks like.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 27, 2014, 10:39 am
  4. The Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment is appar­ent­ly now demand­ing the dis­arm­ing of far-right gangs like Pravy Sek­tor with threats of arrest but also with appeals for them to join the Nation­al Guard instead. The far-right does­n’t sound very inter­est­ed:

    Bloomberg
    Nation­al­ists Keep Ukraine on Edge as Sta­bil­i­ty Is Elu­sive
    By Ali­ak­san­dr Kudryt­s­ki and Jake Rud­nit­sky Mar 27, 2014 8:23 AM CT

    Beneath the scorched, black facade of the Trade Union build­ing in Kiev’s cen­tral square, armed nation­al­ists who stoked the dead­ly over­throw of Ukraine’s pre­vi­ous rulers are under­min­ing their suc­ces­sors.

    A month after the upris­ing, mil­i­tants in cam­ou­flage gear and flak jack­ets line up emp­ty glass bot­tles ready to be turned into Molo­tov cock­tails, defy­ing demands to aban­don their arms. Some of the pro­test­ers who fought riot police for regime change are now turn­ing on the new admin­is­tra­tion. One of their com­man­ders was killed in a fire­fight with police this week.

    “The peo­ple who’re still here helped install the new author­i­ties but now they want to slip out of our con­trol,” said Vyach­eslav, 40, a Pravyi Sek­tor activist in sand-col­ored U.S. mil­i­tary fatigues. He declined to give his last name because of the ten­sions. “We’ll stay to keep them in check.”

    As Prime Min­is­ter Arseniy Yat­senyuk races to stave off bank­rupt­cy and grap­ples with Russia’s takeover of Crimea, his inter­im cab­i­net is bat­tling unrest among for­mer allies with­in the country’s bor­ders. Nation­al­ist groups risk dam­ag­ing secu­ri­ty, dis­cred­it­ing the gov­ern­ment and hand­ing Rus­sia a pre­text to push its forces fur­ther into Ukraine, which Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin says is in the grip of fas­cists.

    Order, Cor­rup­tion

    Nation­al­ists, includ­ing sup­port­ers of the anti-immi­gra­tion Svo­bo­da par­ty, fought shoul­der-to-shoul­der with pro-Euro­pean demon­stra­tors for three months to top­ple Pres­i­dent Vik­tor Yanukovych in street bat­tles that cost more than 100 lives in the cap­i­tal, Kiev.

    As the dust set­tles, some are now chal­leng­ing the government’s abil­i­ty to main­tain order or fight the cor­rup­tion ram­pant under Yanukovych. Pro­test­ers have yet to leave the tent camp at Inde­pen­dence Square, or Maid­an, the core of oppo­si­tion since last year. Pravyi Sek­tor, an umbrel­la group unit­ing move­ments that rely on nation­al­ist rhetoric and some that dis­play neo-Nazi sym­bols, main­tains a dom­i­nant pres­ence.

    “The gov­ern­ment under­stands that the exis­tence of ultra-right wing play­ers gives the Krem­lin lever­age over domes­tic pol­i­tics,” Alex­ei Makarkin, a deputy direc­tor at the Moscow-based Cen­ter for Polit­i­cal Tech­nolo­gies, said March 26 by phone. “That’s why they’ve giv­en this ulti­ma­tum to dis­arm.”

    The threat of smol­der­ing vio­lence led the author­i­ties to set a dead­line of March 24 to turn in unreg­is­tered weapons.

    Neo-Nazis Tar­get­ed

    In the east­ern city of Kharkiv, two pro-Russ­ian pro­test­ers were killed by shot­gun fire after orga­niz­ing an assault on the neo-Nazi Patri­ot Ukrainy group’s office. In the Zapor­izhya region, assailants decked out in the masks and army garb that char­ac­ter­ized the nation­al­ist pro­test­ers took over a fac­to­ry.

    Inci­dents like these have prompt­ed a crack­down on the self-defense units that shield­ed anti-gov­ern­ment activists in Kiev’s Inde­pen­dence Square and else­where.

    “The time for freely lay­ing down arms is over,” First Deputy Inte­ri­or Min­is­ter Volodymyr Evdoki­mov told reporters in Kiev March 25. “From now on, police will detain all cit­i­zens with ille­gal weapons.”

    Pravyi Sek­tor, an umbrel­la group that unites the major­i­ty of the nation­al­ist pro­test­ers, has no plans to com­ply, say­ing it doesn’t trust a police force that includes many who fought against demon­stra­tors this year.

    Olek­san­dr Muzy­chko, a Pravyi Sek­tor leader in west­ern Ukraine, was killed after shoot­ing and wound­ing a police offi­cer, the Inte­ri­or Min­istry said March 25. Pravyi Sek­tor head Dmytro Yarosh labeled Muzychko’s death a mur­der and urged Inte­ri­or Min­is­ter Arsen Avakov to resign, accord­ing to a state­ment on the group’s web­site.

    Nation­al­ist Back­lash

    “Muzychko’s death was a sig­nal to oth­er ultra-right wing groups,” Makarkin said. “Europe and the U.S. have told the author­i­ties in no uncer­tain terms that the gov­ern­ment needs to deal with this issue.”

    ...

    Arrest­ing “Goons”

    A Kiev court on March 25 ordered providers to stop car­ry­ing three Russ­ian state chan­nels as of today, accord­ing to a state­ment from Volia, a Ukrain­ian cable oper­a­tor. Volia added TV Rain, an inde­pen­dent Russ­ian chan­nel that has been dropped by major cable com­pa­nies at home amid a crack­down on the oppo­si­tion.

    “Moscow is con­tin­u­ing to gath­er mul­ti­ple cas­es of gross vio­la­tions of the rights of the Russ­ian-speak­ing pop­u­la­tion and oth­er eth­nic groups in Ukraine by home­grown ultra-nation­al­ists and neo-Nazis,” Russia’s For­eign Min­istry said March 26.

    The gov­ern­ment, which has seen the hryv­nia drop 20 per­cent since Yanukovych was deposed, has begun to fight back. Pros­e­cu­tors opened a crim­i­nal case into the UT1 attack, while Inte­ri­or Min­is­ter Avakov pledged to arrest “goons” who dress in protest-move­ment out­fits after a “huge num­ber” of dis­tur­bances.

    Kalash­nikovs, Hand­guns

    “Let’s dis­tin­guish between the real self-defense force that did and still does exist and those thugs who dis­guise them­selves in the same clothes,” Avakov said. “Every­one who’s cov­er­ing them­selves and act­ing under the guise of self-defense, car­ry­ing weapons or shields, is a crim­i­nal.”

    More than 3,000 guns and 30,000 bul­lets were sur­ren­dered to author­i­ties dur­ing the amnesty, the Inte­ri­or Min­istry said March 24 on the gov­ern­ment web­site.

    The gov­ern­ment is also propos­ing mil­i­tants join a new­ly cre­at­ed Nation­al Guard in which 4,000 enlist­ed on the first day. Many of those who’ve remained sta­tioned in the tent camp at Inde­pen­dence Square, or Maid­an, have refused because the new force reports to the police rather than the army, which remained neu­tral as Yanukovych fled to Rus­sia.

    Aside a rick­ety wood­en table that dou­bles as a recruit­ing post, Pravyi Sek­tor nation­al­ists lure passers-by to join their mili­tia instead of the Nation­al Guard, which is seek­ing vol­un­teers near­by. The bulk of the uni­formed para­mil­i­taries — who show off weapons includ­ing a hunt­ing rifle, a hand­gun and a Kalash­nikov — scoffed at the idea of unit­ing pro­test­ers with the police with whom they so recent­ly locked horns.

    “What we see here is Maid­an syn­drome,” said Olek­san­dr Suprun­yuk, a 51-year-old con­struc­tion-com­pa­ny own­er who’s also a mem­ber of the 38th divi­sion of the pro­test­ers’ defense force. “Many of these peo­ple lost their friends here and they’re still full of hatred. Time must pass to heal this.”

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 27, 2014, 1:58 pm

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