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FTR #832 Walkin’ the Snake in Ukraine, Part 5: “We All Remember Well the Soviet Invasion of Ukraine and Germany”

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash drive that can be obtained here. [1] The new drive is a 32-gigabyte drive that is current as of the programs and articles posted by 12/19/2014. The new drive (available for a tax-deductible contribution of $65.00 or more) contains FTR #827 [2].  (The previous flash drive was current through the end of May of 2012 and contained FTR #748 [3].)

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Listen: MP3

This program was recorded in one, 60-minute segment [7]

[8]

[9]

Oleh Tia­hany­bok--leader of OUN/B successor party Svoboda--salutes

Introduction: Developments in Ukraine continue to conform to the paradigm set forth in the Nazi tract Serpent’s Walk, in which the SS go underground in the aftermath of World War II, build up their economic muscle, buy into the opinion-forming media, infiltrate the American military, and–following a series of terrorist incidents in the U.S. which cause the declaration of martial law–take over the United States.

Central to this takeover is the use of the Nazi-controlled mainstream media to fundamentally revise history in a pro-Hitler fashion.

In Ukraine, the institutional heirs to the OUN/B Nazi allies are cementing their control over that strategic country, strengthening their strategic grip over Western political, economic and military policy and, through that control, successfully manipulating ideological and journalistic coverage of events in Ukraine and historical portrayal of World War II and the Third Reich in a fashion that would make Hitler proud.

(We have covered the ascension of the OUN/B heirs in the Ukraine in a number of programs: FTR #’s 777 [10]778 [11]779 [12]780 [13]781 [14]782 [15], 783 [16]784 [17]794 [18]800 [19]803 [20]804 [21], 808 [22]811 [23]817 [24], 818 [25], 824 [26], 826 [27], 829 [28].)

[29]As the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by the Soviet Union approaches, Russian president Putin has been excluded from the ceremonial observation of that event!

Putin’s exclusion [30] exemplifies the perversion of policy and history attendant on the Nazi ascension to power in Ukraine.

As will be discussed below, much of the Auschwitz staff was composed of OUN/B personnel. The direct, institutional successors to the OUN/B are in power in Kiev.

Note Ukrainian official Arseniy Yatsenyuk’s statement: “We all remember well the Soviet invasion of Ukraine and Germany.” He is talking about World War II!

Yatsenyuk is an important part of the renascent National Socialist government now ruling Ukraine. As discussed by George Eliason, declassified U.S. FOIA documents [31] confirm that the OUN/B and the closely-allied Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations constituted an OUN/B National Socialist government-in-exile. The Maidan coup of 2014–itself a well-documented covert operation–brought that government to power.

[32]We present a courageously accurate op-ed piece by Chris Martenson in the mainstream Market Watc [33]h [33] blog that correctly notes that the West (and the United States in particular) are waging war against Russia.

Part and parcel to that is an organized NATO effort [34] to propagandize on behalf of the pro-Nazi government in Ukraine and its Western-supported policies. One wonders if this will ultimately entail efforts against those hardy few in the West willing to swim against the daunting current of Serpent’s Walk-style propaganda.

Among the events being effectively neutralized in mainstream media coverage of the Ukraine crisis is the deliberate cut-off [35] of badly-needed entitlements to elderly residents [36] of Eastern Ukraine. This is a war crime [37] that endangers the lives of hundreds of thousands!

Program Highlights Include: The use of relativistic language [38] by Western media, characterizing documented historical fact as “Russian” or “Kremlin” propaganda; review of the rejection by the EU, the U.S., Canada and Ukraine of a resolution introduced [39] in the U.N. General Assembly that condemns the celebration of Nazi collaborators; the subtle, revisionist pro-Nazi [30] rhetoric of German president Joachim Gauck; the probability that a Westerner [40]–possibly an American–will head the Ukraine’s “anti-corruption” bureau [41].

 

[42]1a. With warfare continuing in Eastern Ukraine, Russian president Putin has been “disinvited” to the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. That liberation was effected by Soviet troops. As will be discussed below, much of the Auschwitz staff was composed of OUN/B personnel. The direct, institutional successors to the OUN/B are in power in Kiev.

Note Ukrainian official Arseniy Yatsenyuk’s statement: “We all remember well the Soviet invasion of Ukraine and Germany.”

“Liberation without Liberators”; german-foreign-policy.com; 1/16/2015. [30]

Through their virtual disinvitation, EU countries are preventing the Russian president from participating at the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. The highest representative of the country, whose army had halted the mass murder in the German extermination camp January 27, 1945, is thereby excluded from the commemoration ceremonies. However, Germany’s president, will participate. Joachim Gauck had already used his speech on the 75th anniversary of Germany’s invasion of Poland, to massively stir up sentiments against Moscow and to transform the commemoration of Nazi crimes into an appeal for closing ranks against Russia. In his memoirs, Gauck described Red Army soldiers, who had liberated Germany, as beings “with Asian facial features,” “reeking of Vodka,” who “requisitioned and stole.” A few years ago, he complained, “the occurrence of the German Judeocide has been inflated to a uniqueness,” because “certain milieus of post religious societies” were seeking “a certain shudder in face of the unspeakable.” In 2010, he was quoted saying, he “wonders how much longer we Germans want to nurture our culture of chagrin.”

“Just Like Nazi Troops”

The commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the German Auschwitz extermination camp had been the focus of political intrigues already last year. At the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of its liberation, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s participation was still taken for granted. After having suffered severe losses, the Soviet Army reached Auschwitz January 27, 1945, putting an end to the ghastly murders Germans were committing. First attempts to exclude Putin from the commemoration of the 70th Anniversary were made in Poland in the summer 2014. A parliamentarian was quoted saying that the Red Army “had been an aggressor” in WW II, “just like Nazi troops,” which is why the Russian President should only be allowed to make a “penitential pilgrimage” to Poland.[1] At the time, Bronisław Komorowski could see nothing wrong with Putin’s participation at the Auschwitz commemoration. However, anti-Russian forces have prevailed and the Russian President’s invitation was cancelled through diplomatic channels. According to reports, Poland’s Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz has also campaigned to prevent Putin from participating at a parallel commemoration ceremony in Prague. This would exclude the president of the country, whose army had lost more than a million soldiers just to liberate the German Reich and the Polish territories under German occupation.

Turned against Russia

The anti-Russian instrumentalization of the memory of German crimes against humanity is making headway with Putin’s virtual disinvitation. Already on September 1, 2014, German President Joachim Gauck used his memorial address in Gdansk – commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the German invasion of Poland – to stir up anti-Russian sentiments. Referring to the Ukraine conflict, Gauck accused Russia of giving a higher priority to “a quest for power,” rather than to “maintaining stability and peace.” Completely blotting out western support for the Ukrainian putsch and the civil war, while ignoring all the wars waged by the West from Yugoslavia to Iraq on up to Libya, Gauck alleged that Russia had “violated international law” and “annexed foreign territory.”[2] Alluding to Great Britain and France’s approbation for Germany’s occupation of parts of Czechoslovakia in October 1938, targeting Russia, Gauck declared, “history teaches us that territorial concessions often whet the appetite of the aggressors.” The commemoration of Nazi crimes was thereby transformed into an appeal to close ranks against Russia, which Germany had invaded.

A “Culture of Chagrin”

On various occasions before becoming president, Gauck, who, unlike Russia’s President Putin, will be present at Auschwitz January 27, had made public statements showing how he views Germany’s 1945 liberation and the Shoah. In his memoires, he wrote on the subject of Germany’s liberation, that it arrived as “horrible news,” he depicted the Red Army soldiers as beings “with Asian facial features,” reeking “of vodka,” who “requisitioned and stole” and systematically raped women.[3] 2006, Gauck remorsefully claimed that there is “a tendency toward sanctifying the Holocaust,” wherein “the occurrence of German Judeocide is inflated to a uniqueness that ultimately escapes comprehension and analysis.” “Certain milieus of post-religious societies” were persistently searching “for the dimension of the absolute, a certain shudder in face of the unspeakable.” This could also be achieved by “the absolute evil” and is “paradoxically of psychological advantage.”[4] Gauck has stated several times that “the Germans” would be well advised to change their approach to history. In the fall of 2010, he mused, “I ask myself, how much longer do we Germans want to nurture our culture of chagrin.”[5] This was after he had positively responded to the question whether “the majority of the Germans” are mature enough for a “reorientation toward their own victims, the reorientation toward the patriotic.” “That’s how I see it.”[6]

Broad Brush

Until he was inaugurated president, Gauck’s historical views were criticized in German public opinion, For example, he has a knack for using the “broad brush,” in reference to his remarks on the “Black Book of Communism.”[7] Gauck had written that “the communists had also made themselves unpopular, when they … approved Poland’s westward acquisition of territory and thereby Germany’s loss of its eastern territories.” “To both the natives and the expellees, this loss of the homeland was considered a great injustice, which the communists sealed in 1950, by recognizing the Oder-Neisse as the new German-Polish border,”[8] alleges Gauck. In the conflict over the “Centre against Expulsions,” he took the side of the president at the time, Erika Steinbach, who was sharply criticized for her historical revisionist statements, particularly in Poland. Gauck is quoted on the German League of Expellees’ (BdV) website saying, Berlin is most certainly the best location for a “Centre against Expulsions.” It blends in, because Berlin is where “there are various ‘topographies of terror,’ the location of the Wannsee Conference and the Stasi Headquarters, the former seat of government of brown and red despots.”[9]

Yatsenyuk’s “Soviet Invasion”

Gauck’s Auschwitz speech and Putin’s disinvitation coincide with Berlin’s open cooperation with the fascist successors of Nazi collaborators to stage a pro-western coup in Kiev. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[10]) The Kiev government has adopted their anti-Russian standpoints, which are also increasingly having an influence on the German debate where they dovetail with old anti-Russian sentiments. Arseniy Yatsenyuk recently caused a stir with his interview on German television. He literally alleged, “We all remember well the Soviet invasion of Ukraine and Germany.”[11] This statement has remained unchallenged.

[1] Streit in Polen über Einladung Putins zu Auschwitz-Gedenken 2015. www.tt.com 09.05.2014.
[2] Gedenkfeier zum deutschen Überfall auf Polen 1939. www.bundespraesident.de 01.09.2014.
[3] Joachim Gauck: Winter im Sommer, Frühling im Herbst. München 2009. See Hans-Rüdiger Minow: Der Zug der Erinnerung, die Deutsche Bahn und der Kampf gegen das Vergessen.
[4] Joachim Gauck: Welche Erinnerungen braucht Europa? www.robert-bosch-stiftung.de. See The Consensus President.
[5] “Mutige Politiker ziehe ich vor”. www.sueddeutsche.de 30.09.2010.
[6] Gauck: Erinnerung an Vertreibung leugnet nicht den Nazi-Terror. www.dradio.de 31.08.2006.
[7] Daniela Dahn: Gespalten statt versöhnt. www.sueddeutsche.de 10.06.2010.
[8] Stéphane Courtois et al.: Das Schwarzbuch des Kommunismus. Unterdrückung, Verbrechen und Terror. München 1998.
[9] www.z-g-v.de.
[10] See Vom Stigma befreit
[11] www.facebook.com/tagesschau/posts/10152968920374407

[43]

Combat helmets of the Ukrainian government's Azov Battalion

1b.  The U.S. was one of three countries to vote against a U.N. resolution condemning the celebration of Nazi collaborators as “freedom fighters”–something the U.S. has been promoting since the end of World War II. Germany and the EU nations abstained.

Ukraine itself and Canada were the other countries that voted against the resolution. The OUN/B diaspora and its influence in the GOP and intelligence services of the U.S. is the primary consideration to be weighed in connection with this disgraceful episode.

The large OUN/B  diaspora population in Canada undoubtedly has much to do with that nation’s behavior in this context.

“Honoring Collaborators;” german-foreign-policy.com; 11/26/2014. [39]

The Federal Republic of Germany has refused to vote in favor of a United Nations resolution condemning the glorification of National Socialism and Nazi collaboration. Last week, the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly passed a resolution strongly criticizing the edification of memorials to Nazi functionaries and the stylization of Nazi collaborators as “freedom fighters.” Germany and the other EU nations abstained, the USA, Canada, and Ukraine voted against the document, with 115 nations voting in favor. Berlin and Brussels use the excuse of not wanting to support a resolution initiated by Russia. In fact, a vote in favor of the document would have caused hefty disputes within the EU, and between the EU and important allies. With growing frequency, notorious Nazi collaborators are being publicly honored in such EU countries as Hungary or the Baltic countries and in Ukraine, in some cases by officials of the respective governments.

Deep Concern

The UN resolution expresses its “deep concern about the glorification, in any form, of the Nazi movement, neo-Nazism, and former members of the Waffen SS organization.”As examples the document names erecting monuments and memorials and holding public demonstrations in the name of the glorification of the Nazi past but also by “attempting to declare such members and those who fought against the anti-Hitler coalition and collaborated with the Nazi movement participants in national liberation movements.” The resolution explicitly “emphasizes that any commemorative celebration of the Nazi regime, its allies and related organizations, whether official or unofficial” should be prohibited by UN member states. The resolution especially expresses its condemnation “of any denial or attempt to deny the Holocaust.”[1]

Nazi Glorification not rejected

Last Friday, when the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly put the resolution to a vote, the German Ambassador to the UN found himself unable to cast his vote in favor. All other EU nations also abstained, along with countries, dependent, in one way or the other, on the EU, such as Andorra, Bosnia-Herzegovina or Mali. Ukraine, the United States, and Canada voted pointblank against the resolution. The latter two countries are sheltering rather influential Ukrainian exile communities, characterized by former Nazi collaborators of the “Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists” (OUN). The reason generally given last Friday was that they did not want to support a resolution initiated by Russia. The Soviet Union – of which Russia had been its core – was the country accounting for the most casualties from Nazi terror – 27 million. However, had Germany and the other EU nations voted in favor of the resolution, it would have necessarily caused hefty disputes. Today, collaborators, who had joined the Nazis in the war against Moscow, are commemorated in several European countries.

In the Struggle against Russia

This is particularly true of Ukraine, where, since early 2012, German organizations have been working – and intensively so, since 2013 – to incorporate the Svoboda Party and its affiliated forces into an anti-Russian alliance of organizations. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[2]) Svoboda honors the OUN and particularly its commander Stepan Bandera, who is very popular throughout West Ukraine. In 1941, Bandera’s militias actively supported Nazi Germany in its attack on the Soviet Union. Svoboda also honors the “Ukrainian Partisan Army” (UPA), which, in the wake of the German war of extermination, had participated in mass murders of European Jews.[3] In the course of the Maidan protests, both this party and other fascist organizations, receiving vigorous support from Germany, were playing a growing role. Consequently, since the end of February, Svoboda has had several ministers in the Ukrainian putsch regime. Today, fascist battalions are among the most resolute combatants in East Ukraine’s civil war. Some of their commanders have been elected to parliament in the Verchovna Rada on electoral tickets of the parties forming the future government. At the beginning of the month, an activist of the fascist “Right Sector” and deputy commander of the fascist “Asov Battalion,” had been named police chief of the District of Kiev. In their struggle against Russia, Ukraine is uninhibitedly developing the traditions of its anti-Soviet Nazi collaboration – at the side of Germany.

Freedom Fighters

Nazi collaborators are also being honored in EU member countries, for example, in the Baltic nations. Regular commemoration honor parades for the Waffen SS, sponsored by their national Waffen SS veterans are organized in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. In Latvia, one of the most recent marches was held last spring, with approx. 2,000 participants – which, in proportion to the size of the population, would correspond to a demonstration of 80,000 in Germany. Observers point out that in Riga’s state-run Latvian “Occupation Museum” the Latvian Waffen SS militias are referred to as “freedom fighters” in the struggle against Moscow. Organizers of the Waffen SS memorial march are invited to schools to teach courses in “patriotism.”[4] The “All for Latvia” national alliance party, which has consistently been in the government since 2011, supports these memorial parades. The party recurringly raises the issue of the deportation (“repatriation”) of the country’s Russian-speaking minority. One of the party’s leaders had once declared that the Russian minority – nearly one quarter of the population – are “occupiers” or “illegal colonialists.” A critical appraisal of Nazi collaboration is not welcome in this country. As the historian Maris Ruks notes, Latvian scholars risk “setbacks in their careers, if they engage in too detailed research into the Holocaust.”[5] In the current confrontation with Russia, the Baltic countries are among the EU’s most aggressive forces.

Hitler’s Partner is being rehabilitated

Also in Hungary fascist traditions are becoming more prevalent. Showcase examples are the new memorials to the “Reich’s Deputy” and Nazi collaborator Miklós Horthy, which have been inaugurated since 2012. After changing the name “Freedom Square” to “Horthy Square,” in April 2012, in Gyömrö, near Budapest, a Horthy statue was erected in the village of Kereki in southern Hungary.[6] A Horthy commemorative plaque was installed on its premises of the Calvinist College in Debrecen in May 2012. Other memorials have followed. For example, in June 2013 in the East Hungarian village of Hencida [7] and in November of the same year right in Budapest. “Hitler’s Hungarian partner is being rehabilitated,” wrote German press organs back in 2012, attentively noting that, at Hitler’s side, Horthy had led Hungary “into war against the Soviet Union.”[8] However, currently, Hungary is not one of those countries taking a particularly aggressive stand toward Russia. The rehabilitation of Nazi collaborators extends far beyond Horthy. Since the 1990s, there have been many commemorative plaques dedicated to the ethnic, anti-Semitic writer, Albert Wass, who had been a loyal follower of Horthy and the Nazi Reich. His writings have been as accepted into the country’s curriculums as those of Jozsef Nyiro, who still in 1944 was active in the Nazi Arrow Cross Party.[9] Hungary’s “Jobbik” Party – which polled 20.5 percent in the April 6, 2014 elections, its greatest success ever – stands in the tradition of the Arrow Cross Party.

“Counter Insurgency”

This is hardly an exhaustive list of EU countries publicly honoring Nazi collaborators. In Croatia, for example, monuments to Nazi opponents were destroyed, while, streets were being named after Mile Budak, the fascist Ustasha’s leading propagandist and, for awhile, Croatia’s Foreign Minister during the period of Nazi collaboration. In Italy’s Affile, to the east of Rome, a mausoleum to the fascist war criminal, Rodolfo Graziani was inaugurated in 2012. Graziani, who had initially been engaged in “counter insurgency” in Libya, ordered hostages shot and used poisoned gas in Ethiopia. Toward the end of the war, he was having Italians executed for refusing to collaborate with the Nazi puppet regime in Salò. Had Germany and the other EU countries not refused to vote in favor of last Friday’s UN resolution, they would – had they taken the document seriously – be facing serious conflicts with one another and with their close allies, e.g. their partners in Ukraine.

[1] United Nations General Assembly: Sixty-ninth session of the Third Committee. Agenda item 66 (a): Elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. A/C.3/69/L.56/Rev.1. 19.11.2014.
[2] See A Broad-Based Anti-Russian Alliance [44]Termin beim Botschafter [45] and Juschtschenkos Mythen [46].
[3] See Zwischen Moskau und Berlin (IV) [47].
[4] See Tag der Kollaborateure [48] and “Liberation Fighters” and “Occupier” [49].
[5] Frank Brendle: International gegen SS-Verherrlichung. www.neues-deutschland.de 17.03.2014.
[6] György Dalos: Horthy im Hoch. www.nzz.ch 03.07.2012.
[7] Jobbik und Neue Ungarische Garde weihen neues Horthy-Denkmal ein. pusztaranger.wordpress.com 23.06.2013.
[8] Paul Jandl: Hitlers ungarischer Partner wird rehabilitiert. www.welt.de 05.06.2012.
[9] See Ein positives Ungarn-Bild [50].

[51]

“Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the heroes!”

2. For further understanding of how the Orwellian re-write of history is taking place, note the relativistic language in the story below, which subtly attributes the [accurate] characterization of the Nazi/fascist character of the SS-aligned OUN/B formations to “Russian” or “Kremlin” propaganda.

“Thousands of Ukraine Nationalists March in Kiev” by Dimitry Zaks [Agence France Presse]; Yahoo News; 1/1/2015. [38]

Thousands of Ukrainian nationalists held a torchlight procession across Kiev on Thursday in honour of a 1940s anti-Soviet insurgent branded by Moscow as a Nazi collaborator whom Europe must reject.

The march on what would have been Stepan Bandera’s 106th birthday moved along the same streets on which hundreds of thousands rallied for three months last winter before ousting a Moscow-backed president.

Some wore World War II-era army uniforms while others draped themselves in the red and black nationalist flags and chanted “Ukraine belongs to Ukrainians” and “Bandera will return and restore order”.

“The Kremlin is afraid of Bandera because he symbolises the very idea of a completely independent Ukraine,” Lidia Ushiy said while holding up a portrait of the far-right icon at the head of the march.

Bandera is a mythical but immensely divisive figure in Ukraine whom some compare to Cuba’s Che Guevara.

His movement’s slogan — “Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the heroes!” — was also the catchphrase of last year’s pro-European revolt.

Russian President Vladimir Putin in March called that uprising’s leaders “the ideological heirs of Bandera, Hitler’s accomplice during World War II.”

Bandera was the ideological patron of resistance fighters who fought alongside invading German forces during World War II. . . .

[52]

14th Waffen SS "Galician Division" troops inspected by Himmler

3. One of the relatively few media people dealing with the substance of the Ukraine is George Eliason. Early last year, he asked a rhetorical question:

“Is the Rebellion in Ukraine Really Aimed at Creating a National Socialist State?” by George Eliason; OpEdNews; 2/26/2014. [31]

The award-winning journalist Max Blumenthal is exactly right to suggest, as he does in his recent AlterNet piece, that the U.S. has ties to Nazi and fascist protesters in Ukraine. The CIA agrees with him, and so did George Bush Sr. The only difference in their appraisal is the use of the term Neo-Nazi , rather than Nazi. It is just too hard for anyone to fathom that large communities of World War II Nazis not only survived, but have thrived and been protected all these years in Lviv (a city and provincial district in western Ukraine), the USA, and Canada.

After World War II, many in the Waffen SS went home to their native Lviv region in the Ukraine. Others immigrated there, including members of three Waffen SS divisions: the Waffen SS Galician, Waffen SS Nightingale, and Waffen SS Roland. These Hitler minions were barely investigated and never tried for crimes against humanity–although a part of their training was to serve as guards in concentration camps like Auschwitz. In that capacity, they were responsible for the deaths of 200,000 Jews, 100,000 Poles, and at least 150,000 Ukrainians.

CIA documents certify what every white paper I have come across states clearly: Each successive generation that derived from the initial post-war Waffen SS settlement in Lviv was brought up to be more committed than the one before to making Ukraine a National Socialist state.

Roles of the UCCA and the UWC

Two important players in the unfolding events in Ukraine are the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA) and the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC). The UCCA is understood to support the West-leaning rebels in the conflict, and the UWC, organized as an international coordinating body for Ukrainian communities in the diaspora, is believed to support Ukraine’s integration into the European Union.

However, three separate Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) documents, released under the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act, provide all the information needed to understand the true objectives of these non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

The only freedom these groups want is a National Socialist Ukraine. . . . .

. . . . Another FOIA-released document goes as far as to say that the Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations (ABN), led by Ukrainian independence leader Slava Stetsko until her death in 2003, was in fact the National Socialist government in exile:

“OUN/B is the originator and a decisive factor in the ABN (Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations), which includes representatives of various non-Russian emigre organizations. In the USA the activities of the ABN are conducted by….”

From the 1930s until today, these groups have been preparing for the revolution that is underway.

A 2007 FOIA-released document entitled “Major Ukrainian Emigre Political Organizations Worldwide ” lists member groups in the UCCA and UWC as OUN-B active organizations at the date of publication. This document makes it very clear that even in the 1970s the Ukrainian National Socialist political machine continued to demonstrate pre-World War II aggressiveness. We learn that:

“At the beginning of the 1970s the Ukrainian political spectrum had many features of the prewar Ukrainian political groupings. The decisive political role was played by three factions of the OUN (Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists): OUN/B (Bandera), OUN/M (Melnyk) and OUN/z (za kordonom – abroad).”

The document then goes on to discuss Yaroslav Stetsko, the husband of Slava Stetsko and head of the Bandera faction of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN):

“In August of 1941 Stetsko wrote his autobiography…. He states that although he considers Moscow rather than Jewry to be the main enemy of imprisoned Ukraine, he absolutely endorses the idea of the indubitable harmful role of Jews in the enslavement of Ukraine by Moscow. He finally states that he absolutely endorses the extermination of Jews as opposed to assimilating them, and the rationality of the German methods of extermination.”

Further excerpts from “Major Ukrainian Emigré Political Organizations Worldwide” include the following:

” In Canada, in May 2010 , [Senior Ukrainian opposition leader Oleh] Tyahnybok received the golden cross “for his service to Ukraine’ from the Brotherhood of the Veterans of the First Ukrainian Division of the Ukrainian National Army, veterans of the Waffen SS Galizien….”

Organization for the Defense of Four Freedoms for Ukraine : “OUN/B is closely associated with SUM (Association of Ukrainian Youth) and such civic organizations as e.g. 00ChSU in the USA (Organization for the Defense of Four Freedoms for Ukraine). Similarly, OUN/M has its adherents among the members of the UNO & Ukrainian National Unity) in Canada. The members and followers of OUN/z are active in the USA in OPVBU (Association for Free Ukraine). OUN/z, as well as 0kVUPA (Association of Former Members of the UPA-Ukrainian Insurgent Army), recognize ZP/UHVR (Foreign Representation of the Supreme Ukrainian liberation Council) as their representative political body.”

OUN/B (Bandera faction) : “After 1991, the OUN faced considerable difficulties re-establishing itself in an independent Ukraine. It split between the Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists (KUN) in Ukraine and the émigré OUN/B)…. No fewer than four organizations claim to be the heirs to Stepan Bandera–KUN and the émigré OUN/B, the clandestine “Tryzub imeni Bandery (“Trident”), and VO Svoboda, whose ideology was inspired by Stets’ko’s ideology of “two revolutions,” one national and one social.”

Pravy Sektor

Trizub (Trident) is the Nationalist group leading the fighting today. Its leader, Dmitri Yarosh, has been one of the few voices people only wanted to hear in passing until today. He has the only honest voice of the revolution. From the beginning he stated he is here to lead the war.

“The recent events in Ukraine show that the revolutionary way of gaining Freedom, Justice and Wellbeing leaves no alternatives for the Ukrainian people,” Yarosh said. In this situation, indistinct positions of the leaders of the parliamentary opposition parties and their fear to make revolution have forced me to assume responsibility for the revolutionary process and for all related events–in particular, for the events that happened in Ukraine earlier, are happening now, and, what is most important, for those that will shape the future of our State.”

Dmitri Yarosh is quoted as saying that the current government only has the power given to it by the far-right Pravy Sektor group–which rejects the original protesters’ goal of closer links to the European Union and demands instead “national revolution.” Further, Yarosh states that the new government will only be in power as long as he himself decides it will.

How much power does Yarosh actually wield? Ask Yulia Tymoshenko, the former prime minster whose leadership Pravy Sektor rejects. Ask Arseniy Yatsenyuk , now being considered for the position of Premier in Ukraine’s new government, and the man the West has pinned its hopes for stability on. What does it take to make a World Champion look demure? Ask Vitali Kitschko, the professional boxer who has announced he will run for the presidency of the new government.

Who is running the revolution? Ask Dmitri Yarosh, who in a video stated clearly that Ukraine is only the beginning. Europe is next.

Stepan Bandera (1909-1959), former head of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, once advocated three ways of dealing with non-Ukrainians.

“It’s very simple. You deal with them as comrades — and this is for those who fight with you for Ukraine, regardless of their nationality. You deal with them in a tolerant way — for those who live on the land and do not oppose our struggle; thus, we treat them normally, Ukraine has a place for all. The third way of dealing with them is in a hostile way — and this is for those who oppose the Ukrainian people’s national liberation struggle.”

And, as Dmitri Yarosh has said, “This is how it is in any state; any people takes exactly these positions.”

Funding

Today, the same allied forces that fought for the Third Reich in World War II are setting up a Nazi Ukraine. It’s beyond belief. The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC), and associated organizations are powerful lobbying groups. They have successfully lobbied the U.S. Congress to provide unquestioning support for their view of Ukraine. Their influence may be the result of the success they had in the cold war against the Soviets .

Go to any of their chapter websites. All the associated groups are supporting the so-called “Maidan” opposition movement (named after Kiev’s central square where the protests picked up steam) by donating themselves and by soliciting donations from the public. The people making the donations are probably not aware that the money will fund, among other things, the Trizub (Trident) group led by Dmitri Yarosh.

For any of the leaders of these groups to say they are not supporting and funding National Socialism (Nazism) in Ukraine is a slap in the face of reality.

Ironically, this year marks the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

4. Over a month ago, Kiev began imple­ment­ing a new strat­egy in the civil war: cut off East Ukraine’s pen­sions and social ser­vices entirely:

“Cash Cut to Ukraine Rebel Areas in Risky Strat­egy” by Peter Leonard and Balint Szlanko [36]AP Big Story; 11/25/2014. [36]

For hours, small crowds in Donetsk hud­dle hope­fully in the cold around cash machines that never get filled, as artillery rum­bles in the distance.

Money is run­ning short in the rebel heart­land since the gov­ern­ment announced this month that it will sus­pend bank­ing ser­vices as it piles on the pres­sure. Almost all ATMs have stopped work­ing and the remain­der are expected to stop oper­at­ing over the next two weeks.

The move is part of Ukraine’s plan to suf­fo­cate its sep­a­ratist foe, now that its costly mil­i­tary cam­paign has foundered. Author­i­ties say they are also with­draw­ing all state ser­vices from rebel areas, although hos­pi­tal and school work­ers in the rebel strong­hold of Donetsk say it has been a while since they last saw fund­ing anyhow.

Yet if the gov­ern­ment of Pres­i­dent Petro Poroshenko hopes to turn peo­ple in east­ern Ukraine against the sep­a­ratist lead­er­ship, evi­dence on the ground sug­gests the strat­egy may only be hard­en­ing their resolve.

“What Poroshenko is say­ing to us is: ‘You are no longer Ukraini­ans. You won’t get pen­sions, you won’t get social pay­ments. When you croak, then we’ll stop this war against you,’” said Donetsk retiree Georgy Sharov. “But I don’t want to go to Ukraine and beg for their mercy.”

The lines have typ­i­cally formed in front of cash machines belong­ing to state sav­ings bank Oshchad­bank, which han­dles pen­sions and social sup­port payments.

“Even they don’t always have money,” said Donetsk res­i­dent Sergei Smo­tovsky, stand­ing out­side a branch of the bank. “The worst thing is that not only can you not get social pay­ments. You can’t even with­draw money that you earned, your salary.”

Even though cash machines don’t work, account-holders wait from early morn­ing until lunchtime in the hope that bank work­ers will top them up, but the doors to the banks often remain firmly shut.

Despite the unremit­ting fight­ing tak­ing place across Donetsk and Luhansk, the two regions affected by the armed sep­a­ratist con­flict, large super­mar­kets are still rea­son­ably stocked.

Sup­plies come from other parts of Ukraine and cus­tomers often use bank cards to pay for shop­ping. Ukraine’s gov­ern­ment is now about to block bank cards, cut­ting off another means of sustenance.

Hard-pressed recip­i­ents of state ben­e­fits have for months turned expec­tantly to the rebel gov­ern­ment for cash. Crowds of pen­sion­ers and sin­gle moth­ers assem­ble daily before the sep­a­ratist head­quar­ters. When any­body in the crowd becomes espe­cially vocal, one of the gun­men guard­ing the build­ing rushes to bun­dle them away, accus­ing them of being “provocateurs.”

The brunt of the rage, how­ever, is still directed at the Ukrain­ian government.

“Ukraine says Donetsk is Ukrain­ian ter­ri­tory, and yet they came here with tanks and weapons instead of pay­ing pen­sions prop­erly,” said Donetsk retiree Ana­toly Visly. “I am a dis­abled vet­eran and I haven’t received my pen­sion for three months.”

Many pen­sion­ers have re-registered in towns out­side rebel zones, mean­ing pay­ments have still accrued to their accounts. The chal­lenge for those peo­ple will now become mak­ing the monthly trip to banks in government-controlled areas, which can be costly and dif­fi­cult, espe­cially for the most infirm.

Prospects for the rebels to set up a wel­fare sys­tem any time soon are bleak.

Anna Kharzhevskaya, an offi­cial with the rebel social affairs and labor min­istry, said sep­a­ratist author­i­ties have only a crude notion of how many peo­ple are eli­gi­ble for social payments.

Ukraine’s gov­ern­ment has been block­ing access to state records and is try­ing to spirit away hard copies of data­bases still in rebel-held areas, Kharzhevskaya said.

Sep­a­ratist author­i­ties say mili­ti­a­men are under instruc­tions to stop any unsanc­tioned removals of gov­ern­ment records by Ukrain­ian authorities.

With­out a prop­erly func­tion­ing tax sys­tem in place, there is no imme­di­ately obvi­ous and trans­par­ent way for money to be raised. As a result, Kharzhevskaya said she could not esti­mate when her depart­ment would begin pay­ing reg­u­lar pensions.

[53]5. Note that, accord­ing to the arti­cle below, the cut off pen­sioner accounts are report­edly still accru­ing value. Pen­sion­ers just won’t be able to access those accounts unless they can leave the rebel-controlled regions or the war ends.

“Retirees Starve in Rebel-Held East­ern Ukraine” by Tatyana Gory­a­chova and Hal Fos­ter; USA Today; 12/25/2014. [35]

Retirees in Donetsk, the largest city in east­ern Ukraine held by pro-Russian sep­a­ratists, are dying of hunger because their pen­sions have been cut off by the national gov­ern­ment, rebel offi­cials and res­i­dents say.

Though Ukraine has not pub­licly dis­cussed star­va­tion deaths, it acknowl­edges there is a human­i­tar­ian cri­sis in the east­ern region because of the con­flict and blames the sep­a­ratists and Rus­sia for sup­port­ing the rebels.

The gov­ern­ment cut off pen­sions this month to peo­ple in all areas of east­ern Ukraine con­trolled by sep­a­ratists to under­cut sup­port for pro-Russian rebels.

The num­ber of star­va­tion deaths in Donetsk is hard to pin down, largely because the con­flict between Ukraine and sep­a­ratist forces has crip­pled gov­ern­ment func­tions in the east, includ­ing med­ical and coro­ners’ offices that record causes of deaths.

The siege of the city that began in August has led to 40% of the city’s 1 mil­lion peo­ple fleeing.

Dmitry Pono­marenko, pas­tor of the City of Light Protes­tant church, said he believes the star­va­tion toll is in the hun­dreds, per­haps thou­sands. His assess­ment is based largely on accounts from parish­ioners and 300 seniors who come to his church daily for a free meal. In one month, they reported more than 100 star­va­tion deaths of pen­sion­ers in Donetsk, he said.

The Ukrain­ian Inde­pen­dent Infor­ma­tion Agency, cit­ing aid work­ers, reported that 22 seniors in Donetsk, mostly sin­gle men, died of hunger in September.

The aver­age Ukrain­ian pen­sion is mea­ger — $107 a month — but it can be the dif­fer­ence between life and death for many.

A num­ber of aid groups are fight­ing hunger in Donetsk and other cities in the war zone, includ­ing the United Nations Food Pro­gram and the char­i­ta­ble foun­da­tion of Rinat Akhme­tov, Ukraine’s rich­est man, who fled to Kiev when sep­a­ratists threat­ened to kill him. These efforts are spo­radic and lim­ited to a few thou­sand peo­ple at a time. They don’t come any­where near replac­ing the pensions.

The sep­a­ratists and Rus­sia have decried the pen­sion cut­off as inhu­mane. Kiev says rebels and crim­i­nals have taken much of the money it sends to the east­ern region.

The cut­off, announced Nov. 5, means pay­ments will no longer “be stolen by pro-Russian ban­dits,” Prime Min­is­ter Arseniy Yat­senyuk said.

Donetsk’s mayor in exile, Alexan­der Lukyanchenko, who fled to Kiev in August after receiv­ing sep­a­ratist death threats, has crit­i­cized the gov­ern­ment for the cutoff.

The only way for res­i­dents of neigh­bor­ing Donetsk and Luhansk provinces to get their pen­sions back is to go to a city out­side the war zone to re-register for ben­e­fits. Many retirees lack the health or money to travel so far from their homes, Lukyanchenko said.

Yat­senyuk, the prime min­is­ter, said the pen­sions the gov­ern­ment with­holds are accru­ing for the ben­e­fi­cia­ries and will be paid once the east­ern region is free of sep­a­ratist control.

Pono­marenko, the pas­tor, and oth­ers who help the retirees fear a lot more will suc­cumb to starvation.

“We have only enough money to help a few pen­sion­ers who are able to walk to our church each day,” he said, adding that’s a small frac­tion of the retirees going hungry.

[54]

Emblem of the Ukrainian Azov Battalion whose commanders occupy key positions in that country's government

6. “Attempt­ing to cre­ate unbear­able con­di­tions of life is a whole new ball­game… using star­va­tion of civil­ians as a method of war­fare is a war crime”:

“More than 1 Mil­lion Flee, Ukraine Close to ‘Human­i­tar­ian Catastrophe’ ”  [37]by Kieran Guilbert; Reuters [37]; 1/8/2015. [37]

More than one mil­lion peo­ple have been dri­ven from their homes by the con­flict in Ukraine, ham­per­ing aid efforts and leav­ing the coun­try on the verge of a human­i­tar­ian cat­a­stro­phe, aid agen­cies said on Thursday.

The num­ber of peo­ple uprooted within Ukraine, 610,000, and of refugees who have fled to neigh­bour­ing coun­tries, 594,000, has more than tripled since August, fig­ures from the United Nations Office for the Coor­di­na­tion of Human­i­tar­ian Affairs (OCHA) show.

The U.N. said an esti­mated 5.2 mil­lion peo­ple in Ukraine were liv­ing in con­flict zones, of whom 1.4 mil­lion were highly vul­ner­a­ble and in need of assis­tance as they face finan­cial prob­lems, a lack of ser­vices and aid, and harsh win­ter conditions.

The con­flict between Ukraine and pro-Russia sep­a­ratists, killed more than 4,700 peo­ple last year and pro­voked the worst cri­sis in rela­tions between Rus­sia and the West since the Cold War.

Denis Krivosheev, deputy direc­tor of Europe and Cen­tral Asia at Amnesty Inter­na­tional, said res­i­dents in separatist-controlled Luhansk and Donetsk could barely afford food and med­i­cines, espe­cially vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple such as pensioners.

“While it may be too early to call this a human­i­tar­ian cat­a­stro­phe, it’s clearly pro­gress­ing in that direc­tion,” Krivosheev told the Thom­son Reuters Foun­da­tion by email.

The pro­vi­sion of human­i­tar­ian aid was being ham­pered by pro-Kiev vol­un­teer bat­tal­ions that were increas­ingly pre­vent­ing food and med­i­cine from reach­ing those in need in east­ern Ukraine, he said.

“Attempt­ing to cre­ate unbear­able con­di­tions of life is a whole new ball­game… using star­va­tion of civil­ians as a method of war­fare is a war crime.”

The bat­tal­ions often act like “rene­gade gangs” and urgently need to be brought under con­trol, Krivosheev added.

Social ben­e­fits, includ­ing pen­sions, have also become a major con­cern for those in east­ern Ukraine fol­low­ing Kiev’s deci­sion to trans­fer the pay­ments to government-controlled areas, the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) said.

UNHCR spokesman William Spindler said those unable to leave their homes, such as the elderly and the sick, and peo­ple liv­ing in insti­tu­tions were not receiv­ing the help they needed.

[55]7. A courageously accurate op-ed piece was penned by Chris Martenson for Market Watch.

“OPINION: Perhaps You Missed It: We’re at War with Russia” by Chris Martenson; MarketWatch; 1/20/2015.  [33]

The U.S. has been waging economic, financial, trade, and political war against Russia and even kinetic war-by-proxy in Ukraine. Worryingly, nobody in power in the U.S. or Europe really seems willing to tell us exactly why.

From the Russian point of view, everything from their plunging ruble to bitter sanctions to the falling price of oil are the fault of the U.S., either directly or indirectly. Whether that is fair or not is irrelevant; that’s the view of the Russians right now. So no surprise, it doesn’t dispose them towards goodwill negotiations with the West generally, and the U.S. specifically.

Recently the anti-Russian stance in the U.S. press has quieted down, presumably because the political leadership has moved its attention on to other things, and that means Russia is largely out of the U.S. news cycle. However, there’s plenty of serious action going on in Russia and Ukraine, as well as related activity in the U.S. that deserves our careful attention.

The U.S. (via John Kerry) and NATO have steadily accused Russia of having funneled hundreds of tanks, armored personnel carriers and other heavy equipment to the separatists in eastern Ukraine.

These assertions bring to mind the Sherlock Holmes case of the dog that did not bark where the absence of a piece of evidence leads us to a very different conclusion than the one the U.S. political establishment would like us to believe.

The sorts of weaponry that NATO and the U.S. have charged Russia with providing are virtually impossible to conceal from the air. Snapping high-resolution photos of such war machinery is child’s play for today’s military satellites, and even civilian ones too. If the assertions were true, we should have seen a flood of photographs of Russian heavy equipment every step of the way as it passed into Ukraine.

But none have been offered, not even one so far. And the simplest explanation for this is that none exist. If they did, you can be 100% certain they’d have been released and replayed over and over again on CNN until everybody and their uncle could distinguish a T-72 tank outline from that of a T-64.

What concerns me even more than these undocumented charges are two especially ill-conceived, if not overtly confrontational, pieces of legislation passed by the Congress in December.

The first is H.Res 758 passed on Dec. 4, which, among other charges, accused Russia of having invaded Ukraine again without providing or referring to any sort of evidence photographic or otherwise. Entitled “Strongly condemning the actions of the Russian Federation, under President Vladimir Putin, which has carried out a policy of aggression against neighboring countries aimed at political and economic domination” the resolution is packed with a variety of one-sided assertions and leaves no diplomatic wiggle room for the possibility that Russia has a different view of what has transpired in Ukraine. . . .

. . . . The Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014, or S.2828, was passed by the Senate on Dec. 11. This goes even further than merely condemning Russia and authorizes the distribution of both lethal and non-lethal military aid to Kiev, including sniper and assault rifles, mortars and shells, stinger missiles, anti-tank missiles, night vision goggles, radar systems and a host of other hardware items.

If the tables were turned, and it were the Russian lawmakers passing a resolution condemning the U.S. for a variety of international crimes for which exactly zero proof was offered, and then were actively arming a dangerous conflict right on the U.S. border, I think we all know just how ablaze with indignity the U.S. political leadership would be. And rightly so.

So is it any surprise that Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in response, “Both houses of the U.S. Congress have approved the Ukraine Freedom Support Act bypassing debates and proper voting. The overtly confrontational message of the new law cannot but evoke profound regret. Once again Washington is leveling baseless sweeping accusations against Russia and threatening more sanctions.”

The really bizarre part of this story is that I cannot yet find any credible analysis or commentary explaining exactly what the U.S.’s interests are in Ukraine that are so compelling as to risk increasing confrontation with Russia. And it bothers a great many analysts that the U.S. is on an increasingly combative course with yet another country without providing any evidence in support of its accusations and actions. Again.

In response, Russia is rapidly withdrawing from additional dialog with the U.S. and Europe, while drawing ever closer to China, Turkey and India. Russians feel that they are already under siege from the U.S., and that acts of war have already been committed.

Despite being almost completely out of the U.S. news cycle, events are in and around the Ukraine situation are actually picking up pace. On Jan. 15, Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko signed a decree mobilizing 50,000 new servicemen to the front lines, and Russia just announced that Europe will have to accept gas via Turkey as the Ukraine route is being shut down.

This situation remains much more fluid and nuanced than we’re being told by the Western media, with much more to this story than a short column allows. Those interested in delving deeper can read our latest report here.

But in short, the situation is getting more strained, not less, and it has the very real chance of blossoming into something far larger and more deadly than the sparse coverage in the Western press might imply.

If it looks like a war, acts like a war and smells like a war, it may just be a war. Everyone should be very concerned by these events, but especially European readers.

8a. In keep­ing with Kiev’s new trend of hir­ing for­eign­ers for high-level gov­ern­ment posi­tions, it looks like the head of Ukraine’s new anti-corruption bureau might not be Ukrain­ian:

“For­eigner May Head Ukraine’s Anti-Corruption Bureau”; Zik.ua; 1/11/2015. [40]

Address­ing a 9-member com­mit­tee which is to appoint 3 can­di­dates to head the Anti-Corruption Bureau, Pres Poroshenko said the ACB is to oper­ate inde­pen­dently and openly, his Jan. 10 press ser­vice report runs.

Cor­rup­tion is Ukraine’s major enemy today, the incum­bent stressed.

There are anti-corruption struc­tures in the exec­u­tive and police, he stressed, but their work is not effec­tive since they are infested with cor­rup­tion, Poroshenko said.

The ACB is to become an effec­tive and trans­par­ent orga­ni­za­tion. Only this will help it to gain the con­fi­dence of Ukraini­ans, he said.

The fight should be started with graft, with ACB bring­ing to account­abil­ity high-level offi­cials, and then pro­ceed to low-level cor­rup­tion, he stressed.

The key fig­ure in the ACB is its direc­tor. He did not exclude the pos­si­bil­ity for a for­eigner to occupy this position.

8b. This prob­a­bly shouldn’t be a sur­prise given the other for­eign­ers that have already been given cab­i­net posi­tions. That, and the fact that the three-member   panel for select­ing the new head of the anti-corruption bureau includes the Ital­ian head of the EU’s anti-corruption agency [41]:

“Coali­tion Pro­poses Ital­ian Anti-Corruption Fighter for Selec­tion Com­mis­sion of ACB Head”; Zik.au [41]; 12/22/2014. [41]

All the coali­tion fac­tions sup­port Ital­ian Jovanni Kesler, the direc­tor of Euro­pean anti-corruption bureau, for mem­ber­ship of a 0-member com­mis­sion that will choose 3 can­di­dates for Ukraine’s Anti-Corruption Bureau head, Oleh Lyashko wrote in Face­book Dec. 22.

Verk­hovna Rada has to nom­i­nate 3 mem­bers of the commission.

Of the three nom­i­nated can­di­date Pres Poroshenko will choose the ACB head.

The cab­i­net and pres­i­dent have already nom­i­nated their 6 mem­bers.

Accord­ing to the media and NGOs, the 6 are Ukrain­ian par­tiots with impec­ca­ble pub­lic record.

9. As we peruse the “journalism” pertaining to Ukraine, it is important to bear in mind that NATO is organizing a propaganda campaign to sanitize the deliberate, pre-conceived re-institution of the OUN fascists in Ukraine. We wonder how extreme this is likely to become? Will active retaliation be implemented against journalists who dare to tell the truth?

“NATO Seeks Weapons to Counter Russia’s Information War” by Sam Jones; Financial Times; 12/7/2014. [34]

A casual consumer of Russian media might conclude the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, one of the strongholds of the country’s pro-EU uprising, has been overrun by violent fascists.

So a video recently uploaded to YouTube will prove disappointing. Called “Where are all the fascists in Lviv?”, it features a correspondent walking the city’s peaceful streets, interviewing slightly bemused — decidedly un-militant — shoppers.

The online video was produced and published by Nato. It is a modest new weapon the alliance is deploying as it seeks to fight back against a Kremlin information campaign that is posing a new worry for western policy makers alongside Russian bombs and espionage.

“Russia is weaponizing information in this crisis,” says James Appathurai, the alliance’s deputy assistant secretary general for political affairs. “They are reaching deep into our own electorates to affect politics.”

National intelligence agencies in the alliance point to what they say is alarming anti-Nato and anti-European rhetoric in the Russian media. The Kremlin has been particularly masterful, they believe, at using a web of disinformation to generate doubt internationally over its huge military support for separatists in Ukraine.

The fear among Nato officials and western policy makers is that the Russian campaign could fatally fracture an already fragile European consensus to maintain tough economic sanctions against Moscow for its behaviour in Ukraine.

In Germany, for example, Chancellor Angela Merkel is contending with a sizable faction sympathetic to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, whether for business or historical reasons. Other EU members also appear vulnerable to the Kremlin efforts to sow discord, particularly the impoverished former Soviet countries in southeast Europe.

“Information warfare is the spearhead of almost everything Russia is doing,” says Jonathan Eyal, international director at the Royal United Services Institute.

Nato planners accept that Mr Putin “is not mad”, says Mr Eyal, and therefore unlikely to rush headlong into an armed conflict by, for example, sending tanks into the Baltics. “We are talking about dealing with a long-term propaganda campaign instead.”

High-level delegations from across Europe have begun meeting at Nato’s headquarters in Brussels and in national capitals to discuss the challenge. The Lviv video — what Russian agitprop practitioners would call pokazukha, or a propagandistic publicity stunt — is one of the fruits of those meetings.

It has garnered 40,000 views so far. Most normal Nato video uploads manage fewer than 2,000. Nato insiders say more such material should be expected in the future.

There is even talk of reviving cold war ghosts, such as the UK Foreign Office’s Information Research Department, a secretive operation to feed news of Soviet misdeeds to sympathetic journalists. It was shut in 1977.

But even national governments once well-versed in Kremlinology are still somewhat bewildered by the threat.

The recent expansion into Britain of Moscow’s international news channel RT, [56] or Russia Today, has prompted a series of national security discussions at some of the highest levels in the British government, say officials. Yet policy makers are at a loss when it comes of proposals to deal with the threat they perceive, particularly when no laws have been broken.

“Our response to propaganda can’t be more propaganda,” says Oana Lungescu, Nato’s official spokesperson.

In the meantime, the alliance is seeking to try to redress a Russian effort that Ms Lungescu says is intended “to confuse, divert and divide”.

The alliance has also put together a new “web portal” called “setting the record straight”. It is available in Russian, Ukrainian, English and French and fleshed out with dozens of documents, statements, videos and images. One section lists 25 “myths” about the alliance coupled with “factual” rebuttals.

Another “timeline” of events compiles links to every single Nato pronouncement, press conference, speech or official Q&A relating to Ukraine and Russia since February.

Perhaps most significantly, the alliance has begun to co-ordinate “messaging” among its members, a senior official said. Shared lines are now being sent out to strategic communications teams working in the foreign ministries of members for use. Shortly before the Nato summit in Wales this September, the alliance also opened a new “centre of excellence” for strategic communications in Riga, Latvia, which is intended to serve as a clearinghouse for anti-propaganda ideas and research.

While Nato has joined the information war, many in the alliance acknowledge its efforts are still in their infancy, particularly when set against a vast Russian campaign.

“[We have] come a long way in responding . . . but clearly it is not enough,” Mr Appathurai says. “There are 20 or so people in Nato’s public diplomacy team who are at work trying to counter an organised, multi-faceted, well-funded Russian operation that is going on across the world.”