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FTR #853 Walkin’ the Snake at Babi Yar: Update on the Ukraine Crisis

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 late spring of 2015.. The new drive (available for a tax-deductible contribution of $65.00 or more) contains FTR #850 [1].  (The previous flash drive was current through the end of May of 2012 and contained FTR #748 [2].)

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Babi Yar Massacre

[9]Introduction: Once again we set forth political developments  against the scenario presented in Serpent’s Walk.

In that Nazi tract, 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 opinion-forming media to fundamentally revise history in a pro-Hitler fashion. Just such a revision is underway in Ukraine.

It is impossible within the scope of this post to cover our voluminous coverage of the Ukraine crisis.

Previous programs on the subject are: 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]832 [29]833 [30]837 [31]849 [32]850 [33]Listeners/readers are encouraged to examine these programs and/or their descriptions in detail, in order to flesh out their understanding.

In Ukraine, political history is being stood on its head. Both former president Yuschenko [14] and current president Poroshenko have visited the site of the Babi Yar massacres, among the most notorious incidents of the Holocaust. They did so, however, in order to honor the UPA/OUN/B cadre who participated in the murders! The OUN/B was heavily involved [34] with staffing the executioners roster.


Babi Yar Massacre

The deep politics [10] surrounding the Ukraine crisis [11] are such that we should not [14] be surprised by such developments.ABSTRACT [36]: In the wake of the Orange Revolution, Ukraine has witnessed a substantial growth in organized anti-Semitism. Central to this development is an organization, known as the Interregional Academy of Human Resources, better known by its Ukrainian acronym MAUP. It operates a well-connected political network that reaches the very top of the Ukrainian society. MAUP is the largest private university in Ukraine, with 57,000 students at 24 regional campuses. MAUP is connected to the KKK; David Duke is teaching courses in history and international relations at the university. Funded by Saudi Arabia, Libya and Iran, MAUP’s printing house publishes about 85% of the anti-Semitic literature in Ukraine. Until very recently, Ukrainian President Yushchenko and Foreign Minister Tarasiuk served on its board; former President Kravchuk still does. . . .”

In FTR #781 [14], we noted that, under Yuschenko, the wartime history [37] of Ukraine was stood on its head, Serpent’s Walk style. In FTR #794 [18], we noted that Poroshenko has basically engaged “Team Yuschenko” [38] in the formation of his government.

Program Highlights Include: 

1. We begin with an article noting that current Ukrainian president Poroshenko and former president Yuschenko visited the site of the Babi Yar massacre and placed wreaths honoring the OUN/B, whose ranks supplied the bulk of the executioners for the massacre.

“Ukraine: World War II Fiasco Leads to Public Relations Disaster and Thorny Relations for Kiev  and Foreign Diaspora” by Nicholas Kozloff; The World Post; 6/29/2015. [46]

For Kiev, winning the public relations war against Vladimir Putin would seem to be a no-brainer. For a year now, the Kremlin has conducted a thinly-disguised war of aggression in eastern Ukraine resulting in the deaths of thousands. Yet Kiev seems intent on squandering any international public support it might have had amidst a bizarre crackdown on free speech and censorship of controversial historical debates. Through its crackdown, Ukraine has actually played into Putin’s propaganda war and facilitated Russia’s PR efforts.

At issue is Ukraine’s contentious World War II past, some of which isn’t particularly flattering. With the support of Nazi Germany, militias affiliated with the extremist Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) allegedly committed a pogrom in the western city of Lviv. Writing in the London Independent, journalist Patrick Cockburn notes that while “Ukrainian politicians and historians have denied complicity… surviving Jewish victims, other witnesses and contemporary photographs prove that Ukrainian militiamen and mobs of supporters carried out the pogrom, though the Germans oversaw it and committed many of the murders.”

One scholar, John Paul Himka, has concluded that the pogrom was mostly conducted by the OUN under German supervision. According to Himka, the OUN sought to demonstrate to the Nazis “that it shared their anti-Jewish perspectives and that it was worthy to be entrusted with the formation of a Ukrainian state.” . . . . the OUN fought the Soviets and strived for an independent Ukraine, many [of its] leaders were influenced and trained by Nazi Germany. Indeed, the OUN could be characterized as a far right terrorist group which hoped to consolidate an ethnically homogenous Ukraine and a totalitarian, one party state.

Wartime Controversy

“The truth is that the official policy of the OUN was openly anti-Semitic, including approval for Nazi-style Jewish extermination,” writes Eduard Dolinksy of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee. Dolinksy adds that it was only at the end of the war, when it became clear that Germany would be defeated, that the Ukrainian right changed its position. The OUN in fact played an important role in pogroms which spread across Western Ukraine in the summer of 1941, resulting in the deaths of tens of thousands of Jews. After the Nazis dissolved the militias, many members linked up with the Ukrainian police and helped carry out the Holocaust throughout Western Ukraine.

Then, for good measure, the OUN assumed control over the Ukrainian Insurgent Army or UPA in 1943. . . . The Times of Israel notes “according to some historical accounts the group murdered thousands of Jews in the 1940s” [other historians, as well as supporters of the UPA, dispute this, claiming there were many Jews who themselves served in the ranks of the organization]. A recent article by Reuters claims the UPA shuttled victims into labor camps where they were subsequently executed. Furthermore, it is claimed the UPA was also guilty of conducting ethnic cleansing of Poles in 1943-44. The massacres in Eastern Galicia, which formed part of an overall UPA strategy aimed at creating a homogenous Ukrainian state, resulted in the deaths of 100,000 people.

Criminalizing Dissent

Amidst escalating war in the east, Ukraine desperately needs allies and popular foreign support. Given the desperate stakes, one would think that Kiev would come to terms with some of the unsavory aspects of its World War II past. Yet strangely, political elites are running hard in the opposite direction in an effort to coddle the extremist right. At issue is a highly controversial law recently signed by President Petro Poroshenko which honors the OUN and UPA.

Under the new law, it would be a crime to question the likes of the UPA. Specifically, legislation stipulates that Ukrainians and even foreigners [including Americans?–D.E.] who “publicly insult” the memory of wartime partisans “will be held to account in accordance with Ukrainian law.” The bill does not specify the penalty for questioning Ukraine’s wartime past, nor does the state explain which body will enforce the legislation. On the other hand, it is possible that any private individual could bring a case to court.

Though certainly distressing, Kiev’s approval of the retrograde law comes as little surprise. Former President Viktor Yushchenko, in fact, honored Ukrainian nationalists at a memorial in Babi Yar, where the most horrific massacre of Jews took place throughout the Holocaust. Not stopping there, Yushchenko then bestowed the highest government honor on none other than Stepan Bandera, a leader of the OUN.

Rehabilitating Extremist Right

Perhaps, Yushchenko’s efforts helped to rehabilitate Bandera and others in the minds of many. As recently as 2013, radical nationalists were visibly active during Ukraine’s Maidan revolution. Indeed, rightists brandished a host of OUN and UPA flags on Maidan square while belting out partisan wartime songs [for a fuller discussion of such curious rightist symbolism, see my earlier article here]. If anything, the UPA’s popularity has soared ominously since the Maidan.

Even more disturbingly, a number of OUN-UPA apologists currently hold important government positions in Kiev, and Poroshenko has done nothing to confront the radical right. In fact, the President has gone out of his way to follow in the footsteps of his reactionary predecessor Yushchenko by once again laying a wreath in honor of the OUN at Babi Yar. In addition, Poroshenko has labeled the UPA as “defenders of the fatherland” and established an official holiday in honor of the partisans.

Needless to say, Putin and Russian media have made a lot of hay out of Kiev’s backward politics and the emergence of so-called fascist hardliners. But while the new laws have raised a predictable response from Russia, the legislation has also reportedly led to hackles in Poland. Szczepan Siekierka, a leader of a civic organization dedicated to the memory of Poles killed by Ukrainian nationalists, is particularly concerned. Speaking with the Christian Science Monitor, Siekierka remarked “it’s hard to see reconciliation and forgiveness when the Ukrainians treat the UPA criminals and Bandera like national heroes. Accepting one extremism now will lead to the acceptance of other extremisms in future.”

Kiev Draws International Fire

Predictably, Kiev’s new legislation has drawn international fire from a variety of quarters. The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum has protested the new legislation, noting “as Ukraine advances on the difficult road to full democracy, we strongly urge the nation’s government to refrain from any measure that preempts or censors discussion or politicizes the study of history.” The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has echoed such sentiments, noting that “broadly and vaguely defined language that restricts individuals from expressing views on past events and people, could easily lead to suppression of political, provocative and critical speech, especially in the media.”

Perhaps, the new legislation could even harm Ukraine’s bid to join the European Union. Dolinsky writes “modern Ukrainians need to realize and comprehend this difficult and tragic history in order to become a truly European nation. Such laws as that recently signed by President Poroshenko can only harm the Ukrainian people.” For their part, some scholars have expressed grave dismay over developments in Kiev. Recently, a group of forty historians from western universities even signed an open letter of protest.

Still others worry about the chilling effect upon scholarship. Writing in the History News Network, academic experts declare that “the danger is that a prohibition on ‘insulting’ the ‘fighters’ or questioning the legitimacy of their ‘struggle’ is tantamount to a ban on critical research. The law does not specify what constitutes ‘insulting’, raising the question as to what scholars of modern Ukrainian history are allowed to write and say, and what they are not.”

The Search For Ukrainian Identity

Controversy swirling around the historic role of the OUN and UPA highlights Ukrainian soul searching and the quest for a modern national identity. Though Ukraine has its right wing agitators and even mainstream apologists, the country has by and large practiced tolerance and inclusiveness since gaining independence in 1991. Unfortunately however, backward legislation may serve to obscure such history. According to the Christian Science Monitor, recent political controversy demonstrates that “the debate over Ukrainian fascist history isn’t simply a he-said-she-said between Moscow and Kiev, but a deeper problem of how to square Ukraine’s sometimes sordid past with its efforts to find a modern identity.”

While the recent World War II flak poses thorny questions for many in Ukraine proper, the imbroglio may prompt some soul searching within the wider foreign Diaspora, too. In the wider metropolitan New York area, the Ukrainian community numbers more than 100,000 people. In Manhattan’s East Village, sometimes known as “Little Ukraine,” locals expressed opposition to Russian influence while holding fundraisers in support of Maidan protest. Though the East Village has become gentrified in recent years, the neighborhood still sports landmarks such as the Association of Ukrainian-Americans; the Ukrainian National Home; the Veselka restaurant; a Ukrainian Church, and the local Ukrainian Museum.

In the wake of Maidan protests in Kiev, Ukrainian-Americans took to the Brooklyn Bridge in support of demonstrations back home and even sang the national anthem on the subway. Indeed, EuroMaidan encouraged the growth of civic pride and patriotism, with many brandishing Ukrainian flags and embracing native folklore, crafts, music and food. The Kremlin’s subsequent annexation of Crimea united Ukrainian-Americans like never before in opposition to Russian aggression. Along Second Avenue in the East Village, local residents set up an improved shrine honoring the EuroMaidan movement with signs attacking Washington for not standing shoulder to shoulder with Kiev.

Tackling Difficult Questions

Uniting the Ukrainian-American community against external threats is one thing, but looking inward and trying to define the new soul of a nation is quite another. Perhaps, as Kiev’s political class increasingly moves to coddle extremist constituencies, the foreign Ukrainian community will undertake serious reflection. Hopefully, the wider Diaspora will not only condemn right wing politics and legislation but also build upon and expand modern concepts of Ukrainian identity. Rather than appease World War II apologists, Ukraine should recognize the historic role of Jews in the country. Today, many are sorely under-informed about such contributions and may not even be aware of such literary giants as Shalom Aleichem, for example.

In New York meanwhile, the expat community seems to follow familiar scripts. At the Ukrainian Museum, which supported the EuroMaidan movement by displaying patriotic posters in windows, curators have by and large played it safe by pushing rather narrow definitions of Ukrainian identity. Rather than tackle the tangled history of Ukrainian-Jewish relations, for example, the museum tends to concentrate on folk art and themes such as historic Ukrainian resistance to Russian expansionism. At the height of the EuroMaidan movement, one exhibit displayed — apparently without irony — a photo of a colorful “Cossack” protester on the Maidan [needless to say, many Jews of Ukrainian ancestry may have fearful associations of such Cossack history]. On their way out, patrons may purchase kitschy folkloric items in the museum gift shop.

Just a few blocks south of the East Village lies the Lower East Side, a neighborhood which absorbed waves of Jewish immigrants in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Many of the immigrants hailed from Czarist Russia, prior to modern Ukrainian independence. Later, many of the Jewish arrivals moved out of the Lower East Side and assimilated into the wider culture. Arguably, however, many of the immigrants’ descendants could be considered just as Ukrainian as more recent arrivals in the East Village. To be sure, memory or associations of Ukraine may seem quite distant and abstract to the great grandchildren of Lower East Side migrants. On the other hand, it is not unheard of for Americans of Italian or Irish descent, for example, to express sympathetic ethnic ties to the mother country. Maybe it is time for Ukraine to take a hard look in the mirror and ask itself why Jewish descendants are not clamoring for the same.

2. About the participation of the OUN/B in the massacres at Babi Yar.

“The Nazis Even Hitler Was Afraid Of” by George Eliason; OpEdNews; 3/16/2014. [34]

. . . . 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 [36].

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. . . .


Stephan Bandera

3a. About the history of anti-Semitism in the OUN/B and its outcroppings during World War II.

“The Honor They So Clearly Deserve” by Per Anders Rudling; Journal of Slavic Military Studies; 26:114–137, 2013; Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC ISSN: 1351-8046 print/1556-–137. [48]

. . . . In May 1941, the OUN(b) had issued a blueprint for the nationalist uprising that was to accompany the German invasion. The outbreak of violence would ‘permit the liquidation of undesirable Polish, Muscovite, and Jewish activists’34 and to ‘shoot the Muscovites, Jews, and NKVD men.’35 The violence was interconnected as the OUN(b) used the NKVD mass murders as a pretext for pogroms across Western Ukraine, holding Jews collectively responsible for Soviet atrocities.36 OUN(b) fliers proclaimed ‘Know this! Moscow, Magyars, Jews —these are all your enemies. Exterminate them.’37 Current research show that there were over 140 pogroms in 58 cities in Western Ukraine following the German invasion, in which between 17,000 and 35,000 Jews were killed.38 OUN(b) propaganda presented Bolshevism being a tool of Jewry. This stereotype was not only embraced by the OUN. During the recruitment of the Waffen-SS Galizien, Volodymyr Kubijovyc, one of the initiators of the ˇ Waffen-SS Galizien publically called upon its volunteers to help ‘exterminate the Jewish-Bolshevik pestilence.’ . . . .


Lvov Pogrom, 1941--Einsatzgruppe Nachtigall youth in action.

3b. Illustrating the historical fact now being denied and re-written by the current Ukrainian government, the program reprises a section of AFA #14 [50]. Note that the ABN/OUN/B milieu was part of the Reagan administration and the GOP, and was active in the U.S. in working to deny war crimes by the OUN and UPA.

The extermination of the Jewish ghetto in Lvov by the Einsatzgruppe Nachtigall (Nachtigall Battalion) is historical fact, not “Russian propaganda.” The organization’s political officer was SS officer Theodor Oberlander [39], later the (West) German minister for expellees, forced to resign when his role in the massacre was revealed. Oberlander (also spelled “Oberlaender” in some sources) is discussed on pp. 191-192 [40] of T.H. Tetens’ The New Germany and the Old Nazis [41]. Note that Lvov was also known as Lemberg (the Polish name of a city that was part of various countries at various times, including Ukraine, Poland and the former Soviet Union.) “Nachtigall” translates into English as “Nightingale,” the name for the unit commanded by Oberlander, as discussed in the Tetens text.

4a. The largest university in Ukraine is controlled by the MAUP organization, an institutional disseminator of anti-Semitic doctrine. David Duke teaches at the institution. Former president Yuschenko is on the advisory board, as was Leonid Kravchuk, another president of Ukraine.

Organized Anti-Semitism in Contemporary Ukraine: Structure, Influence and Ideology” by Pers Anders Rudling; Canadian Slavonic Papers; Vol. 48, No. 1/2 (March-June 2006): pp. 81-118. [36]

ABSTRACT: In the wake of the Orange Revolution, Ukraine has witnessed a substantial growth in organized anti-Semitism. Central to this development is an organization, known as the Interregional Academy of Human Resources, better known by its Ukrainian acronym MAUP. It operates a well-connected political network that reaches the very top of the Ukrainian society. MAUP is the largest private university in Ukraine, with 57,000 students at 24 regional campuses. MAUP is connected to the KKK; David Duke is teaching courses in history and international relations at the university. Funded by Saudi Arabia, Libya and Iran, MAUP’s printing house publishes about 85% of the anti-Semitic literature in Ukraine. Until very recently, Ukrainian President Yushchenko and Foreign Minister Tarasiuk served on its board; former President Kravchuk still does. This paper is a study of anti-Semitism in Ukraine, of its intellectual roots, influence and strength. It traces the Soviet, Christian, German and racist political traditions and outlines the political ambitions of organized anti-Semitism in post-Orange Revolution Ukraine.

4b. In addition to David Duke, Joran Jermas, aka “Israel Shamir,” [51] is part of the MAUP constellation. Jermas/Shamir [52] is a top aide to Julian Assange and, along with his son Johannes Wahlstrom (a bird of the same political feather) is in charge of WikiLeaks’ operations for the Scandinavian countries, Russia and Belarus.

It was Joran Jermas who offered Julian Assange [52] the opportunity to host WikiLeaks on the Pirate Bay website, funded by Swedish fascist Carl Lundstrom.

“Anti-Semitism International: Ukraine University of Hate;” adl.org; 11/3/2006.   [45]

MAUP: A University of Hate

  • MAUP is the main source of anti-Semitic agitation and propaganda in Ukraine. It organizes anti-Semitic meetings and conferences, regularly issues anti-Semitic statements and publishes two widely-distributed periodicals, Personnel and Personnel Plus, which frequently contain anti-Semitic articles.
  • At the same time, MAUP is a bona fide university (its English name is the Interregional Academy for Personnel Management), with more than 50,000 students enrolled at campuses in various locations. Business, political science and agriculture are among the subjects taught.
  • The anti-Semitic activities are directed by MAUP’s President, Georgy Tschokin, and a number of his colleagues. Tschokin is also the leader of the far-right Ukrainian Conservative Party.
  • MAUP has revived the notorious blood libel. In March 2006, MAUP leaders led by Tschokin paid their respects at the grave of Andrei Yuschinsky, a Christian boy whose death in 1911 led to the false conviction of Mendel Beilis, a Jew, who was eventually acquitted. The charges were based upon the notorious accusation of Jewish ritual murder.
    A MAUP publication alleged that Yuschinsky was “murdered by Jews with ritual purpose”. Tschokin is also campaigning for the Orthodox Church to canonise Yuschinsky.
  • White supremacist David Duke has close links with MAUP: he “teaches” a course on history and international relations, has been awarded a doctorate for a thesis on Zionism and was a key participant in MAUP’s June 2005 conference on “Zionism: Threat to World Peace”.  In October 2006, Duke addressed a MAUP audience on the subject of “Zionist” influence in the US media and signed copies of his book, “The Jewish Question Through the Eyes of an American.” Duke opened his speech by declaring: “The powers of globalism and Zionism are reaching out and they are trying to control the lives, the values, the culture and the foreign policy of every nation on earth”.
  • MAUP runs a number of kiosks in Kiev which specialize in anti-Semitic literature, including one located across the street from the “Hillel” club for Jewish students. Titles on sale include: “The Zionist protocols: sources and results”,  “Jewish syndrome” “Jews and economic life” and a book describing the infamous 1941 massacre of Jews at Babi Yar as “the third influential legend of the zhidovskoy catastrophe”.
  • On November 22, 2005, Tschokin issued a statement of solidarity with Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s threat to wipe out Israel. The statement blended traditional Christian anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism: “We’d like to remind that the Living God Jesus Christ said to Jews two thousand years ago: ‘Your father is a devil!’…Israel, as known, means ‘Theologian’, and Zionism in 1975 was acknowledged by General Assembly of UNO as the form of racism and race discrimination, that, in the opinion of the absolute majority of modern Europeans, makes the most threat to modern civilization. Israel is the artificially created state (classic totalitarian type) which appeared on the political Earth map only in 1948, thanks to good will of UNO…Their end is known, and only the God’s true will rescue all of us. We are not afraid, as God always together with his children!”
  • MAUP continues to boast of its ties with Iran. In March 2006, Tschokin received the Iranian Ambassador, Saed Ahmed Musavi Maleki, and negotiated a student exchange scheme between MAUP and Iranian universities. According to the MAUP website, the two men also discussed the building of a Ukrainian cultural center in Iran. MAUP representatives participated in an April 2006 conference held in Tehran under government sponsorship, entitled “Al Quds and the Protection of the Rights of the Palestinians”. There are widespread allegations that MAUP receives funding from the Iranian regime.
  • MAUP continues to maintain close ties with individuals in the Ukrainian political establishment. Of special concern is the relationship between MAUP and Levko Lukyanenko, a former dissident and former Ukranian Ambassador to Canada, who is a prominent member of the political bloc led by former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Lukyanenko has blamed the terrible Ukrainian famine of the 1930s on a “Satanic” government controlled by Jews and has falsely claimed, in attacking the former Soviet regime, that both Lenin and Stalin were Jewish.
  • MAUP’s June 2005 anti-Zionist conference was attended by anti-Semites from all over the region, as well as Duke, French Holocaust denier Serge Thion and Israel Shamir, a Russian Jew who converted to Christianity and is notorious for publishing anti-Semitic essays on the internet. The Palestinian Authority representative in Ukraine, Walid Zakut, was also reported to have attended.
  • MAUP’s anti-Semitic activities can be traced back to at least 2002. MAUP’s leading figures have been at the root of attempts to bar Jewish organizations in Ukraine and, more recently, a call to ban “The Tanya”, a classic work of Hassidic Jewish literature, on the grounds that it promotes racism against non-Jews.

5. Illustrating the direct line of succession from the World War II period to the present in Ukraine, the laws banning criticism of the OUN or its UPA military wing (involved with the Lvov [Lemberg] massacre) were drawn up by Yuri Shukhevych, the son of Roman Shukhevych, the head of the UPA!

The Tele­graph has a report on Ukraine’s ‘his­tory laws’ that make it ille­gal to crit­i­cize Ukraine’s fas­cist Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors. The arti­cle con­tains much of the expected “some peo­ple say these groups were involved with [insert his­toric crime here], but oth­ers disagree”-back and forth when a topic like this gets reported on. But it also con­tains this lit­tle fun-fact: The MP in the Rad­i­cal Party that wrote the “free­dom fight­ers” law, Yury Shukhevych, is the son of Roman Shukhevych, the for­mer head of the UPA:
“Ukraine’s ‘His­tory Laws’ Purge it of Com­mu­nist Sym­bols but Divide the Pop­u­la­tion” by Tom Parfitt; The Tele­graph [53]; 6/30/2015. [53]

 Lion­is­ing nation­al­ists and remov­ing Soviet mon­u­ments helps pro­tect Ukraine from Russ­ian aggres­sion, sup­port­ers say — but oth­ers see praise for Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors and an assault on the past

 Almost blind and 82 years old, Yury Shukhevych leans heav­ily on a stick topped with an orna­men­tal axe-head. “It’s a Hut­sul axe from the Carpathi­ans,” he says, with an imp­ish smile. “You could cleave a head in two with this.”

His stooped body and eyes squeezed almost shut do not sug­gest much of a war­rior, but Mr Shukheyvch has pedi­gree. His father, Roman, was the head of the Ukrain­ian Insur­gent Army (UPA), a nation­al­ist group that fought both the Ger­mans and the Sovi­ets dur­ing the Sec­ond World War, col­lab­o­rat­ing for a time with the Nazis.

For some in Ukraine, mem­bers of the UPA were heroic free­dom fight­ers who resisted all intrud­ers in an attempt to pre­serve a national home­land. But for oth­ers in this deeply divided coun­try of 45 mil­lion peo­ple, they were trai­tor­ous fas­cists, bent on mass mur­der and eth­nic cleansing.

Now the argu­ment is being stirred anew after Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine’s pres­i­dent, approved a series of con­tro­ver­sial new “his­tory laws” last month. Under one law, Ukraine is to be purged of com­mu­nist sym­bols [54], includ­ing hun­dreds of stat­ues of Vladimir Lenin. Under another, UPA vet­er­ans – and other 20th cen­tury “fight­ers for Ukrain­ian inde­pen­dence” – acquire a spe­cial sta­tus [55], mak­ing it ille­gal to express “pub­lic con­tempt” towards them or deny the legit­i­macy of their struggle.

The con­tentious laws feed into a wider bat­tle for iden­tity and sur­vival as gov­ern­ment troops fight pro-Russian sep­a­ratists in the east­ern Don­bas region, where a cease­fire is disintegrating.

‘Let the Rus­sians not tell us who are our heroes’

Mr Shukhevych, an MP with the nation­al­ist Rad­i­cal Party since Octo­ber, drafted the law on free­dom fight­ers. He says his father and com­rades resisted Moscow’s dom­i­nance and as a result were sub­jected to a Soviet – and now Russ­ian — smear campaign.

“Let the Rus­sians not tell us who are our heroes,” he says. Fight­ing together with the Ger­mans against Soviet forces dur­ing the war was a tem­po­rary and prag­matic move for Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists, Mr Shukhevych adds, and they did not sym­pa­thise with Nazi ideas. . . .

“This is all Russ­ian pro­pa­ganda,” he says. . . .

6. Right Sec­tor just had a march in Kiev with all of their usual fan­fare includ­ing the white supremacy sym­bols. The mes­sage of the marchers? Drop the Minsk cease-fire and wage full-scale war in the East.

“Ukraine Cri­sis: Rally in Kiev Urges War on East­ern Rebels”;  [43]BBC News 7/04/2015. [43]

About 1,000 Ukrain­ian pro-government fight­ers and far-right sup­port­ers have marched through the cen­tre of the cap­i­tal, Kiev.

Many burned tyres and wore bal­a­clavas; some car­ried white suprema­cist flags.

They called on the gov­ern­ment to end the Minsk cease­fire accord and declare war on pro-Russian rebels in the east.

The demon­stra­tors say the Russ­ian gov­ern­ment is bring­ing troops and equip­ment into Ukraine, a claim that Rus­sia has always denied.

Many in the rally were from vol­un­teer bat­tal­ions and were dressed in their bat­tle fatigues.

They said they had returned from fight­ing Russ­ian forces and demanded an end to all diplo­matic rela­tions with Russia.

The ultra-nationalist Right Sec­tor group called the march. Pro­test­ers also demanded the nation­al­i­sa­tion of Russian-owned businesses.

More than 6,400 peo­ple have been killed in fight­ing in east­ern Ukraine that began in April 2014 when rebels seized large parts of the two east­ern regions. This fol­lowed Russia’s annex­a­tion of the Crimea peninsula.

The BBC’s David Stern in Kiev says Friday’s rally was a show of strength in the heart of Ukrain­ian officialdom.

But above all, our cor­re­spon­dent says, the demon­stra­tors were call­ing for change. Both in the way that the con­flict is being fought in the east and in the way that the coun­try is being run.

Cen­tral to their demands is an end to the Minsk cease­fire agree­ment signed in Feb­ru­ary [56]which they say is a cha­rade because of Russia’s activ­i­ties in Ukraine.

The Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment, West­ern lead­ers and Nato all say there is clear evi­dence that Rus­sia is help­ing the rebels in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions with heavy weapons and sol­diers. Inde­pen­dent experts echo that accusation.

But Moscow denies it, insist­ing that any Rus­sians serv­ing with the rebels are volunteers.

Clashes between gov­ern­ment troops and rebels have recently intensified.

7. So the folks that have repeat­edly threat­ened to ‘march on Kiev [57]’ when the war is over just marched in Kiev demand­ing more war. How helpful.

And in other news, on the same day of march in Kiev, the sep­a­ratists in the East with­drew from some positions and had their own sym­bolic march, of sorts: they marched out of strate­gic posi­tions a [44]nd made renewed pleas for con­sti­tu­tional guar­an­tees for semi-autonomous sta­tus in the break­away regions as a path towards long-term peace:
’Death to the Enemy’ as pro-Kiev Fight­ers March in Capital”; i24 News [44]; 7/04/2015. [44]

About 2,000 pro-Kiev vol­un­teer fight­ers and far-right group mem­bers ral­lied in the Ukrain­ian cap­i­tal on Fri­day evening to demand the dec­la­ra­tion of all-out war against the east­ern gunmen.

Many in the rally were from vol­un­teer fight­ing units wear­ing their fight­ing fatigues, bal­a­clavas and burn­ing tyres.

Call­ing on the Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment to end the Minsk cease­fire accords with Rus­sia, some chanted “Death to the Enemy” and “Glory to Ukraine”.

Ukraine rebels with­draw from key front­line village

Pro-Russian fight­ers have with­drawn from a strate­gic front­line vil­lage, Ukraine’s mil­i­tary reported on Fri­day, although some troops doubted whether the sur­prise retreat and lull in fight­ing would last.

Lying just 10 kilo­me­tres (six miles) east of the Sea of Azov indus­trial port of Mar­i­upol — the tar­get of repeated rebel attacks — Shy­rokyne has been one of the dead­liest hotspots of the 15-month sep­a­ratist con­flict in the ex-Soviet state’s indus­trial east.

“The rebels with­drew to the east, leav­ing the set­tle­ment of Shy­rokyne com­pletely destroyed,” mil­i­tary spokesman Olek­sandr Motuzyanyk told reporters in Kiev.

But sep­a­ratists warned that “uni­lat­eral demil­i­tari­sa­tion” by their side may not be enough to estab­lish a last­ing peace.

“We are wait­ing for a sim­i­lar step (from Ukraine),” sep­a­ratist leader Denis Pushilin told Russia’s state-run RIA Novosti news agency.

A top offi­cial with the Orga­ni­za­tion for Secu­rity and Coop­er­a­tion in Europe (OSCE) said his Ukrain­ian mon­i­tor­ing teams had also not found any pro-Russian fight­ers in the vil­lage, Inter­fax reported.

West­ern pow­ers, Rus­sia and the OSCE have repeat­edly urged the two sides to respect a Feb­ru­ary truce deal that demanded the imme­di­ate with­drawal of heavy weapons from the front.

But mutual mis­trust has prompted daily exchanges of fire and turned Shy­rokyne into an impor­tant stag­ing post for rebel attacks on Mar­i­upol — a port city the insur­gents had vowed to seize in Jan­u­ary before claim­ing to have changed their mind.

–Diplo­matic tensions –

The insur­gents’ retreat along the south­ern edge of the front comes in a week that has wit­nessed a marked de-escalation of fight­ing and drop in the num­ber of daily reported deaths.

But diplo­matic ten­sions between Moscow and Kiev remain high, with Rus­sia on Fri­day accus­ing Ukrain­ian Pres­i­dent Petro Poroshenko of refus­ing to agree final peace terms with the sep­a­ratist command.

The Western-backed Ukrain­ian leader irked both Moscow and the fight­ers by unveil­ing draft changes to the con­sti­tu­tion that gave sweep­ing pow­ers to the regions but crit­i­cally failed to address the rebels’ main demands.

His amend­ments, which Poroshenko on Fri­day asked par­lia­ment to approve within the next two weeks, refuse to add to the con­sti­tu­tion the semi-autonomous sta­tus demanded by mil­i­tants who now con­trol land roughly the size of Wales.

Rebel parts of the mostly Russian-speaking Lugansk and Donetsk regions would like to see their right to par­tial self-rule spelt out in con­sti­tu­tional amend­ments that would be enor­mously dif­fi­cult to overturn.

But Poroshenko’s draft only makes ref­er­ence to an exist­ing piece of leg­is­la­tion that gives insur­gency lead­ers par­tial right to admin­is­ter the areas for an interim period once a set of pre­lim­i­nary con­di­tions are met.

The sep­a­ratists fear that the law could be revoked or sus­pended by Ukraine’s strongly pro-European parliament.

For his part, Poroshenko is try­ing to avoid los­ing cred­i­bil­ity with more nation­al­ist Ukraini­ans who backed the pro-European protests last year and remain a pow­er­ful voice in the crisis-torn country’s frac­tured polit­i­cal system.

8.  We conclude with a look at the entrenched nature of Ukrainian fascism in the United States, prior to World War II. Note the close relationship between the Ukrainian fascist milieu in the U.S. with the Third Reich, as well as prominent Americans, such as Henry Ford.

The Hitler Legacy by Peter Levenda; IBIS Press [HC]; Copyright 2014 by Peter Levenda; ISBN 978-0-89254-210-9; pp. 102-103. [58]

. . . . Now Coughlin really opened up. He revealed to the astonished priest [Pelypenko] that he was a coordinating link with all subversive groups in the county; that he was connected to the whole of the White Russian Nazi groups under [Nazi spy Count Anastase] Vonsiatsky, that he was in direct touch with Ukrainian terrorist groups in Detroit, and that he was linked to John Koos, the Nazi Ukrainian working for Henry Ford. (From American Swastika by Charles Higham, p. 129.) John Koos was the leader in America of the Ukrainian Hetman Organization (UHO). This was a Nazi group, based in Berlin, composed of ethnic anti-Communists and engaged in terrorist activities against the Soviets, as well as against pro-Communist or anti-Nazi individuals and groups everywhere else. Koos worked out of the Ford Motor Company factories in Detroit where he arranged for the hiring of thousands of Ukrainians to work the plants and to form a fifth column working directly for Henry Ford. The position of Koos was so secure in the eyes of the Reich that Hitler himself sent the message that Koos would be named Minister of Internal Affairs in Ukraine once it had been liberated by the Nazis. Koos received a medal awarded by Alfred Rosenberg, the Nazi ideologist mentioned above. . . .