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This program was recorded in one, 60-minute segment .
Introduction: In addition to further exploration of links between the political forces grouped around Eddie the Friendly Spoook (Snowden) and fascists involved with the events surrounding the Maidan coup, this program highlights the dangers posed by extremist stances adopted both by the OUN/B heirs in power in Ukraine and their Amen chorus in the U.S.
This analysis is presented in conjunction with, and against the back ground of, the Earth Island  or World Island as it is sometimes known.
Stretching from the Straits of Gibraltar, all across Europe, most of the Middle East, Eurasia, Russia, China and India, that stretch of land: comprises most of the world’s land mass; contains most of the world’s population and most of the world’s natural resources (including oil and natural gas.) Geopoliticians have long seen controlling that land mass as the key to world domination. The population that occupies the middle of that stretch of geography is largely Muslim.
Among the most influential advocates of using Islamists as proxy warriors to control the Earth island is Zbignew Brzezinski , Jimmy Carter’s former National Security Adviser and a long-time Gehlen milieu associate. Brzezinski utilized the Islamist gambit to lure the Soviet Union into Afghanistan and the presence of Chechen fighters  operating under Pravy Sektor administrative command may very well derive from the same operational strategy.
Exemplifying the recklessness enjoying a degree of rhetorical chic in Washington, Zbigniew Brzezinski’s son Ian advocated before the Senate Armed Services Committee that warmaking powers with regard to Russia be taken out of President Obama’s hands and given to the top military commander of NATO!
” . . . Today it’s Brzezinski’s son Ian who finds Moscow at the root of America’s problems regardless of the facts. He recently recommended to the Senate Armed Services Committee  that the authority to make war on Russia should be taken out of President Obama’s hands and given to NATO’s top commander, General Phillip Breedlove . . .”
This at the same time that a commander of one of Ukraine’s Nazi/Punisher Battalions is calling for the war to be carried to Russia itself , directly threatening the Russian capital with destruction.
“I would like Ukraine to lead the crusades,” said Korchynsky, whose battalion’s name is Saint Mary. “Our mission is not only to kick out the occupiers, but also revenge. Moscow must burn.”
Official disclaimers and official policy aside, it appears that the Nazi Punisher Battalions are indeed receiving U.S. training . U.S. advisers are only screening military trainees for records of human rights abuses.
The trainees are vetted by Ukraine’s Interior Ministry, which formed the Azov Battalion and which has nominal command over the others.
The chances are good that the presence of “the Ukrainian diaspora’ and “volunteer’ medics and engineers” indicates a covert operation underway. The presence of ISIS-linked Chechen fighters in the Ukrainian “volunteer’ battalions is probably part of the same operation.
” . . . In an interview with The Daily Beast, Sgt. Ivan Kharkiv of the Azov battalion talks about his battalion’s experience with U.S. trainers and U.S. volunteers quite fondly, even mentioning U.S. volunteers engineers and medics that are still currently assisting them. He also talks about the significant and active support from the Ukrainian diaspora in the U.S. . . .”
Threatening the Poroshenko regime with military action, Pravy Sektor and other military elements of the OUN/B heirs governing Ukraine have been pushing for a declaration of war  by the Ukrainian government. Such a declaration would preclude IMF lending to that deeply troubled nation.
Much of the program further develops the fascist reality of the underpinning of “Team Snowden.” Joined at the hip with Eddie the Friendly Spook and His Friends is the WikiLeaks milieu . In addition to apparent intelligence connections, the WikiLeaks political milieu tracks back to the far right in fundamental ways.
WikiLeaks held forth on the Pirate Bay web site, financed largely, by Carl Lundstrom, who also has been a financial lynchpin for the Sweden Democrats in Sweden. A member of that “former” Nordic superiority party was just arrested in connection with an apparent bomb plot .
The connection between Lundstrom and WikiLeaks  was made by Julian Assange’s close aide Joran Jermas, aka “Israel Shamir,”  a doctrinaire Holocaust denier. Jermas/Shamir is also part of the political constellation surrounding the MAUP  educational establishment in Ukraine. MAUP is a doctrinaire anti-Semitic/fascist institution, at which David Duke is a lecturer and instructor . (Lundstrom arranged a Scandinavian speaking tour for Duke, who also networks with a Russian fascist milieu with which Jermas/Shamir operates.)
Snowden “leaking journalist of choice” Glenn Greenwald has been financially embraced by the media organization of Pierre Omidyar of EBay. In addition to helping to finance the Ukrainian coup and bankroll political support for Ukrainian Members of Parliament, Omidyar is now networking  with the National Endowment for Democracy, a very important “soft power” institution that is very close to, and frequently operates on behalf of, the intelligence community.
It is impossible under the circumstances to cover our research into the Ukraine crisis. Previous programs on the subject are: FTR #‘s 777 , 778 , 779 , 780 , 781 , 782 , 783 , 784 , 794 , 800 , 803 , 804 , 808 , 811 , 817 , 818 , 824 , 826 , 829 , 832 , 833 , 837 , 849 , 850 , 853 .
Listeners/readers are encouraged to examine these programs and/or their descriptions in detail, in order to flesh out their understanding.
Program Highlights Include:
- A recent 35 percent turnout  for an election in Ukraine, indicating a political disillusionment in that race.
- Review of the political heritage of Pravy Sektor , one of the groups threatening the Poroshenko regime.
- Review of the role of the “Paulistinian Libertarian Organization”  in the Snowden/WikiLeaks “op.”
- Glenn Greenwald’s work running interference  for the “leaderless resistance”  stragtegy.
- Review  of the National Endowment for Democracy’s projection of World War II-era fascists into Lithuania during the waning phase of the Cold War, setting the stage for the political rehabilitation of Baltic Waffen SS units.
1. Two different types of fascist cadres are operating in tandem in Ukraine–in addition to the OUN/B heirs such as the Pravy Sektor formations, Chechen fighters (almost certainly allied with some element of Muslim Brotherhood) are now fighting alongside them and under the Pravy Sektor administrative command.
The Chechen formations are described as “brothers” of the Islamic State.
In a curiously upbeat account, The New York Times reports that Islamic militants have joined with Ukraine’s far-right and neo-Nazi battalions to fight ethnic Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine. It appears that no combination of violent extremists is too wretched to celebrate as long as they’re killing Russ-kies.
The article  by Andrew E. Kramer reports that there are now three Islamic battalions “deployed to the hottest zones,” such as around the port city of Mariupol. One of the battalions is headed by a former Chechen warlord who goes by the name “Muslim,” Kramer wrote, adding:
“The Chechen commands the Sheikh Mansur group, named for an 18th-century Chechen resistance figure. It is subordinate to the nationalist Right Sector, a Ukrainian militia. … Right Sector … formed during last year’s street protests in Kiev from a half-dozen fringe Ukrainian nationalist groups like White Hammer and the Trident of Stepan Bandera .
“Another, the Azov group, is openly neo-Nazi, using the ‘Wolf’s Hook’  symbol associated with the [Nazi] SS. Without addressing the issue of the Nazi symbol, the Chechen said he got along well with the nationalists because, like him, they loved their homeland and hated the Russians.”
As casually as Kramer acknowledges the key front-line role of neo-Nazis and white supremacists fighting for the U.S.-backed Kiev regime, his article does mark an aberration for the Times and the rest of the mainstream U.S. news media, which usually dismiss any mention of this Nazi taint as “Russian propaganda.” . . .
. . . . Now, the Kiev regime has added to those “forces of civilization” — resisting the Russ-kie barbarians — Islamic militants with ties to terrorism. Last September, Marcin Mamon, a reporter for the Intercept, reached  a vanguard group of these Islamic fighters in Ukraine through the help of his “contact in Turkey with the Islamic State [who] had told me his ‘brothers’ were in Ukraine, and I could trust them.”
The new Times article avoids delving into the terrorist connections of these Islamist fighters. . . .
2. Next, we examine an article written by Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, the authors of Invisible History; Afghanistan’s Untold Story (See FTR #‘s 678 , 680 , 683 , 685 .) Discussing Zbigniew Brzezinski’s doctrine of controlling Eurasia by controlling the “pivot point” of Ukraine. Fundamental to this analysis is the concept of the Earth Island  or World Island as it is sometimes known.
Stretching from the Straits of Gibraltar, all across Europe, most of the Middle East, Eurasia, Russia, China and India, that stretch of land: comprises most of the world’s land mass; contains most of the world’s population and most of the world’s natural resources (including oil and natural gas.) Geopoliticians have long seen controlling that land mass as the key to world domination. The population that occupies the middle of that stretch of geography is largely Muslim.
Brzezinski utilized that gambit to lure the Soviet Union into Afghanistan and the presence of Chechen fighters operating under Pravy Sektor administrative command may very well derive from the same concept.
Russia historian Stephen Cohen points to the neoconservative establishment for America’s latest outbreak of what can only be referred to as late-stage imperial dementia. Neocons Robert Kagan and wife Victoria Nuland have certainly done the heavy lifting to make Ukraine the staging ground for what appears to be a NATO blitzkrieg on Moscow. But whatever the determination of the neocon plot, they are only the barking dogs of master imperialist Zbigniew Brzezinski , whose grand design has been creeping over the globe since he stepped into the Oval office as National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter in 1977.
Brzezinski stands apart as the inspiration for the Ukraine crisis. His 1997 book The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives lays out the blueprint for how American primacists should feel towards drawing Ukraine away from Russia because, “Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire.”
Brzezinski’s obsession derives from British geographer Sir Halford Mackinder’s 1904 definition  of the Central-Eastern nations of Europe as the “Pivot Area”, whose geographic position made them “the vital springboards for the attainment of continental domination.” Whether anyone realizes it, the Obama administration’s current campaign against Russia in Ukraine is of Mackinder’s design brought forward by Brzezinski.
To an expert like Stephen Cohen, the Obama administration’s indictment  of Russia over Ukraine “doesn’t correspond to the facts and above all it has no logic.” But a look back forty years reveals that a lot of Cold War thinking wasn’t fact-based either and it may now be instructive to look for answers to Washington’s current dose of illogic in the covert origins of the U.S. supported 1970s war for Afghanistan.
As the first Americans to gain access to Kabul  after the Soviet invasion for an American TV crew in 1981 we got a close-up look at the narrative supporting President Carter’s “greatest threat to peace since the Second World War” and it didn’t hold up. What had been presented as an open and shut case of Soviet expansion by Harvard Professor Richard Pipes on the MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour could just as easily have been defined as a defensive action within the Soviets’ legitimate sphere of influence. Three years earlier, Pipes’Team B Strategic Objectives Panel  had been accused of subverting the process of making national security estimates by inventing threats where they didn’t exist and intentionally skewing its findings along ideological lines. Now that ideology was being presented as fact by America’s Public Broadcasting System.
In 1983 we returned to Kabul with Harvard Negotiation Project Director Roger Fisher  for ABC’s Nightline. Our aim was to establish the credibility of the American claims. We discovered from high level Soviet officials that the Kremlin wanted desperately to abandon the war but the Reagan administration was dragging its feet. From the moment they entered office, the Reagan administration demanded that the Soviets withdraw their forces, while at the same time keeping them pinned down through covert action so they couldn’t leave. Though lacking in facts and dripping in right wing ideology, this hypocritical campaign was embraced by the entire American political spectrum and left willfully-unexamined by America’s mainstream media.
At a conference conducted by the Nobel Institute in 1995 , a high level group of former US and Soviet officials faced off over the question: Why did the Soviets invade Afghanistan? Former National Security Council staff member Dr. Gary Sick established that the U.S. had assigned Afghanistan to the Soviet sphere of influence years before the invasion. So why did the US choose an ideologically biased position when there were any number of verifiable fact-based explanations for why the Soviets had invaded?
To former CIA Director Stansfield Turner, responsibility could only be located in the personality of one specific individual. “Brzezinski’s name comes up here every five minutes; but nobody has as yet mentioned that he is a Pole.” Turner said. “[T]he fact that Brzezinski is a Pole, it seems to me was terribly important.”
What Stansfield Turner was saying in 1995 was that Brzezinski’s well-known hatred of Russia  led him to take advantage of the Soviet’s miscalculation. But it wasn’t until the 1998 Nouvel Observateur interview  that Brzezinski boasted that he had provoked the invasion by getting Carter to authorize a Presidential finding to intentionally suck the Soviets in six months before they even considered invading.
Yet, despite Brzezinski’s admission, Washington’s entire political spectrum continued to embrace his original false narrative that the Soviets had embarked on a world conquest.
For Brzezinski, getting the Soviets to invade Afghanistan was an opportunity to shift Washington toward an unrelenting hard line against the Soviet Union. By using covert action, he created the conditions needed to provoke a Soviet defensive response which he’d then used as evidence of unrelenting Soviet expansion. However, once his exaggerations and lies about Soviet intentions became accepted, they found a home in America’s imagination and never left.
The Brzezinski-drafted Carter Doctrine  put the U.S. into the Middle East with the Rapid Deployment Force, China became engaged as a US military ally and detente with the Soviet Union was dead. The Reagan administration would soon advance on this agenda with a massive military buildup as well as expanded covert actions inside the Soviet Union by the Nationalities Working Group .
The Polish born Brzezinski represented the ascendency of a radical new breed of xenophobic Eastern and Central European intellectual bent on holding Soviet/American policy hostage to their pre-World War II world view. His early support for expanding NATO into Eastern Europe and Ukraine was opposed by 46 senior foreign policy advisors who referred to it in a letter to President Clinton  as “a policy error of historic proportions.” Yet in 1999, the Clinton administration, urged on by what Time Magazine described as “Ethnic lobbying groups such as the Polish American Congress,” began implementing the plan.
US policy since that time has operated in a delusion of triumphalism that both provokes international incidents and then capitalizes on the chaos. A destabilizing strategy of sanctions against Russia, the American military’s training  of the Ukrainian National Guard, US troops parading armored vehicles within 300 yards of Russia’s border  and warlike statements by NATO leaders  can only mean the US is committed to Brzezinski’s strategy of seizing the “Pivot Area” and holding it.
Today it’s Brzezinski’s son Ian who finds Moscow at the root of America’s problems regardless of the facts. He recently recommended to the Senate Armed Services Committee  that the authority to make war on Russia should be taken out of President Obama’s hands and given to NATO’s top commander, General Phillip Breedlove; a man accused by the German government of exaggerating the Russian threat in eastern Ukraine by spreading “dangerous propaganda” .
The time has come for the American public to be let in on what US foreign policy has become and to decide whether the Brzezinski family’s personal obsession  with fulfilling Mackinder’s directive for conquering the pivot of Eurasia at any cost, should be America’s goal as well.
3. The Daily Beast has a fascinating investigation of the steps that are in place to assure that no Nazis from are receiving US military training and equipment in Ukraine. Despite official denials that neo-Nazis are being trained, between-the-lines reading and analysis reveals that this is probably untrue. The interior ministry of Ukraine is vetting the trainees and it is that ministry that controls the Azov Battalion and other, similar Nazi units.
There are no doubts about the neo-Nazi and white supremacist background of the Azov Battalion, a militia that has positioned itself at the forefront  of the fight against Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. As the founder and head of the battalion Andriy Biletsky once put it  “The historic mission of our nation in this critical moment is to lead the White Races of the world in a final crusade for their survival.”
That Russian President Vladimir Putin and his propagandists exploit this fact, using it to build support for their aggression and to undermine the international effort to help Ukraine defend its independence, is undeniable. But knowing that, and wanting to resist that, does not resolve some very important questions about the basic facts.
What is the relationship of the U.S. government to these people? Is it training them? Might it arm them? Is this, like the Afghan war of the 1980s, one of those cases where we aid and abet the kind of monsters who eventually become our enemies? Concerns about that possibility have been growing on Capitol Hill.
Because of uncertainties surrounding the Azov Battalion’s role in the U.S. training initiative and worries about the possible supply of shoulder-held anti-aircraft missiles to such characters, the House unanimously adopted bipartisan amendments to H.R. 2685, the “Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2015.” And one of them specifically blocks training of the “Ukrainian neo-Nazi paramilitary militia ‘Azov Battalion.’” Representatives John Conyers and Ted Yoho sponsored the amendment to the bill, which was passed unanimously by Congress.
This is in addition to criteria established in an amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, originally sponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy, known as “the Leahy Vetting Process.” The Leahy process consists of screening foreign forces applying for U.S. Government training and support to certify that they haven’t committed any “gross human rights violations.” If they are found to have done so, support is withheld.
But the highly problematic truth is that the U.S. currently has no real way of ensuring that members of neo-Nazi groups like the Azov Battalion are not being trained by U.S. forces, because most, if not all, have not committed a “gross human rights violation.” Even more difficult to determine is whether ex‑U.S. military are training crypto-Nazis in a private capacity, and the issues speaks volumes about the complexities that have to be confronted by the United States in its efforts to help Ukraine defend itself from the Russian-supported secessionists.
In an interview with The Daily Beast, Sgt. Ivan Kharkiv of the Azov battalion talks about his battalion’s experience with U.S. trainers and U.S. volunteers quite fondly,even mentioning U.S. volunteers engineers and medics that are still currently assisting them. He also talks about the significant and active support from the Ukrainian diaspora in the U.S. As for the training they have and continue to receive from numerous foreign armed forces. Kharkiv says “We must take knowledge from all armies… We pay for our mistakes with our lives.”
Those U.S. officials involved in the vetting process obviously have instructions to say that U.S. forces are not training the Azov Battalion as such.They also say that Azov members are screened out, yet no one seems to know precisely how that’s done. In fact, given the way the Ukrainian government operates, it’s almost impossible.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Interior brings what one U.S. official calls a “mishmash” of troops, consisting of volunteers, members of militia battalions and official army to be trained, and the Leahy process exists to check and see if any have committed a “gross violation of human rights,” which most likely they have not—at least not yet. But much less care is given to the question of ideology. When officials are asked for details of any kind regarding how the vetting process actually functions, answers are ambiguous, details are scarce and the explanations become contradictory.
In an interview with The Daily Beast, the U.S. Army Public Affairs Officer from the 173rd Airborne Brigade training Ukrainian forces in Lviv in western Ukraine, Capt. Steven Modugno, says that no one from the Azov Battalion or Right Sector is being trained in Lviv because the embassy uses the Leahy vetting process, which is in place to make sure no one has committed any kind of gross human rights abuses. When asked about members of the Azov Battalion who have not committed gross human abuses, more specifically how they are screened out, he says, “You know that’s actually a great question. It’s one the State Department would need to answer.”
The Daily Beast then interviewed State Department representative, Press Officer Yarina Ferentsevych of the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine. Ferentsevych told us, “At this point, as far as we are aware, no”—that is, no members of Azov. “Whether or not some may be in the lineup, that is possible. But frankly, you know, our vetting screens for human rights violations, not for ideology. Neo-Nazis, you know, can join the U.S. army too. The battalions that are in question have been integrated as part of Ukraine’s National Guard, and so the idea is that they would be eligible for training, but in all honesty I cannot tell you if there are any on the list we train. There were not any in the first rotation as far as I am aware.”
Ferentsevych confirms that it is practically impossible to know which trainees are from which battalion, “It’s a mishmash of folks: volunteers, soldiers, war heroes, Maidan veterans—I mean I couldn’t tell you, you know, short of investigating the background of each guy.”
At this point, she recommends that we speak to the press officer of the 173rd Airborne Brigade. We explain that he actually directed us to her. She laughs. Welcome to the United States Government.
When we asked PAO Capt. Modugno whether it was possible to detect all the Azov guys who are dispersed into the national guard battalions, he told us, “I don’t know if any of them could get through.” He explained that he is not an expert on the Leahy vetting process, but, “From what I’ve seen here, I haven’t seen any extremists, I’ve seen patriots.” The acting head of Ukraine’s national guard, Mykola Balan, told The Daily Beast, “Azov hasn’t been trained by the U.S. military. Currently they are at the front line.”
Regarding the Ukrainian government’s involvement in the vetting process, Capt. Modugno explains that one section of the government is doing all the heavy lifting, “I believe it is the Ministry of Interior that is picking companies to come here.”
The Azov Battalion not only answers directly to the Ministry of Interior, but it is ingrained deeply in that structure. The founder and head of Azov, Andriy Biletsky works closely with the Ukrainian Ministry of Interior and as the BBC reported last year , “The Azov Battalion was formed and armed by Ukraine’s interior ministry.”
Biletsky claims, however, that his battalion hasn’t been trained by the U.S. military. In a comment to The Daily Beast, he said: “No, American army representatives do not train and had never trained the battalion. What I know so far is that there are regular training of the Ukrainian armed forces and Azov has nothing to do with it.”
Capt. Modugno says that he is more of a “boots on the ground type of guy… When it comes to vetting and the Ukrainian government, the most I can tell you is that we are training at the request of the government and where these guys come from and where they go—it is their [the Ukrainian government’s] decision not ours.”
As for American private individuals training Ukrainians elsewhere, Capt. Modugno says, “I can’t tell you that no Americans are there because any American who believes in a cause can go anywhere in the world. I can tell you in an official capacity, no, there are no American forces east of Kiev.”
When asked if, in an official capacity, any Azov members have been trained by the U.S. military in the past he says, “I don’t know. I don’t want to say ‘no’ because I am not a big history buff on military training here. As far as I know, no. But I also know the U.S. and other nations have been doing exercises here in Ukraine since like 2002. Rapid Trident is one of those exercises. I really don’t know what units would come to that because I believe that’s active duty military. So I’m not sure, but I don’t believe so.”
Capt. Modugno continues, “As far as who has been trained here on the ground, there were two companies that came in the first rotation. They were called Jaguar and Cheetah Company. It is my understanding they were complete companies when they came here. They augmented them with some of their war heroes from the ATO [Anti-Terrorism Operations] from other locations. They just graduated this past week. And right now we have the North and East Company. They are kind of a mishmash of different units and soldiers being trained here. Part of the Ukrainian government’s intent here is that when they graduate they’re actually dispersing them throughout Ukraine so they can take some of these tactics and techniques and see what they’ve learned… to take back to their units.”
This is exactly the concern of many about who is being trained by U.S. forces in Ukraine.
“You know, I know I’m about to speak speculatively here and I say that because I don’t know the entire process. But I do know that the State Department is very aware of the concerns that many news agencies and U.S. citizens have, that as [The Daily Beast’s] article  says, we’re training neo-Nazis over here. I’ve seen them. I keep up on the news. I’m not saying that’s what we’re doing. I think what is really happening is the U.S. State Department is taking a serious look at these guys before allowing them to come here [to Lviv]. Again, that’s entirely speculative. But I think because concerns are so high, they’re being very careful.”
The captain continues describing what he has seen on the ground. “With most of the guys that I’ve seen here though, I haven’t seen anything extremist.” In order to convey the cultural diversity he has seen, he begins to name various sects of Christianity he has come across: “I’ve seen Roman Catholics; I’ve seen Mormon soldiers on the ground both U.S. and Ukrainian; I’ve seen Latter Day Saints; I just haven’t seen anything too crazy or anything you wouldn’t expect from any other military.”
When asked if there are any Jewish Ukrainian forces he replies, “You know that’s a fair question and one I can’t answer. I know on the U.S. side we’ve had Jewish soldiers here. I don’t know for the Ukrainians.”
Chief of the Office of Defense Cooperation for the United States Embassy in Ukraine, Col. Cynthia Matuskevich, also denies that U.S. forces are training anyone from the Azov Battalion. Col. Matuskevich says, “The [Ukrainian] National Guard has told us there are none and that they all went through the normal vetting process that we’re required to do by the State Department.”
When asked for specifics on the vetting process she says, “Essentially, in its nearest sense, it’s like background checks on individuals. I can’t really elaborate, but we check with various agencies including the consular section and they just kind of do background checks. I can’t personally say what happens in D.C. because I’ve never been on that end of the process but the State Department in D.C. is the ultimate clearer—if you want to call it that.”
When asked how the Leahy process weeds out Azov members, for instance those who have not committed “gross human rights violations” but identify themselves with the Nazis and even with the SS, Matuskevich explains, “Unfortunately I can’t comment anymore—I mean we have Leahy requirements and we ask for human rights vetting but I mean we don’t individually interview everyone and ask them what their individual philosophies are because we know people could lie. But we do our utmost to abide by the Leahy vetting and we work with partners that you know we trust and have told us that none of them are members of those organizations.”
As for the “partners” they work with, Matuskevich says that they work directly with the Ukrainian National Guard, “which coordinates all the trainees. They fall under the Ministry of Interior, so our political section at the embassy would be the ones who are dealing with them… The Ukrainian Government, and I guess it’s in the form of the Ministry [of Interior] are the ones that nominate the candidates for the training.”
When asked why the new House amendment would be necessary if the Leahy process was already in place, Ferentsevych said, “That’s a good question, you should ask the congressman.” So we did.
In an interview with The Daily Beast, Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D‑Mich.) said: “This is an important precautionary action. The Leahy Law takes the essential retroactive step of prohibiting assistance to units that are credibly alleged to have committed gross violations of human rights. The issue here concerns who is eligible for aid in the first place, and America must choose allies whose interests and ideas align with ours. Congress can—and should—provide additional guidance to the executive branch when candidates for U.S. security assistance are publicly associated with goals that conflict with our foreign policy.”
Ferentsevych would seem to corroborate the need for the amendment, in effect, when she says, “If these guys have violated human rights, then you would think that you would know. But human rights and ideology are two different things. It’s kind of like hate speech, people talk trash, it’s one thing, but if they do something about it, oh my God…”
When asked whether the Leahy process would screen out people with Nazi tattoos, she responds, “I have no idea… I don’t know. Is it on their neck where all the world can see it? Or is it on their bum, where nobody can see it? I don’t know. I’m not a legal expert.”
This is an issue that simply needs more attention than “I don’t know” from the United States Government. Even those most closely connected to the process seem unclear on the specifics of it.
As Congressman Charlie Wilson, the godfather of American support for the Afghan mujahedeen once said, looking back on the disaster that followed their “victory,” “These things happened. They were glorious and they changed the world… and then we fu cked up the endgame.” The United States’ desire to train Ukrainian troops comes from the right place—the need to stop Russian covert and overt aggression. The problem is that the Azov battalion is nuzzled so deeply into the Ukrainian government that they are nearly impossible to weed out.
4. We present another article on the existential threat posed by Ukraine’s Nazi volunteer battalions. It includes an interview of the leader of battalion that isn’t reported on very much: the Saint Mary Battalion. The leader of the battalion asserts that the revolution that began with the Maidan had been interrupted, but would one day be completed. He doesn’t stop there, saying, “I would like Ukraine to lead the crusades...Our mission is not only to kick out the occupiers, but also revenge. Moscow must burn.”
It’s a reminder that if the volunteer battalions will really do collectively “march on Kiev”  and overthrow the government in a violent coup, the marching doesn’t necessarily end in Kiev.
From a basement billiard club in central Kiev, Dmytro Korchynsky commands a volunteer battalion helping Ukraine’s government fight rebels in the east. A burly man with a long, Cossack-style moustache, Korchynsky has several hundred armed men at his disposal. The exact number, he said, is “classified.”
In the eyes of many Ukrainians, he and other volunteer fighters are heroes for helping the weak regular army resist pro-Russian separatists. In the view of the government, however, some of the volunteers have become a problem, even a law unto themselves.
Dressed in a colorful peasant-style shirt, Korchynsky told Reuters that he follows orders from the Interior Ministry, and that his battalion would stop fighting if commanded to do so. Yet he added: “We would proceed with our own methods of action independently from state structures.”
Korchynsky, a former leader of an ultra-nationalist party and a devout Orthodox Christian, wants to create a Christian “Taliban” to reclaim eastern Ukraine as well as Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014. He isn’t going to give up his quest lightly.
“I would like Ukraine to lead the crusades,” said Korchynsky, whose battalion’s name is Saint Mary. “Our mission is not only to kick out the occupiers, but also revenge. Moscow must burn.”
Such talk and recent violent incidents involving members of unofficial armed groups have raised government concerns about radicals running out of control. President Petro Poroshenko now says that all “illegal groups” must disarm because they threaten to make the country even more unstable than it already is.
“No political force should have, and will not have, any kind of armed cells. No political organization has the right to establish ... criminal groups,” Poroshenko said on July 13.
The president said he might legislate for emergency powers to deal with armed groups, and that anyone armed who was not a member of the law enforcement agencies “will be classed as a terrorist.”
But interviews with members of volunteer battalions and Ukraine officials suggest it will not be easy for Poroshenko to impose his will. Some battalion leaders, while ostensibly under the control of the government, are increasingly critical of Ukraine’s political leaders. They want to press them to sack judges seen as favoring the rich and powerful, to oust oligarchs who control much of the economy and to prosecute the riot police accused of killing more than 100 people during protests early last year.
Most of Ukraine’s almost 40 volunteer battalions grew out of squads of protesters who battled the Berkut riot police during the protests on Kiev’s Independence Square, or Maidan Nezalezhnosti, which began in November 2013.
After the protests toppled President Viktor Yanukovich, pro-Russian separatists rose up in the east of Ukraine in April, 2014, demanding independence from the new government in Kiev, which they called a “fascist regime.” In response, several leaders of the Maidan protests raced east with fellow protesters to try to stop the rebel advance.
Numerous brigades and battalions formed haphazardly, with most leaders accepting anyone willing to fight. Serhiy Melnychuk, who founded the Aidar battalion in eastern Ukraine and is now a member of parliament, said he signed up people between the ages of 18 and 62 and “from the homeless to pensioners.”
Irregular though theses forces were, some acquired weapons from the Defense Ministry, officials and battalion leaders said. Others received money and equipment from wealthy oligarchs. They became powerful forces in the struggle against pro-Russian separatists.
In an interview in Kiev, Melnychuk, wearing a cross around his neck and a wristband in the national colors of Ukraine, said that he had five men on the day the Aidar battalion formed, but 250 within two weeks. They had all fought on the Maidan and “didn’t need military training,” he said.
He conceded some Aidar members ran out of control. “I don’t deny people were looting there (in eastern Ukraine),” he said.
Melnychuk now faces various charges from Ukrainian prosecutors connected to his time in the east. They include robbery and forming an illegal group; Melnychuk denies the charges.
In addition, the human rights group Amnesty International has documented cases of abuse which it says were committed by members of Aidar last year and “amount to war crimes.” The allegations include abducting and beating men suspected of collaborating with pro-Russian separatists, and extorting money.
Last year the Ukrainian government tried to bring Aidar and other volunteer groups under its control. It ordered Aidar to reform into the 24th assault battalion as part of Ukraine’s official forces. Melnychuk described that order as “criminal,” but said most of his men had demobilized or come under official control by this year.
He and other battalion leaders said that their soldiers’ loyalty did not always lie with the authorities and that some groups still operate beyond official control.
Melnychuk was scornful of attempts to crack down on the battalions, saying such moves had been provoked by Russia spreading propaganda. He said Russia was scared of the battalions because the volunteers inflicted the most losses on the pro-Russian rebels, “so they pretend that we eat little children for breakfast.”
The political situation in Ukraine remained difficult and fragile, he said, criticizing the lack of change in government. “The (Maidan) revolution was interrupted by the aggression (in the east) and the patriots left Maidan and went to the east to protect Ukraine,” he said. “Only 10 percent of people in positions of power are new; the rest are all the same, pursuing the same schemes they always did.”
Andriy Filonenko, a founder of the Tornado battalion, was equally defiant about accusations against his fighters. Eight members of the battalion have been accused of crimes including rape, murder and smuggling. Ukrainian officials say one video shows a re-enactment of how members of Tornado forced two captives to rape another man; they also say some 40 members of the battalion have criminal records.
Filonenko told Reuters the charges were ridiculous. “I don’t understand all this talk about criminal records,” he said. “All I know is that people spilt their blood for Ukraine, for the motherland.”
Like Melnychuk, Filonenko said the “old order” was out to protect itself. He said the charges were only made after the Tornado battalion had uncovered what it said was a smuggling ring involving local politicians in east Ukraine. Officials say the charges came before Tornado’s alleged smuggling discovery.
Filonenko, who wore a black T‑shirt with a red Ukrainian trident on it, defended the battalion’s actions, citing the violence and lack of resources in the east. “It’s a war. They’re not handing out sweets,” he said.
“Think of it this way: There’s a task, for the task you need a vehicle to get there and back – but they don’t give you any vehicle or petrol to fulfill the task ... You have to pick up wounded ... so what do you do? ... Of course, you stop a car and take it.”
“THEY STEAL A LOT”
Close to bankruptcy, Ukraine has struggled to implement reforms demanded by the Maidan protesters. Its police and courts are still widely seen as favoring the powerful, and bribes are still used for everything from avoiding speeding penalties to getting into good schools.
For some powerful interests, the rule of force, not law, remains tempting. In March, a group of armed men in combat fatigues raided the Kiev offices of the state-owned oil company UkrTransNafta. Two parliamentary deputies accused the billionaire Ihor Kolomoisky, who harangued journalists at the scene of the raid, of sending the masked men into the building after one of his allies had been sacked as chairman of the company.
Kolomoisky is widely credited with funding volunteer battalions that defended the city of Dnipropetrovsk and fought against pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.
Poroshenko moved to assert his authority, meeting Kolomoisky in the aftermath of the raid. As a result, Kolomoisky stepped down as governor of Dnipropetrovsk, in the east of the country, though he remains a powerful business figure with political influence. Kolomoisky did not respond to requests for comment.
Interior Minister Arsen Avakov told Reuters Ukraine was now “rebooting” all of its power structures to start with a “clean sheet,” and at the same time trying to root out criminal elements in the battalions.
“As in all big communities of people, there are different types,” he said. “We must tell the truth: Some have looted and we will punish them.”
He said that some armed groups “appropriated the names” of established battalions and that “no one really knows where they are fighting or where they have fought.”
Ukraine’s military prosecutor, Anatoly Matios, says he is determined to take action. He told Reuters he intends to take members of Tornado battalion to court for their alleged offences.
“Who made the decision, turned a blind eye to their criminal record and allowed them to become police officers? Who gave them weapons and did not foresee the possible tragic consequences?” he said in an interview at the prosecutor’s office. He said he wanted to check all police battalions “in order not to have a second Tornado.”
Matios recognizes that his moves may prove unpopular. “I understand a very large part of society may even hate me for the thankless but legal work that we do. It’s not comfortable at a minimum.” On July 8, activists poured manure at the front entrance of his office. He described it as a paid-for protest.
In his billiard club headquarters, commander Korchynsky of the Saint Mary battalion made his disdain for the government plain. “Like the majority of Ukrainian people, I think (the new leadership) is bad ... They steal a lot. When Yanukovich was stealing, that was bad. But these people are clearing up when the country is at war, so they are guilty on two counts. This is marauding.”
He said the revolution that began with the Maidan had been interrupted, but would one day be completed. He did not say when.
If so, he will have to confront Poroshenko. On July 16, the president, decried the problems posed by unspecified “internal enemies” of the country. He told parliament: “I will not allow anarchy in Ukraine.”
5. The Euobserver has a piece on the growing threat Right Sector’s showdown with Kiev presents to Ukraine and it contains this interesting aspect of the ever evolving situation: One of the key demands of Right Sector and other volunteer battalions is that the government officially declare war on Russia, based, in part, on claims that they have been engaging with Russian troops in the East. But one (of the many) dangers associated with the Kiev government actually declaring war on Russia is that the IMF can’t make financial assistance packages (austerity “bailouts”) to countries at war. And since open war between Ukraine and Russia is a flirtation with WWIII, we might actually be seeing a situation where IMF might actually be preventing further catastrophe instead of causing it. That doesn’t normally happen.
“Kiev’s Far-Eight Problem” by Alina Polyakova; Euobserver;  7/24/2015.
Ukraine’s government has a problem on its hands: A far-right group has tapped into growing frustration among Ukrainians over the declining economy and tepid support from the West.
Right Sector (Pravy Sektor) has a dangerous agenda.
In the most direct challenge to Kyiv’s government, Right Sector announced that it will begin organising a national referendum on the population’s distrust of Ukraine’s parliament, cabinet, and the president.
A call for an illegitimate and unmonitored referendum against the government will neither unite Ukrainians nor help Ukraine’s reformers navigate the country’s difficult economic situation.
The referendum call came at a 21 July rally in Kyiv at which the Right Sector’s leader and only member of parliament, Dmytro Yarosh, demanded that the government’s “Anti-terrorist operation” (ATO) in eastern Ukraine be called what it actually is: a war with Russia.
He also called for a full blockade of the separatist-controlled regions of Luhansk and Donetsk; and legalisation of all volunteer battalions fighting in Ukraine’s east, which the Ukrainian military has been struggling to incorporate.
Yarosh refused to give up his seat in parliament but claimed that Right Sector–which is both a political party and a paramilitary organisation–would not participate in the local elections in October.
There is a glimmer of good news for the Ukrainian government. A majority of Ukrainians do not support Right Sector. The party holds one seat in parliament (Yarosh’s) and Yarosh received less than one percent of the vote in the presidential elections in May 2014.
However, the government would be ill-advised to dismiss Right Sector outright. It must do more to address Ukrainians’ legitimate concerns about their future, but the government can’t do this alone.
Economists agree Ukraine requires a much greater injection of macro-economic assistance than the International Monetary Fund’s promised package of $17.5 billion to bring the country back from the brink of collapse.
The $50 billion called for by George Soros is the minimum “lifeline” that Ukraine needs to survive. Without this injection of financial support, groups like the Right Sector will continue to make political noise that distracts from the real work that Ukraine’s leaders must do.
Right Sector has surely been a thorn in Kyiv’s side.
The group’s meeting in Kyiv followed on the heels of a confrontation between Right Sector, police, and local authorities in the western town of Mukacheve on 11 July. The shootout left five dead and fourteen wounded.
The armed conflict in Mukacheve was, in part, a result of the government’s push to bring under control the many volunteer battalions that have been fighting in Ukraine’s east.
Volunteers returning from the front lines report fighting with regular Russian army forces, not Ukrainian separatists. While the Ukrainian government has repeatedly said that tens of thousands of Russian troops are fighting in eastern Ukraine, it has refused to call the conflict a war, preferring to use the ambiguous ATO label.
The government has a legitimate reason for this ambiguity: calling the conflict a war would cut off Ukraine from much needed financial assistance from international lending agencies, such as the International Monetary Fund, which do not provide assistance to countries at war.
However, as evidence of Russian troops and military bases in Ukraine mounts, volunteer fighters have grown frustrated with the language from Kyiv’s officials.
As President Petro Poroshenko’s falling approval ratings show (17 percent according to some polls), Ukrainians are getting fed up, too.
This frustration should not come as a surprise: reform governments are rarely popular, and this one has had to push through particularly painful reforms, including a 400-percent increase in gas prices and deep cuts in social programmes.
Groups like the Right Sector, which claim to have Ukraine’s national interests at heart, are simply taking advantage of public frustration to ratchet up support for their misguided agenda.
Despite its revolutionary rhetoric and anti-government stance, Right Sector is unlikely to succeed: Since independence, Ukrainians have shown themselves to be cautious when it comes to supporting extremist movements.
Still, it is important to take this distraction for the government in Kiev off the table. Western leaders must connect the dots: Ukraine needs economic relief and political support. Without this, opportunistic and populist groups will continue to divert attention from the real challenges ahead.
6. Indicative of the apparent despair experienced by much of the Ukrainian population, a recent election garnered a 35 percent turnout.
The old and infirm crammed, cursed and complained as they fought for spots in line on Saturday under the oppressive afternoon sun.
On offer at a local park were goody bags of pantry items — things like sunflower oil and sugar — courtesy of a well-connected millionaire eager to cast himself as a man of the people.
That man, Hennadiy Korban, just happened to be running for a vacant seat in parliament the next day to represent a district in this charming, provincial city north of Kyiv.
And what his team considered an act of goodwill most others saw as something different: bribing poor, unwitting voters.
The scene was one of many peculiar images to emerge from this city of around 290,000 in recent weeks as it prepared for a special election that captured the national media’s attention.
The top two candidates for legislator were accused of employing an array of dirty tactics — from simple mudslinging to outright vote-buying — in a campaign that observers believe undermined Ukraine’s trundle toward cleaner democracy.
“Many people are talking about the fact that the elections for district 205 in Chernihiv are a very big step backward,” said Pavlo Pushchenko, the local head of a national vote-monitoring NGO.
By Monday afternoon, the election had come and gone, with early results giving Serhiy Berezenko, the other top candidate, a hefty lead over Korban.
Vote monitors and local police said they registered dozens of violations on Sunday, such as attempts at multiple voting.
It was an undramatic climax to a campaign full of crooked political technology, as it’s known in this part of the world.
Both leading candidates were juiced in: Berezenko is a close ally of President Petro Poroshenko, while Korban is the right-hand man to one of Ukraine’s richest and most powerful oligarchs.
Neither of them were even from the region, using electoral district 205 simply as a springboard into parliament.
Sunday’s vote was seen as a high-stakes proxy battle between Poroshenko and a very rich man, Ihor Kolomoisky, who has publicly challenged the president and remains his top political rival.
That’s partly why the vote, a contest between political muscle and big money, was so important to win.
Korban’s campaign was marked mostly by public handouts to cajole voters — known in slang here as “buckwheat” — and staging lavish concerts near his sleek campaign headquarters.
But he also took an active role in engaging his competition. A week before the election, his security detail captured a car, allegedly belonging to Berezenko’s team, stocked with ammunition and cash. Korban claimed it was used to pay off voters.
Berezenko, meanwhile, made full use of his ties to the president’s political machine, plastering the city with its party colors. He was even given a position on a brand new government advisory body for regional development. That gave him de-facto local authority — and access to purse strings — before the campaign even began.
Experts believe the goal was to reassert the presidential party’s authority in Ukraine, especially before nationwide local elections later this year.
“The president’s team cannot lose,” said Volodymyr Fesenko, a political analyst in Kyiv.
In the days before the vote, there were reports of hired thugs from both sides roaming the city to stir trouble. Fake campaign leaflets, like one announcing Berezenko was dropping out of the race, made their way around town.
On election day itself, voters had to choose from an astounding 91 candidates, most of them spoilers, analysts said, designed to draw votes away from the front-runners.
A particularly popular tactic is to register candidates with similar last names to confuse voters — hence “Karban” and “Korpan” on the ballot.
Both leading candidates regularly denied any suggestions of wrongdoing, each accusing the other of political manipulation.
But critics say they’re actually both guilty of tarnishing the values of the so-called “Revolution of Dignity,” which many Ukrainians expected would overhaul the country’s corrupt politics.
Ihor Andriychenko, a local politician from a liberal grassroots party who came in fourth, called the election “a farce, a political theater of absurdity.”
“They were supposed to demonstrate real, transparent elections: a battle of ideas, competition, debates, intellect — anything else,” he told GlobalPost before the vote. “But definitely not ‘buckwheat,’ and definitely not money.”
Many locals, meanwhile, appeared either too uninterested or exhausted with the campaign to come out to vote. There was a 35 percent turnout, and city streets were noticeably empty.
Some voters even resorted to the classic post-Soviet tactic of marking up their ballots with obscene or irreverent messages.
Many locals, meanwhile, appeared either too uninterested or exhausted with the campaign to come out to vote. There was a 35 percent turnout, and city streets were noticeably empty.
“Some voters even resorted to the classic post-Soviet tactic of marking up their ballots with obscene or irreverent messages.”
7. An elected member of the Sweden Democrat party has been implicated in a plot to obtain large amounts of high explosives along with a man found to be in possession of Nazi paraphernalia. We shouldn’t forget that a primary financial backer of the Sweden Democrats is Carl Lundstrom , who owned a controlling interest in the Pirate Bay site, which hosted WikiLeaks.
An elected member of Sweden’s far-right Sweden Democrat party has been implicatedin a plot to obtain large amounts of high explosives with the potential for use in terror attacks.
The local politician, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was detained along with three other men over the weekend in the Swedish province of Halland.
The four suspects were all arrested as part of an investigation into the discovery of large quantities of dynamite in a house belonging to one of the men.
The politician was arrested by police as he attempted to leave the house in his car, in which detectives then discovered dynamite blasting caps in a plastic bag.
The caps are normally used to trigger larger quantities of dynamite and plastic explosive from a distance.
The man was subsequently released from custody, but is still subject to ongoing investigation by detectives. He claims that he was unaware of the presence of the caps in his car according to reports in the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter.
At the same time as police discovered the material they also arrested a 30-year-old man, who neighbours claim had been carrying out test explosions on ground behind the property.
It is understood that the second man confessed to use of the explosive in a police statement. Two other men were also detained by authorities as part of their investigations.
The 30-year-old man had previously been convicted for attacking a foreign-born neighbour with an axe and was found to be in possession of pictures of Hitler, German war memorabilia and Nazi SS flags by police who searched his home.
It is unclear whether or not the explosives and associated equipment was intended to be used in an attack, but police have not ruled it out.
“That we can only speculate on. We have nothing that points to such an attack at present, but are open to the possibility” said Tommy Nyman, a spokesperson for the Swedish Police force in the region.
SÄPO, the Swedish security service, have also begun an investigation into events.
“We have found signs that he had Nazi sympathies” added Nyman with regards to the 30-year-old suspect. “There are objects and symbols which you would link to ideological extremism.”
The politician is not himself suspected of possessing such extremist material, but it is understood the two men knew one another.
The Sweden Democrats immediately issued a statement to the press saying that the party member arrested by police has been relieved of office. Founded as part of the Nordic white power movement in 1988, they have been forced to expel several members over allegations of racism and extremism.
The party, who share a European Parliament group with UKIP and strongly oppose immigration, feminism and multiculturalism, are currently the third biggest in Sweden. Until the mid 1990s members would regularly wear military-style uniforms at meetings and two of their senior parliamentary deputies were involved in a drunken attack on the Swedish-Kurdish comedian Soren Ismael with a piece of scaffolding in 2010.
Recent elections have seen significant gains for right-wing populist parties in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark on a strongly anti-immigration and culturally nationalist platform.
Sweden has also seen an increase in attacks on Islamic and Jewish community centres, with some now subject to police protection.
8. 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. 
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.
9. In addition to David Duke, Joran Jermas, aka “Israel Shamir,”  is part of the MAUP constellation. Jermas/Shamir  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  the opportunity to host WikiLeaks on the Pirate Bay website, funded by Swedish fascist Carl Lundstrom.
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.
10. Mark Ames has a new update on the ever evolving nature of Pierre Omidyar’s new media empire: First is now investing in a new international “fact checking” service with the National Endowment for Democracy, which is inextricably linked with U.S. intelligence and frequently functions as a front for covert operations. He also invested in a Ukrainian news service set up on the eve of the Maidan revolution. And it looks like there could be many more investments in media organizations yet to come because it now looks like the whole model for First Look Media has changed: instead of setting up a constellation of separate investigative journalistic outlets, First Look is just going to start investing in existing media enterprises.
The Guardian reported  on Tuesday that the National Endowment for Democracy has just been banned from Russia, under strict new laws regulating NGOs acting as foreign agents.
In that story, the Guardian cited the fact that Intercept publisher Pierre Omidyar co-funded Ukraine revolution groups with USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).
If the Omidyar connection sounds familiar, that’s because it was Pando that first broke the story  in February 2014 (the Guardian linked to our original scoop in its coverage.)
In the 18 months since we broke the story, Ukraine has collapsed into war and despair, with up to 10,000 people killed and one and a half million internally-displaced refugees — and top US brass talk openly of a new Cold War with nuclear-armed Russia, while US military advisors train and arm Ukrainians to wage war on Russian-backed separatists.
Svitlana Zalishchuk , one of the leaders of the Omidyar-funded NGO  that helped organize last year’s revolution in Kiev, is now in power as an MP in Ukraine’s parliament , a member of the new, pro-NATO president’s party bloc. She’s gone from plucky Omidyar-funded adversarial activist , to heading a parliamentary subcommittee  tasked with integrating Ukraine into NATO.
I can’t think of another media tycoon who co-funded a pro-US regime change with American intelligence cutouts like USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy. That Putin targeted the NED does not mean it’s either heroic or evil—the NED’s story speaks for itself: The brainchild of Reagan’s CIA director Bill Casey, the National Endowment for Democracy was set up as an intelligence cutout to support US geopolitical power and undermine unfriendly regimes. One of the NED co-founders, Allen Weinstein, explained  its purpose to the Washington Post :
“A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.”
Throughout its 30-year history it’s been mired in very typical CIA controversies: In the 80s, the NED was caught funding an outlawed extreme-right French paramilitary  gang during Socialist president Mitterand’s rule; funding a military leader’s victorious election in Panama against a more moderate civilian candidate; and financing rightwing opponents of Costa Rica’s democratically-elected Nobel Peace Prize-winning president, whose sin was opposing Reagan’s deadly, dirty war in Nicaragua.
More recently, the NED was caught funding groups that organized the 2002 coup against Venezuela’s democratically-elected president Hugo Chavez; planting a “free-lance journalist” in the AP  and New York Times to report  on Haiti while the NED was simultaneously funding  rightwing groups to undermine Haiti’s ruling party; and co-funding Ukraine regime-change groups with Pierre Omidyar.
This week, Omidyar Network announced yet another partnership  with the National Endowment for Democracy and the Poynter Institute to create an international online fact-checking hub. Given the power that a monopoly on “objective” fact-checking offers, the tie-up with the NED takes the Omidyar alliance with the US empire and media to newer, creepier levels. In yet another Omidyar-as-private-arm investment, Omidyar invested in the slick new Ukrainian media, Hromadske.tv , which was set up on the eve of the Maidan revolution with initial seed funding coming from the US Embassy in Kiev. Omidyar’s involvement in Ukraine media and “fact-checking” is all the more serious given that now Washington and NATO talk about “countering” Russia’s overhyped “information war” on the West and on Ukraine—this “information war” which I covered a bit in my piece on Peter Pomerantsev , is considered a top and urgent geostrategic priority for NATO and the West.
And now in the last week, the latest twist to the farcical “journalism paradise” shitshow: Omidyar is reportedly in talks with the king of online tabloid-sleaze, Nick Denton, to invest in the latter’s perma-sued organization. As Pando’s Paul Carr wrote earlier this week , the ground seems to be being prepared for a full-on merger of the Intercept and Gawker, backed by Omidyar’s cash.
As of yesterday, Nick Denton appointed John Cook — formerly editor of the Intercept — to be the “temporary” executive editor of Gawker. When Cook departed the Intercept, he wrote that “Working with my Intercept colleagues has been one of the most fulfilling things I’ve done in my career, and my decision to leave was a painful one to make.”
At the same time, IBT reported that Chief Revenue Officer, Michael Rosen, had resigned from First Look Media. Rosen’s departure comes just a week after John Temple, First Look’s “President, Audience and Products,” stepped down from his job saying “There clearly is much excitement ahead for First Look, but I feel my contribution is largely complete.”
Perhaps it’s a coincidence that both the guy who is in charge of building an audience for the Intercept and the guy tasked with making it profitable have left. Or perhaps not: IBT quotes a source explaining that “First Look would soon be moving away from trying to create a constellation of magazines and begin to focus on empowering ‘content creators.’ That is, Omidyar will be investing cash in sites like Gawker, alongside his investments in fact-checking sites and Ukraine revolutionary groups.
How will the Intercept’s audience, which accepted Greenwald’s decision to privatize the Snowden secrets to Omidyar, react if Omidyar then sells journalism paradise to journalism sleaze and the Snowden secrets — our secrets, the public’s secrets — wind up as capital assets in First Gawker Media?
Snowden revealed that NSA spooks were spying on their lovers online habits — how will that be monetized in First Gawker Media? Where will Denton’s 20% sleaze discount be applied?
11. Exemplifying the type of activity in which the NED specializes, we review information about that organization’s successful projection of Lithuanian Nazi and fascist elements into that former Soviet Republic. In FTR #848 , we examined how the seeds sown by NED took root and flowered.
“NED Meddles in Lithuania: Nurturing Baltic Reaction” by Philip Bonosky; Covert Action Quarterly; Number 25 (Fall 1990).
In April of 1990, the Soviet Republic of Lithuania startled the world by declaring itself independent of the U.S.S.R. The U.S. has not yet recognized Lithuania as independent, and Bush’s public remarks have been moderate. But beneath this facade of calm statecraft there runs a familiar current of silent U.S. involvement in the political affairs of another country.
The most visible intervention has been via the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which has supplied funds, equipment, and advice to the principal nationalist opposition party Sajudis. NED has chosen to funnel its Lithuanian aid through one organization: the New York-based Lithuanian Catholic Religious Aid (LCRA) and its propaganda arm, Lithuanian Information Center (LIC).
These two organizations are run by arch-conservative Catholic clergy. The founder, current board chair, and the man who has “presided over the steady growth and increasing effectiveness of LCRA, Bishop Vincentas Brizgys, was allegedly a Nazi collaborator during World War II. [Raul Hilberg’s The Destruction of the European Jews (New York: 1961), and Charles R. Allen’s Nazi War Criminals Among Us (New York: Jewish Currents Reprint, 1963), document Brizgys’s background. Allen reproduced Nuremberg Tribunal documents relating to the Bishop.] Brizgys vehemently denies the charge. Sajudis itself is linked in a variety of ways to the symbols and sentiments of the fascist and Nazi periods of Baltic history.
The Country in Question
Lithuania lies on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea, bordered on the south by Poland, on the north by the Latvian S.S.R., and on the east by the Byelorussian S.S.R. [Soviet Socialist Republic–a member of the former U.S.S.R.] It is the westernmost extent of the Soviet Union, with a population (1980) of just over three million. In the 14th century invading Germans conquered the area and imposed the Catholic faith. In the modern era, Lithuania has been repeatedly buffeted by the shifting political and military map of Europe.
Lithuania declared independence from Czarist Russia in 1918, but in 1926, the nationalist party took power through a military coup. Declaring himself president Augustus Voldemares and his premier, Antanas Smetona shaped Lithuania into Europe’s second fascist state, based explicitly on the example of Mussolini’s Italy. Lithuania remained a dictatorship until 1939, when Smetoma fled to the U.S. and a new parliament voted unanimously to become a constituent republic of the U.S.S.R. With the German invasion of the Soviet Union 1n 1941, Lithuania’s nationalists returned briefly to power and assisted the Nazis in the swift, systematic slaughter of more than 130,000 Lithuanian Jews, communists and other “undesirables.”
In April 1990, a 34-year-old American, William J.H. Hough III, was very busy in Lithuania. Hough was sent to Lithuania–although he doesn’t speak Lithuanian–as legal adviser to Vytautas Landsbergis, the leader of the nationalist party. He was recommended by LCRA/LIC, which the U.S. press has cited as very enthusiastic about his work.
Cooperating closely with Hough, LCRA/LIC has supplied Sajudis with paper, photocopy machines, computers, laser printers, FAX machines, and video cameras. With additional political and technical expertise, Vilnius quickly became a communications hub for secessionist forces in Lithuania and other Soviet republics.
Professionally,Hough is a lawyer. He was also an editor of The New York Law School Journal of International and Comparative Law, which published in its Winter 1985 issue his book-length article titled, “The Annexation of the Baltic States and its Effect on the Development of Law Prohibiting Forcible Seizure of Territory.” Hough describes the interwar period of Lithuanian history [its fascist period–D.E.] as one of “political and constitutional stability” and “progress toward the restoration of full democracy.” He fails to mention the collaboration of nationalists and Nazis. In his public justifications of secession, Landsbergis has frequently referred to Hough’s interpretation of Lithuanian history.
Hough’s history of Lithuania must be reassuring to NED’s ideologues and their Lithuanian clients, some of whom share a past they might reasonably prefer to forget.
Channeling Endowment Dollars
During the past two years, NED has granted $70,000 to LCRA/LIC. They are not obviously democratic organizations. Founded in 1961 to “provide the Church under the Soviet oppression with spiritual and material assistance . . . .,” LCA’s parent organization was the Lithuanian Roman Catholic Priests’ League. The quiet obscurity of this group belies the welcome they receive in the halls of power. LCRA executive director Father Casimir Pugevicius served on an advisory committee to Senator Charles Percy (Rep.–Ill.), then a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was also welcomed in the Reagan White House in 1986.
According to LCRA/LIC, its 1990 grant application to NED requested $618,300 and outlined its ambitious proposal as follows:
. . . . five separate pro-democratic organizations would receive technical and material aid. The first, a coalition of democratic parties enjoying broad support in Lithuania and capable of assuming leading roles in the new legislature would receive computer and audio-visual equipment . . . . Communications and video equipment will also be transported to the Sajudis Information Agency . . . . [According to NED, funds went only to Sajudis.]
The second part of the project would ensure a continuous supply of much needed paper for independent publishers and organizations. The dramatic increase in the number of democratic groups in Lithuania in the past year has caused severe shortages in the very limited pool of resources. . . . Because of the greater degree of liberalization in Lithuania, this republic has emerged as the publishing center for the independent groups throughout the Soviet Union. . . .
Within weeks of the arrival of these goods, traditional sources of information in Lithuania were suppressed or taken over by Sajudis. Nationalist sympathizers cut off broadcast programming from Moscow, and Lithuania was soon flooded with secessionist propaganda. In the ensuing election, Sajudis managed to dominate the scene by riding the crest of a wave of nationalist sentiment. It won a majority in the Seim (parliament). In March, a hastily convened session of parliament voted for secession (91–38) in a matter of hours. Laws were passed curbing opposition newspapers and changing the flag and national anthem, reverting to versions in use during the nationalist period. As to whether, or what, of real substance should change, Sajudis remained silent.
Echoes From the Past
To Lithuanians old enough to remember the Second World War, the energetic activities of Sajudis, LCRA, and LIC must seem vaguely familiar. Landsbergis’s father was a member of the Savandoriai (nationalist militia), who fought the Russians (1918–1919), helped enforce the successive dictatorships of Voldemares and Smetona, and collaborated with the German occupation.
A reporter for Der Spiegel wrote in April 1990 that: “Everybody fears Sajudis. Anyone who attacks Sajudis is declared an an enemy of the people by Landsbergis, and that happens very quickly.” In addition the Savandoriai (illegal under Soviet law) have been revived under the leadership of retired army officers.
Prior to the German invasion in June 1941, a Berlin-based “Lithuanian Information Bureau,” the propaganda arm of the Lithuanian Activist Front, a nationalist exile organization, sent the following message into Lithuania:
. . . . liberation is close at hand. . . . uprisings must be started in the cities, towns and villages of Lithuania. . . . communists and other traitors. . . . must be arrested at once. . . . (The traitor will be pardoned only provided beyond doubt that he has killed one Jew at least.)
In the book Blowback, Christopher Simpson crisply summarizes part of the “liberation” that followed:
. . . . municipal killing squads employing Lithuanian Nazi collaborators eliminated 46,692 Jews in fewer than three months, according to their own reports, mainly by combining clock-like liquidations of 500 Jews per day in the capital city of Vilnius with mobile “clean-up” sweeps through the surrounding countryside.
Such squads were consistently used by the Nazis for the dirty work that even the SS believed to be beneath the dignity of the German soldier. . . . .
On August 4, 1941, the Lithuanian Activist Front, installed a provisional government, taking care to cooperate fully with the Nazis. The invaders let president Juozas Ambrazevicius’s government stand for three months, during which time the worst of the killings occurred. After the war, Ambrazevicius fled to the U.S., where he changed his name to Brazaitis.
The crimes which prompted the post-war flight of many Lithuanian nationalists were starkly documented in the “Jaeger Report,” an official count by the SS officer who supervised the massacres:
Einsatzkommando 3 Kovno, December 1, 1941
Secret State Document
Summary of all executions carried out in the sphere of action of Einsatzkommando 3 up to December 1, 1941.
Einsatzkomando 3 took over its duties as security police in Lithuania on the 2nd of July 1941. . . . In compliance with my directives and on my order the Lithuanian partisans have carried out the following executions. . . .
What followed was a chronological accounting of the activities of the killing squads. Victims were neatly categorized: Jewish men, Jewish women, Jewish children, Poles, Lithuanian communists, Russian communists, Intellectual Jews, Lunatics, Gypsies, Political Instructors, Armenians. . . .
After the first 3,000 deaths, Jaeger apparently decided that the Lithuanian nationalists alone were equal to the task;
. . . . After organizing a mobile unit under SS-Oberstumfuhrer Hamann and 8 to 10 tried men of EK 3 the following actions were carried out in cooperation with the Lithuanian partisans. . . .
. . . . Before the EK 3 assumed security duties, the partisans themselves killed [4,000 ] Jews through pogroms and executions. . . .
. . . . I can state today that the goal of solving the Jewish problem in Lithuania has been reached by EK 3. There are no Jews in Lithuania anymore except the work Jews and their families. . . .The goal to clear Lithuania of Jews could be achieved only thanks to . . . men . . . . who adopted my goal without any reservations and managed to secure the cooperation of the Lithuanian partisans and and the respective civil offices. . . .
The final tally of those killed was 137, 346. As the report clearly indicates, the Nazis were assisted by both the paramilitary bands associated with the nationalists, and by those in positions of authority–including members of the Catholic clergy.
A Nazi Collaborator Prospers in Chicago
As auxiliary Bishop of Kaunas, (Kovno) during the German occupation, Bishop Vincentas Brizgys, founder of LCRA/LIC, lent his spiritual authority to fascism. When the Nazis retreated, so did he, first to Germany, then to Chicago where he has lived, worked, and carried the nationalist banner for 25 years.
The clergy hated socialism or very clear reasons. The socialist government which came to power in 1939 had separated church and state. Church property was confiscated, including large farms where peasants labored under semi-feudal conditions eliminated elsewhere in Europe centuries before. Clergy were removed from government and the educational system, two institutions where they had long wielded powerful influence.
Archbishop Skvireckas, Brizgys’s superior, documented the bishop’s collaborationist activities with evident satisfaction. The archbishop’s diary for July 1, 1941, reveals that Brizgys made contact:
. . . . with the representative of the German government for the Baltic statics. [Dr. Groffe, formerly head of Gestapo in East Prussia who] . . . proposed . . . . that he [Brizgys] should make an appeal to the people to behave quietly and pursue their daily business with confidence, without any fear that they might be harmed. . . .
On June 30, 1941, the archbishop had written: “The ideas in Mein Kampf on the question of the Bolshevik-Jewish contagion are splendid . . . . they prove that Hitler is not only an enemy of the Jews, but generally speaking has the right ideas.”
An appeal to welcome the Nazis was broadcast by radio, ten published in a major Kaunas newspaper, signed by Skviteckas, Brizgys and Vicar General Saulys. Their signatures were also on a formal telegram of thanks to Hitler for “Lithuania’s Liberation,” sent in the middle of July 1941.
As the Nazis and their collaborators implemented the diabolical logic of Mein Kampf, Brizgys “set an example for the entire population by forbidding the clergy to aid the Jews in any way.” He also urged from his pulpit, and via radio and newspaper, that Lithuanians cooperate with the Nazis.
When the Soviet army, led by its 16th Lithuanian division, drove the Nazis out in 1944, Brizgys fled to safety in Germany, then to the U.S. Send to the archdiocese of Chicago, he helped launch Lithuanian Catholic Religious Aid in 1961, and served as LCRA president until 1986. He is now chair of the board of directors.
Other Friends of Lithuanian Democracy
- Director of Special Projects for LCRA/LIC is Rasa Razgaitis, stepdaughter of accused war criminal Jurgis Juodis. Because of his involvement as a nationalist military officer in the massacres of 1941, Juodis became the subject of a Justice Department Office of Special Investigations (OSIS) inquiry in 1981. In addition to her work with LCA, Razgaitis is head of “Americans for Due Process,” an organization “formed solely to challenge the activities of the Justice Department’s war crimes unit.” She is also a friend of Patrick Buchanan, through whom she gained access to the Reagan White House when Buchanan was Communications Director.
- AFL-CIO president Lane Kirkland is a long time member of the cold warrior clique Committee on the Present Danger, and supports CIA manipulation of labor movements around the globe. Kirkland has welcomed Landsbergis as a friend during his U.S. visits. Kirkland’s name was on an open letter to President Bush published in the April 22, 1990 New York Times calling for immediate recognition of Lithuanian independence. Kirkland is on the NED board.
- Richard Ebeling, vice president of the Future Freedom Foundation (FFF) of Denver, has been invited by Sajudis to lecture “in Lithuania, on the principles of freedom.” In addition, six Sajudis economists have met with leaders of FFF to discuss “free market proposals . . . . made as radical as possible.” Among others discussed were the now-familiar calls for rapid denationalization of all industries and state prosperity; decontrol of all prices and wages, both in the consumer and production markets; and privatization of social services including medical retirement pensions. . . . . .