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German Economic Colonization of Ukraine

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COMMENT: With the U.S. and Ger­many respec­tive­ly play­ing Bad Cop (mil­i­tary aid and sanc­tions) and Good Cop (eco­nom­ic aid and resis­tance to fur­ther sanc­tions at the behest of key Ger­man cor­po­ra­tions invest­ed in Rus­sia), the fol­low-up to the covert oper­a­tion result­ing in the coup d’e­tat of ear­ly 2014 is pro­ceed­ing apace. That coup brought to pow­er the OUN/B suc­ces­sor orga­ni­za­tions Swo­bo­da and Pravy Sek­tor as key play­ers in the inter­im gov­ern­ment.

Ger­man industry–surprise, surprise–plans to mod­ern­ize Ukrain­ian indus­tries and estab­lish sub­con­tract­ing arrange­ments to build auto­mo­biles in that cheap labor mar­ket.

This will be cou­pled by the aus­ter­i­ty doc­trine we have termed “Von Clause­witz­ian eco­nom­ics.” It remains to be seen how the Ukrain­ian pop­u­la­tion receives this.

The fact that the Ukrain­ian econ­o­my is dom­i­nat­ed by oli­garchs should facil­i­tate the process, at least on paper. Note that Ukrain­ian pres­i­dent-elect Petro Poroshenko has key hold­ings in the Ukrain­ian auto­mo­bile indus­try, among oth­er invest­ments. It seems rea­son­able to sup­pose that he will receive gen­er­ous­ly prof­itable com­pen­sa­tion for any “adjust­ments” he makes to his port­fo­lio.

Swo­bo­da leader Oleh Tia­hany­bok

U.S. ener­gy com­pa­nies may get a crack at the nat­ur­al gas reserves in Ukraine, oth­er­wise (as we not­ed in our broad­casts about the sub­ject), Amer­i­ca gets noth­ing out of this but fur­ther debt incurred to incor­po­rate Ukraine into the EU orbit.

While this process is tak­ing shape, the war in East­ern Ukraine has esca­lat­ed, with armor, artillery, heli­copter gun­ships and fixed-wing com­bat air­craft being used against the pop­u­la­tion there. Imag­ine if Yanukovich had resort­ed to such tac­tics with the Maid­an coup gain­ing momen­tum!

The Ger­man For­eign Pol­i­cy arti­cle below cor­rect­ly com­pares the blood­shed in Ukraine with the breakup of the for­mer Yugoslavia, cov­ered in–among oth­er programs–FTR #‘s 48154, 161184, 293766. Using the Axis suc­ces­sor orga­ni­za­tions in Bosnia, Croa­t­ia and Koso­vo, the U.S. and Ger­many split up the for­mer Yugoslavia, which was then absorbed into the EU orbit. (Note that German-Foreign-Policy.com feeds along the low­er right-hand side of the front page of this web­site.)

We have nine pro­grams to date about the Ukrain­ian cri­sis: FTR ‘s 777778779780781782, 783784794.

“For Peace and Free­dom;” german-foreign-policy.com; 5/30/2014.

Ger­man for­eign pol­i­cy experts are express­ing their approval of Kiev’s putsch regime’s recent esca­la­tion of war­fare against the East of Ukraine. It is “evi­dent” that “Kiev … had to again become active,” declared the influ­en­tial diplo­mat and Chair­man of the Munich Secu­ri­ty Con­fer­ence, Wolf­gang Ischinger. Prime Min­is­ter Arseniy Yat­senyuk, whose regime bears respon­si­bil­i­ty for the cur­rent artillery and aer­i­al attacks on east­ern Ukrain­ian cities, was guest speak­er at yes­ter­day’s Charle­magne Prize award pre­sen­ta­tion cer­e­monies. The Ger­man media praised him accord­ing­ly. The Ukrain­ian Pres­i­dent-elect, the Oli­garch Petro Poroshenko, would like to lead Kiev into a “secu­ri­ty alliance” with the West and soon sign the eco­nom­ic seg­ment of the EU’s Asso­ci­a­tion Agree­ment. Ukraine has already begun the nec­es­sary prepa­ra­tions: Aus­ter­i­ty mea­sures, which will mas­sive­ly increase the unem­ploy­ment rate and entail a dra­mat­ic rise in prices, have been ini­ti­at­ed. Ger­man busi­ness cir­cles are prepar­ing for their eco­nom­ic expan­sion into that coun­try. If Kiev can take con­trol over east­ern Ukraine with mil­i­tary means, new con­flicts could arise: The inter­ests of the expand­ing Ger­man indus­try would col­lide with those of Ukrain­ian oli­garchs.

By All Means

Kiev’s Prime Min­is­ter Arseniy Yat­senyuk has attract­ed pub­lic atten­tion with his par­tic­i­pa­tion in yes­ter­day’s award pre­sen­ta­tion cer­e­monies of the Charle­magne Prize to the Pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Coun­cil, Her­man van Rompuy. In his short speech, he declared that Kiev will fight “for peace and free­dom” against the rebel­lions in the East of the coun­try — “with all means at our disposal.”[1] On the eve of the cer­e­mo­ny, he con­ferred in Berlin with the Ger­man chan­cel­lor on the next steps in the strug­gle for influ­ence with Moscow. Pres­i­dent-elect Petro Poroshenko announced that Kiev seeks to strength­en its for­mal ties with the West. After ini­tial resis­tance, Kiev now is sig­nal­ing that the sign­ing of the eco­nom­ic seg­ment of the EU’s Asso­ci­a­tion Agree­ment is immi­nent — still in June. Only the polit­i­cal seg­ment is cur­rent­ly in force. Poroshenko has also announced that he is count­ing on a “new secu­ri­ty alliance with the USA and Europe to also mil­i­tar­i­ly pro­tect the Ukraine.” He intends to “fight for this and imme­di­ate­ly open talks.”[2] He has had “inten­sive phone con­ver­sa­tions” with Chan­cel­lor Merkel and is now hop­ing “for more sol­i­dar­i­ty and support.”[3]

Sav­ing up for Free Trade and War

Imme­di­ate­ly fol­low­ing the putsch in late Feb­ru­ary, the Ukrain­ian putsch regime began ini­ti­at­ing eco­nom­ic prepa­ra­tions for the coun­try’s tran­si­tion into the west­ern hege­mon­ic sphere. As usu­al in such cases,[4] this process means the impo­si­tion of harsh aus­ter­i­ty poli­cies. An agree­ment has already been reached with the Inter­na­tion­al Mon­e­tary Fund (IMF) to apply its clear­ly defined aus­ter­i­ty mea­sures. There­fore Kiev has aban­doned the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­men­t’s plans to slight­ly raise pen­sions and the min­i­mum wage (approx. 45 cents/hr) and will now freeze both at cur­rent lev­els. The par­lia­ment decid­ed already back in March, to reduce the nation­al bud­get by 17 per­cent. Alto­geth­er, about 24,000 civ­il ser­vice employ­ees will be fired, account­ing for ten per­cent of all civ­il ser­vants. In a “let­ter of intent” to the IMF, dat­ed April 22, Kiev also agreed to increase — before the sum­mer — the price of gas for pri­vate house­holds by 56 per­cent as well as the costs for dis­trict heat­ing by 40 per­cent. This will be a heavy blow to a large por­tion of the Ukrain­ian pop­u­la­tion, whose aver­age earn­ings — when the oli­garch’s wealth is deduct­ed — are esti­mat­ed at about 150 Euros month­ly. In 2015, gas and heat­ing costs will be raised anoth­er 40 per­cent and again in 2016 and 2017, anoth­er 20 per­cent each year. The war against the insur­gents in the east of the coun­try, which is con­sum­ing large sums, has not yet even been cal­cu­lat­ed into these plans. Min­is­ter of Finances, Olek­san­dr Shla­pak, announced May 10, that Kiev’s mil­i­tary bud­get will prob­a­bly have to be increased by 50 per­cent, for the time being, and this amount is still not enough. There­fore, Ukraine must cut its bud­get for social issues and healthcare.[5]

Lucra­tive Mod­ern­iza­tion

In antic­i­pa­tion of the immi­nent sign­ing of the eco­nom­ic seg­ment of the EU’s Asso­ci­a­tion Agree­ment, the aus­ter­i­ty pol­i­cy has begun pro­vok­ing tan­gi­ble inter­est in Ger­man eco­nom­ic sec­tors. “The adop­tion of EU stan­dards and the estab­lish­ment of a free trade zone with the Euro­pean Union, will demand ... a mul­ti­plic­i­ty of immense efforts in mod­ern­iza­tion for Ukrain­ian enter­pris­es,” accord­ing to “Ger­many Trade and Invest” (gtai). For exam­ple, the steel indus­try, which “is very impor­tant to Ukraine,” has “much catch­ing up to do, in the use of mod­ern technology.”[6] Ger­man com­pa­nies are hop­ing to land lucra­tive con­tracts. This sec­tor also has polit­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance. As in many oth­er branch­es, Ukrain­ian oli­garchs, such as Rinat Achme­tov, exer­cise an enor­mous amount of influ­ence over the steel indus­try. It is unknown, whether Achme­tov — who may have to make expen­sive mod­ern­iza­tion invest­ments — can expect con­ces­sions for his announce­ment to regain con­trol over east­ern Ukraine.[7] From with­in the entourage of Pres­i­dent-elect Poroshenko, there is talk of a “Ger­man aid pro­gram for the Don­bass,” that is sup­posed to “cre­ate jobs.”[8] Gtai also sees oppor­tu­ni­ties for Ger­man enter­pris­es in the impend­ing mod­ern­iza­tion of Ukraine’s agri­cul­ture, where Ukrain­ian oli­garchs are also influ­en­tial.

Low-Wage Site

Accord­ing to the gtai analy­sis, the immi­nent sign­ing of the eco­nom­ic seg­ment of the EU’s Asso­ci­a­tion Agree­ment will make large-scale trans­plan­ta­tion of indus­tri­al sites also fea­si­ble. For exam­ple, “a for­eign auto­mo­bile pro­duc­er could pro­lif­er­ate its loca­tions in Ukraine and estab­lish a clus­ter of sub­con­trac­tors,” writes the for­eign trade agency. The coun­try could even, “step by step, become a sec­ond Czech Repub­lic,” thanks to its excep­tion­al­ly low wage lev­el (“labor cost advan­tages”), par­tic­u­lar­ly due to the fact that Ukraine has a “rel­a­tive­ly well trained labor force.” Gtai points out that var­i­ous Ger­man auto­mo­tive com­po­nents sup­pli­ers — such as Leoni — are already pro­duc­ing inside the coun­try. How­ev­er, Ukrain­ian auto man­u­fac­tur­ers must “then con­vert to the pro­duc­tion of com­po­nent parts or niche prod­ucts such as cus­tomized autos or infrastructures.”[9] It is not clear what form the con­fronta­tion will take between the giants of the West Euro­pean auto indus­try, on the one hand, and the Ukrain­ian oli­garchs, on the oth­er. For exam­ple, one of the largest car man­u­fac­tur­ers in Ukraine is pri­vate­ly owned by the bil­lion­aire Petro Poroshenko.[10] Poroshenko has announced his inten­tions to sell his com­pa­nies — with the excep­tion of his “Chan­nel 5” broad­cast­ing com­pa­ny — but it is not clear, who will take over his “Bohdan Cor­po­ra­tion” car fac­to­ries.

“Final­ly Retal­i­ate”

Where­as the pro­tégée of the CDU-affil­i­at­ed Kon­rad Ade­nauer Foun­da­tion [11], Kiev’s future may­or, Vitali Klitschko, has announced that he will now “seek Ger­man invest­ments very intensively,”[12] his polit­i­cal ally, Petro Poroshenko, is apply­ing the final mea­sures for the absorp­tion of all of Ukraine into the West­ern hege­mon­ic sphere — by repress­ing revolts in the east of the coun­try. This week, using its new­ly formed “nation­al guard,” irreg­u­lar mili­tias and the air force, Kiev’s regime mas­sive­ly expand­ed attacks on the cities of Don­bass. Before elec­tions, “they had shied away from fight­ing, to not endan­ger vot­ing,” an “insid­er” was quot­ed say­ing, “now we can final­ly retaliate.”[13] Ger­man for­eign pol­i­cy experts are express­ing their com­pre­hen­sion. “It was evi­dent that Kiev had to again become active, once the elec­tions were over,” declared, the Chair of the Munich Secu­ri­ty Con­fer­ence, Wolf­gang Ischinger.[14] From Donezk, the first strikes in oppo­si­tion to Kiev’s onslaught have been announced, and vio­lence is also esca­lat­ing from the side of the insur­gents. No end to the fight­ing is in sight.

War of Euro­pean Uni­fi­ca­tion

The war begin­ning in east­ern Ukraine will not be the first war to accom­pa­ny the Ger­man-Euro­pean east­ward expan­sion of their hege­mon­ic sphere. Already in the 1990s, Ger­many sup­port­ed the destruc­tion of Yugoslavia, to pre­vent pos­si­ble resis­tance to its pre­dom­i­nance. In the sum­mer of 1999, short­ly after the war over Koso­vo, Ger­man media had referred to a “war of Euro­pean uni­fi­ca­tion.” How­ev­er, at the time, it was report­ed that “lead­ers,” were refer­ring to this “only in con­fi­den­tial con­ver­sa­tions” — oth­er­wise one would have to answer the objec­tion that “war is again being called the moth­er of all — even Europe.”[15]

More reports and back­ground infor­ma­tion on the cur­rent Ger­man pol­i­cy toward Ukraine can be found here: A Broad-Based Anti-Russ­ian Alliance, Expan­sive Ambi­tions, Our Man in Kiev, Inte­gra­tion Rival­ry with Moscow, On the Offen­sive, At all Costs, The Crimean Con­flict, The Kiev Esca­la­tion Strat­e­gy, Cold War Images, The Free World, A Fatal Taboo Vio­la­tion, The Euro­peaniza­tion of Ukraine, Offi­cial Gov­ern­ment Voca­tive, An Unusu­al Mis­sion, “Sci­en­tif­ic Nation­al­ists”, Cri­sis of Legit­i­ma­cy and “Fas­cist Free­dom Fight­ers” and The Restora­tion of the Oli­garchs (IV).

[1] Van Rompuy wirft Rus­s­land Desta­bil­isierung vor. www.handelsblatt.com 29.05.2014.
[2] Das erste Inter­view mit Klitschko und Poroschenko. www.bild.de 27.05.2014.
[3] So wollen sie der Ukraine Frieden brin­gen. www.bild.de 29.05.2014.
[4] See Under the EU Flag.
[5] Ukraine cuts health, wel­fare spend­ing to boost defence. www.janes.com 12.05.2014.
[6] In der Ukraine ste­hen Mod­ernisierun­gen an. www.gtai.de 24.04.2014.
[7], [8] See The Restora­tion of the Oli­garchs (IV).
[9] In der Ukraine ste­hen Mod­ernisierun­gen an. www.gtai.de 24.04.2014.
[10] See The Restora­tion of the Oli­garchs (IV).
[11] See Our Man in Kiev.
[12] So wollen sie der Ukraine Frieden brin­gen. www.bild.de 29.05.2014.
[13] Kon­rad Schuller: Wie aus Par­ti­sa­nen­haufen Stoßtrup­ps wur­den. Frank­furter All­ge­meine Zeitung 28.05.2014.
[14] Ischinger nen­nt Offen­sive gegen Sep­a­ratis­ten notwendig. www.faz.net 28.05.2014.
[15] Gunter Hof­mann: Deutsch­land am Ende des Krieges. Die Zeit 24/1999.

 

Discussion

3 comments for “German Economic Colonization of Ukraine”

  1. Fas­ci­nat­ing... The author not only explains the ori­gins of durable Ukrain­ian fas­cism, but why fas­cism will inevitably return to Europe — as a response to the fail­ure of neo-lib­er­al eco­nom­ic glob­al­ism:

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/06/06/the-durability-of-ukrainian-fascism/

    Fas­cism: an “Ism” for the 21st Cen­tu­ry
    The Dura­bil­i­ty of Ukrain­ian Fas­cism
    by PETER LEE
    Read­ers out­side of Europe might not be aware of it, but spring is the fas­cist march­ing sea­son in the Baltic republics.

    In Esto­nia on Feb­ru­ary 16; Feb­ru­ary 16 & March 11 in Lithua­nia (anniver­saries of 1918 and 1990 dec­la­ra­tions of inde­pen­dence); and March 16 in Latvia (March 16, 1944 was first day the Lat­vian Legion fought along­side the Wehrma­cht against the Red Army), local fas­cists parade to cel­e­brate fas­cist prin­ci­pals and fas­cist heroes, most of whom col­lab­o­rat­ed in some ways with Nazi Ger­many dur­ing World War II while resist­ing the Sovi­et Union.

    The big event for Ukrain­ian fas­cists is Jan­u­ary 1, the anniver­sary of the birth of Stepan Ban­dera (1909–1959), leader of the OUN‑B (Orga­ni­za­tion of Ukrain­ian Nationalists—Bandera) fas­cist fac­tion.

    This year, 15,000 peo­ple marched by torch­light in Kyiv on Jan­u­ary 1 to com­mem­o­rate Ban­dera.

    East­ern Euro­pean fas­cism is a durable and alarm­ing­ly vital ide­ol­o­gy. It is not just a mat­ter of atavis­tic affec­tion for Hitler and Nazism by big­ot­ed cranks.

    And Ukrain­ian fas­cism is more durable and vital than most. It was forged in the most adverse con­di­tions imag­in­able, in the fur­nace of Stal­in­ism, under the reign of Hitler, and amid Poland’s effort to destroy Ukrain­ian nation­al­i­ty.

    Ukrain­ian nation­al­ism was under fero­cious attack between the two world wars. The USSR occu­pied the east­ern half of Ukraine, sub­ject­ed it to col­lec­tiviza­tion under Stal­in, and com­mit­ted repres­sion and enabled a famine that killed mil­lions. At first, the Sovi­ets sought to co-opt Ukrain­ian nation­al­ism by sup­port­ing Ukrain­ian cul­tur­al expres­sion while repress­ing Ukrain­ian polit­i­cal aspi­ra­tions; USSR nation­al­i­ties poli­cies were “nation­al­ist in expres­sion and social­ist in essence”. Then, in 1937 Stal­in oblit­er­at­ed the native Ukrain­ian cul­tur­al and com­mu­nist appa­ra­tus in a thor­ough­go­ing purge and imple­ment­ed Rus­si­fied cen­tral con­trol through his bespoke instru­ment, Niki­ta Krushchev.

    Mean­while, the east­ern part of the Ukraine was under the thumb of the Pol­ish Repub­lic, which was try­ing to entrench its rule before either the Ger­mans or the Rus­sians got around to destroy­ing it again. This trans­lat­ed into a con­cert­ed Pol­ish polit­i­cal, secu­ri­ty, cul­tur­al, and demo­graph­ic push into Ukrain­ian Gali­cia. The Pol­ish gov­ern­ment dis­placed Ukrain­ian intel­lec­tu­als and farm­ers, attacked their cul­ture and reli­gion (includ­ing seizure of Ortho­dox church­es and con­ver­sion into Roman Catholic edi­fices), mar­gin­al­ized the Ukraini­ans in their own home­land, and sup­pressed Ukrain­ian inde­pen­dence activists (like Ban­dera, who spent the years 1933 to 1939 in Poland’s Wron­ki Prison after try­ing to assas­si­nate Poland’s Min­is­ter of the Inte­ri­or).

    Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists, there­fore, were unable to ride com­mu­nism or bour­geois democ­ra­cy into pow­er. Com­mu­nism was a tool of Sovi­et expan­sion­ism, not class empow­er­ment, and Pol­ish democ­ra­cy offered no pro­tec­tion for Ukrain­ian minor­i­ty rights or polit­i­cal expres­sion, let alone a Ukrain­ian state.

    Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists turned large­ly toward fas­cism, specif­i­cal­ly toward a con­cept of “inte­gral nation­al­ism” that, in the absence of an accept­able nation­al gov­ern­ment, man­i­fest­ed itself in a nation­al will resid­ing in the spir­it of its adher­ents, not expressed by the state or restrained by its laws, but embod­ied by a charis­mat­ic leader and exer­cised through his orga­ni­za­tion, whose legit­i­ma­cy super­sedes that of the state and whose com­mit­ment to vio­lence makes it a law unto itself.

    That leader, at least for many Ukraini­ans of the fas­cist per­sua­sion, was Stepan Ban­dera. The orga­ni­za­tion, his OUN‑B fac­tion.

    This state of affairs per­sists in today’s suc­ces­sor to the OUN‑B, Pravy Sek­tor, with its fas­cist trap­pings, leader cult, and para­mil­i­tary arm. The “main­stream­ing” of the sec­ond major fas­cist group­ing, Svo­bo­da, looks more like a strate­gic repack­ag­ing in order to strive for greater elec­toral suc­cess by hid­ing its fas­cist antecedents.

    So, unfor­tu­nate­ly for apol­o­gists for the cur­rent Kyiv regime, the cor­rect descrip­tion of these two groups is not “nation­al­ist” or “ultra­na­tion­al­ist”; it is “fas­cist”.

    Fatal­ly, the Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment has turned to fas­cist nation­al­ism and heroes in order to forge a post-Sovi­et, essen­tial­ly Ukrain­ian, iden­ti­ty for the post-1991 state.

    In a reca­pit­u­la­tion of a trend in east­ern Europe to res­ur­rect World War II era nation­al­ist fascists—some of whom active­ly col­lab­o­rat­ed with the Nazis—as ral­ly­ing points for anti-Russ­ian sen­ti­ment, Ban­dera has also been adopt­ed as a Ukrain­ian nation­al hero: in 2010 Pres­i­dent Yuschenko posthu­mous­ly (and, accord­ing to a court in pro-Russ­ian Donet­sk, ille­gal­ly) award­ed Ban­dera the title of Hero of Ukraine.

    The uncom­fort­able truth is that the gov­ern­ment has invest­ed enough effort into cel­e­brat­ing Ban­dera as a nation­al hero that the epi­thet “Ban­derite” that pro-Russ­ian ele­ments apply to the Kyiv regime is not ter­ri­bly far from the mark.

    For obvi­ous rea­sons, Russ­ian pro­pa­gan­da has labored might­i­ly to char­ac­ter­ize Ban­dera as a Nazi, so that he can be con­demned as a col­lab­o­ra­tor with Hitler in his war on the USSR and the world, and not an inde­pen­dence fight­er against Rus­sia and its bru­tal and extreme­ly unpop­u­lar (for eth­nic Ukraini­ans, at least) rule over east­ern Ukraine.

    Actu­al­ly, Ban­der­an fas­cism, with its focus on estab­lish­ing a pure Ukrain­ian state, was only tan­gen­tial­ly relat­ed to Hitler’s expan­sion­ist extrav­a­gances, which cen­tered on an apoc­a­lyp­tic war against the “Judeo-Bol­she­vism” that, in Hitler’s view, stood between Ger­many and its right­ful place as lord of a racial­ly cleansed Europe and a glob­al empire rivalling those of the Unit­ed States and Great Britain.

    Ban­dera was not an impor­tant Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tor, albeit because he was nev­er giv­en a real chance. Ukrain­ian inde­pen­dence activists of every stripe threw them­selves at the Nazis in the Thir­ties, see­ing Ger­many as the only force that could destroy both of their hat­ed oppressors—Poland, for the west­ern Ukraini­ans, and the USSR for the east­ern Ukraine.

    How­ev­er, the Nazis were con­temp­tu­ous of Slavs, who were assigned the role of hew­ers of wood and draw­ers of water in the new Aryan order. Ukrain­ian work­ers trans­port­ed to Ger­many as labor­ers were sub­ject­ed to mis­er­able and degrad­ing treat­ment as they sweat­ed for the Reich.

    The noto­ri­ous eth­nic Ukrain­ian “Gali­cian SS” and “Nachti­gall” and “Roland” mil­i­tary for­ma­tions appar­ent­ly were kept on a short leash by the Ger­mans, did not accom­plish a great deal dur­ing World War II, and only saw seri­ous action when the Nazis got real­ly des­per­ate.

    The Nazis were above all deter­mined to keep a tight grip on Ukraine, which was a cen­tral region for their con­cept of a Slav-free Leben­sraum for Ger­mans and a key zone for their mil­i­tary oper­a­tions against the USSR. They rec­og­nized that Bandera’s bedrock inter­est was in cre­at­ing a Ukrain­ian state free of anyone’s con­trol and were well aware of his ten­den­cy toward bloody mis­chief. The Nazis detained him for most of World War II and only released in a “too lit­tle too late” effort to slow up the Red Army as it drove Ger­many out of east­ern Europe in 1945.

    Post-war, a Ger­man offi­cer made the telling obser­va­tion that the war in the east was not lost at Stal­in­grad; it was lost “long before that—in Kiev, when we host­ed the swasti­ka instead of the Ukrain­ian flag!”

    Stepan Ban­dera was an unapolo­getic fas­cist and ter­ror­ist whose OUN‑B fac­tion launched an unimag­in­ably bru­tal cam­paign of eth­nic cleans­ing cam­paign through slaugh­ter dur­ing World War II. Yale his­to­ri­an Thomas Sny­der, who is an enthu­si­as­tic cheer­leader for almost all things Euro­Maid­an, draws the line at exalt­ing Ban­dera.

    The Nazis killed tens of mil­lions of anony­mous strangers in the East as part of a war of con­quest meant to Ger­man­ize Europe to the Urals; the Ukraini­ans of the OUN‑B mur­dered tens of thou­sands of their neigh­bors while try­ing to rip a nation­al state out of the social and polit­i­cal fab­ric of east­ern Europe.

    Like Hitler, Ban­dera was keen to puri­fy the “home­land” of impure ele­ments. Unlike Hitler, Ban­dera only had the chance to turn his fury on his enemies—primarily the Poles of Galicia–for a few months.

    5000 Ukrain­ian police defect­ed with their weapons to join Bandera’s fac­tion as Nazi rule crum­bled in Ukraine, and pro­vid­ed the mus­cle for the most noto­ri­ous Ban­dera action of the Sec­ond World War: the mas­sacre of Poles in what is now west­ern Ukraine.

    His­to­ri­ans gen­er­al­ly agree that Bandera’s forces com­mit­ted sys­tem­at­ic atroc­i­ties in order to insti­tute a reign of ter­ror that would dri­ve out the Poles out.

    Nor­man Davies:

    Vil­lages were torched. Roman Catholic priests were axed or cru­ci­fied. Church­es were burned with all their parish­ioners. Iso­lat­ed farms were attacked by gangs car­ry­ing pitch­forks and kitchen knives. Throats were cut. Preg­nant women were bay­o­net­ed. Chil­dren were cut in two. Men were ambushed in the field and led away.

    Tim­o­thy Sny­der:

    Ukrain­ian par­ti­sans burned homes, shot or forced back inside those who tried to flee, and used sick­les and pitch­forks to kill those they cap­tured out­side. In some cas­es, behead­ed, cru­ci­fied, dis­mem­bered, or dis­em­bow­eled bod­ies were dis­played, in order to encour­age remain­ing Poles to flee.

    Var­i­ous esti­mates cal­cu­late that some­where between 35,000 and 100,000 Poles died in the Ban­dera ter­ror.

    Bandera’s cham­pi­ons point to the fact that he was still in Ger­man deten­tion when the mas­sacres took place and there is no evi­dence that he explic­it­ly ordered the mas­sacres. But giv­en his ide­ol­o­gy, his detes­ta­tion of the Poles, and his role as the charis­mat­ic leader of his fac­tion, it seems unlike­ly his sub­or­di­nates under­took this mas­sive enter­prise on their own ini­tia­tive.

    One of Bandera’s lieu­tenants was Roman Shukhevych. In Feb­ru­ary 1945, Shukhevych issued an order stat­ing, “In view of the suc­cess of the Sovi­et forces it is nec­es­sary to speed up the liq­ui­da­tion of the Poles, they must be total­ly wiped out, their vil­lages burned … only the Pol­ish pop­u­la­tion must be destroyed.”

    As a mat­ter of addi­tion­al embar­rass­ment, Shukhevych was also a com­man­der in the Nachti­gall (Nightin­gale) bat­tal­ion orga­nized by the Wehrma­cht.

    Today, a major pre­oc­cu­pa­tion of Ukrain­ian nation­al­ist his­tor­i­cal schol­ar­ship is beat­ing back rather con­vinc­ing alle­ga­tions by Russ­ian, Pol­ish, and Jew­ish his­to­ri­ans that Nachti­gall was an impor­tant and active par­tic­i­pant in the mas­sacre of Lviv Jews orches­trat­ed by the Ger­man army upon its arrival in June 1941.

    It’s an uphill bat­tle. Ban­dera had clas­si­fied Jews as “sec­ond order ene­mies” thanks to their per­ceived role as col­lab­o­ra­tors and adjuncts to the Pol­ish and Russ­ian strat­e­gy of “divide and con­quer” against Ukrain­ian nation­al­ism. Anti-Semi­tism, indeed, is a sta­ple of mod­ern Ukrain­ian fas­cism and has undoubt­ed­ly con­tributed to the emi­gra­tion of 60% of Ukraine’s Jews—340,000 people—since inde­pen­dence.

    Shukhevych remains a hero to Ukrain­ian fas­cists today. Most importantly—since Ban­dera was assas­si­nat­ed in Munich by the USSR in 1959 and left no issue—he serves as the direct lin­eal ances­tor of Ukraine’s key fas­cist for­ma­tion, Pravy Sek­tor.

    In Feb­ru­ary 2014, the New York Times’ Andrew Hig­gins penned a rather embar­rass­ing pas­sage that val­orized the occu­pa­tion of Lviv—the Gali­cian city at the heart of Ukrain­ian fas­cism, the old stomp­ing grounds of Roman Shukhevych and the Nachti­gall bat­t­la­ian, and also Simon Wiesnthal’s home town—by anti-Yanyukovich forces in Jan­u­ary 2014:

    Some of the president’s long­time oppo­nents here have tak­en an increas­ing­ly rad­i­cal line.

    Offer­ing inspi­ra­tion and advice has been Yuriy Shukhevych, a blind vet­er­an nation­al­ist who spent 31 years in Sovi­et pris­ons and labor camps and whose father, Roman, led the Ukrain­ian Insur­gent Army against Pol­ish and then Sovi­et rule.

    Mr. Shukhevych, 80, who lost his sight dur­ing his time in the Sovi­et gulag, helped guide the for­ma­tion of Right Sec­tor, an unruly orga­ni­za­tion whose fight­ers now man bar­ri­cades around Inde­pen­dence Square, the epi­cen­ter of the protest move­ment in Kiev.

    https://johnib.wordpress.com/tag/yuriy-shukhevych/

    Yuriy Shukhevych’s role in mod­ern Ukrain­ian fas­cism is not sim­ply that of an inspi­ra­tional fig­ure­head and reminder of his father’s anti-Sovi­et hero­ics for proud Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists. He is a core fig­ure in the emer­gence of the key Ukrain­ian fas­cist for­ma­tion, Pravy Sek­tor and its para­mil­i­tary.

    And Pravy Sektor’s para­mil­i­tary, the UNA-UNSO, is not an “unruly” col­lec­tion of week­end-war­rior-wannabes, as Mr. Hig­gins might believe.

    UNA-UNSO was formed dur­ing the tur­moil of the ear­ly 1990s, large­ly by eth­nic Ukrain­ian vet­er­ans of the Sovi­et Union’s bit­ter war in Afghanistan. From the first, the UNA-UNSO has shown a taste for for­eign adven­tures, send­ing detach­ments to Moscow in 1990 to oppose the Com­mu­nist coup against Yeltsin, and to Lithua­nia in 1991. With appar­ent­ly very good rea­son, the Rus­sians have also accused UNA-UNSO fight­ers of par­tic­i­pat­ing on the anti-Russ­ian side in Geor­gia and Chech­nya.

    After for­mal Ukrain­ian inde­pen­dence, the mili­tia elect­ed Yuriy Shukhevych—the son of OUN‑B com­man­der Roman Shukhevych– as its leader and set up a polit­i­cal arm, which lat­er became Pravy Sek­tor.

    Also after inde­pen­dence in 1991, the unapolo­get­i­cal­ly fascis­tic Social Nation­al­ist Party—with, inevitably, its own para­mil­i­tary, Patri­ots of Ukraine—was set up under the lead­er­ship of Andriy Paru­biy.

    Paru­biy left the Social Nation­al­ist Par­ty in 2004, when it became the vehi­cle for the polit­i­cal aspi­ra­tions of Oleh Tyah­ny­bok and became the Svo­bo­da Par­ty. Parubiy’s moti­va­tions are rel­a­tive­ly opaque, but I would argue he left to become the fas­cist Tro­jan horse inside Yulya Tymoshenko’s Father­land par­ty. Indeed, while Timoshenko’s polit­i­cal clout dwin­dled dur­ing her impris­on­ment, Paru­biy was a key orga­niz­er of “vol­un­teers” at Maid­an and emerged as the sec­re­tary of the Nation­al Secu­ri­ty and Defense Coun­cil of Ukraine, charged with han­dling the “anti-ter­ror­ist” oper­a­tions in the east.

    Rather Pan­gloss­ian analy­ses of Ukran­ian fas­cism usu­al­ly take as their point of depar­ture the dis­mal show­ing of Pravy Sek­tor and Svo­bo­da in the 2014 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

    The two fas­cist par­ties polled less than 2% com­bined in the 2014 pres­i­den­tial poll. Hoev­er, this is prob­a­bly a mis­lead­ing indi­ca­tor of their strength. Pravy Sektor’s Yarosh had announced he wouldn’t run an active cam­paign, pre­sum­ably as part of a deal at the behest of EuroMaidan’s West­ern back­ers to help Petro Poroshenko avoid a run-off with Yulya Tymoshenko. As for Tyah­ny­bok, Svo­bo­da got 10% of the vote in the par­lia­men­tary elec­tions of 2012, and it seems implau­si­ble that his back­ing has com­plete­ly col­lapsed after his high-pro­file role in the tri­umphant Maid­an troi­ka togeth­er with Klitschko and Yat­senyuk.

    In any case, as not­ed above, fas­cists do not regard the state, its con­sti­tu­tion, and the elec­toral process as the vehi­cle for Ukrain­ian nation­al aspi­ra­tions. That role is reserved for the leader, the par­ty, and the para­mil­i­taries. What mat­ters to fas­cists is their influ­ence in the affairs of the nation, and in Ukraine that influ­ence is sig­nif­i­cant.

    When east­ern Ukraine rose up, the cur­rent Kyiv gov­ern­ment, admit­ted­ly labor­ing under sig­nif­i­cant dis­abil­i­ties of ille­git­i­ma­cy, incom­pe­tence, and penury, has expe­ri­enced immense dif­fi­cul­ties in ral­ly­ing a mul­ti-eth­nic Ukrain­ian nation. It was almost a fore­gone con­clu­sion that fas­cist para­mil­i­taries would be called upon to sup­ple­ment or even replace the waver­ing regime forces in the field.

    In an eerie—well, per­haps, predictable—recapitulation of the OUN‑B’s oppor­tunis­tic mil­i­tary col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Wehrma­cht, Pravy Sek­tor leader Dmytro Yarosh orga­nized the “Don­bass Batal­lion” to assist the Ukrain­ian government’s oper­a­tions in the east. Pravy Sek­tor lead­ers and rank and file have also appar­ent­ly aug­ment­ed if not formed the oli­garch-fund­ed Dniepr Battalion–currently one of the few mil­i­tary for­ma­tions oper­at­ing in the east that is reli­ably and bru­tal­ly loy­al to the Kyiv regime.

    Even though it is plau­si­bly alleged that Rus­sia is incit­ing and abet­ting resis­tance, local resent­ment against Kyiv and its heavy-hand­ed tac­tics is unde­ni­ably present and appar­ent­ly increas­ing, and per­haps with it the need for fas­cist back­bone and mus­cle to sub­ju­gate the unruly east.

    The opti­mistic Euro­pean sce­nario is for Ukraine’s bare­ly acknowl­edged fas­cist prob­lems to melt away as Euro­pean inte­gra­tion and pros­per­i­ty do their mod­er­at­ing work, and Ukraine emerges as anoth­er Poland: polit­i­cal­ly sta­ble, unit­ed, demo­c­ra­t­ic, and reli­ably anti-Russ­ian.

    How­ev­er, it is an ugly truth that Poland had its issues of nation­al iden­ti­ty resolved by Hitler, Stal­in, and the Holo­caust, which stripped away the com­pli­cat­ing nation­al­i­ties issues posed by its Ger­man, Ukrain­ian, and Jew­ish pop­u­la­tions. Before World War II, one-third of Poland’s pop­u­la­tion was “minori­ties”. Today, Poland is 96% “Pol­ish”.

    Ukraine, on the oth­er hand, car­ries a lega­cy of divi­sion thanks to the USSR’s admin­is­tra­tion of east­ern Ukraine before World War II, and Russ­ian dom­i­na­tion of the Kiev elite dur­ing the Sovi­et peri­od. About 18% of Ukraini­ans are eth­nic Russ­ian; but 30% of the pop­u­la­tion is native-Russ­ian speak­ing. In the west­ern oblasts cur­rent­ly bat­tling Kyiv, the per­cent­age of Russ­ian speak­ers ranges from 72% (Dnipropetro­vsk) to 93% (Donet­sk). Crimea, now annexed to Rus­sia, was 97%.

    Unless the Kyiv regime unwit­ting­ly solves its prob­lem by esca­lat­ing the cri­sis to the point that Rus­sia annex­es the east­ern oblasts and removes Russ­ian Ukraini­ans from the nation­al­ist equa­tion, a plau­si­ble fore­cast for Ukraine is fail­ure, polar­iza­tion, pover­ty, violence—and fas­cist polit­i­cal suc­cess as Russ­ian eth­nic and lin­guis­tic iden­ti­ty become sig­ni­fiers for loom­ing threats to the Ukrain­ian state.

    But in eval­u­at­ing the out­look for fas­cism in Europe, it is a mis­take to think fas­cists are just fight­ing the last war—finishing up the de-Bol­she­viza­tion and de-Rus­si­fi­ca­tion of east­ern Europe that Hitler was only able to begin.

    Com­mu­nism isn’t the only light that’s fail­ing.

    Ukrain­ian fas­cists love the Rus­sia-ham­mer­ing NATO, but detest the Rus­sia-accom­mo­dat­ing and supra-nation­al­is­tic EU.

    And they aren’t alone. Fascism—and anti-EU sentiment—pervade parts of Europe that nev­er felt Stalin’s wrath. In the last elec­tions for the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment, “euroscep­tics” and xeno­pho­bic ultra-nation­al­ists scored sig­nif­i­cant gains, led by Marine Le Pen, whose Nation­al Front took 25% of the French seats.

    A lot of it has to do with the equiv­o­cal track record of glob­al­ized neo-lib­er­al cap­i­tal­ism in the last decade. We’re all Piket­ty­ists now, and it seems that among the most impor­tant out­comes of neo-lib­er­al­ism are income inequal­i­ty and oli­garchs.

    It is anath­e­ma to lib­er­al democ­rats, but it should be acknowl­edged that fas­cism is catch­ing on, large­ly as a result of a grow­ing per­cep­tion that neo-lib­er­al­ism and glob­al­iza­tion are fail­ing to deliv­er the eco­nom­ic and social goods to a lot of peo­ple.

    Democ­ra­cy is seen as the play­thing of oli­garchs who manip­u­late the cur­rent sys­tem to secure and expand their wealth and pow­er; lib­er­al con­sti­tu­tions with their guar­an­tees of minor­i­ty rights appear to be recipes for nation­al impo­tence. Transna­tion­al free mar­kets in cap­i­tal and goods breed local aus­ter­i­ty, unem­ploy­ment, and pover­ty. Demo­c­ra­t­ic gov­ern­ments seem to fol­low the free mar­ket play­book, get into prob­lems they can’t han­dle, and sur­ren­der their sov­er­eign­ty to com­mit­tees of Euro-financiers.

    Fas­cism, with its exal­ta­tion of the par­tic­u­lar, the emo­tion­al, and the unde­mo­c­ra­t­ic pro­vides an impreg­nable ide­o­log­i­cal and polit­i­cal bul­wark against these out­side forces.

    Fas­cism has become an impor­tant ele­ment in the pol­i­tics of resis­tance: a force that obstructs impo­si­tion of the norms of glob­al­iza­tion, and an ide­ol­o­gy that jus­ti­fies the pro­tec­tion of local local inter­ests against the demands of lib­er­al democ­ra­cy, transna­tion­al cap­i­tal, and prop­er­ty and minor­i­ty rights.

    Maybe it’s neo-lib­er­al­ism, not fas­cism, that is fac­ing a cri­sis of legit­i­ma­cy and accep­tance.

    So the idea that fas­cism can be treat­ed as a delu­sion­al arti­fact of the 20th cen­tu­ry and the chal­lenge of fas­cism to the neo-lib­er­al order can be ignored is, itself, wish­ful think­ing.

    Even if the Euro­pean Union grows and flour­ish­es, it will con­tin­ue to have a hard time out­run­ning the per­cep­tion that it deliv­ers its ben­e­fits pref­er­en­tial­ly to a lim­it­ed sub­set of nations, cor­po­ra­tions, and indi­vid­u­als, at the expense of the many.

    In east­ern Europe, add to the incen­di­ary mix the per­cep­tion that the EU, that bas­tion of lib­er­al demo­c­ra­t­ic and free mar­ket ideals, has very lit­tle will or even inter­est in stand­ing up to Rus­sia.

    This sen­ti­ment will not exclu­sive­ly spawn benign “Green” and “Occu­py” pro­gres­sive move­ment, that com­bine their alle­giance to democ­ra­cy and human and indi­vid­ual rights with their well-earned rep­u­ta­tions for inter­nal divi­sion, polit­i­cal impo­tence, and unwill­ing­ness to con­front.

    For some, resent­ment will, inevitably, con­geal around nation­al­ism and the per­cep­tion that fas­cist resis­tance, defi­ant­ly mil­i­tant, uncom­pro­mis­ing, and irra­tional, racial and unde­mo­c­ra­t­ic, exclu­sion­ary and bru­tal, is the best instru­ment to achieve local iden­ti­ty and agency—power– in an ever big­ger, more dan­ger­ous, and less respon­sive con­ti­nen­tal order.

    Fas­cism, I’m afraid, isn’t just part of Europe’s past; it’s part of Europe’s future.

    Peter Lee wrote a ground-break­ing essay on the expo­sure of sailors on board the USS Rea­gan to radioac­tive fall­out from Fukushi­ma in the March issue of Coun­ter­Punch mag­a­zine. He edits Chi­na Mat­ters.

    Posted by Swamp | June 7, 2014, 10:35 am
  2. Now that Poroshenko is in office we’re get­ting a bet­ter sense of what direc­tion he’s going to take the coun­try. And that direc­tion appears to be down. Specif­i­cal­ly, down into a dark hole of sense­less avoid­able con­flicts:

    Poroshenko’s D‑day meet­ing with Putin is a chance to end a lethal tug of war
    If Ukraine’s leader is to keep his coun­try togeth­er he must start a polit­i­cal process to de-esca­late ten­sions between east and west

    Jonathan Steele
    theguardian.com, Fri­day 6 June 2014 04.00 EDT

    Ukraine’s new pres­i­dent, Petro Poroshenko, seems set to meet Vladimir Putin at the 70th anniver­sary com­mem­o­ra­tion of D‑Day today. There may be lit­tle time for sub­stan­tive talks but the encounter could open the way to what Ukraine des­per­ate­ly needs – de-esca­la­tion.

    The omens are not good, though. Barack Oba­ma and David Cameron con­tin­ue their exag­ger­at­ed blam­ing of Rus­sia rather than admit that peo­ple in east­ern Ukraine have legit­i­mate griev­ances which Poroshenko should address. On the ground the sit­u­a­tion remains dan­ger­ous. Anti-Kiev rebels con­tin­ue to clash with the Ukrain­ian army while armed mili­tias from the anti-Russ­ian nation­al­ist groups who spear­head­ed the coup in Kiev in Feb­ru­ary have moved to the east and are increas­ing­ly active. If Poroshenko is to keep his coun­try togeth­er, he must use polit­i­cal means. He should not use his elec­tion vic­to­ry as a man­date for yet more force.

    Anger over the cor­rupt elite that has gov­erned Ukraine since inde­pen­dence in 1991 was a key ele­ment in last win­ter’s protests. For many Ukraini­ans the wish to “join Europe” was short­hand for their hopes for clean gov­ern­ment. Oli­garchs who pay lit­tle or no tax on their vast hold­ings dom­i­nate Ukrain­ian pol­i­tics even more than in Rus­sia. Yet vot­ers were main­ly offered a choice between dif­fer­ent oli­garchs in last mon­th’s elec­tion and the win­ner was the one who spent most on adver­tis­ing.

    Before the elec­tion a poll by the Wash­ing­ton-based Pew Research Cen­tre showed the post-coup Kiev gov­ern­ment had the con­fi­dence of only 24% of east­ern­ers. This was hard­ly sur­pris­ing giv­en that it appoint­ed no more than two east­ern­ers as min­is­ters and para­chut­ed oli­garchs in as region­al gov­er­nors. This flout­ed the agree­ment for a gov­ern­ment of nation­al uni­ty which Ukraine’s polit­i­cal par­ties had agreed with the Euro­pean Union before the pre­vi­ous pres­i­dent, Vik­tor Yanukovych, fled.

    The Kiev gov­ern­ment then added insult to injury by imply­ing that east­ern­ers were pawns of Moscow because they called for a fed­er­al Ukraine and demon­is­ing those who mount­ed protests as “pro-Russ­ian sep­a­ratists” – although the same Pew poll showed that most Russ­ian-speak­ers in the east want to keep Ukraine unit­ed.

    Poroshenko’s first state­ments since the elec­tion have been ambigu­ous. On the one hand, he has promised to guar­an­tee an offi­cial place for the Russ­ian lan­guage, resume a nation­al dia­logue and pur­sue con­sti­tu­tion­al reform. But he refers to the east­ern rebels as ter­ror­ists and says he will not nego­ti­ate with them. Worse, he promised to smash their upris­ing by force with­in hours.

    Poroshenko should cut the name-call­ing and sus­pend the uphill strug­gle to defeat the rebels mil­i­tar­i­ly. Far bet­ter to seek a solu­tion by polit­i­cal means. Nation­al­ly, he should appoint a broad-based gov­ern­ment with respect­ed (not oli­garchic) rep­re­sen­ta­tives from all regions. Can­di­dates rep­re­sent­ing the neo-Nazi fac­tions, Svo­bo­da and Right Sec­tor, won less than 2% in the pres­i­den­tial vote so Poroshenko should dump the five senior offi­cials they had in the post-coup gov­ern­ment. He should hold ear­ly par­lia­men­tary and local elec­tions so that peo­ple can vote for new faces across the board.

    Mea­sures such as these would sap much of the sup­port that the east­ern gun­men com­mand and make it pos­si­ble for the rebel­lion to fiz­zle out.

    Inter­na­tion­al­ly, Poroshenko needs to invite Rus­sia to par­tic­i­pate in a joint pro­gramme with the EU to res­cue the econ­o­my. The cur­rent IMF-man­dat­ed mea­sures to end sub­si­dies and squeeze wages and pen­sions are a dis­as­ter, as is Rus­si­a’s effort to over­charge Ukraine for gas. Poroshenko should also re-affirm the pol­i­cy of non-align­ment for Ukraine which he sup­port­ed as a min­is­ter in the Yanukovych gov­ern­ment.

    ...

    With Poroshenko declared that “Cit­i­zens of Ukraine will nev­er enjoy the beau­ty of peace unless we set­tle our rela­tions with Rus­sia. Rus­sia occu­pied Crimea, which was, is, and will be, Ukrain­ian soil” while also announc­ing that the Russ­ian lan­guage will nev­er be an offi­cial lan­guage of Ukraine, you have to won­der how much of the exist­ing indus­tri­al infra­struc­ture is going to even sur­vive the ongo­ing con­flict in the east. Demand­ing the return of Crimea was pret­ty much expect­ed (if fruit­less) and will prob­a­bly be used to fur­ther divide Ukraine and Rus­sia, eco­nom­i­cal­ly, as Crimea becomes anoth­er “frozen con­flict”, albeit one where full on annex­a­tion has already tak­en place. That’s not a sur­prise. It’s just the depress­ing real­i­ty of a sit­u­a­tion with no clear solu­tions.

    But to also start off by announc­ing that the Ukrain­ian lan­guage will remain the only offi­cial lan­guage for the coun­try with­out doing some­thing to pla­cate the eth­nic Russ­ian pop­u­lace — that was under­stand­ably freaked out when the inter­im gov­ern­ment (filled with the overt­ly anti-Russ­ian Svo­bo­da and Pravy Sek­tor par­ty offi­cials) revoked the lan­guage laws that made Russ­ian an offi­cial lan­guage as one of its first acts — is repeat of the very same dis­as­trous deci­sion that fueled this divide in the first place. Isn’t such a move only going to increase sup­port in the east for the sep­a­ratists?

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | June 7, 2014, 4:06 pm
  3. @SWAMP–

    An inter­est­ing, though inad­e­quate, analy­sis.

    The author’s views on the fail­ures of “neo-lib­er­al­ism” and those fail­ures’ strength­en­ing of fas­cist sen­ti­ment and ide­ol­o­gy are accu­rate.

    His dis­cus­sion of OUN/B and Ukrain­ian fas­cism isn’t–not by a long shot.

    There was noth­ing “oppor­tunis­tic” about the OUN/B’s alliance with the Third Reich.

    Erwin Rom­mel was one of Hitler’s top gen­er­als. Rom­mel turned against Hitler as the war pro­gressed and was even­tu­al­ly exe­cut­ed.

    Their was noth­ing “oppor­tunis­tic” or “tac­ti­cal” about Rom­mel’s alliance with the Third Reich.

    Note that Lee makes no men­tion of the role of the OUN/B in the Com­mit­tee of Sub­ju­gat­ed Nations, put togeth­er by Hitler in 1943.

    It became the Anti-Bol­she­vik Bloc of Nations, dom­i­nat­ed by OUN/B.

    ABN and OUN/B became key ele­ments of the GOP’s eth­nic out­reach orga­ni­za­tion and the Rea­gan admin­is­tra­tion.

    When the FCF under­took the desta­bi­liza­tion of the USSR and East­ern Europe, the ABN and OUN/B were front and cen­ter.

    Yka­te­ri­na Chu­machenko and Roman Svarych were cen­tral to the Yuschenko regime and its remake of Ukrain­ian his­to­ry, paving the way for Swo­bo­da and Pravy Sek­tor.

    Lee–of course–makes no men­tion of OUN/B and the assas­si­na­tion of JFK.

    He makes no men­tion of Theodor Ober­lan­der and his work spon­sor­ing the use of non-Russ­ian Sovi­et nation­al­i­ties as Nazi com­bat­ants and (in the post-war world) proxy war­riors.

    In short, it is a typ­i­cal­ly 2‑dimensional left­ist analy­sis of events in Ukraine.

    Grant­ed, most of what the Main­stream Media are pre­sent­ing is 1‑dimensional right-wing analy­sis but, still, the Coun­ter­Punch piece is alto­geth­er inad­e­quate.

    Best,

    Dave

    Posted by Dave Emory | June 7, 2014, 8:46 pm

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