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

News & Supplemental  

Robert Parry on Conscription of neo-Nazis in Ukraine, Orwellian Coverage by U.S. Media

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

Swoboda leader Oleh Tiahanybok: This is what constitutes "moderation" to our media.

COMMENT: We have covered the ascension of the OUN/B heirs in the Ukraine in a number of programs: FTR ‘s 77778779780781782, 783784.

Noting that the provisional government there is directly evolved from the OUN/B Ukrainian Nazi administration and military apparatus of World War II, we have observed that the utter perversion of political and historical reality by our media is worthy of George Orwell’s 1984.

In a post on the Ukrainian crisis, Robert Parry highlights the Orwellian nature of our media’s deliberate and fundamental misrepresentation of the situation there.

In addition, Parry notes the inclusion of elements like Pravy Sektor and Swoboda (whom he jointly characterizes under the rubric neo-Nazis) into the national militas being sent to Eastern Ukraine as “anti-terrorist ” forces.

As Parry correctly notes, “anti-terrorist” cadres have served as death squads in past U.S.-supported ooperations. We have noted in programs cited above (particularly 780 and 781) that Pravy Sektor and Swoboda specialize in street fighting and provocation.

This is a very dangerous brew. Swoboda (whose leader is pictured above, right) and Pravy Sektor dominate the ministries in Kiev.

 “Ukraine, Through the US Looking Glass” by Robert Parry; Consortium News; 4/15/2014.

FULL TEXT: The acting president of the coup regime in Kiev announces that he is ordering an “anti-terrorist” operation against pro-Russian protesters in eastern Ukraine, while his national security chief says he has dispatched right-wing ultranationalist fighters who spearheaded the Feb. 22 coup that ousted elected President Viktor Yanukovych.

On Tuesday, Andriy Parubiy, head of the Ukrainian National Security Council [and member of OUN/B heir Swoboda–D.E.], went on Twitter to declare, “Reserve unit of National Guard formed #Maidan Self-defense volunteers was sent to the front line this morning.” Parubiy was referring to the neo-Nazi militias that provided the organized muscle that overthrew Yanukovych, forcing him to flee for his life. Some of these militias have since been incorporated into security forces as “National Guard.”
Ukrainian Secretary for National Security Andriy Parubiy.

Parubiy himself is a well-known neo-Nazi, who founded the Social-National Party of Ukraine in 1991. The party blended radical Ukrainian nationalism with neo-Nazi symbols. Parubiy also formed a paramilitary spinoff, the Patriots of Ukraine, and defended the awarding of the title, “Hero of Ukraine,” to World War II Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera, whose own paramilitary forces exterminated thousands of Jews and Poles in pursuit of a racially pure Ukraine.

During the months of protests aimed at overthrowing Yanukovych, Parubiy became the commandant of “Euromaidan,” the name for the Kiev uprising, and – after the Feb. 22 coup – Parubiy was one of four far-right Ukrainian nationalists given control of a ministry, i.e. national security.

But the U.S. press has played down his role because his neo-Nazism conflicts with Official Washington’s narrative that the neo-Nazis played little or no role in the “revolution.” References to neo-Nazis in the “interim government” are dismissed as “Russian propaganda.”

Yet there Parubiy was on Tuesday bragging that some of his neo-Nazi storm troopers – renamed “National Guard” – were now being sicced on rebellious eastern Ukraine as part of the Kiev government’s “anti-terrorist” operation.

The post-coup President Oleksandr Turchynov also warned that Ukraine was confronting a “colossal danger,” but he insisted that the suppression of the pro-Russian protesters would be treated as an “anti-terrorist” operation and not as a “civil war.” Everyone should understand by now that “anti-terror” suggests extrajudicial killings, torture and “counter-terror.”

Yet, with much of the Ukrainian military of dubious loyalty to the coup regime, the dispatch of the neo-Nazi militias from western Ukraine’s Right Sektor and Svoboda parties represents a significant development. Not only do the Ukrainian neo-Nazis consider the ethnic Russians an alien presence, but these right-wing militias are organized to wage street fighting as they did in the February uprising.

Historically, right-wing paramilitaries have played crucial roles in “counter-terror” campaigns around the world. In Central America in the 1980s, for instance, right-wing “death squads” did much of the dirty work for U.S.-backed military regimes as they crushed social protests and guerrilla movements.

The merging of the concept of “anti-terrorism” with right-wing paramilitaries represents a potentially frightening development for the people of eastern Ukraine. And much of this information – about Turchynov’s comments and Parubiy’s tweet – can be found in a New York Times’ dispatch from Ukraine.

Whose Propaganda?

However, on the Times’ front page on Wednesday was a bizarre story by David M. Herszenhorn accusing the Russian government of engaging in a propaganda war by making many of the same points that you could find – albeit without the useful context about Parubiy’s neo-Nazi background – in the same newspaper.

In the article entitled “Russia Is Quick To Bend Truth About Ukraine,” Herszenhorn mocked Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev for making a Facebook posting that “was bleak and full of dread,” including noting that “blood has been spilled in Ukraine again” and adding that “the threat of civil war looms.”

The Times article continued, “He [Medvedev] pleaded with Ukrainians to decide their own future ‘without usurpers, nationalists and bandits, without tanks or armored vehicles – and without secret visits by the C.I.A. director.’ And so began another day of bluster and hyperbole, of the misinformation, exaggerations, conspiracy theories, overheated rhetoric and, occasionally, outright lies about the political crisis in Ukraine that have emanated from the highest echelons of the Kremlin and reverberated on state-controlled Russian television, hour after hour, day after day, week after week.”

This argumentative “news” story spilled from the front page to the top half of an inside page, but Herszenhorn never managed to mention that there was nothing false in what Medvedev said. Indeed, it was the much-maligned Russian press that first reported the secret visit of CIA Director John Brennan to Kiev.

Though the White House has since confirmed that report, Herszenhorn cites Medvedev’s reference to it in the context of “misinformation” and “conspiracy theories.” Nowhere in the long article does the Times inform its readers that, yes, the CIA director did make a secret visit to Ukraine last weekend. Presumably, that reality has now disappeared into the great memory hole along with the on-ground reporting from Feb. 22 about the key role of the neo-Nazi militias.

The neo-Nazis themselves have pretty much disappeared from Official Washington’s narrative, which now usually recounts the coup as simply a case of months of protests followed by Yanukovych’s decision to flee. Only occasionally, often buried deep in news articles with the context removed, can you find admissions of how the neo-Nazis spearheaded the coup.

A Wounded Extremist

For instance, on April 6, the New York Times published a human-interest profile of a Ukrainian named Yuri Marchuk who was wounded in clashes around Kiev’s Maidan square in February. You have to read far into the story to learn that Marchuk was a Svoboda leader from Lviv, which – if you did your own research – you would discover is a neo-Nazi stronghold where Ukrainian nationalists hold torch-light parades in honor of Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera.

Without providing that context, the Times does mention that Lviv militants plundered a government weapons depot and dispatched 600 militants a day to do battle in Kiev. Marchuk also described how these well-organized militants, consisting of paramilitary brigades of 100 fighters each, launched the fateful attack against the police on Feb. 20, the battle where Marchuk was wounded and where the death toll suddenly spiked into scores of protesters and about a dozen police.

Marchuk later said he visited his comrades at the occupied City Hall. What the Times doesn’t mention is that City Hall was festooned with Nazi banners and even a Confederate battle flag as a tribute to white supremacy.

The Times touched on the inconvenient truth of the neo-Nazis again on April 12 in an article about the mysterious death of neo-Nazi leader Oleksandr Muzychko, who was killed during a shootout with police on March 24. The article quoted a local Right Sektor leader, Roman Koval, explaining the crucial role of his organization in carrying out the anti-Yanukovych coup.

“Ukraine’s February revolution, said Mr. Koval, would never have happened without Right Sector and other militant groups,” the Times wrote. Yet, that reality – though actually reported in the New York Times – has now become “Russian propaganda,” according to the New York Times.

This upside-down American narrative also ignores the well-documented interference of prominent U.S. officials in stirring up the protesters in Kiev, which is located in the western part of Ukraine and is thus more anti-Russian than eastern Ukraine where many ethnic Russians live and where Yanukovych had his political base.

Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland was a cheerleader for the uprising, reminding Ukrainian business leaders that the United States had invested $5 billion in their “European aspirations,” discussing who should replace Yanukovych (her choice, Arseniy Yatsenyuk became the new prime minister), and literally passing out cookies to the protesters in the Maidan. (Nuland is married to neoconservative superstar Robert Kagan, a founder of the Project for the New American Century.)

During the protests, neocon Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, took the stage with leaders of Svoboda – surrounded by banners honoring Stepan Bandera – and urged on the protesters. Even before the demonstrations began, prominent neocon Carl Gershman, president of the U.S.-funded National Endowment for Democracy, had dubbed Ukraine “the biggest prize.” [For more details, see Consortiumnews.com’s “What’s the Matter with John Kerry?”]

Indeed, in my four-plus decades in journalism, I have never seen a more thoroughly biased and misleading performance by the major U.S. news media. Even during the days of Ronald Reagan – when much of the government’s modern propaganda structure was created – there was more independence in major news outlets. There were media stampedes off the reality cliff during George H.W. Bush’s Persian Gulf War and George W. Bush’s Iraq War, both of which were marked by demonstrably false claims that were readily swallowed by the big U.S. news outlets.

But there is something utterly Orwellian in the current coverage of the Ukraine crisis, including accusing others of “propaganda” when their accounts – though surely not perfect – are much more honest and more accurate than what the U.S. press corps has been producing.

There’s also the added risk that this latest failure by the U.S. press corps is occurring on the border of Russia, a nuclear-armed state that – along with the United States – could exterminate all life on the planet. The biased U.S. news coverage is now feeding into political demands to send U.S. military aid to Ukraine’s coup regime.

The casualness of this propaganda – as it spreads across the U.S. media spectrum from Fox News to MSNBC, from the Washington Post to the New York Times – is not just wretched journalism but it is reckless malfeasance jeopardizing the lives of many Ukrainians and the future of the planet.

 

Discussion

3 comments for “Robert Parry on Conscription of neo-Nazis in Ukraine, Orwellian Coverage by U.S. Media”

  1. Bravo for Robert Parry and Spitfirelist for daring to publish the facts. We definitely live in a time of deceit where truth telling breaks the wall of secret lies, the abject rejection of professional journalism.

    Posted by M. Allen F. | April 30, 2014, 11:49 am
  2. I believe there is an uncredited quote by John Loftus buried in this one. Lots of embedded links in original:

    America Backed Fascists In Ukraine 70 Years Ago
    Posted on May 5, 2014 by WashingtonsBlog

    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/05/america-backed-fascists-ukraine-73-years-ago.html

    American Government Backed Ukrainian Nazis … Same Group Supported By the Leader of the Protests which Toppled the Ukrainian Government In February
    Oliver Stone’s documentary Untold History notes:

    Truman approved the creation of a guerrilla army code-named “Nightingale” in Ukraine. Originally setup by the Nazis in 1941, it was made up of ultra-nationalists. They would, as Stone describes, wreak havoc on the “famine-wrecked region where Soviet control was loose, carrying out the murder of thousands of Jews, Soviets and Pols, who opposed a separate Ukrainian state.” The CIA would parachute “infiltrators” into the country as well to further “dislodge Soviet control.”

    Sounds nuts, right?

    But American historian and former Under Secretary of the Air Force Townsend Hoopes and Rice University history professor Douglas Brinkely confirm:

    One group that particularly attracted CIA attention and support was the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), a political-military underground movement that had long fought for Ukrainian independence—first against the Poles in the 1920s when Poland controlled the Ukraine and after 1939 against the Soviets. ‘Though violently anti-Russian, the OUN was itself totalitarian and Fascist in character. as well as anti-Semitic. The Nazis poured money into the OUN after the German invasion of Russia and pretended to support the goal of Ukrainian national independence. In return, a large OUN militia, code-named Nachtigall, or Nightingale, provided local administrators, informers, and killers for the German invaders. Nazi-sponsored OUN police and militia formations were involved in “thousands of instances of mass murders of Jews and of families suspected of aiding Red Army partisans.”

    ***

    When the Germans were driven out of the Ukraine, many OUN members who had served the Nazis’ police formations and execution squads fled with them, but several thousand retreated into the Carpathian Mountains to fight another day against the hated Soviet government. It was this remaining Nightingale group that fascinated the CIA and was recruited essentially en bloc. To bring its leaders to the United States for training and indoctrination required special bureaucratic exertions, as well as an immigration law permitting the admission of one hundred such immigrants per year, provided the Director of the CIA, the Attorney General, and the Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service all personally stated that the action was vital to national security.” As one army intelligence officer noted sardonically, one wing of the CIA was hunting Ukrainian Nazis to bring them to trial at Nuremberg, while another wing was recruiting them.

    ***

    After training in the United States, the Nightingale leaders were parachuted into the Ukraine to link up with their compatriots and to carry out measures of subversion, agitation, and sabotage, including assassination.

    ***

    [United States Secretary of the Navy and Secretary of Defense James Forrestal] vigorously supported the program and presumably participated in the approval of the basic NSC charters as a member of the National Security Council.

    The leader of the Nightingale group was Stepan Bandera.

    The leader of the “protests” in February 2014 which ousted the president of Ukraine is a neo Nazi and follower of Stepan Bandera.

    In other words, 70 years ago, the U.S. supported the types of fascists who are now in control of Ukraine.

    Postscript: Another little known historical fact is that – in 1997 – a former U.S. national security advisor and high-level Obama policy advisor called for the U.S. to take Ukraine away from Russia.

    And almost a month before the Ukrainian president was ousted in February, a high-level State Department official – Assistant US Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia Victoria Nuland, wife of arch Neocon Robert Kagan – announced plans to promote a “new government” in Ukraine.

    Posted by Swamp | May 5, 2014, 9:00 am
  3. This is definitely not the movie reference you want to be comparing your reality to:

    Consortium News
    Ukraine’s ‘Dr. Strangelove’ Reality
    May 5, 2014

    Exclusive: The horrendous fire in Odessa, killing dozens of ethnic Russians protesting against the U.S.-backed coup regime in Kiev, has lurched the country closer to full-scale civil war and disrupted the American media’s efforts to deny the existence of pro-regime neo-Nazis, Robert Parry reports.

    By Robert Parry

    As much as the coup regime in Ukraine and its supporters want to project an image of Western moderation, there is a “Dr. Strangelove” element that can’t stop the Nazism from popping up from time to time, like when the Peter Sellers character in the classic movie can’t keep his right arm from making a “Heil Hitler” salute.

    This brutal Nazism surfaced again on Friday when right-wing toughs in Odessa attacked an encampment of ethnic Russian protesters driving them into a trade union building which was then set on fire with Molotov cocktails. As the building was engulfed in flames, some people who tried to flee were chased and beaten, while those trapped inside heard the Ukrainian nationalists liken them to black-and-red-striped potato beetles called Colorados, because those colors are used in pro-Russian ribbons.

    “Burn, Colorado, burn” went the chant.

    As the fire worsened, those dying inside were serenaded with the taunting singing of the Ukrainian national anthem. The building also was spray-painted with Swastika-like symbols and graffiti reading “Galician SS,” a reference to the Ukrainian nationalist army that fought alongside the German Nazi SS in World War II, killing Russians on the eastern front.

    Note that the gang responsible for shoving protestors into the building and then lighting it on fire reportedly included members of Pravy Sektor.

    Continuing…


    The death by fire of dozens of people in Odessa recalled a World War II incident in 1944 when elements of a Galician SS police regiment took part in the massacre of the Polish village of Huta Pieniacka, which had been a refuge for Jews and was protected by Russian and Polish partisans. Attacked by a mixed force of Ukrainian police and German soldiers on Feb. 28, hundreds of townspeople were massacred, including many locked in barns that were set ablaze.

    The legacy of World War II – especially the bitter fight between Ukrainian nationalists from the west and ethnic Russians from the east seven decades ago – is never far from the surface in Ukrainian politics. One of the heroes celebrated during the Maidan protests in Kiev was Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera, whose name was honored in many banners including one on a podium where Sen. John McCain voiced support for the uprising to oust elected President Viktor Yanukovych, whose political base was in eastern Ukraine.

    During World War II, Bandera headed the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists-B, a radical paramilitary movement that sought to transform Ukraine into a racially pure state. OUN-B took part in the expulsion and extermination of thousands of Jews and Poles.

    Though most of the Maidan protesters in 2013-14 appeared motivated by anger over political corruption and by a desire to join the European Union, neo-Nazis made up a significant number. These storm troopers from the Right Sektor and Svoboda party decked out some of the occupied government buildings with Nazi insignias and even a Confederate battle flag, the universal symbol of white supremacy.

    Then, as the protests turned violent from Feb. 20-22, the neo-Nazis surged to the forefront. Their well-trained militias, organized in 100-man brigades called “the hundreds,” led the final assaults against police and forced Yanukovych and many of his officials to flee for their lives.

    In the days after the coup, as the neo-Nazi militias effectively controlled the government, European and U.S. diplomats scrambled to help the shaken parliament put together the semblance of a respectable regime, although four ministries, including national security, were awarded to the right-wing extremists in recognition of their crucial role in ousting Yanukovych.

    Seeing No Nazis

    Since February, virtually the entire U.S. news media has cooperated in the effort to play down the neo-Nazi role, dismissing any mention of this inconvenient truth as “Russian propaganda.” Stories in the U.S. media delicately step around the neo-Nazi reality by keeping out relevant context, such as the background of national security chief Andriy Parubiy, who founded the Social-National Party of Ukraine in 1991, blending radical Ukrainian nationalism with neo-Nazi symbols. Parubiy was commandant of the Maidan’s “self-defense forces.”

    Reagan’s Nazis

    But the problem with some western Ukrainians expressing their inconvenient love for Nazis has not been limited to the current crisis. It bedeviled Ronald Reagan’s administration when it began heating up the Cold War in the 1980s.

    As part of that strategy, Reagan’s United States Information Agency, under his close friend Charles Wick, hired a cast of right-wing Ukrainian exiles who began showing up on U.S.-funded Radio Liberty praising the Galician SS.

    These commentaries included positive depictions of Ukrainian nationalists who had sided with the Nazis in World War II as the SS waged its “final solution” against European Jews. The propaganda broadcasts provoked outrage from Jewish organizations, such as B’nai B’rith, and individuals including conservative academic Richard Pipes.

    According to an internal memo dated May 4, 1984, and written by James Critchlow, a research officer at the Board of International Broadcasting, which managed Radio Liberty and Radio Free Europe, one RL broadcast in particular was viewed as “defending Ukrainians who fought in the ranks of the SS.”

    Critchlow wrote, “An RL Ukrainian broadcast of Feb. 12, 1984 contains references to the Nazi-oriented Ukrainian-manned SS ‘Galicia’ Division of World War II which may have damaged RL’s reputation with Soviet listeners. The memoirs of a German diplomat are quoted in a way that seems to constitute endorsement by RL of praise for Ukrainian volunteers in the SS division, which during its existence fought side by side with the Germans against the Red Army.”

    Harvard Professor Pipes, who was an informal adviser to the Reagan administration, also inveighed against the Radio Liberty broadcasts, writing – on Dec. 3, 1984 – “the Russian and Ukrainian services of RL have been transmitting this year blatantly anti-Semitic material to the Soviet Union which may cause the whole enterprise irreparable harm.”

    Though the Reagan administration publicly defended Radio Liberty against some of the public criticism, privately some senior officials agreed with the critics, according to documents in the archives of the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. For instance, in a Jan. 4, 1985, memo, Walter Raymond Jr., a top official on the National Security Council, told his boss, National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane, that “I would believe much of what Dick [Pipes] says is right.”

    What the Reagan administration apparently didn’t understand three decades ago – and what the U.S. State Department still has not seemed to learn today – is that there is a danger in stirring up the old animosities that divide Ukraine, east and west.

    Though clearly a minority, Ukraine’s neo-Nazis remain a potent force that is well-organized, well-motivated and prone to extreme violence, whether throwing firebombs at police in the Maidan or at ethnic Russians trapped in a building in Odessa.

    As vengeance now seeks vengeance across Ukraine, this Nazi imperative will be difficult to hold down, much as Dr. Strangelove struggled to stop his arm from making a “Heil Hitler” salute.

    Part of what makes overtly monstrous actions like this so terrifying is that it’s happening within the context of the looming May 25 elections and it’s not exactly clear if mass murdering citizens is the type of move that will lead to a mass rejection of the neo-Nazi parties or the type of escalation of the situation that derails the elections altogether. It also raises the question of why the west and Kiev hasn’t simply offer to dump any Pravy Sekvor and Svoboda politicians from the interim government. After all, they could still win seats in the May 25 election, so why not show the ethnic Russians that Kiev has no interest in any government with installed neo-Nazis? Wouldn’t that neutralize the demands coming out of Moscow and potentially calm the situation? Or are there concerns that if the neo-Nazis got kicked out they would start acting like, well, neo-Nazis, and going around burning down buildings and trying to provoke a civil war?

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 5, 2014, 2:33 pm

Post a comment