Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.
The tag 'Azov Battalion' is associated with 3 posts.

FTR #1098, FTR #1099, FTR #1100 and FTR #1101– Fascism: 2019 World Tour, Part 8 (The Intermarium Concept), Fascism: 2019 World Tour, Part 9 (Intermarium Redux: “Will the National Socialist Revolution Begin in Ukraine?”), Fascism: 2019 World Tour, Part 10–The Intermarium Continuity, Fascism: 2019 World Tour, Part 11–The Intermarium Continuity, Part 2 (Reflections on The Pivot Point)

In these pro­grams, we con­tin­ue dis­cus­sion of the Azov milieu and its “Inter­mar­i­um” out­reach, in the con­text of Ukraine as a “piv­ot point” cen­tral to con­trol of the World Island or Earth Island. The evo­lu­tion of the Inter­mar­i­um con­cept is fun­da­men­tal to analy­sis of this phe­nom­e­non.

 Ukraine’s sig­nif­i­cance as a glob­al epi­cen­ter of bur­geon­ing fas­cism extends to the region’s online, ide­o­log­i­cal and icon­ic man­i­fes­ta­tion. Two recent Cana­di­an teens–Kam McLeod and Bry­er Schmegelsky–who appar­ent­ly killed three peo­ple in cold blood were influ­enced by Nazi cul­ture and Azov Bat­tal­ion man­i­fes­ta­tion in par­tic­u­lar. ” . . . . A Steam user con­firmed to The Globe and Mail that he talked to Mr. Schmegel­sky reg­u­lar­ly online. He recalled Mr. McLeod join­ing their chats as well. The user, whom The Globe is not iden­ti­fy­ing, pro­vid­ed pho­tos sent by an account believed to be owned by Mr. Schmegel­sky, show­ing him in mil­i­tary fatigues, bran­dish­ing what appears to be an air­soft rifle – which fires plas­tic pel­lets. Anoth­er pho­to shows a swasti­ka arm­band, and yet anoth­er fea­tures Mr. Schmegel­sky in a gas mask. The pho­tos were report­ed­ly sent in the fall of 2018, but the user said he stopped play­ing online games with Mr. Schmegel­sky ear­li­er this year after he con­tin­ued to praise Hitler’s Ger­many. One account con­nect­ed to the teens uses the logo of the Azov Bat­tal­ion, a far-right Ukrain­ian mili­tia that has been accused of har­bour­ing sym­pa­thies to neo-Nazis. . . .”

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.

Brzezin­s­ki, in turn, draws on the geopo­lit­i­cal the­o­ries of Sir Hal­ford Mackinder, and, lat­er con­tem­po­rary Inter­mar­i­um adov­cates such as Alexan­dros Petersen.

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.

Most of the three pro­grams high­light­ing the evo­lu­tion and appli­ca­tion of the Inter­mar­i­um con­cept con­sist of read­ing and analy­sis of a long aca­d­e­m­ic paper by Mar­lene Laru­elle and Ellen Rivera. Of para­mount sig­nif­i­cance in this dis­cus­sion is the piv­otal role of Ukrain­ian fas­cist orga­ni­za­tions in the Inter­mar­i­um and close­ly con­nect­ed Promethean net­works, from the post World War I peri­od, through the time between the World Wars, through the Cold War and up to and includ­ing the Maid­an coup.

Mil­i­tary, eco­nom­ic and polit­i­cal net­work­ing has employed the Inter­mar­i­um idea, with what the paper terms the “ide­o­log­i­cal under­pin­nings” stem­ming from the evo­lu­tion of the Ukrain­ian fas­cist milieu in the twen­ti­eth and twen­ty-first cen­turies. Some of the most impor­tant U.S. think tanks and asso­ci­at­ed mil­i­tary indi­vid­u­als and insti­tu­tions embody this con­ti­nu­ity: ” . . . . The con­ti­nu­ity of insti­tu­tion­al and indi­vid­ual tra­jec­to­ries from Sec­ond World War col­lab­o­ra­tionists to Cold War-era anti-com­mu­nist orga­ni­za­tions to con­tem­po­rary con­ser­v­a­tive U.S. think tanks is sig­nif­i­cant for the ide­o­log­i­cal under­pin­nings of today’s Inter­mar­i­um revival. . . .”

Pro­gram High­lights Include: Review of the incor­po­ra­tion of the Gehlen “Org” into the U.S. and West­ern intel­li­gence appa­ra­tus; the key pres­ence of the OUN/B and oth­er East­ern Euro­pean fas­cist groups into the Gehlen out­fit; approval giv­en to Gehlen for his deal with the Amer­i­cans by Admi­ral Doenitz (who suc­ceed­ed Hitler) and Gen­er­al Franz Halder (Gehlen’s “for­mer” chief of staff); the incor­po­ra­tion of the OUN/B/Gehlen/ABN milieu into the Repub­li­can Par­ty via the Cru­sade For Free­dom; the key roles in the CFF played by Richard Nixon, Ronald Rea­gan, William Casey and George H.W. Bush; Allen Dulles and William Dono­van’s wartime col­lu­sion with Nazi Ger­many to craft the Chris­t­ian West enti­ty; the for­ma­tion of the Black Eagle Trust by John J. McCloy, Robert Lovett and Robert B. Ander­son (this assured the con­ti­nu­ity of both Japan­ese fas­cism and Ger­man Nazism in the post­war peri­od).


FTR #1097 Fascism: 2019 World Tour, Part 7 (Azov on Our Mind, Part 3)

This pro­gram con­tin­ues analy­sis of the Azov milieu’s net­work­ing with fas­cist indid­vid­u­als and orga­ni­za­tions at an indi­vid­ual lev­el, at an orga­ni­za­tion­al lev­el and online.

Embrac­ing “lone wolf” fas­cists around the world, as well as net­work­ing with fas­cist orga­ni­za­tions and com­bat­ants who have joined the war in Ukraine’s East­ern provinces, Azov is reca­pit­u­lat­ing the “Inter­mar­i­um” con­cept, mint­ed by Pol­ish head of state Josef Pil­sud­s­ki in the peri­od between the World Wars. Work­ing with Croa­t­ians aligned with the “Neo-Ustachi’ milieu we have cov­ered in many past pro­grams, Azov is seek­ing to devel­op a nascent East­ern and Cen­tral Euro­pean alliance of fas­cist and reac­tionary ele­ments.

Of par­tic­u­lar inter­est is the sig­nif­i­cance of the Ukrain­ian and Croa­t­ian fas­cist alliance, which will be explored at greater length in future pro­grams.

Oth­er pro­grams high­light­ing the return of the Ustachi to pow­er in the “new” Croa­t­ia include: FTR #‘s 49, 154, 766, 901.

Next, we note that The FBI arrest­ed a US Army sol­dier for plan­ning domes­tic ter­ror attacks. Jar­rett William Smith–charged with one count of dis­trib­ut­ing infor­ma­tion relat­ed to explo­sives and weapons of mass destruc­tion.

Smith has been in con­tact with the Azov Bat­tal­ion. As ear­ly as 2016, he talked about trav­el­ing to Ukraine to join Azov. He joined the US mil­i­tary instead in June of 2017. After join­ing the mil­i­tary, Smith used Face­book to con­nect with anoth­er Amer­i­can who had trav­eled to Ukraine in 2017 to 2019 to fight with a group sim­i­lar to Azov, which appears to be Pravy Sek­tor. This Amer­i­can report­ed­ly act­ed as Smith’s men­tor.

Using the encrypt­ed mes­sag­ing app Telegram, Smith dis­cussed with an under­cov­er FBI agent his plans for a car bomb attack against an unnamed major cable news network’s head­quar­ters and dis­trib­uted bomb-mak­ing mate­ri­als. He also talked about attacks against mem­bers of antifa and inter­est­ed in find­ing like-mind­ed indi­vid­u­als to help him.

Look­ing ahead to oth­er arti­cles below, we note that: “. . . . Ear­li­er this month, for­mer FBI agent Ali Soufan, who runs the glob­al secu­ri­ty firm the Soufan Cen­ter, tes­ti­fied that 17,000 for­eign­ers, includ­ing from the U.S. have trav­eled to Ukraine in recent years to gain para­mil­i­tary skills there. They fought along­side far-right groups like Azov and were return­ing home with those new skills. . . .”

Updat­ing the sto­ry of Jar­rett William Smith, we note:

1.–Smith’s appar­ent men­tor is Craig Lang, anoth­er US Army vet.
2.–Craig Lang joined Right Sec­tor, and then the Geor­gian Nation­al Legion in the Ukrain­ian civ­il war.
3.–Lang, along with fel­low Army vet Alex Zwiefel­hofer, is accused of rob­bing and killing the cou­ple in an effort to get mon­ey to trav­el to Venezuela to “par­tic­i­pate in an armed con­flict against the Boli­var­i­an Repub­lic of Venezuela.”
4.–After leav­ing Right Sec­tor he joined the Geor­gian Nation­al Legion, which is also fight­ing in Ukraine.
5.–In pre­vi­ous pro­grams, we have high­light­ed the appar­ent role of Geor­gian snipers in the Maid­an provo­ca­tion, the tem­po­rary role of for­mer Geor­gian pres­i­dent Saakashvili as gov­er­nor of Odessa, as well as UNA-UNSO com­bat activ­i­ty in Geor­gia’s war with Rus­sia. (UNA-UNSO is a branch of the UNA.)
6.–Zwiefelhofer also fought with Right Sec­tor.
7.–The arti­cle below states that Lang and Smith were in con­tact in 2016, which is a year before Smith joined the US Army.
8.–The pre­vi­ous Vice arti­cle stat­ed that the FBI said Smith got into con­tact with Lang after he joined the US Army in June of 2017.
9.–According to a June 23, 2016, con­ver­sa­tion between Smith and Lang, Smith wrote, “No for­mer mil­i­tary expe­ri­ence, but if I can­not find a slot in Ukraine by Octo­ber I’ll be going into the Army … To fight is what I want to do. I’m will­ing to lis­ten, learn, and train. But to work on firearms is fine by me too.”
10.–Lang respond­ed, “Alright, I’ll for­ward you over to the guy that screens peo­ple he’ll most like­ly add you soon[ … ] Also as a pre-warn­ing if you come to this unit and the gov­ern­ment comes to shut down the unit you will be asked to fight. You may also be asked to kill cer­tain peo­ple who become on the bad graces of cer­tain groups.”
11.–It appears that Lang was prep­ping Smith both to fight against the Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment, if nec­es­sary and to be pre­pared to com­mit assas­si­na­tions.
12.–Given every­thing we know about this case at this point, it appears that Right Sec­tor was send­ing a poten­tial recruit into the US Army to learn the kinds of skills that would be use­ful for neo-Nazi ter­ror cam­paigns and that recruit was arrest­ed for dis­sem­i­nat­ing those skills and plan­ning exact­ly that kind of ter­ror cam­paign.

Against the back­ground of 17,000 for­eign fight­ers gain­ing para­mil­i­tary expe­ri­ence in Ukraine, a Vice piece from July notes that Ukraine real­ly is becom­ing a nexus for the inter­na­tion­al far right. That is pre­cise­ly what the Azov Bat­tal­ion has been work­ing on doing.

In that con­text we note that:

1.–Foreign fight­ers have tak­en the com­bat skills honed in Ukraine’s war to oth­er Euro­pean nations. ” . . . . Researchers warn that Ukraine is rad­i­cal­iz­ing far-right for­eign fight­ers in the same way Syr­ia has with jihadis — albeit on a small­er scale — cre­at­ing a glob­al net­work of com­bat-test­ed extrem­ists who pose a secu­ri­ty threat that is now begin­ning to man­i­fest itself. . . .”
2.– ” . . . . [Kacper] Rekawek said Ukraine ful­filled the need, expressed by many ide­o­logues on the extreme right, for a ‘safe space’ for Nazis out­side the West, where they could net­work and orga­nize beyond the pry­ing eyes of domes­tic secu­ri­ty ser­vices. . . .”
3.–Russian fas­cists have fought on both sides of the conflict–a har­bin­ger of pos­si­ble fas­cist sub­ver­sion of Putin should they gain the upper hand in Rus­sia after their return.
4.–” . . . . Swedish neo-Nazis who joined on the Ukrain­ian side saw it as essen­tial­ly ‘the con­tin­u­a­tion of the Sec­ond World War on the east­ern front. You are white Europe and you’re fight­ing Asia, in the form of Rus­sia.’ . . . .”
5.–” . . . . Joachim Furholm, a Nor­we­gian neo-Nazi and recruiter for Azov said their efforts would also help white nation­al­ist forces in the one coun­try where he believed they had the best shot of com­ing to pow­er. . . .‘It’s like a Petri dish for fas­cism… and they do have seri­ous inten­tions of help­ing the rest of Europe in retak­ing our right­ful lands,’ he said. . . .”

We con­clude by not­ing that House Democ­rats are lob­by­ing that the Azov Bat­tal­ion be labeled a For­eign Ter­rotr Orga­ni­za­a­tion. This would facil­i­tate attempts to neu­tral­ize com­bat­ants who had served with Azov upon their return to this coun­try.

Good luck with that!


FTR #1096 Fascism: 2019 World Tour, Part 6 (Azov on Our Mind, Part 2)

We have cov­ered the ori­gin, activ­i­ties and expan­sion of the Ukrain­ian Nazi Azov Bat­tal­ion in numer­ous pro­grams. Part of the Ukrainain armed forces, this Nazi unit:

1.–Has spawned a civ­il mili­tia which achieved police pow­ers in many Ukrain­ian cities. “. . . . But Ukraine observers and rights groups are sound­ing the alarm, because this was not a typ­i­cal com­mence­ment, and the men are not police offi­cers. They are far-right ultra­na­tion­al­ists from the Azov move­ment, a con­tro­ver­sial group with a mil­i­tary wing that has open­ly accept­ed self-avowed neo-Nazis, and a civ­il and polit­i­cal fac­tion that has demon­strat­ed intol­er­ance toward minor­i­ty groups. . . .”
2.–Has as its spokesman Roman Zvarych. In the 1980’s, Zvarych was the per­son­al sec­re­tary to Jaroslav Stet­zko, the wartime head of the Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tionist gov­ern­ment in Ukraine. Stet­zko imple­ment­ed Nazi eth­nic cleans­ing in Ukraine dur­ing World War II.
3.–Wields influ­ence with in the Min­istry of the Inte­ri­or through Vadim Troy­an, the for­mer deputy com­man­der of Azov who is now deputy min­is­ter of the inte­ri­or. ” . . . . The deputy min­is­ter of the Interior—which con­trols the Nation­al Police—is Vadim Troy­an, a vet­er­an of Azov and Patri­ot of Ukraine. . . .  Today, he’s deputy of the depart­ment run­ning US-trained law enforce­ment in the entire nation. Ear­li­er this month, RFE report­ed on Nation­al Police lead­er­ship admir­ing Stepan Bandera—a Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tor and Fas­cist whose troops par­tic­i­pat­ed in the Holocaust—on social media. The fact that Ukraine’s police is pep­pered with far-right sup­port­ers explains why neo-Nazis oper­ate with impuni­ty on the streets. . . .”
4.–Gets arms and train­ing from the U.S., despite offi­cial restric­tions on such activ­i­ty. ” . . . . The research group Belling­cat proved that Azov had already received access to Amer­i­can grenade launch­ers, while a Dai­ly Beast inves­ti­ga­tion showed that US train­ers are unable to pre­vent aid from reach­ing white suprema­cists. And Azov itself had proud­ly post­ed a video of the unit wel­com­ing NATO rep­re­sen­ta­tives. . . .”
5.–Is ful­fill­ing their strat­e­gy of net­work­ing with Nazi and fas­cist ele­ments abroad, includ­ing the U.S. ” . . . . FBI Spe­cial Agent Scott Bier­wirth, in the crim­i­nal com­plaint unsealed Wednes­day, not­ed that Right Brand Clothing’s Insta­gram page con­tained a pho­to of RAM mem­bers meet­ing with Ole­na Semenya­ka, a lead­ing fig­ure with­in the fas­cist, neo-Nazi scene in East­ern Europe. In Ukraine, Semenya­ka is an impor­tant voice with­in the Mil­i­tant Zone and Nation­al Corps orga­ni­za­tions and the Pan-Euro­pean Recon­quista move­ment, all of which have ties to the noto­ri­ous Azov Bat­tal­ion. Bier­wirth said Azov Bat­tal­ion, now a piece of the Ukrain­ian Nation­al Guard, is known for neo-Nazi sym­bol­ism and ide­ol­o­gy and has par­tic­i­pat­ed in train­ing and rad­i­cal­iz­ing U.S.-based white suprema­cist orga­ni­za­tions. . . . .”
6.–Is net­work­ing with mem­bers of a group called RAM, some of whom were arrest­ed by the FBI upon their return from Europe. vio­lence.
7.–Is uti­liz­ing Ukraine’s visa-free sta­tus with the EU to net­work with oth­er Euro­pean fas­cist groups. ” . . . . ‘Their Eng­lish has got­ten bet­ter,’ Hryt­senko said, refer­ring to Azov mem­bers behind the group’s West­ern out­reach. . . . . Anoth­er thing that has helped, Hryt­senko not­ed, is that Ukraine’s break from Rus­sia and move toward the Euro­pean Union has allowed Ukraini­ans visa-free trav­el, mak­ing Azov’s out­reach eas­i­er logis­ti­cal­ly. . . . .”
8.–Is look­ing to con­nect with more “respectable” Euro­pean right-wing groups than they have in the past, this as a pos­si­ble vehi­cle for Ukraine’s entry into the EU. ” . . . . Skillt, the Swedish nation­al who fought as a sniper in the Azov Bat­tal­ion, is one of them [crit­ics]. ‘I don’t mind [Azov] reach­ing out, but the ones they reach out to… Jesus,’ he told RFE/RL, in an allu­sion to RAM. He added that he had recent­ly dis­tanced him­self from Azov because of that asso­ci­a­tion and oth­ers with far-right groups in Europe. Skillt, who runs a pri­vate intel­li­gence agency in Kyiv and said his clients ‘real­ly don’t enjoy bad com­pa­ny,’ argued that the group has made a mis­take by not reach­ing out more to right-wing con­ser­v­a­tives who could help with ‘influ­en­tial con­tacts in Europe [so] you don’t get brand­ed a neo-Nazi.’ But Semenya­ka described praise of Azov from for­eign ultra­na­tion­al­ist groups who are increas­ing­ly wel­com­ing it as evi­dence that the orga­ni­za­tion is tak­ing the right path. And she said it isn’t about to let up. Next, she said, Azov hopes to win over larg­er, more main­stream far-right and pop­ulist West­ern polit­i­cal forces who ‘can be our poten­tial sym­pa­thiz­ers.’ ‘If crises like Brex­it and the refugee prob­lem con­tin­ue, in this case, part­ner­ships with nation­al­ist groups in Europe can be a kind of plat­form for our entry into the Euro­pean Union.’ . . . ”
9.–Was award­ed the job of elec­tion mon­i­tor­ing by the Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment in their recent elec­tions. ” . . . . They are the ultra­na­tion­al­ist Nation­al Mili­tia, street vig­i­lantes with roots in the bat­tle-test­ed Azov Bat­tal­ion that emerged to defend Ukraine against Rus­sia-backed sep­a­ratists but was also accused of pos­si­ble war crimes and neo-Nazi sym­pa­thies. Yet despite the con­tro­ver­sy sur­round­ing it, the Nation­al Mili­tia was grant­ed per­mis­sion by the Cen­tral Elec­tion Com­mis­sion to offi­cial­ly mon­i­tor Ukraine’s pres­i­den­tial elec­tion on March 31. . . .”

 In this pro­gram, we note the oper­a­tions and posi­tion­ing of the Azov milieu both in Ukraine and glob­al­ly.

Azov is among the fas­cist ele­ments oppos­ing Ukrain­ian pres­i­dent Volodomyr Zelen­sky’s efforts at bro­ker­ing a piece with sep­a­ratists in the eth­ni­cal­ly Russ­ian East­ern provinces of Ukraine. Amidst angry street demon­stra­tions against the peace plan with the sep­a­ratists, Zelen­sky met with some of the fas­cist groups, who have threat­ened to over­throw his gov­ern­ment if he goes for­ward with the peace plan. The fas­cists enjoy the sup­port of for­mer pres­i­dent Petro Poroshenko.

Ukrain­ian Prime Min­is­ter Hon­charuk and Min­is­ter of Vet­er­ans Affairs Oksana Kolia­ga attend­ed an event orga­nized by ele­ments asso­ci­at­ed with C14 (the street mili­tia of Svo­bo­da) and Azov. Fea­tur­ing Sokyra Pekurna–a Nazi met­al band–the ral­ly rep­re­sent­ed a fur­ther main­stream­ing of the OUN/B suc­ces­sor orga­ni­za­tions in Ukraine.

Fur­ther com­pli­cat­ing the issue is the fact that the Azov Bat­tal­ion has tak­en up posi­tions in the town of Zolo­toe, at the front of the ongo­ing war. They have said that they will not with­draw, a threat which, if borne out, will tor­pe­do the peace process.

Con­clud­ing the broad­cast, we “dol­ly [the cam­era] out” and begin an in-depth exam­i­na­tion of the Azov inter­na­tion­al milieu. Embrac­ing “lone wolf” fas­cists around the world, as well as net­work­ing with fas­cist orga­ni­za­tions and com­bat­ants who have joined the war in Ukraine’s East­ern provinces, Azov is reca­pit­u­lat­ing the “Inter­mar­i­um” con­cept, mint­ed by Pol­ish head of state Josef Pil­sud­s­ki in the peri­od between the World Wars. Work­ing with Croa­t­ians aligned with the “Neo-Ustachi’ milieu we have cov­ered in many past pro­grams, Azov is seek­ing to devel­op a nascent East­ern and Cen­tral Euro­pean alliance of fas­cist and reac­tionary ele­ments.

Of par­tic­u­lar inter­est is the sig­nif­i­cance of the Ukrain­ian and Croa­t­ian fas­cist alliance, which will be explored at greater length in future pro­grams.

Oth­er pro­grams high­light­ing the return of the Ustachi to pow­er in the “new” Croa­t­ia include: FTR #‘s 49, 154, 766, 901.