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FTR #1071 75th Anniversaries: Walkin’ the Snake on the Earth Island with Pierre Omidyar

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Celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the founding of the 14th Waffen SS Division in Lviv, Ukraine

Introduction: We have spoken repeatedly about the Nazi tract Serpent’s Walk, in which the Third Reich goes underground, buys into the opinion-forming media and, eventually, takes over.

Hitler, the Third Reich and their actions are glorified and memorialized. The essence of the book is synopsized on the back cover:

“It assumes that Hitler’s warrior elite – the SS – didn’t give up their struggle for a White world when they lost the Second World War. Instead their survivors went underground and adopted some of their tactics of their enemies: they began building their economic muscle and buying into the opinion-forming media. A century after the war they are ready to challenge the democrats and Jews for the hearts and minds of White Americans, who have begun to have their fill of government-enforced multi-culturalism and ‘equality.'”

Something analogous is happening in Ukraine and India.

In Ukraine, fascism in being remade as a heroic bulwark against communism and Russia. In India, it is being remade as a liberating anti-colonial, anti-imperial force.

In FTR #889, we noted that Pierre Omidyar, a darling of the so-called “progressive” sector for his founding of The Intercept, was deeply involved with the financing of the ascent of both Narendra Modi’s Hindutva fascist BJP and the OUN/B successor organizations in Ukraine.

Omidyar’s anointment as an icon of investigative reporting could not be more ironic, in that journalists and critics of his fascist allies in Ukraine and India are being repressed and murdered, thereby furthering the suppression of truth in those societies. This suppression of truth feeds in to the Serpent’s Walk scenario.

In a long series dealing largely with apparent fascist elements and spooks grouped around the “socialists” on the left-wing of the Democratic Party, as well as a supplemental Food For Thought post, we hypothesized about, among other things, a marriage between the Hindutva fascism of Narendra Modi, his BJP and the RSS (the organization that murdered Mahatma Gandhi and which was modeled after Mussolini’s blackshirts) and the “Boseian” fascism of Subhas Chandra Bose.

Noting that Hitler was viewed favorably by many Indians, business students in particular, and that Mein Kampf was a best-seller in India, we have discussed Modi’s introduction of a school textbook when he governed Gujarat that glorified Hitler.

It appears that the marriage between Modi’s Hindutva fascism and “Boseian” fascism has been effected, with Modi renaming three Islands as a tribute to Bose and glorifying Bose and his Axis fighting forces in a disgusting commemorative ceremony.

Modi wearing his Azad Hind Fauj Cap–the cap of Bose’s Asian fighting forces.

Key elements of discussion and analysis include:

  1. Prime minister Narendra Modi on Sunday announced the renaming of three islands of Andaman and Nicobar archipelago as a tribute to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. . . .The Ross Island was renamed as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Dweep, the Neil Island as Shaheed Dweep and the Havelock Island as Swaraj Dweep. . . . “‘When it comes to heroes of the freedom struggle, we take the name of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose with pride. The first prime minister of the Azad Hind government Subhash Babu had made India’s independence resolution on the soil of Andaman,’ he said.”
  2. Modi began his speech by asking the people in the ground to switch on the flashlights of their mobile phones to honour Bose.
  3. Thousands of mobile flashlights were then switched on providing a visual delight.
  4. Donning the Azad Hind Fauj (Indian National Army) cap, he addressed a public meeting at Netaji Stadium on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the hoisting of the Tricolour by Bose.
  5. At the stadium, the PM also released a commemorative stamp, its first-day cover and a Rs 75 coin.He also announced setting up of a deemed university named after Bose.
  6. The Andaman and Nicobar islands are not just a symbol of India’s natural beauty, but are also like a place of pilgrimage for Indians, said Modi.Modi also visited the Marina Park and hoisted a national flag on a 150-feet high mast, besides paying floral tribute at Netaji’s statue.
  7. On December 30, 1943, Bose had suggested that Andaman and Nicobar Islands be renamed as Shahid and Swaraj Dweep respectively.
  8. During World War II, the Japanese had captured the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and Netaji came here as the Azad Hind Fauz led by him was an ally of the Japanese force.
  9. “‘The historical event of 30th December 1943 has been completed today after 75 years,’ Modi said. . . .”

The 1943 renaming of the Andaman Islands was done during the brutal Japanese occupation of that territory:

” . . . . [KR] Ganesh [the MP from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands] Ganesh pointed out to the House that the local people of the Andamans were imprisoned and tortured by the Japanese in the same Cellular Jail in Port Blair where Netaji Bose raised the flag of a free India for the first time in December 1943. [MP] Samar Guha was unaware of this, as were most other members of Parliament. He wanted to know if the atrocities by the Japanese occupation forces on the local people had taken place before or after Bose’s visit. Ganesh’s reply was, “Before, during and after.” . . . .  ‘Japanese troops acted harshly against local populations. The Japanese military police were especially feared. Food and vital necessities were confiscated by the occupiers causing widespread misery and starvation by the end of the war.’ The situation was the same in Port Blair and surrounding villages and nearby islands such as Neil Island and Havelock Island. I have come across many stories of the fear of the Kempeitai, the Japanese military police – of the arrests, the beatings, the hunger, the fear and anxiety that had gripped the people with hundreds in jail for suspicion of spying for the British. . . .”

We have repeatedly made the point that the dimensions of official lying in the West were of truly Orwellian proportions–documented World War II history was being dismissed as “Russian propaganda” or “Kremlin propaganda.” The snake is doing wind sprints in Ukraine.

Next, we begin reading and analysis of an article about the rise of fascism in Ukraine that details the numerous, multi-faceted examples of the capture of Ukrainian society and government by the OUN/B successor organizations elevated to power through the Maidan coup. (This will be continued in our next program.)

Points of analysis and discussion include:

* The elevation of the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion that was formally incorporated into Ukraine’s armed forces yet remains a neo-Nazi battalion.
* Azov is now engaged in policing with its National Druzhina street patrol units that have engaged in anti-Roma pogroms
* Azov’s campaign to turn Ukraine into an international hub of white supremacy
* Andriy Parubiy’s role in creating Ukraine’s Nazi Party that he continues to embrace and that’s routinely ignored as he has become the parliament speaker
* The deputy minister of the Interior—which controls the National Police—is a veteran of Azov, Vadim Troyan
* Government sponsorship of historical revisionism and holocaust denial though agencies like Ukrainian Institute of National Memory
* Torchlight parades are now normal
* Within several years, an entire generation will be indoctrinated to worship Holocaust perpetrators as national heroes
* Books that criticize the now-glorified WWII Nazi collaborators like Stepan Bandera are getting banned
* Public officials make threats against Ukraine’s Jewish community with no repercussions
* The neo-Nazi C14’s street patrol gangs are both responsible for anti-Roma pogroms and also the recipient of government funds to run a children’s educational camp. Last October, C14 leader Serhiy Bondar was welcomed at America House Kyiv, a center run by the US government
* It’s open season on the LGBT community and far right groups routinely attack LGBT gatherings
* Ukraine is extremely dangerous for journalists and the government has supported the doxxing and intimidation of journalist by the far right like Myrovorets group
* The government is trying to repeal laws protecting the many minority languages used in Ukraine

And yet, as the article notes at the end, its many examples were just a small sampling of what has transpired in Ukraine since 2014:

Modi wearing his Azad Hind Fauj Cap–the cap of Bose’s Asian fighting forces.

1. In a long series dealing largely with apparent fascist elements and spooks grouped around the “socialists” on the left-wing of the Democratic Party, as well as a supplemental Food For Thought post, we hypothesized about, among other things, a marriage between the Hindutva fascism of Narendra Modi, his BJP and the RSS (the organization that murdered Mahatma Gandhi and which was modeled after Mussolini’s blackshirts) and the “Boseian” fascism of Subhas Chandra Bose.

Noting that Hitler was viewed favorably by many Indians, business students in particular, and that Mein Kampf was a best-seller in India, we have discussed Modi’s introduction of a school textbook when he governed Gujarat that glorified Hitler.

It appears that the marriage between Modi’s Hindutva fascism and “Boseian” fascism has been effected, with Modi renaming three Islands as a tribute to Bose and glorifying Bose and his Axis fighting forces in a disgusting commemorative ceremony:

Key elements of discussion and analysis include:

  1. Prime minister Narendra Modi on Sunday announced the renaming of three islands of Andaman and Nicobar archipelago as a tribute to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. . . .The Ross Island was renamed as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Dweep, the Neil Island as Shaheed Dweep and the Havelock Island as Swaraj Dweep. . . . “‘When it comes to heroes of the freedom struggle, we take the name of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose with pride. The first prime minister of the Azad Hind government Subhash Babu had made India’s independence resolution on the soil of Andaman,’ he said.”
  2. Modi began his speech by asking the people in the ground to switch on the flashlights of their mobile phones to honour Bose.
  3. Thousands of mobile flashlights were then switched on providing a visual delight.
  4. Donning the Azad Hind Fauj (Indian National Army) cap, he addressed a public meeting at Netaji Stadium on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the hoisting of the Tricolour by Bose.
  5. At the stadium, the PM also released a commemorative stamp, its first-day cover and a Rs 75 coin.He also announced setting up of a deemed university named after Bose.
  6. The Andaman and Nicobar islands are not just a symbol of India’s natural beauty, but are also like a place of pilgrimage for Indians, said Modi.Modi also visited the Marina Park and hoisted a national flag on a 150-feet high mast, besides paying floral tribute at Netaji’s statue.
  7. On December 30, 1943, Bose had suggested that Andaman and Nicobar Islands be renamed as Shahid and Swaraj Dweep respectively.
  8. During World War II, the Japanese had captured the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and Netaji came here as the Azad Hind Fauz led by him was an ally of the Japanese force.
  9. “‘The historical event of 30th December 1943 has been completed today after 75 years,’ Modi said. . . .”

 “Modi Renames 3 Islands of Andaman and Nicobar: Other Projects Announced by the PM” [India Today Web Desk]; India Today; 12/31/2018.

Prime minister Narendra Modi on Sunday announced the renaming of three islands of Andaman and Nicobar archipelago as a tribute to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.

Islands that were renamed

The Ross Island was renamed as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Dweep, the Neil Island as Shaheed Dweep and the Havelock Island as Swaraj Dweep. . . .

PM Modi at the occasion

  1. Modi began his speech by asking the people in the ground to switch on the flashlights of their mobile phones to honour Bose.
  2. Thousands of mobile flashlights were then switched on providing a visual delight.
  3. Donning the Azad Hind Fauj (Indian National Army) cap, he addressed a public meeting at Netaji Stadium on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the hoisting of the Tricolour by Bose.

“When it comes to heroes of the freedom struggle, we take the name of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose with pride. The first prime minister of the Azad Hind government Subhash Babu had made India’s independence resolution on the soil of Andaman,” he said.

  1. At the stadium, the PM also released a commemorative stamp, its first-day cover and a Rs 75 coin.He also announced setting up of a deemed university named after Bose.
  2. The Andaman and Nicobar islands are not just a symbol of India’s natural beauty, but are also like a place of pilgrimage for Indians, said Modi.
  3. Modi also visited the Marina Park and hoisted a national flag on a 150-feet high mast, besides paying floral tribute at Netaji’s statue.

Importance of this day

On December 30, 1943, Bose had suggested that Andaman and Nicobar Islands be renamed as Shahid and Swaraj Dweep respectively.

During World War II, the Japanese had captured the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and Netaji came here as the Azad Hind Fauz led by him was an ally of the Japanese force.

“The historical event of 30th December 1943 has been completed today after 75 years,” Modi said. . . .

Modi–wearing cap of paying tribute to a statue of Bose.

2. In addition, the 1943 renaming of the Andaman Islands was done during the brutal Japanese occupation of that territory:

” . . . . [KR] Ganesh [the MP from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands] Ganesh pointed out to the House that the local people of the Andamans were imprisoned and tortured by the Japanese in the same Cellular Jail in Port Blair where Netaji Bose raised the flag of a free India for the first time in December 1943. [MP] Samar Guha was unaware of this, as were most other members of Parliament. He wanted to know if the atrocities by the Japanese occupation forces on the local people had taken place before or after Bose’s visit. Ganesh’s reply was, “Before, during and after.” . . . .  ‘Japanese troops acted harshly against local populations. The Japanese military police were especially feared. Food and vital necessities were confiscated by the occupiers causing widespread misery and starvation by the end of the war.’ The situation was the same in Port Blair and surrounding villages and nearby islands such as Neil Island and Havelock Island. I have come across many stories of the fear of the Kempeitai, the Japanese military police – of the arrests, the beatings, the hunger, the fear and anxiety that had gripped the people with hundreds in jail for suspicion of spying for the British. . . .”

“Islands Renamed: National Memory of Netaji’s Andamans Visit Is at Variance with Local Recollections” by Jayant Dasgupta; Scroll.in; 1/22/2019.

On December 30, Prime Minister Narendra Modi travelled to the Andaman and Nicobar islands to commemorate Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s visit to the archipelago during World War II, on the last three days of 1943. At that time, the islands were under the occupation of the Imperial Japanese Forces, a little-known fact of Indian history.

During his visit, Modi announced that three small islands in the South Andamans would be renamed. While Ross island has been renamed after Bose, Neil Island has been christened Shaheed Dweep (Martyr’s Island) and Havelock Island is now officially known as Swaraj Dweep (Self-Rule Island).

The three islands were renamed purportedly to honour Bose’s memory. A perfectly valid reason, one might say. But what if that memory itself is fraught with contestation? What if the national memory of Bose’s visit is at variance with the local memory? . . .

. . . . Japanese occupation

Bose had been invited to Port Blair in 1943 by the Japanese government in his capacity as the leader of the Indian National Army, which was in alliance with the Japanese. Here, he expressed the wish that the Andaman Islands should be renamed Shaheed Dweep and the Nicobar Islands be named Swaraj Dweep. His wish has finally been fulfilled, albeit on a much reduced scale. . . .

. . . . [KR] Ganesh [the MP from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands] Ganesh pointed out to the House that the local people of the Andamans were imprisoned and tortured by the Japanese in the same Cellular Jail in Port Blair where Netaji Bose raised the flag of a free India for the first time in December 1943. [MP] Samar Guha was unaware of this, as were most other members of Parliament. He wanted to know if the atrocities by the Japanese occupation forces on the local people had taken place before or after Bose’s visit. Ganesh’s reply was, “Before, during and after.” . . . .

. . . . The Japanese had occupied the Andaman islands for three-and-a half years, between 1942 and 1945. During that same period, another territory was also under their occupation – the Dutch East Indies or present-day Indonesia. It was seized on March 9, 1942, just a day before the Japanese wrested control of the Andamans from the British. The occupation of both territories ended on the same day in August 1945, with the unconditional surrender of the Japanese.

But though the story of the Japanese occupation of the Dutch East Indies during World War II is quite well known, very few know about the occupation of the Andamans.

An article about the occupation of the Dutch East Indies has this line: “The occupation was not gentle.” This could have well been written for the Andaman and Nicobar islands. The article goes on to say:

“Japanese troops acted harshly against local populations. The Japanese military police were especially feared. Food and vital necessities were confiscated by the occupiers causing widespread misery and starvation by the end of the war.”

The situation was the same in Port Blair and surrounding villages and nearby islands such as Neil Island and Havelock Island. I have come across many stories of the fear of the Kempeitai, the Japanese military police – of the arrests, the beatings, the hunger, the fear and anxiety that had gripped the people with hundreds in jail for suspicion of spying for the British. . . .

 

Official 2018 celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the founding of the 14th Waffen SS Division in Lviv, Ukraine.

3. Next, we begin reading and analysis of an article about the rise of fascism in Ukraine that details the numerous, multi-faceted examples of the capture of Ukrainian society and government by the OUN/B successor organizations elevated to power through the Maidan coup. (This will be continued in our next program.)

Points of analysis and discussion include:

* The elevation of the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion that was formally incorporated into Ukraine’s armed forces yet remains a neo-Nazi battalion.
* Azov is now engaged in policing with its National Druzhina street patrol units that have engaged in anti-Roma pogroms.
* Azov’s campaign to turn Ukraine into an international hub of white supremacy.
* Andriy Parubiy’s role in creating Ukraine’s Nazi Party that he continues to embrace and that’s routinely ignored as he has become the parliament speaker.
* The deputy minister of the Interior—which controls the National Police—is a veteran of Azov, Vadim Troyan.
* Government sponsorship of historical revisionism and holocaust denial though agencies like Ukrainian Institute of National Memory. It is now illegal to speak unfavorably of the OUN/B or the UPA, both of which were Nazi collaborationist organizations  with bloody, lethal histories.
* Torchlight parades are now normal.
* Within several years, an entire generation will be indoctrinated to worship Holocaust perpetrators as national heroes.
* Books that criticize the now-glorified WWII Nazi collaborators like Stepan Bandera are getting banned.
* Public officials make threats against Ukraine’s Jewish community with no repercussions.
* The neo-Nazi C14’s street patrol gangs are both responsible for anti-Roma pogroms and also the recipient of government funds to run a children’s educational camp. Last October, C14 leader Serhiy Bondar was welcomed at America House Kyiv, a center run by the US government.
* It’s open season on the LGBT community and far right groups routinely attack LGBT gatherings.
* Ukraine is extremely dangerous for journalists and the government has supported the doxxing and intimidation of journalist by the far right like Myrovorets group.
* The government is trying to repeal laws protecting the many minority languages used in Ukraine.

And yet, as the article notes at the end, its many examples were just a small sampling of what has transpired in Ukraine since 2014:

“Neo-Nazis and the Far Right Are On the March in Ukraine” by Lev Golinkin; The Nation; 02/22/2019.

Five years ago, Ukraine’s Maidan uprising ousted President Viktor Yanukovych, to the cheers and support of the West. Politicians and analysts in the United States and Europe not only celebrated the uprising as a triumph of democracy, but denied reports of Maidan’s ultranationalism, smearing those who warned about the dark side of the uprising as Moscow puppets and useful idiots. Freedom was on the march in Ukraine.

Today, increasing reports of far-right violence, ultranationalism, and erosion of basic freedoms are giving the lie to the West’s initial euphoria. There are neo-Nazi pogroms against the Roma, rampant attacks on feminists and LGBT groups, book bans, and state-sponsored glorification of Nazi collaborators.

These stories of Ukraine’s dark nationalism aren’t coming out of Moscow; they’re being filed by Western media, including US-funded Radio Free Europe (RFE); Jewish organizations such as the World Jewish Congress and the Simon Wiesenthal Center; and watchdogs like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Freedom House, which issued a joint report warning that Kiev is losing the monopoly on the use of force in the country as far-right gangs operate with impunity.

Five years after Maidan, the beacon of democracy is looking more like a torchlight march.

Combat helmets of the Azov Battalion.

A neo-Nazi battalion in the heart of Europe

Volunteer Ukrainian Unit Includes Nazis.”—USA Today, March 10, 2015

The DC establishment’s standard defense of Kiev is to point out that Ukraine’s far right has a smaller percentage of seats in the parliament than their counterparts in places like France. That’s a spurious argument: What Ukraine’s far right lacks in polls numbers, it makes up for with things Marine Le Pen could only dream of—paramilitary units and free rein on the streets.

Post-Maidan Ukraine is the world’s only nation to have a neo-Nazi formation in its armed forces. The Azov Battalion was initially formed out of the neo-Nazi gang Patriot of Ukraine. Andriy Biletsky, the gang’s leader who became Azov’s commander, once wrote that Ukraine’s mission is to “lead the White Races of the world in a final crusade…against the Semite-led Untermenschen.” Biletsky is now a deputy in Ukraine’s parliament.

In the fall of 2014, Azov—which is accused of human-rights abuses, including torture, by Human Rights Watchand the United Nations—was incorporated into Ukraine’s National Guard.

While the group officially denies any neo-Nazi connections, Azov’s nature has been confirmed by multiple Western outlets: The New York Times called the battalion“openly neo-Nazi,” while USA TodayThe Daily BeastThe Telegraph, and Haaretzdocumented group members’ proclivity for swastikas, salutes, and other Nazi symbols, and individual fighters have also acknowledged being neo-Nazis.

In January 2018, Azov rolled out its National Druzhinastreet patrol unit whose members swore personal fealty to Biletsky and pledged to “restore Ukrainian order” to the streets. The Druzhina quickly distinguished itself by carrying out pogroms against the Roma and LGBTorganizations and storming a municipal council. Earlier this year, Kiev announced the storming unit will be monitoring polls in next month’s presidential election.

In 2017, Congressman Ro Khanna led the effort to ban Azov from receiving U.S. arms and training. But the damage has already been done: 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.

(Azov isn’t the only far-right formation to get Western affirmation. In December 2014, Amnesty International accused the Dnipro-1 battalion of potential war crimes, including “using starvation of civilians as a method of warfare.” Six months later, Senator John McCain visited and praised the battalion.)

Particularly concerning is Azov’s campaign to transform Ukraine into a hub for transnational white supremacy. The unit has recruited neo-Nazis from Germany, the UKBrazilSweden, and America; last October, the FBI arrested four California white supremacists who had allegedly received training from Azov. This is a classic example of blowback: US support of radicals abroad ricocheting to hit America.

Far right ties to government

Ukrainian police declare admiration for Nazi collaborators”—RFE, February 13, 2019

Speaker of Parliament Andriy Parubiycofounded and led two neo-Nazi organizations: the Social-National Party of Ukraine(later renamed Svoboda), and Patriot of Ukraine, whose members would eventually form the core of Azov.

Although Parubiy left the far right in the early 2000’s, he hasn’t rejected his past. When asked about it in a 2016 interview, Parubiy replied that his “values” haven’t changed. Parubiy, whose autobiography shows him marching with the neo-Nazi wolfsangel symbol used by Aryan Nationsregularly meets with Washington think tanksand politicians; his neo-Nazi background is ignored or outright denied.

Even more disturbing is the far right’s penetration of law enforcement. Shortly after Maidan, the US equipped and trainedthe newly founded National Police, in what was intended to be a hallmark program buttressing Ukrainian democracy.

The deputy minister of the Interior—which controls the National Police—is Vadim Troyan, a veteran of Azov and Patriot of Ukraine. In 2014, when Troyan was being considered for police chief of Kiev, Ukrainian Jewish leaders were appalled by his neo-Nazi background. Today, he’s deputy of the department running US-trained law enforcement in the entire nation.

Earlier this month, RFE reportedon 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.

State-sponsored glorification of Nazi collaborators

Ukrainian extremists celebrate Ukrainian Nazi SS divisions…in the middle of a major Ukrainian city”—Anti-Defamation League Director of European Affairs, April 28, 2018

It’s not just the military and street gangs: Ukraine’s far right has successfully hijacked the post-Maidan government to impose an intolerant and ultranationalist culture over the land.

In 2015, the Ukrainian parliament passed legislation making two WWII paramilitaries—the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA)—heroes of Ukraine, and made it a criminal offenseto deny their heroism. The OUN had collaborated with the Nazis and participated in the Holocaust, while the UPA slaughtered thousands of Jews and 70,000-100,000 Poles on their own volition.

The government-funded Ukrainian Institute of National Memory is institutionalizing the whitewashing of Nazi collaborators. Last summer, the Ukrainian parliament featured an exhibitcommemorating the OUN’s 1941 proclamation of cooperation with the Third Reich (imagine the French government installing an exhibit celebrating the Vichy state!).

Torchlight marches in honor of OUN/UPA leaders like Roman Shukhevych (a commander in a Third Reich auxiliary battalion) are a regular feature of the new Ukraine. The recuperation even extends to SS Galichina, a Ukrainian division of the Waffen-SS; the director of the Institute of National Memory proclaimed that the SS fighters were “war victims.” The government’s embrace of Bandera is not only deplorable, but also extremely divisive, considering the OUN/UPA are reviledin eastern Ukraine.

Predictably, the celebration of Nazi collaborators has accompanied a rise in outright anti-Semitism.

Jews Out!” chanted thousands during a January 2017 march honoring OUN leader Bandera. (The next day the police denied hearing anything anti-Semitic.) That summer, a three-day festivalcelebrating the Nazi collaborator Shukhevych capped off with the firebombing of a synagogue. In November 2017, RFE reported Nazi salutes as 20,000 marched in honor of the UPA. And last April, hundreds marched in L’viv with coordinated Nazi salutes honoring SS Galichina; the march was promotedby the L’viv regional government.

The Holocaust revisionism is a multi-pronged effort, ranging from government-funded seminarsbrochures, and board games, to the proliferation of plaquesstatues, and streetsrenamed after butchers of Jews, to far-right children camps, where youth are inculcated with ultranationalist ideology.

Within several years, an entire generation will be indoctrinated to worship Holocaust perpetrators as national heroes.

Book bans

No state should be allowed to interfere in the writing of history.”—British historian Antony Beevor, after his award-winning book was banned in Ukraine, The Telegraph, January 23, 2018

Ukraine’s State Committee for Television and Radio Broadcasting is enforcing the glorification of Ukraine’s new heroes by banning“anti-Ukrainian” literature that goes against the government narrative. This ideological censorship includes acclaimed books by Western authors.

In January 2018, Ukraine made international headlines by banning Stalingrad by award-winning British historian Antony Beevor because of a single paragraphabout a Ukrainian unit massacring 90 Jewish children during World War II. In December, Kiev bannedThe Book Thieves by Swedish author Anders Rydell (which, ironically, is about the Nazis’ suppression of literature) because he mentioned troops loyal to Symon Petliura(an early 20th-century nationalist leader) had slaughtered Jews.

This month, the Ukrainian embassy in Washington exported this intolerance to America by brazenly demanding the United States ban a Russian movie from American theaters. Apparently, the billions Washington invested in promoting democracy in Ukraine have failed to teach Kiev basic concepts of free speech.

Anti-Semitism

“I’m telling you one more time—go to hell, kikes. The Ukrainian people have had it to here with you.”—Security services reserve general Vasily Vovk, May 11, 2017

Unsurprisingly, government-led glorification of Holocaust perpetrators was a green light for other forms of anti-Semitism. The past three years saw an explosion of swastikas and SS runes on city streets, death threats, and vandalism of Holocaustmemorials, Jewish centerscemeteriestombs, and places of worship, all of which led Israel to take the unusual step of publicly urging Kiev to address the epidemic.

Public officials make anti-Semitic threats with no repercussions. These include: a security services general promising to eliminate the zhidi (a slur equivalent to ‘kikes’); a parliament deputy going off on an anti-Semitic rant on television; a far-right politician lamenting Hitler didn’t finish offthe Jews; and an ultranationalist leader vowing to cleanse Odessa of zhidi.

For the first few years after Maidan, Jewish organizations largely refrained from criticizing Ukraine, perhaps in the hope Kiev would address the issue on its own. But by 2018, the increasing frequency of anti-Semitic incidents led Jewish groups to break their silence.

Last year, the Israeli government’s annual reporton anti-Semitism heavily featured Ukraine, which had more incidents than all post-Soviet states combined. The World Jewish Congress, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, and 57 membersof the US Congress all vociferously condemned Kiev’s Nazi glorification and the concomitant anti-Semitism.

Ukrainian Jewish leaders are also speaking out. In 2017, the director of one of Ukraine’s largest Jewish organizations published a New York Times op-ed urging the West to address Kiev’s whitewashing. Last year, 41 Ukrainian Jewish leaders denounced the growth of anti-Semitism. That’s especially telling, given that many Ukrainian Jewish leaders supported the Maidan uprising.

None of these concerns have been addressed in any meaningful way.

Roma pogroms

“‘They wanted to kill us’: masked neo-fascists strike fear into Ukraine’s Roma.”—The Guardian , August 27, 2018

Ukraine’s far right has resisted carrying out outright attacks on Jews; other vulnerable groups haven’t been so lucky.

Last spring, a lethal wave of anti-Roma pogroms swept through Ukraine, with at least six attacks in two months. Footage from the pogroms evokes the 1930s: Armed thugs attack women and children while razing their camps. At least one man was killed, while others, including a child, were stabbed.

Two gangs behind the attacks—C14 and the National Druzhina—felt comfortable enough to proudly post pogrom videos on social mediaThat’s not surprising, considering that the National Druzhina is part of Azov, while the neo-Nazi C14 receives government funding for “educational” programs. Last October, C14 leader Serhiy Bondar was welcomed at America House Kyiv, a center run by the US government.

Appeals from international organizations and the US embassy fell on deaf ears: Months after the United Nations demanded Kiev end “systematic persecution” of the Roma, a human-rights group reported C14 were allegedly intimidating Roma in a jointpatrol with the Kiev police.

LGBT and Women’s-rights groups

“‘It’s even worse than before’: How the ‘Revolution of Dignity’ Failed LGBT Ukrainians.”—RFE, November 21, 2018

In 2016, after pressure from the US Congress, the Kiev government began providing security for the annual Kiev Pride parade. However, this increasingly looks like a Potemkin affair: two hours of protection, with widespread attacks on LGBT individuals and gatherings during the rest of the year. Nationalist groups have targeted LGBT meetings with impunity, going so far as to shut down an event hosted by Amnesty International as well as assault a Western journalist at a transgender rights rally. Women’s-rights marches have also been targeted, including brazen attacks in March.

Attacks on press

“The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns a Ukrainian law enforcement raid at the Kiev offices of Media Holding Vesti…more than a dozen masked officers ripped open doors with crowbars, seized property, and fired tear gas in the offices.”—The Committee to Protect Journalists, February 9, 2018

In May 2016, Myrotvorets, an ultranationalist website with links to the government, published  the personal data of thousands of journalists who had obtained accreditation from Russia-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine. Myrotvorets labeled the journalists “terrorist collaborators.”

A government-tied website declaring open season on journalists would be dangerous anywhere, but it is especially so in Ukraine, which has a disturbing track record of journalist assassinations. This includes Oles Buzina, gunned down in 2015, and Pavel Sheremet, assassinated by car bomb a year later.

The Myrotvorets doxing was denounced by Western reporters, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and ambassadorsfrom the G7 nations. In response, Kiev officials, including Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, praised the site: “This is your choice to cooperate with occupying forces,” Avakov told journalists, while posting“I Support Myrotvorets” on Facebook. Myrotvorets remains operational today.

Last fall brought another attack on the media, this time using the courts. The Prosecutor General’s office was granted a warrant to seize records of RFE anti-corruption reporter Natalie Sedletska. An RFE spokeswoman warned that Kiev’s actions created “a chilling atmosphere for journalists,” while parliament deputy Mustafa Nayyem called it “an example of creeping dictatorship.”

Language laws

“[Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk] also made a personal appeal to Russian-speaking Ukrainians, pledging to support…a special status to the Russian language.”—US Secretary of State John KerryApril 24, 2014

Ukraine is extraordinarily multilingual: In addition to the millions of Russian-speaking eastern Ukrainians, there are areas where Hungarian, Romanian, and other tongues are prevalent. These languages were protected by a 2012 regional-language law.

The post-Maidan government alarmed Russian-speaking Ukrainians by attempting to annul that law. The US State Department and Secretary of State John Kerry sought to assuage fears in 2014 by pledgingthat Kiev would protect the status of Russian. Those promises came to naught.

A 2017 law mandated that secondary education be conducted strictly in Ukrainian, which infuriatedHungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Greece. Several regions passed legislation banningthe use of Russian in public life. Quotas enforce Ukrainian usage on TV and radio. (This would be akin to Washington forcing Spanish-language media to broadcast mostly in English.)

And in February 2018, Ukraine’s supreme court struck down the 2012 regional language law—the one Kerry promised eastern Ukrainians would stay in effect.

Currently, Kiev is preparing to pass a draconian law that would mandate the use of Ukrainian in most aspects of public life. It’s another example of Kiev alienating millions of its own citizens, while claiming to embrace Western values.

The price of willful blindness

These examples are only a tiny fraction of Ukraine’s slide toward intolerance, but they should be enough to point out the obvious: Washington’s decision to ignore the proliferation of armed neo-Nazi groups in a highly unstable nation only led to them gaining more power.

In essay after essay, DC foreign-policy heads have denied or celebrated the influence of Ukraine’s far right. (Curiously, the same analysts vociferously denounce rising nationalism in Hungary, Poland, and Italy as highly dangerous.) Perhaps think-tankers deluded themselves into thinking Kiev’s far-right phase would tucker itself out. More likely, they simply embraced DC’s go-to strategy of “my enemy’s enemy is my friend.” Either way, the ramifications stretch far beyond Ukraine.

America’s backing of the Maidan uprising, along with the billions DC sinks into post-Maidan Kiev, make it clear: Starting February 2014, Ukraine became Washington’s latest democracy-spreading project. What we permit in Ukraine sends a green light to others.

By tolerating neo-Nazi gangs and battalions, state-led Holocaust distortion, and attacks on LGBT and the Roma, the United States is telling the rest of Europe: “We’re fine with this.” The implications—especially at a time of a global far-right revival—are profoundly disturbing.

4. The essence of Serpent’s Walk is highlighted on the back cover of the book.

Serpent’s Walk by “Randolph D. Calverhall;” Copyright 1991 [SC]; National Vanguard Books; 0-937944-05-X.

It assumes that Hitler’s warrior elite – the SS – didn’t give up their struggle for a White world when they lost the Second World War. Instead their survivors went underground and adopted some of their tactics of their enemies: they began building their economic muscle and buying into the opinion-forming media. A century after the war they are ready to challenge the democrats and Jews for the hearts and minds of White Americans, who have begun to have their fill of government-enforced multi-culturalism and ‘equality.’

5. This process is described in more detail in a passage of text, consisting of a discussion between Wrench (a member of this Underground Reich) and a mercenary named Lessing.

Serpent’s Walk by “Randolph D. Calverhall;” Copyright 1991 [SC]; National Vanguard Books; 0-937944-05-X; pp. 42-43.

. . . . The SS . . . what was left of it . . . had business objectives before and during World War II. When the war was lost they just kept on, but from other places: Bogota, Asuncion, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City, Colombo, Damascus, Dacca . . . you name it. They realized that the world is heading towards a ‘corporacracy;’ five or ten international super-companies that will run everything worth running by the year 2100. Those super-corporations exist now, and they’re already dividing up the production and marketing of food, transport, steel and heavy industry, oil, the media, and other commodities. They’re mostly conglomerates, with fingers in more than one pie . . . . We, the SS, have the say in four or five. We’ve been competing for the past sixty years or so, and we’re slowly gaining . . . . About ten years ago, we swung a merger, a takeover, and got voting control of a supercorp that runs a small but significant chunk of the American media. Not openly, not with bands and trumpets or swastikas flying, but quietly: one huge corporation cuddling up to another one and gently munching it up, like a great, gubbing amoeba. Since then we’ve been replacing executives, pushing somebody out here, bringing somebody else in there. We’ve swing program content around, too. Not much, but a little, so it won’t show. We’ve cut down on ‘nasty-Nazi’ movies . . . good guys in white hats and bad guys in black SS hats . . . lovable Jews versus fiendish Germans . . . and we have media psychologists, ad agencies, and behavior modification specialists working on image changes. . . .

6. The broadcast addresses the gradual remaking of the image of the Third Reich that is represented in Serpent’s Walk. In the discussion excerpted above, this process is further described.

Serpent’s Walk by “Randolph D. Calverhall;” Copyright 1991 [SC]; National Vanguard Books; 0-937944-05-X; pp. 42-44.

. . . . Hell, if you can con granny into buying Sugar Turds instead of Bran Farts, then why can’t you swing public opinion over to a cause as vital and important as ours?’ . . . In any case, we’re slowly replacing those negative images with others: the ‘Good Bad Guy’ routine’ . . . ‘What do you think of Jesse James? John Dillinger? Julius Caesar? Genghis Khan?’ . . . The reality may have been rough, but there’s a sort of glitter about most of those dudes: mean honchos but respectable. It’s all how you package it. Opinion is a godamned commodity!’ . . . It works with anybody . . . Give it time. Aside from the media, we’ve been buying up private schools . . . and helping some public ones through philanthropic foundations . . . and working on the churches and the Born Agains. . . .

Discussion

One comment for “FTR #1071 75th Anniversaries: Walkin’ the Snake on the Earth Island with Pierre Omidyar”

  1. Here’s another story in the ‘Walkin’ the Snake’ theme in Ukraine. It also relates to the story of how Facebook selected a BJP operative, Shivnath Thukral, to become the company’s Public Policy Director for India and South Asia. Surprise! Facebook just had a far right sympathizer for the company’s Public Policy Director for Ukraine.

    According to Christopher Miller of RFERL, Facebook selected Kateryna Kruk for the position:

    Since autumn 2018, Facebook has looked to hire a public policy manager for Ukraine. The job came after years of Ukrainians criticizing the platform for takedowns of its activists' pages and the spread of Russian disinfo targeting Kyiv. Now, it appears to have one: @Kateryna_Kruk.— Christopher Miller (@ChristopherJM) June 3, 2019

    Kruk’s LinkedIn page also lists her as being Facebook’s Public Policy Manager for Ukraine as of May of this year.

    Who is Kruk? Well, on the surface, Kruk appears to be a Ukrainian political scientist and activist who has become something of a darling with Western-backed NGOs. She’s worked as an analyst and tv host for the Ukrainian ‘anti-Russian propaganda’ outfit StopFake. StopFake is the creation of Irena Chalupa, who works for the Atlantic Council and the Ukrainian government and appears to be the sister of Andrea and Alexandra Chalupa. As an example of how StopFake.org approaches Ukraine’s far right, here’s a tweet from StopFake’s co-founder, Yevhen Fedchenko, from May of 2018 where he complains about an article in Hromadske International that characterizes C14 as a neo-Nazi group:

    for Hromadske C14 is 'neo- nazi', in reality one of them – Oleksandr Voitko – is a war veteran and before going to the war – alum and faculty at @MohylaJSchool, journalist at Foreign news desk at Channel 5. Now also active participant of war veterans grass-root organization. https://t.co/QmaGnu6QGZ— Yevhen Fedchenko (@yevhenfedchenko) May 5, 2018

    In October of 2017, Kruk joined the “Kremlin Watch” team at the European Values think-tank. In June of 2014, The Atlantic Council gave Kruk its Freedom award for her communications work during the Euromaidan protests. Kruk also has a number of articles on the Atlantic Council’s Blog. Here’s a blog post from August of 2018 where she advocates for the creation of an independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church to diminish the influence of the Russian Orthodox Church. Keep in mind that, in May of 2018, Facebook decided to effectively outsource the work of identifying propaganda and misinformation during elections to the Atlantic Council, so choosing someone like Kruk who already has the Atlantic Council’s stamp of approval is in keeping with that trend.

    According to Kruk’s LinkedIn page she’s also done extensive work for the Ukrainian government. From March 2016 to January 2017 she was the Strategic Communications Manager for the Ukrainian parliament where she was responsible for social media and international communications. From January-April 2017 she was the Head of Communications at the Ministry of Health.

    So is Kruk simply a ‘pro-Ukrainian’ activist who went on to work as a communications specialist for the Ukrainian government? Well, it turns out Kruk not only was a volunteer for Svoboda during the 2014 Euromaidan protests, she also openly celebrated on twitter the May 2014 massacre in Odessa when the far right burned dozens of protestors alive. Kruk’s twitter feed is set to private now so there isn’t public access to her old tweet, but people have screen captures of it. Here’s a tweet from Yasha Levine with a screenshot of Kruk’s May 2, 2014 tweet where she writes:
    “#Odessa cleaned itself from terrorists, proud for city fighting for its identity.glory to fallen heroes..”

    She even threw in a “glory to fallen heroes” at the end of her tweet celebrating this massacre. Keep in mind that it was month after this tweet that the Atlantic Council gave her that Freedom Award for her communications work during the protests.

    Next is an article from January of 2014 about the then-ongoing Maidan square protests. The article covers the growing presence of the far right in the protests and their attacks on left-wing protestors. Kruk is interviewed in the article and describes herself as a Svoboda volunteer. But she asserts that she doesn’t support Svoboda’s extreme nationalism and doesn’t want to party to completely take power but she otherwise supports the party because it’s “Ukrainian-focused” and she thinks it’s the most active of the opposition parties. That dismissal of Svoboda’s ‘nationalism’ (far right fascism) obviously stands in strong contrast to her tweet celebrating the Odessa massacre a few months later and also stands out from a public relations standpoint: Kruk was sending messages for why average Ukrainians who don’t necessarily support the far right should support the far right at that moment, which was one of the most useful messages she could have been sending for the far right at that time:

    The Nation

    The Ukrainian Nationalism at the Heart of ‘Euromaidan’
    Coverage focused on the call for European integration has largely glossed over the rise in nationalist rhetoric that has led to violence.

    By Alec Luhn
    JANUARY 21, 2014

    Kiev’s two-month-long “Euromaidan” protest turned violent on Sunday as people in masks, outraged over restrictive protest laws hurriedly passed last week, marched on parliament and ran into police cordons that they pelted with stones and Molotov cocktails. Police hurled gas canisters, stun grenades, and a water cannon and rubber bullets at them, setting off a wave of clashes previously unknown at the largely peaceful protest.

    Spearheading the clashes with police was Right Sector, a group with ties to far-right parties including the Patriots of Ukraine and Trident, which BBC Ukraine reported is largely comprised of nationalist football fans. In a statement the next day, the group claimed credit for Sunday’s unrest and promised to continue fighting until President Viktor Yanukovich stepped down.

    “Two months of unsuccessful tiptoeing about under the leadership of the opposition parties showed many demonstrators they need to follow not those who speak sweetly from the stage, but rather those who offer a real scenario for revolutionary changes in the country. For this reason, the protest masses followed the nationalists,” the statement read.

    The surge in violence sparked by Right Sector has revealed how uncritical and undiscerning most of the media has been of the far-right parties and movements that have played a leading role in the “Euromaidan,” the huge protests for closer ties to Europe that flared up in November and have taken over Kiev’s Independence Square (“Maidan Nezalezhnosti”). Protest coverage focused on the call for European integration and the struggle against the Yanukovich regime has largely glossed over the rise in nationalist rhetoric, often chauvinist, that has led to violence not just against police, but also against left-wing activists.

    According to Maksim Butkevich of the coordinator of the No Borders Project of the Center for Social Action NGO, which works against discrimination and xenophobia, far-right groups have grown in popularity over the course of Euromaidan.

    “I wouldn’t say it’s big, that huge numbers of activists will join far-right groups after this, but they became more acceptable and in a way more mainstream than before for many active citizens,” Butkevich said.

    Although the outcome of the protests is still up in the air, if they lead to snap elections, nationalists could win greater political power, Butkevich said, especially Svoboda, the far-right parliamentary party in the coalition of three opposition parties leading the protest. (Right Sector criticizes all three for “pacifism,” including Svoboda.)

    It was Svoboda that was responsible for the most iconic image to come out of Euromaidan: On December 8, masked protestors waving blue Svoboda flags and yelling “Hang the Commie!” toppled a 67-year-old statue of Vladimir Lenin in the city center. Svoboda leader Ihor Miroshnychenko, who has faced charges for pulling down a Lenin statue in another city, told journalists his party was responsible.

    Svoboda is the most visible party on the square, it has essentially taken over Kiev City Hall as its base of operations, and it has a large influence in the protestors’ security forces.

    It also has revived three slogans originating in the Ukrainian nationalist movement of the 1930s that have become the most popular chants at Euromaidan. Almost all speakers on Independence Square—even boxer-turned-opposition-leader Vitaly Klitschko, who has lived mostly in Germany and has a US residence permit—start and end with the slogan, “Glory to Ukraine!,” to which the crowd responds “To heroes glory!” Two other nationalist call-and-response slogans often heard on the square are “Glory to the nation! Death to enemies!” and “Ukraine above all!”

    Progressive activists have “to fight on two fronts, against a regime that supports harmful police violence … and also against extreme nationalism, which is recognized and legitimate on Maidan,” Nikita Kadan, an artist and activist in Kiev, said via Skype during a discussion of nationalism at a Moscow bookstore in December.

    The Euromaidan protests began on November 21 after the government halted the process of signing an Association Agreement and a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with the European Union. The EU offered Ukraine what many have framed as a “civilizational choice” between East and West, which have recently been at odds over a traditionalist social agenda—including a controversial law against gay propaganda—implemented under President Vladimir Putin in Russia.

    The association agreement would have reduced tariffs but would not have led automatically to visa-free travel or the ability for Ukrainians to work in Europe. (EU politicians and even Senator John McCain have come to Kiev to stump for European integration, and McCain had dinner with Svoboda’s head and the two other leaders of the opposition coalition.) Instead, President Yanukovich, who is from the generally Russian-speaking eastern half of the country, later signed an agreement with Putin that will see Russia buy $15 billion in Ukrainian government bonds and discount the gas it delivers to Ukraine by a third.

    The protests come amid a resurgence of nationalist sentiment in Ukraine that can be compared to a Europe-wide rise of nationalist parties. Svoboda, which was originally known by the Nazi-esque moniker “Social-National Party of Ukraine” and whose leader Oleh Tyahnybok is infamous for a 2004 speech in which he argued that a “Moscow-Jewish mafia” was ruling Ukraine, entered parliament for the first time in 2012 by winning 10.44 percent of the popular vote. Before this, the party had come to dominate regional parliaments in three provinces in the largely Ukrainian-speaking west of the country. In last year’s elections, Svoboda notably finished second in cosmopolitan, Russian-speaking Kiev.

    “In the 2010 and 2012 elections, it became visible that a big part of the youth are moving toward nationalism,” said Georgy Kasyanov, a researcher at the Institute for the Development of Education. He noted that one factor is youth unemployment, which is rising in Ukraine as in the rest of Europe.

    Despite its leading role at Euromaidan, Svoboda’s political program is at complete odds with the “European values” for which the protestors at Euromaidan are ostensibly agitating. (Admittedly, some of the party’s populist economic program is in fact relatively progressive.) During its time in parliament, the party was best known for introducing a bill to ban abortions, but in its program, it also promises to abolish gun control, “ban the communist ideology,” criminalize “Ukrainophobia,” ban the adoption of Ukrainian children by foreigners and reinstate a “nationality” graph on passports and birth certificates.

    On New Year’s Day, Svoboda led about 15,000 people in a torchlight march in honor of Stepan Bandera, the controversial leader of the wartime Ukrainian Insurgent Army, which fought the Soviets for an independent Ukrainian state but also ethnically cleansed tens of thousands of Polish civilians. (Right Sector also announced its own march that day in honor of Bandera.) Some historians have accused the Ukrainian Insurgent Army of cooperating in the massacres of thousands of Ukrainian Jews during the Nazi occupation, and Tyahnybok even commended the rebels in 2004 for fighting “Russians, Germans, Jewry and other crap.” The Simon Wiesenthal Center put Svoboda at number five on its 2012 list of top anti-semitic slurs, citing Tyahnybok’s “Moscow-Jewish mafia” comment and Miroshnychenko calling Ukrainian-born actress Mila Kunis a “dirty Jewess.”

    How can the slogan “Ukraine above all!” sound on Independence Square alongside the slogan “Ukraine in the EU!”, Ukrainian progressive activist Olga Papash asked in a recent piece on the politics and culture website Korydor. Any ideology has a certain point that integrates dissimilar ideas into a single system, Papash argued.

    “I think the attachment point, that shared place of rightist ideology in Ukraine today, that ‘ideal’ that removes the contradiction between different calls to action and messages, is the fear of (dislike of, reluctance toward) entering into any sort of ‘civilized’ relationship with Russia,” Papash wrote.

    Even Yury Noyevy, a member of Svoboda’s political council, admitted that the party is only pro-EU because it is anti-Russia.

    “The participation of Ukrainian nationalism and Svoboda in the process of EU integration is a means to break our ties with Russia,” Noyevy said.

    For now, Svoboda and other far-right movements like Right Sector are focusing on the protest-wide demands for civic freedoms government accountability rather than overtly nationalist agendas. Svoboda enjoys a reputation as a party of action, responsive to citizens’ problems. Noyevy cut an interview with The Nation short to help local residents who came with a complaint that a developer was tearing down a fence without permission.

    “There are people who don’t support Svoboda because of some of their slogans, but they know it’s the most active political party and go to them for help,” said Svoboda volunteer Kateryna Kruk. “Only Svoboda is helping against land seizures in Kiev.”

    Kruk freely admitted she doesn’t support Svoboda’s nationalist platform and “would be very concerned” if the party won a majority in parliament. Nonetheless, she volunteers for Svoboda because she likes “the idea of a party that is Ukrainian-focused” and thinks it is the most active of the opposition parties.

    This kind of reserved support of Svoboda as the party most likely to enact change despite its intolerant rhetoric was echoed by several protestors on Independence Square. Katerina, a doctor who also declined to give her last name for fear of repercussions at work, said although she disagrees with Svoboda’s nationalist program, she supports them “for now” for their strong anti-oligarch stance.

    “They’re not afraid to make demands,” she said.

    Alexander, who came to Independence Square from a village outside Kiev, said that the nationalists have been essential to the growth of Euromaidan.
    “Without nationalists, there wouldn’t be any protest,” Alexander said, declining to provide his last name.

    Ivan Kozar, a Cossack from Khmelnitsky who came with his brethren to provide security on Independence Square, said Svoboda “is the one political party that has a well-formed concept.”

    “Sure there are those who say, ‘Beat Moskali!’” he said, referencing the derogatory term for Muscovites sometimes heard on the square, “but they are few in number.”

    Nonetheless, some left-wing parties, including the Marxist party Borotba, don’t support the protests because they worry about the growing power the demonstrations have given to Svoboda. Their concern alludes to a darker side to patriotic hymns and sayings.

    The fact that nationalist slogans “became mainstream of course points to the danger of providing greater legitimacy to groups promoting positions that yesterday were really marginal, and this danger is still in place,” Butkevich of No Borders said.

    But rhetoric can quickly escalate into action, and already protestors with apparent nationalist sentiments have taken part in a spate of attacks on left-wing activists on Independence Square. On November 27, activists with signs reading “Freedom, Equality, Sisterhood,” “Europe is sex education,” “Europe is equality” and “Organize trade union instead of praying for Europe” said they were assaulted by “far-right thugs” calling themselves “organizers of the protest,” who tore the banners. On November 28, several men with covered faces pepper-sprayed a group of feminists and tore a banner reading “Europe means paternity leaves.”

    On December 4, labor organizer Denis Levin and his two brothers were beaten by a small crowd shouting “Glory to Ukraine” and “Death to Enemies” after a nationalist writer on the stage pointed them out as “provocateurs” with red flags, Levin told The Nation. Shortly before and after the attack, Miroshnychenko, a member of Svoboda’s political council, came by the tent where the brothers were agitating for the Confederation of Free Labor Unions, Levin added. The nose of one brother was broken, and Denis suffered from the irritative gas used against the trio.

    Men wearing armbands with the wolfsangel nationalist symbol also started the violent clashes on nearby Bankova Street on December 1 that led to riot police counter-attacking and beating journalists, photos from the incident show, although it’s not clear in whose interests they were acting.

    “People are not thinking about how an association with the EU will actually affect us, they’re still finding simple answers for complicated questions. They are blaming the Moskali for everything,” Levin said.

    “The main mistake of Maidan is that the parties came, and social questions were replaced by nationalist ones,” he added. “Maidan didn’t grow into Occupy [Wall Street], it became reactive.”

    However, Noyevy denied Svoboda activists had beaten the Levin brothers.

    “I know this situation, unfortunately Svoboda wasn’t involved in this action,” he said. “Thank god everything turned out okay. Those provocateurs are mainly extremists, they have an extremist liberal ideology and are using the funding of western organizations.”

    “Anyone who says he’s a communist is a provocateur,” he added. “We will be against any left-wing party.”

    Former Svoboda member Ivan Ponomarenko, an architect from Kiev, said the party is ineffective politically and will not be able to enact its measures, as its leadership is only “pretending” to be extreme nationalists for their own political and economic gain.

    “They are playing at Klu Klux Klan,” Ponomarenko said.

    But political analyst Kost Bondarenko, commenting on Svoboda’s recent torch-lit march in Radio Free Europe/Radio Svoboda’s Russian service, said that as the dominant far-right political party, Svoboda could benefit politically from any continuation of radical actions at Euromaidan.

    “Any radicalization on the right, and Maidan is right-wing in its essence and ideology, will lead to a growth in the ratings … of this political force,” Bondarenko said. “On the other hand, such a turn of events is desirable to the authorities, I think, since Viktor Yanukovich understands that he will win if Oleh Tyahnybok makes it to a second round” in the presidential election in 2015.

    For his part, a bright-eyed Noyevy promised to implement a radical nationalist platform.

    ———-

    “The Ukrainian Nationalism at the Heart of ‘Euromaidan’” by Alec Luhn; The Nation; 01/21/2014

    “For now, Svoboda and other far-right movements like Right Sector are focusing on the protest-wide demands for civic freedoms government accountability rather than overtly nationalist agendas. Svoboda enjoys a reputation as a party of action, responsive to citizens’ problems. Noyevy cut an interview with The Nation short to help local residents who came with a complaint that a developer was tearing down a fence without permission.”

    That was a key theme in that early stage of the Maidan protests: the far right groups deemphasized their far right agenda and portrayed themselves as civic-minded groups there to fix problems for average people. And here we find Kateryna Kruk playing along, portraying herself as a Svoboda volunteer who doesn’t support their nationalist platform but still sees the party as the party to support at that moment because it’s the party most likely to ‘enact change’ and other ‘populist’ reasons. In other words, Kruk was running rhetorical cover for neo-Nazis:


    “There are people who don’t support Svoboda because of some of their slogans, but they know it’s the most active political party and go to them for help,” said Svoboda volunteer Kateryna Kruk. “Only Svoboda is helping against land seizures in Kiev.”

    Kruk freely admitted she doesn’t support Svoboda’s nationalist platform and “would be very concerned” if the party won a majority in parliament. Nonetheless, she volunteers for Svoboda because she likes “the idea of a party that is Ukrainian-focused” and thinks it is the most active of the opposition parties.

    This kind of reserved support of Svoboda as the party most likely to enact change despite its intolerant rhetoric was echoed by several protestors on Independence Square. Katerina, a doctor who also declined to give her last name for fear of repercussions at work, said although she disagrees with Svoboda’s nationalist program, she supports them “for now” for their strong anti-oligarch stance.

    “They’re not afraid to make demands,” she said.

    And that’s the person Facebook just selected as head of Public Policy for Ukraine. An award-winning communications expert with a history of using her communications expertise to encourage average Ukrainians to support the far right. She sounds like a perfect fit for the job.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | June 4, 2019, 1:20 pm

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