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

For The Record  

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

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash dri­ve that can be obtained HERE. The new dri­ve is a 32-giga­byte dri­ve that is cur­rent as of the pro­grams and arti­cles post­ed by the fall of 2017. The new dri­ve (avail­able for a tax-deductible con­tri­bu­tion of $65.00 or more.)

WFMU-FM is pod­cast­ing For The Record–You can sub­scribe to the pod­cast HERE.

You can sub­scribe to e‑mail alerts from Spitfirelist.com HERE.

You can sub­scribe to RSS feed from Spitfirelist.com HERE.

Please con­sid­er sup­port­ing THE WORK DAVE EMORY DOES.

Lis­ten: MP3  This pro­gram was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment.

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 the Azad Hind Fauj, 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

Post a comment