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

For The Record  

FTR#‘s 1228 & 1229: How Many Lies Before You Belong to The Lie?, Parts 1 and 2

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“Polit­i­cal language…is designed to make lies sound truth­ful and mur­der respectable, and to give an appear­ance of solid­i­ty to pure wind.”

— George Orwell, 1946

­­­FTR#1228 This pro­gram was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment.

FTR#1229 This pro­gram was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment.

Mod­ern Times: Cel­e­bra­tion of the 75th Anniver­sary of the 14th Waf­fen SS Divi­sion in Lviv, Ukraine in sum­mer of 2018. THIS is the her­itage of the OUN/B.

Intro­duc­tion: In Decem­ber of 2021, the U.N. vot­ed 130–2 on a motion to con­demn cel­e­bra­tions of Nazism. Only the U.S. and Ukraine vot­ed against it. The EU and UK abstained.

” . . . . ‘By its terms, the Assem­bly expressed deep con­cern about the glo­ri­fi­ca­tion of the Nazi move­ment, neo-Nazism and for­mer mem­bers of the Waf­fen SS orga­ni­za­tion, includ­ing by erect­ing mon­u­ments and memo­ri­als, hold­ing pub­lic demon­stra­tions in the name of the glo­ri­fi­ca­tion of the Nazi past, the Nazi move­ment and neo-Nazism, and declar­ing or attempt­ing to declare such mem­bers and those who fought against the anti-Hitler coali­tion, col­lab­o­rat­ed with the Nazi move­ment and com­mit­ted war crimes and crimes against human­i­ty ‘par­tic­i­pants in nation­al lib­er­a­tion move­ments’. . . .”

Look at the pic­ture at right:

That embod­ies the polit­i­cal dynam­ic under­ly­ing the out­break of war in Ukraine.

The first two of a num­ber of pro­grams that will deal with the out­break of war in Ukraine, these pro­grams begin the detailed doc­u­men­ta­tion of the ascent of the OUN/B suc­ces­sor groups to posi­tions of pow­er in the nation­al secu­ri­ty, police, edu­ca­tion­al and polit­i­cal estab­lish­ments in Ukraine.

(Among our pre­vi­ous pro­grams about the OUN/B are FTR#‘s 777, 778 [which are col­la­tions of rough­ly twen­ty years of pre­vi­ous pro­grams on the orga­ni­za­tion] and FTR#‘s 876, 1224 which high­light the group’s involve­ment with the JFK assas­si­na­tion.)

These pro­gram will high­light and recap the exhaus­tive doc­u­men­ta­tion pre­sent­ed over the rough­ly eight-year peri­od since the Maid­an coup, doc­u­ment­ing the OUN/B Nazi dom­i­nance in Ukraine.

Note that Putin’s stat­ed war aim: “De-Naz­i­fi­ca­tion” is not only sub­stan­tive­ly rel­e­vant, but just.

Mr. Emory doubts that the war will go well. The fight­ing may well have been sparked by a loom­ing attempt by the Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment to seize the break­away provinces by force, sup­port­ed by U.S. and oth­er West­ern mil­i­tary sup­ply and clan­des­tine spe­cial oper­a­tions troops–the only cir­cum­stance that Mr. Emory felt would pre­cip­i­tate Russ­ian inter­ven­tion.

The his­tor­i­cal and insti­tu­tion­al evo­lu­tion of the fas­cist OUN/B suc­ces­sor groups in con­trol of Ukraine is excerpt­ed in sec­tions of a Covert Action Mag­a­zine arti­cle:

Some of the most impor­tant U.S. think tanks and asso­ci­at­ed mil­i­tary indi­vid­u­als and insti­tu­tions embody this con­ti­nu­ity: ” . . . . The con­ti­nu­ity of insti­tu­tion­al and indi­vid­ual tra­jec­to­ries from Sec­ond World War col­lab­o­ra­tionists to Cold War-era anti-com­mu­nist orga­ni­za­tions to con­tem­po­rary con­ser­v­a­tive U.S. think tanks is sig­nif­i­cant for the ide­o­log­i­cal under­pin­nings of today’s Inter­mar­i­um revival. . . .”

We present key excerpts of the paper to under­score dom­i­nant fea­tures of this evo­lu­tion­ary con­ti­nu­ity:

  1. A key play­er in the events that brought the OUN suc­ces­sor orga­ni­za­tions to pow­er in Ukraine has been the Atlantic Coun­cil. It receives back­ing from NATO, the State Depart­ment, Lithua­nia and Ukrain­ian Oli­garch Vik­tor Pinchuk. The think tank also receives major fund­ing from the Ukrain­ian World Con­gress, which evolved from the OUN. Read an Atlantic Coun­cil paper extolling the Nazi Azov Bat­tal­ion HERE . . . . In 1967, the World Con­gress of Free Ukraini­ans was found­ed in New York City by sup­port­ers of Andriy Mel­nyk. [The head of the OUN‑M, also allied with Nazi Germany.–D.E.] It was renamed the Ukrain­ian World Con­gress in 1993. In 2003, the Ukrain­ian World Con­gress was rec­og­nized by the Unit­ed Nations Eco­nom­ic and Social Coun­cil as an NGO with spe­cial con­sul­ta­tive sta­tus. It now appears as a spon­sor of the Atlantic Coun­cil . . . . The con­ti­nu­ity of insti­tu­tion­al and indi­vid­ual tra­jec­to­ries from Sec­ond World War col­lab­o­ra­tionists to Cold War-era anti-com­mu­nist orga­ni­za­tions to con­tem­po­rary con­ser­v­a­tive U.S. think tanks is sig­nif­i­cant for the ide­o­log­i­cal under­pin­nings of today’s Inter­mar­i­um revival. . . .”
  2. Ukrain­ian pro­to-fas­cist forces were at the core of Josef Pil­sud­ski’s Pol­ish-led Inter­mar­i­um and over­lap­ping Promethean orga­ni­za­tions. Those forces coa­lesced into the OUN. ” . . . . Accord­ing to the British schol­ar and jour­nal­ist Stephen Dor­ril, the Promethean League served as an anti-com­mu­nist umbrel­la orga­ni­za­tion for anti-Sovi­et exiles dis­placed after the Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment of Simon Petlu­ra (1879–1926) gave up the fight against the Sovi­ets in 1922.[12]  . . . . as Dor­ril affirms, ‘the real lead­er­ship and latent pow­er with­in the Promethean League emanat­ed from the Petlu­ra-dom­i­nat­ed Ukrain­ian Demo­c­ra­t­ic Repub­lic in exile and its Pol­ish spon­sors. The Poles ben­e­fit­ed direct­ly from this arrange­ment, as Promethean mil­i­tary assets were absorbed into the Pol­ish army, with Ukrain­ian, Geor­gian and Armen­ian con­tract offi­cers not uncom­mon in the ranks.’[13] The alliance between Pił­sud­s­ki and Petlu­ra became very unpop­u­lar among many West­ern Ukraini­ans, as it result­ed in Pol­ish dom­i­na­tion of their lands. This oppo­si­tion joined the insur­gent Ukrain­ian Mil­i­tary Orga­ni­za­tion (Ukrain­s­ka viisko­va orh­a­nizat­si­ia, UVO—founded 1920), which lat­er trans­formed into the Orga­ni­za­tion of Ukrain­ian Nation­al­ists (Orh­a­nizat­si­ia ukrain­skykh nat­sion­al­is­tiv, OUN). . . .”
  3. Accord­ing to for­mer Army intel­li­gence offi­cer William Gowen (a source used and trust­ed by John Lof­tus and Mark Aarons) the Inter­mar­i­um and Promethean net­work assets were used by Third Reich intel­li­gence dur­ing World War II. ” . . .  . Based on Gowen’s reports, such authors as Christo­pher Simp­son, Stephen Dor­ril, Mark Aarons, and John Lof­tus have sug­gest­ed that the net­works of the Promethean League and the Inter­mar­i­um were uti­lized by Ger­man intel­li­gence. . . .”
  4. Not sur­pris­ing­ly, the Intermarium/Promethean milieu appears to have been cen­tral­ly involved in the Nazi escape net­works, the Vat­i­can-assist­ed “Rat­lines,” in par­tic­u­lar. ” . . . . Amer­i­can intel­li­gence began to take notice of the Inter­mar­i­um net­work in August 1946[42] in the frame­work of Oper­a­tion Cir­cle, a Coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence Corps (CIC) project the orig­i­nal goal of which was to deter­mine how net­works inside the Vat­i­can had spir­it­ed away so many Nazi war crim­i­nals and col­lab­o­ra­tors, most­ly to South Amer­i­ca.[43] Among the group of CIC offi­cers involved in the oper­a­tion was Levy’s source William Gowen. Then a young offi­cer based in Rome, Gowen sus­pect­ed the Inter­mar­i­um net­work to be behind Nazi war crim­i­nals and col­lab­o­ra­tors’ exten­sive escape routes from Europe. . . .”
  5. It comes as no sur­prise, as well, that U.S. intel­li­gence absorbed the Intermarium/Promethean  net­works after the war. ” . . . . Accord­ing to Aarons and Lof­tus, although he had ini­tial­ly been thor­ough­ly opposed to this course of action, by ‘ear­ly July 1947, Gowen was strong­ly advo­cat­ing that Amer­i­can intel­li­gence should take over Inter­mar­i­um; before long, the CIC offi­cer was no longer hunt­ing for Nazis, but recruit­ing them.’[49] . . . .”
  6. One of the main com­po­nents of  the “Inter­mar­i­um con­ti­nu­ity” is the ABN—the Anti-Bol­she­vik Bloc of Nations. The OUN and asso­ci­at­ed ele­ments con­sti­tute the most impor­tant ele­ment of the ABN. ” . . . . a vast num­ber of anti-com­mu­nist orga­ni­za­tions were formed in the imme­di­ate post-war peri­od and sup­port­ed by the US.[57] They con­sti­tute one of the main com­po­nents of the Inter­mar­i­um ‘genealog­i­cal tree,’ in the sense that they revived the mem­o­ry of Piłsudski’s attempts to uni­fy Cen­tral and East­ern Europe against Sovi­et Rus­sia and gave them new life, but blend­ed this mem­o­ry with far-right tones inspired by col­lab­o­ra­tion with Nazi Ger­many.[58] The most impor­tant of the Euro­pean anti-com­mu­nist orga­ni­za­tions was the Anti-Bol­she­vik Bloc of Nations (ABN). . . . Because fas­cist move­ments were, in the 1930s, the first to orga­nize them­selves against the Sovi­et Union, the ABN recruit­ed mas­sive­ly among their ranks and served as an umbrel­la for many for­mer col­lab­o­ra­tionist para­mil­i­tary orga­ni­za­tions in exile, amongst them the Orga­ni­za­tion of Ukrain­ian Nationalists—Bandera (OUN‑B), the Croa­t­ian Ustaše, the Roman­ian Iron Guard, and the Slo­va­kian Hlin­ka Guard.[59] It thus con­tributed to guar­an­tee­ing the sur­vival of their lega­cies at least until the end of the Cold War. Accord­ing to the lib­er­al Insti­tute for Pol­i­cy Stud­ies think tank, cre­at­ed by two for­mer aides to Kennedy advi­sors, the ABN was the ‘largest and most impor­tant umbrel­la for for­mer Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors in the world.’ . . . .”
  7. In addi­tion to the OUN/Ukrainian fas­cist milieu, the Croa­t­ian Ustashe fas­cists became a dom­i­nant ele­ment. This is fun­da­men­tal to the Azov Bat­tal­ion’s Inter­mar­i­um project, dis­cussed in FTR #‘s 1096 and 1097. ” . . . . The most active groups with­in the ABN became the Ukrain­ian and Croa­t­ian orga­ni­za­tions, par­tic­u­lar­ly the Ukrain­ian OUN.[61] The OUN, under the lead­er­ship of Andriy Mel­nyk (1890–1964), col­lab­o­rat­ed with the Nazi occu­piers from the latter’s inva­sion of Poland in Sep­tem­ber 1939. The Gestapo trained Myko­la Lebed and the adher­ents of Melnyk’s younger com­peti­tor, Stepan Ban­dera (1909–1959), in sab­o­tage, guer­ril­la war­fare, and assas­si­na­tions. The OUN’s 1941 split into the so-called OUN‑B, fol­low­ing Stepan Ban­dera, and OUN‑M, fol­low­ing Andriy Mel­nyk,[62] did not keep both fac­tions from con­tin­u­ing to col­lab­o­rate with the Ger­mans. . . .”
  8. For­mer SS and Abwehr offi­cer Theodor Oberlaender–the polit­i­cal offi­cer for the UPA and the Nachti­gall Bat­tal­ion dur­ing the Lviv Pogrom of June 1941–was vital to the con­ti­nu­ity of the OUN and UPA and thus, the Inter­mar­i­um” . . . .While in Sovi­et Ukraine the UPA kept on fight­ing against Moscow until the ear­ly 1950s, their capac­i­ties were exhaust­ed. . . . As Fed­er­al Min­is­ter for Dis­placed Per­sons, Refugees, and the War-Dam­aged dur­ing the Ade­nauer gov­ern­ment, Ober­län­der played a cru­cial role in the rise of the ABN and allowed Ukrain­ian col­lab­o­ra­tionists to take the lead in it. Yaroslav Stet­sko (1912–1986), who presided over the Ukrain­ian col­lab­o­ra­tionist gov­ern­ment in Lviv from as ear­ly as 30 June 1941, led the ABN from its cre­ation in 1946 until his death in 1986. . . .”
  9. The Army’s Counter Intel­li­gence Corps (CIC) con­firmed the pri­ma­cy of the OUN/B with­in the ABN. Note the con­ti­nu­ity of OUN and UPA gueril­la war­fare in Ukraine, begun under third Reich aus­pices and enjoy­ing post World War II sup­port from CIA, and OPC. This has been cov­ered in AFA #1 and FTR #777.) : ” . . . . CIC con­firmed that by 1948 both the ‘Inter­mar­i­um’ and the UPA (Ukrain­ian par­ti­san com­mand) report­ed to the ABN pres­i­dent, Yaroslav Stet­sko. The UPA in turn had con­sol­i­dat­ed all the anti-Sovi­et par­ti­sans under its umbrel­la. Yaroslav Stet­sko was also Sec­re­tary of OUN/B and sec­ond in com­mand to Ban­dera, who had the largest remain­ing par­ti­san group behind Sovi­et lines under his direct com­mand. Thus, OUN/B had achieved the lead­er­ship role among the anti-Com­mu­nist exiles and was ascen­dant by 1950 . . . .”
  10. Con­tem­po­rary Ukraine is the focal point of the rein­car­nat­ed Inter­mar­i­um con­cept. ” . . . . The most recent rein­car­na­tion of the Inter­mar­i­um has tak­en form in Ukraine, espe­cial­ly among the Ukrain­ian far right, which has re-appro­pri­at­ed the con­cept by cap­i­tal­iz­ing on the sol­id ide­o­log­i­cal and per­son­al con­ti­nu­ity between actors of the Ukrain­ian far right in the inter­war and Cold War peri­ods and their heirs today. . . .”
  11. The con­ti­nu­ity of the Inter­mar­i­um con­cept as man­i­fest­ed in con­tem­po­rary Ukraine is epit­o­mized by the role of Yarosla­va Stet­sko (Yaroslav’s wid­ow and suc­ces­sor as a deci­sive ABN and OUN leader). Note the net­work­ing between her Con­gress of Ukrain­ian Nation­al­ists and Svo­bo­da. “. . . . This con­ti­nu­ity is exem­pli­fied by the wife of long-time ABN leader Yaroslav Stet­sko, Yarosla­va Stet­sko (1920–2003), a promi­nent fig­ure in the Ukrain­ian post-Sec­ond World War émi­gré com­mu­ni­ty who became direct­ly involved in post-Sovi­et Ukrain­ian pol­i­tics. Hav­ing joined the OUN at the age of 18, she became an indis­pens­able sup­port­er of the ABN after the war . . . . In July 1991, she returned to Ukraine, and in the fol­low­ing year formed the Con­gress of Ukrain­ian Nation­al­ists (CUN), a new polit­i­cal par­ty estab­lished on the basis of the OUN, pre­sid­ing over both.[129] Although the CUN nev­er achieved high elec­tion results, it coop­er­at­ed with the Social-Nation­al Par­ty of Ukraine (SNPU), which lat­er changed its name to Svo­bo­da, the far-right Ukrain­ian par­ty that con­tin­ues to exist. . . .”
  12. Yarosla­va Stet­sko’s CUN was co-found­ed by her hus­band’s for­mer sec­re­tary in the 1980s, Roman Svarych. Min­is­ter of Jus­tice in the Vik­tor Yuschenko gov­ern­ment (as well as both Tim­o­shenko gov­ern­ments), Svarych became the spokesman and a major recruiter for the Azov Bat­tal­ion. ” . . . . The co-founder of the CUN and for­mer­ly Yaroslav Stetsko’s pri­vate sec­re­tary, the U.S.-born Roman Zvarych (1953), rep­re­sents a younger gen­er­a­tion of the Ukrain­ian émi­gré com­mu­ni­ty active dur­ing the Cold War and a direct link from the ABN to the Azov Bat­tal­ion. . . . Zvarych par­tic­i­pat­ed in the activ­i­ties of the Anti-Bol­she­vik Bloc of Nations in the 1980s. . . . In Feb­ru­ary 2005, after Vik­tor Yushchenko’s elec­tion, Zvarych was appoint­ed Min­is­ter of Jus­tice. . . . Accord­ing to Andriy Bilet­sky, the first com­man­der of the Azov bat­tal­ion, a civ­il para­mil­i­tary unit cre­at­ed in the wake of the Euro­maid­an, Zvarych was head of the head­quar­ters of the Azov Cen­tral Com­mit­tee in 2015 and sup­port­ed the Azov bat­tal­ion with ‘vol­un­teers’ and polit­i­cal advice through his Zvarych Foun­da­tion. . . .”
  13. The “Inter­mar­i­um Con­ti­nu­ity” is inex­tri­ca­ble with the his­tor­i­cal revi­sion­ism about the roles of the OUN and UPA in World War II. That revi­sion­ism is insti­tion­al­ized in the Insti­tute of Nation­al Remem­brance. ” . . . .The rein­tro­duc­tion of the Inter­mar­i­um notion in Ukraine is close­ly con­nect­ed to the broad reha­bil­i­ta­tion of the OUN and UPA, as well as of their main hero, Stepan Ban­dera. . . . Dur­ing his pres­i­den­cy (2005–2010), and par­tic­u­lar­ly through the cre­ation of the Insti­tute for Nation­al Remem­brance,  Vik­tor Yushchenko built the image of Ban­dera as a sim­ple Ukrain­ian nation­al­ist fight­ing for his country’s inde­pen­dence . . . .”
  14. As dis­cussed in numer­ous pro­grams, anoth­er key ele­ment in the “Inter­mar­i­um Con­ti­nu­ity” is Katery­na Chu­machenko, an OUN oper­a­tive who served in the State Depart­ment and Ronald Rea­gan’s admin­is­tra­tion. She mar­ried Vik­tor Yuschenko. ” . . . . It is not unlike­ly Yushchenko’s readi­ness dur­ing his pres­i­den­cy (2005–2010) to open up to right-wing ten­den­cies of the Ukrain­ian exile leads back to his wife, who had con­nec­tions to the ABN. Katery­na Chu­machenko [Yushchenko], born 1961 in Chica­go, was socialised there in the Ukrain­ian exile youth organ­i­sa­tion SUM (Spilka Ukra­jin­sko­ji Molo­di, Ukrain­ian Youth Organ­i­sa­tion) in the spir­it of the OUN. Via the lob­by asso­ci­a­tion Ukrain­ian Con­gress Com­mit­tee of Amer­i­ca (UCCA) she obtained a post as  ‘spe­cial assis­tant’ in the U.S. State Depart­ment in 1986, and was from 1988 to 1989 employed by the Office of Pub­lic Liai­son in the White House. . . .”
  15. Embody­ing the “Inter­mar­i­um Con­ti­nu­ity” are the lus­tra­tion laws, which make it a crim­i­nal offence to tell the truth about the OUN and UPA’s roles in World War II. Note Volodymyr Via­tro­vy­ch’s posi­tion as min­is­ter of edu­ca­tion. ” . . . . This reha­bil­i­ta­tion trend accel­er­at­ed after the Euro­Maid­an. In 2015, just before the sev­en­ti­eth anniver­sary of Vic­to­ry Day, Volodymyr Via­tro­vych, min­is­ter of edu­ca­tion and long-time direc­tor of the Insti­tute for the Study of the Lib­er­a­tion Move­ment, an orga­ni­za­tion found­ed to pro­mote the hero­ic nar­ra­tive of the OUN–UPA, called on the par­lia­ment to vote for a set of four laws that cod­i­fied the new, post-Maid­an his­to­ri­og­ra­phy. Two of them are par­tic­u­lar­ly influ­en­tial in the ongo­ing mem­o­ry war with Rus­sia. One decrees that OUN and UPA mem­bers are to be con­sid­ered ‘fight­ers for Ukrain­ian inde­pen­dence in the twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry,’ mak­ing pub­lic denial of this unlaw­ful. . . .”
  16. As dis­cussed dis­cussed in FTR #‘s 1096 and 1097, the Azov Bat­tal­ion is in the lead­er­ship of the revival of the Inter­mar­i­um con­cept.” . . . . In this con­text of reha­bil­i­ta­tion of inter­war heroes, ten­sions with Rus­sia, and dis­il­lu­sion with Europe over its per­ceived lack of sup­port against Moscow, the geopo­lit­i­cal con­cept of Inter­mar­i­um could only pros­per. It has found its most active pro­mot­ers on the far right of the polit­i­cal spec­trum, among the lead­er­ship of the Azov Bat­tal­ion. . . .”
  17. Azov’s Inter­mar­i­um Sup­port Group has held three net­work­ing con­fer­ences to date, bring­ing togeth­er key fig­ures of what are euphem­ized as “nation­al­ist” orga­ni­za­tions. In addi­tion to focus­ing on the devel­op­ment of what are euphem­ized as “nation­al­ist” youth orga­ni­za­tions, the con­fer­ence is stress­ing mil­i­tary orga­ni­za­tion and pre­pared­ness: ” . . . . In 2016, Bilet­sky cre­at­ed the Inter­mar­i­um Sup­port Group (ISG),[152] intro­duc­ing the con­cept to poten­tial com­rades-in-arms from the Baltic-Black Sea region.[153] The first day of the found­ing con­fer­ence was reserved for lec­tures and dis­cus­sions by senior rep­re­sen­ta­tives of var­i­ous sym­pa­thet­ic orga­ni­za­tions, the sec­ond day to ‘the lead­ers of youth branch­es of polit­i­cal par­ties and nation­al­ist move­ments of the Baltic-Black Sea area.’ . . . . It also includ­ed ‘mil­i­tary attach­es of diplo­mat­ic mis­sions from the key coun­tries in the region (Poland, Hun­gary, Roma­nia and Lithua­nia). . . .”
  18. Azov’s third ISG con­fer­ence con­tin­ued to advance the mil­i­tary net­work­ing char­ac­ter­is­tics of the ear­li­er gath­er­ings, involv­ing mil­i­tary offi­cials from East­ern Euro­pean coun­tries and includ­ing the neces­si­ty of giv­ing mil­i­tary train­ing to what are euphem­ized as “nation­al­ist” youth orga­ni­za­tions. Note the con­tin­ued man­i­fes­ta­tion in the “new” Croa­t­ia of Ustachi polit­i­cal cul­ture. ” . . . . On Octo­ber 13, 2018, the ISG orga­nized its third con­gress. Besides the Ukrain­ian hosts, a large share of the for­eign speak­ers from Poland, Lithua­nia, and Croa­t­ia had a (para-)military back­ground, among them advi­sor to the Pol­ish Defence Min­is­ter Jerzy Tar­gal­s­ki and retired Brigadier Gen­er­al of the Croa­t­ian Armed Forces Bruno Zor­i­ca.[156] Among the talk­ing points of Pol­ish mil­i­tary edu­ca­tor Damien Duda were ‘meth­ods of the prepa­ra­tion of a mil­i­tary reserve in youth orga­ni­za­tions” and the “impor­tance of para­mil­i­tary struc­tures with­in the frame­work of the defence com­plex of a mod­ern state.’ . . . .”

Pro­gram High­lights Include: The appoint­ment of for­mer Pravy Sek­tor chief Dymytro Yarosh as advi­sor to the Com­man­der-in-Chief of the Ukrain­ian Armed Forces; Yarosh’s affil­i­a­tion with the ide­ol­o­gy of OUN/B head Stephan Ban­dera; the evo­lu­tion of Pravy Sektor–a polit­i­cal front for the final mil­i­tary incar­na­tion of the UPA, the mil­i­tary branch of the OUN/B; The for­ma­tion of the Were­wolf gueril­la groups by Nazi Gen­er­al Rein­hard Gehlen, includ­ing ele­ments of UPA; the bat­tle cry of the Were­wolves, broad­cast by Radio Were­wolf: “Rather Dead Than Red,” a phrase that lived long after; The gen­e­sis of the term “Iron Cur­tain,” mint­ed by Nazi finance min­is­ter Lutz Schw­erin von Krosigk; the appar­ent gen­e­sis of the French OAS as part of the Were­wolf oper­a­tion; The con­tin­u­a­tion of UPA gueril­la activ­i­ty by units fight­ing with their Ger­man SS offi­cers in Ukraine until 1952; The insti­tu­tion­al­iza­tion of the civil­ian mili­tia of Azov Bat­tal­ion (Nation­al Druzhy­na Mili­tia) and the C14 Mili­tia of the Nazi Svo­bo­da group as aux­il­iary police forces, enjoy­ing law-enforce­ment pow­ers in 21 Ukrain­ian cities, includ­ing Kiev; the launch­ing of anti-Roma pogroms by Nation­al Dryzhy­na and C14 groups, with the appar­ent con­nivance of the police author­i­ties; The career of for­mer Azov Bat­tal­ion offi­cer  Vadim Troy­an, who became the nation­al police chief in Ukraine and then a top aide to the Inte­ri­or Min­is­ter of Ukraine; The adop­tion by the Ukrain­ian mil­i­tary and police of the “Glo­ry to Ukraine! Glo­ry to The Heroes!” salute of the OUN/B and UPA in World War II; The nam­ing of streets in Ukraine for Nazi war crim­i­nals; The bru­tal anti-Pol­ish mas­sacres by UPA in the Ukraine-Pol­ish War, a “sub-war” of WWII; Sup­pres­sion of free­dom of speech and press in Ukraine; The out­law­ing of accu­rate his­tor­i­cal doc­u­men­ta­tion of the Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors and eth­nic cleans­ing of the OUN/B and UPA.

1a. A reveal­ing vote at the UN shone a rare spot­light on the pro-fas­cist and Nazi strate­gic agen­da that the US and much of the rest of the West has pur­sued since before the guns of World War II fell silent.

Exem­pli­fy­ing this dynam­ic are FTR#‘s 11461147, 1148, 11491150.

With the EU and UK abstain­ing from the vote, the US and Ukraine were the only nations vot­ing against the res­o­lu­tion con­demn­ing the glo­ri­fi­ca­tion of Nazism. 

” . . . . ‘By its terms, the Assem­bly expressed deep con­cern about the glo­ri­fi­ca­tion of the Nazi move­ment, neo-Nazism and for­mer mem­bers of the Waf­fen SS orga­ni­za­tion, includ­ing by erect­ing mon­u­ments and memo­ri­als, hold­ing pub­lic demon­stra­tions in the name of the glo­ri­fi­ca­tion of the Nazi past, the Nazi move­ment and neo-Nazism, and declar­ing or attempt­ing to declare such mem­bers and those who fought against the anti-Hitler coali­tion, col­lab­o­rat­ed with the Nazi move­ment and com­mit­ted war crimes and crimes against human­i­ty ‘par­tic­i­pants in nation­al lib­er­a­tion move­ments’. . . .”

We have exhaus­tive­ly doc­u­ment­ed the renais­sance enjoyed in Ukraine post-Maid­an by the forces embod­ied in, and aligned with, the OUN/B.

Pro­fes­sor Ivan Katchanovs­ki has doc­u­ment­ed the fact that the shots that felled police and pro­test­ers alike at the Maid­an coup came from build­ings occu­pied by mem­bers of Svo­bo­da, whose leader is seen at right.

“US and Ukraine at UN Refuse to Con­demn Nazism” by Craig Mur­ray; Con­sor­tium News; 12/23/2021.

The Ukrain­ian vote against the U.N. res­o­lu­tion against Nazism was moti­vat­ed by sym­pa­thy for the ide­ol­o­gy of his­toric, geno­ci­dal active Nazis. It is as sim­ple as that, writes Craig Mur­ray.

This is ver­ba­tim from the offi­cial report of the U.N. Gen­er­al Assem­bly ple­nary of Dec. 16:

“The Assem­bly next took up the report on ‘Elim­i­na­tion of racism, racial dis­crim­i­na­tion, xeno­pho­bia and relat­ed intol­er­ance,’ con­tain­ing two draft res­o­lu­tions.

“By a record­ed vote of 130 in favor to 2 against (Ukraine, Unit­ed States), with 49 absten­tions, the Assem­bly then adopt­ed draft res­o­lu­tion I, ‘Com­bat­ing glo­ri­fi­ca­tion of Nazism, neo-Nazism and oth­er prac­tices that con­tribute to fuel­ing con­tem­po­rary forms of racism, racial dis­crim­i­na­tion, xeno­pho­bia and relat­ed intol­er­ance’.” It goes on:

“By its terms, the Assem­bly expressed deep con­cern about the glo­ri­fi­ca­tion of the Nazi move­ment, neo-Nazism and for­mer mem­bers of the Waf­fen SS orga­ni­za­tion, includ­ing by erect­ing mon­u­ments and memo­ri­als, hold­ing pub­lic demon­stra­tions in the name of the glo­ri­fi­ca­tion of the Nazi past, the Nazi move­ment and neo-Nazism, and declar­ing or attempt­ing to declare such mem­bers and those who fought against the anti-Hitler coali­tion, col­lab­o­rat­ed with the Nazi move­ment and com­mit­ted war crimes and crimes against human­i­ty ‘par­tic­i­pants in nation­al lib­er­a­tion move­ments’.

Fur­ther, the Assem­bly urged States to elim­i­nate all forms of racial dis­crim­i­na­tion by all appro­pri­ate means, includ­ing through leg­is­la­tion, urg­ing them to address new and emerg­ing threats posed by the rise in ter­ror­ist attacks incit­ed by racism, xeno­pho­bia and oth­er forms of intol­er­ance, or in the name of reli­gion or belief. It would call on States to ensure that edu­ca­tion sys­tems devel­op the nec­es­sary con­tent to pro­vide accu­rate accounts of his­to­ry, as well as pro­mote tol­er­ance and oth­er inter­na­tion­al human rights prin­ci­ples. It like­wise would con­demn with­out reser­va­tion any denial of or attempt to deny the Holo­caust, as well as any man­i­fes­ta­tion of reli­gious intol­er­ance, incite­ment, harass­ment or vio­lence against per­sons or com­mu­ni­ties on the basis of eth­nic ori­gin or reli­gious belief.”

In Ukraine, sup­port for the Ukrain­ian nation­al­ist divi­sions who fought along­side the Nazis has become, over the last eight years, the found­ing ide­ol­o­gy of the mod­ern post-2013 Ukrain­ian state (which is very dif­fer­ent from the diverse Ukrain­ian state which briefly exist­ed 1991–2013). The full res­o­lu­tion on Nazism and racism passed by the Gen­er­al Assem­bly is lengthy, but these pro­vi­sions in par­tic­u­lar were vot­ed against by the Unit­ed States and by the Ukraine:

“Empha­sizes the rec­om­men­da­tion of the Spe­cial Rap­por­teur that ‘any com­mem­o­ra­tive cel­e­bra­tion of the Nazi regime, its allies and relat­ed orga­ni­za­tions, whether offi­cial or unof­fi­cial, should be pro­hib­it­ed by States’, also empha­sizes that such man­i­fes­ta­tions do injus­tice to the mem­o­ry of the count­less vic­tims of the Sec­ond World War and neg­a­tive­ly influ­ence chil­dren and young peo­ple, and stress­es in this regard that it is impor­tant that States take mea­sures, in accor­dance with inter­na­tion­al human rights law, to coun­ter­act any cel­e­bra­tion of the Nazi SS orga­ni­za­tion and all its inte­gral parts, includ­ing the Waf­fen SS;

Express­es con­cern about recur­ring attempts to des­e­crate or demol­ish mon­u­ments erect­ed in remem­brance of those who fought against Nazism dur­ing the Sec­ond World War, as well as to unlaw­ful­ly exhume or remove the remains of such per­sons, and in this regard urges States to ful­ly com­ply with their rel­e­vant oblig­a­tions, inter alia, under arti­cle 34 of Addi­tion­al Pro­to­col I to the Gene­va Con­ven­tions of 1949;

Con­demns with­out reser­va­tion any denial or attempt to deny the Holo­caust;

Wel­comes the call of the Spe­cial Rap­por­teur for the active preser­va­tion of those Holo­caust sites that served as Nazi death camps, con­cen­tra­tion and forced labour camps and pris­ons, as well as his encour­age­ment of States to take mea­sures, includ­ing leg­isla­tive, law enforce­ment and edu­ca­tion­al mea­sures, to put an end to all forms of Holo­caust denial.”

As report­ed in The Times of Israel, hun­dreds took part in a demon­stra­tion in Kiev in May and oth­ers through­out Ukraine, in hon­or of a spe­cif­ic divi­sion of the SS. That is but one march and one divi­sion — glo­ri­fi­ca­tion of its Nazi past is a main­stream part of Ukrain­ian polit­i­cal cul­ture.

In 2018 a bipar­ti­san let­ter by 50 U.S. rep­re­sen­ta­tives con­demned mul­ti­ple events com­mem­o­rat­ing Nazi allies held in Ukraine with offi­cial Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment back­ing.

There are no two ways about it. The Ukrain­ian vote against the U.N. res­o­lu­tion against Nazism was moti­vat­ed by sym­pa­thy for the ide­ol­o­gy of his­toric, geno­ci­dal active Nazis. It is as sim­ple as that. . . .

. . . . There is no his­tor­i­cal doubt what­so­ev­er of Ukrain­ian nation­al­ist forces’ active sup­port of Nazism and par­tic­i­pa­tion in geno­cide, not just of Jews and Roma but of Poles and reli­gious minori­ties. There is no doubt what­so­ev­er of the mod­ern glo­ri­fi­ca­tion in Ukraine of these evil peo­ple.

It is of course not just Ukraine. In Esto­nia, Latvia and Lithua­nia the record of col­lab­o­ra­tion with Nazis, of active par­tic­i­pa­tion in fight­ing for Nazis, and in active par­tic­i­pa­tion in geno­cide is extreme­ly sham­ing. Through­out East­ern Europe there is a fail­ure in these “vic­tim nations” to look his­to­ry square­ly in the eye and to admit what hap­pened — a fail­ure the Unit­ed States in actu­al­ly pro­mot­ing as “a cam­paign against Russ­ian dis­in­for­ma­tion”.

I rec­om­mend to you the web­site  Defend­ing His­to­ry, run by the admirable David Katz, which is a large and valu­able resource on this web­site from a Lithuan­ian Jew­ish per­spec­tive that can­not remote­ly be dis­missed as Russ­ian or left-wing pro­pa­gan­da. The front page cur­rent­ly fea­tures the Decem­ber 2021 nam­ing of a square in the cap­i­tal after Lithuan­ian “free­dom fight­er” Juokas Luk­sa “Dau­man­tas,” a man who com­menced the mas­sacre of Jews in Vil­nius ahead of the arrival of Ger­man forces.

These are pre­cise­ly the kind of com­mem­o­ra­tions the res­o­lu­tion is against. There has been a rash of destruc­tion of Sovi­et war memo­ri­als and even war graves, and erec­tion of com­mem­o­ra­tions, in var­i­ous form, of Nazis through­out the Baltic states. That is what paras 6 and 7 of the res­o­lu­tion refer to, and there is no doubt what­so­ev­er of the truth of these events. It is not “Russ­ian dis­in­for­ma­tion.”

How­ev­er the Euro­pean Union, in sup­port of its Baltic states mem­bers and their desire to for­get or deny his­tor­i­cal truth and to build a new nation­al myth expung­ing their active role in the geno­cide of their Jew­ish and Roma pop­u­la­tions, would not sup­port the U.N. Res­o­lu­tion on Nazism. The EU coun­tries abstained, as did the U.K. The truth of course is that NATO intends to use the descen­dants of East­ern Euro­pean racists against Rus­sia much as Hitler did, at least in a cold war con­text.

You won’t find that in the Expla­na­tion of Vote.

1b. Rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the impor­tant Nazi role in Ukrain­ian nation­al secu­ri­ty affairs is the appoint­ment of for­mer Pravy Sek­tor chief Dymytro Yarosh as an advis­er to the com­man­der in chief of Ukraine’s armed forces.

(Pravy Sek­tor, or Right Sec­tor, is one of the OUN/B suc­ces­sor groups in Ukraine. Its Nazi/fascist char­ac­ter is gen­er­al­ly white­washed in the MSM.)

Yarosh wrote about his appoint­ment on Face­book: “By order of Lieu­tenant Gen­er­al Valery Zaluzh­ny, I was appoint­ed an advis­er to the Com­man­der-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. . . .”

We have detailed this sub­ject exhaus­tive­ly, in the years since the Maid­an coup.

The pres­ence of Nazi/fascist mem­bers and/or alum­ni of groups like Azov Bat­tal­ion, Pravy Sek­tor are the norm in Ukraine.

Telling the truth about this gets one labeled as a “Russ­ian dupe” or “Putin pro­pa­gan­dist.”

Yarosh is a fol­low­er of Stephan Ban­dera, mak­ing him a direct line of evo­lu­tion from the Nazi-col­lab­o­ra­tionist OUN/B.

Pravy Sek­tor, itself, is the polit­i­cal front for the UNA-UNSO, the final incar­na­tion of the UPA.

1b.   “Ex-leader of Right Sec­tor Yarosh appoint­ed advis­er to Armed Forces’ Com­man­der-in-Chief”; 112.international.ukraine; 11/02/2021.

The Com­man­der of the Ukrain­ian Vol­un­teer Army, ex-leader of the Right Sec­tor move­ment Dmytro Yarosh, said that he had been appoint­ed an advis­er to the Com­man­der-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. He wrote about this on Face­book.

“By order of Lieu­tenant Gen­er­al Valery Zaluzh­ny, I was appoint­ed an advis­er to the Com­man­der-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Thank you for your trust! We will win togeth­er!” Yarosh wrote. . . .

2.“Dymytro Yarosh;” Wikipedia.org.

. . . . Yarosh calls him­self a fol­low­er of Stepan Ban­dera [39] . . . .

3. “The Dura­bil­i­ty of Ukrain­ian Fas­cism” by Peter Lee; Strate­gic Cul­ture; 6/9/2014.

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

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

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

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

4.  With the Biden admin­is­tra­tion’s propaganda–amplified by MSM–having pro­pelled Amer­i­can polit­i­cal aware­ness into a state of hys­te­ria vis a vis Ukraine and Rus­sia, we review some of our detailed, exhaus­tive infor­ma­tion about the OUN/B, its Nazi-aligned his­to­ry, as well as its inex­tri­ca­ble links to CIA/Gehlen and the GOP.

In a pre­vi­ous post, we set forth excerpts from The Bor­mann Broth­er­hood doc­u­ment­ing the Third Reich gen­e­sis of the terms “Iron Cur­tain” and “Bet­ter Dead Than Red”–the lat­ter the pro­pa­gan­da bat­tle cry of Ger­many’s Radio Were­wolf. 

We dis­cussed the ori­gin of both terms, and the mate­r­i­al high­light­ed below in AFA#1.

In this post, we review infor­ma­tion about the par­tic­i­pa­tion of the UPA–the OUN/B’s mil­i­tary wing–in gueril­la war­fare con­duct­ed dur­ing the clos­ing stages of, and in the after­math of, the Sec­ond World War.

As Allied armies drove into Ger­many from both East and West, the Third Reich set up gueril­la groups, many drawn from the Hitler Youth, under the Wer­wolf pro­gram designed by Nazi spy chief Rein­hard Gehlen.

“. . . . Gehlen pro­vid­ed [SS Ober­grup­pen­fuhrer Hans] Prutz­mann with a detailed blue-print for the orga­ni­za­tion of the Were­wolves . . . . Prutz­mann and his sub-com­man­ders resort­ed to enlist­ing mem­bers of the rapid­ly dis­solv­ing Vlassov Army and the Ukrain­ian UPA . . . . Gehlen had pro­duced the orig­i­nal scheme for Were­wolf . . . .”

Gehlen envis­aged the Were­wolves as of pri­ma­ry util­i­ty against the Sovi­et Union:

” . . . .With his R‑Net [“Radio Net­work”], which he was deter­mined to main­tain behind the Sovi­et lines, these Wer­wolf under­tak­ings could have become extreme­ly use­ful. Gehlen obtained from SS Ober­grup­pen­fuhrer Prutz­mann and his staff detailed infor­ma­tion about the deploy­ment of their Wer­wolf groups in the East. He was to make some use of this in lat­er years. . . .”

The pro­pa­gan­da slo­gan of the Were­wolves mint­ed a Cold-War code­word.

” . . . .It was the sym­bol­ism, as always, that count­ed. Radio Were­wolf ham­mered the theme ‘Rather dead than Red’ (a phrase that lived long after). . . .”

UPA com­bat­ants were among the groups that con­duct­ed a gueril­la war­fare pro­gram in parts of the Sovi­et Union and Poland:

“. . . . In south-west Ukraine and east­ern Poland bands of the nation­al­ist UPA many still with their Ger­man SS offi­cers, harassed the Sovi­et Army, the Pol­ish mili­tia of the com­mu­nist-dom­i­nat­ed War­saw gov­ern­ment and the local author­i­ties set up in the lib­er­at­ed ter­ri­to­ries. . . . Trained in gueril­la war­fare by the Ger­mans, they ambushed Sovi­et road con­voys, used hit-and-run tac­tics, and car­ried out innu­mer­able sab­o­tage actions. Indeed, some of the Ukrain­ian insur­gents held out in the forests of the Carpathi­an moun­tains until 1952. . . .”

Otto Sko­rzeny was involved with train­ing a com­po­nent of the French Were­wolf oper­a­tion, which was a vehi­cle for col­lab­o­ra­tion between Jean Paul Robert Fil­li­ol and Otto Sko­rzeny. It appears that the OAS grew direct­ly from the French Were­wolf con­tin­gent. There is detailed dis­cus­sion of the French fascist/SS links to both the JFK assas­si­na­tion and Otto Sko­rzeny in FTR#1222.

”  . . . . Sko­rzeny, who for a brief peri­od in 1943 had been in charge of a “spe­cial com­man­do” guard­ing Mar­shal Petain and Laval, set up a train­ing cen­ter for French sabo­teurs at Frieden­thal, whilst Dar­nand with SS Haupt­sturm­fuhrer Deter­d­ing bus­ied him­self at Sig­marin­gen with the orga­ni­za­tion of the ‘white maquis’ against Gen­er­al de Gaulle. . . .”

Note that Gehlen’s sup­port for the OAS (FTR#‘s 1222 & 1223) con­sti­tutes a con­tin­u­a­tion of an enti­ty and rela­tion­ship that dates to the clos­ing phase of the Sec­ond World War!! 

4a. Gehlen: Spy of the Cen­tu­ry by E.H. Cookridge; Ran­dom House [HC]; Euro­pean Copy­right Com­pa­ny Lim­it­ed; ISBN 0–394-47313–2; pp. 98, 99, 101.

. . . . Gehlen pro­vid­ed [SS Ober­grup­pen­fuhrer Hans] Prutz­mann with a detailed blue-print for the orga­ni­za­tion of the Were­wolves . . . .

. . . . Prutz­mann and his sub-com­man­ders resort­ed to enlist­ing mem­bers of the rapid­ly dis­solv­ing Vlassov Army and the Ukrain­ian UPA . . . .

. . . . Gehlen had pro­duced the orig­i­nal scheme for Were­wolf . . . . He had nev­er envis­aged the user of the Were­wolves for under­ground resis­tance against the West­ern Allies. But one fea­ture, and to his mind the only impor­tant one, of the Wer­wolf enter­prise attract­ed his seri­ous atten­tion. This was the attempt at set­ting up clan­des­tine cells, sab­o­tage groups and radio posts inside the ter­ri­to­ries in Poland, East Prus­sia, Pomera­nia and Sile­sia, from which the Ger­man Army was hur­ried­ly retreat­ing behind the Oder and Elbe.

With his R‑Net, which he was deter­mined to main­tain behind the Sovi­et lines, these Wer­wolf under­tak­ings could have become extreme­ly use­ful. Gehlen obtained from SS Ober­grup­pen­fuhrer Prutz­mann and his staff detailed infor­ma­tion about the deploy­ment of their Wer­wolf groups in the East. He was to make some use of this in lat­er years. . . .

4b.   The Bor­mann Broth­er­hood by William Steven­son; Sky­horse Pub­lish­ing (SC); Copy­right 1973 by William Steven­son; ISBN 978–1‑5107–2916‑2; p. 131.

. . . . It was the sym­bol­ism, as always, that count­ed. Radio Were­wolf ham­mered the theme “Rather dead than Red” (a phrase that lived long after). Bol­she­vism was the real ene­my; the Nazis had always resist­ed the Bol­she­viks; there­fore any Ger­man who helped the ene­mies of Nazism was help­ing the Bol­she­viks and was a trai­tor. A cli­mate was being cre­at­ed that would favor the con­ceal­ment of want­ed men. . . .

4c. Gehlen: Spy of the Cen­tu­ry by E.H. Cookridge; Ran­dom House [HC]; Euro­pean Copy­right Com­pa­ny Lim­it­ed; ISBN 0–394-47313–2; pp. 146–147.

. . . . In south-west Ukraine and east­ern Poland bands of the nation­al­ist UPA many still with their Ger­man SS offi­cers, harassed the Sovi­et Army, the Pol­ish mili­tia of the com­mu­nist-dom­i­nat­ed War­saw gov­ern­ment and the local author­i­ties set up in the lib­er­at­ed ter­ri­to­ries. At var­i­ous times between Novem­ber 1945 and the spring of 1947 these “counter-rev­o­lu­tion­ary ban­dits” were in effec­tive con­trol of many vil­lages and rur­al dis­tricts. Trained in gueril­la war­fare by the Ger­mans, they ambushed Sovi­et road con­voys, used hit-and-run tac­tics, and car­ried out innu­mer­able sab­o­tage actions. Indeed, some of the Ukrain­ian insur­gents held out in the forests of the Carpathi­an moun­tains until 1952.

The Sovi­et author­i­ties also encoun­tered trou­ble in the for­mer Baltic states; after four years of Nazi occu­pa­tion many Ger­man sol­diers, par­tic­u­lar­ly of the Cur­land Army which had been cut off dur­ing the win­ter of 1944, had remained there.  Togeth­er with Lat­vian and Eston­ian patri­ots, they now turned upon the “red lib­er­a­tors”. . . .

. . . . For years, the com­mu­nists had kept silent about the extent of the fight­ing, which in many areas amount­ed to a minor civ­il war. . . .

4d. Gehlen: Spy of the Cen­tu­ry by E.H. Cookridge; Ran­dom House [HC]; Euro­pean Copy­right Com­pa­ny Lim­it­ed; ISBN 0–394-47313–2; p. 99.

. . . . After the lib­er­a­tion of France thou­sands of for­mer Vichy mili­tia-men of the trai­tor Joseph Dar­nand, mem­bers of Doriot’s French Waf­fen SS, ex-Cagoulards of Colonel Delon­cle and a mot­ley mob of French col­lab­o­ra­tors and quis­lings had fled across the Rhine in an attempt to escape the vengeance of the com­pa­tri­ots they had for four long years oppressed more cru­el­ly than the Gestapo. Many of them were recruit­ed into Were­wolf units which were to car­ry out sab­o­tage actions inside France and against the Allied Occu­pa­tion forces in west­ern Ger­many. But near­ly all of these French­men quick­ly desert­ed as soon as they received their pal­try boun­ty. Sko­rzeny, who for a brief peri­od in 1943 had been in charge of a “spe­cial com­man­do” guard­ing Mar­shal Petain and Laval, set up a train­ing cen­ter for French sabo­teurs at Frieden­thal, whilst Dar­nand with SS Haupt­sturm­fuhrer Deter­d­ing bus­ied him­self at Sig­marin­gen with the orga­ni­za­tion of the “white maquis” against Gen­er­al de Gaulle. . . .

5. In AFA#1 we not­ed that the term “Iron Cur­tain,” gen­er­al­ly believed to have been mint­ed by Win­ston Churchill in a famous address he gave in Mis­souri, was actu­al­ly pur­loined from a pro­pa­gan­da address giv­en by Hitler finance min­is­ter Lutz Schw­erin von Krosigk dur­ing the twi­light days of the Third Reich.

Von Krosigk’s grand­daugh­ter is a Ger­man par­lia­men­tary rep­re­sen­ta­tive from the AfD, a neo-fas­cist polit­i­cal par­ty in Ger­many. She has been net­work­ing with mem­bers of the Brazil­ian roy­al fam­i­ly, with which she is dis­tant­ly relat­ed.

” . . . . It was uttered by Hitler’s for­mer Finance Min­is­ter, Count [Lutz] Schw­erin von Krosigk, on May 2, 1945, when he was try­ing des­per­ate­ly to win Allied recog­ni­tion for the gov­ern­ment of Admi­ral Doenitz [in which von Krosigk was briefly For­eign Minister—D.E.]. . . . ‘The Iron Cur­tain moves clos­er,’ he declared in a broad­cast. ‘Peo­ple caught in the mighty hands of the Bol­she­viks are being destroyed.’. . . ”

In FTR#894, we not­ed that for­mer Were­wolf for­ma­tions were incor­po­rat­ed into the Ger­man com­po­nent of the “Stay Behind” fas­cist cadres assem­bled by the U.S. and NATO dur­ing the Cold War.

 The Bor­mann Broth­er­hood by William Steven­son; Sky­horse Pub­lish­ing (SC); Copy­right 1973 by William Steven­son; ISBN 978–1‑5107–2916‑2; pp. 125–126.

. . . . The threat of war between the West­ern Allies and Rus­sia had been pro­mot­ed for years by the Nazis. This vision of ulti­mate con­flict with “bar­bar­ic Bol­she­vism” pro­duced the first ref­er­ence to an Iron Cur­tain.

It was uttered by Hitler’s for­mer Finance Min­is­ter, Count [Lutz] Schw­erin von Krosigk, on May 2, 1945, when he was try­ing des­per­ate­ly to win Allied recog­ni­tion for the gov­ern­ment of Admi­ral Doenitz [in which von Krosigk was briefly For­eign Minister—D.E.]. Schw­erin von Krosigk was an unc­tu­ous fig­ure who had nev­er for­got­ten Hess’s say­ing before his depar­ture that the two Ger­man­ic nations, Britain and Ger­many, were fight­ing each oth­er to the enor­mous sat­is­fac­tion of the Bol­she­viks. The Count, a for­mer Rhodes Schol­ar, who seems to have learned noth­ing about the Eng­lish dur­ing his time at Oxford, cal­cu­lat­ed that Hess had made some impres­sion on his British hosts. “The Iron Cur­tain moves clos­er,” he declared in a broad­cast. “Peo­ple caught in the mighty hands of the Bol­she­viks are being destroyed.”

The term was picked up from the Ger­man broad­cast. Churchill used it when he cabled Pres­i­dent Har­ry Tru­man on May 12: “An Iron Cur­tain is drawn upon their front. We do not know what is going on behind.” He dropped it into a speech in the Unit­ed States. It demon­strates the infec­tious nature of the fears delib­er­ate­ly released by Hitler’s fol­low­ers in order to win West­ern sym­pa­thy. . . .

5. Next, we present excerpt­ing of analy­sis of a long aca­d­e­m­ic paper by Mar­lene Laru­elle and Ellen Rivera. Of para­mount sig­nif­i­cance in this dis­cus­sion is the piv­otal role of Ukrain­ian fas­cist orga­ni­za­tions in the Inter­mar­i­um and close­ly con­nect­ed Promethean net­works, from the post World War I peri­od, through the time between the World Wars, through the Cold War and up to and includ­ing the Maid­an coup.

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

We present key excerpts of the paper to under­score dom­i­nant fea­tures of this evo­lu­tion­ary con­ti­nu­ity:

  1. A key play­er in the events that brought the OUN suc­ces­sor orga­ni­za­tions to pow­er in Ukraine has been the Atlantic Coun­cil. It receives back­ing from NATO, the State Depart­ment, Lithua­nia and Ukrain­ian Oli­garch Vik­tor Pinchuk. The think tank also receives major fund­ing from the Ukrain­ian World Con­gress, which evolved from the OUN. . . . . In 1967, the World Con­gress of Free Ukraini­ans was found­ed in New York City by sup­port­ers of Andriy Mel­nyk. [The head of the OUN‑M, also allied with Nazi Germany.–D.E.] It was renamed the Ukrain­ian World Con­gress in 1993. In 2003, the Ukrain­ian World Con­gress was rec­og­nized by the Unit­ed Nations Eco­nom­ic and Social Coun­cil as an NGO with spe­cial con­sul­ta­tive sta­tus. It now appears as a spon­sor of the Atlantic Coun­cil . . . . The con­ti­nu­ity of insti­tu­tion­al and indi­vid­ual tra­jec­to­ries from Sec­ond World War col­lab­o­ra­tionists to Cold War-era anti-com­mu­nist orga­ni­za­tions to con­tem­po­rary con­ser­v­a­tive U.S. think tanks is sig­nif­i­cant for the ide­o­log­i­cal under­pin­nings of today’s Inter­mar­i­um revival. . . .”
  2. Ukrain­ian pro­to-fas­cist forces were at the core of Josef Pil­sud­ski’s Pol­ish-led Inter­mar­i­um and over­lap­ping Promethean orga­ni­za­tions. Those forces coa­lesced into the OUN. ” . . . . Accord­ing to the British schol­ar and jour­nal­ist Stephen Dor­ril, the Promethean League served as an anti-com­mu­nist umbrel­la orga­ni­za­tion for anti-Sovi­et exiles dis­placed after the Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment of Simon Petlu­ra (1879–1926) gave up the fight against the Sovi­ets in 1922.[12]  . . . . as Dor­ril affirms, ‘the real lead­er­ship and latent pow­er with­in the Promethean League emanat­ed from the Petlu­ra-dom­i­nat­ed Ukrain­ian Demo­c­ra­t­ic Repub­lic in exile and its Pol­ish spon­sors. The Poles ben­e­fit­ed direct­ly from this arrange­ment, as Promethean mil­i­tary assets were absorbed into the Pol­ish army, with Ukrain­ian, Geor­gian and Armen­ian con­tract offi­cers not uncom­mon in the ranks.’[13] The alliance between Pił­sud­s­ki and Petlu­ra became very unpop­u­lar among many West­ern Ukraini­ans, as it result­ed in Pol­ish dom­i­na­tion of their lands. This oppo­si­tion joined the insur­gent Ukrain­ian Mil­i­tary Orga­ni­za­tion (Ukrain­s­ka viisko­va orh­a­nizat­si­ia, UVO—founded 1920), which lat­er trans­formed into the Orga­ni­za­tion of Ukrain­ian Nation­al­ists (Orh­a­nizat­si­ia ukrain­skykh nat­sion­al­is­tiv, OUN). . . .”
  3. Accord­ing to for­mer Army intel­li­gence offi­cer William Gowen (a source used and trust­ed by John Lof­tus and Mark Aarons) the Inter­mar­i­um and Promethean net­work assets were used by Third Reich intel­li­gence dur­ing World War II. ” . . .  . Based on Gowen’s reports, such authors as Christo­pher Simp­son, Stephen Dor­ril, Mark Aarons, and John Lof­tus have sug­gest­ed that the net­works of the Promethean League and the Inter­mar­i­um were uti­lized by Ger­man intel­li­gence. . . .”
  4. Not sur­pris­ing­ly, the Intermarium/Promethean milieu appears to have been cen­tral­ly involved in the Nazi escape net­works, the Vat­i­can-assist­ed “Rat­lines,” in par­tic­u­lar. ” . . . . Amer­i­can intel­li­gence began to take notice of the Inter­mar­i­um net­work in August 1946[42] in the frame­work of Oper­a­tion Cir­cle, a Coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence Corps (CIC) project the orig­i­nal goal of which was to deter­mine how net­works inside the Vat­i­can had spir­it­ed away so many Nazi war crim­i­nals and col­lab­o­ra­tors, most­ly to South Amer­i­ca.[43] Among the group of CIC offi­cers involved in the oper­a­tion was Levy’s source William Gowen. Then a young offi­cer based in Rome, Gowen sus­pect­ed the Inter­mar­i­um net­work to be behind Nazi war crim­i­nals and col­lab­o­ra­tors’ exten­sive escape routes from Europe. . . .”
  5. It comes as no sur­prise, as well, that U.S. intel­li­gence absorbed the Intermarium/Promethean  net­works after the war. ” . . . . Accord­ing to Aarons and Lof­tus, although he had ini­tial­ly been thor­ough­ly opposed to this course of action, by ‘ear­ly July 1947, Gowen was strong­ly advo­cat­ing that Amer­i­can intel­li­gence should take over Inter­mar­i­um; before long, the CIC offi­cer was no longer hunt­ing for Nazis, but recruit­ing them.’[49] . . . .”
  6. One of the main com­po­nents of  the “Inter­mar­i­um con­ti­nu­ity” is the ABN—the Anti-Bol­she­vik Bloc of Nations. The OUN and asso­ci­at­ed ele­ments con­sti­tute the most impor­tant ele­ment of the ABN. ” . . . . a vast num­ber of anti-com­mu­nist orga­ni­za­tions were formed in the imme­di­ate post-war peri­od and sup­port­ed by the US.[57] They con­sti­tute one of the main com­po­nents of the Inter­mar­i­um ‘genealog­i­cal tree,’ in the sense that they revived the mem­o­ry of Piłsudski’s attempts to uni­fy Cen­tral and East­ern Europe against Sovi­et Rus­sia and gave them new life, but blend­ed this mem­o­ry with far-right tones inspired by col­lab­o­ra­tion with Nazi Ger­many.[58] The most impor­tant of the Euro­pean anti-com­mu­nist orga­ni­za­tions was the Anti-Bol­she­vik Bloc of Nations (ABN). . . . Because fas­cist move­ments were, in the 1930s, the first to orga­nize them­selves against the Sovi­et Union, the ABN recruit­ed mas­sive­ly among their ranks and served as an umbrel­la for many for­mer col­lab­o­ra­tionist para­mil­i­tary orga­ni­za­tions in exile, amongst them the Orga­ni­za­tion of Ukrain­ian Nationalists—Bandera (OUN‑B), the Croa­t­ian Ustaše, the Roman­ian Iron Guard, and the Slo­va­kian Hlin­ka Guard.[59] It thus con­tributed to guar­an­tee­ing the sur­vival of their lega­cies at least until the end of the Cold War. Accord­ing to the lib­er­al Insti­tute for Pol­i­cy Stud­ies think tank, cre­at­ed by two for­mer aides to Kennedy advi­sors, the ABN was the ‘largest and most impor­tant umbrel­la for for­mer Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors in the world.’ . . . .”
  7. In addi­tion to the OUN/Ukrainian fas­cist milieu, the Croa­t­ian Ustashe fas­cists became a dom­i­nant ele­ment. This is fun­da­men­tal to the Azov Bat­tal­ion’s Inter­mar­i­um project, dis­cussed in FTR #‘s 1096 and 1097. ” . . . . The most active groups with­in the ABN became the Ukrain­ian and Croa­t­ian orga­ni­za­tions, par­tic­u­lar­ly the Ukrain­ian OUN.[61] The OUN, under the lead­er­ship of Andriy Mel­nyk (1890–1964), col­lab­o­rat­ed with the Nazi occu­piers from the latter’s inva­sion of Poland in Sep­tem­ber 1939. The Gestapo trained Myko­la Lebed and the adher­ents of Melnyk’s younger com­peti­tor, Stepan Ban­dera (1909–1959), in sab­o­tage, guer­ril­la war­fare, and assas­si­na­tions. The OUN’s 1941 split into the so-called OUN‑B, fol­low­ing Stepan Ban­dera, and OUN‑M, fol­low­ing Andriy Mel­nyk,[62] did not keep both fac­tions from con­tin­u­ing to col­lab­o­rate with the Ger­mans. . . .”
  8. For­mer SS and Abwehr offi­cer Theodor Oberlaender–the polit­i­cal offi­cer for the UPA and the Nachti­gall Bat­tal­ion dur­ing the Lviv Pogrom of June 1941–was vital to the con­ti­nu­ity of the OUN and UPA and thus, the Inter­mar­i­um” . . . .While in Sovi­et Ukraine the UPA kept on fight­ing against Moscow until the ear­ly 1950s, their capac­i­ties were exhaust­ed. . . . As Fed­er­al Min­is­ter for Dis­placed Per­sons, Refugees, and the War-Dam­aged dur­ing the Ade­nauer gov­ern­ment, Ober­län­der played a cru­cial role in the rise of the ABN and allowed Ukrain­ian col­lab­o­ra­tionists to take the lead in it. Yaroslav Stet­sko (1912–1986), who presided over the Ukrain­ian col­lab­o­ra­tionist gov­ern­ment in Lviv from as ear­ly as 30 June 1941, led the ABN from its cre­ation in 1946 until his death in 1986. . . .”
  9. The Army’s Counter Intel­li­gence Corps (CIC) con­firmed the pri­ma­cy of the OUN/B with­in the ABN. Note the con­ti­nu­ity of OUN and UPA gueril­la war­fare in Ukraine, begun under third Reich aus­pices and enjoy­ing post World War II sup­port from CIA, and OPC. This has been cov­ered in AFA #1 and FTR #777.) : ” . . . . CIC con­firmed that by 1948 both the ‘Inter­mar­i­um’ and the UPA (Ukrain­ian par­ti­san com­mand) report­ed to the ABN pres­i­dent, Yaroslav Stet­sko. The UPA in turn had con­sol­i­dat­ed all the anti-Sovi­et par­ti­sans under its umbrel­la. Yaroslav Stet­sko was also Sec­re­tary of OUN/B and sec­ond in com­mand to Ban­dera, who had the largest remain­ing par­ti­san group behind Sovi­et lines under his direct com­mand. Thus, OUN/B had achieved the lead­er­ship role among the anti-Com­mu­nist exiles and was ascen­dant by 1950 . . . .”
  10. Con­tem­po­rary Ukraine is the focal point of the rein­car­nat­ed Inter­mar­i­um con­cept. ” . . . . The most recent rein­car­na­tion of the Inter­mar­i­um has tak­en form in Ukraine, espe­cial­ly among the Ukrain­ian far right, which has re-appro­pri­at­ed the con­cept by cap­i­tal­iz­ing on the sol­id ide­o­log­i­cal and per­son­al con­ti­nu­ity between actors of the Ukrain­ian far right in the inter­war and Cold War peri­ods and their heirs today. . . .”
  11. The con­ti­nu­ity of the Inter­mar­i­um con­cept as man­i­fest­ed in con­tem­po­rary Ukraine is epit­o­mized by the role of Yarosla­va Stet­sko (Yaroslav’s wid­ow and suc­ces­sor as a deci­sive ABN and OUN leader). Note the net­work­ing between her Con­gress of Ukrain­ian Nation­al­ists and Svo­bo­da. “. . . . This con­ti­nu­ity is exem­pli­fied by the wife of long-time ABN leader Yaroslav Stet­sko, Yarosla­va Stet­sko (1920–2003), a promi­nent fig­ure in the Ukrain­ian post-Sec­ond World War émi­gré com­mu­ni­ty who became direct­ly involved in post-Sovi­et Ukrain­ian pol­i­tics. Hav­ing joined the OUN at the age of 18, she became an indis­pens­able sup­port­er of the ABN after the war . . . . In July 1991, she returned to Ukraine, and in the fol­low­ing year formed the Con­gress of Ukrain­ian Nation­al­ists (CUN), a new polit­i­cal par­ty estab­lished on the basis of the OUN, pre­sid­ing over both.[129] Although the CUN nev­er achieved high elec­tion results, it coop­er­at­ed with the Social-Nation­al Par­ty of Ukraine (SNPU), which lat­er changed its name to Svo­bo­da, the far-right Ukrain­ian par­ty that con­tin­ues to exist. . . .”
  12. Yarosla­va Stet­sko’s CUN was co-found­ed by her hus­band’s for­mer sec­re­tary in the 1980s, Roman Svarych. Min­is­ter of Jus­tice in the Vik­tor Yuschenko gov­ern­ment (as well as both Tim­o­shenko gov­ern­ments), Svarych became the spokesman and a major recruiter for the Azov Bat­tal­ion. ” . . . . The co-founder of the CUN and for­mer­ly Yaroslav Stetsko’s pri­vate sec­re­tary, the U.S.-born Roman Zvarych (1953), rep­re­sents a younger gen­er­a­tion of the Ukrain­ian émi­gré com­mu­ni­ty active dur­ing the Cold War and a direct link from the ABN to the Azov Bat­tal­ion. . . . Zvarych par­tic­i­pat­ed in the activ­i­ties of the Anti-Bol­she­vik Bloc of Nations in the 1980s. . . . In Feb­ru­ary 2005, after Vik­tor Yushchenko’s elec­tion, Zvarych was appoint­ed Min­is­ter of Jus­tice. . . . Accord­ing to Andriy Bilet­sky, the first com­man­der of the Azov bat­tal­ion, a civ­il para­mil­i­tary unit cre­at­ed in the wake of the Euro­maid­an, Zvarych was head of the head­quar­ters of the Azov Cen­tral Com­mit­tee in 2015 and sup­port­ed the Azov bat­tal­ion with ‘vol­un­teers’ and polit­i­cal advice through his Zvarych Foun­da­tion. . . .”
  13. The “Inter­mar­i­um Con­ti­nu­ity” is inex­tri­ca­ble with the his­tor­i­cal revi­sion­ism about the roles of the OUN and UPA in World War II. That revi­sion­ism is insti­tion­al­ized in the Insti­tute of Nation­al Remem­brance. ” . . . .The rein­tro­duc­tion of the Inter­mar­i­um notion in Ukraine is close­ly con­nect­ed to the broad reha­bil­i­ta­tion of the OUN and UPA, as well as of their main hero, Stepan Ban­dera. . . . Dur­ing his pres­i­den­cy (2005–2010), and par­tic­u­lar­ly through the cre­ation of the Insti­tute for Nation­al Remem­brance,  Vik­tor Yushchenko built the image of Ban­dera as a sim­ple Ukrain­ian nation­al­ist fight­ing for his country’s inde­pen­dence . . . .”
  14. As dis­cussed in numer­ous pro­grams, anoth­er key ele­ment in the “Inter­mar­i­um Con­ti­nu­ity” is Katery­na Chu­machenko, an OUN oper­a­tive who served in the State Depart­ment and Ronald Rea­gan’s admin­is­tra­tion. She mar­ried Vik­tor Yuschenko. ” . . . . It is not unlike­ly Yushchenko’s readi­ness dur­ing his pres­i­den­cy (2005–2010) to open up to right-wing ten­den­cies of the Ukrain­ian exile leads back to his wife, who had con­nec­tions to the ABN. Katery­na Chu­machenko [Yushchenko], born 1961 in Chica­go, was socialised there in the Ukrain­ian exile youth organ­i­sa­tion SUM (Spilka Ukra­jin­sko­ji Molo­di, Ukrain­ian Youth Organ­i­sa­tion) in the spir­it of the OUN. Via the lob­by asso­ci­a­tion Ukrain­ian Con­gress Com­mit­tee of Amer­i­ca (UCCA) she obtained a post as  ‘spe­cial assis­tant’ in the U.S. State Depart­ment in 1986, and was from 1988 to 1989 employed by the Office of Pub­lic Liai­son in the White House. . . .”
  15. Embody­ing the “Inter­mar­i­um Con­ti­nu­ity” are the lus­tra­tion laws, which make it a crim­i­nal offence to tell the truth about the OUN and UPA’s roles in World War II. Note Volodymyr Via­tro­vy­ch’s posi­tion as min­is­ter of edu­ca­tion. ” . . . . This reha­bil­i­ta­tion trend accel­er­at­ed after the Euro­Maid­an. In 2015, just before the sev­en­ti­eth anniver­sary of Vic­to­ry Day, Volodymyr Via­tro­vych, min­is­ter of edu­ca­tion and long-time direc­tor of the Insti­tute for the Study of the Lib­er­a­tion Move­ment, an orga­ni­za­tion found­ed to pro­mote the hero­ic nar­ra­tive of the OUN–UPA, called on the par­lia­ment to vote for a set of four laws that cod­i­fied the new, post-Maid­an his­to­ri­og­ra­phy. Two of them are par­tic­u­lar­ly influ­en­tial in the ongo­ing mem­o­ry war with Rus­sia. One decrees that OUN and UPA mem­bers are to be con­sid­ered ‘fight­ers for Ukrain­ian inde­pen­dence in the twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry,’ mak­ing pub­lic denial of this unlaw­ful. . . .”
  16. As dis­cussed dis­cussed in FTR #‘s 1096 and 1097, the Azov Bat­tal­ion is in the lead­er­ship of the revival of the Inter­mar­i­um con­cept.” . . . . In this con­text of reha­bil­i­ta­tion of inter­war heroes, ten­sions with Rus­sia, and dis­il­lu­sion with Europe over its per­ceived lack of sup­port against Moscow, the geopo­lit­i­cal con­cept of Inter­mar­i­um could only pros­per. It has found its most active pro­mot­ers on the far right of the polit­i­cal spec­trum, among the lead­er­ship of the Azov Bat­tal­ion. . . .”
  17. Azov’s Inter­mar­i­um Sup­port Group has held three net­work­ing con­fer­ences to date, bring­ing togeth­er key fig­ures of what are euphem­ized as “nation­al­ist” orga­ni­za­tions. In addi­tion to focus­ing on the devel­op­ment of what are euphem­ized as “nation­al­ist” youth orga­ni­za­tions, the con­fer­ence is stress­ing mil­i­tary orga­ni­za­tion and pre­pared­ness: ” . . . . In 2016, Bilet­sky cre­at­ed the Inter­mar­i­um Sup­port Group (ISG),[152] intro­duc­ing the con­cept to poten­tial com­rades-in-arms from the Baltic-Black Sea region.[153] The first day of the found­ing con­fer­ence was reserved for lec­tures and dis­cus­sions by senior rep­re­sen­ta­tives of var­i­ous sym­pa­thet­ic orga­ni­za­tions, the sec­ond day to ‘the lead­ers of youth branch­es of polit­i­cal par­ties and nation­al­ist move­ments of the Baltic-Black Sea area.’ . . . . It also includ­ed ‘mil­i­tary attach­es of diplo­mat­ic mis­sions from the key coun­tries in the region (Poland, Hun­gary, Roma­nia and Lithua­nia). . . .”
  18. Azov’s third ISG con­fer­ence con­tin­ued to advance the mil­i­tary net­work­ing char­ac­ter­is­tics of the ear­li­er gath­er­ings, includ­ing the neces­si­ty of giv­ing mil­i­tary train­ing to what are euphem­ized as “nation­al­ist” youth orga­ni­za­tions. Note the con­tin­ued man­i­fes­ta­tion in the “new” Croa­t­ia of Ustachi polit­i­cal cul­ture. ” . . . . On Octo­ber 13, 2018, the ISG orga­nized its third con­gress. Besides the Ukrain­ian hosts, a large share of the for­eign speak­ers from Poland, Lithua­nia, and Croa­t­ia had a (para-)military back­ground, among them advi­sor to the Pol­ish Defence Min­is­ter Jerzy Tar­gal­s­ki and retired Brigadier Gen­er­al of the Croa­t­ian Armed Forces Bruno Zor­i­ca.[156] Among the talk­ing points of Pol­ish mil­i­tary edu­ca­tor Damien Duda were ‘meth­ods of the prepa­ra­tion of a mil­i­tary reserve in youth orga­ni­za­tions” and the “impor­tance of para­mil­i­tary struc­tures with­in the frame­work of the defence com­plex of a mod­ern state.’ . . . .”

“Imag­ined Geo­gra­phies of Cen­tral and East­ern Europe: The Con­cept of Inter­mar­i­um” by Mar­lene Laru­elle and Ellen Rivera; Covert Action Mag­a­zine; 3/23/2019.

6. Next, excerpt and high­light 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.

7.

From the descrip­tion for FTR#1014:

In addi­tion, the offi­cial salute of the OUN/B is set to become the offi­cial salute of the Ukrain­ian army. ” . . . . ‘Glo­ry to Ukraine! – Glo­ry to the Heroes!’ is a slo­gan of the UPA, the Ukraine Rebel Army who fought on the side of the Nazis. The slo­gans, their ori­gin, and his­to­ry are well known in Ukraine. . . . Present neo-Nazi Ukrain­ian mil­i­tary for­ma­tions estab­lished by order of the Ukrain­ian author­i­ties appro­pri­at­ed the slo­gan from the end of 2013 onward. Now, the Ukrain­ian Nazi collaborator’s greet­ing will become the offi­cial salute in that country’s army. . . .”

Not only has the UPA salute become the offi­cial salute of the Ukrain­ian army, but it has become the offi­cial salute of the police as well. ”  . . . . Also, the law on the Nation­al Police was amend­ed. Accord­ing to it, when the police offi­cers are in line for the greet­ing of the leader or senior offi­cer, when they hear the salute ‘Glo­ry to Ukraine!’ they reply ‘Glo­ry to Heroes’. The same actions take place dur­ing the part­ing. . . .”

As dis­cussed in FTR #‘s 1004 and 1014, the fas­cist Svo­bo­da Par­ty’s mili­tia, C14, and the Nazi Azov Bat­tal­ion’s Nation­al Druzhy­na mili­tia have been incor­po­rat­ed into the Ukrain­ian police estab­lish­ment, with police duties in Kiev and 21 oth­er cities. This is not sur­pris­ing since Vadim Troy­an, the for­mer Deputy Com­man­der of the Azov Bat­tal­ion became: head of the Kyiv police, act­ing head of the Nation­al Police and then Deputy Inte­ri­or Min­is­ter to OUN/B acolyte Arsen Avakov, the main patron of the Azov Bat­tal­ion.

C14’s police cadre has con­duct­ed anoth­er eth­nic cleans­ing raid against Roma, while receiv­ing favor­able cov­er­age from major Ukrain­ian media: ” . . . . Mem­bers of the neo-Nazi C14 move­ment, togeth­er with the ‘Kyiv Munic­i­pal Watch’ civic orga­ni­za­tion which is led by C14 activist Ser­hiy Bon­dar, have car­ried out anoth­er raid, dri­ving Roma cit­i­zens out of the area around the South­ern Rail­way Sta­tion in Kyiv. The raid does not appear to have been accom­pa­nied by shock­ing images of vio­lence like some five oth­ers this year, but that is the only pos­i­tive dif­fer­ence. What is much more dis­turb­ing is that the action appears to have been with the coop­er­a­tion of the police, and was essen­tial­ly giv­en glow­ing cov­er­age on a nation­al tele­vi­sion news broad­cast. . . . the pre­sen­ter of the fea­ture vir­tu­al­ly par­rots parts of the C14 video, with only two Roma peo­ple dri­ven out shown in a neg­a­tive light. There is one telling detail, name­ly that the tele­vi­sion pro­gram is care­ful­ly not to eth­ni­cal­ly label the peo­ple dri­ven out, with the fea­ture enti­tled: ‘Police and civic activists tried to clean the capital’s sta­tion of thieves’. It does, how­ev­er, show the activists wear­ing cam­ou­flage gear and chevrons clear­ly show­ing the C14 sym­bol, and lit­tle effort would be required to find out how C14 presents its vig­i­lante activ­i­ties, and why this orga­ni­za­tion has gained noto­ri­ety over recent months. . . .”  

Addi­tion­al per­spec­tive on the phys­i­cal, polit­i­cal and his­tor­i­cal real­i­ty under­ly­ing the salute “Glo­ry to Ukraine–Glory to the Heroes” is the slo­gan’s dis­play on a mon­u­ment to the mas­sacre of the 600 res­i­dents of the Pol­ish town of Janowa Dolina by the UPA. ” . . . . On the night of April 22–23 (Good Fri­day), 1943, the Ukraini­ans from the Ukrain­ian Insur­gent Army, togeth­er with local peas­ants, attacked Janowa Dolina. Some 600 peo­ple, includ­ing chil­dren and the elder­ly, were bru­tal­ly mur­dered (see Mas­sacres of Poles in Vol­hy­nia). Most homes were burned to the ground and the set­tle­ment desert­ed. The per­pe­tra­tors, com­mand­ed by Ivan Lytwynchuk (aka Dubowy) exer­cised rare cru­el­ty. Poles, unpre­pared and caught by sur­prise, were hacked to death with axes, burned alive, and impaled (includ­ing chil­dren). The mur­der­ers did not spare any­one, regard­less of age and sex. Ger­man gar­ri­son, num­ber­ing around 100 sol­diers, did not act and remained in its bar­racks. After the first wave of mur­ders, the Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists start­ed search­ing the hos­pi­tal. They car­ried its Ukrain­ian patients away from the build­ing, while Pol­ish patients were burned alive.[2] Dr Alek­sander Baki­nows­ki, togeth­er with his assis­tant Jan Borysow­icz, were hacked to death on the square in front of the hos­pi­tal. In sev­er­al cas­es, Ukraini­ans were mur­dered for try­ing to hide their Pol­ish neigh­bours. Petro Mirchuk, Ukrain­ian his­to­ri­an, count­ed sev­er­al hun­dred mas­sa­cred Poles, with only eight UPA mem­bers killed. . . .”

 To put the “Glo­ry to Ukraine, Glo­ry to The Heroes!” salute of the bru­tal mur­der­ers of the res­i­dents of the town on a mon­u­ment com­mem­o­rat­ing the mas­sacre is sur­re­al.

Discussion

7 comments for “FTR#‘s 1228 & 1229: How Many Lies Before You Belong to The Lie?, Parts 1 and 2”

  1. Lies and mis­in­for­ma­tion indeed. Hys­ter­i­cal media reports in the West of Russ­ian use of ther­mo­bar­ic and clus­ter muni­tions — just like were used in the recent Azeri-Armen­ian war, and sim­i­lar to the way the Unit­ed States uses their clus­ter, air­burst, and ‘bee-hive’ bombs.

    These weapons are ter­ri­ble — full stop. How­ev­er, the only thing worse than see­ing their use in war­fare is a world order that states one side can use them ‘moral­ly’ and one side is ‘evil’ when they are used.

    I do won­der if the West will be able to have a prop­er dis­cus­sion about what is occur­ring if we can­not even admit that Ban­dera was a Nazi...

    Posted by Robert Fantauzzi | March 2, 2022, 3:27 am
  2. Also — I do believe those Nazis in the pho­to above are wear­ing the ‘oak leaf’ camo pat­tern — specif­i­cal­ly devel­oped by the Third Reich for their war of exter­mi­na­tion in the East.

    Posted by Robert Fantauzzi | March 2, 2022, 3:35 am
  3. Pret­ty much all of the news com­ing out of Ukraine is dis­turb­ing at this point. But we got some extra dis­turb­ing news today. The kind of dis­turb­ing news that dou­bles as a warn­ing of excep­tion­al­ly dis­turb­ing news to come:

    The for­mer com­man­der of the Aidar Bat­tal­ion was just appoint­ed the new head of the Odessa region. Yep, the for­mer com­man­der of one of the bat­tal­ions that became noto­ri­ous for bru­tal­i­ties against civil­ians on the East­ern Front was just installed as gov­ern­ment of Odessa.

    Recall how Aidar was for­mal­ly incor­po­rat­ed in the Ukrain­ian mil­i­tary in Sep­tem­ber of 2014, but we were still get­ting reports in 2015 about the strug­gles in gain­ing con­trol of the group amid reports of the group com­mit­ting civil­ian atroc­i­ties on the East­ern front. At the same time, mem­bers of Aidar were open­ly telling jour­nal­ist how they desired the cre­ation of a Chris­t­ian “Tal­iban” and lead a new cru­sade to burn down Moscow.

    Then there was the teenage neo-Nazi mem­ber, Vita Zaverukha, who was por­trayed as Ukraine’s ver­sion of Joan of Arc in the French fash­ion mag­a­zine Elle. Zaverukha was prone to mak­ing state­ments like “I pro­mote Nazism, ter­ror, genocide...For all this, I’m not a bad per­son. The jus­ti­fi­ca­tion is the “War for Peace”. If you go bring­ing the work to the end, only in this case, jus­ti­fy my actions would not. Win­ners are not judged.” She was even­tu­al­ly arrest­ed for her involve­ment in a failed attempt to rob a petrol sta­tion in Kiev.

    Final­ly, recall how the founder of Aidar, Ser­hiy Mel­ny­chuk, was elect­ed to Ukraine’s par­lia­ment in Novem­ber of 2014. He was giv­en the posi­tion of deputy head of the leg­is­la­ture’s Nation­al Secu­ri­ty and Defense Com­mit­tee, before being dis­missed from the posi­tion in Feb­ru­ary of 2015 after Mel­ny­chuk was expelled from his par­ty for tak­ing part in a protest against the bat­tal­ions loss of its offi­cial seal as part of the gov­ern­men­t’s attempts to reign in the out-of-con­trol bat­tal­ion.

    So Aidar was like a poster child for the Ukrain­ian gov­ern­men­t’s dan­ger­ous embrace of far right ‘vol­un­teer bat­tal­ions’. Even after the gov­ern­ment took steps to gain con­trol over the group it con­tin­ued to oper­ate as a far right ter­ror group. And now we’re learn­ing that the guy who end­ed up com­mand­ing Aidar from 2015–2017, Max­im Marchenko, was just appoint­ed the new head of the Odessa Region­al State Admin­is­tra­tion:

    LB.ua news

    The Pres­i­den­t’s Office has appoint­ed new heads of Cherkasy and Odessa Region­al State Admin­is­tra­tions

    Olek­san­dr Skichko and Ser­hiy Hryn­evet­sky were released.

    2 March 2022, 10:54

    The Pres­i­den­t’s Office has appoint­ed new heads of Cherkasy and Odessa Region­al State Admin­is­tra­tions. This is report­ed in the rel­e­vant decrees on the Pres­i­den­t’s Office web­site.

    Cherkasy Region­al State Admin­is­tra­tion will be head­ed by Ihor Tabu­rets. Olek­san­dr Skichko was released at own request.

    Igor Tabu­rets has a mil­i­tary rank of major gen­er­al, as Liga.net reports. For a long time, Tabu­rets worked in the Main Mil­i­tary Intel­li­gence Direc­torate of the Min­istry of Defense.

    Maksym Marchenko was appoint­ed the head of the Odessa Region­al State Admin­is­tra­tion. Ser­hiy Hryn­evet­sky was released.

    Accord­ing to sourse of Suspilne.Odesa, Max­im Marchenko — was the Com­man­der of the 24th sep­a­rate assault bat­tal­ion “Aidar”. In 2017, he was appoint­ed as Deputy Com­man­der of the 92nd Sep­a­rate Mech­a­nized Brigade. Start­ing from May 2018 — the Com­man­der of the 28th Mech­a­nized Brigade.

    ...

    ————

    “The Pres­i­den­t’s Office has appoint­ed new heads of Cherkasy and Odessa Region­al State Admin­is­tra­tions”; LB.ua news; 03/02/2022

    t
    “Accord­ing to sourse of Suspilne.Odesa, Max­im Marchenko — was the Com­man­der of the 24th sep­a­rate assault bat­tal­ion “Aidar”. In 2017, he was appoint­ed as Deputy Com­man­der of the 92nd Sep­a­rate Mech­a­nized Brigade. Start­ing from May 2018 — the Com­man­der of the 28th Mech­a­nized Brigade.”

    We can’t say this was unex­pect­ed, but it’s still plen­ty chill­ing. And note that we can’t just assume that Marchenko took con­trol of a prob­lem­at­ic bat­tal­ion and instilled a degree of pro­fes­sion­al­ism. Marchenko him­self was accused of per­son­al­ly over­see­ing the tor­ture of cap­tives. Those were the claims made to reporters by Evge­ny Shat­alov, a Russ­ian vol­un­teer who was part of a pris­on­er exchange between Ukraine and Rus­sia back in Decem­ber 2019. The only Eng­lish-lan­guage out­lets that are car­ry­ing Shat­alov’s claims are obscure sites like Pak­istan Point and Stalk­er Zone, so it’s hard to get a sense of how much weight to put on those claims.

    But that’s all part of what makes this sit­u­a­tion so dis­turb­ing: we may not have sol­id report­ing on whether or not Marchenko is the type of leader who per­son­al­ly over­sees the tor­ture of pris­on­ers. But we’re going to have plen­ty of oppor­tu­ni­ties to find out. Along with plen­ty of addi­tion­al oppor­tu­ni­ties to find out whether or not the world com­mu­ni­ty is going to even­tu­al­ly care about the fact that fig­ures like Max­im Marchenko con­tin­ue to ascend in Ukraine.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 2, 2022, 3:39 pm
  4. With Ukraine’s Pres­i­dent Zelen­skiy boast­ing about hav­ing rough­ly 16,000 for­eign vol­un­teers already signed up to join Ukraine’s fight against Rus­sia, the ques­tion in increas­ing­ly being raised: to what extent is the war in Ukraine going to become an inter­na­tion­al­ly-fueled proxy con­flict? Yes, with nuclear-armed Rus­sia on one side, it’s tech­ni­cal­ly a fight that no NATO mem­bers are going to offi­cial­ly enter. But with for­eign vol­un­teers flock­ing to fight under the Ukrain­ian flag, the prospect of this descend­ing into a for­eign con­flict rem­i­nis­cent of the Sovi­et occu­pa­tion of Afghanistan is grow­ing more real by the day. Instead of for­eign jihadist, we’ll have for­eign ‘free­dom fight­ers’ ded­i­cat­ed on fight­ing for Ukrain­ian democ­ra­cy.

    At least, that will be the offi­cial slo­ga­neer­ing. But with the prospect of extrem­ists from around the globe flood­ing in to the fight, the real­i­ty is that we could eas­i­ly see the fight in Ukraine descend into a proxy bat­tle between Rus­sia and far right extrem­ists who view the war as a grand oppor­tu­ni­ty for gain­ing both glo­ry and com­bat expe­ri­ence. And maybe, just maybe, estab­lish­ing Ukraine as a heart­land for open fas­cism by the end of the con­flict.

    And now we’re get­ting reports that spe­cial forces vet­er­ans from NATO nations, includ­ing the US, are not only plan­ning on trav­el­ing to Ukraine but are doing so with the open endorse­ment of their gov­ern­ment. At least that’s the case for UK sol­diers who just had the UK’s For­eign Sec­re­tary declare that she def­i­nite­ly endors­es Brits trav­el­ing to Ukraine to fight because Ukraine’s strug­gle was one for free­dom, “not just for Ukraine but for the whole of Europe.”

    So with both NATO gov­ern­ments endors­ing their own cit­i­zens trav­el­ing to Ukraine — includ­ing vet­er­ans of spe­cial forces — at the same time far right extrem­ists are set to flood into the con­flict, the dan­gers inter­na­tion­al fas­cism turn­ing Ukraine into a glob­al hub of fas­cist net­work­ing is set to grow, not just in num­bers but in terms of the skill sets of the peo­ple who will be join­ing this inter­na­tion­al fas­cist net­work;

    Ger­man For­eign Pol­i­cy

    Kiev’s Inter­na­tion­al Legion

    For­mer elite sol­diers from NATO coun­tries – includ­ing Ger­many – par­tic­i­pate in the war against Rus­sia in Ukraine. This is con­sid­ered a sub­sti­tute for reg­u­lar NATO deploy­ment.

    02 Mar 2022

    BERLIN/WASHINGTON/KIEV (Own report) – For­mer NATO spe­cial forces – includ­ing Ger­mans – are in com­bat in Russia’s war of aggres­sion against Ukraine on Ukraine’s side. This was report­ed by a US news por­tal. Accord­ing to this infor­ma­tion, over the week­end sev­er­al west­ern ex-elite sol­diers expe­ri­enced in close com­bat and coun­tert­er­ror­ism are prepar­ing to leave from Poland to join the war in Ukraine. Numer­ous oth­ers are report­ed to be stand­ing by. The gov­ern­ment in Kiev has mean­while cre­at­ed the legal pre­req­ui­sites by estab­lish­ing an “inter­na­tion­al legion,” to ensure that sol­diers of for­eign nation­al­i­ties enter­ing the coun­try will have reg­u­lar com­bat­ant sta­tus. Observers con­sid­er that the vol­un­tary engage­ment of for­mer sol­diers from the West will sub­sti­tute, to a cer­tain extent, for the deploy­ment of reg­u­lar NATO troops, which the mil­i­tary alliance does not want to send, to avoid an offi­cial engage­ment in a war with the nuclear pow­er Rus­sia. These meth­ods are known, for exam­ple, from the 1980s Afghanistan war, also involv­ing Bun­deswehr sol­diers. The “Geor­gian Legion” is cur­rent­ly a point of con­tact in Ukraine.

    The Geor­gian Legion

    The Geor­gian Legion was orig­i­nal­ly one of the var­i­ous irreg­u­lar mili­tias formed in the course of 2014, to fight in east­ern Ukraine against the pro-Russ­ian People’s Republics of Donet­sk and Lugan­sk. They had seced­ed from Ukraine fol­low­ing the coup in Kiev, of course, with­out being inter­na­tion­al­ly rec­og­nized as full-fledged nations. In the mili­tias, many irreg­u­lars from oth­er coun­tries of the for­mer Sovi­et Union were fight­ing along­side Ukraini­ans. For exam­ple, one mili­tia was com­prised of exiled Chechens, who were con­tin­u­ing their fight in Ukraine, after their own upris­ing had been defeat­ed (the “Dzhokhar Dudayev” Battalion).[1] Anoth­er unit formed in 2014, is the Geor­gian Legion, with a strong pres­ence of for­mer sol­diers from Georgia’s mil­i­tary, includ­ing vet­er­ans of the Rus­sia-Geor­gian war of August 2008. In 2017, the unit made inter­na­tion­al head­lines, when three Geor­gians tes­ti­fied to Ital­ian TV jour­nal­ists that they had been recruit­ed in Tbil­isi in Jan­u­ary 2014, for a mis­sion in Kiev on the side of the Maid­an oppo­si­tion and, on Feb­ru­ary 20, 2014, took part in fir­ing the fatal shots at the Maid­an. They tes­ti­fied that they had been recruit­ed and com­mand­ed by the Geor­gian Mamu­ka Mamu­lashvil­li, today’s com­man­der of the Geor­gian Legion.[2]

    “To Fos­ter Exchange”

    The Geor­gian Legion had caught the atten­tion of observers already years ago, because the US cit­i­zen Craig Lang had been one of its mem­bers, for a short peri­od. Lang, a vet­er­an of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, had gone to Ukraine as an irreg­u­lar, in 2015. He had been under inves­ti­ga­tion by judi­cial author­i­ties in the USA, sus­pect­ed of hav­ing com­mit­ted war crimes in east­ern Ukraine. After hav­ing returned to the USA, he, along with anoth­er for­mer irreg­u­lar, had com­mit­ted a mur­der and rob­bery, to raise mon­ey for his trip to Venezuela, where he sought to join the strug­gle against the gov­ern­ment of Pres­i­dent Nico­las Maduro. He was able to flee, how­ev­er, he land­ed in jail in Kiev pend­ing extradition.[3] In east­ern Ukraine, Lang had main­ly fought in the Right Sec­tor mili­tia, which along with the Asov Bat­tal­ion, is one of the best-known extreme right-wing mili­tias in Ukraine. Recent research indi­cates that extreme right-wing Ukraini­ans, who feel close to the Asov Bat­tal­ion, but aspire to a career in the armed forces, have par­tic­i­pat­ed in train­ing pro­grams abroad – accord­ing to research, even in Ger­many. For exam­ple, a Ukrain­ian sol­dier, with extreme right-wing views, is said to have attend­ed the “30th Inter­na­tion­al Week” of the Army Offi­cers Acad­e­my (OSH) in Dres­den. This event is deemed to fos­ter not only an “exchange among mil­i­tary per­son­nel” but “part­ner­ships” as well. [4]

    “We are recruit­ing pro­fes­sion­als”

    As was report­ed by the US por­tal Buz­zFeed News, the Geor­gian Legion has inte­grat­ed more than 300 west­ern irreg­u­lars since 2014, giv­ing them the pos­si­bil­i­ty of par­tic­i­pat­ing in the civ­il war rag­ing in east­ern Ukraine. Over the past few weeks, it has been accel­er­at­ing its efforts to recruit more for­eign vol­un­teers from the West. Already at the end of Jan­u­ary, Mamu­lashvil­li report­ed that his unit had received “more than 30 requests” – most from the Unit­ed States and Great Britain, but also “one from Germany.”[5] “We are recruit­ing pro­fes­sion­als,” explained Mamu­lashvil­li, to Buz­zFeed News, not­ing that the Geor­gian Legion makes mil­i­tary capa­bil­i­ties a con­di­tion for join­ing, and added, in late Jan­u­ary, “We have the green light.“ Fol­low­ing pub­li­ca­tion of that arti­cle, the US online por­tal report­ed hav­ing received emails from “dozens of men in the USA, the Unit­ed King­dom and coun­tries in the Euro­pean Union,” say­ing they were inter­est­ed in fight­ing in Ukraine against Russ­ian units, if they should real­ly invade the coun­try. On Sun­day, Buz­zFeed News announced that ten elite sol­diers expe­ri­enced in close com­bat and coun­tert­er­ror­ism are prepar­ing to cross the Pol­ish bor­der to Ukraine, to go to war. The group is com­posed of six US cit­i­zens, three Brits, and a Ger­man.[6]

    In the Chain of Com­mand

    Kiev has now estab­lished the legal pre­req­ui­sites for the mili­tias’ com­bat vol­un­teers to be treat­ed not as irreg­u­lar com­bat­ants, but as reg­u­lar sol­diers, enjoy­ing the full pro­tec­tion of human­i­tar­i­an inter­na­tion­al law. As Ukrain­ian Pres­i­dent Volodymyr Zelen­sky announced on the week­end, the armed forces have now cre­at­ed an “Inter­na­tion­al Legion,” allow­ing cit­i­zens of for­eign coun­tries to join. For­eign Min­is­ter Dmytro Kule­ba con­firmed that now these peo­ple have the “legal frame­work, to fight under the chain of com­mand of the armed forces of Ukraine,” with­out being a Ukrain­ian citizen.[7] The chain of com­mand also includes the Geor­gian Legion which, in 2016, had been inte­grat­ed into the armed forces. On the side of the West, Britain’s For­eign Sec­re­tary Liz Truss, gave the “green light,” when she declared on Sun­day that she “def­i­nite­ly” sup­ports British nation­als who might go to Ukraine to fight against Rus­sia. As offi­cial pol­i­cy, the lat­ter is new. In 2014, the British Crown Pros­e­cu­tion Ser­vice explic­it­ly warned, British cit­i­zens, trav­el­ing to Syr­ia, to join the war, would be com­mit­ting a crime, if they joined the Syr­i­an insur­gents, seek­ing to over­throw Pres­i­dent Bashar al Assad. Over­throw­ing Assad was one of the British government’s polit­i­cal objec­tives, at the time.

    ...

    [1] Mark MacK­in­non: Chechens and Geor­gians in Ukraine prepar­ing to con­tin­ue fight against Putin on a new front. theglobeandmail.com 13.02.2022.

    [2] Guer­ra in Ucraina, le ver­ità nascoste. Canale 5, 15.11.2017. Gian Mica­lessin: La ver­sione dei cec­chi­ni sul­la strage di Kiev: “Ordi­ni dal­l’op­po­sizione”. ilgiornale.it 15.11.2017. S. auch Chaos säen (II).

    [3] Christo­pher Miller: NATO Won’t Put Troops Into Ukraine, But West­ern For­eign­ers Are Vol­un­teer­ing To Join The Fight Against Rus­sia. buzzfeednews.com 28.01.2022.

    [4] Nicholas Pot­ter: Wie recht­sex­treme Sol­dat­en in der Ukraine vom West­en aus­ge­bildet wer­den. belltower.news 19.01.2022.

    [5] Christo­pher Miller: NATO Won’t Put Troops Into Ukraine, But West­ern For­eign­ers Are Vol­un­teer­ing To Join The Fight Against Rus­sia. buzzfeednews.com 28.01.2022.

    [6] Christo­pher Miller: A Team Of Amer­i­can And British Spe­cial Forces Vet­er­ans Are Prepar­ing To Join Ukraine’s Fight Against Rus­sia. buzzfeednews.com 27.02.2022. Briten und Amerikan­er schick­en Spezialkom­man­dos in die Ukraine. berliner-zeitung.de 28.02.2022.

    [7] Tom Sables: Ukraine invites for­eign vol­un­teers to com­bat invad­ing Russ­ian forces. forces.net 27.02.2022.

    [8] S. dazu Der Krieg kehrt heim (II).

    [9] S. dazu Die Zeit­en­wende.

    ———-

    “Kiev’s Inter­na­tion­al Legion”; Ger­man For­eign Pol­i­cy; 03/02/2022

    “As was report­ed by the US por­tal Buz­zFeed News, the Geor­gian Legion has inte­grat­ed more than 300 west­ern irreg­u­lars since 2014, giv­ing them the pos­si­bil­i­ty of par­tic­i­pat­ing in the civ­il war rag­ing in east­ern Ukraine. Over the past few weeks, it has been accel­er­at­ing its efforts to recruit more for­eign vol­un­teers from the West. Already at the end of Jan­u­ary, Mamu­lashvil­li report­ed that his unit had received “more than 30 requests” – most from the Unit­ed States and Great Britain, but also “one from Germany.”[5] “We are recruit­ing pro­fes­sion­als,” explained Mamu­lashvil­li, to Buz­zFeed News, not­ing that the Geor­gian Legion makes mil­i­tary capa­bil­i­ties a con­di­tion for join­ing, and added, in late Jan­u­ary, “We have the green light.“ Fol­low­ing pub­li­ca­tion of that arti­cle, the US online por­tal report­ed hav­ing received emails from “dozens of men in the USA, the Unit­ed King­dom and coun­tries in the Euro­pean Union,” say­ing they were inter­est­ed in fight­ing in Ukraine against Russ­ian units, if they should real­ly invade the coun­try. On Sun­day, Buz­zFeed News announced that ten elite sol­diers expe­ri­enced in close com­bat and coun­tert­er­ror­ism are prepar­ing to cross the Pol­ish bor­der to Ukraine, to go to war. The group is com­posed of six US cit­i­zens, three Brits, and a Ger­man.[6]”

    “We are recruit­ing pro­fes­sion­als,” accord­ing to the head of the Geor­gian Legion Mamu­ka Mamu­lashvil­li. And indeed they do appear to be recruit­ing peo­ple with mil­i­tary train­ing, includ­ing mem­bers from NATO mil­i­taries.

    On one lev­el, none of this is a sur­prise. For­eign fight­ers have been flock­ing to Ukraine since 2014. What is sur­pris­ing is that West­ern gov­ern­ments appears to now be open­ly advo­cat­ing that their cit­i­zens join these for­eign legions. For­eign legions which are now for­mal­ly incor­po­rat­ed under the Ukrain­ian mil­i­tary com­mand struc­ture. Britain’s For­eign Sec­re­tary is whole­heart­ed­ly endors­ing the idea of British cit­i­zens trav­el­ing to Ukraine to join its mil­i­tary. For­eign fight­ers trav­el­ing to con­flicts isn’t new, but they don’t typ­i­cal­ly have the endorse­ment of their gov­ern­ments:

    ...
    Kiev has now estab­lished the legal pre­req­ui­sites for the mili­tias’ com­bat vol­un­teers to be treat­ed not as irreg­u­lar com­bat­ants, but as reg­u­lar sol­diers, enjoy­ing the full pro­tec­tion of human­i­tar­i­an inter­na­tion­al law. As Ukrain­ian Pres­i­dent Volodymyr Zelen­sky announced on the week­end, the armed forces have now cre­at­ed an “Inter­na­tion­al Legion,” allow­ing cit­i­zens of for­eign coun­tries to join. For­eign Min­is­ter Dmytro Kule­ba con­firmed that now these peo­ple have the “legal frame­work, to fight under the chain of com­mand of the armed forces of Ukraine,” with­out being a Ukrain­ian citizen.[7] The chain of com­mand also includes the Geor­gian Legion which, in 2016, had been inte­grat­ed into the armed forces. On the side of the West, Britain’s For­eign Sec­re­tary Liz Truss, gave the “green light,” when she declared on Sun­day that she “def­i­nite­ly” sup­ports British nation­als who might go to Ukraine to fight against Rus­sia. As offi­cial pol­i­cy, the lat­ter is new. In 2014, the British Crown Pros­e­cu­tion Ser­vice explic­it­ly warned, British cit­i­zens, trav­el­ing to Syr­ia, to join the war, would be com­mit­ting a crime, if they joined the Syr­i­an insur­gents, seek­ing to over­throw Pres­i­dent Bashar al Assad. Over­throw­ing Assad was one of the British government’s polit­i­cal objec­tives, at the time.
    ...

    Mak­ing that offi­cial endorse­ment all the remark­able is the fact that these West­ern gov­ern­ments are ful­ly aware of the types of indi­vid­u­als who have been recruit­ed into this con­flict already. Peo­ple like far right extrem­ist Craig Lang, who fought as both a mem­ber of Right Sec­tor and the Geor­gian Legion. Recall the sto­ry about how Lang was in con­tact with anoth­er US extrem­ist and for­mer sol­dier, Jer­ret William Smith, who was arrests after dis­sem­i­nat­ing bomb-mak­ing instruc­tions and express­ing a desire to attack a major cable news head­quar­ters and kill mem­bers of antifa. Before join­ing the US mil­i­tary, Smith report­ed­ly expressed a desire to trav­el to Ukraine and join the Azov Bat­tal­ion. But he lat­er gt in con­tact with an Amer­i­can and had already trav­eled to Ukraine. This Amer­i­can advised Smith to first join the US mil­i­tary to gain com­bat skills before trav­el­ing to Ukraine. That Amer­i­can act­ing as Smith’s men­tor turned out to be Craig Lang. So with the sto­ry of Craig Lang and Jar­ret Smith we have an exam­ple of how the con­flict in Ukraine was act­ing as both a mag­net for extrem­ist net­work­ing but also kind of train­ing ground for gain­ing mil­i­tary expe­ri­ence. How many more exam­ples like this are we going to learn about in com­ing years?

    ...
    The Geor­gian Legion had caught the atten­tion of observers already years ago, because the US cit­i­zen Craig Lang had been one of its mem­bers, for a short peri­od. Lang, a vet­er­an of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, had gone to Ukraine as an irreg­u­lar, in 2015. He had been under inves­ti­ga­tion by judi­cial author­i­ties in the USA, sus­pect­ed of hav­ing com­mit­ted war crimes in east­ern Ukraine. After hav­ing returned to the USA, he, along with anoth­er for­mer irreg­u­lar, had com­mit­ted a mur­der and rob­bery, to raise mon­ey for his trip to Venezuela, where he sought to join the strug­gle against the gov­ern­ment of Pres­i­dent Nico­las Maduro. He was able to flee, how­ev­er, he land­ed in jail in Kiev pend­ing extradition.[3] In east­ern Ukraine, Lang had main­ly fought in the Right Sec­tor mili­tia, which along with the Asov Bat­tal­ion, is one of the best-known extreme right-wing mili­tias in Ukraine. Recent research indi­cates that extreme right-wing Ukraini­ans, who feel close to the Asov Bat­tal­ion, but aspire to a career in the armed forces, have par­tic­i­pat­ed in train­ing pro­grams abroad – accord­ing to research, even in Ger­many. For exam­ple, a Ukrain­ian sol­dier, with extreme right-wing views, is said to have attend­ed the “30th Inter­na­tion­al Week” of the Army Offi­cers Acad­e­my (OSH) in Dres­den. This event is deemed to fos­ter not only an “exchange among mil­i­tary per­son­nel” but “part­ner­ships” as well. [4]
    ...

    Final­ly, we have to note that there real­ly is com­pelling evi­dence point­ing towards mem­bers of the Geor­gian Legion hav­ing played a role in the false flag sniper attacks that pre­cip­i­tat­ing the col­lapse of the Yanukovych gov­ern­ment in Feb­ru­ary 2014. Recall how the Ital­ian doc­u­men­tary where the Geor­gians appear to incrim­i­nate them­selves also point­ed at for­mer Speak­er of the Par­lia­ment — and co-founder of Ukraine’s Nazi Par­tyAndriy Paru­biy hav­ing coor­di­nat­ed with the Geor­gians. As Pro­fes­sor Ivan Katchanovs­ki has not­ed, that doc­u­men­tary did­n’t just impli­cate Paru­biy but also for­mer pres­i­dent Petro Poroshenko in pay­ing off the snipers. The point being that plen­ty of evi­dence exist point­ing in the direc­tion of the Geor­gian Legion hav­ing the capac­i­ty to play a deci­sive ‘dirty-tricks’ role. It’s some­thing to keep in mind as the num­ber of for­eign fight­ers explodes:

    ...
    The Geor­gian Legion was orig­i­nal­ly one of the var­i­ous irreg­u­lar mili­tias formed in the course of 2014, to fight in east­ern Ukraine against the pro-Russ­ian People’s Republics of Donet­sk and Lugan­sk. They had seced­ed from Ukraine fol­low­ing the coup in Kiev, of course, with­out being inter­na­tion­al­ly rec­og­nized as full-fledged nations. In the mili­tias, many irreg­u­lars from oth­er coun­tries of the for­mer Sovi­et Union were fight­ing along­side Ukraini­ans. For exam­ple, one mili­tia was com­prised of exiled Chechens, who were con­tin­u­ing their fight in Ukraine, after their own upris­ing had been defeat­ed (the “Dzhokhar Dudayev” Battalion).[1] Anoth­er unit formed in 2014, is the Geor­gian Legion, with a strong pres­ence of for­mer sol­diers from Georgia’s mil­i­tary, includ­ing vet­er­ans of the Rus­sia-Geor­gian war of August 2008. In 2017, the unit made inter­na­tion­al head­lines, when three Geor­gians tes­ti­fied to Ital­ian TV jour­nal­ists that they had been recruit­ed in Tbil­isi in Jan­u­ary 2014, for a mis­sion in Kiev on the side of the Maid­an oppo­si­tion and, on Feb­ru­ary 20, 2014, took part in fir­ing the fatal shots at the Maid­an. They tes­ti­fied that they had been recruit­ed and com­mand­ed by the Geor­gian Mamu­ka Mamu­lashvil­li, today’s com­man­der of the Geor­gian Legion.[2]
    ...

    Ok, now here’s that Buz­zFeed arti­cle about how spe­cial forces vet­er­ans from NATO coun­tries are join­ing Ukraine’s new for­eign legion, with the appar­ent endorse­ment of NATO gov­ern­ments. Note that there’s no evi­dence that any of these spe­cial forces mem­bers har­bor extrem­ist beliefs. It’s points towards one of the aspects of this sto­ry that could end up being most con­se­quen­tial: while the peo­ple join­ing this con­flict may not be extrem­ists now, they’re going to be sent off to war to join a for­eign bat­tal­ion that’s poised to be filled with extrem­ists from around the world. That sounds like a poten­tial­ly rad­i­cal­iz­ing expe­ri­ence for these peo­ple with elite mil­i­tary train­ing to endure:

    Buz­zFeed News

    A Team Of Amer­i­can And British Spe­cial Forces Vet­er­ans Are Prepar­ing To Join Ukraine’s Fight Against Rus­sia

    The 10 NATO-trained war vet­er­ans are tak­ing up Pres­i­dent Volodymyr Zelensky’s offer for peo­ple to join a new unit of for­eign fight­ers for Ukraine.

    by Christo­pher Miller
    Buz­zFeed News Reporter

    Report­ing From
    Kyiv, Ukraine

    Post­ed on Feb­ru­ary 27, 2022, 11:28 am

    KYIV — A group of 10 spe­cial oper­a­tions forces vet­er­ans are stag­ing in Poland and prepar­ing to cross into Ukraine, where they plan to take up Pres­i­dent Volodymyr Zelen­sky on his offer to “join the defense of Ukraine, Europe, and the world,” accord­ing to a US Army vet­er­an arrang­ing their pas­sage.

    The group, com­posed of six US cit­i­zens, three Brits, and a Ger­man, are NATO-trained and expe­ri­enced in close com­bat and coun­tert­er­ror­ism. They want to be among the first to offi­cial­ly join the new Inter­na­tion­al Legion of the Ter­ri­to­r­i­al Defense of Ukraine that Zelen­sky announced Sun­day, accord­ing to text mes­sages reviewed by Buz­zFeed News. Two for­mer Amer­i­can infantry offi­cers are also mak­ing plans to come to Ukraine to pro­vide “lead­er­ship” for the group, the Army vet­er­an recruiter said.

    As intense fight­ing raged in the Ukrain­ian cap­i­tal for the fourth day and Russ­ian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin ordered nuclear deter­rence forces on high alert, Zelen­sky urged peo­ple around the world who can help fight Moscow’s “vile tac­tics” to enlist in Ukraine’s armed forces.

    “This is the begin­ning of a war against Europe, against Euro­pean struc­tures, against democ­ra­cy, against basic human rights, against a glob­al order of law, rules, and peace­ful coex­is­tence,” Zelen­sky said in a state­ment announc­ing a decree on the cre­ation of the unit. “Any­one who wants to join the defense of Ukraine, Europe, and the world can come and fight side by side with the Ukraini­ans against the Russ­ian war crim­i­nals.”

    The news of an offi­cial for­eign unit was met with excite­ment by mem­bers of the Geor­gia Nation­al Legion, an Eng­lish-speak­ing force of vol­un­teers with West­ern mil­i­tary expe­ri­ence who train Ukrain­ian troops and some­times deploy to the front line with the country’s marines.

    “This is what we have wait­ed for. It’s very good,” Lev­an Pip­ia, a legion sol­dier and Geor­gian army vet­er­an of the 2008 war with Rus­sia, told Buz­zFeed News on Sun­day.

    UK For­eign Sec­re­tary Liz Truss was quick to respond to the news, say­ing she sup­ports British nation­als who might go to Ukraine to fight “for democ­ra­cy,” the BBC report­ed. She said Ukraine’s strug­gle was one for free­dom, “not just for Ukraine but for the whole of Europe.”

    Thou­sands of for­eign fight­ers have flocked to Ukraine since Russia’s war against the coun­try began in 2014. While most of them have been Rus­sians and cit­i­zens of oth­er for­mer Sovi­et republics, hun­dreds have come from the Euro­pean Union, rough­ly 40 have arrived from the US, and at least 12 from the UK, accord­ing to Buz­zFeed News’ report­ing and inde­pen­dent research done by experts who track such fight­ers.

    The West­ern for­eign­ers who have come to Ukraine are a mot­ley crew. There are the ide­al­ists who believe their own coun­tries aren’t doing enough to help the Ukraini­ans secure their free­dom. There are the tourists who hop from con­flict to con­flict seek­ing adven­ture, war sto­ries, and mon­ey. And then there are the extrem­ists who have seen oppor­tu­ni­ties to link up with far-right para­mil­i­tary groups fight­ing in Ukraine. Of course, some of the for­eign­ers fit into more than one cat­e­go­ry.

    Buz­zFeed News met Aiden Aslin, a 27-year-old British cit­i­zen who is serv­ing his fourth year in the Ukrain­ian marines, at the east­ern front line in Pavlop­il in Jan­u­ary. “I just want to sup­port the Ukrain­ian state, the peo­ple, and help them fight for their sov­er­eign­ty and inde­pen­dence,” he said.

    In the weeks since Aslin’s sto­ry was pub­lished, dozens of men from the US, the UK, and Euro­pean Union nations have emailed Buz­zFeed News about the sto­ry and said they were inter­est­ed in fol­low­ing in his foot­steps.

    Some in Ukraine’s mil­i­tary see the for­eign fight­ers as fill­ing the void of offi­cial West­ern mil­i­tary boots on the ground in Ukraine. Pres­i­dent Joe Biden has repeat­ed­ly said that Amer­i­can forces will not be deployed to the coun­try to fight along­side Ukraini­ans. The US with­drew mil­i­tary train­ers from west­ern Ukraine ear­li­er this month.

    In a brief­ing with reporters Sun­day, For­eign Min­is­ter Dmytro Kule­ba invit­ed for­eign­ers inter­est­ed in join­ing the inter­na­tion­al unit to con­tact for­eign diplo­mat­ic mis­sions of Ukraine in their respec­tive coun­tries.

    “Now these peo­ple have a legal right and legal frame­work to fight under the chain of com­mand of the armed forces of Ukraine,” he said. “Their access to Ukraine will be facil­i­tat­ed to the max­i­mum extent pos­si­ble.”

    ...

    ————

    “A Team Of Amer­i­can And British Spe­cial Forces Vet­er­ans Are Prepar­ing To Join Ukraine’s Fight Against Rus­sia” by Christo­pher Miller; Buz­zFeed News; 02/27/2022

    The group, com­posed of six US cit­i­zens, three Brits, and a Ger­man, are NATO-trained and expe­ri­enced in close com­bat and coun­tert­er­ror­ism. They want to be among the first to offi­cial­ly join the new Inter­na­tion­al Legion of the Ter­ri­to­r­i­al Defense of Ukraine that Zelen­sky announced Sun­day, accord­ing to text mes­sages reviewed by Buz­zFeed News. Two for­mer Amer­i­can infantry offi­cers are also mak­ing plans to come to Ukraine to pro­vide “lead­er­ship” for the group, the Army vet­er­an recruiter said.

    It’s not a huge num­ber of US cit­i­zens, but this con­flict is just get­ting start­ed and set to get a lot ugli­er. This is like­ly just the start of what could end up being a large num­ber of vet­er­ans trav­el­ing to Ukraine to serve in its for­eign legion. As Britain’s For­eign Sec­re­tary put it when she endorsed the idea of British cit­i­zens join­ing this war, the war in Ukraine is “not just for Ukraine but for the whole of Europe”:

    ...
    UK For­eign Sec­re­tary Liz Truss was quick to respond to the news, say­ing she sup­ports British nation­als who might go to Ukraine to fight “for democ­ra­cy,” the BBC report­ed. She said Ukraine’s strug­gle was one for free­dom, “not just for Ukraine but for the whole of Europe.”

    Thou­sands of for­eign fight­ers have flocked to Ukraine since Russia’s war against the coun­try began in 2014. While most of them have been Rus­sians and cit­i­zens of oth­er for­mer Sovi­et republics, hun­dreds have come from the Euro­pean Union, rough­ly 40 have arrived from the US, and at least 12 from the UK, accord­ing to Buz­zFeed News’ report­ing and inde­pen­dent research done by experts who track such fight­ers.

    The West­ern for­eign­ers who have come to Ukraine are a mot­ley crew. There are the ide­al­ists who believe their own coun­tries aren’t doing enough to help the Ukraini­ans secure their free­dom. There are the tourists who hop from con­flict to con­flict seek­ing adven­ture, war sto­ries, and mon­ey. And then there are the extrem­ists who have seen oppor­tu­ni­ties to link up with far-right para­mil­i­tary groups fight­ing in Ukraine. Of course, some of the for­eign­ers fit into more than one cat­e­go­ry.

    ...

    In a brief­ing with reporters Sun­day, For­eign Min­is­ter Dmytro Kule­ba invit­ed for­eign­ers inter­est­ed in join­ing the inter­na­tion­al unit to con­tact for­eign diplo­mat­ic mis­sions of Ukraine in their respec­tive coun­tries.

    “Now these peo­ple have a legal right and legal frame­work to fight under the chain of com­mand of the armed forces of Ukraine,” he said. “Their access to Ukraine will be facil­i­tat­ed to the max­i­mum extent pos­si­ble.”
    ...

    So how much longer before NATO gov­ern­ments aren’t just endors­ing the idea of cit­i­zens trav­el­ing to join Ukraine’s army but active­ly help­ing with the recruit­ment? It’s almost like a new polit­i­cal modal­i­ty for democ­ra­cies con­duct­ing war­fare: it’s all vol­un­teers so the gov­ern­ments don’t have to wor­ry about the bad press from peo­ple return­ing home in body bags.

    All in all, we had bet­ter hope the peo­ple drawn to the con­flict real­ly are moti­vat­ed pri­mar­i­ly by a sense of free­dom and the need to ‘stand up for the lit­tle guy’ against a bul­ly and they don’t lose that moti­va­tion. Because the inter­na­tion­al net­work of fas­cists with com­bat expe­ri­ence that’s going to be cre­at­ed dur­ing the course of this con­flict is going to be a pret­ty huge dead­ly bul­ly.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 3, 2022, 5:26 pm
  5. There’s a sto­ry com­ing out of Ukraine that’s rather emblem­at­ic of the world’s inabil­i­ty to mean­ing­ful­ly under­stand the under­ly­ing dynam­ics dri­ving the con­flict. Specif­i­cal­ly, the under­ly­ing dynam­ic of the world seem­ing­ly play­ing dumb and turn­ing a blind eye to the encroach­ing main­stream­ing of extrem­ism in Ukrain­ian soci­ety. In oth­er words, when we’re try­ing to under­stand what Vladimir Putin’s goal is when it comes to the ‘de-Naz­i­fi­ca­tion’ of Ukraine, it’s not sim­ply the offi­cial embrace and his­tor­i­cal rewrit­ing of Ukraine’s Nazi col­lab­o­rat­ing heroes that’s been tak­ing place since 2014 that was like­ly dri­ving Putin mad. It’s also the world’s blind eye and implic­it endorse­ment of these trends. When Putin calls Ukraine a Naz­i­fied NATO out­post, that’s what he’s talk­ing about. Both the Naz­i­fi­ca­tion of Ukraine and the blind eye the world has been turn­ing towards it.

    And that’s what makes the reports about the ugly racism being doled out to non-white for­eign stu­dents try­ing to flee Ukraine one of those sto­ries that’s impor­tant in terms of actu­al­ly find­ing a res­o­lu­tion to this con­flict. Because this sto­ry isn’t just an ugly peek at the far right extrem­ism that’s being main­streamed in Ukraine. It’s also a big oppor­tu­ni­ty for the world com­mu­ni­ty to direct­ly con­front that extrem­ism, and in doing so simul­ta­ne­ous­ly help­ing to defuse the under­ly­ing dynam­ics dri­ving this con­flict. Or, the world com­mu­ni­ty can con­tin­ue to refuse to con­nect the dots and con­tin­ue cast­ing a blind eye on what has actu­al­ly been unfold­ing in Ukraine, deep­en­ing that under­ly­ing con­flict. The response of the West towards these hor­rid sto­ries actu­al­ly rep­re­sent a pow­er­ful oppor­tu­ni­ty for the West to make the sit­u­a­tion bet­ter and maybe even play a role in shap­ing the ‘de-Naz­i­fi­ca­tion’ nar­ra­tive in pro­duc­tive ways. Or make the sit­u­a­tion worse by con­tin­u­ing to deny the unde­ni­able. Either/or:

    The Rolling Stone

    ‘Ugly, Unpro­fes­sion­al’: Inter­na­tion­al Stu­dents Describe Racism at the Ukrain­ian Bor­der

    Black refugees report seg­re­ga­tion based on skin col­or, being left behind at bor­der cross­ings

    By Andrea Marks
    March 1, 2022 4:55PM ET

    Since Thurs­day, Feb. 24, when the Russ­ian inva­sion of Ukraine began, more than 660,000 peo­ple have fled Ukraine, accord­ing to the U.N. High Com­mis­sion­er for Refugees. Among them have been thou­sands of inter­na­tion­al stu­dents who came to Ukraine for col­lege or med­ical school. At least two stu­dents — from India and Alge­ria — have been killed by Russ­ian shelling in Kharkiv. As droves of peo­ple flee toward Ukraine’s west­ern bor­der, reports of racist behav­ior by author­i­ties at the entry points to neigh­bor­ing coun­tries have pro­lif­er­at­ed on social media.

    Twit­ter users have said that in an effort to evac­u­ate Ukraini­ans ahead of oth­er refugees, offi­cials were seg­re­gat­ing peo­ple by race to decide who got to pass through the bor­der. Videos went viral pur­port­ing to show Black peo­ple from African nations being left strand­ed at Ukrain­ian train sta­tions or being blocked from board­ing trains, and groups of African and Indi­an stu­dents being men­aced with guns and vans and pushed and beat­en at the Pol­ish bor­der. Civ­il rights attor­ney Ben Crump shared a clip that showed a Black woman cradling an infant in a crowd at the Pol­ish bor­der, accord­ing to the cap­tion, where the cre­ator of the video said Black peo­ple were being denied pas­sage and shel­ter. One Niger­ian stu­dent told the BBC that an offi­cial told her “if you are Black, you should walk.” She had made it into Hun­gary and was try­ing to get a tick­et home to Nige­ria as quick­ly as pos­si­ble. “If your skin is dark, you’re at a dis­ad­van­tage,” she said.

    Anoth­er Niger­ian stu­dent who fled to Hun­gary told Rolling Stone he had such a hard time at the Poland bor­der, he’d had to turn back and try a dif­fer­ent way out. “I even­tu­al­ly left the Poland bor­der due to the inhu­mane behav­iors of the Ukrain­ian sol­diers, and the acts of racism,” says Coy Emer­ald, 26. “I went back to Lviv and chose anoth­er route to Hun­gary.” He says he’d walked for 10 hours only to be left “unat­tend­ed” at the bor­der to Poland by peo­ple who he claims were Ukrain­ian sol­diers. He said he’d had sev­er­al “unex­pect­ed, ugly” inter­ac­tions with the offi­cials. “I thought they were trained to pro­tect lives,” he says, adding that the “unpro­fes­sion­al con­duct” of offi­cials at the bor­der was a threat beyond the cri­sis of war that he had not seen com­ing.

    Ismail Adedolapo, a 23-year-old Niger­ian who was study­ing in Ukraine before flee­ing to Poland, says he expe­ri­enced some racism as he trav­eled, and that offi­cials only allowed Ukrain­ian women and chil­dren to leave. Still, he has sym­pa­thy for the Ukrain­ian peo­ple who have endured Russ­ian aggres­sion since the 2014 annex­a­tion of Crimea. “I was sub­ject to racist treat­ment at the Ukrain­ian bor­der, but it’s kind of excus­able con­sid­er­ing they have expe­ri­enced the war first­hand for the last eight years,” he says. “At the same time, every­one deserves a chance at life because we were all try­ing to escape cer­tain death.”

    Nazish Eht­e­sham, a 19-year-old stu­dent from India, also says he saw offi­cials sep­a­rat­ing peo­ple by nation­al­i­ty at the bor­der to Roma­nia. “I don’t know whether to call that racism or what, but they were allow­ing less for­eign­ers as com­pared to Ukraini­ans,” he says.

    ...

    Those trav­el­ing towards oth­er coun­tries have been quick to add that they’ve been met with kind­ness and aid along the way, too. “One thing I must appre­ci­ate [is] that locals and NGOs were very help­ful,” Eht­e­sham says. “They were dis­trib­ut­ing all the nec­es­sary foods and stuff on both sides.” Nze, the Twit­ter user who post­ed videos of stu­dents being threat­ened with guns and vehi­cles, also Tweet­ed an update on Mon­day say­ing cit­i­zens had been kind to him and oth­er refugees dur­ing their trav­els. “Pol­ish peo­ple pro­vid­ed healthy foods for us, blan­kets and many things,” he said. “They pro­vid­ed every­thing for free, includ­ing bus­es and trains. Ukraini­ans also offered us foods on the road [because] we were all trekking. Only their law enforce­ment offi­cials were ter­ri­ble.

    ———–

    “‘Ugly, Unpro­fes­sion­al’: Inter­na­tion­al Stu­dents Describe Racism at the Ukrain­ian Bor­der” By Andrea Marks; The Rolling Stone; 03/01/2022

    “Those trav­el­ing towards oth­er coun­tries have been quick to add that they’ve been met with kind­ness and aid along the way, too. “One thing I must appre­ci­ate [is] that locals and NGOs were very help­ful,” Eht­e­sham says. “They were dis­trib­ut­ing all the nec­es­sary foods and stuff on both sides.” Nze, the Twit­ter user who post­ed videos of stu­dents being threat­ened with guns and vehi­cles, also Tweet­ed an update on Mon­day say­ing cit­i­zens had been kind to him and oth­er refugees dur­ing their trav­els. “Pol­ish peo­ple pro­vid­ed healthy foods for us, blan­kets and many things,” he said. “They pro­vid­ed every­thing for free, includ­ing bus­es and trains. Ukraini­ans also offered us foods on the road [because] we were all trekking. Only their law enforce­ment offi­cials were ter­ri­ble.””

    It’s not reports of wide­spread racism from ran­dom Ukraini­ans being direct­ed at these flee­ing non-white stu­dents. It’s specif­i­cal­ly Ukrain­ian sol­diers and author­i­ties. On the one hand, yay, it would be worse if these reports includ­ed acts of mali­cious racism com­ing from ran­dom Ukraini­ans. But on the oth­er hand, it under­scores just how real the threat is of far right extrem­ism in Ukrain­ian armed forces. A threat that’s only going to grow as this con­flict con­tin­ues. And note how these reports weren’t just ema­nat­ing from a sin­gle bor­der cross­ing. This was­n’t just one bad batch of bor­der guards:

    ...
    Anoth­er Niger­ian stu­dent who fled to Hun­gary told Rolling Stone he had such a hard time at the Poland bor­der, he’d had to turn back and try a dif­fer­ent way out. “I even­tu­al­ly left the Poland bor­der due to the inhu­mane behav­iors of the Ukrain­ian sol­diers, and the acts of racism,” says Coy Emer­ald, 26. “I went back to Lviv and chose anoth­er route to Hun­gary.” He says he’d walked for 10 hours only to be left “unat­tend­ed” at the bor­der to Poland by peo­ple who he claims were Ukrain­ian sol­diers. He said he’d had sev­er­al “unex­pect­ed, ugly” inter­ac­tions with the offi­cials. “I thought they were trained to pro­tect lives,” he says, adding that the “unpro­fes­sion­al con­duct” of offi­cials at the bor­der was a threat beyond the cri­sis of war that he had not seen com­ing.

    ...

    Nazish Eht­e­sham, a 19-year-old stu­dent from India, also says he saw offi­cials sep­a­rat­ing peo­ple by nation­al­i­ty at the bor­der to Roma­nia. “I don’t know whether to call that racism or what, but they were allow­ing less for­eign­ers as com­pared to Ukraini­ans,” he says.
    ...

    And as we can see in the fol­low­ing Buz­zFeed piece that is filled with more anec­dotes, these abus­es weren’t just tak­ing place on the bor­ders. Lviv, a key des­ti­na­tion on the way to the bor­der for many of these for­eign refugees, appears to have been the loca­tion of much of hte abuse. But even police in Kyiv were report­ed­ly refus­es to allow non-white women onto trains. And while most of the abuse was com­ing from author­i­ties in these sto­ries, there was still reports of locals hurl­ing racist invec­tive at the non-white stu­dents.

    But what is most notable in the fol­low­ing report was the ini­tial response of the Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment to these reports: dis­miss­ing them as Russ­ian pro­pa­gan­da. It was only after the del­uge of videos made it impos­si­ble to ignore that the gov­ern­ment opened up a nation­al hot­line for flee­ing for­eign stu­dents to call for assis­tance. It remains unclear if that hot­line has actu­al­ly alle­vi­at­ed the sit­u­a­tion, just as it remains unclear if the wide­spread abus­es of these flee­ing stu­dents has actu­al­ly been addressed by Ukrain­ian author­i­ties now that this has become an inter­na­tion­al inci­dent.

    And that’s all part of what makes the sto­ry of the fla­grant­ly racist abus­es of these flee­ing stu­dents such an impor­tant sto­ry in this broad­er con­flict: we’re get­ting a pre­view of how the Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment, and the world, is going to respond to the inevitable sto­ries of bla­tant­ly far right extrem­ist sym­pa­thies that real­ly are wide­ly tol­er­at­ed and endorsed by Ukrain­ian offi­cials. This far, it’s a scary pre­view:

    Buz­zFeed News

    African Stu­dents Said They’re Fac­ing Racism On Trains And Bus­es While Try­ing To Flee Ukraine

    For­eign stu­dents try­ing to reach the Ukrain­ian bor­der said they were thrown off trains, not allowed on bus­es, and made to wait hours in the cold before cross­ing over.

    by Julia Rein­stein, Ikran Dahir, Ellie Hall
    Post­ed on March 2, 2022, 2:00 pm

    Many African stu­dents who stud­ied in Ukraine said they’re fac­ing racial dis­crim­i­na­tion dur­ing their ter­ri­fy­ing jour­neys flee­ing Russia’s attacks, often strug­gling to find a way out of the coun­try.

    Buz­zFeed News heard from two Niger­ian stu­dents who said they were sub­ject­ed to racial slurs on a train and were vio­lent­ly thrown off it by Ukrain­ian police offi­cers who pulled a gun on them. A stu­dent from Sier­ra Leone said that she and her com­pan­ions were not allowed to board a train head­ed to the bor­der despite hav­ing tick­ets. And a stu­dent from Liberia said she was forced to spend two days in the cold with­out food and shel­ter at the Ukrain­ian bor­der after guards refused to let her and oth­er peo­ple of col­or board bus­es tak­ing refugees across to Poland.

    The Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment has dis­missed alle­ga­tions of racial dis­crim­i­na­tion against for­eign stu­dents as “Russ­ian dis­in­for­ma­tion.” But there have been sev­er­al reports on social media and in news out­lets about inter­na­tion­al stu­dents being sub­ject­ed to indif­fer­ent and inhu­mane treat­ment by local law enforce­ment as they try to escape Russ­ian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin’s lethal attacks.

    There is a wide-scale human­i­tar­i­an dis­as­ter under­way in Ukraine. Peo­ple are dying and suf­fer­ing ter­ri­ble injuries in the attacks, and about 660,000 Ukraini­ans cur­rent­ly are being dis­placed. It has left hun­dreds of thou­sands of Ukrain­ian cit­i­zens strand­ed at train sta­tions with­out food and water. And many for­eign stu­dents are expe­ri­enc­ing sim­i­lar hard­ships and are also endur­ing racist treat­ment dur­ing the jour­ney.

    Gene­va Igwa­ma, a 25-year-old med­ical stu­dent from Nige­ria, told Buz­zFeed News through What­sApp voice notes on Mon­day that police vio­lent­ly removed him and dozens more Black stu­dents from a train head­ed to Poland.

    “Right now I feel so dis­ap­point­ed in Ukraine,” Igwa­ma said, “because in such a sit­u­a­tion they were still able to show their racist behav­ior.”

    Igwa­ma had planned to take a train from the cap­i­tal city of Kyiv, trans­fer in Lviv, and make his way to Poland. At the sta­tion in Kyiv, which was packed with crowds of peo­ple des­per­ate to get out, atten­dants said only women and chil­dren would be allowed on — but that didn’t seem to include all women, accord­ing to Igwa­ma, who said they “refused Blacks, even the ladies, to enter.”

    See­ing that a num­ber of men were sneak­ing onto the train any­way, Igwa­ma said he and many of the oth­er med­ical stu­dents board­ed. Dur­ing the trip, Igwa­ma said, a small group of Ukrain­ian women began yelling at them unpro­voked, call­ing them “mon­keys” and telling them to “go back to Africa.”

    When Igwa­ma and his group arrived in Lviv and board­ed the next train on Feb. 25, he said that Ukrain­ian police offi­cers got on and began try­ing to shove him off the train.

    A video Igwa­ma shared with Buz­zFeed News appears to show the encounter between him and a police offi­cer on the train. Igwa­ma said the offi­cers began beat­ing him and slam­ming his head into the met­al door of the train car. In the video, Igwa­ma can be heard ask­ing the offi­cer, “What did I do to you?”

    Igwa­ma said the offi­cers shoved him till he was off the train, with one of them point­ing a gun at his face. Back on the plat­form, he said he saw dozens of oth­er pas­sen­gers — all Black — who had also been forcibly removed from the train.

    Sol­diers, as well as a few of the police offi­cers, inter­vened to stop the police beat­ings and help the stu­dents, for which Igwa­ma said he was grate­ful.

    Igwa­ma and his friends are now safe in a refugee shel­ter in Slo­va­kia, after being dri­ven about nine hours by a woman trans­port­ing peo­ple out of the coun­try and walk­ing anoth­er six hours to the bor­der. He hopes he can stay in Slo­va­kia and con­tin­ue his stud­ies, but the trau­ma of the ordeal — as well as his phys­i­cal injuries — are dif­fi­cult to cope with, he said.

    “It’s very, very sad­den­ing, because I can­not go back to Ukraine again — I’m not safe there, my life is at risk there,” he said. “The police who are sup­posed to guide us and pro­tect us are now the ones try­ing to kill us. What if we fell down from the train while it was mov­ing? What if I go to the hos­pi­tal and they tell me I have a brain injury?”

    David Ogbon­da, anoth­er Niger­ian stu­dent who was with Igwa­ma, cor­rob­o­rat­ed the inci­dent, say­ing that police offi­cers on the train “pounced” on them.

    “They’re assault­ing us, hit­ting us, push­ing us off the train,” Ogbon­da, 20, told Buz­zFeed News in What­sApp mes­sages. “There was a Ukrain­ian lady on the train as well who was say­ing ‘Mon­keys, you mon­keys go back to Africa,’ and the Ukrain­ian police said, ‘We are try­ing to force you because you are con­fused.’”

    He said the inci­dent left him “mor­ti­fied” and dis­heart­ened.”

    “Pri­or to this time I’ve nev­er expe­ri­enced such; I nev­er believed in racism but they lit­er­al­ly shoved it in my face,” Ogbon­da said.

    ...

    Igwama’s expe­ri­ence was also echoed by a Hait­ian man who told the Tele­graph that a police offi­cer in Lviv pulled a gun on him and a group of oth­er Black refugees while they were attempt­ing to board the train to Poland.

    “The cops in Lviv were shout­ing and push­ing us, forc­ing us to stand back,” Vanel Cazeau recalled to the news­pa­per after arriv­ing safe­ly in Poland. “I think they want­ed to get the Ukrain­ian women and chil­dren on board first, which I under­stand, but some of the police offi­cers were clear­ly racist.”

    He con­tin­ued, “One police­man pulled a gun on us and was shout­ing, but two oth­er police­men felt sor­ry for us and let us on the train, say­ing ‘go, go, go.’”

    Anoth­er video shared on Insta­gram appears to show police offi­cers in Lviv refus­ing to allow an African woman to board a train.

    Rabi­atu Bah, a 23-year-old med­ical stu­dent from Sier­ra Leone, told Buz­zFeed News via What­sApp mes­sages that even though she had pur­chased train tick­ets, an atten­dant refused to let her or her class­mates, who were also African, board the train leav­ing for Lviv.

    Bah said that while she didn’t want to jump to con­clu­sions about why they weren’t allowed, acknowl­edg­ing it may have been a mis­com­mu­ni­ca­tion, the same atten­dant let a Ukrain­ian woman on board even though she didn’t have a tick­et. Even­tu­al­ly, Bah’s group man­aged to get on the train in a dif­fer­ent car.

    “Thank god for the oth­er Ukraini­ans who were there too that saw us — every­one with their fam­i­lies just squeezed to one side and made space for us,” Bah said. “So it was just more the offi­cials that had the prob­lem, not the peo­ple.”

    When they arrived in Lviv, Bah said the group tried to get seats on a bus that would take them to Poland. Even though they were toward the front of the line, Bah said the pas­sen­gers behind them — who were from not just Ukraine, but a vari­ety of Euro­pean coun­tries — were let on first. Two bus­es filled up and left before they were able to get seats on the third one with the group of 10 fill­ing up the back two rows.

    “The under­tones of being Black are always there,” Bah said. “You just always end up to the back of every­thing.”

    Even after get­ting seats on the bus, their trou­bles weren’t over, she said. At one point dur­ing the ride, the bus came upon a police check­point.

    “A police­man walked onto the bus and made a bee­line straight for the back, and he asked us for our pass­ports and our res­i­den­cy,” Bah said, not­ing that the African stu­dents were the only pas­sen­gers ques­tioned by police. The ordeal took about half an hour, dur­ing which Bah wor­ried that the dri­ver or oth­er pas­sen­gers would get frus­trat­ed by the wait and kick them off the bus.

    “It wast­ed so much time, and it was so embar­rass­ing,” she said. “All of us had doc­u­ments, so he let us go even­tu­al­ly.”

    A med­ical stu­dent from Liberia who has been study­ing in Ukraine for five months recalled how she was forced to sleep in the cold at the bor­der for two days with no shel­ter or food after bor­der guards refused to let her and her com­pan­ions get on bus­es or cars tak­ing refugees across to Poland.

    The 27-year-old stu­dent, who did not wish to be iden­ti­fied for fear of her safe­ty, told Buz­zFeed News that the group of African stu­dents she was with had to walk around 13 hours to get to the bor­der of Ukraine.

    Once they arrived, she said, they were told to get in line for anoth­er bus to cross to the Pol­ish bor­der, but they kept being pushed to the back of the line.

    She said the bor­der offi­cials were “not let­ting peo­ple of col­or” on the bus­es.

    “They would say only women and chil­dren are allowed to get on the bus. But instead of tak­ing peo­ple who are Black, they [would] only take peo­ple who are white,” she said.

    “We were try­ing, because we felt that it was our right to actu­al­ly board the bus,” she said. “[The bor­der offi­cials] would be like, ‘Go back, if any­one tries to cross we are going to shoot you,’ and they shot in the air with live bul­lets.”

    The stu­dent said they were forced to walk the final leg of the route after beg­ging in vain for Ukrain­ian offi­cials to let them on any form of trans­port.

    “We are tired, every­one had their own break­down,” she said. “All we could do was light a fire, and then they were like, ‘You can­not light a fire,’ but it was all we could do to keep our­selves warm.”

    She said she won’t return to Ukraine to com­plete her stud­ies.

    “I would rather go to anoth­er coun­try because they don’t val­ue us because we are Black. If it comes to econ­o­my-wise, we are bring­ing mon­ey here. We don’t deserve to be treat­ed like this.”

    Rachel Onyeg­bule, a Niger­ian first-year med­ical stu­dent in Lviv who got stuck in the bor­der town of She­hyni, about 400 miles from Kyiv, told CNN that she watched 10 bus­es come and go.

    “We thought after they took all the Ukraini­ans they would take us, but they told us we had to walk, that there were no more bus­es and told us to walk,” Onyeg­bule said.

    She said her body was numb from the cold and she hadn’t slept in four days.

    “Ukraini­ans have been pri­or­i­tized over Africans — men and women — at every point. There’s no need for us to ask why. We know why. I just want to get home,” Onyeg­bule told CNN while she wait­ed at the bor­der to cross into Poland.

    In a now-viral Twit­ter thread, CNN pro­duc­er Bijan Hos­sei­ni doc­u­ment­ed the ardu­ous jour­ney his adopt­ed sis­ter from Sier­ra Leone under­took to escape Ukraine, say­ing that she expe­ri­enced “racism, injuries, freez­ing temps and sleep depri­va­tion.”

    After walk­ing in the freez­ing cold for hours, Hos­sei­ni said his sis­ter and her friends arrived at the bor­der but were not let in.

    “Two lines were formed. One for white peo­ple, the oth­er for every­one else,” Hos­sei­ni said in a tweet. “Only Ukraini­ans were being let over the bor­der. Thou­sands of peo­ple were forced to sleep out­side in the cold. Fires were start­ed to keep peo­ple warm.”

    He said that when she final­ly got on a bus that was about to cross the bor­der, it was announced that “all blacks” need­ed to get off, but that his sis­ter and her friends refused to do so.

    “They were met with the same racist treat­ment that thou­sands of oth­ers have report­ed at bor­ders, bus and train sta­tions across the coun­try,” Hos­sei­ni said.

    In a state­ment respond­ing to the numer­ous reports of racism faced by for­eign stu­dents, Ukraine’s Min­istry of For­eign Affairs said Mon­day, “There is no dis­crim­i­na­tion based on the race or nation­al­i­ty, includ­ing when it comes to the cross­ing of the state bor­der by for­eign cit­i­zens.”

    “Do not be mis­led by Russ­ian dis­in­for­ma­tion,” the agency said.

    The state­ment said the gov­ern­ment was “doing its best to facil­i­tate” the pas­sage of for­eign stu­dents at the bor­der, which was “over­whelmed with the mas­sive influx of peo­ple flee­ing Russia’s armed aggres­sion.”

    The agency said that Ukrain­ian offi­cials were apply­ing “the first come first served approach… to all nation­al­i­ties” and that there were cer­tain human­i­tar­i­an excep­tions allowed for women and chil­dren.

    “As active fight­ing con­tin­ues, we also believe it is more secure at this time for for­eign stu­dents to stay at their places of res­i­dence in Ukraine,” the state­ment said.

    On Thurs­day, Ukraine’s min­is­ter of for­eign affairs, Dmytro Kule­ba, said the gov­ern­ment had estab­lished an emer­gency hot­line for “African, Asian, and oth­er stu­dents” flee­ing Ukraine.

    “We are work­ing inten­sive­ly to ensure their safe­ty & speed up their pas­sage,” Kule­ba said.

    In Insta­gram mes­sages to her friend, 19-year-old Naj­ma, who is a Kenyan nation­al, described how Ukrain­ian offi­cials were treat­ing peo­ple of col­or try­ing to cross the bor­der to Poland.

    “The Ukraini­ans are push­ing and beat­ing black peo­ple,” Naj­ma, who arrived at the bor­der on Feb. 24, said in a mes­sage to her friend.

    Naj­ma told Buz­zFeed News that she, along with dozens of oth­er uni­ver­si­ty stu­dents, took a taxi from Ternopil, a city in west­ern Ukraine, to the Ukrain­ian bor­der. When they were just 16 kilo­me­ters from the bor­der, the dri­ver refused to take them any far­ther, cit­ing traf­fic, and declined to refund them for the remain­der of the trip.

    Nja­ma and her group had to walk for about six hours until they reached the Pol­ish bor­der, where she said she expe­ri­enced racism from some locals who were push­ing them back and “call­ing us Black as if we are not proud to be one.”

    “Nev­er expe­ri­enced such a thing,” Naj­ma said in a mes­sage to her friend. “Ukraine nev­er again.”

    ———-

    “African Stu­dents Said They’re Fac­ing Racism On Trains And Bus­es While Try­ing To Flee Ukraine” by Julia Rein­stein, Ikran Dahir, Ellie Hall; Buz­zFeed News; 03/02/2022

    “Nev­er expe­ri­enced such a thing...Ukraine nev­er again.”

    The non-whites flee­ing Ukraine are being trau­ma­tized to the point where they’re refus­ing to ever return. Mis­sion accom­plished.

    And this was­n’t just on the bor­der. Peo­ple try­ing to flee Kyiv were effec­tive­ly forced to stay behind. That’s a poten­tial death sen­tence. And for those lucky enough to escape to Lviv, the abus­es con­tin­ued. The ‘lucky’ ones got to be dri­ven close enough to the bor­der that they were able to walk for miles in the cold, only to be sub­ject to more abus­es on their way out:

    ...
    Gene­va Igwa­ma, a 25-year-old med­ical stu­dent from Nige­ria, told Buz­zFeed News through What­sApp voice notes on Mon­day that police vio­lent­ly removed him and dozens more Black stu­dents from a train head­ed to Poland.

    “Right now I feel so dis­ap­point­ed in Ukraine,” Igwa­ma said, “because in such a sit­u­a­tion they were still able to show their racist behav­ior.”

    Igwa­ma had planned to take a train from the cap­i­tal city of Kyiv, trans­fer in Lviv, and make his way to Poland. At the sta­tion in Kyiv, which was packed with crowds of peo­ple des­per­ate to get out, atten­dants said only women and chil­dren would be allowed on — but that didn’t seem to include all women, accord­ing to Igwa­ma, who said they “refused Blacks, even the ladies, to enter.”

    See­ing that a num­ber of men were sneak­ing onto the train any­way, Igwa­ma said he and many of the oth­er med­ical stu­dents board­ed. Dur­ing the trip, Igwa­ma said, a small group of Ukrain­ian women began yelling at them unpro­voked, call­ing them “mon­keys” and telling them to “go back to Africa.”

    When Igwa­ma and his group arrived in Lviv and board­ed the next train on Feb. 25, he said that Ukrain­ian police offi­cers got on and began try­ing to shove him off the train.

    A video Igwa­ma shared with Buz­zFeed News appears to show the encounter between him and a police offi­cer on the train. Igwa­ma said the offi­cers began beat­ing him and slam­ming his head into the met­al door of the train car. In the video, Igwa­ma can be heard ask­ing the offi­cer, “What did I do to you?”

    Igwa­ma said the offi­cers shoved him till he was off the train, with one of them point­ing a gun at his face. Back on the plat­form, he said he saw dozens of oth­er pas­sen­gers — all Black — who had also been forcibly removed from the train.

    Sol­diers, as well as a few of the police offi­cers, inter­vened to stop the police beat­ings and help the stu­dents, for which Igwa­ma said he was grate­ful.

    ...

    David Ogbon­da, anoth­er Niger­ian stu­dent who was with Igwa­ma, cor­rob­o­rat­ed the inci­dent, say­ing that police offi­cers on the train “pounced” on them.

    “They’re assault­ing us, hit­ting us, push­ing us off the train,” Ogbon­da, 20, told Buz­zFeed News in What­sApp mes­sages. “There was a Ukrain­ian lady on the train as well who was say­ing ‘Mon­keys, you mon­keys go back to Africa,’ and the Ukrain­ian police said, ‘We are try­ing to force you because you are con­fused.’”
    ...

    And what was the Ukrain­ian gov­ern­men­t’s response? Dis­miss­ing it all as Russ­ian dis­in­for­ma­tion. At least until all the videos made it unde­ni­able:

    ...
    The Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment has dis­missed alle­ga­tions of racial dis­crim­i­na­tion against for­eign stu­dents as “Russ­ian dis­in­for­ma­tion.” But there have been sev­er­al reports on social media and in news out­lets about inter­na­tion­al stu­dents being sub­ject­ed to indif­fer­ent and inhu­mane treat­ment by local law enforce­ment as they try to escape Russ­ian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin’s lethal attacks.

    ...

    In a state­ment respond­ing to the numer­ous reports of racism faced by for­eign stu­dents, Ukraine’s Min­istry of For­eign Affairs said Mon­day, “There is no dis­crim­i­na­tion based on the race or nation­al­i­ty, includ­ing when it comes to the cross­ing of the state bor­der by for­eign cit­i­zens.”

    “Do not be mis­led by Russ­ian dis­in­for­ma­tion,” the agency said.

    ...

    On Thurs­day, Ukraine’s min­is­ter of for­eign affairs, Dmytro Kule­ba, said the gov­ern­ment had estab­lished an emer­gency hot­line for “African, Asian, and oth­er stu­dents” flee­ing Ukraine.

    “We are work­ing inten­sive­ly to ensure their safe­ty & speed up their pas­sage,” Kule­ba said.
    ...

    It will be grim­ly inter­est­ing to see if we get any fol­low up reports at all about stu­dents call­ing the hot­line and actu­al­ly receiv­ing assis­tance. Or bet­ter yet, bor­der guards being dis­ci­plined and an end to these abus­es. With thou­sands of non-whites still try­ing to flee Ukraine these abus­es are undoubt­ed­ly still ongo­ing.

    But even more grim­ly inter­est­ing will be how the world com­mu­ni­ty responds to the sto­ries like this that are bound to come out in the future. Or worse sto­ries. The oppor­tu­ni­ties for war crimes are only going to grow as this plays out. How is the West going to respond as the extrem­ist move­ments that have gripped Ukraine con­tin­ue to show the world their true col­ors when these move­ments are the exact stat­ed rea­son Putin gives for the inva­sion? And what about when the extrem­ists were trained by the CIA? Will it be denials? Cov­er ups? Claims of ‘Russ­ian dis­in­for­ma­tion’? We’ll see. But it’s going to be worth keep­ing in mind that admit­ting the unde­ni­able nature of the extrem­ism fes­ter­ing in Ukraine and begin­ning an inter­na­tion­al dis­cus­sion of how to deal with it respon­si­bly would prob­a­bly be one of the most effec­tive means of con­vinc­ing Putin to end a war that does­n’t seem to have any oth­er log­i­cal end­ing out­side of WWIII.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 4, 2022, 4:16 pm
  6. When­ev­er a seem­ing­ly intractable cri­sis devel­ops, it’s always worth keep­ing in mind that poten­tial solu­tions to the cri­sis are often hid­den under the bed of lies of half-truths that are help­ing to dri­ve the cri­sis in the first place. And we sad­ly could­n’t come up with a bet­ter exam­ple than the cur­rent cri­sis between Rus­sia and Ukraine. No obvi­ous solu­tions exist to the cur­rent cri­sis, in large part because it’s a cri­sis that is not only fueled by per­va­sive lies but ulti­mate­ly caused by those lies. After all, if we accept that Vladimir Putin real­ly does view Ukraine, in its cur­rent tra­jec­to­ry, as a long-term exis­ten­tial threat to Rus­sia, it only fol­lows that part of what is fuel­ing this per­cep­tion of Ukraine as a long-term threat is the fact that Ukraine’s West­ern spon­sors per­sis­tent­ly refuse to even acknowl­edge the issues dri­ving this Russ­ian para­noia.

    So now that the world finds itself in an appar­ent­ly nuclear death trap, per­haps now is a good time to delib­er­ate­ly seek out the walls of BS that are obscur­ing path­ways out of WWIII. And that brings us to a recent piece by anti-nuclear activist Steven Starr in Con­sor­tium News that points out one of the biggest fac­tors dri­ving this cri­sis and which has been sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly ignored by the West­ern media: the fact that Putin made his angry Feb­ru­ary 21 speech two days after Ukrain­ian pres­i­dent Volodymyr Zelen­sky made a speech at the Munich Con­fer­ence where he essen­tial­ly threat­ened to rearm Ukraine with nuclear weapons unless the coun­try was allowed into NATO. It was a ‘NATO or nukes’ speech.

    As Starr points out, this was­n’t just blus­ter. Ukraine essen­tial­ly has ALL of the ingre­di­ents it needs to build a nuclear weapon in short order, includ­ing exten­sive amounts of plu­to­ni­um that can be made into weapons grade plu­to­ni­um rel­a­tive­ly eas­i­ly for a coun­try with Ukraine’s nuclear infra­struc­ture. And yet, as Starr also notes, this real­i­ty has large­ly been ignored by the West­ern press, despite the fact that Putin was quite explic­it about the role the poten­tial nuclear arm­ing of Ukraine played in his assess­ment of Ukraine as a exis­ten­tial threat to Rus­sia.

    As Starr also notes, it’s not sim­ply that West­ern media out­lets have been silent on the Ukrain­ian nuclear ambi­tions. It’s the 8 years of com­plic­it silence on the grow­ing pow­er and influ­ence of Ukrain­ian Nazis in the gov­ern­ment and nation­al secu­ri­ty infra­struc­ture of the coun­try that’s also dri­ving this cri­sis. Again, Ukraine’s sta­tus as an exis­ten­tial threat to Rus­sia isn’t sim­ply derived from its nuclear ambi­tions and the threat of a far right takeover. It’s the fact that the West seems to be large­ly OK with these trends that makes it an exis­ten­tial threat.

    It’s also impor­tant to recall that the poten­tial exis­ten­tial risks of a nuclear-armed Ukraine aren’t just from the risk of far right extrem­ists gain­ing con­trol of the gov­ern­ment and using the weapons, damn the con­se­quences. Main­stream Ukrain­ian politi­cians have made sim­i­lar threats. Recall the March 2014 leak of a record­ing between Yulia Tymoshenko and Nestor Shufrych from Ukraine’s Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil where Tymoshenko sug­gest­ed that the 8 mil­lion Rus­sians liv­ing in Ukraine should be killed with “nuclear weapons”. If the world is going to try to actu­al­ly under­stand what is dri­ving this cri­sis — and not just lament how Putin has gone mad — per­haps peel­ing back the lay­ers of BS would help

    And that’s all why the large­ly unac­knowl­edged role of Ukraine’s nuclear ambi­tions — cou­pled with the long-stand­ing white­wash­ing of Ukraine’s very real ‘Nazi prob­lem’ — rep­re­sent pow­er­ful oppor­tu­ni­ties to extri­cate the world out of this nuclear stand­off. If the world actu­al­ly dis­cussed these issues instead of cov­er­ing them up, who knows, maybe a solu­tion would emerge:

    Con­sor­tium News

    Ukraine & Nukes

    After a New York Times reporter gross­ly dis­tort­ed what Putin and Zelen­sky have said and done about nuclear weapons, Steven Starr cor­rects the record and deplores West­ern media, in gen­er­al, for mis­in­form­ing and lead­ing the entire world in a dan­ger­ous direc­tion.

    By Steven Starr
    Spe­cial to Con­sor­tium News
    March 3, 2022

    The New York Times recent­ly pub­lished an arti­cle by David Sanger enti­tled “Putin spins a con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry that Ukraine is on a path to pro­duce nuclear weapons.” Unfor­tu­nate­ly, it is Sanger who puts so much spin in his report­ing that he leaves his read­ers with a gross­ly dis­tort­ed ver­sion of the what the pres­i­dents of Rus­sia and Ukraine have said and done.

    Ukrain­ian Volodymyr Zelensky’s recent state­ments at the Munich con­fer­ence cen­tered around the 1994 Budapest Mem­o­ran­dum, which wel­comed Ukraine’s acces­sion to the Nuclear Non-Pro­lif­er­a­tion Treaty (NPT) in con­junc­tion with Ukraine’s deci­sion to return to Rus­sia the nuclear weapons left on its ter­ri­to­ry by the Sovi­et Union.

    In oth­er words, the Budapest Mem­o­ran­dum was express­ly about Ukraine giv­ing up its nukes and not becom­ing a nuclear weapon state in the future. Zelensky’s speech at Munich made it clear that Ukraine was mov­ing to repu­di­ate the Budapest Mem­o­ran­dum; Zelen­sky essen­tial­ly stat­ed that Ukraine must be made a mem­ber of NATO, oth­er­wise it would acquire nuclear weapons.

    This is what Zelen­sky said, with empha­sis added:

    “I want to believe that the North Atlantic Treaty and Arti­cle 5 will be more effec­tive than the Budapest Mem­o­ran­dum.

    Ukraine has received secu­ri­ty guar­an­tees for aban­don­ing the world’s third nuclear capa­bil­i­ty [i.e. Ukraine relin­quished the Sovi­et nuclear weapons that had been placed in Ukraine dur­ing the Cold War]. We don’t have that weapon. … There­fore, we have some­thing. The right to demand a shift from a pol­i­cy of appease­ment to ensur­ing secu­ri­ty and peace guar­an­tees.

    Since 2014, Ukraine has tried three times to con­vene con­sul­ta­tions with the guar­an­tor states of the Budapest Mem­o­ran­dum. Three times with­out suc­cess. . . I am ini­ti­at­ing con­sul­ta­tions in the frame­work of the Budapest Mem­o­ran­dum. The Min­is­ter of For­eign Affairs was com­mis­sioned to con­vene them. If they do not hap­pen again or their results do not guar­an­tee secu­ri­ty for our coun­try, Ukraine will have every right to believe that the Budapest Mem­o­ran­dum is not work­ing and all the pack­age deci­sions of 1994 are in doubt. . .

    I am ini­ti­at­ing con­sul­ta­tions in the frame­work of the Budapest Mem­o­ran­dum. The Min­is­ter of For­eign Affairs was com­mis­sioned to con­vene them. If they do not hap­pen again or their results do not guar­an­tee secu­ri­ty for our coun­try, Ukraine will have every right to believe that the Budapest Mem­o­ran­dum is not work­ing and all the pack­age deci­sions of 1994 are in doubt.”

    Sanger’s Times arti­cle implies that it was a “con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry” that Zelen­sky was call­ing for Ukraine to acquire nuclear weapons. Sanger was not igno­rant of the mean­ing of the Budapest Mem­o­ran­dum, rather he chose to delib­er­ate­ly ignore it and mis­rep­re­sent­ed the facts.

    Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin, along with the major­i­ty of Rus­sians, could not ignore such a threat for a num­ber of his­tor­i­cal rea­sons that The New York Times and ide­o­logues such as Sanger have also cho­sen to ignore. It is impor­tant to list some of those facts, since most Amer­i­cans are unaware of them, as they have not been report­ed in the West­ern main­stream media. Leav­ing parts of the sto­ry out turns Putin into just a mad­man bent on con­quest with­out any rea­son to inter­vene.

    First, both the provinces of Donet­sk and Lugan­sk in the Don­bass region vot­ed for inde­pen­dence from Ukraine in 2014 in resis­tance to a U.S.-backed coup that over­threw the elect­ed pres­i­dent Vik­tor Yanukovych in Feb­ru­ary of that year. The inde­pen­dence vote came just eight days after neo-Nazis burned dozens of eth­nic Rus­sians alive in Odessa. To crush their bid for inde­pen­dence, the new U.S.-installed Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment then launched an “anti-ter­ror­ist” war against the provinces, with the assis­tance of the neo-Nazi Azov Bat­tal­ion, which had tak­en part in the coup. It is a war that is still going on eight years lat­er, a war that Rus­sia has just entered.

    Dur­ing these eight years, the Ukrain­ian Armed Forces and Azov have used artillery, snipers and assas­si­na­tion teams to sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly butch­er more than 5,000 peo­ple (anoth­er 8,000 were wound­ed) — most­ly civil­ians — in the Donet­sk Peo­ples Repub­lic, accord­ing to the leader of the DPR, who pro­vid­ed these fig­ures in a press con­fer­ence recent­ly. In the Luhan­sk People’s Repub­lic, an addi­tion­al 2,000 civil­ians were killed and 3,365 injured. The total num­ber of peo­ple killed and wound­ed in Don­bass since 2014 is more than 18,000.

    This has received at most super­fi­cial cov­er­age by The New York Times; it has not been cov­ered by West­ern cor­po­rate media because it does not fit the offi­cial Wash­ing­ton nar­ra­tive that Ukraine is pur­su­ing an “anti-ter­ror­ist oper­a­tion” in its unre­lent­ing attacks on the peo­ple of Don­bass. For eight years the war instead has been por­trayed as a Russ­ian “inva­sion,” well before Russia’s cur­rent inter­ven­tion.

    Like­wise, The New York Times, in its over­all cov­er­age, chose not to report that the Ukrain­ian forces had deployed half of its army, about 125,000 troops, to its bor­der with Don­bass by the begin­ning of 2022.

    The impor­tance of neo-Nazi Right Sek­tor politi­cians in the Ukraine gov­ern­ment and neo-Nazi mili­tias (such as the Azov Bat­tal­ion)) to the Ukrain­ian Armed Forces, also goes unre­port­ed in the main­stream cor­po­rate media. The Azov bat­tal­ion flies Nazi flags; they have been trained by teams of U.S. mil­i­tary advis­ers and praised on Face­book these days. In 2014, Azov was incor­po­rat­ed in the Ukrain­ian Nation­al Guard under the direc­tion of the Inte­ri­or Min­istry.

    The Nazis killed some­thing on the order of 27 mil­lion Soviets/Russians dur­ing World War II (the U.S. lost 404,000). Rus­sia has not for­got­ten and is extreme­ly sen­si­tive to any threats and vio­lence com­ing from neo-Nazis. Amer­i­cans gen­er­al­ly do not under­stand what this means to Rus­sians as the Unit­ed States has nev­er been invad­ed.

    So, when the leader of Ukraine essen­tial­ly threat­ens to obtain nuclear weapons, this is most cer­tain­ly con­sid­ered to be an exis­ten­tial threat to Rus­sia. That is why Putin focused on this dur­ing his speech pre­ced­ing the Russ­ian inva­sion of Ukraine. Sanger and The New York Times must dis­count a Ukrain­ian nuclear threat; they can get away with doing so because they have sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly omit­ted news per­tain­ing to this for many years.

    Sanger makes a very mis­lead­ing state­ment when he writes, “Today Ukraine does not even have the basic infra­struc­ture to pro­duce nuclear fuel.”

    Ukraine is not inter­est­ed in mak­ing nuclear fuel — which Ukraine already pur­chas­es from the U.S Ukraine has plen­ty of plu­to­ni­um, which is com­mon­ly used to make nuclear weapons today; eight years ago Ukraine held more than 50 tons of plu­to­ni­um in its spent fuel assem­blies stored at its many nuclear pow­er plants (prob­a­bly con­sid­er­ably more today, as the reac­tors have con­tin­ued to run and pro­duce spent fuel). Once plu­to­ni­um is reprocessed/separated from spent nuclear fuel, it becomes weapons usable. Putin not­ed that Ukraine already has mis­siles that could car­ry nuclear war­heads, and they cer­tain­ly have sci­en­tists capa­ble of devel­op­ing repro­cess­ing facil­i­ties and build­ing nuclear weapons.

    In his Feb. 21 tele­vised address, Putin said Ukraine still has the infra­struc­ture left­over from Sovi­et days to build a bomb. He said:

    “As we know, it has already been stat­ed today that Ukraine intends to cre­ate its own nuclear weapons, and this is not just brag­ging.

    Ukraine has the nuclear tech­nolo­gies cre­at­ed back in the Sovi­et times and deliv­ery vehi­cles for such weapons, includ­ing air­craft, as well as the Sovi­et-designed Tochka‑U pre­ci­sion tac­ti­cal mis­siles with a range of over 100 kilo­me­ters.

    But they can do more; it is only a mat­ter of time. They have had the ground­work for this since the Sovi­et era.

    In oth­er words, acquir­ing tac­ti­cal nuclear weapons will be much eas­i­er for Ukraine than for some oth­er states I am not going to men­tion here, which are con­duct­ing such research, espe­cial­ly if Kiev receives for­eign tech­no­log­i­cal sup­port. We can­not rule this out either.

    If Ukraine acquires weapons of mass destruc­tion, the sit­u­a­tion in the world and in Europe will dras­ti­cal­ly change, espe­cial­ly for us, for Rus­sia. We can­not but react to this real dan­ger, all the more so since let me repeat, Ukraine’s West­ern patrons may help it acquire these weapons to cre­ate yet anoth­er threat to our coun­try.”

    NATO-US Refuse Bind­ing Nuclear Treaties

    In his Times piece, Sanger states, “Amer­i­can offi­cials have said repeat­ed­ly that they have no plans to place nuclear weapons in Ukraine.”

    But the U.S. and NATO have refused to sign legal­ly bind­ing treaties with Rus­sia to this effect. In real­i­ty, the U.S. has been mak­ing Ukraine a de fac­to mem­ber of NATO, while train­ing and sup­ply­ing its mil­i­tary forces and con­duct­ing joint exer­cis­es on Ukrain­ian ter­ri­to­ry. Why wouldn’t the U.S. place nuclear weapons in Ukraine — they have already done so at mil­i­tary bases with­in the bor­ders of five oth­er Euro­pean mem­bers of NATO. This in fact vio­lates the spir­it of the NPT, anoth­er issue that Sanger avoids when he notes that Rus­sia has demand­ed that the U.S. remove nuclear weapons from the Euro­pean NATO-mem­ber states.

    For years the U.S. pro­claimed that the Bal­lis­tic Mis­sile Defense (BMD) facil­i­ties it was plac­ing in Roma­nia and Poland, on the Russ­ian bor­der, were to pro­tect against an “Iran­ian threat,” even though Iran had no nuclear weapons or mis­siles that could reach the U.S. But the dual-use Mark 41 launch­ing sys­tems used in the Aegis Ashore BMD facil­i­ties can be used to launch Tom­a­hawk cruise mis­siles, and will be fit­ted with SM‑6 mis­siles that, if armed with nuclear war­heads, could hit Moscow in five-to-six min­utes. Putin explic­it­ly warned jour­nal­ists about this dan­ger in 2016; Rus­sia includ­ed the removal of the U.S. BMD facil­i­ties in Roma­nia and Poland in its draft treaties pre­sent­ed to the U.S. and NATO last Decem­ber.

    I won­der if Sanger has ever con­sid­ered what the U.S. response would be if Rus­sia placed mis­sile launch­ing facil­i­ties on the Cana­di­an or Mex­i­can bor­der? Would the U.S. con­sid­er that a threat, would it demand that Rus­sia remove them or else the U.S. would use mil­i­tary means to do so?

    ...

    This is sui­ci­dal course for not only the U.S. and the EU, but for civ­i­liza­tion as a whole, because this would like­ly end in a nuclear war that will destroy all nations and peo­ples.

    **

    Steven Starr is the for­mer direc­tor of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Missouri’s Clin­i­cal Lab­o­ra­to­ry Sci­ence Pro­gram, and for­mer board mem­ber of Physi­cians for Social Respon­si­bil­i­ty. His arti­cles have been pub­lished by the Bul­letin of the Atom­ic Sci­en­tists, Fed­er­a­tion of Amer­i­can Sci­en­tists and the Strate­gic Arms Reduc­tion web­site of the Moscow Insti­tute of Physics and Tech­nol­o­gy. He main­tains the Nuclear Famine web­site.

    ————

    “Ukraine & Nukes” by Steven Starr; Con­sor­tium News; 03/03/2022

    “In oth­er words, the Budapest Mem­o­ran­dum was express­ly about Ukraine giv­ing up its nukes and not becom­ing a nuclear weapon state in the future. Zelensky’s speech at Munich made it clear that Ukraine was mov­ing to repu­di­ate the Budapest Mem­o­ran­dum; Zelen­sky essen­tial­ly stat­ed that Ukraine must be made a mem­ber of NATO, oth­er­wise it would acquire nuclear weapons.

    It was a ‘NATO or Nukes’ dec­la­ra­tion by Zelen­sky dur­ing his Feb­ru­ary 19 speech at the Munich Con­fer­ence. A dec­la­ra­tion with poten­tial­ly imme­di­ate impli­ca­tions. Of all the coun­tries on the plan­et cur­rent­ly lack­ing nuclear weapons, Ukraine is arguably the most capa­ble of imme­di­ate­ly pro­duc­ing them. It has the exper­tise, fuel, and infra­struc­ture. The only thing hold­ing it back was that Budapest Mem­o­ran­dum. And that’s why the ques­tion of whether or not Ukraine had already secret­ly start­ed a nuclear pro­gram — and how far along were they when Zelen­skiy made that Feb 19 speech — looms over this entire inva­sion. Ukraine was clear­ly think­ing about devel­op­ing nuclear weapons. Effec­tive­ly threat­en­ing to do so. Is the Krem­lin going to attempt to show evi­dence of a secret nuclear weapons pro­gram? The near-imme­di­ate seizure of the Cher­nobyl plant makes it an intrigu­ing ques­tion. Ukraine real­ly did have all of the ingre­di­ents nec­es­sary for the rapid devel­op­ment of its own nukes:

    ...
    Sanger makes a very mis­lead­ing state­ment when he writes, “Today Ukraine does not even have the basic infra­struc­ture to pro­duce nuclear fuel.”

    Ukraine is not inter­est­ed in mak­ing nuclear fuel — which Ukraine already pur­chas­es from the U.S Ukraine has plen­ty of plu­to­ni­um, which is com­mon­ly used to make nuclear weapons today; eight years ago Ukraine held more than 50 tons of plu­to­ni­um in its spent fuel assem­blies stored at its many nuclear pow­er plants (prob­a­bly con­sid­er­ably more today, as the reac­tors have con­tin­ued to run and pro­duce spent fuel). Once plu­to­ni­um is reprocessed/separated from spent nuclear fuel, it becomes weapons usable. Putin not­ed that Ukraine already has mis­siles that could car­ry nuclear war­heads, and they cer­tain­ly have sci­en­tists capa­ble of devel­op­ing repro­cess­ing facil­i­ties and build­ing nuclear weapons.

    In his Feb. 21 tele­vised address, Putin said Ukraine still has the infra­struc­ture left­over from Sovi­et days to build a bomb. He said:

    “As we know, it has already been stat­ed today that Ukraine intends to cre­ate its own nuclear weapons, and this is not just brag­ging.

    Ukraine has the nuclear tech­nolo­gies cre­at­ed back in the Sovi­et times and deliv­ery vehi­cles for such weapons, includ­ing air­craft, as well as the Sovi­et-designed Tochka‑U pre­ci­sion tac­ti­cal mis­siles with a range of over 100 kilo­me­ters.

    But they can do more; it is only a mat­ter of time. They have had the ground­work for this since the Sovi­et era.

    In oth­er words, acquir­ing tac­ti­cal nuclear weapons will be much eas­i­er for Ukraine than for some oth­er states I am not going to men­tion here, which are con­duct­ing such research, espe­cial­ly if Kiev receives for­eign tech­no­log­i­cal sup­port. We can­not rule this out either.

    If Ukraine acquires weapons of mass destruc­tion, the sit­u­a­tion in the world and in Europe will dras­ti­cal­ly change, espe­cial­ly for us, for Rus­sia. We can­not but react to this real dan­ger, all the more so since let me repeat, Ukraine’s West­ern patrons may help it acquire these weapons to cre­ate yet anoth­er threat to our coun­try.”

    ...

    And note the oppor­tu­ni­ty this all presents for deesca­lat­ing the sit­u­a­tion: part of what’s dri­ving Russ­ian para­noia about the prospects of a nuclear armed Ukraine is the fact that the US and NATO have refused to sign legal­ly bind­ing treaties ban­ning the place­ment of West­ern nukes in Ukraine. So that seems like an obvi­ous avenue for diplo­ma­cy. The kind of diplo­ma­cy that helped resolve the Cuban Mis­sile Cri­sis. Would a treaty ban­ning the deploy­ment of nuclear weapons in Ukraine, or devel­op­ment of nukes by Ukraine itself, effec­tive­ly remove Ukraine’s sta­tus as a per­ceived long-term exis­ten­tial threat to Rus­sia?

    ...
    In his Times piece, Sanger states, “Amer­i­can offi­cials have said repeat­ed­ly that they have no plans to place nuclear weapons in Ukraine.”

    But the U.S. and NATO have refused to sign legal­ly bind­ing treaties with Rus­sia to this effect. In real­i­ty, the U.S. has been mak­ing Ukraine a de fac­to mem­ber of NATO, while train­ing and sup­ply­ing its mil­i­tary forces and con­duct­ing joint exer­cis­es on Ukrain­ian ter­ri­to­ry. Why wouldn’t the U.S. place nuclear weapons in Ukraine — they have already done so at mil­i­tary bases with­in the bor­ders of five oth­er Euro­pean mem­bers of NATO. This in fact vio­lates the spir­it of the NPT, anoth­er issue that Sanger avoids when he notes that Rus­sia has demand­ed that the U.S. remove nuclear weapons from the Euro­pean NATO-mem­ber states.

    For years the U.S. pro­claimed that the Bal­lis­tic Mis­sile Defense (BMD) facil­i­ties it was plac­ing in Roma­nia and Poland, on the Russ­ian bor­der, were to pro­tect against an “Iran­ian threat,” even though Iran had no nuclear weapons or mis­siles that could reach the U.S. But the dual-use Mark 41 launch­ing sys­tems used in the Aegis Ashore BMD facil­i­ties can be used to launch Tom­a­hawk cruise mis­siles, and will be fit­ted with SM‑6 mis­siles that, if armed with nuclear war­heads, could hit Moscow in five-to-six min­utes. Putin explic­it­ly warned jour­nal­ists about this dan­ger in 2016; Rus­sia includ­ed the removal of the U.S. BMD facil­i­ties in Roma­nia and Poland in its draft treaties pre­sent­ed to the U.S. and NATO last Decem­ber.
    ...

    And now here’s a reminder about the 2017 dec­la­ra­tion signed by Svo­bo­da, Right Sec­tor, and Nation­al Corps (Azov’s polit­i­cal wing) call­ing for Ukraine to rearm itself with nuclear weapons. It was just one part of a “Nation­al Man­i­festo” that includ­ed calls for reori­ent­ing Ukraine from the West and cre­at­ing “a new Euro­pean Union with the Baltic States.” In oth­er oth­er words, the cre­ation of the Inter­mar­i­um. And to make clear that this reori­en­ta­tion away from the West won’t involve turn­ing towards Rus­sia, the man­i­festo also called for ban­ning Russ­ian cap­i­tal and busi­ness in Ukraine.

    And yes, these three extrem­ist par­ties had no rep­re­sen­ta­tives in par­lia­ment at the time as the arti­cle points out. But that’s kind of the point. These fas­cist groups con­tin­ue to get cod­dled by the Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment, receiv­ing extra spe­cial treat­ment and get­ting dep­u­tized into offi­cial secu­ri­ty roles, despite the rel­a­tive lack of suc­cess of the polls. That’s how deep the offi­cial main­stream­ing of fas­cism has been in Ukraine since 2014. So when we’re try­ing to under­stand the cur­rent cri­sis, we have to rec­og­nize that a nuclear armed fas­cist Ukraine real­ly was a loom­ing threat. And not just to Rus­sia:

    Kyiv Post

    Nation­al­ists say Ukraine has right to nuclear weapons

    By Veroni­ka Melkoze­ro­va
    Pub­lished March 17, 2017. Updat­ed March 17 at 4:37 pm

    Ukraine should have the right to arm itself again with nuclear weapons, accord­ing to a joint man­i­festo signed by three of the country’s nation­al­ist par­ties on March 16 in Kyiv.

    The “Nation­al Man­i­festo” signed by Svo­bo­da, Right Sec­tor and Nation­al Corps – none of whom have any rep­re­sen­ta­tion in par­lia­ment – calls for coop­er­a­tion among the three to “fight for the pros­per­i­ty of Ukraine as a pow­er­ful nation state.”

    ...

    The nation­al­ists’ man­i­festo also includes reori­ent­ing Ukraine from the West and cre­at­ing “a new Euro­pean Union with the Baltic States.”

    They also said that Russ­ian cap­i­tal and busi­ness­es would be banned, and that “tra­di­tion­al val­ues” should be pro­mot­ed in the mass media.

    Speak­ing at the sign­ing cer­e­mo­ny, Svo­bo­da Par­ty leader Oleh Tiah­ny­bok slammed Ukraine’s cur­rent lead­er­ship for fail­ing to “defend the inter­ests of the Ukrain­ian nation.”

    “We saw that the democ­rats, lib­er­als, and social­ists … make shady deals, and do any­thing but stand for the inter­ests of the mas­ters of this land. Only nation­al­ists, when they have the full pow­er and author­i­ty, can devel­op the state in favor of all Ukraini­ans,” he said.

    How­ev­er, Svo­bo­da, Right Sec­tor, and Nation­al Corps have no plans to unite into one orga­ni­za­tion or polit­i­cal par­ty, Artem Sko­ropad­sky, the spokesper­son for Right Sec­tor told the Kyiv Post on March 17.

    More­over, the rad­i­cal nation­al­ists fre­quent­ly have dif­fer­ent views and adopt dif­fer­ing posi­tions on a vari­ety of issues.

    “The cre­ation of a so-called nation­al­ist bloc is noth­ing more than polit­i­cal PR,” Sko­ropad­sky said. “Par­tic­i­pa­tion in elec­tions is not our goal. We aim to take over­all con­trol and cre­ate a nation state.

    Tiah­ny­bok described the man­i­festo as more of a “coor­di­na­tion of efforts.”

    Nation­al­ist and far-right groups in Ukraine have some of the low­est lev­els of sup­port in Europe. At the local elec­tions in Octo­ber 2015, Svo­bo­da gained 6.8 per­cent nation­al­ly, while the Right Sec­tor Par­ty polled less than 1 per­cent.

    Svo­bo­da had been a more pow­er­ful polit­i­cal force dur­ing the rule of oust­ed Pres­i­dent Vik­tor Yanukovych rule. In the 2012 par­lia­men­tary elec­tion the par­ty won more than 10 per­cent of votes and took 38 seats in par­lia­ment.

    But in the 2014 par­lia­men­tary elec­tion, fol­low­ing the Euro­Maid­an Rev­o­lu­tion, the Svo­bo­da Par­ty got only 4.2 per­cent of the vote nation­al­ly, fail­ing to pass the 5 per­cent elec­toral thresh­old to win par­ty list seats in par­lia­ment. It won sev­en seats in the Rada in con­stituen­cy votes.

    ...

    ————

    “Nation­al­ists say Ukraine has right to nuclear weapons” by Veroni­ka Melkoze­ro­va; Kyiv Post; 03/17/2017

    ““The cre­ation of a so-called nation­al­ist bloc is noth­ing more than polit­i­cal PR,” Sko­ropad­sky said. “Par­tic­i­pa­tion in elec­tions is not our goal. We aim to take over­all con­trol and cre­ate a nation state.

    Demo­c­ra­t­ic par­tic­i­pa­tion was not their stat­ed goal with that nation­al­ist man­i­festo. An intent on rul­ing was the goal. A fas­cist rule that would include nukes and the ban­ning of all things Russ­ian:

    ...
    The nation­al­ists’ man­i­festo also includes reori­ent­ing Ukraine from the West and cre­at­ing “a new Euro­pean Union with the Baltic States.”

    They also said that Russ­ian cap­i­tal and busi­ness­es would be banned, and that “tra­di­tion­al val­ues” should be pro­mot­ed in the mass media.
    ...

    Yes, it was just five years ago that Ukraine’s lead­ing far right par­ties issued this man­i­festo. The kind of man­i­festo that was­n’t real­ly about win­ning elec­tions. Because these par­ties aren’t inter­est­ed in win­ning elec­tions. Or democ­ra­cy. Oh, they are very inter­est­ed in gain­ing pow­er. Just not through demo­c­ra­t­ic means. And they want nukes and no Russ­ian busi­ness or cap­i­tal. And have been sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly cod­dled by the Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment with the com­plic­it silence of West­ern gov­ern­ments and the media. This was five years ago and the under­ly­ing dynam­ics — the offi­cial fas­cist cod­dling — has­n’t changed. If we want to look for avenues out of this cri­sis, here they are. The same avenues we’ve been refus­ing to walk down for eight years now as we gal­lop down the path towards WWIII, col­lec­tive­ly mum­bling some­thing about “Glo­ry to Ukraine!” The inevitable mush­room clouds will no doubt be glo­ri­ous. From a dis­tance.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 5, 2022, 4:54 pm
  7. There was a dis­turb­ing update to the Krem­lin’s claims about Ukraine har­bor­ing nuclear ambi­tions fol­low­ing Pres­i­dent Volodymyr Zelen­sky’s Feb 19 ‘NATO or nukes’ speech: Russ­ian media is now cit­ing anony­mous sources claim­ing Rus­sia has evi­dence that Ukraine was close to build­ing a plu­to­ni­um-based “dirty bomb”.

    These claims about dirty-bombs and nuclear ambi­tions are all hap­pen­ing at the same time nuclear plants have been high pri­or­i­ty tar­gets of the Russ­ian inva­sion, with the Cher­nobyl plant stand­ing out as one of the first tar­gets of occu­pa­tion. So what was Ukraine’s actu­al capac­i­ty to build either a dirty-bomb or a func­tion­ing nuclear weapon? As we’re going to see, while a nuclear weapon may have required a num­ber of tech­ni­cal hur­dles, it does­n’t appear Ukraine would have had much dif­fi­cul­ty cre­at­ing a plu­to­ni­um dirty bomb if it want­ed to. Not only are the exist­ing oper­at­ing nuclear plants run­ning on plu­to­ni­um, but it turns out the Cher­nobyl plant was built with a design that made it idea for gen­er­at­ing weapons grade plu­to­ni­um from Ura­ni­um. It also turns out the Cher­nobyl plant was oper­at­ed until 2000, when it was final­ly slat­ed for the decades-long process of decom­mis­sion­ing. So if Ukraine was indeed work­ing on gen­er­at­ing a plu­to­ni­um-based dirty bomb, it’s going to be inter­est­ing to see what, if any, evi­dence we about secret projects tak­ing place at Cher­nobyl. Secret dirty bombs, and maybe the not-as-dirty-but-more-explo­sive vari­ety:

    Reuters

    Rus­sia, with­out evi­dence, says Ukraine mak­ing nuclear “dirty bomb”

    March 6, 2022 12:06 AM CST Updat­ed

    March 6 (Reuters) — Russ­ian media cit­ed an unnamed source on Sun­day as say­ing that Ukraine was close to build­ing a plu­to­ni­um-based “dirty bomb” nuclear weapon, although the source cit­ed no evi­dence.

    ...

    The TASS, RIA and Inter­fax news agen­cies quot­ed “a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of a com­pe­tent body” in Rus­sia on Sun­day as say­ing Ukraine was devel­op­ing nuclear weapons at the destroyed Cher­nobyl nuclear pow­er plant that was shut down in 2000.

    Ukraine’s gov­ern­ment has said it had no plans to rejoin the nuclear club, hav­ing giv­en up its nuclear arms in 1994 fol­low­ing the break-up of the Sovi­et Union.

    Short­ly before the inva­sion, Putin said in a griev­ance-filled speech that Ukraine was using Sovi­et know-how to cre­ate its own nuclear weapons, and that this was tan­ta­mount to prepa­ra­tion for an attack on Rus­sia.

    ———–

    “Rus­sia, with­out evi­dence, says Ukraine mak­ing nuclear “dirty bomb””; Reuters; 03/06/2022

    “The TASS, RIA and Inter­fax news agen­cies quot­ed “a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of a com­pe­tent body” in Rus­sia on Sun­day as say­ing Ukraine was devel­op­ing nuclear weapons at the destroyed Cher­nobyl nuclear pow­er plant that was shut down in 2000.”

    Well, with­out any hard evi­dence it’s hard to lend too much cre­dence to these claims. Although Zelen­skiy’s Feb­ru­ary 2019 ‘NATO or nukes’ speech cer­tain­ly point­ed in the direc­tion of a secret nuclear pro­gram. And as we’re going to see, there’s no short­age of cir­cum­stan­tial evi­dence point­ing in this direc­tion. Evi­dence in the sense that a nuclear weapon real­ly did appear to be acces­si­ble for Ukraine. Not only does it poten­tial­ly have the capac­i­ty to gen­er­ate weapons-grade plu­to­ni­um from the exist­ing plu­to­ni­um in Ukraine’s oper­at­ing nuclear plants, but it turns out the Cher­nobyl plan­t’s design was deemed to be opti­mal for the ‘dual-use’ gen­er­a­tion of weapons-grade plu­to­ni­um from Ura­ni­um. Ukraine had nuclear options. That’s part of what makes the ear­ly seizure of Cher­nobyl such an intrigu­ing mil­i­tary deci­sion. As the fol­low­ing 2016 piece describes, while Cher­nobyl melt­ed down in 1986, it actu­al­ly kept oper­at­ing until 2000, with decom­mis­sion­ing oper­a­tions on the site ever since. So there was def­i­nite­ly activ­i­ty at Cher­nobyl in the lead up to its seizure by Russ­ian forces. Are we going to be shown evi­dence of some­thing oth­er that decom­mis­sion­ing activ­i­ty at the plant? We’ll see:

    Insid­er

    Here’s why Rus­sia did­n’t shut down Cher­nobyl until 14 years after the dis­as­ter

    Sarah Kramer
    Apr 26, 2016, 4:56 PM

    April 26 marks a mor­bid his­toric anniver­sary. Thir­ty years ago to the day in 2016, the Cher­nobyl nuclear pow­er plant melt­ed down out­side Pripy­at, Ukraine.

    The result­ing explo­sion killed 31 peo­ple almost imme­di­ate­ly, and the spray of radioac­tive fall­out forced the per­ma­nent evac­u­a­tion of at least 100,000 peo­ple near­by — though, in a gross over­sight on the part of offi­cials, the evac­u­a­tion of Pripy­at did­n’t begin until 36 hours after the ini­tial explo­sion.

    While exact fig­ures are still dis­put­ed, it’s esti­mat­ed that the explo­sion has caused thou­sands of deaths in the inter­ven­ing years, like­ly with more still to come.

    But that was­n’t the end of Cher­nobyl’s sto­ry.

    Despite set­ting a 19-mile exclu­sion zone and build­ing a huge con­crete “sar­coph­a­gus to cov­er the melt­ed-down (and still radioac­tive) Unit 4 reac­tor, offi­cials kept three reac­tors oper­at­ing in the wake of the after­math — near­ly 14 years alto­geth­er.

    At the time of the inci­dent, a fifth and sixth reac­tor units were under con­struc­tion. Those projects were quick­ly halt­ed, but Units 1, 2, and 3 kept pro­duc­ing pow­er.

    The trou­bles con­tin­ued as well. Unit 2 shut down in 1991 after being dam­aged by a fire. Unit 1 closed in 1996 amidst inter­na­tion­al out­cry about the health effects radi­a­tion poi­son­ing, includ­ing ele­vat­ed rates of thy­roid can­cer among chil­dren.

    The last unit, Unit 3, oper­at­ed until 2000, when inter­na­tion­al nego­ti­a­tions final­ly shut down the plant for good.

    Why did it take so long?

    One rea­son was pow­er short­ages. In 1987, the LA Times report­ed that, while the Sovi­et Union had advanced in the pre­vi­ous year under its final leader, Mikhail Gor­bachev, tech­nol­o­gy was “years behind” the US.

    ...

    Decom­mis­sion­ing a nuclear pow­er plant isn’t easy, either. In fact, Cher­nobyl is shut down but not ful­ly decom­mis­sioned, mean­ing that the reac­tors still need to be tak­en apart and decon­t­a­m­i­nat­ed. They also need remove the deplet­ed ura­ni­um fuel rods, which are high­ly radioac­tive.

    The cur­rent plan, laid out by the inter­na­tion­al orga­ni­za­tion the Nuclear Ener­gy Agency (NEA), will have to find solu­tions for not only the deplet­ed ura­ni­um, but treat­ment and stor­age for every piece of equip­ment used in Cher­nobyl and the decom­mis­sion­ing process.

    Remem­ber, this is nuclear waste we’re talk­ing about: You can’t just toss it. The NEA is build­ing stor­age facil­i­ties on-site to house the waste.

    The orig­i­nal 1986 sar­coph­a­gus around Unit 4 was only meant to be tem­po­rary. So at the moment, a $2.3 bil­lion USD struc­ture is being built to encase the unit for decades to come.

    Things are hap­pen­ing rapid­ly, how­ev­er, thanks to some inter­na­tion­al help. Offi­cials expect the site could be decom­mis­sioned as ear­ly as 2022.

    ———-

    “Here’s why Rus­sia did­n’t shut down Cher­nobyl until 14 years after the dis­as­ter” by Sarah Kramer; Insid­er; 04/26/2016

    “The last unit, Unit 3, oper­at­ed until 2000, when inter­na­tion­al nego­ti­a­tions final­ly shut down the plant for good.”

    14 years of ongo­ing oper­a­tions fol­low­ing the cat­a­stroph­ic melt­down of 1986. So we can say con­clu­sive­ly that Cher­nobyl was still capa­ble of oper­at­ing, at least as of 2000. And while the pow­er gen­er­at­ing oper­a­tions were report­ed­ly end­ed in 2000, the plant was still being manned as part of the ongo­ing decom­mis­sion­ing oper­a­tions:

    ...
    The cur­rent plan, laid out by the inter­na­tion­al orga­ni­za­tion the Nuclear Ener­gy Agency (NEA), will have to find solu­tions for not only the deplet­ed ura­ni­um, but treat­ment and stor­age for every piece of equip­ment used in Cher­nobyl and the decom­mis­sion­ing process.

    Remem­ber, this is nuclear waste we’re talk­ing about: You can’t just toss it. The NEA is build­ing stor­age facil­i­ties on-site to house the waste.

    The orig­i­nal 1986 sar­coph­a­gus around Unit 4 was only meant to be tem­po­rary. So at the moment, a $2.3 bil­lion USD struc­ture is being built to encase the unit for decades to come.

    Things are hap­pen­ing rapid­ly, how­ev­er, thanks to some inter­na­tion­al help. Offi­cials expect the site could be decom­mis­sioned as ear­ly as 2022.
    ...

    Now, if Cher­nobyl was indeed being active­ly used to gen­er­ate a diry bomb as the Krem­lin claims, the ques­tion is raised as to whether or not the alleged con­struc­tion of the dirty bomb at that site would have required the oper­a­tion of one of the nuclear reac­tors to gen­er­ate new plu­to­ni­um, or would it have just involved plu­to­ni­um already stored on site. So it’s worth not­ing that, back in 1986, the world learned that Cher­nobyl’s design was report­ed­ly ‘dual-use’ and had the poten­tial to gen­er­ate both the plu­to­ni­um and tri­tium that could be used for the cre­ation of nuclear weapons:

    The Los Ange­les Times

    Sovi­et Mil­i­tary Appar­ent­ly Had Role at Cher­nobyl A‑Plant

    By ROBERT GILLETTE
    Oct. 3, 1986 12 AM PT

    VIENNA —

    There is grow­ing evi­dence that the dam­aged nuclear pow­er plant at Cher­nobyl and oth­ers like it in the Sovi­et Union have been used for both civil­ian and mil­i­tary pur­pos­es.

    Accord­ing to unof­fi­cial Sovi­et sources and West­ern nuclear offi­cials, the Sovi­et mil­i­tary has a direct role in man­ag­ing at least some of the 14 remain­ing reac­tors of the same design as the unit that explod­ed and burned at Cher­nobyl last April 26. Mil­i­tary author­i­ties appear to have no com­pa­ra­ble role in run­ning the country’s con­ven­tion­al, pres­sur­ized-water reac­tors.

    In inter­views, U.S. and West Euro­pean offi­cials said that some of the graphite reac­tors like the four at Cher­nobyl may be used to pro­duce weapons-grade plu­to­ni­um, but that their most like­ly mil­i­tary pur­pose is to make tri­tium, a rare iso­tope of hydro­gen used in ther­monu­clear weapons.

    New Dimen­sion Added

    The indi­ca­tions of a mil­i­tary func­tion add a new dimen­sion to Sovi­et expla­na­tions for the very large com­mit­ment Moscow has made to an unusu­al reac­tor design that is now acknowl­edged to have inher­ent safe­ty flaws.

    The lead­ing weak­ness, which the Sovi­ets say they rec­og­nized and tried to counter by writ­ing strict oper­at­ing rules, is a ten­den­cy to pro­duce the kind of cat­a­stroph­ic burst of power–called a “super­prompt criticality”–that destroyed one reac­tor at Cher­nobyl.

    With the prospect of elec­tric pow­er short­ages loom­ing this win­ter, the Sovi­ets are mov­ing urgent­ly to install addi­tion­al con­trol rods and to make oth­er changes that they say will ren­der these reac­tors less vul­ner­a­ble to oper­a­tor error. The Tass news agency report­ed this week that the first of two undam­aged units at Cher­nobyl has already begun gen­er­at­ing elec­tric­i­ty, for the first time since April.

    Over­all, the 14 remain­ing units account for half the Sovi­et Union’s nuclear pow­er capac­i­ty and about 5% of its total elec­tric­i­ty out­put. In addi­tion to the three 1,000-megawatt reac­tors left at Cher­nobyl, four oth­ers are locat­ed at the pro­to­type Leningrad plant; four at Kursk, south of Moscow; two at Smolen­sk, west of Moscow, and one 1,500-megawatt unit is oper­at­ing at Ignali­no in the Baltic repub­lic of Lithua­nia.

    Scaled-up Ver­sions

    These graphite reac­tors are essen­tial­ly scaled-up ver­sions of mil­i­tary pro­duc­tion reac­tors used by the Sovi­et Union, the Unit­ed States and oth­er nuclear-weapons states to pro­duce plu­to­ni­um and tri­tium. They are built from blocks of graphite, which mod­er­ates or slows neu­trons emit­ted by ura­ni­um fuel rods arranged in hun­dreds of ver­ti­cal chan­nels, per­mit­ting a fis­sion chain reac­tion to take place.

    U.S. offi­cials said that Amer­i­can experts who vis­it­ed the pro­to­type plant near Leningrad in the ear­ly 1970s, when it was still under con­struc­tion, were told that this design would enable the Sovi­et Union to build up its nuclear pow­er capac­i­ty rapid­ly with­out the need for the mas­sive steel pres­sure ves­sels and con­tain­ment build­ings required by con­ven­tion­al reac­tors, which the Sovi­ets found dif­fi­cult to build.

    Up until the Cher­nobyl dis­as­ter, Sovi­et engi­neers also main­tained that the graphite reac­tors were safer than West­ern designs because they were sup­pos­ed­ly less vul­ner­a­ble to cat­a­stroph­ic loss-of-coolant acci­dents.

    Ide­al­ly Suit­ed

    At the same time, U.S. ana­lysts not­ed that these reac­tors, unlike con­ven­tion­al units, could be refu­eled while in oper­a­tion, a fea­ture that made them ide­al­ly suit­ed for pro­duc­ing weapons-grade plu­to­ni­um. In mil­i­tary pro­duc­tion reac­tors, ura­ni­um fuel in which fis­sion­able plu­to­ni­um appears as a byprod­uct must be removed at fre­quent inter­vals to pre­vent the buildup of plu­to­ni­um 240, which degrades the explo­sive yield of weapons.

    Some West­ern nuclear offi­cials attend­ing a spe­cial ses­sion of the Inter­na­tion­al Atom­ic Ener­gy Agency in Vien­na last week, which com­plet­ed two inter­na­tion­al agree­ments on nuclear acci­dents, said there is evi­dence that the Sovi­ets have, in fact, used these reac­tors for weapons pro­duc­tion. They said the extent of involve­ment and pre­cise role of these reac­tors remains unclear.

    “We do know that the Leningrad plant is under mil­i­tary con­trol,” a senior mem­ber of a del­e­ga­tion from a North Atlantic Treaty Orga­ni­za­tion coun­try said.

    The offi­cial, who asked not to be iden­ti­fied by name or nation­al­i­ty, said the Sovi­ets appear to have ample plu­to­ni­um from ded­i­cat­ed mil­i­tary pro­duc­tion reac­tors. In view of this, he said, the Leningrad plant is more like­ly to be pro­duc­ing tri­tium, which is in short­er sup­ply. Tri­tium and deu­teri­um, a more read­i­ly avail­able form of hydro­gen, form the “fuel” of a hydro­gen bomb or war­head.

    ...

    ———-

    “Sovi­et Mil­i­tary Appar­ent­ly Had Role at Cher­nobyl A‑Plant” by ROBERT GILLETTE; The Los Ange­les Times; 10/03/1986

    “In inter­views, U.S. and West Euro­pean offi­cials said that some of the graphite reac­tors like the four at Cher­nobyl may be used to pro­duce weapons-grade plu­to­ni­um, but that their most like­ly mil­i­tary pur­pose is to make tri­tium, a rare iso­tope of hydro­gen used in ther­monu­clear weapons.”

    The Cher­nobyl plant could gen­er­ate weapons-grade plu­to­ni­um for Ukraine back when it was still oper­at­ing. And it was oper­at­ing until 2000. So the ques­tion of whether or not Ukraine was secret­ly using Cher­nobyl to build a dirty bomb rais­es the addi­tion­al ques­tion of whether or not that plant was still capa­ble of oper­at­ing in 2022, 22 years after it was last in oper­a­tion. It’s not like the plant has been com­plete­ly moth­balled. The decom­mis­sion­ing process has been ongo­ing and is a mul­ti-decade plan. So was Cher­nobyl kept in a state where it could be secret­ly oper­at­ed? That’s one of the big ques­tions raised by the Krem­lin’s alle­ga­tions:

    ...
    These graphite reac­tors are essen­tial­ly scaled-up ver­sions of mil­i­tary pro­duc­tion reac­tors used by the Sovi­et Union, the Unit­ed States and oth­er nuclear-weapons states to pro­duce plu­to­ni­um and tri­tium. They are built from blocks of graphite, which mod­er­ates or slows neu­trons emit­ted by ura­ni­um fuel rods arranged in hun­dreds of ver­ti­cal chan­nels, per­mit­ting a fis­sion chain reac­tion to take place.

    ...

    At the same time, U.S. ana­lysts not­ed that these reac­tors, unlike con­ven­tion­al units, could be refu­eled while in oper­a­tion, a fea­ture that made them ide­al­ly suit­ed for pro­duc­ing weapons-grade plu­to­ni­um. In mil­i­tary pro­duc­tion reac­tors, ura­ni­um fuel in which fis­sion­able plu­to­ni­um appears as a byprod­uct must be removed at fre­quent inter­vals to pre­vent the buildup of plu­to­ni­um 240, which degrades the explo­sive yield of weapons.

    Some West­ern nuclear offi­cials attend­ing a spe­cial ses­sion of the Inter­na­tion­al Atom­ic Ener­gy Agency in Vien­na last week, which com­plet­ed two inter­na­tion­al agree­ments on nuclear acci­dents, said there is evi­dence that the Sovi­ets have, in fact, used these reac­tors for weapons pro­duc­tion. They said the extent of involve­ment and pre­cise role of these reac­tors remains unclear.
    ...

    But also keep in mind that Ukraine has four oth­er nuclear pow­er plants. So we also have to ask: can any of these oth­er plants be used to gen­er­ate weapons-grade fis­sile mate­ri­als? For­tu­nate­ly, none of Ukraine’s oth­er four nuclear pow­er plants use the same graphite reac­tor design, so hope­ful­ly the Cher­nobyl plant rep­re­sents the only site in Ukraine capa­ble of rapid­ly gen­er­at­ing weapons-grade plu­to­ni­um:

    The Guardian

    How safe are Ukraine’s nuclear pow­er plants amid Russ­ian attacks?

    Experts assess the risks after fire burned for sev­er­al hours at Zapor­izhzhia nuclear facil­i­ty

    Han­nah Devlin Sci­ence cor­re­spon­dent
    Fri 4 Mar 2022 09.07 EST
    Last mod­i­fied on Fri 4 Mar 2022 16.05 EST

    The attack of Ukraine’s Zapor­izhzhia nuclear pow­er plant – Europe’s largest – has trig­gered inter­na­tion­al con­cern about the safe­ty of the country’s facil­i­ties.

    Ukraine is heav­i­ly depen­dent on nuclear ener­gy – it has four main pow­er plants, with 15 reac­tors, gen­er­at­ing about half its elec­tric­i­ty. On Fri­day, the pres­i­dent, Volodymyr Zelen­skiy, said artillery fire at the plant could have caused destruc­tion equal to “six Cher­nobyls”.

    For now, say experts, the imme­di­ate dan­ger from the attack appears to be low, with Rus­sia hav­ing as much to lose as any­one.

    “If there’s going to be a major nuclear inci­dent it’s because some­thing delib­er­ate­ly is being done,” said Tom Scott, pro­fes­sor in mate­ri­als at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Bris­tol. “Sure­ly nobody is going to be that stu­pid. It doesn’t ben­e­fit any­one. The wind is blow­ing towards Rus­sia at the moment.”

    Rafael Mar­i­ano Grossi, head of the IAEA UN nuclear watch­dog, con­firmed on Fri­day that radi­a­tion lev­els at the site had remained nor­mal, that all safe­ty sys­tems at the plant were unaf­fect­ed and that the reac­tors them­selves had not been breached. The pro­jec­tile had hit an admin­is­tra­tive build­ing some dis­tance away with­in the site.

    Of the six reac­tors at the site, five are in safe­ty mode, with one unit oper­at­ing at 60% capac­i­ty. Reports from the site sug­gest that staff have con­tin­ued to con­trol oper­a­tions.

    While Zelen­skiy was quick to high­light the poten­tial for a Cher­nobyl-scale inci­dent, the tech­nol­o­gy at Zapor­izhzhia is quite dif­fer­ent. The Cher­nobyl reac­tor used graphite to keep the nuclear reac­tion under con­trol and the dis­as­ter was caused by a graphite fire. The Zapor­izhzhia plant – and those at Ukraine’s oth­er main plants, Khmel­nit­s­ki, Rovno and South Ukraine – has pres­surised water reac­tors, a more mod­ern type that do not involve graphite. So a fire such as the one at Cher­nobyl will not occur.

    Pres­surised water reac­tors have a steel ves­sel at their cen­tre, like a giant pres­sure cook­er with 20cm-thick walls. This con­tains the nuclear fuel and radioac­tive prod­ucts from the nuclear reac­tion and is designed to with­stand dam­age from events such as earth­quakes and aero­plane crash­es, although not specif­i­cal­ly artillery shells. The inner ves­sel is sur­round­ed by a heav­i­ly steel rein­forced con­crete con­tain­ment build­ing – Cher­nobyl did not have this.

    For a Cher­nobyl-lev­el event, both the pres­sure ves­sel and con­crete bioshield would need to be breached and this would prob­a­bly require inten­tion­al tar­get­ing with huge explo­sives.

    ...

    ———

    “How safe are Ukraine’s nuclear pow­er plants amid Russ­ian attacks?” by Han­nah Devlin; The Guardian; 03/04/2022

    “While Zelen­skiy was quick to high­light the poten­tial for a Cher­nobyl-scale inci­dent, the tech­nol­o­gy at Zapor­izhzhia is quite dif­fer­ent. The Cher­nobyl reac­tor used graphite to keep the nuclear reac­tion under con­trol and the dis­as­ter was caused by a graphite fire. The Zapor­izhzhia plant – and those at Ukraine’s oth­er main plants, Khmel­nit­s­ki, Rovno and South Ukraine – has pres­surised water reac­tors, a more mod­ern type that do not involve graphite. So a fire such as the one at Cher­nobyl will not occur.”

    Well that’s a relief of sorts. At least the remain­ing nuclear plants still in oper­a­tion appear to be of a less melt­down-prone design. But that does­n’t mean Ukraine still can’t devel­op nuclear weapons with them. Using the exist­ing plu­to­ni­um sit­ting in those reac­tors. Yes, that’s part of this nuclear-ambi­tions-stand­off: the plu­to­ni­um sit­ting inside Ukraine’s oper­at­ing nuclear plants could, in the­o­ry, be extract­ed and used to cre­ate nuclear weapons. Thou­sands of nuclear weapons. And the pri­ma­ry obsta­cle stand­ing in the way is IAEA over­sight to make sure Ukraine does­n’t secret­ly do it:

    The New York Times

    Com­bat at Ukraine Nuclear Plant Adds Radioac­tive Dan­gers to Russ­ian Inva­sion

    While Zapor­izhzhia appeared secure on Fri­day, Russia’s seizure of the vast ener­gy pro­duc­tion site and poten­tial tar­get­ing of anoth­er nuclear plant cre­at­ed risks of an acci­dent.

    By Valerie Hop­kins and William J. Broad
    March 4, 2022

    LVIV, Ukraine — In dark­ness, Rus­sia cap­tured Europe’s largest nuclear pow­er plant on Fri­day in Ukraine, prompt­ing ques­tions about the rea­sons it invad­ed the sprawl­ing reac­tor site as well as the health risks to Ukraini­ans fight­ing des­per­ate­ly for their lives and free­dom.

    And it’s not the only pow­er plant in Ukraine that could face attack by Russ­ian forces. Some troops already appear to be march­ing toward anoth­er facil­i­ty west of the Zapor­izhzhia pow­er plant, a Ukrain­ian ener­gy offi­cial said.

    For the moment, the Zapor­izhzhia nuclear com­plex appears safe, with the plant’s array of sen­si­tive detec­tors find­ing no releas­es of radioac­tiv­i­ty above the usu­al back­ground lev­els.

    The vast site, on the Dnieper Riv­er rough­ly a hun­dred miles north of Crimea, hosts not only six reac­tors whose cores are full of high­ly radioac­tive fuel but also many acres of open ponds of water where spent fuel rods are sub­merged to cool off, typ­i­cal­ly for years. Experts fear that an errant shell or mis­sile might set off an envi­ron­men­tal dis­as­ter and, if a fire broke out, release clouds of radioac­tive par­ti­cles that get car­ried by the wind around Europe.

    “The thing you wor­ry about is an igno­rant sol­dier who is scared and fires off a rock­et or a mor­tar that caus­es a calami­ty,” said David Albright, a physi­cist and pres­i­dent of the Insti­tute for Sci­ence and Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty, a pri­vate group in Wash­ing­ton that tracks nuclear arms and matériel.

    An acci­dent of that nature could pose enor­mous dan­gers to Ukraini­ans and peo­ple in sur­round­ing coun­tries, includ­ing Rus­sia.

    “If you have a cloud with nuclear iso­topes which can be formed in this acci­dent at Z.N.P.P. then only God knows where it will go,” Petro Kotin, the act­ing pres­i­dent of Ener­goatom, the state com­pa­ny that runs Ukraine’s nuclear ener­gy facil­i­ties, said, refer­ring to Zapor­izhzhia.

    A threat of that kind emerged dur­ing Friday’s assault on facil­i­ties adja­cent to the nuclear reac­tors at Zapor­izhzhia.

    ...

    All week, the web­site of the Zapor­izhzhia com­plex had not­ed that the Ukrain­ian mil­i­tary unit 3042, which guards the com­plex, was “in com­bat readi­ness.”

    When the Russ­ian forces broke through, fight­ing result­ed in exchanges of muni­tions and a fire, although it was con­tained to a train­ing facil­i­ty on the perime­ter of the com­plex. Mr. Kotin said a Russ­ian shell hit the No. 1 reac­tor, but its thick walls gave it the strength to sur­vive the blow.

    Inter­na­tion­al observers and Ukrain­ian offi­cials said that as of 6 a.m. on Fri­day, the com­plex was able to func­tion safe­ly. Mr. Kotin said that the Russ­ian forces had allowed the nuclear plant’s oper­a­tions to con­tin­ue at a nor­mal pace since they took over the com­plex.

    “The per­son­nel itself is work­ing nor­mal­ly in the unit, if we can say ‘like nor­mal,’” said Mr. Kotin, who served as the Zapor­izhzhia facility’s gen­er­al man­ag­er and was close­ly involved in its con­struc­tion before lead­ing Ener­goatom.

    Rafael M. Grossi, direc­tor gen­er­al of the Inter­na­tion­al Atom­ic Ener­gy Agency, an arm of the Unit­ed Nations that sets safe­ty stan­dards for the world’s nuclear reac­tors, said on Fri­day that three of the site’s six reac­tors had been shut down and that the remain­ing three were oper­at­ing at less than full capac­i­ty.

    Mr. Kotin said the Russ­ian forces did not include nuclear ener­gy spe­cial­ists from Rus­sia, only sol­diers who were not famil­iar with the oper­a­tions of a com­plex pow­er facil­i­ty. But the Rus­sians had allowed one shift of work­ers to be replaced by anoth­er, which may be cru­cial to keep­ing the plant oper­at­ing safe­ly.

    “The most dan­ger­ous thing for the plant is when peo­ple do not go on rota­tion,” said Ole­na Pare­niuk, a nuclear safe­ty expert at the Nation­al Acad­e­my of Sci­ences of Ukraine. “They get tired. But to work at the nuclear plant is like to be a sur­geon, it is impor­tant for peo­ple to be rest­ed and not stressed to avoid mis­takes.”

    But Dr. Pare­niuk warned that liv­ing under mil­i­tary occu­pa­tion would put a strain on the thou­sands of Ukraini­ans who work at Zapor­izhzhia. Mr. Kotin warned of a human­i­tar­i­an cri­sis in Ener­ho­dar, which he said was cut off from deliv­er­ies of food and oth­er sup­plies. He said that Russ­ian sol­diers were seiz­ing food from the town’s shops. The city was work­ing to restore heat, water and elec­tric­i­ty.

    Should an acci­dent occur in which the reac­tor fuel over­heats and melts the reactor’s core or shield­ing, Frank N. von Hip­pel, a physi­cist who advised the Clin­ton admin­is­tra­tion and now teach­es at Prince­ton, said it could be a repeat of the melt­downs that hap­pened in 1979 at Three Mile Island near Har­ris­burg, Penn.; in 1986 at Cher­nobyl in Ukraine; and in 2011 at the Fukushi­ma Dai­ichi plant in Japan.

    Fur­ther com­bat at Zapor­izhzhia could pose an addi­tion­al dan­ger involv­ing the site’s spent fuel rods, which con­tain up to rough­ly 30 tons of plu­to­ni­um, accord­ing to an esti­mate by Mr. Albright and two col­leagues. Plu­to­ni­um is a high­ly tox­ic met­al that, if inhaled or ingest­ed in minute quan­ti­ties, can cause death by can­cer.

    Mr. Grossi said that he was “extreme­ly con­cerned” about the sit­u­a­tion and that the main pri­or­i­ty at this point was to ensure the safe­ty and secu­ri­ty of the plant, its pow­er sup­ply and the peo­ple who run it. “Fir­ing shells in the area of a nuclear pow­er plant,” he said, “vio­lates the fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ple” that seeks to main­tain a nuclear site’s phys­i­cal integri­ty at all times.

    Speak­ing at an emer­gency U.N. Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil meet­ing on Fri­day, Russia’s ambas­sador, Vasi­ly Neben­zya, denied his coun­try had pur­pose­ly tar­get­ed the Zapor­izhzhia nuclear com­plex ear­ly Fri­day, and chal­lenged Ukrain­ian offi­cials’ account that Russ­ian troops attacked the plant and that the fire start­ed as a result of the gun bat­tle. He main­tained that Russ­ian forces patrolling out­side of the nuclear plant had come under fire from Ukrain­ian mil­i­tants inside a train­ing build­ing and had returned fire. He said the Ukraini­ans had then set the build­ing on fire.

    ...

    Mr. Kotin says the Russ­ian military’s pur­pose in occu­py­ing the nuclear sta­tions could be to warn Ukraini­ans that they will be cut off from elec­tri­cal pow­er if they do not acqui­esce to the inva­sion. “If we do not like them,” he said, they’ll threat­en “to destroy our nuclear objects.” He added that anoth­er pos­si­bil­i­ty was that cap­tur­ing the ener­gy plants would aid a Russ­ian plan to divide the coun­try into man­age­able pieces: By con­trol­ling pow­er pro­duc­tion in the south, they would be able to con­trol the south, he sug­gest­ed.

    A dark­er pos­si­bil­i­ty relates to nuclear weapons man­u­fac­ture.

    On Wednes­day, Mr. Grossi of the I.A.E.A. dis­missed Russ­ian claims that Ukraine was seek­ing to acquire atom­ic weapons, say­ing that his agency’s over­sight of the nation showed that Kyiv’s nuclear pro­gram was entire­ly peace­ful. But Rus­sia may be moti­vat­ed to seize Ukraine’s nuclear ener­gy plants in part to gath­er atom­ic mate­r­i­al for itself or to close off an unlike­ly and dif­fi­cult path for Kyiv to acquire a nuclear weapon.

    Plu­to­ni­um is one of two main fuels used in the cores of atom bombs. Mr. Albright of the Insti­tute for Sci­ence and Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty said that the spent fuel at the Zapor­izhzhia plant could in the­o­ry, if suit­ably processed, yield fuel for up to 3,000 war­heads.

    While plu­to­ni­um from reac­tors is not con­sid­ered high-grade weapon fuel, the Unit­ed States dur­ing the Cold War con­duct­ed stud­ies and tests that showed it was usable. In 1962, it went so far as to suc­cess­ful­ly test a nuclear bomb made out of reac­tor-grade plu­to­ni­um.

    The Rus­sians, too, have extract­ed bomb mate­r­i­al from reac­tor plu­to­ni­um through­out the nuclear age, and experts say they fear that the Ukraini­ans could in the­o­ry learn the dark art one day. Such a sce­nario would require a major fail­ing of the I.A.E.A., which is heav­i­ly focused on ensur­ing that no oper­a­tor of a peace­ful nuclear plant any­where on the plan­et seeks to covert­ly extract plu­to­ni­um from spent fuel for nuclear arms.

    ————

    “Com­bat at Ukraine Nuclear Plant Adds Radioac­tive Dan­gers to Russ­ian Inva­sion” by Valerie Hop­kins and William J. Broad; The New York Times; 03/04/2022

    “Plu­to­ni­um is one of two main fuels used in the cores of atom bombs. Mr. Albright of the Insti­tute for Sci­ence and Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty said that the spent fuel at the Zapor­izhzhia plant could in the­o­ry, if suit­ably processed, yield fuel for up to 3,000 war­heads.

    That’s a lot of nukes. Could Rus­sia be destroyed with 3,000 nuclear war­heads? These are the kinds of ques­tions that pre­sum­ably went into any assess­ments as to whether or not a rad­i­cal­ized nuclear-armed Ukraine rep­re­sents an long-term exis­ten­tial threat:

    ...
    On Wednes­day, Mr. Grossi of the I.A.E.A. dis­missed Russ­ian claims that Ukraine was seek­ing to acquire atom­ic weapons, say­ing that his agency’s over­sight of the nation showed that Kyiv’s nuclear pro­gram was entire­ly peace­ful. But Rus­sia may be moti­vat­ed to seize Ukraine’s nuclear ener­gy plants in part to gath­er atom­ic mate­r­i­al for itself or to close off an unlike­ly and dif­fi­cult path for Kyiv to acquire a nuclear weapon.

    ...

    While plu­to­ni­um from reac­tors is not con­sid­ered high-grade weapon fuel, the Unit­ed States dur­ing the Cold War con­duct­ed stud­ies and tests that showed it was usable. In 1962, it went so far as to suc­cess­ful­ly test a nuclear bomb made out of reac­tor-grade plu­to­ni­um.

    The Rus­sians, too, have extract­ed bomb mate­r­i­al from reac­tor plu­to­ni­um through­out the nuclear age, and experts say they fear that the Ukraini­ans could in the­o­ry learn the dark art one day. Such a sce­nario would require a major fail­ing of the I.A.E.A., which is heav­i­ly focused on ensur­ing that no oper­a­tor of a peace­ful nuclear plant any­where on the plan­et seeks to covert­ly extract plu­to­ni­um from spent fuel for nuclear arms.
    ...

    Also keep in mind that when it comes to cre­at­ing dirty bombs, it’s not real­ly going to mat­ter if the Plu­to­ni­um is weapons-grade or not. You only need weapons grade plu­to­ni­um if you’re try­ing to trig­ger a chain reac­tion. So the ques­tion of whether or not Ukraine was secret­ly oper­at­ing a Cher­nobyl reac­tor or secret­ly refin­ing the fuel­ing of the oth­er plants to gen­er­ate weapons grade plu­to­ni­um is real­ly only rel­e­vant when it comes to secret nuclear bomb pro­gram. A dirty bomb just requires access to scary radioac­tive mate­ri­als. And is a lot less scary at the end of the day. So let’s hope we don’t end up learn­ing about secret Ukrain­ian dirty bombs float­ing around. But if we do, it’s worth keep­ing in mind that loose dirty bombs are far from the worst case sce­nario in this sit­u­a­tion.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 6, 2022, 5:24 pm

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