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Com­bat Hel­mets of the Azov units.

COMMENT:  For years, and in many posts and pro­grams, we have not­ed Ukraine and the Azov mil­i­tary for­ma­tions in par­tic­u­lar as both an epi­cen­ter of, and train­ing ground for, fas­cist mil­i­tants.

(Some of those pro­grams are: FTR#‘s 1096 and 1097. FTR#‘s 1098 through 1101 high­light the his­tor­i­cal evo­lu­tion of these forces.)

As the fol­low­ing arti­cle points out, not only does the US have an appar­ent ‘open door’ pol­i­cy regard­ing extrem­ists trav­el­ing to Ukraine, but the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty is active­ly financ­ing the recruit­ment of these indi­vid­u­als to trav­el to Ukraine through var­i­ous ‘char­i­ta­ble’ cutouts like Vol­un­teers for Ukraine (VFU).

It’s a white nation­al­ist replay of the same play­book that brought us Al Qae­da and 9/11. All of the pieces are in place for a pre­dictable blow­back. A blow­back that, in the con­text of the dys­func­tion­al state of con­tem­po­rary Amer­i­ca, will pre­dictably include not just more waves of mass shoot­ings but more vio­lent insur­rec­tions too. Pre­sum­ably bet­ter pre­pared vio­lent insur­rec­tions that will involve more peo­ple with mil­i­tary train­ing and a high­er chance of suc­ceed­ing:

“A new gen­er­a­tion of US-trained extrem­ists is fight­ing Rus­sia. Are we pre­pared for the blow­back?” by TJ Coles; The Gray­zone; 05/31/2022.

US agen­cies have direct­ly and indi­rect­ly trained and empow­ered Nazis and ultra-nation­al­ists at home and abroad to fight Rus­sians in Ukraine. This pro­gram fol­lows the blue­print estab­lished by West­ern intel­li­gence agen­cies in Afghanistan and Syr­ia.

From 1978 (not ’79 as many believe), the admin­is­tra­tion of Jim­my Carter decid­ed to “draw the Rus­sians into the Afghan trap,” in the words of the President’s Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Advi­sor, Zbig­niew Brzezin­s­ki. US intel­li­gence called on its British coun­ter­parts to acti­vate net­works of Afghan fight­ers. New gen­er­a­tions of extrem­ists joined the fight. Aid, arms, and train­ing poured into Afghanistan. Sup­port increased fol­low­ing the Sovi­et inva­sion in Decem­ber 1979.

Through­out the 1980s, tens of thou­sands of jihadis from dozens of Mus­lim-major­i­ty coun­tries were flown into the US, Britain, and Pak­istan to receive train­ing from the CIA, Green Berets, US Marines, and British SAS and MI6. The for­eign extrem­ists lat­er rebrand­ed them­selves “al-Qae­da” and launched a series of spec­tac­u­lar­ly bloody attacks on strate­gi­cal­ly sig­nif­i­cant tar­gets that pro­vid­ed jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for a glob­al “war on ter­ror” that con­tin­ues to serve as ide­o­log­i­cal cov­er for con­tem­po­rary US hege­mo­ny.

The mul­ti-bil­lion dol­lar CIA oper­a­tion to arm and train the so-called free­dom fight­ers, or Afghan muja­hedin, was known as Oper­a­tion Cyclone. Suc­ces­sive admin­is­tra­tions repeat­ed the pat­tern in the 2010s, ini­ti­at­ing Oper­a­tion Tim­ber Sycamore in a failed effort to depose Bashar al-Assad in Syr­ia and Oper­a­tion Mer­maid Dawn before it in a suc­cess­ful effort to remove Muam­mar Gaddafi and desta­bi­lize Libya.

Today, the CIA, US Spe­cial Forces, and oth­er branch­es of gov­ern­ment are train­ing reg­u­lar units in Ukraine. With US sup­port, far-right ele­ments of those units go on to train and recruit for Nazi para­mil­i­tary units and gangs. White nation­al­ist Amer­i­cans are allowed to trav­el to Ukraine and train para­mil­i­taries and/or receive train­ing, depend­ing on the indi­vid­ual or group. State-cor­po­rate media have con­firmed the exis­tence of a major CIA train­ing pro­gram involv­ing “irreg­u­lar” (i.e., ter­ror­ist) war­fare, but we do not yet know the name of the oper­a­tion.

As Alex Rubin­stein report­ed for The Gray­zone, cor­po­rate US media has pro­mot­ed known US white nation­al­ists fight­ing in Ukraine as heroes, while white­wash­ing their records of mur­der and polit­i­cal vio­lence. And while the Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty express­es “con­cern” over poten­tial blow­back when these open­ly fas­cist com­bat vet­er­ans return to the US, the admin­is­tra­tion of Joseph Biden appears to be doing noth­ing to stop them from mak­ing their way to the bat­tle­field.

The US pro­gram in Ukraine bears such strik­ing sim­i­lar­i­ties to Oper­a­tion Cyclone it could be dubbed “Cyclone 2.0”. The nature of the proxy war has all but been admit­ted by for­mer US Sec­re­tary of State, Hillary Clin­ton, and the endgame of regime change in nuclear-armed Rus­sia has been acknowl­edged by Pres­i­dent Joe Biden.

“Remem­ber, the Rus­sians invad­ed Afghanistan back in 1980,” Hillary Clin­ton says. “It did­n’t end well for the Russians…but the fact is, that a very moti­vat­ed, and then fund­ed, and armed insur­gency basi­cal­ly drove the Rus­sians out of Afghanistan.” pic.twitter.com/iirtXI4vz4— MSNBC (@MSNBC) March 1, 2022

In pur­su­ing these objec­tives, US and British elites are tak­ing a nuclear gam­ble. As even the DHS has warned, their empow­er­ment of neo-Nazis could open a new chap­ter in the “war on ter­ror” in which civil­ians will suf­fer blow­back from bat­tle-hard­ened extrem­ists – imag­ine the Buf­fa­lo shoot­er with advanced tac­ti­cal train­ing. Mil­lions will be con­sid­ered by author­i­ties to be poten­tial white suprema­cists, ultra­na­tion­al­ists, and Nazis. And under the pre­text of fight­ing white extrem­ism, a new phase of total sur­veil­lance and for­eign “inter­ven­tion” might begin in the Cau­ca­sus and Baltic regions.

Run­ning the rat­line to Ukraine behind vol­un­teer non-prof­it cov­er

Typ­i­cal of the kind of oper­a­tions tak­ing place, for­mer US Marine Ben­jamin Busch, ex-Infantry Offi­cer Adri­an Bonen­berg­er, and Iraq War vet­er­an Matt Gal­lagher, trav­eled to Lviv in West­ern Ukraine to train dozens of what are described by US media as Ukrain­ian civil­ians. Gal­lagher revealed that US intel­li­gence agents were facil­i­tat­ing trav­el. Bor­der and jus­tice agen­cies were not obstruct­ing depar­tures and returns.

“(I reached out to) some friends who work in var­i­ous gov­ern­ment jobs, not so much ask­ing them for per­mis­sion in any kind of offi­cial capac­i­ty,” Gal­lagher stat­ed, “but just want­i­ng to know if there were any poten­tial con­se­quences. The almost uni­ver­sal response to that was, as long as they (the peo­ple he was train­ing) are actu­al cit­i­zens, as long as this is focused on self-defense, as long as this is not some covert mil­i­tary, para­mil­i­tary oper­a­tion, you’ll be fine. Some fel­low Wake For­est [Uni­ver­si­ty] grad­u­ates [in North Car­oli­na], who I won’t name because they do work for Uncle Sam, were very help­ful in col­lect­ing infor­ma­tion.”

Oper­a­tions of this sort laid the ground­work for a mass “vol­un­teer” scheme. The cre­ation of an inter­na­tion­al vol­un­teer force reflects the inter­ests of the Azov Bat­tal­ion — the Nazi-linked para­mil­i­tary unit that has under­gone through sev­er­al name changes (e.g., Azov Move­ment, Azov Reg­i­ment), report­ed­ly de-Naz­i­fied, and has sup­pos­ed­ly inte­grat­ed into reg­u­lar Ukrain­ian armed units. In real­i­ty, the Azov’s polit­i­cal wing, the Nation­al Corps (for­mer­ly the Patri­ots of Ukraine), is described as neo-Nazi by con­tem­po­rary West­ern experts and even the US Depart­ment of Jus­tice.

In Feb­ru­ary 2018, Azov stat­ed on Dis­cord: “[We] will have the for­eign legion set up with­in the next 18 months or so.” Chid­ing the Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment for block­ing their efforts, the Nation­al Corps’ young leader, Ole­na Semenya­ka, said: “we hope to cre­ate a for­eign legion. There we could announce loud and clear when we seek vol­un­teers.” If the far-right Ukrain­ian pup­pet gov­ern­ment was too soft, Azov lead­er­ship did not need to wor­ry because Uncle Sam was there to facil­i­tate the cre­ation of an inter­na­tion­al vol­un­teer league.

Describ­ing itself as a 501©3 non-prof­it pend­ing (hence no info shows up on the IRS web­site at the time of writ­ing), Vol­un­teers for Ukraine (VFU) has no overt con­nec­tions to Azov. It was found­ed in Feb­ru­ary 2022 as “Unit­ed Peace­keep­ers for Ukraine.” The orig­i­nal web­site was an exten­sion of the Ukrain­ian Min­istry of For­eign Affairs’ Inter­na­tion­al Legion of Ukraine web­site.

The pub­lic rela­tions-mind­ed oper­a­tives behind the site evi­dent­ly decid­ed that the dovish name of the orga­ni­za­tion (“Peace­keep­ers”) was not like­ly to encour­age anti-Russ­ian fight­ers to vol­un­teer, so they changed it to Vol­un­teers for Ukraine. At the time of writ­ing, the VFU web­site fea­tures images of pro­tes­tors hold­ing signs that include “Kill Putin…” and “Putin = Hitler”—a rather stark depar­ture from peace­keep­ing. The new site puts names and faces to the orga­ni­za­tion, includ­ing the pro­fessed founder, David Rib­ar­do; a for­mer US Infantry Offi­cer and Afghanistan War vet­er­an. Despite the imagery and recent ref­er­ences to com­bat, Rib­ar­do claims that VFU is a “human­i­tar­i­an aid orga­ni­za­tion.”

VFU’s Chief Oper­a­tions Offi­cer is com­bat vet­er­an Phillip Chatham, a for­mer Diplo­mat­ic Secu­ri­ty Mis­sions leader for numer­ous US law­mak­ers. “As an In-Coun­try Oper­a­tions Man­ag­er he main­tained facil­i­ty clear­ances with mul­ti­ple intel­li­gence agen­cies,” says the site. The orga­ni­za­tion is also run by numer­ous vet­er­ans and PR spe­cial­ists. Pro­mot­ing VFU on CNN, anoth­er vet­er­an, “Seth,” described work­ing with refugees in Poland thanks to “some very gra­cious dona­tions from some spon­sors.”

This offers insight into how such oper­a­tions are run: anony­mous major donors oper­ate vet­er­an pipelines to Ukraine in neigh­bor­ing coun­tries. Rib­ar­do says that his job includes vet­ting vol­un­teers to weed out fan­ta­sists, “com­bat tourists,” and extrem­ists, ensur­ing that only well-trained US vet­er­ans enlist.

The num­ber of vet­er­ans who have vol­un­teered is not dis­closed, but Rib­ar­do says that the fig­ures are unlike any­thing seen “since World War Two.”

Extrem­ists and accel­er­a­tionists: “We’re gonna send home a lot of body­bags”

Oth­er Amer­i­cans fight­ing in Ukraine’s reg­u­lar units includ­ed: Dal­ton Kennedy, a mem­ber of North Carolina’s branch of the white suprema­cist Patri­ot Front; David Kle­man of Geor­gia who has been pho­tographed sport­ing Nazi imagery; and Army vet­er­an David Plas­ter of Mis­souri. Accord­ing to British press reports, Plas­ter has trained “thou­sands of Ukraini­ans in tac­ti­cal med­i­cine,” and head­ed a team that includ­ed even elder­ly vet­er­ans, like for­mer Marine Dave Eggen, who said of Rus­sians: “We are going to send home a lot of body­bags.”

By March this year, at least 3000 US cit­i­zens were alleged­ly on the Ukrain­ian bat­tle­field. In April, John T. God­frey, the State Department’s Act­ing Coor­di­na­tor for Coun­tert­er­ror­ism, said of Amer­i­can extrem­ists going to fight: “when they return, they have skill – they typ­i­cal­ly come back more rad­i­cal­ized than when they left … [T]hey do have hard skills that they are able to, in some cas­es, use in attack­ing tar­gets domes­ti­cal­ly.” In intel­li­gence cir­cles, this is called “blow­back.”

In April, I filed a free­dom of infor­ma­tion request with the Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty (DHS) to obtain doc­u­ments on trav­el­ers to Ukraine and its neigh­bors, includ­ing Geor­gia and Poland, from 2014 to the present. The aim was to mea­sure the size of “Cyclone 2.” From logs and inci­dent reports that had come to the atten­tion of the DHS, I want­ed to know how many peo­ple had been stopped and ques­tioned about their trips by fed­er­al or local author­i­ties. The DHS unlaw­ful­ly ignored my request, as they have a habit of doing: no acknowl­edge­ment, no delayed response, noth­ing.

Newsweek encoun­tered sim­i­lar obstruc­tions. It not­ed that Azov’s polit­i­cal wing, the Nation­al Corps, has been con­nect­ed to the US white suprema­cist Rise Above Move­ment, Germany’s Third Path, Italy’s Casa Pound, and oth­er extrem­ist groups. In their efforts to assess the scale of such con­nec­tions in the US, Newsweek reporters approached the Depart­ment of Jus­tice, FBI, and DHS for com­ment. Silence was the answer.

Newsweek point­ed to Cos­sack House in Kiev as the main Azov recruit­ing cen­ter. Loaned to the Azov Bat­tal­ion by the Ukrain­ian Min­istry of Defense, the center’s library includes Nazi lit­er­a­ture and is described by the Azov Nation­al Corps leader Semenya­ka as “a small state with­in a state.” The num­ber of Amer­i­cans cur­rent­ly there is not known.

In addi­tion to white suprema­cists, mem­bers of accel­er­a­tionist groups — those that want to has­ten society’s col­lapse in order to remold it in their image — are also present in Ukraine.

For­mer Marine Mike Dunn from Vir­ginia is an infor­mant and once-influ­en­tial fig­ure in the polit­i­cal­ly flu­id Booga­loo Bois, hav­ing com­mand­ed its Last Sons of Lib­er­ty Fac­tion. “There hasn’t been much activ­i­ty in the Booga­loo move­ment since I walked away,” he says. After being exposed as an infor­mant, Dunn dis­ap­peared from the scene only to reap­pear in Feb­ru­ary this year announc­ing his inten­tion to fight in Ukraine via Poland by sign­ing up to an undis­closed recruit­ing sta­tion.

“I wouldn’t say that I am nec­es­sar­i­ly try­ing to advance the cause of the Booga­loo move­ment … But I will say that the Booga­loo move­ment is going to be rep­re­sent­ed over there.” But this makes lit­tle sense. Who would fol­low a fink to Ukraine, except for mer­ce­nar­ies and fel­low feds? Also, didn’t Dunn leave the move­ment, so how could he rep­re­sent it in Ukraine? “I have a few that are fol­low­ing me there, I have one going with me there,” he says.

Hen­ry Hoeft, a for­mer US Army Infantry­man and Booga­loo Boy from Ohio, was cau­tioned by the FBI against fight­ing in Ukraine, but was simul­ta­ne­ous­ly advised by the Bureau to call the US Embassy if he got into trou­ble. Hoeft says: “I get it. They don’t want to be impli­cat­ed if Rus­sia harms any of us, and they don’t want to esca­late the con­flict by say­ing that they’re send­ing Amer­i­can sol­diers over.” (See also Hoeft’s Gray­zone inter­view.)

Dunn, the Booga­loo for­mer leader and infor­mant, con­firmed his pres­ence in Wash­ing­ton DC dur­ing the Jan­u­ary 6 “Stop the Steal” ral­ly, but claims that he arrived late and did not par­tic­i­pate in storm­ing the Capi­tol. The Ukrain­ian Right Sector’s Ser­hiy Dubynin, an influ­en­tial media fig­ure work­ing for the major Ukrain­ian chan­nel, Inter, was also at the Capi­tol that day, sig­ni­fy­ing that the DHS-FBI “open-door” pol­i­cy includ­ed Ukrain­ian extrem­ists who would net­work in the US and vice ver­sa. Dubynin was pho­tographed with Jake Chans­ley; the high­ly-dec­o­rat­ed US Navy vet­er­an and self-styled “QAnon Shaman.” Dubynin was heard urg­ing the Stop the Steal demon­stra­tors to esca­late from peace­ful protest to vio­lence: “Come on! … Do it!”

Among the tales of intrigue from Jan 6 is what was Ukrain­ian Ser­hiy Dubynin (Russ­ian sp: Sergei Dybynyn), a mem­ber of the neo-Nazi Ukran­ian para­mil­i­tary ‘The Right Sec­tor’, doing at the #Capi­tol­Ri­ots seen in a Hap­py Snap w/ Jake ‘The Shaman’ Angeli? #Capi­tol­Hunters See below 1/ pic.twitter.com/eE1RXBgXvK— Nate Thay­er (@nate_thayer) April 21, 2021

Fas­cists and Satanists bring their “fetish for death” to Ukraine

Between 2015 and ‘16, sev­er­al Amer­i­can extrem­ists went to Ukraine to enlist in reg­u­lar units. Oth­ers formed a Right Sec­tor para­mil­i­tary spin­off which accord­ing to col­leagues “had a fetish for death and tor­ture.” Plu­to being the Roman god of hell. Their unit was called Task Force Plu­to (TFP), named for the Roman god of death, and was led by a US Army desert­er-turned-mer­ce­nary, Craig Lang, who had also worked as a con­trac­tor for the Ukrain­ian mil­i­tary. Lang oper­at­ed along­side Bri­an Boyenger, an Iraq War vet­er­an who served as a sniper in Ukraine. Lang recruit­ed Amer­i­cans for Ukraine and Boyenger vet­ted them.

Oth­er TFP mem­bers includ­ed for­mer Marines Quinn Rick­ert and San­ti Pir­tle. The two com­piled video evi­dence of Lang tor­tur­ing and mur­der­ing a local man as well as beat­ing and drown­ing a young female (age unknown), as an Aus­tri­an called Ben­jamin Fis­ch­er — nick­named “Bin Laden” — alleged­ly admin­is­tered adren­a­line injec­tions to keep her con­scious dur­ing the tor­ture. The Depart­ment of Jus­tice request­ed the evi­dence from their Ukrain­ian coun­ter­parts.

By 2017, a US mil­i­tary desert­er, Alex Zwiefel­hofer, had joined Lang via the Right Sec­tor in Ukraine. The pair had planned to fight al-Shabaab in Sudan and the Venezue­lan mil­i­tary. Upon ques­tion­ing Zwiefel­hofer, North Car­olin­ian author­i­ties dis­cov­ered child porn on his phone. (The UK-based satan­ic group, the Order of Nine Angles and its Tem­pel ov Blood (sic, ToB) off­shoot in the US infil­trate sec­u­lar far-right groups and encour­age child rape, pos­si­bly as a hon­ey­trap on behalf of the secu­ri­ty ser­vices).

Influ­enced by the SIEGE philoso­phies of the elder­ly Nazi pedophile James Mason (not to be con­fused with the late actor), the Atom­waf­fen Divi­sion (AWD, now called the Nation­al Social­ist Order) was an apoc­a­lyp­tic-accel­er­a­tionist group found­ed in 2015 and dis­band­ed five years lat­er. Mason bragged of there being “a lot of action in Ukraine … That’s pret­ty impres­sive.”

Pri­vate First Class Jar­rett Smith, sta­tioned at Fort Riley, Kansas, was a fan of Atom­waf­fen and a mem­ber of the Feuerkrieg Divi­sion, found­ed in the Baltics in late-2018. Smith was also a self-pro­claimed satanist, like­ly con­nect­ed to the ToB. That group’s leader, Joshua Caleb Sut­ter, was an FBI infor­mant whose seemed deter­mined to infil­trate and “satanize” Nazi groups with the aim of destroy­ing them from with­in.

Before join­ing the Army, Smith was plan­ning to go to Ukraine to fight with the Azov Bat­tal­ion via his con­nec­tions to Craig Lang. Before he could go, Smith was set up by an under­cov­er FBI agent and a third par­ty (either an infor­mant or anoth­er agent) who put them in touch. The under­cov­er agent con­tact­ed Smith through chat forums to ask how to make bombs. In an illus­tra­tion of how the feds set up fanat­i­cal dupes, the agent also said: “Got a lib­er­al texas may­or in my sights (sic)! Boom with that IED [impro­vised explo­sive device] and that dude’s dead.”

Via a far-right enti­ty called the Mil­i­tary Order of Cen­turia, the new­ly rebrand­ed Azov Move­ment has been trained by the mil­i­taries of Amer­i­ca, Britain, Cana­da, and France.

US and Cana­di­an mil­i­tary offi­cers meet uni­formed mem­bers of the neo-Nazi Azov Bat­tal­ion dur­ing a Novem­ber 2017 multi­na­tion­al train­ing ses­sion in Ukraine. Pho­tos from a delet­ed page on Azov’s web­site: https://t.co/08C1FLQ6Ee pic.twitter.com/5RAIif6OFf— Max Blu­men­thal (@MaxBlumenthal) March 20, 2022

DHS inci­dent logs note that in Decem­ber 2018, AWD mem­ber Kaleb Cole returned from Lon­don with fel­low neo-Nazis, Aidan Bruce Umbaugh and Edie Alli­son Moore. They had vis­it­ed, among oth­er coun­tries, Ukraine. The DHS log is heav­i­ly redact­ed. Andrew Dymock (alias Blitz), the leader of Britain’s Son­nenkrieg Divi­sion (a unit of the AWD), was a mem­ber of the occultist Order of Nine Angles and has been pic­tured wear­ing an Azov Bat­tal­ion t‑shirt.

The Rise Above Move­ment (RAM) is a net­work of Amer­i­can fas­cists, some of whom have been con­vict­ed of using vio­lence against left­ist demon­stra­tors. In 2018, a lead­ing Azov fas­cist and killer, Sergey Korotkikh, host­ed RAM mem­bers in Kyiv. Nation­al Corps leader Semenya­ka also host­ed RAM mem­bers Michael Mis­elis of Lawn­dale, Ben­jamin Drake Daley of Redon­do Beach, and Robert Run­do of Hunt­ing­ton (Calif.). Lat­er that year as RAM mem­bers were charged with vio­lence in the US. FBI Spe­cial Agent Scott J. Bier­wirth said: “the Azov Bat­tal­ion … is believed to have par­tic­i­pat­ed in train­ing and rad­i­cal­iz­ing Unit­ed States-based white suprema­cy orga­ni­za­tions.”

Accord­ing to Time mag­a­zine, after the white suprema­cist Bren­ton Tar­rant mur­dered 51 peo­ple in Christchurch, NZ in 2019, “an arm of the Azov move­ment helped dis­trib­ute the terrorist’s rav­ing man­i­festo.” Among the many coun­tries he report­ed­ly vis­it­ed was Ukraine.

Today, the neo-Nazi Wotan­ju­gend (Wotan Youth) prais­es Tar­rant as a hero and has dis­trib­uted his man­i­festo. Indica­tive of their sym­pa­thies, in April 2020 the Azov Nation­al Mili­tia leader Cherkas Mykhailenko con­duct­ed an inter­view with Wotanjugend’s Alex­ei Lev­kin. The Azov’s Nazi recruit­ing sta­tion, Cos­sack House, has also sold Wotan­ju­gend mer­chan­dise.

Dire pre­dic­tions of Ukraine blow­back

US intel­li­gence agen­cies have allowed an open-door pol­i­cy for vet­er­ans, mili­tia, and fas­cists to trav­el to Ukraine and its neigh­bors to kill as many Russ­ian sol­diers as pos­si­ble. The FBI mon­i­tors some of the com­bat­ants, inter­venes in some cas­es, but typ­i­cal­ly does noth­ing. The DHS allows the for­eign fight­ers to trav­el and return with min­i­mal obstruc­tion. The US char­i­ty, Vol­un­teers for Ukraine, is one of the orga­ni­za­tions that pro­vides a veneer of legit­i­ma­cy for the oper­a­tions that oth­er­wise include extrem­ists.

In Ukraine, mean­while, US Spe­cial Forces are train­ing the Nation­al Guard and oth­er reg­u­lar units, there­by pro­vid­ing a fur­ther lay­er of pro­fes­sion­al cov­er. How­ev­er, with US train­ing, some of these reg­u­lars go on to train far-right and Nazi para­mil­i­taries; some Ukrain­ian, some Amer­i­can. The Amer­i­can fas­cists return home with the poten­tial to use that train­ing against domes­tic tar­gets.

For­mer FBI agent turned con­sul­tant, Ali Soufan, notes that in the 1990s, the Afghan Tal­iban took advan­tage of con­stant con­flict in the Cen­tral Asian coun­try. “Pret­ty soon the extrem­ists took over. The Tal­iban was in charge. And we did not wake up until 9/11. This is the par­al­lel now with Ukraine,” Soufan said.

A 2021 report by the Mil­i­tary Acad­e­my West Point’s Com­bat­ing Ter­ror­ism Cen­ter rein­forced his point, stat­ing that the Ukraine con­flict “served as a pow­er­ful accel­er­a­tor” for glob­al white suprema­cy.

Also that year, Elis­sa Slotkin, chair of the Sub­com­mit­tee on Intel­li­gence and Coun­tert­er­ror­ism declared:: “As a for­mer CIA offi­cer who has looked at for­eign ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions in the Mid­dle East most of my career, I was struck by the threat these white suprema­cist groups pose, the amount of con­tact they have with extrem­ists in the U.S., the min­i­mal intel­li­gence and diplo­mat­ic report­ing we have on these groups, and the rel­a­tive lack of review tak­en by the U.S. Gov­ern­ment.”

Slotkin rec­om­mend­ed thir­teen white suprema­cist-extrem­ist orga­ni­za­tions includ­ing the Azov Bat­tal­ion be banned. Today, Azov earns gush­ing praise in West­ern media and Slotkin is an ardent pro­po­nent of mas­sive arms ship­ments to the Ukrain­ian mil­i­tary that hosts it.




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