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Confederate Flags in Kiev and “Peace Street” Renamed for the Einsatzgruppe Nachtigall

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash dri­ve that can be obtained here. [1] (The flash dri­ve includes the anti-fas­cist books avail­able on this site.)

COMMENT: With the Orwellian rhetoric and cog­ni­tive con­structs over­whelm­ing rea­son­able analy­sis of the Ukrain­ian cri­sis, it is heart­en­ing to encounter accu­ra­cy in reportage of the devel­op­ments that pre­cip­i­tat­ed and are at the heart of the sit­u­a­tion.

We have cov­ered the Ukraine coup in pre­vi­ous posts–here [2], here [3]here [4]here [5], here [6] and here [7]. (We are pro­duc­ing pro­grams [8] about the Ukrain­ian cri­sis [9] at the present time.)

In the main­stream of lib­er­al com­men­tary, Salon.com offers an arti­cle [10] by Max Blu­men­thal that sup­ple­ments and rein­forces much of what we have been pre­sent­ing.

Trac­ing the Nazi-col­lab­o­ra­tionist his­to­ry of the OUN/B (the par­ent orga­ni­za­tion of the Swo­bo­da and Pravy Sek­tor ele­ments in the Ukraine), the sto­ry notes the orga­ni­za­tion’s evo­lu­tion through the Cold War asso­ci­a­tion with West­ern intel­li­gence ele­ments (includ­ing CIA) and its incor­po­ra­tion into the GOP and the Rea­gan admin­is­tra­tion.

Gain­ing access to the cor­ri­dors of pow­er in Ukraine under Yuschenko via his wife (the for­mer Yka­te­ri­na Chu­machenko, a key OUN/B func­tionary and Deputy Direc­tor of Pub­lic Liai­son under Rea­gan), the Ukrain­ian fas­cists are the mil­i­tant van­guard of the coali­tion that assumed pow­er after the nega­tion of the agree­ment nego­ti­at­ed between the Yanukovich gov­ern­ment and EU lead­ers.

The Blu­men­thal sto­ry in Salon man­i­fests many of the points of infor­ma­tion we have pre­sent­ed in the past, sup­ple­ment­ing our analy­sis with addi­tion­al mate­r­i­al about the inte­gra­tion of OUN/B ele­ments into the Rea­gan admin­is­tra­tion.

EXCERPT: ” . . . . In Wash­ing­ton, the OUN‑B recon­sti­tuted under the ban­ner of the Ukrain­ian Con­gress Com­mit­tee of Amer­ica (UCCA), an umbrel­la orga­ni­za­tion com­prised of “com­plete OUN‑B fronts,” accord­ing to Bel­lant. By the mid-1980’s, the Rea­gan admin­is­tra­tion was hon­ey­combed with UCCA mem­bers, with the group’s chair­man Lev Dobri­an­sky, serv­ing as ambas­sador to the Bahamas, and his daugh­ter, Paula, sit­ting on the Nation­al Secu­rity Coun­cil. Rea­gan per­son­ally wel­comed Stet­sko, the Ban­derist leader who over­saw the mas­sacre of 7000 Jews in Lviv, into the White House in 1983. . . .”

Note the abun­dant evi­dence of involve­ment by ele­ments of U.S. intel­li­gence in the events there.

We note, in pass­ing, that Con­fed­er­ate flags [11]are in evi­dence in Kiev. No doubt Eddie the Friend­ly Spook Snow­den’s Pres­i­den­tial can­di­date of choice Ron Paul would be alto­geth­er com­fort­able with that.

Among the most overt indi­ca­tions of the polit­i­cal nature of “demo­c­ra­t­ic” forces at work in the Ukraine: ” . . . . Lviv has become the epi­cen­ter [12] of neo-fas­cist activ­ity in Ukraine, with elect­ed Svo­boda offi­cials wag­ing a cam­paign to rename its air­port after Ban­dera and suc­cess­fully chang­ing the name of Peace Street to the name of the Nachti­gall Bat­tal­ion, an OUN‑B wing that par­tic­i­pated direct­ly in the Holo­caust. “ ‘Peace’ is a holdover from Sovi­et stereo­types,” a Svo­boda deputy explained. . . .”

That such a devel­op­ment would hap­pen in Lviv (also known as “Lvov” and “Lem­berg”) is not sur­pris­ing, giv­en that Lviv has become an epi­cen­ter [13] of Ukrain­ian fas­cism and revi­sion­ism, with a stat­ue of Ban­dera [14] in the city. Lviv is some­times referred to as “Banderstadt”–German for “Ban­dera Town” or “Ban­dera State,” depend­ing on the trans­la­tion.

“Is the US Back­ing neo-Nazis in the Ukraine?” by Max Blu­men­thal [Alter­net]; Salon.com; 2/25/2014. [10]

EXCERPT: As the Euro­maid­an protests in the Ukrain­ian capi­tol of Kiev cul­mi­nat­ed this week, dis­plays of open fas­cism and neo-Nazi extrem­ism became too glar­ing to ignore. Since demon­stra­tors filled the down­town square to bat­tle Ukrain­ian riot police and demand the ouster of the cor­rup­tion-stained, pro-Russ­ian Pres­i­dent Vik­tor Yanukovich, it has been filled with far-right street­fight­ing men pledg­ing to defend their country’s eth­nic puri­ty.

White suprema­cist ban­ners and Con­fed­er­ate flags were draped [11] inside Kiev’s occu­pied City Hall, and demon­stra­tors have hoist­ed [15] Nazi SS and white pow­er sym­bols over a top­pled memo­r­i­al to V.I. Lenin. After Yanukovich fled his pala­tial estate by heli­copter, Euro­Maid­an pro­test­ers destroyed [15] a memo­r­i­al to Ukraini­ans who died bat­tling Ger­man occu­pa­tion dur­ing World War II. Sieg heil salutes and the Nazi Wolf­san­gel sym­bol have become an increas­ing­ly com­mon site in Maid­an Square, and neo-Nazi forces have estab­lished “autonomous zones” in and around Kiev.

An Anar­chist group called AntiFas­cist Union Ukraine attempt­ed to join the Euro­maid­an demon­stra­tions but found it dif­fi­cult to avoid threats of vio­lence and impre­ca­tions from the gangs of neo-Nazis rov­ing the square. “They called the Anar­chists things like Jews, blacks, Com­mu­nists,” one of its mem­bers said [16]. “There weren’t even any Com­mu­nists, that was just an insult.” . . .

. . . One of the “Big Three” polit­i­cal par­ties behind the protests is the ultra-nation­al­ist Svo­bo­da, whose leader, Oleh Tyah­ny­bok, has called for [17] the lib­er­a­tion of his coun­try from the “Mus­covite-Jew­ish mafia.” After the 2010 con­vic­tion of the Nazi death camp guard John Dem­jan­juk for his sup­port­ing role in the death of near­ly 30,000 peo­ple at the Sobi­bor camp, Tyah­ny­bok rushed to Ger­many [18] to declare him a hero who was “fight­ing for truth.” In the Ukrain­ian par­lia­ment, where Svo­bo­da holds an unprece­dent­ed 37 seats, Tyahnybok’s deputy Yuriy Mykhalchyshyn is fond of quot­ing Joseph Goebbels – he has even found­ed a think tank orig­i­nal­ly called “the Joseph Goebbels Polit­i­cal Research Cen­ter.” Accord­ing to Per Anders Rudling [19], a lead­ing aca­d­e­m­ic expert on Euro­pean neo-fas­cism, the self-described “social­ist nation­al­ist” Mykhalchyshyn is the main link between Svoboda’s offi­cial wing and neo-Nazi mili­tias like Right Sec­tor.

Right Sec­tor is a shad­owy syn­di­cate of self-described “autonomous nation­al­ists” iden­ti­fied by their skin­head style of dress, ascetic lifestyle, and fas­ci­na­tion with street vio­lence. Armed with riot shields and clubs, the group’s cadres have manned the front lines of the Euro­maid­an bat­tles this month, fill­ing the air with their sig­na­ture chant: “Ukraine above all!” In a recent Right Sec­tor pro­pa­gan­da video [embed­ded at the bot­tom of this arti­cle], the group promised to fight “against degen­er­a­tion and total­i­tar­i­an lib­er­al­ism, for tra­di­tion­al nation­al moral­i­ty and fam­i­ly val­ues.” With Svo­bo­da linked to a con­stel­la­tion of inter­na­tion­al neo-fas­cist par­ties through the Alliance of Euro­pean Nation­al Move­ments [20], Right Sec­tor is promis­ing to lead its army of aim­less, dis­il­lu­sioned young men on “a great Euro­pean Recon­quest.”

Svoboda’s open­ly pro-Nazi pol­i­tics have not deterred Sen­a­tor John McCain from address­ing [21] a Euro­Maid­an ral­ly along­side Tyah­ny­bok, nor did it pre­vent Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of State Vic­to­ria Nuland from enjoy­ing a friend­ly meet­ing [22] with the Svo­bo­da leader this Feb­ru­ary. Eager to fend off accu­sa­tions of anti-Semi­tism, the Svo­bo­da leader recent­ly host­ed [23] the Israeli Ambas­sador to Ukraine. “I would like to ask Israelis to also respect our patri­ot­ic feel­ings,” Tyah­ny­bok has remarked [24]. “Prob­a­bly each par­ty in the [Israeli] Knes­set is nation­al­ist. With God’s help, let it be this way for us too.”

In a leaked phone con­ver­sa­tion [25] with Geof­frey Pyatt, the US ambas­sador to Ukraine, Nuland revealed her wish for Tyah­ny­bok to remain “on the out­side,” but to con­sult with the US’s replace­ment for Yanukovich, Arseniy Yat­senyuk, “four times a week.” At a Decem­ber 5, 2013 US-Ukraine Foun­da­tion Con­fer­ence, Nuland boast­ed [26] that the US had invest­ed $5 bil­lion to “build demo­c­ra­t­ic skills and insti­tu­tions” in Ukraine, though she did not offer any details.

“The Euro-Maid­an move­ment has come to embody the prin­ci­ples and val­ues that are the cor­ner­stones for all free democ­ra­cies,” Nuland pro­claimed.

Two weeks lat­er, 15,000 Svo­bo­da mem­bers held a torch­light cer­e­mo­ny [27] in the city of Lviv in hon­or of Stepan Ban­dera, a World War II-era Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tor who led the pro-fas­cist Orga­ni­za­tion of Ukrain­ian Nation­al­ists (OUN‑B). Lviv has become the epi­cen­ter of neo-fas­cist [13] activ­i­ty in Ukraine, with elect­ed Svo­bo­da offi­cials wag­ing a cam­paign to rename its air­port after Ban­dera and suc­cess­ful­ly chang­ing the name of Peace Street to the name of the Nachti­gall Bat­tal­ion, an OUN‑B wing that par­tic­i­pat­ed direct­ly in the Holo­caust. “’Peace’ is a holdover from Sovi­et stereo­types,” a Svo­bo­da deputy explained.

Revered [28] by Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists as a leg­endary free­dom fight­er, Bandera’s real record was igno­min­ious at best. After par­tic­i­pat­ing in a cam­paign to assas­si­nate Ukraini­ans who sup­port­ed accom­mo­da­tion with the Pol­ish dur­ing the 1930’s, Bandera’s forces set them­selves to eth­ni­cal­ly cleanse west­ern Ukraine of Poles in 1943 and 1944. In the process, they killed over 90,000 Poles and many Jews, whom Bandera’s top deputy and act­ing “Prime Min­is­ter,” Yaroslav Stet­sko, were deter­mined to exter­mi­nate. Ban­dera held fast to fas­cist ide­ol­o­gy in the years after the war, advo­cat­ing a total­i­tar­i­an, eth­ni­cal­ly pure Europe while his affil­i­at­ed Ukrain­ian Insur­gent Army (UPA) car­ried out a doomed armed strug­gle against the Sovi­et Union. The blood­bath he inspired end­ed when KGB agents assas­si­nat­ed him in Munich in 1959.

The Right Con­nec­tions

Many sur­viv­ing OUN‑B mem­bers fled to West­ern Europe and the Unit­ed States – occa­sion­al­ly with CIA help – where they qui­et­ly forged polit­i­cal alliances with right-wing ele­ments. “You have to under­stand, we are an under­ground orga­ni­za­tion. We have spent years qui­et­ly pen­e­trat­ing posi­tions of influ­ence,” one mem­ber told jour­nal­ist Russ Bel­lant, who doc­u­ment­ed the group’s resur­gence in the Unit­ed States in his 1988 book, “Old Nazis, New Right, and the Repub­li­can Par­ty.”

In Wash­ing­ton, the OUN‑B recon­sti­tut­ed under the ban­ner of the Ukrain­ian Con­gress Com­mit­tee of Amer­i­ca (UCCA), an umbrel­la orga­ni­za­tion com­prised of “com­plete OUN‑B fronts,” accord­ing to Bel­lant. By the mid-1980’s, the Rea­gan admin­is­tra­tion was hon­ey­combed with UCCA mem­bers, with the group’s chair­man Lev Dobri­an­sky, serv­ing as ambas­sador to the Bahamas, and his daugh­ter, Paula, sit­ting on the Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil. Rea­gan per­son­al­ly wel­comed Stet­sko, the Ban­derist leader who over­saw the mas­sacre of 7000 Jews in Lviv, into the White House in 1983.

“Your strug­gle is our strug­gle,” Rea­gan told the for­mer Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tor. “Your dream is our dream.”

When the Jus­tice Depart­ment launched a cru­sade to cap­ture and pros­e­cute Nazi war crim­i­nals in 1985, UCCA snapped into action, lob­by­ing Con­gress to halt the ini­tia­tive. “The UCCA has also played a lead­ing role in oppos­ing fed­er­al inves­ti­ga­tions of sus­pect­ed Nazi war crim­i­nals since those queries got under­way in the late 1970’s,” Bel­lant wrote. “Some UCCA mem­bers have many rea­sons to wor­ry – rea­sons which began in the 1930’s.”

Still an active and influ­en­tial lob­by­ing force in Wash­ing­ton, the UCCA does not appear to have shed its rev­er­ence for Ban­derist nation­al­ism. In 2009, on the 50th anniver­sary of Bandera’s death, the group pro­claimed him [29] “a sym­bol of strength and right­eous­ness for his fol­low­ers” who “continue[s] to inspire Ukraini­ans today.” A year lat­er, the group hon­ored the 60th anniver­sary of the death of Roman Shukhevych, the OUN‑B com­man­der of the Nachti­gall Bat­tal­ion that slaugh­tered Jews in Lviv and Belarus, call­ing him a “hero” who “fought for hon­or, right­eous­ness…”

Back in Ukraine in 2010, then-Pres­i­dent Vik­tor Yushchenko award­ed Ban­dera the title of “Nation­al Hero of Ukraine,” mark­ing the cul­mi­na­tion of his efforts to man­u­fac­ture an anti-Russ­ian nation­al nar­ra­tive that san­i­tized the OUN‑B’s fas­cism. (Yuschenko’s wife, Kather­ine Chu­machenko, was a for­mer Rea­gan admin­is­tra­tion offi­cial and ex-staffer at the right-wing Her­itage Foun­da­tion). When the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment con­demned Yushchenko’s procla­ma­tion as an affront to “Euro­pean val­ues,” the UCCA-affil­i­at­ed Ukrain­ian World Con­gress react­ed with out­rage, accus­ing the EU of “anoth­er attempt to rewrite Ukrain­ian his­to­ry dur­ing WWII.” On its web­site, the UCCA dis­missed his­tor­i­cal accounts of Bandera’s col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Nazis as “Sovi­et pro­pa­gan­da.”

Fol­low­ing the demise of Yanukovich this month, the UCCA helped orga­nize ral­lies in cities across the US in sup­port of the Euro­Maid­an protests. When sev­er­al hun­dred demon­stra­tors marchedthrough down­town Chica­go, some waved Ukrain­ian flags while oth­ers proud­ly flew the red and black ban­ners of the UPA and OUN‑B. “USA sup­ports Ukraine!” they chant­ed.

“The Fas­cist State of Lviv, Part 1” by Gra­ham Phillips; Brit in Ukraine; 12/22/2013. [13]

EXCERPT:  . . . . Yet you don’t need to scratch too hard to see what Lviv is real­ly about. A turn off to a side street and there was a flow­ered shrine for a 28-year-old man, Sasha Shaleni, [30] killed in a sav­age fight which broke out between fans of local foot­ball team Lviv Karpaty just days before. The shrine erect­ed to his ‘hon­our’ (and there are now calls for a per­ma­nent memo­r­i­al [31], even) con­tained numer­ous ref­er­ences to Ban­der­stadt‘, a pop­u­lar appel­la­tion for Lviv.

The ‘stadt’ from Ger­man for ‘town’, the Ban­der from dis­graced Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tor, Stepan Ban­dera [32]. Despite the ‘stadt’, though, Lviv isn’t a Ger­man town, actu­al­ly it used to be a Pol­ish, Jew­ish city. The expung­ing [33] of Pol­ish and Jew­ish from Lviv is a touchy top­ic with the locals indeed. Actu­al­ly it’s the rea­son Lviv has cre­at­ed all those ‘his­to­ri­ans [34]‘ to churn out revi­sion­ism lest the good folk of Lviv lose any sleep. Poles and Jews com­prised the bulk of the city’s pop­u­la­tion before a bru­tal Ban­dera and OUN-led [35] purge saw the Pol­ish pop­u­la­tion slashed [36] from 50% of the pop­u­la­tion in 1931 to 10% in 1950. Jews mean­while, fell from 32% of the pop­u­la­tion in 1931 to just over 1% by 1944. Both Poles and Jews com­bined now account for just over 1% of the city’s pop­u­la­tion.

And, stand­ing right there in the cen­tre, as of 2012 [37], in huge stat­ue form, is the ruth­less yet hap­less Nazi-lov­ing Ban­dera him­self. Think Berlin hav­ing a stat­ue of Adolf pos­ing up there proud­ly in Alexan­der­platz. It is a lit­tle like some­thing from Plan­et of the Apes, and tru­ly hard to fath­om how Lviv can square this with reach­ing out to inter­na­tion­al tourists [38], includ­ing mass­es of vis­i­tors from Rus­sia each year.

Of course as well as Jews and Poles, Ban­dera despised Rus­sians, and in his dubi­ous hon­our, Lviv’s Russ­ian embassy has seen reg­u­lar attacks over the years. On May 9th, 2011, in Lviv, groups of Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists [39] snatched a wreath from Russ­ian Con­sul Gen­er­al Oleg Astakhov, which he was going to lay at a mil­i­tary ceme­tery atop the Hill of Glo­ry in Lviv, and tram­pled it down. They also attacked vet­er­ans and mem­bers of NGOs who were present onGlo­ry Hill [40], and tried to vio­lent­ly dis­rupt the cel­e­bra­tion of Vic­to­ry Day, prompt­ing police to use trun­cheons to stop them (quite some­thing giv­en the not­ed reluc­tance [41] of Lviv police to get involved when any­thing Russ­ian-relat­ed is under attack).

Whether many busi­ness­es in Lviv could actu­al­ly sur­vive with­out the annu­al tens of thou­sands of Russ­ian tourists who are will­ing to over­look the city’s dark side, is anoth­er ques­tion. And how this is all rec­on­ciled with the gen­er­al per­cep­tion of the city as ‘warm’, ‘kind’, ‘cute [42]‘ even is bewil­der­ing in the extreme.