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Historical Amnesia

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Glo­ry, Ukrain­ian style! Cel­e­bra­tion of the 75th Anniver­sary of the 14th Waf­fen SS Divi­sion in Lviv, Ukraine, in the sum­mer of 2018.

COMMENT: In a pre­vi­ous post, we not­ed the “pro-Democ­ra­cy” ele­ments in Hong Kong hav­ing adapt­ed the salute of the Ukrain­ian fas­cist OUN/B (and their UPA com­bat­ant wing) “Glo­ry to Ukraine! Glo­ry to the Heroes!” to their polit­i­cal lex­i­con.

This fol­lowed the decamp­ment of ele­ments of the Ukrain­ian Nazi Azov Bat­tal­ion and Pravy Sek­tor (Right Sec­tor) to Hong Kong. Their East­ern sojourn was under­writ­ten by an EU NGO.

Azov’s Hong Kong com­pa­tri­ots have adopt­ed the OUN/B slo­gan, now the offi­cial salute of the Ukrain­ian police and mil­i­tary. ” . . . . The inter­est has been mutu­al, with Hong Kong’s ‘democ­rats’ draw­ing inspi­ra­tion from Ukraine’s pro-West­ern Euro­maid­an ‘rev­o­lu­tion’ that has empow­ered far-right, fascis­tic forces. Hong Kong pro­test­ers have embraced the slo­gan ‘Glo­ry to Hong Kong’, adapt­ed from ‘Sla­va Ukrayi­ni’ or ‘Glo­ry to Ukraine’, a slo­gan invent­ed by Ukrain­ian fas­cists and used by Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors dur­ing WWII that was re-pop­u­lar­ized by the Euro­maid­an move­ment. . . . ”

Joshua Wong–“boy won­der” and dar­ling of the Amer­i­can MSM–has dou­bled down on affin­i­ty with Ukraine: ” . . . . ‘No mat­ter the dif­fer­ences between Ukraine and Hong Kong, our fights for free­dom and democ­ra­cy are the same,’ Joshua Wong told The Kyiv Post in 2019. ‘[W]e have to learn from Ukraini­ans… and show sol­i­dar­i­ty. Ukraine con­front­ed the force of Rus­sia — we are fac­ing the force of Bei­jing.’ . . . .”

The Hong Kong iter­a­tion of the OUN/UPA salute has become an anthem. In its cov­er­age of the ban­ning of that song by the Chi­nese author­i­ties, The New York Times [pre­dictably] fails to dis­cuss the her­itage of the slogan/song, nor the nature of the Ukrain­ian Nazi “trou­ba­dours” who brought it to Hong Kong.

In this con­text, it is impor­tant to remem­ber that the Nation­al Endow­ment for Democracy–a U.S. intel­li­gence “cut-out” found­ed by for­mer CIA direc­tor William Casey–has helped finance the “pro-Democ­ra­cy” forces in Hong Kong.

“Hong Kong Bans Protest Song and Oth­er Polit­i­cal Expres­sion at Schools” by Ger­ry Mul­lany; The New York Times; 7/8/2020.

Hong Kong’s edu­ca­tion sec­re­tary on Wednes­day banned stu­dents from singing the protest anthem “Glo­ry to Hong Kong,” post­ing slo­gans with polit­i­cal mes­sages or form­ing human chains, say­ing “the schools are oblig­ed to stop” such activ­i­ties.

The state­ment by the sec­re­tary, Kevin Yeung, ratch­eted up the pres­sure on the pro-democ­ra­cy move­ment as Hong Kong res­i­dents strug­gle to deter­mine what is accept­able behav­ior under a strict new nation­al secu­ri­ty law that Chi­na imposed on the semi­au­tonomous ter­ri­to­ry last week.

Stu­dents, includ­ing mid­dle school­ers, have been a dri­ving force in Hong Kong’s protest move­ment. Beijing’s impo­si­tion of the nation­al secu­ri­ty law last Wednes­day — and the sub­se­quent arrests of teenagers at protests — has led some fam­i­lies to express con­cerns that their chil­dren could be in jeop­ardy for singing pro-democ­ra­cy songs or even for express­ing such sen­ti­ments in their homes. . . .

Discussion

2 comments for “Historical Amnesia”

  1. My wife is from HK, cor­re­sponds reg­u­lar­ly with friends over there. Dur­ing the riots.according to her friends CNN in Amer­i­ca was say­ing the pro­test­ers were throw­ing fire­bombs at police. In HK CNN was say­ing the police were throw­ing fire­bombs at the pro­test­ers. The pro­test­ers spent 3 years prepar­ing for the protests, includ­ing teach­ers indoc­tri­nat­ing chil­dren in HK to hate Com­mu­nism. I sus­pect a lot of what’s going on has to do with the Pearl Riv­er Delta Megac­i­ty project.

    Posted by Chris Hoff | July 19, 2020, 11:26 am
  2. There’s a new report out a Buz­zFeed about how a num­ber of the Ukrain­ian fig­ures who were deeply involved in Rudolph Giu­lian­i’s ‘oppo­si­tion research’ quest to impli­cate Joe and Hunter Biden on some­thing regard­ing Ukraine have spent months dig­ging up more dirt and are ready to share it with the world. It was a reminder that there should be no rea­son to assume the Trump cam­paign has aban­doned the anti-Biden Ukrain­ian schemes that got Trump impeached in the first place. He engaged in all those schemes for the pur­pose of dam­ag­ing Biden as a 2020 oppo­nent, after all.

    And that’s why it’s going to be increas­ing­ly impor­tant for Democ­rats to keep in mind that the US gov­ern­men­t’s long-stand­ing and ever-deep­en­ing ties to the Ukrain­ian far right real­ly is going to present the Trump team with all sorts of oppor­tu­ni­ties to paint a very unpleas­ant pic­ture of Biden’s rela­tion­ship to Ukraine. It would be a high­ly selec­tive pic­ture that ignores how the US’s cod­dling of Ukrain­ian neo-Nazi groups is a decades-old bipar­ti­san affair going back to WWII that has­n’t in any way been refut­ed by the Trump admin­is­tra­tion and is com­plete­ly embraced by the Repub­li­can Par­ty, but the pic­tures paint­ed by the Trump cam­paign don’t have to be accu­rate to be effec­tive. They just need to send a vague mes­sage about Joe Biden being a very very bad man who will be far more cor­rupt and dam­ag­ing to democ­ra­cy and soci­ety than Don­ald Trump.

    Of course, being a far right Nazi cod­dling Pres­i­dent him­self it would be some­what incon­gru­ous for the Trump team to make hay out of the US’s pro­tec­tion of Ukraine’s neo-Nazi out­fits, but it’s not like polit­i­cal attacks have to make log­i­cal sense. And as the fol­low­ing Gray Zone arti­cle makes clear, the bipar­ti­san nation­al secu­ri­ty estab­lish­ment in DC that con­tin­ues to cod­dle and run cov­er for the Ukrain­ian far right is going to be more than hap­py to help the Trump team craft that nar­ra­tive, as evi­denced by the utter­ly revolt­ing event that took place in DC a cou­ple of weeks ago: On July 15, the DC-based US-Ukraine Foun­da­tion (USUF) host­ed a webi­nar through its “Friends of Ukraine Net­work” (FOUN) about a Ukrain­ian doc­u­men­tary focused Vasyl Sli­pak, a famous Ukrain­ian opera singer who died fight­ing along­side Right Sec­tor’s “Vol­un­teer Ukrain­ian Corps” (DUK) in East­ern Ukraine. A webi­nar about a doc­u­men­tary cel­e­brat­ing a famous mem­ber of one of Ukraine’s most noto­ri­ous neo-Nazi armed groups is bad enough, but the webi­nar fea­tured an appear­ance by open neo-Nazi Diana Vynohrado­va, who was intro­duced to the pan­el by the the mod­er­a­tor as a spokesper­son for Right Sec­tor. Vynohrado­va, who is open­ly cov­ered in white suprema­cist tat­toos, hap­pens to run a Right Sec­tor youth camp called “Kom­man­dos” where young Ukraini­ans are taught mil­i­tary tech­niques and indoc­tri­nat­ed into a far right ide­ol­o­gy. At one point dur­ing the webi­nar she panned her cam­era over to a field where a bunch of teenagers were gath­ered bear­ing Right Sec­tor flags. So cel­e­brat­ing these neo-Nazi youth camps was also part of this this webi­nar event. But the dis­turb­ing neo-Nazi youth pro­pa­gan­da on dis­play at the webi­nar was­n’t lim­it­ed to youth camps. Anoth­er attendee to the webi­nar, 25-year-old Ukrain­ian leg­is­la­tor Yana Zinkevych, call for the incor­po­ra­tion of Vasyl Slipak’s sto­ry into the edu­ca­tion of Ukrain­ian youth, and even high school text­books, as an “exam­ple of sac­ri­fice,” prompt­ing agree­ment from USUF’s vice pres­i­dent Markian Bilyn­skyj.

    As the arti­cle also notes, the USUF and FOUN are two of the lead­ing think tanks lob­by­ing the US gov­ern­ment to aggres­sive­ly arm Ukraine with US weapons, with the FOUN call­ing itself, “the largest, high­est lev­el and most polit­i­cal­ly diverse group of Amer­i­cans to call for arm­ing Ukraine with Amer­i­can weapons.” So this isn’t just a group that is hap­py to cel­e­brate and sup­port Ukraine’s neo-Nazis. It’s also a group call­ing for a dra­mat­ic esca­la­tion of the mil­i­tary con­flict in Ukraine by deep­en­ing the US’s involve­ment. That may be a posi­tion pop­u­lar in both par­ties in DC but it’s unlike­ly to be pop­u­lar with the broad­er elec­torate.

    So is this the kind of event that will be incor­po­rat­ed into the Trump team’s Ukraine-based attacks on Biden? Well, as the arti­cle notes, one of the mem­bers of the “Friends of Ukraine Net­work” is Michael Car­pen­ter, a long-time Biden for­eign pol­i­cy aide and exec­u­tive direc­tor of the Biden-Penn Cen­ter. So there is a pret­ty direct con­nec­tion to Biden based on that mem­ber­ship roll, although is just one per­son on a much longer mem­ber­ship roll that is sort of a ‘Who’s Who’ of DC European/Russian pol­i­cy fig­ures with a heavy over­lap with the Atlantic Coun­cil. Either way, it’s not like the Trump team’s attacks need to be fac­tu­al­ly or con­tex­tu­al­ly accu­rate. And that’s all why the Biden teams is going to have to watch out for more events like this between now and elec­tion day. It’s nev­er ever a good time to cel­e­brate Ukrain­ian neo-Nazis and, again, this event took place just a cou­ple of weeks ago, sug­gest­ing that there could be more events of this nature between now and the Novem­ber elec­tion:

    The Gray Zone

    Influ­en­tial DC-based Ukrain­ian think tank hosts neo-Nazi activist con­vict­ed for racist vio­lence

    The US-Ukraine Foun­da­tion host­ed noto­ri­ous neo-Nazi mil­i­tant Diana Vynohrado­va in a webi­nar this month. While legit­imiz­ing Ukrain­ian white suprema­cists, the think tank has forged close ties with for­eign pol­i­cy elites in Wash­ing­ton.

    By Moss Robe­son
    July 20, 2020

    The influ­en­tial Wash­ing­ton-based US-Ukraine Foun­da­tion (USUF) host­ed a webi­nar this July 15 about a doc­u­men­tary about Vasyl Sli­pak, a famed Ukrain­ian opera singer who died in 2016 fight­ing along­side the ultra­na­tion­al­ist Right Sector’s “Vol­un­teer Ukrain­ian Corps” (DUK) in east­ern Ukraine.

    The webi­nar fea­tured an appear­ance by Diana Vynohrado­va (Kam­lyuk), a sieg-heil­ing neo-Nazi dec­o­rat­ed with white suprema­cist tat­toos. Vynohrado­va was con­vict­ed of par­tic­i­pat­ing in a noto­ri­ous racist mur­der and has incit­ed hatred against Jews, den­i­grat­ing them as “kikes.”

    With her pres­ence in the webi­nar, Vynohrado­va pro­vid­ed a shock­ing exam­ple of the main­stream­ing of neo-Nazism in Ukrain­ian pol­i­tics, and the tol­er­ance for pro-NATO fas­cists in Wash­ing­ton. The USUF which pro­vid­ed her with the stamp of approval is a lead­ing think tank of the Ukrain­ian dias­po­ra with ties to the US State Depart­ment and anti-Russ­ian for­eign pol­i­cy advi­sors in both par­ties.

    Through its Friends Of Ukraine Net­work (FOUN), the USUF has recruit­ed some of the most hard­line anti-Rus­sia for­eign pol­i­cy hands in the Belt­way. The Canary UK report­ed last year that the USUF and FOUN are “push­ing a fright­en­ing esca­la­tion of the armed con­flict in Ukraine” through their annu­al pol­i­cy rec­om­men­da­tions to the US gov­ern­ment, and that the FOUN has described itself as “the largest, high­est lev­el and most polit­i­cal­ly diverse group of Amer­i­cans to call for arm­ing Ukraine with Amer­i­can weapons.”

    FOUN’s mem­ber­ship roll lists sev­er­al fel­lows of the NATO-backed Atlantic Coun­cil, includ­ing Anders Aslund, for­mer US Ambas­sador to Ukraine John Herb­st, and Michael Car­pen­ter, the exec­u­tive direc­tor of the Penn-Biden Cen­ter and a top advi­sor to Demo­c­ra­t­ic pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Joseph Biden. As The Grayzone’s Max Blu­men­thal report­ed, Car­pen­ter helped host Andriy Paru­biy, the far-right Ukrain­ian leg­is­la­tor and founder of the neo-fas­cist Social-Nation­al Par­ty, when he vis­it­ed Wash­ing­ton in 2018.

    The USUF’s influ­ence with­in the State Depart­ment was appar­ent dur­ing a Decem­ber 2013 event where then-Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of State Vic­to­ria Nuland boast­ed about the US gov­ern­ment invest­ing five bil­lion dol­lars in post-Sovi­et Ukraine to “pro­mote civic par­tic­i­pa­tion and good gov­er­nance.”

    ...

    Short­ly before the USUF pan­el, a Ukrain­ian jour­nal­ist was forced to flee Kyiv after co-author­ing a report detail­ing a Ukrain­ian media outlet’s myr­i­ad ties to neo-Nazis, includ­ing Vynohrado­va.

    Help­ing mur­der a Niger­ian, incit­ing against Jews, intim­i­dat­ing jour­nal­ists

    On July 3, five days before the USUF announced its webi­nar fea­tur­ing Vynohrado­va, a respect­ed Ukrain­ian jour­nal­ism site called Zaborona pub­lished an exposé of Stop­Fake, a pro­pa­gan­dis­tic “fact-check­ing” orga­ni­za­tion fund­ed by the UK For­eign Office and sev­er­al EU mem­ber states. The arti­cle ded­i­cat­ed over a para­graph to Diana Vynohrado­va, not­ing her close rela­tion­ship with one of the main faces of Stop­Fake, Marko Suprun.

    Zaborona report­ed that Vynohrado­va was con­vict­ed in the ear­ly 2000s for her par­tic­i­pa­tion in the racist mur­der of a Niger­ian cit­i­zen. “I don’t like Negroes,” her friend replied when asked why he stabbed the Niger­ian to death.

    While in prison, Vynohrado­va wrote poems for the noto­ri­ous neo-Nazi band Sokyra Peruna. Dur­ing the 2013–14 “Rev­o­lu­tion of Dig­ni­ty,” she advised pro­test­ers from the main stage on Kyiv’s Inde­pen­dence Square “not to give in to sup­pli­ca­tions from the kikes.”

    In the past, Vynohrado­va wore a neo-Nazi “1488” tat­too on her right arm, but she has since cov­ered it up. She has not both­ered to hide the white suprema­cist Celtic Cross above it, how­ev­er, and con­tin­ues to sport a kolovrat neck­lace — a Slav­ic pagan sym­bol that resem­bles a swasti­ka.

    Just days before the USUF pan­el, Zaborona edi­tor-in-chief Kate­ri­na Ser­gatsko­va fled Kyiv with her fam­i­ly after being doxxed by Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists.

    Cel­e­brat­ing the cryp­to-Nazi “Kom­man­dos” sum­mer camp for teens

    [See image of atten­dees of “Kom­man­dos” youth camp pre­tend­ing to sleep in the shape of a swasti­ka. The girl on the left is wear­ing a Sva­S­tone t‑shirt.]

    Dur­ing the USUF pan­el, Vynohrado­va was intro­duced by the mod­er­a­tor, retired Ukrain­ian Major Gen­er­al Volodymyr Havrylov, as a spokesper­son for the … erm … Right Sec­tor. Wher­ev­er she is, the gen­er­al stat­ed, Vynohrado­va is “doing some­thing use­ful for the coun­try, as always.”

    Vynohrado­va opened her remarks by prais­ing Vasyl Sli­pak. “I think he was a per­son [on] some kind of sacred mis­sion,” she said of the ultra-nation­al­ist mar­tyr. “He had some supe­ri­or force, as if oth­er-word­ly. Vasyl, for me, is a mod­el that I bring up for chil­dren as we raise them.”

    Lat­er, Vynohrado­va panned her smart­phone lens to a group of teenage Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists gath­ered on a field and bear­ing a Right Sec­tor flag.

    “We [Right Sec­tor] are doing youth camp here, of young patri­ots, the club named Kom­man­dos,” the neo-Nazi explained. They promised to avenge the death of Sli­pak, call­ing him “this Great Knight of Ukraine.”

    Sla­va, Sla­va, Sla­va!” (Glo­ry, Glo­ry, Glo­ry!),” the youth chant­ed.

    The “Kom­man­dos” is a cryp­to-Nazi “mil­i­tary-patri­ot­ic” youth camp with atten­dees as young as ten years old. Vynohrado­va is its lead instruc­tor. The campers’ t‑shirts are pro­duced by a white suprema­cist cloth­ing brand, Sva­S­tone, found­ed by Arseniy “Bilo­dub” Kli­machev, the front­man of Sokyra Peruna and a leader of Right Sec­tor.

    Anoth­er Kom­man­dos sup­port­er is Ana­toly Shponarsky, an MMA fight­er with the neo-Nazi “14 words” tat­tooed on his stom­ach who pro­vid­ed the camp with “sports equip­ment.The above pho­to of nation­al­ist youth pre­tend­ing to sleep in the shape of a swasti­ka was uploaded to the camp’s offi­cial Face­book page last sum­mer.

    Besides serv­ing as an orga­niz­er of “Right Youth” sum­mer camps, Vynohrado­va has been involved in all three wings of the fas­cist Right Sector’s “nation­al lib­er­a­tion move­ment,” as a spokesper­son for the Right Sector’s Vol­un­teer Ukrain­ian Corps (DUK), and as a mem­ber of the party’s lead­er­ship.

    Rev­er­ence for the “rad­i­cal” right­ist Sli­pak, calls for blood and soil indoc­tri­na­tion

    The mod­er­a­tor of the USUF pan­el, Ukrain­ian Major Gen­er­al Volodymyr Havrylov, was the for­mer mil­i­tary attache at the US embassy. Markian Bilyn­skyj, the USUF’s vice pres­i­dent for field oper­a­tions and direc­tor in Ukraine, facil­i­tat­ed the dis­cus­sion, and pre­sum­ably was respon­si­ble for invit­ing the neo-Nazi Vynohrado­va.

    Oksana Koli­a­da, the for­mer Min­is­ter of Vet­er­ans Affairs in Ukraine (2019–20), was orig­i­nal­ly sched­uled to par­tic­i­pate in the webi­nar. With her help, accord­ing to jour­nal­ist Olek­siy Kuz­menko, the Vet­er­ans Affairs Min­istry was “hijacked” by the “Vet­er­ans Move­ment of Ukraine” (VMU), which the neo-Nazi Azov move­ment co-found­ed. Soon after her appoint­ment, Koli­a­da attend­ed a con­cert orga­nized by the VMU and head­lined by Sokyra Peruna.

    Evi­dent­ly ???? Vet­er­ans Min­istry is the far right’s strong­hold in Zelen­skiy’s gov. It gets grotesque: last May, dur­ing a meet­ing with then-min­is­ter Friz and deputy (cur­rent min­is­ter) Koli­a­da, head of the Min­istry’s Pub­lic Coun­cil wore a patch with sym­bols asso­ci­at­ed with Nazism. pic.twitter.com/gFy0F3HX9t— Olek­siy Kuz­menko (@kooleksiy) Jan­u­ary 17, 2020

    Met­ro­pol­i­tan Arch­bish­op Borys Gudzi­ak, the high­est author­i­ty of the Ukrain­ian Greek Catholic Church in the US, took Koliada’s place and began the USUF dis­cus­sion. As the for­mer Apos­tolic Exar­chate for Ukrain­ian Greek Catholics in France, he knew Sli­pak, who lived in Paris before he returned to Ukraine in 2014.

    “Vasyl was rad­i­cal in every­thing,” Gudzi­ak recalled.

    “For some, you know, who see a pic­ture or two or a clip or two, you might say, boy, he was some extreme nation­al­ist,” said Gudzi­ak. He didn’t deny this per­cep­tion, but insist­ed that the truth was more com­pli­cat­ed. “I think he was moti­vat­ed by injus­tice … see­ing Ukraini­ans, peo­ple of his blood, peo­ple of his nation, being harmed and killed … and he act­ed in a reflex.”

    Accord­ing to the Arch­bish­op, Sli­pak should serve as an exam­ple for Ukraini­ans, “to take us out of our com­pla­cen­cy, out of our bour­geois com­plain­ing … [and to] share what you have, give what you can. Maybe give your life itself. I think Vasyl Sli­pak will be speak­ing in this man­ner to all who will come to know his sto­ry.” Gudzi­ak remained qui­et for the rest of the webi­nar.

    A doc­u­men­tary about Sli­pak screened at the start of the webi­nar. Enti­tled “Myth,” the film fea­tured an ani­ma­tion based on Slipak’s last words: “I will dis­solve [into Ukraine] and live for­ev­er.”

    As a pool of blood spread into the shape of Ukraine, the slo­gan invoked Nazi con­cepts of blood and soil.

    The 25-year-old Ukrain­ian leg­is­la­tor, Yana Zinkevych, joined the pan­el lat­er on to empha­size the need to incor­po­rate Vasyl Slipak’s sto­ry into the edu­ca­tion of Ukrain­ian youth, and even high school text­books, as an “exam­ple of sac­ri­fice.”

    The USUF’s Markian Bilyn­skyj agreed, declar­ing, “it goes back to what Arch­bish­op Gudzi­ak was say­ing,” that Slipak’s death should inspire oth­ers to encour­age “more self­less involve­ment in soci­ety.”

    Zinkevych was elect­ed to Ukraine’s Par­lia­ment last sum­mer as a mem­ber of the for­mer pres­i­dent Petro Poroshenko’s “Euro­pean Sol­i­dar­i­ty” par­ty. She also served as com­man­der of the “Hos­pi­tallers,” a med­ical bat­tal­ion of the “Ukrain­ian Vol­un­teer Army” led by Dmytro Yarosh, the founder and ex-leader of the far-right Right Sec­tor.

    Zinkevych and the Hos­pi­tallers were pre­vi­ous­ly part of the DUK when Yarosh com­mand­ed Right Sec­tor. Dmytro Yarosh issued an omi­nous warn­ing to the lib­er­al Ukrain­ian pres­i­dent Volodymyr Zelen­skiy last year, promis­ing that he would be lynched if he “betrays” his coun­try.

    While serv­ing as a high lev­el mem­ber of Poroshenko’s osten­si­bly cen­ter-right par­ty, Zinkevych has con­tin­ued to asso­ciate with extrem­ists in groups like Right Sec­tor.

    Embold­en­ing neo-Nazis while down­play­ing their influ­ence

    The far-right out­fit Right Sec­tor endors­es the 20th cen­tu­ry Ukrain­ian fas­cist con­cept of “Nati­oc­ra­cy,” which holds that Ukraine should be gov­erned by a nation­al­ist dic­ta­tor­ship. After the 2019 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, it issued a state­ment sug­gest­ing the neces­si­ty of act­ing “out­side of for­mal demo­c­ra­t­ic pro­ce­dures” in con­junc­tion with allied “armed for­ma­tions” to safe­guard Ukraine’s inde­pen­dence. Even the NGO Free­dom House, a US gov­ern­ment-fund­ed out­fit that sup­ports regime change oper­a­tions abroad, has described Right Sec­tor as “extrem­ist.”

    John Herb­st, direc­tor of the Atlantic Council’s Eura­sia Cen­ter and chairs the FOUN’s Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Task Force, has done his best to down­play the influ­ence of Right Sec­tor. In 2018, he claimed to Newsweek, “Pravy Sek­tor was a real force years ago, but even then a lim­it­ed force that Rus­sia exag­ger­at­ed, so that’s an old Krem­lin pro­pa­gan­da piece…”

    Anders Åslund, a senior fel­low at the Atlantic Coun­cil and vice-chair of FOUN’s Eco­nom­ic Secu­ri­ty Task Force, took the denial of Right Sector’s street mus­cle a step fur­ther in 2015, declar­ing it a fan­ta­sy “which Russ­ian pro­pa­gan­da had cre­at­ed.”

    If the “Friends of Ukraine” nes­tled in top Belt­way think tanks tru­ly believe that Right Sec­tor is just a fig­ment of “Krem­lin pro­pa­gan­da,” they must not have watched the white suprema­cists star­ring in the lat­est webi­nar spon­sored under their watch – or the film that screened before it began.

    ...

    —————-

    “Influ­en­tial DC-based Ukrain­ian think tank hosts neo-Nazi activist con­vict­ed for racist vio­lence” by Moss Robe­son; The Gray Zone; 07/20/2020

    “With her pres­ence in the webi­nar, Vynohrado­va pro­vid­ed a shock­ing exam­ple of the main­stream­ing of neo-Nazism in Ukrain­ian pol­i­tics, and the tol­er­ance for pro-NATO fas­cists in Wash­ing­ton. The USUF which pro­vid­ed her with the stamp of approval is a lead­ing think tank of the Ukrain­ian dias­po­ra with ties to the US State Depart­ment and anti-Russ­ian for­eign pol­i­cy advi­sors in both par­ties.

    The lead­ing think tank of the Ukrain­ian dias­po­ra with ties to the US State Depart­ment and deep bipar­ti­san ties. That what the USUF rep­re­sents and this deeply bipar­ti­san think tank just host­ed a cel­e­bra­tion of Right Sec­tor’s neo-Nazi fight­ers, some­thing that would be deeply dis­turb­ing on its own but is even more dis­turb­ing giv­en that the USUF and FOUN are the lead­ing lob­by­ists for deep­en­ing the US’s involve­ment in that con­flict. In oth­er words, this was­n’t just a cel­e­bra­tion of a promi­nent Right Sec­tor fight­er. It was also part of that lob­by­ing effort to get more US weapons sent to the Ukrain­ian mil­i­tary that has spent years for­mal­ly incor­po­rat­ing these neo-Nazi mili­tias into the Ukrain­ian mil­i­tary struc­ture:

    ...
    Through its Friends Of Ukraine Net­work (FOUN), the USUF has recruit­ed some of the most hard­line anti-Rus­sia for­eign pol­i­cy hands in the Belt­way. The Canary UK report­ed last year that the USUF and FOUN are “push­ing a fright­en­ing esca­la­tion of the armed con­flict in Ukraine” through their annu­al pol­i­cy rec­om­men­da­tions to the US gov­ern­ment, and that the FOUN has described itself as “the largest, high­est lev­el and most polit­i­cal­ly diverse group of Amer­i­cans to call for arm­ing Ukraine with Amer­i­can weapons.”

    FOUN’s mem­ber­ship roll lists sev­er­al fel­lows of the NATO-backed Atlantic Coun­cil, includ­ing Anders Aslund, for­mer US Ambas­sador to Ukraine John Herb­st, and Michael Car­pen­ter, the exec­u­tive direc­tor of the Penn-Biden Cen­ter and a top advi­sor to Demo­c­ra­t­ic pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Joseph Biden. As The Grayzone’s Max Blu­men­thal report­ed, Car­pen­ter helped host Andriy Paru­biy, the far-right Ukrain­ian leg­is­la­tor and founder of the neo-fas­cist Social-Nation­al Par­ty, when he vis­it­ed Wash­ing­ton in 2018.

    The USUF’s influ­ence with­in the State Depart­ment was appar­ent dur­ing a Decem­ber 2013 event where then-Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of State Vic­to­ria Nuland boast­ed about the US gov­ern­ment invest­ing five bil­lion dol­lars in post-Sovi­et Ukraine to “pro­mote civic par­tic­i­pa­tion and good gov­er­nance.”
    ...

    But per­haps the creepi­est part of this event was the fact that Right Sec­tor’s spokesper­son, Diana Vynohrado­va, held her end of the webi­nar in the mid­dle of the Right Sec­tor youth camp she leads at the same time the pan­el broad­ly sup­port­ed the idea of incor­po­rat­ing a cel­e­bra­tion and exal­ta­tion of Right Sec­tor fight­ers into the edu­ca­tion­al con­tent on Ukrain­ian chil­dren:

    ...
    Cel­e­brat­ing the cryp­to-Nazi “Kom­man­dos” sum­mer camp for teens

    [See image of atten­dees of “Kom­man­dos” youth camp pre­tend­ing to sleep in the shape of a swasti­ka. The girl on the left is wear­ing a Sva­S­tone t‑shirt.]

    Dur­ing the USUF pan­el, Vynohrado­va was intro­duced by the mod­er­a­tor, retired Ukrain­ian Major Gen­er­al Volodymyr Havrylov, as a spokesper­son for the … erm … Right Sec­tor. Wher­ev­er she is, the gen­er­al stat­ed, Vynohrado­va is “doing some­thing use­ful for the coun­try, as always.”

    Vynohrado­va opened her remarks by prais­ing Vasyl Sli­pak. “I think he was a per­son [on] some kind of sacred mis­sion,” she said of the ultra-nation­al­ist mar­tyr. “He had some supe­ri­or force, as if oth­er-word­ly. Vasyl, for me, is a mod­el that I bring up for chil­dren as we raise them.”

    Lat­er, Vynohrado­va panned her smart­phone lens to a group of teenage Ukrain­ian nation­al­ists gath­ered on a field and bear­ing a Right Sec­tor flag.

    “We [Right Sec­tor] are doing youth camp here, of young patri­ots, the club named Kom­man­dos,” the neo-Nazi explained. They promised to avenge the death of Sli­pak, call­ing him “this Great Knight of Ukraine.”

    Sla­va, Sla­va, Sla­va!” (Glo­ry, Glo­ry, Glo­ry!),” the youth chant­ed.

    The “Kom­man­dos” is a cryp­to-Nazi “mil­i­tary-patri­ot­ic” youth camp with atten­dees as young as ten years old. Vynohrado­va is its lead instruc­tor. The campers’ t‑shirts are pro­duced by a white suprema­cist cloth­ing brand, Sva­S­tone, found­ed by Arseniy “Bilo­dub” Kli­machev, the front­man of Sokyra Peruna and a leader of Right Sec­tor.

    Anoth­er Kom­man­dos sup­port­er is Ana­toly Shponarsky, an MMA fight­er with the neo-Nazi “14 words” tat­tooed on his stom­ach who pro­vid­ed the camp with “sports equip­ment.The above pho­to of nation­al­ist youth pre­tend­ing to sleep in the shape of a swasti­ka was uploaded to the camp’s offi­cial Face­book page last sum­mer.

    Besides serv­ing as an orga­niz­er of “Right Youth” sum­mer camps, Vynohrado­va has been involved in all three wings of the fas­cist Right Sector’s “nation­al lib­er­a­tion move­ment,” as a spokesper­son for the Right Sector’s Vol­un­teer Ukrain­ian Corps (DUK), and as a mem­ber of the party’s lead­er­ship.

    ...

    The mod­er­a­tor of the USUF pan­el, Ukrain­ian Major Gen­er­al Volodymyr Havrylov, was the for­mer mil­i­tary attache at the US embassy. Markian Bilyn­skyj, the USUF’s vice pres­i­dent for field oper­a­tions and direc­tor in Ukraine, facil­i­tat­ed the dis­cus­sion, and pre­sum­ably was respon­si­ble for invit­ing the neo-Nazi Vynohrado­va.

    ...

    A doc­u­men­tary about Sli­pak screened at the start of the webi­nar. Enti­tled “Myth,” the film fea­tured an ani­ma­tion based on Slipak’s last words: “I will dis­solve [into Ukraine] and live for­ev­er.”

    As a pool of blood spread into the shape of Ukraine, the slo­gan invoked Nazi con­cepts of blood and soil.

    The 25-year-old Ukrain­ian leg­is­la­tor, Yana Zinkevych, joined the pan­el lat­er on to empha­size the need to incor­po­rate Vasyl Slipak’s sto­ry into the edu­ca­tion of Ukrain­ian youth, and even high school text­books, as an “exam­ple of sac­ri­fice.”

    The USUF’s Markian Bilyn­skyj agreed, declar­ing, “it goes back to what Arch­bish­op Gudzi­ak was say­ing,” that Slipak’s death should inspire oth­ers to encour­age “more self­less involve­ment in soci­ety.”
    ...

    A broad endorse­ment of child neo-Nazi brain­wash­ing. That’s what took place dur­ing that webi­nar host­ed by the lead­ing Ukraine-focused think tank in DC. A think tank with deep bipar­ti­san ties. It’s a chill­ing indi­ca­tion that the accep­tance of Ukraine’s neo-Nazis isn’t just a prod­uct of cyn­i­cal ‘the ene­my of my ene­my...’ kind of think­ing that views these groups as a nec­es­sar­i­ly but tem­po­rary evil. The far right psy­cho­log­i­cal cap­ture of Ukrain­ian soci­ety is clear­ly a long-term agen­da if the brain­wash­ing of upcom­ing gen­er­a­tions of Ukraini­ans into this neo-Nazi world­view is part of that agen­da. And as this webi­nar made clear, brain­wash­ing the kids is very much a part of that broad­ly backed bipar­ti­san DC agen­da for Ukraine.

    So will the Trump team pounce on events like this webi­nar as part of their cam­paign Ukraine-based pro­pa­gan­da cam­paign against Biden in com­ing months? It would be rather iron­ic giv­en that Trump has been basi­cal­ly lead­ing a US far right eth­nona­tion­al­ist move­ment that’s very much ide­o­log­i­cal­ly aligned with the Ukrain­ian far right and has done noth­ing to reduce the US’s per­sis­tent blind-spot when it could to Ukraine’s neo-Nazis. But it would also ide­o­log­i­cal­ly con­sis­tent in the sense that warp­ing out under­stand­ing of real­i­ty is kind of the core tool in the Nazi toolk­it. We’ll see, but as the above arti­cle makes clear, the DC estab­lish­ment that broad­ly sup­ports the US’s poli­cies in Ukraine are going to con­tin­ue sup­port­ing the far right warp­ing of Ukraine’s soci­ety regard­less of who wins in Novem­ber.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | July 28, 2020, 1:55 pm

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