The Atlantic Council and many of its members are busy trying to re-write history and whitewash the AZOV Battalion (fellows from Western Ukraine who have been attacking Russian speaking Ukrainians in the Donbass during the last 8 years) as just a bunch of earnest nationalists.
One person pushing this lie is Oleg Atbashian, a Ukrainian emigre to the United States. Oleg has penned a piece, Ukraine: the Nazi smear of the Azov Battalion is a far-reaching Russian influence operation—Russia can’t beat the Azov fighters on the battlefield, so it uses propaganda to libel them as Nazis. (So far he has not found a place to publish his piece as far as I know, but I received a copy of his proposed piece from a friend). Oleg argues:
Debunking the libel of the Azov battalion as a Nazi organization has been especially difficult because the Russian influence operators have planted those smear stories against Ukraine so widely around the world, all the way to the U.S. Congress, that it would take an entire think tank to shovel through that pile of “evidence.” Why all the effort? Azov is extremely effective against Russian aggression in the Eastern Ukraine. The fact is, Russian aggression was the only reason Azov was formed in the first place, so the Kremlin has only itself to blame for it.
The Azov battalion was organized in 2014, when the poorly armed and unprepared Ukrainian army was forced to fight an unexpected war against the Kremlin-orchestrated “separatism” in eastern Ukraine. Seeing how the military was failing, one of the richest Ukrainian industrialists and the Governor of the Dnipro Oblast, Igor Kolomoisky, spent a hefty chunk of his own money to recruit and arm a volunteer battalion to defend Ukraine. The unit was named Azov after the small Azov Sea in southern Ukraine. This was quickly followed by a series of Ukrainian victories, in which Azov played a part.
The smear is as absurd as if Hitler were to spread rumors about General Patton being a Nazi so as to hinder the American war effort. It’s initial sponsor, Igor Kolomoisky, is Jewish and has since become an Israeli citizen, living in Israel. Not exactly Neo-Nazi material, but the influencers conveniently omit that fact.
I am not a Putin puppet. I am not on the payroll of the Rooskies. I can read and think objectively. I do not know why Oleg ignores the actual history of the neo-Nazis in Ukraine. Here are the facts (thanks to Yaacov Apelbaum for his excellent research):
Oleg’s arguments like the following are apologist propaganda (and likely commercial in nature). They echo the materials developed/distribute by the Atlantic Council and other Ukraine profiteering think tanks. Oleg writes:
“…they chose a bellicose, ominous looking emblem of the crossed letter Z that also reminds of a modified Ukrainian Trident, but to the critics it appears too close to the SS emblem or the swastika. It arguably follows traditional embroidery ornaments, and, after all, we don’t demonize the entire Buddhist community in Asia for the continued use of their traditional swastika symbol.”
The issue is not the poor graphic design choices (i.e. the Azove Battalion’s use of SS iconography) or the poor HR/PR choices (i.e. that they recruit hard-core Neo Nazis). The problem is that large segment of the Ukrainian nationalist movement still embraces violent Nazi ideology.
Stalin/Russia didn’t invent Nazi sympathizers in Ukraine, historically, there was always an extreme violent (and anti-semitic) nationalist element in the Ukrainain society. For example, check out the 1648 Khmelnytsky pogroms. In the 20th century this nationalistic movement fully embraced the Nazi and anti-semitic ideologies as they became manifested through Stepan Bandera and his movement. The 1941 Kiev pogrom was orchestrated and executed by Ukrainian nationalist operatives and the Babi Yar massacre was executed with full Ukrainian nationalist movement participation and collaboration.
As a side note, 19th century Ukrainian nationalism was already highly racialized and predates the Nazi ideology. Bandera and his followers, similarly (and independently) to the Nazis, advocated the selective breeding to create a “pure” Ukrainian race and developed an elaborate anti-Jewish discourse. This was years before the German occupation of Ukraine.
The argument that the Azov battalion and its leadership is not affiliated with Nazi ideology, it patently false. The unit’s first commander was far-right nationalist named Andriy Biletsky, who led the neo-Nazi Social-National Assembly and the Patriot of Ukraine.
The claim that The Azov battalion was organized in 2014 as a volunteer force and financed by Igor Kolomoisky in order to defend Ukraine is also factually incorrect. The organization started as a special police company of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. It was led by Volodymyr Shpara, the leader of the Vasylkiv, Kyiv, branch of Patriot of Ukraine and Right Sector. As far as the real motivation behind Kolomoisky’s investment in the organization, it was likely more about war profiteering than patriotism.
Besides Yaacov’s analysis we have video from the BBC (not exactly a pro-Putin outfit) reporting on the neo-Nazis playing a key role in the 2014 coup that ousted the corrupt but duly elected President Yanukovitch:
And here is a video from last year with Ukraine Far-right activists celebrating the 78th anniversary of Ukrainian SS division. You read that right–the Ukrainians that many Americans are now cheering were commemorating the memory of Ukraine’s SS division, which fought alongside the Nazis:
The ignorance of most Americans about Ukraine and its history is quite understandable. Many Americans have trouble identifying George Washington and do not know who we fought in the American Revolution.
Rather than worry about Ukraine’s border security, I want our politicians and citizens to focus on our own border. Our southern border in particular. The flood of illegal immigrants and narcotics across that frontier everyday are killing American citizens. Fox reported recently on the carnage:
Fentanyl overdoses have surged to the leading cause of death for adults between the ages of 18 and 45, according to an analysis of U.S. government data.
Between 2020 and 2021, nearly 79,000 people between 18 and 45 years old — 37,208 in 2020 and 41,587 in 2021 — died of fentanyl overdoses, the data analysis from opioid awareness organization Families Against Fentanyl shows.
Ponder that number for a moment. More Americans aged 18 to 45 died from fentanyl overdose than died in the 12 years we were fighting in Vietnam. During four years of fighting in Korea we lost 36,914 military personnel. We have monuments for those who fought and died for America in Vietnam and Korea. I am not suggesting we need a memorial for those who overdosed on fentanyl. But we must do something about the border. We are ignoring those dying in part because our politicians–Republicans and Democrats–refuse to protect our borders from invaders. That is a real threat with a real cost for American citizens.
“Andriy Biletsky, the commander of the Azov Battalion, who is known to his comrades-in-arms as the “White Führer,” makes no secret of his views – in his 2014 program declaration he expressed himself quite bluntly: “Our nation’s historical mission at this critical juncture is to lead the global White Race in its final crusade for its survival. A crusade against the Semite-led Untermenschen.” https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/3/1/who-are-the-azov-regiment
Emblem of the Azov Battalion which is a part of National Guard of Ukraine: https://cdn1.img.sputniknews.com/img/101319/34/1013193419_0:213:2894:1779_1000x541_80_0_0_1bb9d5b53ee3b81fae586e68023beef9.jpg
Larry, do think there might be another reason for why Chechen special forces were chosen to spearhead the liquidation of the odious Azov Battalion? Other than the obvious fact that Chechens are the most bad ass fighters in the world— including MMA and Olympic wrestling.
Political scientist Richard Hanania has been commenting on the Azov Battalion’s Nazi racialism. Pretty hideous stuff indeed: https://twitter.com/RichardHanania/status/1499156634735546368?s=20&t=jb-5n3PrM2rm5TuKSEXUMg
I don’t know. They may be using them as the shock troops. Expect action to pick up in the next couple of days.
I beg to differ. They are thugs, natural streetfighters, and grapplers, however they are not cunning nor decisive. I find it ironic that they commit violence against queers and Trannies yet their culture is full of hyper masculine erotomania. Half naked sweaty muscular guys hugging each other on the ground is gay. MMA is the epitome of erotomania. Why are they so driven to it.
I would fear a company of 4 1/2 foot Gurkhas more than a horde of subhuman Chechen meatheads.
̶E̶r̶o̶t̶o̶m̶a̶n̶i̶a̶ ̶ Homoerotic
My favourite idiocy was some UK reporter saying that Azov’s wolfsangel badge was NI standing for National Interest or something. Of course N in Ukrainian looks like an H but I don’t have the layers of factcheckers that the MSM has.
The bulk of the population in Mariupol are held hostage by these people.
Thankfully there hasn’t been much success hiding the fact groups like AZOV are in fact Nazis.
The Ukrainian Nazi issue owes much of its roots to Soviet oppression. Ukrainians suffered terribly at the hands of the Soviets and the Nazis were seen as a savior of sorts to some Ukrainians, especially given how the Nazis had fought against the Soviets.
The US, as I understand it, supported these groups all throughout the Cold War–protecting some even from the Nuremberg trials and Israeli revenge–given their usefulness against the Soviet threat.
The Ukrainian Nazi issue predates the Soviet occupation. OUN (the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists) was founded in 1929. During the 1930s, it carried out a campaign of sabotage and murder in the area of Galicia which had become part of Poland after WW1. Allied with the Nazis, it then went on to slaughter Poles, Jews and Russians in the early 1940s.
Yes, these groups were never brought to Nuremberg because they were useful for Americans. There is a piquant aspect of the story about Ukrainian Nazis, who have been supported by their brothers and sisters from the Ukrainian community of Banderites (the progeny of the German Nazi collaborators (including SS 14 1st Galicia) in Canada for the last 30-20 years. The Canadian community held regular Nazi celebrations and even built several Nazi monuments; when Canadian journalists approach the Jewish community, the Jews (both in Canada and the US) did not respond in their usual manner of “the fighters against antisemitism.” Note that there were famous cases when people were hunted and imprisoned for Holocaust denial in Canada and the US, but the Banderites community was never touched.
The Ukrainian did suffer terribly during Holodomor in the 1930-s (some 6-8 million perished). The First Secretary of the Communist Party of Ukraine at the time of Holodomor was Lazar Kaganovich (borh Kogan). Kaganovich was the right hand of Stalin and Stalin’s brother-in-law. Actually, some 10 years ago, a Kievan court named Kaganovich guilty of the Holodomor, along with other Communist Party functionaries.
When Stepan Bandera organized an army of Ukrainian nationalists, they were fighting against “Judeo-Bolsheviks” (few people know that the Bolshevik revolution was financed by Jewish-American bankers Schiff, Loeb & Kuhn, and others; it is not known if the owl-eyed Adam Schiff is related to the that Schiff). It is ironic that the Azov Battalion, whose “White Führer” commander professes a “crusade against the Semite-led Untermenschen” was used by Nuland-Kagan during the Majdan uprising. What a strange loop in time and space.
Unfortunately for the progeny of Bandera, their SS 14 1st Galicia committed crimes not only against Russians and Ukrainians but against Polish people as well. Some 100.000 Poles were killed by Banderites in Volynya alone. For now, it is politically advantageous for Poland to be on the side of the Ukrainian government (protected by the National Guard that includes the Nazi Azov Battalion), but it is doubtful that the Poles will be thrilled to have Banderites on their territory.
We would have known more about the role of Jews in the history of the Soviet Union if Solzhenitsyn’s documentary “Two Hundred Years Tother” was available in English translation. Up to date, the documentary is sequestered by all British and American publishing houses.
You are right, the Azovites are Nazi bastards. But they are toast now. If the Russian troops surrounding them in Mariupol are smart they will let the Azovs starve and end up cannibalizing their own dead.
There are also plenty of neo-Nazis within the DNR militia. Sloviansk Brigade committed mass murder.
RNU (Russian National Unity) volunteers committed kidnappings and torture and also have a thinly disguised swastika: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_National_Unity#/media/File:Rne_political.png
Serbian Chetnik vounteers committed kidnappings, beatings, and looting. They are also wanted for war crimes in the former Yugoslavia. They name themselves Chetniks after the infamous Nazi collaborators in Serbia during WW2.
Vostok Battalion (mostly Chechens and Ossetians who yell Allah is great while they murder Christian Ukrainians), they committed kidnapping, beatings, and rape.
Don’t even get me started on the LPR, a toxic alliance of Nazis and neo Bolsheviks (i.e. the Prizrak Battalion whose hero is Che Guevera).
Or in Russia itself with the National Socialist Party of Greater Russia.
Chetniks weren’t Nazi collaborators. Perhaps you meant the Ustashe? They were Croats.
Yes, the Croat Ustashe collaborated outright. The Chetniks did it selectively off and on, both with the Italians and the Germans when it suited their purpose. Mihailovic, their leader, did not at least openly. He is a hero within the Serb-American community in Chicago as an anti-communist. Mihailovic actually helped rescue American airmen and got a medal from Truman. But he, or his subordinates, committed mass murder against Croatian and Bosniak civilians, and even murdered Serbian civilian supporters of Tito. Those atrocities and the intermittent collaboration is well documented. Doesn’t matter if it was Mihailovic or his troops, he was in control.
I’ve been researching this on alt media for while since legacy will not cover it. I don’t support either side in this bloodlands war but making Zelinksy out to be some stoic valiant leader is a massive eye roll. Besides this battalion he banned speaking Russian in the country. It was only a matter of time until this greasy stick of dynamite popped and the US egged him on.
Zelenskiy did not ban the speaking of Russian in the country. It’s his first language and he speaks it often in public. The Verkhovna Rada did approve a law in 2019 granting special status to the Ukrainian language and and made it mandatory for public sector workers. It was signed into law by Poroshenko before he left office. Zelenskiy opposed the law.
As part of that law, on 16 January 2022 all national print media had to begin publishing a Ukrainian version of their papers if the original language of publication was Russian. It did, in effect, shut down Russian language newspapers. Given the centuries of Moscow’s efforts to eradicate the Ukrainian language as both imperial Russian and Communist policy, this preference for the Ukrainian language is not at all surprising. But it is not a banning of the Russian language.
“all national print media had to begin publishing a Ukrainian version of their papers if the original language of publication was Russian. It did, in effect, shut down Russian language newspapers (…) But it is not a banning of the Russian language.”
How would that work for a print media company? You need to hire a staff of translators roughly as big as your staff of authors and editors and have them produce and layout translations of every article?
That’s a bit like arguing that the government does not “force” people to get vaccinated because they “only” lose their job if they refuse. The coercion is hidden behind government regulations to produce the desired effect while appearing legal.
It is not banning it but maybe gradually making it irrelevant and near extinct in a generation or two.
I can understand nationalistic logic of promoting Ukranian and assimilating Russian speaking areas, but I can also understand Russian speakers’ resistance to it. And when Russia is your next door neighbour, these re-educational efforts are dangerous as hell, as we can all witness these days.
Don’t know how for example the French language is treated in Canada. Do national print media have to be in English exclusively ?
It is banning when laws are passed to change what language a paper prints in. The paper should be able to determine for themselves if they want to print in Swazi or Cajun French. Spare me the culturally correct language soft sell. It’s banning.
Babeltaup what are you talking about. Don’t you know that Dastardly Putin is going to be scared of all the great democratic success Zelensky is going to achieve by banning Russian/Hungarian I mean the foreign languages.
They put immense pressure of all non-ukrainians. Forced the elected leader of the cca. 150 000 Hungarian living there, into exile, harassing everybody regularly who speaks hungarian. Masked, torchbearer marches of mobs shouting “Death to hungarians'”, and all the rest.
Recent Ukraine is more like a chauvinist state, than a democracy. And they are suprised Hungary blocks the entry of a clearly oppressive state.
I am not saying Russian aggression was justifiable or right, but they aint no saints decpicted in the MSM, by far not.
The long term consequence of a US policy supporting yet another clearly oppressive leadership is a further eroding american credibility, related to “Value based foreing policy”, and another step towards the American Empire.
TTG – did the Ukrainian government ban Russian as a language that could be used in schools? Effectively banning newspapers is one thing, effectively forcing people to convert to another mother tongue is essentially forced assimilation.
This language law now requires school instruction to be in Ukrainian from secondary school onward. Primary school can still be in Russian only. It effectively forces Russian speakers to be bilingual. That’s already common for both Ukrainian and Russian speakers. TV news shows use Russian and Ukrainian, often in the same interview… as does Zelenskiy himself.
TTG – did the Ukrainian government ban Russian as a language that could be used in schools? Effectively banning newspapers is one thing, but forcing people to convert to another mother tongue is essentially forced assimilation.
“Banning” of language, or forced use of preferred language in schools is a tactic used all over the world.
As part of that law, on 16 January 2022 all national print media had to begin publishing a Ukrainian version of their papers if the original language of publication was Russian.
TTG, the closing down of Russian media didn’t start in January. You may not have paid attention. Maybe since we are all following the Ukrainian example now?
This war was eye opening to people that are from outside Europe and North America, even to the ones that support Ukraine. For the people hung on the morals of the war, it is impossible to not wonder why this war is so important, while the one in, for exemple, Iemen is not, and on top of that we get to see clear racist remarks about “blue eyed blondes” and “civilized” in places like BBC.
Anyway, I still have to find anyone that have any kind of simpathy for the Azov Battalion among the people that know about them and I am very glad of that.
That said, I would say that this war likely will drive more ukranians toward these extremist views. Maybe Russia`s hope is that they will be pushed into Poland and will become the EU problem, not theirs.
The retired Indian diplomat MK Bhadrakumar also noted the racist aspect of the Western MSM coverage of this dustup in a recent column on his blog Indian Punchline.
Although not explicitly stated, Bhadradkumar suggests that to the West, a blonde, blue-eyed Ukrainian has more value as a human being than does an Iraqi, Afghan, Palestinian, or even an Indian.
This war has ignited such passion that even the P.C. BBC has thrown their Woke rulebook out the window!
Even more so, the Great Emancipator of the Blacks at NBC the modern day Martin Luther King reincarnate Al Sharpton and Woke Kamala Harris didn’t even notice the ill treatment of Blacks / Indians (Indians are black according to Kamala)
Just a little cleanup is necessary.Russia is the only country capable.Ukraine is the breadbasket of Europe.Needs to be protected but not hoarded.A nuclear disaster will poison the earth and then it all goes to hell.
I really do not care if they are Nazis. A radical belligerent is an easy stooge. How else would you appeal to violent and determined foreign militant to come to your country to do commit violence against your opponent without your direct support? ANTIFA does the same thing in Syria and Turkey by fighting alongside a DoS listed terror group. You don’t see congress or DHS blacklisting them too.
re: “I really do not care if they are Nazis”
Interesting statement. Here are some more pictures of what Nazis did @ Babi Yar:
You “really do not care”?
“I really do not care if they are Nazis.”
That kind of general attitude towards extremists creates nasty follow-up problems.
Do you remember when the US “really did not care” if Osama bin Laden was a Salafist extremist when they supported him in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union? How did that work out later?
I say it worked out great. We were able to occupy the old Silk Road for 20 years and ultimately leave in such a rapid way that threatens the Chinese BRI, enraptures militant support for the Uighurs, and pits the Taliban against Pakistan(Durand Line) and Iran.
“The flood of illegal immigrants and narcotics across that frontier everyday are killing American citizens.”
Who in America except actual Americans who are not in Congress give a damn about that?
Thanks for this post, and thanks to Yaacov Apelbaum for producing the material on the involvement of those whom Ukrainian ‘nationalists’, like Chrystia Freeland, regard as heroes with – literally ‘genocidal’ – anti-Semitism. Obviously, the photographs of the Lviv pogrom and Babi Yar were familiar, but they need to be disseminated much more widely.
The extraordinary willingness of people in the contemporary West to accept the ‘apologetics’ of ‘Banderistas’ brings me back to a Welsh dimension, which I discussed in a comment on your previous post.
From a review in the ‘Guardian’, back in February 1989, of a film called ‘Mr Jones’: ‘First-time screenwriter Andrea Chalupa has been inspired by her grandfather from eastern Ukraine to script this forthright, valuable drama about Stalin’s genocidal famine there, and the courageous Welsh journalist Gareth Jones who first brought it to the world’s attention in the 1930s.’
(See https://www.theguardian.com/film/2019/feb/11/mr-jones-review-agnieszka-holland-james-norton-berlin-film-festival .)
It is of some moment that the reporting on which the film is – supposedly – based derived from the fact the mother of the ‘Welsh reporter’, Annie Gwen Jones, had spent the years 1889-92 in what is now Donetsk, and was then ‘Hughesovka.’
As I noted in my previous comment, her memoir of that time, when she was tutoring the grand-daughters of the place’s founder, the Welsh engineer John Hughes, is fascinating for the fact that there is no mention whatsoever of anyone identifying as Ukrainian, or using the Ukrainian language, among the – ethnically diverse – workforce.
(See https://www.garethjones.org/margaret_siriol_colley/annie%20gwen/life-steppes.htm )
The site on which the memoir is reproduced is actually devoted to the work of her son, and contains all of it. Anyone who bothers to read even a small portion can see that quite precisely what Gareth Jones did not say was that the famine was a ‘genocide’ committed by Russians against Ukrainians.
An account of an interview which he gave when passing through Berlin on his way back to England, in March 1933, to the correspondent there of the ‘Chicago Daily News’, Edgar Ansel Mowrer, opens:
‘The present Russian Famine is as bad as the great starvation of 1921, when millions died, according to Gareth Jones, private secretary to David Lloyd George, liberal former prime minister, who reached here today after a long walking trip through the rural districts of the Ukraine.’
And then, some direct quotes:
‘“I walked through the country visiting villages and investigating twelve collective farms,” Jones today told the correspondent of The Chicago Daily News.
‘“Everywhere I heard the cry, ‘there is no bread, we are dying.’
‘“This cry is rising from all parts of Russia; from the Volga district, from Siberia, from White Russia and from the Ukraine black dirt country.’
(See https://www.garethjones.org/soviet_articles/edgar_mowrer.htm .)
Just as his mother makes no mention of ‘Ukrainians’ in the Donbass, her son unambiguously portrays the famine as having affected ‘all parts of Russia.’ The fact that the ‘black dirt; is extremely fertile made the Ukraine a ‘breadbasket’, which was why collectivisation had such a major impact there.
Of course, the traumas of the past mean that identity in Ukraine, as elsewhere in the former Soviet Union, is very commonly complex, contradictory, and confused.
If you are attempting to generalise what was originally largely a ‘Galician’ identity to the whole of Ukraine, then rather obviously portraying the famine, which only affected the parts of the country under Soviet rule, as a Russian ‘genocide’ against ‘Ukrainians’ is a something of a ‘trump card.’
And indeed, since Ukrainian independence it appears to have been ‘played’ very successfully.
A very interesting account of this history is provided in a recent ‘Facebook’ post by the Russian émigré literary scholar Vladimir Golstein – who, if I recall right, had relatives who died in Babi Yar.
(See https://www.facebook.com/vladimir.golstein/posts/10220477512983627 .)
‘So now let’s take this damn Holodomor. Russians suffered from Stalin. And so did Ukrainians and Jews, and Kazakhs and rich and poor and scientists and peasants. Suffering can unite people, it can open their eyes on the pain of others. But it can also turn the gaze inward. We are the victims. We are the only victims. Oh, how miserable we are. And all of you are victimizers. It is only us who suffered in the wars, and Stalinism, and Soviet abuses and Putin abuses. Only Ukrainians. And our oppressors are not some economic forces or geopolitical games. No! Our oppressors are Russians. As simple as that. …
‘And that went on and on in Ukraine forever, spreading all over the world. My Russian speaking friends from emigre community, the people who partied in my house, ate my food and drank my vodka, began to tell me tall stories about evil Russians and innocent Ukrainians, adding that Ukrainians are civilized Europeans while Russians are some under-developed Mongols …
‘The paranoia and fear of Russians went even further. Until quite logical conclusion: we need to bring in the NATO and nukes to protect ourselves from this demons in human form, the Russians. And sure enough, the State Department, Blinkens and Sullivans, kept on waving NATO in front of Ukrainian noses, as if a reward for more and more aggressive and provocative behavior. Needless to say, that Russian concerns and insecurities, were summarily neglected. Demons do not have insecurities, they do not deserve safety and peace on their borders.’
It may be worth reflecting on some of the conclusions the ‘demons’ are liable to draw.
Obviously, one is that very large costs and risks may have to be run, to stop this process, if in deed it is going to lead to Ukraine becoming a base for NATO systems directed at Russia.
A natural corollary of the view of the Russians as ‘some under-developed Mongols’, meanwhile, seen from the ‘other side of the fence’, is that the notion that the Cold War was simply, or even primarily, about communism, was BS. So, Gorbachev becomes the country’s answer to Neville Chamberlain – the man who didn’t even ask for a ‘scrap of paper.’
Of course, if the West is implacably hostile to Russia, as such, then a natural conclusion is that it is far better to build one’s future on developing close relations with the other ‘under-developed Mongols’, to the East.
And then, an area in which one set of ‘barbarians’ is clearly not ‘under-developed’ is in military engineering, while the other has rather rapidly ceased to be ‘under-developed’ in its ability to make things.
So, if at some point in the future, the kind of thoughtless encouragement of hopes in Taiwan we have seen in relation to Ukraine leads to a Chinese military response, one might discover that Khrushchev’s famous remark about ‘missiles like sausages’, which when he made it was bluff, was not longer anything of the kind.
From my own, personal point of view, as not long after the Mowrer interview Gareth Jones went home, my late father heard him address the chapel the family attended in Barry. The experience was one element in forming the deep-seated dislike of communism which I inherited from him.
However, I have never seen any reason to be anti-Russian. And, seeing the flagrant distortion of the work of Gareth Jones by Andrea Chalupa and her like, I think Golstein’s reminder that Dante, who knew about civil wars, put those who ‘sow discord and division; at the ‘very bottom of his Inferno’ is to the point.
Thanks as always for an illuminating, thoughtful comment. I always learn something when you take up the pen.
I had a long talk with a good friend yesterday(he is of Ukrainian Jewish lineage). He described the story of his grandfather fleeing Ukraine as a young boy. The anti-semitism was rampant pre-WW2 and militia would kidnap Jewish boys in the 12-13 years age group then sell them as slaves to the Ukainian military. His Grandpa was picked up and kidnapped while walking down a country road to the store one day.
The two militia that grabbed him decided they were thirsty and took him into a roadside watering hole for a beer. At the bar, one left to use the outhouse. When the other was taking a big swig from his beer, the kid swung his arm as hard as he could and jammed the mug into the militia’s face , disabling him and knocking him to the floor. The kid fled and escaped. He was hidden in Jewish underground railroad homes all the way through Europe and then family paid for him one way passage to Chicago where he had other family.
Thank you for the excellent overview.
Before and during WWII, the Banderites’s slogan was “Fight against Judeo-Bolsheviks!” After WWII, the Banderites relocated to Canada and the slogan became “Fight against Russians!”
The Jewish communities of Canada and the US have allowed Canadian Banderites to celebrate Nazism unmolested, for decades. A progeny of a prominent Nazi collaborator Chritsya Freeland, a darling of US Ziocons, has become a Deputy of Justin Trudeau. https://banderalobby.substack.com/p/the-canadian-bandera-network?s=r
After the Maidan coup, the Canadian government sent the Canadian military to Ukraine to train the self-proclaimed Nazi Azov Battalion (Canadians felt embarrassed). https://www.ctvnews.ca/world/far-right-extremists-in-ukrainian-military-bragged-about-canadian-training-report-says-1.5631304
The usual noise about ‘antisemitism’ was hushed up, a clear sign of the Banderites’ celebration of Nazis and the training of the Ukrainian Nazis against Russia being “good for Jews.”
Overall, this Ziocon policy in support of Ukrainian Banderites is an enormous insult to the memory of Jews who perished during WWII. Neither Russians nor Ukrainians are dear to Ziocons; rather the Ziocons – the State Department, Blinkens and Sullivans – want these two brotherly peoples to eliminate each other.
“The term Banderites derives from the name of Stepan Bandera (1909-1959), head of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists that formed in 1929 as an amalgamation of movements including the Union of Ukrainian Fascists.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banderites
David H –
Surely you must know that the Tsars banned the Ukrainian Language? Everyone east and west of the Dnieper River spoke Russian. Probably only spoke Ukrainian at home or among friends. So your Annie Gwen Jones would have no idea of whether she was speaking to either Russians or Russian-speaking Ukrainians. They are both Slavs and look much alike.
Even after the Bolsheviks took over most or all Ukrainians spoke Russian fluently. In Volhnyia and eastern Galicia, annexed by Stalin with the connivance of Hitler the Ukrainian language was still spoken and written. It was also spoken some in Carpathian Ruthenia & Transcarpathia annexed in 1944 & 45 respectively. After that the language became more widespread.
‘Surely you must know that the Tsars banned the Ukrainian Language?’
Of course I don’t, because they didn’t. Its use in print was banned by Alexander II – a great reforming Tsar – by the 1876 Edict of Ems. There was no legislation whatsoever preventing peasants-turned-workers from using the languages they spoke at home at the workplace.
Another description of her time in ‘Hughesovka’ by Annie Gwen Jones, in a broadcast she gave on the BBC in December 1943, after the Red Army retook what was then Stalino, makes quite clear that they did: ‘We were a group of many countries and languages’.
(See https://www.garethjones.org/margaret_siriol_colley/pages/annie/gwen-jones.htm . )
As it seems you cannot be bothered to do basic research with ‘Wikipedia’ properly, let alone to read the – to my mind rather interesting – accounts of the Donbass by someone in a rather privileged position to observe the early stages of its formation, there does not seem much point in attempting to discuss matters further with you.
It seems to me that the most plausible explanation is that you are another disingenuous propagandist, as I eventually, somewhat regretfully, came to realise that ‘TTG’ has to be.
As your views and his seem to ‘mesh’ on so many matters, it becomes relevant that he was the most significant ‘apologist’, on Colonel Lang’s previous blog, for the conspiracy against Donald Trump.
Obviously, as a ‘Brit’ – of Anglo-Welsh extraction – this is only my business, up to a point.
However, for what it is worth – and without having any particular sympathy for its victim – I have come to regard this as an ‘open and shut case’ of conspiracy to subvert constitutional government in the United States.
So, another question: There are clearly ‘networks’ with which ‘TTG’ is involved. Are you also complicit in these?
Thank you David. 😀
David H –
I’m just an old man in an armchair who has a worldview in opposition of yours. I’m not a CIA or VOA boogeyman. Sorry to disappoint you.
Alexander’s II Ukaze that you mention also banned speaking Ukrainian in public performances and lectures. But it was just one in a long list of attempts to eradicate Ukrainian as a separate tongue and Russify the population dating back to at least the 17th Century. Even though the Ukraines are Slavs they are a different people from the Russians. Despite Putin’s and the Tsars’ reference to them as ‘Little Russians’.
“You read that right–the Ukrainians that many Americans are now cheering were commemorating the memory of Ukraine’s SS division, which fought alongside the Nazis: […]”
German here. Tellingly enough, said YT upload isn’t available in my country. Not surprising given my country’s legislation against Nazi era symbols and the attention to detail in these ceremonies.
Also of note, Ukrainian ambassador to Germany since late 2014, Andrij Melnyk made it a point to publically honour the grave of none other than Stepan Bandera in Munich in 2015. I haven’t found press-reports since then as it’s just terrible optics here in Germany, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he was simply quieter about it since then.
Ukraine’s ambition towards nukes – I used to muse what would or would not have happened had UA held on to them in 1994 – came up on the blog here before, and it was him that actually talked out loud about this in April 2021 in an interview with Deutschlandfunk, German public radio:
“Melnyk: Ja, das stimmt, und das ist das Hauptproblem. Nicht diese Spielchen jetzt mit Putin, wird er angreifen oder nicht. Er spielt mit dieser Angst. Er weiß, dass alle natürlich hier in Europa einen Flächenbrand verhindern wollen. Das ist wichtig und richtig. Nur wir haben eine Situation, die in der Tat brandgefährlich ist, und wir müssen schauen, was man tut, damit wirklich Putin keine Lust mehr hat, so was zu tun. Die Ukraine hat auch keine andere Wahl. _Entweder sind wir Teil eines Bündnisses wie der NATO und tragen auch dazu bei, dass dieses Europa stärker wird, dass dieses Europa selbstbewusster wird, oder haben wir eine einzige Option, dann selbst aufzurüsten, vielleicht auch über einen nuklearen Status wieder nachzudenken. Wie sonst können wir unsere Verteidigung garantieren._”
I’ll give a translation of the most relevant part above:
“_Either we are part of an alliance like NATO and also contribute to making Europe stronger, making it more self-confident, or we got only one option, to arm up ourselves, maybe even think about our nuclear status again. How else are we to guarantee our security._”
How else, indeed.
As I was saying, any layman may wonder whether a nuclear armed Ukraine would have been in the same place now, or whether the chain of events started in 2014 would have come to pass at all. But a country openly lionizing nazi collaborators rearming itself with nukes definitely is something to be afraid of, I daresay.
At any rate, Mr Melnyk’s comments there suggest to me that it’s been a topic of discussion in Kiev policy circles.
I think it was English Observer who made a very good comment a few days ago that we are where we are due to a catastrophic communication failure. I’d also add that we got a case of amateur hour with the likes of UK’s secretary of state Truss and my own country’s foreign minister, Baerbock at the helm. Worst possible combination, and I hope the insane plan to take modern landsknecht warfare familiar from Syria’s “moderate rebels” right to Ukraine in the form of that “Foreign Legion” or whatever the hell it’s called will be dropped.
Big spread in our local paper featuring local Ukrainian ex-pats, who are very anti-Russian.
Then looking at the map they are all from the very western Ukraine, and hometown was Lviv. Pays to read the program to know who the players are. And keep a map handy.
Larry J –
As I said earlier, the Azovs are Nazis. May they rot in hell. But my understanding was that they originated in the Kharkiv Oblast in eastern Ukraine. And not in the far western oblasts that comprise the Bandera-lovers of what was formerly Galicia. I would guess that few if any at all of Azovite grandfathers were Ukrainian Hiwis that aided the German Sondercommando’s mass murder of Jews at Babi Yar.
And speaking of Nazis, do not forget the many ethnic Russian, Belarussian, Azeri (and others from the Caucasus), Tatar, and Central Asian that served in SS units and Wehrmacht units and fought for Hitler. They are well known, we should never forget them:
-XV SS Cossack Cavalry Corps
-29th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS RONA (1st Russian)
-Kaminski Brigade, also known as Waffen-Sturm-Brigade RONA
-Vlasov’s Russian Liberation Army some fought against Americans at D-Day
-30th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Belarussian)
-Osttürkische Waffen-Verbände der SS
-Kaukasische Waffen-Verbände der SS
-Tataren-Gebirgsjäger-Regiment der SS
-Waffen-Gebirgs-Brigade der SS (tatarische Nr. 1)
I was stunned when I first encountered Subhas Chandra Bose’s Indian Legion in a self-published book about the ‘Odyssey’ of a school class in the final month of WWII.
The Bose legacy is apparently not toxic in India.
According to Wikipedia, Bose has been front and center on Indian postage stamps issued in 1964, 1993, 1997, 2001, 2016, and 2018. And his mug has appeared on Indian coins minted in 1996, 1997, 2018 and 2021.
It would appear his reputation has improved with age.
vaguely with this in mind?
As I said earlier, the Azovs are Nazis. May they rot in hell. But my understanding was that they originated in the Kharkiv Oblast in eastern Ukraine. And not in the far western oblasts that comprise the Bandera-lovers of what was formerly Galicia.
Or your response: concerning celebrations, stamps and honors???
There have been some kind of stamps and celebrations of Volodymyr Kubiiovych, of 14th Waffen SS Devision Galizien …
Unlikely Allies: Nazi German and Ukrainian Nationalist Collaboration in the General Government During World War II (Central European Studies)
There is a Kindle version preview on Amazon, go to Preface. Supported by the ‘moderate’ Melnyk faction. Both collaborated with the Nazis one way or another.
On January 14 (2020) Ukraine’s Verkovna Rada or parliament passed a resolution outlining events and individuals the country would commemorate throughout the year. Among those chosen was the late Volodymyr Kubiiovych. … Twenty years earlier the Ukrainian postal service issued a specifically designed envelope on the 100th anniversary of Kubiiovych’s birth.
Highly interesting larger context, starting in WWI and the Weimar republic.
Kubiiovych was an Austrian. Like Bandera.
Bose also established the India National Army that fought alongside the Japanese in Burma plus at Imphal &Kolima in India.
You must be patient with me, I respect the miliary focus on Turcopolier, as nitwit on matters.
Easy to grasp the Ukrainian struggle over the centuries, BUT why is it so difficult in geopolitics that countries opt for the bridge-model between related cultures? EU membership instantly? NATO membership too?
You forgot the Armenian Legion (pro Nazi brigade).
Wikipedia: The Armenian Legion (German: Armenische Legion; Armenian: Հայկական լեգիոն Haykakan legion) was a military unit in the German Army during World War II. It primarily consisted of Soviet Armenians, who wanted to fight the Russians for an independent Armenia and commanded by General Drastamat Kanayan.
I didn’t forget, I deliberately did not list it. I did not want to antagonize any of my Armenian homies back in Worcester or Southern Cali. And I don’t think they were SS or Waffen SS like others on the list.
I did mention “others from the Caucasus”. I suspect most of them were starving POWs just trying to get out of Hitler’s death stalags where 3.3 million Soviet prisoners died in German captivity.
Some Armenians of that era had a strong animosity toward Jews. My grandfather – my paternal side came to the US as Armenian refugees – was pretty much an antisemite. Don’t recall if my grandmother felt the same. He was a man of few words and his English was broken. I did explore this thinking with him, but never really got an answer. He did say something about Jews being Christ killers and unbelievers. Christian faith for the old time Armenians was in the same league as selfist faith for jihadists. The Armenians that have come here after the end of the Soviet Union are not like that. They’re an entirely different breed.
I don’t see it as strange that Armenians would fight for the Nazis if it meant a good deal; get out of PW status, maybe help defeat the Soviets and free Armenia from them – and, I’m sure, some notion about getting help eventually killing all of the Turks and regaining traditional Armenian lands as some kind of reward. Killing all the Turks and getting the homeland back is a fantasy that all old time Armenians relished. I grew up steeped in those discussions with the old men.
It was not just Armenia. There was (and is now) lots of anti-semitism in Tsarist Russia, the Soviet Union, and the Russian Federation.
I watched members of this crowd group burn alive peaceful Maidan coup protestors in a municipal building in Odessa and beating to death anyone who jumped out of an upper story window to get out of the fire.. They were proudly posting cell phones videos of this event on the web..
Apparently the Russians have a long list of names of Azov/Nazis who committed war crimes and are planning a post-conflict war crimes tribunal for those they capture in this operation.
Almost half a century ago I took a summer class in German at my local community college to brush up my much atrophied high school German skills to satisfy a university language requirement.
A woman who was probably age 50 (give or take a year or two) taught the course. I will refer to her as Mrs. X (channeling George Kennan).
One day Mrs. X told the class a bit about herself. She was Ukrainian, and as a girl in her mid- to late- teens had lived through the worst of World War II in the land of her birth.
She told us that when the German army arrived, they were treated as liberators from the hated Soviets (obviously, Mrs. X had experienced the Holodomor). As a teen, she had a gift for learning languages, and she worked for the German military government of occupation as an interpreter/translator. She did not elaborate on what her specific duties had been.
Eventually the tide turned, and Mrs. X came to the very reasonable conclusion that her life would be very short, nasty and brutish if she remained in the Ukrainian SSR, so she fell back west with the retreating Wehrmacht. Post war, she lived in several displaced person camps in central Europe and eventually made it to America.
She related this history in a matter-of-fact manner, with no emotion. I had no reason to doubt the veracity of her story.
Was Mrs. X a Nazi collaborator? Absolutely. Was she an evil person? I don’t believe so. She was a victim of the tortured history of the Bloodlands of Eastern Europe.
And the story continues………….
Mrs Xs’ story begins far before the Holodomore. Ukraine, like other eastern European countries, endured post WW I fighting brought by Bolshevik Jews who intended to spread the “revolution” to the west. Why keep a good thing to themselves. That this also spread to much of eastern Europe did not lessen the despair among young Ukrainians. Thousands of young vets who thought WW I was over endured another three years fighting the Reds. Later Ukraine was treated to a “lesser” starvation (thank you Lenin) before the NEP and for the main act, Stalin and the Bolsheviks, again many Jews, brought on the Holodomore. Why would any Ukrainian take up a rifle to support the communists? Mrs X was rational in thinking the Germans would be liberators. Did she know she was trading one fascist for another. Sometimes things change for the better. These days a Ukrainian Jew, elected by Ukrainians, leads the country and by all accounts is doing a damn fine job of it. If the Rooshians don’t kill him the Ukrainians would follow him for life. Good luck to Volodomir.
There were millions of collaborators all over Festung Europa and also within Japan’s ‘Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere’. Ukraine was no exception.
There were others though who did not actively collaborate but just wanted to survive. Many did it to keep from starving. Mothers that did laundry for German occupiers in their village to earn a little money to feed their children were labelled as collaborators. They were beaten by partisans or hung by NKVD terror squads. That happened throughout occupied Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, & the Baltics. Same thing happened for boys who cut wood or hauled water for the Germans to get a crust of bread to keep from starving. Or to women and girls who lifted their skirt for a bit of German ration or a blanket to keep from freezing.
I have in laws in St Petersburgh who have done ok for themselves since ’90. But it has NOT been easy for them. The father was a member of the communist party. Was (is) he a communist? No, he had a state job (were there any others?) as a building contractor/inspector. He did what he had to do to give his family a chance to survive. Boris and Valentina are very nice people. Much like any elderly couple (they’re in their early 80’s now) you might see in the west. He is a fan of Ukrainian football and she is a gardener extrodinaire. The animosity b/t America/Russia is unnecessary. Where are the “statesmen” graduates of William and Mary, Princeton, Dartmouth and the other well connected “feeders” to the state dept.? Is there no one who knows how to resolve differences w/o war? I despair.
Bill Roche –
Add the “statesmen” graduates of Moscow’s State Institute of International Relations plus St Petersburg State U to your list.
You can buy Azov T-shirts today on Amazon
You can also buy nazi flags and all kinds of variations on that theme. You can wave them around in public, too. Think Charlottesville and the Capitol. There’s good people on both sides, you know. I’m kind of partial to the idea of punching a nazi whether they’re here or in Ukraine.
You could get the ACLU to defend your right to march through Skokie too, until recently anyway.
Who cares about ACLU? Like TTG, I’d like to punch a Nazi if I can too, here or in Ukraine.
I’d ask question I have not seen any commenter here asking: is Ukraine worth a nuclear war? How do you manage not to let this crisis from becoming WW3?
Punch away. Violence is apparently the correct pre-emptive response. I’m sure you and TTG are 100% accurate on your Nazi identification abilities. Everyone else, well, not so much.
Can we all agree on something?
Having an Alzheimer’s-impaired American President who shi*s his pants in public and brags about blackmailing Kiev officials is not good for world peace.
Azov’s first leader was Andriy Biletsky, a man referred to as the “white chief” who once wrote that “the historic mission of our nation in this critical moment is to lead the White Races of the world in a final crusade for their survival. A crusade against the Semite-led Untermenschen [‘subhumans’].” Numerous media outlets have also documented Azov fighters with swastikas, and the group has also been caught out in efforts to recruit neo-Nazis into its ranks.
Perhaps most disturbingly, Azov is not just some far right extremist group. Certainly both the U.S. and many European countries have fringe neo-Nazi organizations within their borders. but this has actually been integrated into the official state-sponsoed Ukrainian National Guard, giving the proliferation of fascist symbol the de-facto imprimatur of the Ukrainian government.
Let me guess, Putin made him do it.