Why are there Nazis in the Ukraine?
The main impulse behind Ukrainian independence came from the German general staff
Letters from Vienna #32
Why are there Nazis in the Ukraine?
It seems somewhat paradoxical that a part of the world which suffered so appallingly from Nazi crimes against humanity during World War Two should host so many Nazis, especially given the fact that the Ukraine is hardly a pantheon of “Aryan ideals”. Why are there so many right-wing extremists there, why are they so influential and what does this term, in this context, actually mean?
I will argue in this, my thirty second letter, that the main reason is the existence of an alliance between criminal oligarchs and Western Imperialism, which has literally destroyed the country.
“The country located on the Pontic step (the flatlands north of the Black Sea) currently calling itself Ukraine” wrote Webster Tarpley in 2014 “has only existed for 23 years, since the failure of the August 1991 KGB-inspired coup in Moscow. Before that, to find something that corresponds to modern Ukraine, we must go back to the Kievan Rus late in the first millennium of the Common Era.”
Ukraine, according to him is essentially a German creation: “The main impulse behind Ukrainian independence came from the German general staff and its cynical geopolitical machinations during World War I. The German general staff transported Lenin back to Russia from Switzerland, had Hitler on its payroll, and also called modern Ukraine into existence.”
“…the Germans…identified about 50,000…POWs who based on their birthplaces and dialect might be convinced to become Ukrainians, separated out the officers and sergeants, and put the remaining proto-Ukrainians in special reeducation camps. These proto-Ukrainians were exempted from work, given better treatment, and put into classrooms, where they were given intensive courses in Ukrainian national identity, farming techniques, and the need for socialist revolution. (All of this was provided courtesy of the same Imperial German general staff which hoped to use communism and socialism to overthrow the Tsar and create chaos, hopefully knocking Russia out of the war.)”
“Of the original 50,000 POWs, about 10,000 were successfully indoctrinated and were shipped back east after the Austrian army had conquered Lemberg/Lvov in June 1915, and they became a vital catalyst in the cause of Ukrainian autonomy or independence.”
In the course of a century, nothing has, according to Webster Tarpley, fundamentally changed. “From the German bayonets of 1918 to the $5 billion invested in the Ukraine fascist parties according to Victoria Nuland by USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy, the story remains the same. The separatists of yesterday and today have little support in the population, despite the optical illusion created by ten or twenty thousand hyperactive extremists, mainly from Lvov, who assembled in the Maidan.”
While, interestingly enough, this is frequently derided as “Russian sponsored” “fake news” and “misinformation” the Americans have never made a secret of the monies which have been paid to influence affairs in the Ukraine. Nor have they had the slightest problem about meddling in how the country is actually run on a daily basis.
The Maidan “revolution” for example was a classic “false flag” “…which was rationally planned and carried out with a goal of the overthrow of the government and seizure of power.”
According to Italian sources: “several of the snipers admitted that the pro-US/EU Ukrainian opposition was behind these deaths. According to the documentary, Georgian Alexander Revazishvilli and his two companions were hired in Tbilisi by Mamuka Mamulashvili to support the Euromaidan coup alongside with other Georgian and Lithuanian volunteers.”
“Mamulashvili and other leaders of the Ukrainian opposition distributed weapons among the hired “volunteer groups” and tasked them to shoot at protestors as well as the police and to sow chaos.”
“In electoral politics, the Svoboda (Freedom) party is considered the most developed political arm of Ukraine’s far right” states April Gordon. “The party’s greatest political victory came in 2010, when it received 10 percent of the vote in parliamentary elections and several ministerial positions in the Ukrainian government… Electoral support for Svoboda and other openly nationalist political parties waned in the years that followed; Svoboda took only 4.5 percent of the vote in 2014, and a Svoboda led coalition of right-wing parties failed to enter parliament in 2019 after taking only 2.15 percent of the vote.”
“However, the narrow vision of pro-Ukrainian nationalist orthodoxy and vehement anti-Russian rhetoric championed by Svoboda and its allies became a dominant political narrative, variants of which are increasingly common in mainstream political discourse. With his slogan “Army, language, faith!” former President Petro Poroshenko helped to popularise an exclusivist brand of patriotism that continues to draw significant support from both moderate and radical segments of society.”
“Poroshenko’s political rhetoric ultimately culminated in a series of severe legal measures purporting to preserve Ukrainian identity, but which often infringe upon the rights of the country’s minority groups.”
“Far-right groups are also highly active outside the formal political arena. Emboldened by the struggle with Russia and greater societal acceptance of a radical and intolerant brand of patriotism, these groups target perceived internal threats and “impure” elements of society—including Roma, LGBT+ people, and religious and linguistic minorities—that do not align with their exclusive “traditional” vision of Ukrainian identity.”
“Their methods range from brutal violence, such as pogroms on Roma camps, to aggressive efforts to prevent the LGBT+ community from using public spaces and participating in public life.”
“The war in the east has provided newfound social legitimacy to far-right groups, bringing with it unprecedented levels of sophistication, funding, recruitment, and organizational capacity.”
“Worryingly, Ukraine’s far-right groups are not sustained on ideology alone: their activities are supported by various homegrown commercial and political operations, which regularly hire out the groups’ services as paid thugs. The Ukrainian government itself is one of many stakeholders that draws on far right groups’ violent skillset both formally and informally, even going so far as to integrate right-wing paramilitary groups into the Ukrainian armed forces.”
For Vyacheslav Likhachev the turning point came in 2010. Beforehand appeals to strengthen the role of the Ukrainian language or to separate the Ukrainian Orthodox Church from the Moscow patriarchate simply fell on deaf ears.
“…after Viktor Yanukovych came to power in 2010, the situation changed rapidly. The “Kharkov agreements” (which, among other things, provided for the lease of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol to be extended), as well as other steps taken by Yanukovych, led many people to fear for Ukraine’s national security and sovereignty. Before, the radical-nationalist idea that the fight for real independence was still happening appeared to be an anachronism, but as the context changed, it became topical again. At a time when the confrontation between society and the authorities was escalating quickly, many saw the radical nationalists as uncompromising, thus credible opponents.”
“On 21 November 2013, a mass popular protest movement began in Kiev under the name Euromaidan (or simply “Maidan”). It began as a reaction to the government issuing a public statement announcing that it would not sign the Association with the European Union. The “Revolution of Dignity”, as these events are called in Ukraine, ended with victory for the Maidan. The latter was achieved three months after the dramatic confrontation which reached its climax with the widespread killing of a hundred of anti-government demonstrators on 18-20 February 2014.”
As we now know the “mass popular protest movement” was in reality a Western/Oligarch sponsored “colour revolution”.
The ascendancy of Ukrainian nationalism led inevitably, in a country of such complex ethnical make-up and even more complex history, to a reaction.
“In the case of the Donbass region, the turmoil of Ukraine’s Maidan coup in 2014 set things in motion for the people in the region to declare independence and form the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics.”
“In March 2014, Crimeans held a referendum during which 96 percent of voters chose to join Russia.”
The conflict culminated in appalling violence: “More than 30 people were killed in violent and chaotic clashes in the southern Ukrainian city of Odessa” The Guardian reported in May 2014 “…as pro-Ukraine activists stormed a building defended by protesters opposed to the current government in Kiev and in favour of closer ties with Russia.”
In August 2014 Niles Williamson wrote: “The Ukrainian government is funding and deploying gangs of fascist thugs as the spearhead of its operations in preparation for the large-scale massacre of pro-Russia separatists and civilians in the city of Donetsk.”
“The Kiev government has unleashed these fascist gangs on the Ukrainian population with full support and backing of the US, Germany and other European powers. The neo-Nazi Azov battalion has played a key role in the encirclement of Donetsk and the capture and opening of rebel checkpoints. Last week the battalion was sent ahead of Ukraine’s 51st Mechanized Brigade to attack and capture a pro-Russia separatist checkpoint in the western suburb of Marinka.”
“Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov issued a decree in April allowing for the creation of special units to counter the pro-Russian separatists, providing various fascist paramilitary groups the imprimatur of the state and allowing them to operate with impunity. In addition to the Azov battalion, other far-right militias have been organized to fight the separatists, including the Dnipro, Donbass, and Kharkiv battalions.”
“The Azov battalion, financed by billionaire oligarch and the appointed Governor of Dnipropretrovsk Oblast, Ihor Kolomoyskyi, is commanded by Andriy Biletsky. Biletsky leads the neo-Nazi Social-National Assembly (SNA) and its paramilitary wing, the Patriots of Ukraine.”
“Biletsky’s SNA, whose members make up a significant portion of the Azov battalion, supports Ukraine’s re-acquisition of nuclear weapons and the introduction of racial purity laws, and openly boasts on its website about carrying out physical attacks on ethnic and social minorities. In one recent anti-Semitic outburst, Biletsky wrote: “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.”
“The Azov battalion flies the neo-Nazi Wolfsangle on its banner, a symbol used by the 2nd SS Panzer Division and other Nazi forces during World War II. Members of the battalion are quite proud of their white supremacist and anti-Semitic ideology.”
“The Telegraph quoted a fighter known as “Phantom,” who said: “Personally, I’m a Nazi. I don’t hate any other nationalities, but I believe each nation should have its own country. We have one idea: to liberate our land from terrorists.””
The fact that Israel has supported these groups has drawn fierce criticism from human rights groups in Israel itself.
Recently, in February 2022, John Pilger wrote: “Vladimir Putin refers to the “genocide” in the eastern Donbas region of Ukraine. Following the coup in Ukraine in 2014 – orchestrated by Barack Obama’s “point person” in Kyiv, Victoria Nuland – the coup regime, infested with neo-Nazis, launched a campaign of terror against Russian-speaking Donbas, which accounts for a third of Ukraine’s population.”
“Overseen by CIA director John Brennan in Kyiv, “special security units” coordinated savage attacks on the people of Donbas, who opposed the coup. Video and eyewitness reports show bussed fascist thugs burning the trade union headquarters in the city of Odessa, killing 41 people trapped inside. The police are standing by. Obama congratulated the “duly elected” coup regime for its “remarkable restraint”.”
“In the US media the Odessa atrocity was played down as “murky” and a “tragedy” in which “nationalists” (neo-Nazis) attacked “separatists” (people collecting signatures for a referendum on a federal Ukraine). Rupert Murdoch’s “Wall Street Journal” damned the victims – “Deadly Ukraine Fire Likely Sparked by Rebels, Government Says”.”
“Professor Stephen Cohen, acclaimed as America’s leading authority on Russia, wrote, “The pogrom-like burning to death of ethnic Russians and others in Odessa reawakened memories of Nazi extermination squads in Ukraine during World War Two. [Today] storm-like assaults on gays, Jews, elderly ethnic Russians, and other ‘impure’ citizens are widespread throughout Kyiv-ruled Ukraine, along with torchlight marches reminiscent of those that eventually inflamed Germany in the late 1920s and 1930s …”
““The police and official legal authorities do virtually nothing to prevent these neo-fascist acts or to prosecute them. On the contrary, Kyiv has officially encouraged them by systematically rehabilitating and even memorialising Ukrainian collaborators with Nazi German extermination pogroms, renaming streets in their honour, building monuments to them, rewriting history to glorify them, and more.””
“Today, neo-Nazi Ukraine is seldom mentioned. That the British are training the Ukrainian National Guard, which includes neo-Nazis, is not news. (See Matt Kennard’s “Declassified” report in Consortium 15 February). The return of violent, endorsed fascism to 21st-century Europe, to quote Harold Pinter, “never happened … even while it was happening”.”
The people Eva Bartlett met in the Autumn of 2019 said that they wanted merely to be able to speak their native language, be educated in that language and wanted to be able to practice their cultural traditions. They, who’d “always been a part of Russia” wanted to return to it.
In many respects the Ukraine conflict is a mirror image of the fight over Yugoslavia in the 1990s. In the 1990s the West supported the break-up of Yugoslavia yet now World War Three is being risked in order to suppress two break-away republics.
“No one wants Ukrainistan, least of all Vladimir Putin,” wrote David P. Goldman in February 2022. “Its GDP of $98 billion (in constant 2015 US dollars), down 43% since 1989, falls in between Ethiopia and Angola on the World Bank tables. Its population has shrunk to just 35 million according to the country’s National Academy of Science from 52 million in 1989, rather than the 48 million reported in the official census, because nearly half of the working-age population has left. Its corruption ranking stands at 112 out of 116 countries surveyed by Transparency International.”
“Ukraine has some gas reserves but Russia has roughly ten times more, far more than it can transport without massive investments in infrastructure. Otherwise, Ukraine has no natural resources of note apart from farmland – and Russia already is the world’s largest wheat exporter.”
“Seizing Ukraine, in short, would be vastly more trouble than it is worth to Russia. To compare Putin’s threats to Ukraine with Hitler’s march eastwards offends common sense: There is no “there” there in Ukraine, nothing Russia wants: no Lebensraum, no productive population, no oil fields or other assets to be acquired by conquest.”
As I wrote in a previous letter (see letter #25): the main beneficiary of the current war fever is the military industrial complex. For Alexander Cockburn: “The crisis in the Ukraine is becoming what I have always thought of as “a powder keg story.” This has long been my private shorthand for a calamitous event, usually a war or a revolution, which governments and news outlets bill as imminent and probably inevitable, while the reporters on the ground discover that nothing much is actually happening. The powder keg analogy is so useful because a journalist can write about the explosive ingredients in a situation without saying if they are going to detonate tomorrow, in a decade, or perhaps never.”
According to the cool-headed analysis of Paul Robinson: “For the past 15 years…Russian officials have been arguing against the unilateral use of force and demanding a UN-centered security system founded on international law. Were we to wake up one day and find that Russian tanks were rolling towards Kiev without any kind of excuse, it would amount to a complete abandonment of 15 years of argumentation as well as a negation of the entire legal/moral position built up by the Russian Federation in that period, a position reinforced just this month in the Putin/Xi statement.”
“It would also be very odd. For you can hardly achieve the objective of a multipolar world based on the principles of UN supremacy and international law by means of a massive breach of those very same principles. It would be extraordinarily self-defeating. A certain skepticism about the allegedly “imminent” Russian invasion of Ukraine is therefore due. It’s not impossible, but one has to wonder why, after so many years of consistency, Putin would suddenly change his position in such a drastic way.”
The Moon of Alabama adds: “The whole U.S. campaign of a “Russian invasion” is disinformation designed to give cover for the upcoming attack of Ukraine on its rebellious Donbas region.”
As always one must follow the money. A tiny minority of dangerous and extreme neo-Nazis are being used to further, in close alliance with corrupt and malevolent oligarchs, a distinct geo-political strategy. That this might well lead to World War Three is unlikely but remains a distinct possibility. Whichever way this actually plays out the Military Industrial Complex invariably wins. And of course: ever fewer people will pay attention to the erosion of civil liberties and destruction of democracies entailed by the ongoing Scamdemic and Genocide by Jab.
The “Snipers’ Massacre” on the Maidan in Ukraine by Ivan Katchanovski, Ph.D.