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2/25: Is US Backing Neo-Nazis in Ukraine?
Is the U.S. Backing Neo-Nazis in Ukraine?
February 25, 2014 "Information Clearing House - As the Euromaidan protests in the Ukrainian capitol of Kiev culminated this week, displays of open fascism and neo-Nazi extremism became too glaring to ignore. Since demonstrators filled the downtown square to battle Ukrainian riot police and demand the ouster of the corruption-stained, pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovich, it has been filled with far-right streetfighting men pledging to defend their country’s ethnic purity.
White supremacist banners and Confederate flags were draped inside Kiev’s occupied City Hall, and demonstrators have hoisted Nazi SS and white power symbols over a toppled memorial to V.I. Lenin. After Yanukovich fled his palatial estate by helicopter, EuroMaidan protesters destroyed a memorial to Ukrainians who died battling German occupation during World War II. Sieg heil salutes and the Nazi Wolfsangel symbol have become an increasingly common site in Maidan Square, and neo-Nazi forces have established “autonomous zones” in and around Kiev.
An Anarchist group called AntiFascist Union Ukraine attempted to join the Euromaidan demonstrations but found it difficult to avoid threats of violence and imprecations from the gangs of neo-Nazis roving the square. “They called the Anarchists things like Jews, blacks, Communists,” one of its members said. “There weren’t even any Communists, that was just an insult.”
“There are lots of Nationalists here, including Nazis,” the anti-fascist continued. “They came from all over Ukraine, and they make up about 30% of protesters.”
One of the “Big Three” political parties behind the protests is the ultra-nationalist Svoboda, whose leader, Oleh Tyahnybok, has called for the liberation of his country from the “Muscovite-Jewish mafia.” After the 2010 conviction of the Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk for his supporting role in the death of nearly 30,000 people at the Sobibor camp, Tyahnybok rushed to Germany to declare him a hero who was “fighting for truth.” In the Ukrainian parliament, where Svoboda holds an unprecedented 37 seats, Tyahnybok’s deputy Yuriy Mykhalchyshyn is fond of quoting Joseph Goebbels – he has even founded a think tank originally called “the Joseph Goebbels Political Research Center.” According to Per Anders Rudling, a leading academic expert on European neo-fascism, the self-described “socialist nationalist” Mykhalchyshyn is the main link between Svoboda’s official wing and neo-Nazi militias like Right Sector.
Right Sector is a shadowy syndicate of self-described “autonomous nationalists” identified by their skinhead style of dress, ascetic lifestyle, and fascination with street violence. Armed with riot shields and clubs, the group’s cadres have manned the front lines of the Euromaidan battles this month, filling the air with their signature chant: “Ukraine above all!” In a recent Right Sector propaganda video [embedded at the bottom of this article], the group promised to fight “against degeneration and totalitarian liberalism, for traditional national morality and family values.” With Svoboda linked to a constellation of international neo-fascist parties through the Alliance of European National Movements, Right Sector is promising to lead its army of aimless, disillusioned young men on “a great European Reconquest.”
Svoboda’s openly pro-Nazi politics have not deterred Senator John McCain from addressing a EuroMaidan rally alongside Tyahnybok, nor did it prevent Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland from enjoying a friendly meeting with the Svoboda leader this February. Eager to fend off accusations of anti-Semitism, the Svoboda leader recently hosted the Israeli Ambassador to Ukraine. “I would like to ask Israelis to also respect our patriotic feelings,” Tyahnybok has remarked. “Probably each party in the [Israeli] Knesset is nationalist. With God’s help, let it be this way for us too.”
In a leaked phone conversation with Geoffrey Pyatt, the US ambassador to Ukraine, Nuland revealed her wish for Tyahnybok to remain “on the outside,” but to consult with the US’s replacement for Yanukovich, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, “four times a week.” At a December 5, 2013 US-Ukraine Foundation Conference, Nuland boasted that the US had invested $5 billion to "build democratic skills and institutions" in Ukraine, though she did not offer any details.
“The Euro-Maidan movement has come to embody the principles and values that are the cornerstones for all free democracies,” Nuland proclaimed.
Two weeks later, 15,000 Svoboda members held a torchlight ceremony in the city of Lviv in honor of Stepan Bandera, a World War II-era Nazi collaborator who led the pro-fascist Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN-B). Lviv has become the epicenter of neo-fascist activity in Ukraine, with elected Svoboda officials waging a campaign to rename its airport after Bandera and successfully changing the name of Peace Street to the name of the Nachtigall Battalion, an OUN-B wing that participated directly in the Holocaust. “’Peace’ is a holdover from Soviet stereotypes,” a Svoboda deputy explained.
Revered by Ukrainian nationalists as a legendary freedom fighter, Bandera’s real record was ignominious at best. After participating in a campaign to assassinate Ukrainians who supported accommodation with the Polish during the 1930’s, Bandera’s forces set themselves to ethnically cleanse western Ukraine of Poles in 1943 and 1944. In the process, they killed over 90,000 Poles and many Jews, whom Bandera’s top deputy and acting “Prime Minister,” Yaroslav Stetsko, were determined to exterminate. Bandera held fast to fascist ideology in the years after the war, advocating a totalitarian, ethnically pure Europe while his affiliated Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) carried out a doomed armed struggle against the Soviet Union. The bloodbath he inspired ended when KGB agents assassinated him in Munich in 1959.
The Right Connections
Many surviving OUN-B members fled to Western Europe and the United States – occasionally with CIA help – where they quietly forged political alliances with right-wing elements. “You have to understand, we are an underground organization. We have spent years quietly penetrating positions of influence,” one member told journalist Russ Bellant, who documented the group’s resurgence in the United States in his 1988 book, “Old Nazis, New Right, and the Republican Party.”
In Washington, the OUN-B reconstituted under the banner of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), an umbrella organization comprised of “complete OUN-B fronts,” according to Bellant. By the mid-1980’s, the Reagan administration was honeycombed with UCCA members, with the group’s chairman Lev Dobriansky, serving as ambassador to the Bahamas, and his daughter, Paula, sitting on the National Security Council. Reagan personally welcomed Stetsko, the Banderist leader who oversaw the massacre of 7000 Jews in Lviv, into the White House in 1983.
“Your struggle is our struggle,” Reagan told the former Nazi collaborator. “Your dream is our dream.”
When the Justice Department launched a crusade to capture and prosecute Nazi war criminals in 1985, UCCA snapped into action, lobbying Congress to halt the initiative. “The UCCA has also played a leading role in opposing federal investigations of suspected Nazi war criminals since those queries got underway in the late 1970’s,” Bellant wrote. “Some UCCA members have many reasons to worry – reasons which began in the 1930’s.”
Still an active and influential lobbying force in Washington, the UCCA does not appear to have shed its reverence for Banderist nationalism. In 2009, on the 50th anniversary of Bandera’s death, the group proclaimed him “a symbol of strength and righteousness for his followers” who “continue[s] to inspire Ukrainians today.” A year later, the group honored the 60th anniversary of the death of Roman Shukhevych, the OUN-B commander of the Nachtigall Battalion that slaughtered Jews in Lviv and Belarus, calling him a “hero” who “fought for honor, righteousness…”
Back in Ukraine in 2010, then-President Viktor Yushchenko awarded Bandera the title of “National Hero of Ukraine,” marking the culmination of his efforts to manufacture an anti-Russian national narrative that sanitized the OUN-B’s fascism. (Yuschenko’s wife, Katherine Chumachenko, was a former Reagan administration official and ex-staffer at the right-wing Heritage Foundation). When the European Parliament condemned Yushchenko's proclamation as an affront to "European values," the UCCA-affiliated Ukrainian World Congress reacted with outrage, accusing the EU of "another attempt to rewrite Ukrainian history during WWII." On its website, the UCCA dismissed historical accounts of Bandera's collaboration with the Nazis as "Soviet propaganda."
Following the demise of Yanukovich this month, the UCCA helped organize rallies in cities across the US in support of the EuroMaidan protests. When several hundred demonstrators marched through downtown Chicago, some waved Ukrainian flags while others proudly flew the red and black banners of the UPA and OUN-B. "USA supports Ukraine!" they chanted.
Washington directly supporting Svoboda neo-Nazi party fighting in Ukraine 24 Feb 2014 Svoboda is a Neo-Nazi Party, Ukraine’s fourth biggest party holding 36 seats out of 450 in parliament. They’re also part of the Alliance of European National Movements along with the BNP and Jobbik. Svoboda is supported directly by Washington.
John McCain to Vladimir Putin: Don't meddle in [Our Meddling in] Ukraine 23 Feb 2014 Sen. John McCain, R-Iraq Meddler-Ariz., has a message for Russian President Vladimir Putin: let Ukrainians choose their own future. McCain appeared on CBS's "Face the Nation" in the wake of a tumultuous few days in Ukraine during which President Viktor Yanukovych fled to a more Russian-aligned city in the east and protestors assumed control of the capital and the Parliament.[Creepy neocon hypocrite John McCain warns Putin about 'meddling.' Hello, Pot? This is Kettle...]
Anonymous Ukraine releases Klitschko emails showing treason 23 Feb 2014 Anonymous Ukraine is battling forces in Ukraine that are funded and directed from the West and attempting to overthrow the democratically elected government of the sovereign country of Ukraine. A member of Anonymous Ukraine who wishes to remain anonymous spoke to the Voice of Russia about the operations and the recent release of emails between Vitali Klitschko and the Lithuanian Presidential advisor. The emails show that Klitschko was intentionally planning to destabilize the country, is being instructed and funded from abroad, and has his accounts in Germany.
Ukraine: another piece in US-NATO-EU neo-con puzzle 21 Feb 2014 A monstrous crime is being committed in Ukraine right before the eyes of the world and the western media is helping to cover it up and distract the attention of the entire world from the core fact that the events in Ukraine are not a popular uprising, but a carefully orchestrated synthetic coup d'état brought about by long entrenched western color revolution infrastructure that was installed by US/NATO/EU to bring about the illegal act of regime change on the sovereign country of Ukraine... Under the UN Charter all attempts by the US/NATO/EU to influence the events in Ukraine so as to bring about a resolution that conforms to their own interests are illegal.
Good Advice, Wrong Address:
Russia Responds to Susan Rice 'No Tanks to Ukraine' Warning
Washington would be a more appropriate recipient of the piece of wisdom.
Will NATO Annex Ukraine?
By Pepe Escobar
Anarchy looms - provoked by the neo-fascists. It's up to Ukrainians to reject it.
Democracy Murdered By Protest
Ukraine Falls To Intrigue and violence
Paul Craig Roberts
Where does Obama find morons like Susan Rice and Victoria Nuland?
Obama Plans to Escalate the War in Syria
By Bob Dreyfuss
It's time for the United States to surrender on Syria.
U.S. examines Afghanistan option that would leave behind 3,000 troops 23 Feb 2014 One of the four options President Obama is considering for a U.S. military presence in Afghanistan beyond this year would leave behind 3,000 troops, based in Kabul and at the American installation at Bagram, U.S. officials said. Military commanders have recommended 10,000 troops, with more installations across the country. Under the 10,000-troop option, U.S. forces would remain in Kabul, Kandahar, Bagram and Jalalabad until the end of 2015, with 5,000 NATO and other international troops based in the northern and western parts of the country as part of a NATO mission called Resolute Support [of CIA poppy fields].
US-led airstrikes kills child in southern Afghanistan 24 Feb 2014 A 9-year-old Afghan has been killed in a deadly airstrike by US-led forces in the troubled southern province of Helmand, Press TV reports. Local Afghan police sources say the boy's father and sister were injured after warplanes from the Western military alliance attacked a residential area in the region on Monday. US-led forces have confirmed the airstrike, saying civilians were targeted by mistake.
Taliban attack kills dozens of soldiers in eastern Afghanistan --Army support unit en route to assist operation also targeted by suicide bomber 23 Feb 2014 Taliban insurgents [or, as the corporate-run US media calls the attackers in the Ukraine -- protesters] assaulted a checkpoint in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday, leaving 19 soldiers dead and seven missing, officials said. General Mohammad Zahir Azimi, spokesman for the defence ministry, said "hundreds" of foreign and Afghan insurgents were involved in the attack, which took place in the Ghazi Abad district of Kunar province in the early hours. He confirmed that 19 soldiers were dead and two injured following a four-hour gun battle between the insurgents and the army.
Gunmen hit Afghan police compound near Kabul 21 Feb 2014 Gunmen have attacked a police compound in a mountainous area near the Afghan capital of Kabul, killing at least one police officer, Press TV reports. The attack was carried out on Friday when a car laden with explosives was detonated at the gates of the headquarters in Surobi district, according to Afghan officials. Two other assailants then opened fire on the compound and a gun battle started, the authorities added.
US-led foreign soldier dies in Afghanistan: ISAF 21 Feb 2014 A foreign soldier serving with the US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) has died of non-combat-related injuries in the war-weary Afghanistan, the Western military alliance says. ISAF released a statement, saying the soldier died on Friday, but it did not disclose the soldier’s nationality, nor did it provide further details on the incident.
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