Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is technically illegal under international law. In Part 2 we discussed why international law means virtually nothing: it does not apply equally to all states and is therefore no law at all. We also talked about why Russia also had legitimate security concerns and yet the United Nations did nothing to alleviate them.
Russia’s position in the global and specifically the European energy market gave it the leverage it is using to counter NATO expansionism. This is contrary to US interests, since the European Union could potentially threaten US dominance of the NATO alliance. Ukraine, as the main transit hub for Russian gas supplies to Europe, was a choke point.
The US and Russia engaged in a diplomatic mini-Cold War. As NATO raced eastward, Russia and Germany constructed the Nord Stream pipelines with a view to ending their mutual over-exposure in a politically unstable Ukraine. By circumnavigating Ukraine, both EU aspirations and Russia’s security vulnerabilities could be addressed. Those goals were unacceptable to the US.
Going back further, in Part 1 we looked at Ukraine’s turbulent history and the deep divisions in its political landscape. Despite Ukrainian people consistently voting for socialism, we noted that it was the National Socialists who, due to their willingness to use extreme violence, seized disproportionate political power as a result of the Euromaidan coup.
The National Socialists (Nazis), did not achieve this power without international support. The US, seeking to scupper Russia’s bid to have a closer relationship with the EU, was willing to work with the Nazis to facilitate their planned coup. The ramifications for Ukraine were disastrous.
Ukrainain Nazis Rise To Power With Western Support
The far-right political movement, predominantly constructed from Svoboda, the Right Sector (RS) and affiliated groups, does not enjoy widespread popular support in Ukraine. In the 2019 parliamentary elections, the people overwhelmingly voted for the Servant of the People (SN) and the Opposition Platform (OP) parties.
The SN is a centrist party in Ukrainian politics and, on the surface, appears to be similar to other European neoliberal, progressive parties. Meanwhile, the pro-Russian OP formed the official opposition in the Verkhovna Rada.
The far-right was practically wiped out in the election. The Russian allegation that the Ukraine is practically a Nazi state is propaganda. Sadly, this does not mean that the Russian military objective of “denazification” of Ukraine is groundless.
Unfortunately for the Ukrainian people, the far-right, largely through SN, remains a powerful force in the nation’s politics. To understand how this is possible in the absence of any Nazi electoral support, we must look at the influence of foreign governments and globalist oligarchs. We’ll consider the oligarch capture of SN in Part 4.
After the Euromaidan coup of 2014, Russia completed its so-called “annexation” of Crimea without firing a shot. The move angered some Ukrainians, who viewed their security services as next to useless. But when volunteer battalions of the RS went to the front in the Donbas war, with the assistance of the Ukrainian media, they were praised for being defenders of the state.
Most Ukrainians remained opposed to the RS. Nonetheless, the increasing support the RS received further emboldened all the neo-Nazi groups. In 2015, they held a Torchlight march in Kyiv, which was well-attended and well-received.
We must remember that the RS, Svoboda, C14, White Hammer, the National Corps and other neo-Nazi incarnations would not have been able to pull off their power grab without the support of the US-led NATO alliance.
Victoria Nuland, acting first as US special envoy on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (2010–2011) then as a State Department spokesperson, was a key figure in the US support for the Euromaidan coup and for the neo-Nazis who led it.
She liaised with the US Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey R. Pyatt, to orchestrate the neo-Nazi takeover. By 2013, the US had established so-called TechCamps in Ukraine. Speaking in the Rada on 20 November 2013, the day before the Euromaidan protests began, pro-Russian MP Oleg Tsaryov revealed that US TechCamps had been established in Ukraine to foment revolution.
Tsaryov claimed that these TechCamps schooled activists on how to use information warfare techniques to undermine government institutions. His revelations could perhaps be dismissed as uncorroborated and partisan were it not for the fact that the revolution he was predicting took place a couple of months after he delivered his warning.
The now-infamous phone call between Nuland and Pyatt has largely been reported in the West with a focus upon Nuland’s “fuck the EU” comment. But that was perhaps the least interesting aspect of the call.
Their bugged conversation was leaked on 4 February 2014, more than two weeks before the Maidan square massacre and the formal transition of power. It revealed that the form of the new government had already been drawn up by the US and that the plan was sanctioned at the very highest level of the US administration.
It also showed that the US State Department knew it was working in partnership with the neo-Nazis—the very groups who slaughtered fellow citizens to give the coup its final push. Their conversation made it clear that Nuland and Pyatt had absolutely no respect for Ukrainian democracy or for democratic principles in general. Thus, the current US-led Western alliance’s reprimand of Russia for ignoring democratic values is nothing but rank hypocrisy.
There are some notable excerpts from the transcript of the conversation. Nuland asked Pyatt, “What do you think?” His reply, “I think we’re in play,” clearly indicates that the US administration had a preconceived plan. Pyatt then acknowledged that the US had already decided that Vitali Klitschko wouldn’t “be in the government,” despite his being a prominent Maidan leader and the proposed Deputy Prime Minister.
Prior to the completion of the coup, Klitschko announced he was going to run for president. But having been offered no government role after the coup, he withdrew his presidential candidacy and suddenly announced he was running for Mayor of Kyiv instead. He was elected in June 2014. All as ordained by Nuland.
When Nuland stated, “I think Yats is the guy,” she was referring to Arseniy Yatsenyuk. Sure enough, following the coup, he was appointed as the Prime Minister of the Maidan government, exactly as planned. Pyatt advised Nuland that “the problem is gonna be with Tyahnybok and his guys.” This was a reference to Svoboda, the Right Sector, White Hammer, C14 and the other neo-Nazis.
Although Nuland didn’t want Tyahnybok to be in the government, she clearly envisioned the neo-Nazis remaining a powerful political force in Ukraine. In order for the Maidan government to operate as required, Nuland advised Pyatt that the chosen Prime Minister, Yatsenyuk, needed:
Klitsch and Tyahnybok on the outside. He needs to be talking to them four times a week.
The new US-appointed Maidan government would go on to work closely with the neo-Nazis. This relationship provided the neo-Nazis with the power and authority they could not hope to gain from the Ukrainian ballot box.
The White House was undoubtedly behind the plan for the new government. Though there is no direct evidence that the US-led NATO alliance actually directed the Maidan massacre, we can see it served the US agenda precisely. It is no surprise that after the coup the Maidan neo-Nazis were rewarded with government positions by the newly imposed Yatsenyuk government.
Pyatt indicated he was eager to employ some political heavyweights to make the undemocratic overthrow of an elected government “stick.” Nuland suggested Joe Biden, who was then the Vice President of the United States, as someone who would do the job. “Biden’s willing,” she added. Indeed, Biden’s numerous subsequent visits to Ukraine in the early years of the Maidan government underscore the reason for Nuland’s confidence.
It wasn’t just Democrats, like Biden, who supported the neo-Nazi led coup. Republican Sen. John McCain was an avid proponent, too. Like Nuland, who literally gave bread to the Maidan protesters, McCain visited the scene of the crime. So did then-US Secretary of State Sen. John Kerry, a Democrat. Both sides of the US political establishment were pushing for revolution.
Oleh Tyahnybok was a well-known neo-Nazi. In 2004, he was thrown out of then-President Viktor Yushchenko’s parliamentary faction after delivering a ranting speech in which he called upon Ukrainians to fight the “Muscovite-Jewish mafia”—a racist slur against both Russians and Jews.
He followed this up in 2005 by signing an open letter to the Rada urging the government to tackle the corruption of “organised Jewry.” These are just two examples of his many anti-Semitic, Russophobic and generally racist statements.
From a PR perspective, the many photographs of McCain meeting with or standing on stage with Tyahnybok were problematic. Addressing the Maidan crowd in December 2013, McCain said:
We are here because your peaceful process and peaceful protest is inspiring your country and inspiring the world. [. . .] We are here to support your just cause, the sovereign right of Ukraine to determine its own destiny freely and independently. And the destiny you seek lies in Europe. [. . .] Ukraine will make Europe better and Europe will make Ukraine better.
According to Reuters, US officials dealt with the PR problem by brushing aside the fact that Nuland, Kerry, Biden and McCain were working with or supporting Nazis like Tyahnybok. They made it sound as if the only reason McCain met him was that he just happened to be one of the Maidan leaders.
An unnamed US official claimed Svoboda was heading towards becoming a “European mainstream political party.” That was not true.
It is highly likely the US administration struck a deal with the neo-Nazis through Tyahnybok. Just as Nuland suggested, he was not given a position in the Yatsenyuk’s Maidan government. Nonetheless, the National Socialist Svoboda was handsomely rewarded, and Tyahnybok became a kingmaker.
Prior to the coup, Svoboda could not have dreamt of the political power it would achieve. Oleksandr Sych was named Vice Prime Minister, Ihor Tenyukh was made Defence Minister, Ihor Shvaika was appointed as Minister for Food and Agriculture and Andriy Mokhnyk became the Minister for Ecology and Natural Resources.
Tyahnybok remained Svoboda leader. Thus Yatsenyuk, with so many Svoboda ultras in his cabinet and in other key state positions, had no choice but to consult with Tyahnybok and other influential far-right leaders on a regular basis. The Western-backed Euromaidan coup may not have created Ukraine’s Nazi problem, but the US-led NATO alliance was, at the very least, exploiting their violent fanaticism.
Ukrainian party politics is not as clearly defined or stable as elsewhere in Europe. Parties frequently change their names and split or merge as politicians shift their allegiance. It is easier to think of Ukraine parties as blocks (blocs) formed from various factions.
The Maidan-appointed interim President was Oleksandr Turchynov, and the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine (MVS) was Arsen Avakov. Andriy Parubiy, in another win for the neo-Nazis, was given the role of Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine. Together with Yatsenyuk, the three formed the People’s Front (originally People’s Action) in March 2014.
The People’s Front fully emerged in September 2014, when Arsen Avakov and Andriy Parubiy split from Yatsenyuk and Tuchynov. Yatsenyuk then joined the Petro Poroshenko bloc (subsequently named the European Solidarity party).
The game of musical chairs and the eventual 2014 presidential and parliamentary elections left Poroshenko as the elected President and Yatsenyuk as Prime Minister. Tellingly, it also left Avakov and Parubiy, the “commandant of Euromaidan,” with a firm grip on Ukrainian national security.
The Maidan government, established by Nuland, Pyatt, Kerry, Biden, Obama, McCain and others, empowered the far-right politically. After the coup, President Obama made a speech that reaffirmed his administration’s treachery. Echoing McCain’s words, he said:
Throughout this crisis, we have been very clear about one fundamental principle: The Ukrainian people deserve the opportunity to determine their own future.
Nothing could have been more deceitful. The Ukrainian people were being manipulated and robbed of the chance to “determine their own future”—to live “freely and independently.”
The Re-emergence of Nazi Military Power In Europe
Given its experience during WWII, Russia’s hatred for Nazis is natural. That being said, the Russian Federation has its own far-right problem which, initially, the government tried to shape and control for its own purposes.
The most well known of these groups was Russian National Unity who were banned in 1999. However, that attempt didn’t work. Thus, much like every other state in the global north, Russia has necessarily suppressed its domestic far-right groups.
The Russian Federation has been more amenable to foreign far-right and nationalist groups. For example, following the “annexation” of Crimea, Putin wooed Marine Le Penn, the leader of Rassemblement National, in exchange for political support and promotion of Russian foreign policy objectives. Le Penn is notably opposed to both the EU and NATO.
Russia uses these foreign far-right groups for its own ends. In 2015, it permitted the International Russian Conservative Forum in St. Petersburg to convene. Far-right and even extreme-right groups from across Europe met to discuss strategy.
Putin’s government has also provided military training to overseas neo-Nazi groups. The Russian oligarchy is not averse to supporting any group that could potentially cause problems for it foreign adversaries.
Many nation-states use Nazis in this way. They are violent fanatics and therefore useful. For example, America House Kyiv hosted C14, where its young spokesperson, Serhiy Bandar, explained how C14 had been working with Kyiv police to carry out pogroms against the capital’s Roma community.
The Russian government does not support the Ukrainian neo-Nazis, though, because it is not in its interest to do so. How ironic, therefore, that perhaps the most extreme of all neo-Nazi groups in Ukraine are Russian.
One such group is Wotanjugend. Led by Alexei Levkin, these so-called “esoteric Nazis” worship Hitler as a deity. They are the sworn enemies of Putin. Having been exiled from Russia to Ukraine, they fight against the Russian separatists in Donbas. Members of Wotanjugend are part of Ukraine’s Azov Regiment, which has been trained, armed and equipped by the NATO/EU alliance.
Ukraine’s Nazi problem is unique. It is the only post WWII European state to have incorporated neo-Nazis into its national security infrastructure. It is also the only state where neo-Nazis hold the balance of power. Their position is not a result of the minority popular support they have among some Ukrainians but is, rather, the product of other factors: Ukraine’s political history, oligarch support for the Ukrainian far-right, and outside interference.
In the immediate aftermath of the Euromaidan coup, Yatsenyuk offered the leader of the Right Sector (RS), Dymitro Yarosh, a number of positions, all of which he declined. Though Svoboda were given government roles by the new government, the RS, perceived as more militant, wasn’t afforded the same degree of political power.
This probably explains why the RS continued to occupy Kyiv streets and government buildings after the Yatsenyuk Maidan government was installed. With the RS militias under his command, Yarosh still had considerable power in Kyiv.
Consequently, in the 2014 parliamentary elections, Yatsenyuk’s bloc stood aside in Dnipropetrovsk, giving Yarosh and other RS candidates a free run into the Verkhovna Rada.
In response to the Euromaidan, the eastern Ukraine oblasts of Donetsk and Luhansk rapidly tilted towards separatism. Interior Minister Arsen Avakov referred to the separatists as “terrorists.” By categorising millions of Russian-speaking Ukrainians with this inflammatory term, he set the tone for the Donbas war that followed. He also lent faux legitimacy to the neo-Nazis, who would be instrumental in perpetuating the war.
Avakov also immediately set about supporting a fascist group called Patriot of Ukraine. As the former paramilitary wing of the Social-National Party of Ukraine (SNPU), Patriot had been co-founded by Andriy Parubiy in 1996 and was led by him between 1998 and 2004.
Avakov released Patriot leader Andriy Biletsky from prison and gave him a role in the Interior Ministry. Biletsky had previously been the leader of the Kharkiv branch of the Tryzub, founded by Dmytro Yarosh. Avakov had been the governor in Kharkiv during this period, and Biletsky’s volunteer militia had worked closely with the Kharkiv police and security services.
Biletsky had opposed the 2003 renaming of the SNPU to Svoboda and had reformed Patriot of Ukraine as an independent volunteer militia. In 2013, Patriot joined with Tryzub to form the Right Sector. During the Euromaidan protests, Patriot and RS operated as the core component of the Maidan Self-Defence, led by Andriy Parubiy.
In April 2014, three months after the coup, Avakov formed the Special Task Patrol Police to protect “public order” in the Donbas and elsewhere.
In May he granted official status to Patriot of Ukraine as a “specialist” volunteer battalion under the auspices of the MVU. Biletsky took command of the new unit, called the Azov Battalion. In 2016, Biletsky formed the National Corps party as a political front for the Azov Regiment.
A number of such specialist militias, such as the Aydar and the Dnepr Battalions, were brought together at that time. They were effectively controlled by oligarchs, such as Avakov and Ihor Kolomoyskyi, rather than by the Kyiv government. Supposedly, they received their orders from the MVU, although it seems that the oligarchs had more influence on them than did the ministry.
The regular regiments of the Ukrainian army (ZSU) were acting under the direction of the Ukraine Ministry of Defence, but the newly formed specialists were not. With oligarch money behind them and better training and equipment than the ZSU, the neo-Nazis made an effective fighting force. They were used as shock troops in forward positions as soon as the separatist uprising began.
Biletskey, who once wrote that Ukraine should “lead the white races of the world in a final crusade […] against the Semite-led Untermenschen,” led the Azov Battalion when it took Mariupol from the separatists.
In October, the pair was also behind the regulation of the Azov Regiment as part of the Ukrainian National Guard (NGU). The NGU was also nominally under the command of the MVU, but, in reality, oligarchs were pulling the strings.
From this point onwards, the RS and the far-right coalition were no longer a militant political movement seeking to revive Nazi ideology. They were armed combatants in a conflict in which they intended to enforce that ideology. Under Avakov’s and Parubiy’s guidance, they had been transformed from mere neo-Nazis to outright Nazis.
The Wolfsangel symbol had been adopted by numerous Nazi regiments and units, including the SS, during WWII. Its public display is now illegal in Germany. In Ukraine, even though the SNPU dropped the Wolfsangel when it transitioned to Svoboda in order to improve its public appeal, it did not abandon the National Socialist ideology.
The original Azov Regiment emblem was constructed from pure Nazi iconography. It shows a Wolfsangel standing before Himmler’s quasi-mystical Nazi black sun. The new version has dropped the black sun but retains the Wolfsangel.
It must be stressed that the Nazis are primarily concentrated in the Azov Regiment. Biletsky said of them:
I am sure, the majority of the lads see themselves as nationalists. The same goes for the Aydar, but they do not have such monolithity as in Azov where 90% of the fighters call themselves, with certainty, Ukrainian nationalists.
It is difficult to know precisely how many Nazis are currently active within Ukrainian forces. Though concentrated in Azov, they’re also present, to varying degrees, in the other “specialist” regiments and in units such as Aydar, Dnepr, Kyiv-2, etc.
National socialism is unusually popular in Ukraine, and there are certainly Nazis dispersed throughout the military. However, they only act as a united military or security force in the specialist battalions of the National Guard and selected MVU police units.
In 2014, the Ukrainian political analyst Mykhaylo Minakov stated that there were 38 such battalions, drawn predominantly from the RS militias, with approximately 13,500 military personnel in total. Of these, not all were hardcore Nazis. Now, as regiments and specialist police forces, the Nazis have increased in strength. But it seems unlikely that they account for more than 10,000–15,000 of the estimated 260,000 Ukrainian military personnel across all services.
Regrettably, their ideological fervour and willingness to die for the cause makes them formidable soldiers eager to be deployed on the front lines. This point was highlighted by Yevhen Karas, a former leader of C14 and a member of the Kyiv-2 Battalion:
We perform the tasks set by the West because we are the only ones who are ready to do them. Because we have fun, we have fun killing and we have fun fighting. […] [T]hat’s the reason for the new alliance: Turkey, Poland, Britain and Ukraine. […] We have the most Javelins (anti-tank missiles) on the continent, maybe only the UK has more. […] We (Ukraine) are a huge, powerful state and if we come to power it will be both a joy and a problem for the whole world. […] [T]his is about new political alliances on the global level.
There was probably a considerable amount of hubris in his statement. Nonetheless, the West’s arming and equipping of these maniacs presents, first and foremost, an incredible danger to the Ukrainian people as well as to Europe and thus to the world.
Russia’s attack on Ukraine is equally dangerous. If idiots like US Sen. Lindsay Graham, who openly called for Putin’s assassination, convince enough members of NATO to try to impose no-fly zones or to get involved in the war in some other way, things could get worse very quickly.
Regardless of Russia’s aggression, it is seems insane of the West to have once again encouraged the rise of a Nazi military power in Europe. Worryingly, there is a mendacious motive to this apparent madness, which we’ll cover in Part 4.
In 2015, a powerful Washingtion lobby led by Sen. McCain pressed the Obama administration to send offensive weapons to Ukraine. NATO senior command also advocated lethal military assistance, but the Obama administration officially stood firm, refusing to give “lethal aid” to Ukraine. Instead, the US claimed it would only “train” Ukranian troops.
A 2021 Congressional Research report revealed that the US had been providing $2.5 billion in “security assistance” to Ukraine since 2014. Part of that sum was the Trump administration’s 2018 approval of the sale of anti-tank missiles to Ukraine.
Prior to that permit, the State Department had already facilitated US armaments exports to Ukraine, according to the Atlantic Council, an American think tank that is NATO’s de facto lobbyist in Washington. A researcher for the Council said that “the US Embassy did absolutely help facilitate this transfer, and I’m not sure if they were aware that Azov would be the first to train with them.”
No one knows how much military support came from the Pentagon’s “black budget.” However, it appears funds were used to train of Ukrainian “paramilitaries” in secret CIA training camps.
This “assistance” also seemed to include standing by while the US private mercenary outfit Blackwater sent men to fight in the Donbas. This remains unconfirmed, but Eric Prince, the founder of Blackwater (renamed Academi), reportedly had extensive plans to profit from the war.
According to open-source intelligence (OSINT) investigators at Bellingcat, US mercenaries weren’t the only ones working with so-called Ukrainian paramilitaries. They reported that the European Security Academy had trained numerous far-right paramilitaries, including the Azov Regiment, which thanked them for their support.
British military assistance for the Ukrainian Nazis is also evident. Operational Orbital, the UK’s training mission to Ukraine, began in early 2015. While denying the training of the Ukrainian NGU, the NGU’s own website reported a 2021 meeting between British Army and Ukrainian NGU commanders and said “the purpose of the meeting was to discuss the expansion of further military cooperation.”
The Canadian-led Operation Unifier, which brought together trainers from a number of European militaries, began in 2015. Training has been provided to around 33,000 regular Ukrainian military personnel and nearly 2,000 members of NGU. A June 2018 meeting between Canadian officials and Azov commanders led to some embarrassment and a “review” of the Operation, but it continued anyway.
As early as December 2021 it was confirmed that the US had been providing weaponry to Ukrainian forces. It is clear that between 2014 and today there has been a steady build-up of foreign arms, military expertise and independent contractors in Ukraine. All this aid contributed toward fuelling the war in the Donbas. It was implicitly understood that some of the recipients of this “lethal aid” were Nazis.
In response to the recent Russian attack, the US has passed the 2022 Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act.
The $13.6 billion package includes $3.65 billion in weapons transfers. Likewise, the UK government has said it will not stop sending arms to Ukraine. And the EU has made the same commitment, as have a number of member states, including France and the Netherlands, which had already independently pledged to arms shipments.
For many observers, it is Germany’s decision provide the Ukrainians with weapons that presents the most unsavoury prospect. Every Western nation has a far-right problem to some extent, and Germany is no different. Yet few nation-states have done more, in the post WWII era, to thoroughly reject the twisted ideology of National Socialism.
Notwithstanding, the arms that Germany is currently supplying to Ukraine will be used by Nazis. Despite the promised safeguards, once weapons are in Ukraine, it is the “specialist” NGU operators who have their pick of them.
The West’s Nazi Denialism
The Western propaganda machine has sought to downplay the Nazi influence in Ukraine. Often it points to the fact that many leading Ukrainian politicians, such as Yatsenyuk and the current president Volodymyr Zelenskyy, are Jewish.
The MSM insist that Nazis could never support Jewish leaders and nor could Jewish leaders tolerate Nazis. Therefore, they allege, the fact that Ukraine has Jewish political leaders proves that it does not have a significant Nazi problem. Consequently, it is claimed, the Western public can safely discount “Putin’s denazification propaganda.”
The election of Jews as national leaders shows that the majority of Ukrainians are not antisemitic. It does not “prove” that the Nazis have neither influence nor power in Ukraine.
The two-dimensional Western narrative, highlighting this contradiction, is itself propaganda. It deliberately conceals the complexities of Ukrainian politics. The antisemitic statements by Tyahnybok, Biletsky and others are public record. There is no doubt about their views nor their influence.
Nazis with political aspirations, such as Dmytro Yorash and Andriy Parubiy, have been very careful to distance themselves from antisemitism. However, the Right Sector (RS) Yaorsh co-founded and led are openly antisemitic. As are the Azov Regiment empowered by Avakov and Parubiy.
Asov display Nazi regalia whenever they can and the RS adopted the flag of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA).
“We will restore order in Ukraine, Ukraine will belong to Ukrainians, not Zhids and oligarchs.”
Using the term “Zhid” for Jews couldn’t be more antisemitic.
As we will discuss shortly, Jewish political leaders, like Zelenskyy, have to work with the Nazis whether they like it or not. Thanks to the support they have received from the U.S. led NATO alliance, Nazis are embedded in the heart of the Ukrainian establishment.
The Ukrainian Nazis’ cultural and political icon, Stepan Bandera, was an instrumental figure in the Holocaust in Ukraine. He oversaw the Lvov pogroms and pledged his support to the 4th Reich.
Yet the world now finds itself in the preposterous position where, in the midst of an increasingly ludicrous propaganda war, even the international Jewish NGO the Anti-Defamation-League (ADL) are seemingly engaged in Holocaust revisionism. The ADL published an interview where Dr David Fishman reportedly claimed:
[S]ome members of these ultra-nationalist groups have used Nazi insignia, made Hitler salutes, and used antisemitic rhetoric, but they are politically insignificant and in no way representative of Ukraine. […] For Ukrainian nationalists, UPA and Bandera are symbols of the Ukrainian fight for Ukrainian independence. The UPA allied with Nazi Germany against the Soviet Union for tactical – not ideological – reasons.
There are very few historians who would accept Fishman’s theory. It is not supported by the historical evidence.
The historian Prof. John-Paul Himka was able to access 1800 testimonies of Holocaust survivors from the Archive of the Jewish Historical Institute and cross-referenced those with official documents from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Himka’s painstaking research, published in 2009, catalogued the UPA’s role in the Holocaust. He concluded:
[The] UPA participated actively in the destruction of the Jewish population of Western Ukraine. It had reasons of its own to kill Jews, and did so even when in open revolt against the Germans. [The] UPA had clear ideas about what the Ukraine they were building should be like. As the song they sung said: “We slaughtered the Jews, we’ll slaughter the Poles, old and young, every one; we’ll slaughter the Poles, we’ll build Ukraine.” [. . .] Although what UPA did to the Jews may not have been, in the larger scheme of things, a major contribution to the Holocaust, it remains a large and inexpungible stain on the record of the Ukrainian national insurgency.
President Zelenskyy has recently been on a virtual global tour addressing national legislatures, drumming up support for Ukraine’s struggle. In the UK he evoked Churchill, in the US Martin Luther King jr. and in Germany the collapse of the Berlin Wall. He has successfully used emotionally resonant moments in the subject nation’s history to build parallels with the current Ukrainian situation.
When Zelenskyy addressed the Knesset, seeking Israeli support, he utilised the same approach and compared Ukraine’s plight to the Holocaust. This did not work as intended.
For Israelis the Holocaust is fundamental to their sense of national identity. Many Israeli Jews possess an extensive and thorough knowledge of Holocaust history. This includes a clear understanding of what happened in Ukraine. The Knesset did not react well when Zelenskyy suggested that they should save Ukrainians today as Ukrainians had saved Jews during the Holocaust.
The attempted revisionism did not endear him to his audience whose thoughts were seemingly summed up by the former Israeli cabinet minister, Yuval Steinitz, who said:
If Zelensky’s speech was given […] in normal times, we would have said it bordered on Holocaust denial […] Every comparison between a regular war, as difficult as it may be, and the extermination of millions of Jews […] is a total distortion of history. The same is true for the claim that Ukrainians helped Jews in the Holocaust […] The historic truth is that the Ukrainian people cannot be proud of its behaviour in the Holocaust of the Jews.
The Western propagandists’ argument that the election of Jewish leaders somehow nullifies the disproportionate political and military power of Ukrainian based Nazis is total nonsense. The related attempts to whitewash the history of the OUN, UPA and other Ukrainian WWII Nazis, who are revered by the current crop, are a disgrace.
Fishman was correct when he said that the Nazis don’t represent Ukraine, but he was conspicuously incorrect about everything else. His alleged “conclusions” about the UPA, and the publication of his opinion, appears to be politically motivated. Unimaginable though it may be, some are now seriously suggesting that Nazis aren’t really antisemites.
The War In The Donbas
During the Euromaidan coup (November 2013–February 2014) anti-Maidan protests in the Ukrainian oblasts of Donetsk and Luhansk were widespread. Collectively referred to as the Donbas (Donetskyi Basein), it was a thriving industrial region and mass producer of steel, coal and other vital resources from the late 19th through the 20th centuries. Many Russians settled in the Donbas following WWII.
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, a lack of investment saw the industrial economy of the Donbas wane. Wages collapsed and industrial unrest grew, notably with the coal miners’ strike in 1993.
The sense of unease for the Russian-speaking populations of eastern and southern Ukraine was heightened when one of the first acts of the new Maidan-controlled Verkhovna Rada was to repeal the 2012 language law that permitted Russian to be an officially recognised language of Ukraine. Fearing what the coup would mean for them and encouraged by the apparent success of the Crimean Self-Defence Force (SDF), a popular uprising followed.
The oblasts where the anti-Maidan protests occurred closely mirrored the electoral divisions in Ukrainian politics. The pro-Russian, anti-Maidan activists always stood against the Euromaidan coup. In Donetsk, Luhansk and elsewhere, protesters stormed Ukrainian government buildings and called upon Russia to come to their defence.
Less than two weeks after the Svoboda-and-RS-led the uprising to take the presidential offices in Kyiv, on the 5th March 2014 anti-Maidan protestors seized the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) building in the Luhansk. What followed was a period of escalating violence across the oblasts during which local Russian-backed militias and protesters clashed with Ukrainian security forces. Government buildings changed hands back and forth as the situation deteriorated.
On 21st April, a large protest group gathered outside the regional state administration (RSA) building in Luhansk. They demanded the creation of a people’s government and independence from the Kyiv regime with a view to becoming a republic of the Russian Federation.
As tensions increased, Russia promised to hold its forces on the Ukrainian border. It also requested that Kyiv halt its military operation against the separatists and that representatives of Luhansk who supported federalization of the country suspend their planned referendum.
However, Luhansk leaders ignored the entreaty and on 11 May 2014 held the referendum. After the votes were counted, they declared that the Luhansk People’s Republic a sovereign entity. While there were no international observers to verify the result, even the displaced Luhansk regional council acknowledged:
An absolute majority of people voted for the right to make their own decisions about how to live.
Similarly, in early April 2014, protestors in Donetsk occupied their RSA building and other government premises across the oblast. Like their Luhansk neighbours, they ignored Russian requests and held their referendum on the same day, 11th May. The result was the same, and the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) was declared. The DPR immediately requested to become a member of the Russian Federation. Both the LPR and DPR insisted they would not participate in the forthcoming Ukrainian national elections.
These referendums were followed five days later with elections and the appointment of interim governments in the two newborn republics. Full elections were held in both oblasts in November 2014.
NATO-and-EU-aligned politicians in Ukraine and internationally refused to acknowledge either the referendums or the new states. The US State Department, the EU and political spokespersons across the West condemned the referendums and the subsequent elections. The EU’s High Representative, Federica Mogherini, said:
I consider today’s ‘presidential and parliamentary elections’ in Donetsk and Luhansk ‘People’s Republics’ a new obstacle on the path towards peace in Ukraine. The vote is illegal and illegitimate, and the European Union will not recognise it
Considering the unconstitutional and violent Euromaidan coup that brought the Western-backed Maidan government into power in Kyiv, the hypocrisy of the Western representatives was off the charts.
Following Avakov’s lead, on the 7th April then-acting President of Ukraine, Oleksander Turchyov, designated the DPR and LPR terrorist movements. Speaking on Ukrainian national TV, he said:
We will carry out anti-terrorist activities against armed secessionists[.]
Turchyov formally announced the “anti-terrorism-operation” creating the Ukrainian Anti-Terrorist Operation Zone (ATO zone). Casting the people of the LPR and DPR as terrorists allowed the small contingent of Nazis within the Ukrainian forces to claim justification for their atrocities.
The war in the Donbas is no less subject to international propaganda than any other conflict. In the West, the shooting down of Malaysian Airways Flight MH17 was firmly blamed on Russian-backed separatists and Putin. This led to the imposition of further sanctions against Russia.
The evidence does not support the conclusions of the seriously flawed investigation carried out by the Dutch-based Joint Investigation Team (JIT). The then-Malaysian Prime Minister, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, wasn’t convinced. He asserted that the NATO alliance-led JIT investigation was “politically motivated.”
On 2 June 2014, a Ukrainian Air Force airstrike hit the Luhansk Regional Administration Building, killing at least eight civilians. Though it was clearly an attack on the civilian population, the BBC maintained Kyiv’s lie that the strike was justified as part of an operation against a military target.
The eight-year war was punctuated with sporadic ceasefires, followed by periods of sustained fighting. Throughout, the degree to which the Kyiv government either controlled or wished to control the Azov and other Nazi units is debatable. There have been two internationally brokered ceasefire agreements: the June 2014 Minsk Protocol and the February 2015 Minsk II—collectively known as the Minsk Agreements.
The sides came to the table after Ukrainian forces lost to Russian-backed separatists forces in the city of Debaltseve. The protocol was established by Ukrainian, Russian and Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) negotiators and was brokered by France and Germany (the Normandy Format).
The initial agreement called for a bilateral ceasefire, prisoner exchanges and a general amnesty for all combatants. The OSCE was made the monitors for the ceasefire and eventually for the Ukrainian/Russian border. It also established a 30km-wide de-militarised buffer zone along the agreed borders of the DPR and LPR.
The Minsk Protocol also provided, within Ukrainian law, further decentralised autonomy for the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. Under the “Temporary Order of Local Self-Governance in Particular Districts of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts,” elections would be held. The DPR and LPR held elections in November 2014, but OSCE representative Didier Burkhalter, who refused to recognise the legitimacy of the Crimean referendum, also refused to recognise those two elections, claiming they breached the protocol. Russia disputed this.
The ceasefire never happened, and although the ferocity and extent of the fighting reduced for a few months, skirmishes continued. The conflict re-escalated, and, after the separatists inflicted a defeat of Ukrainian forces at Donetsk International Airport, the sides returned to negotiations.
Minsk II was facilitated under pressure from the US, which had proposed, but not formally agreed, to send arms to the Kyiv government. Building upon the Minsk Protocol, the DPR and LPR elections were to be permitted in Ukrainian law. Constitutional reform, guaranteeing decentralisation, was required. The DPR and LPR would be free to maintain their own security through the People’s Militia and locally controlled law enforcement.
Minsk II coincided with both sides withdrawing from the area around Debaltseve. However, heavy artillery exchanges continued, and the fighting was intense in and around Mariupol, as the Russian backed separatists fought the Azov Nazis.
In March 2015, the Kyiv parliament approved a law granting “special status” to the DPR and LPR. This afforded the separatists three years of relative autonomy. But, crucially, the elections would be overseen by Kyiv. And the special status also came with a statement that the regions were “under occupation.”
Parliamentary Nazi Oleh Lyachenko, an Azov commander, said that it was a vote for Russian occupation. His fellow Nazi, Andriy Parubiy, then vice-speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, insisted that the law was opposed to the “occupiers.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the so-called “special status” was not in keeping with the Minsk agreements. Alexander Zakharchenko, the elected Prime Minister of the DPR, said that before any status could be agreed to, the DPR and the LPR must have full control (occupation) of their territory and enter discussions with Kyiv as equal partners. That meant removing the Azov Regiment from Mariupol.
Despite periods of relative calm and 29 ceasefires, the Donbas War has continued. The fiercest fighting occurred earlier in the war, prior to 2017. There have been months when fighting has subsided. Yet the conflict has never ceased, and heavier exchanges have frequently occurred.
Both sides—the Ukrainian forces armed, trained and equipped by the NATO alliance and the separatists of the DPR and LPR, armed trained and equipped by the Russians—have broken the numerous ceasefire agreements. While the Minsk Agreements were seen as the way forward by both sides they were never implemented by the Kyiv government, who were the only side with the authority to do so.
Russia has considerable influence over the DPR and LPR. They are, to a great extent, satellite states of the Russian Federation. However, as shown by both regions’ refusal to follow Moscow’s request to withhold elections, both are also independent in their own right.
According to a January 2022 UN report, from 14 April 2014 to 31 December 2021, based upon OHCHR figures, between 14,200 and 14,400 people were killed, including at least 3,404 civilians. This was widely reported in the West.
What was less well reported was the UN’s finding that, since 2018, more than 81% of the casualties have been in the separatist regions and only 16.3% in Ukrainian-held territory, with the remaining few were in the demilitarised zone. The OHCR’s 2015 report found that more than 62% of civilian casualties were in separatist territory.
Even Human Rights Watch (HRW), which is in no way pro-Russian, has highlighted numerous atrocities carried out by the “Ukrainian government.” This has included the use of cluster bombs in civilian areas and the use of unguided rockets against civilians. HRW noted that the Kyiv was “treating its human rights obligation as though they were optional.”
HRW also found the separatists, too, were using unguided rockets and had placed their artillery and other military positions in civilian areas. HRW found that the separatists violently beat and intimidated anyone they suspected of collaborating with Kyiv. It is clear, nonetheless, that the Ukrainian forces, including and most particularly the “specialist” Nazi regiments, have inflicted considerably greater civilian losses than have the separatists.
The practical occupation of Kyiv by the RS following the Euromadan coup demonstrates that the Nazis have their own agenda. Atakov, Parubiy, Lyachenko and others are vehemently Russophobic and antisemitic, and it is they, not Kyiv, who, with oligarch backing, have had a controlling influence over the Nazi “specialists.”
The Nazis have consistently been a destabilising force. When Amnesty International reported that the Aydar Regiment had committed war-crimes, it noted:
Our findings indicate that, while formally operating under the command of the Ukrainian security forces combined headquarters in the region, members of the Aydar battalion act with virtually no oversight or control.
In 2019, newly elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited the Azov Regiment front lines near the Donbas town of Zolote. Zelenskyy had made an election promise to deescalate the situation in eastern Ukraine and was pursuing a policy of reinstigating Minsk-style OSCE-monitored elections in the DPR and LPR (the Steinmeier Formula). The response from the Azov Regiments and its National Corps was to instigate a “No to Capitulation” campaign.
Zelenskyy was confronted by a hostile reception of Azov commanders who refused to end their assault, despite the President’s request. In an embarrassing, petulant moment, Zelenskyy cried:
I’m the president of this country. I’m 41 years old. I’m not a loser. I came to you and told you: remove the weapons[.]
Biletsky responded by threatening to send thousands of fighters to Zolote and warned Zelenskyy to back off. While the Azov Regiment initially complied, within a matter of a few weeks its members had restarted their military campaign.
Kolomoyskyi, like Zelenskyy, is Jewish. Perhaps Kolomoyskyi considers the Nazis to be useful idiots, but the contradiction is startling nonethless. Consequently, Zelenskyy was forced, or ordered, to negotiate his plans with the far-right.
In November 2021, Dymitro Yarosh announced that he had accepted a position as advisor to the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. This move epitomised Ukraine’s real Nazi problem.
Senior positions within the Ukrainian political establishment are held by committed Nazis. They have, to a large extent, captured pivotal government roles, especially within national security, despite having virtually no electoral mandate. Zelenskyy’s SA government cannot function without their approval.
Despite their relatively small numbers, the Nazis are also the best trained, best equipped and most highly motivated ground troops in the Ukrainian armed forces. Its military could not operate without them.
The Nazis are not supporters of the Kyiv government. They are Ukrainian ultranationalists, loyal to private backers, whose dream is an ethnically pure Ukraine. In short, they have the Ukrainian state over a barrel. What’s worse, as evidenced by the comments of Karas and others, they have global ambitions and, as we shall see, have already been assisted in forming a global network.
Vladimir Putin has been ridiculed in the West for calling the attacks upon the separatist populations a “genocide.” The 1948 UN Genocide Convention describes genocide as any aggressive act which is intended “to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.” Under this definition, given the prominent role of the Nazi regiments, “genocide” seems a fair description of the war in the Donbas.
The Nauseating Unofficial-Offical Story
The phone conversation between Nuland and Pyatt was preceded, in December 2013, by Nuland’s address to an International Business Conference, sponsored by US oil and gas companies. In her speech, Nuland claimed that the US had invested $5 billion over two decades to help Ukraine achieve its dream of joining the EU. There is no clear record of this spending nor any of the US Congress ever approving it for the purposes claimed by Nuland.
This isn’t surprising, because the US operates at least two separate economies. There is the money raised through taxation and borrowing (future taxation), where spending is officially approved by legislatures, and then there is the black economy, operated off the books.
The Pentagon, home of the US Department of Defense, has never completed a successful audit. In 2020, the black hole in its accounts amounted to $35 trillion. This is more than five times the total “official” amount spent by the federal government in 2021.
Nuland was simply plucking that $5 billion figure out of the air to impress her audience. We have no way of knowing how much money the US has actually spent in pursuit of its foreign policy objectives in Ukraine. But we can guess it is practically limitless.
The Magnitsky Act enables the US to seize Russian assets, ban Russians from entry to the US and sanction Russian business as it chooses. So called Magnitsky laws have been adopted by the UK and the EU. It serves as a clear signal to the Russian government that the US-led NATO alliance represents a distinctly hostile bloc, committed to undermining its interests.
In light of US and notably Nuland and Pyatt’s support for an undemocratic, unconstitutional coup to depose an elected government, Nuland’s words, spoken at that 2013 business conference, are nauseating:
The Euromaidan movement has come to embody principles and the values that are the cornerstones for all free democracies. […] Since Ukraine’s independence in 1991 the United States has supported Ukrainians, as they build democratic skills and institutions, as they promote civic participation and good governance, all of which are preconditions for Ukraine to achieve its European aspirations. We’ve invested over $5 billion to assist Ukraine in these and other goals that will ensure a secure and prosperous and democratic Ukraine.
The Ukrainian population as a whole did not have a clear European dream. And nothing could contradict the “principles and the values” of free democracies more than the Western-backed Euromaidan coup.
Ukraine, left to develop unhindered by the US, EU and Russia, would not necessarily have elected to join the EU or aspire to become a NATO member state. The divisions in Ukraine are so deep that it is difficult to know if it would have remained peaceful or would have collapsed into civil war.
What is certain is that the Ukrainian people have been played by two “great powers” engaged in a long-standing global confrontation. Neither has any respect for democratic principles, international law or the welfare of the Ukrainian people, regardless of their ethnicity or international allegiance.
In their power struggle, both have exploited Nazis. The US/NATO alliance has trained, armed and equipped those Nazis, and elements within the Ukrainian government have deployed them to foment revolution and fight a bloody war.
On 16 December 2021, the 53rd meeting of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly adopted the draft resolution on “combating glorification of Nazism.” There were just two nations that voted against: The United States and Ukraine.
The Russian Federation has exploited the same Nazis as a means of justifying, in part, its attack on another sovereign nation. It is thus illegitimate for Russia to castigate Ukraine for being a Nazi regime.
Parts 1–3 have hopefully provided you with what we could call the “official-unofficial” explanations of Russia’s military operations in Ukraine. It is a perfunctory, nationalist analysis which, if taken as a full account, maintains our belief in the primacy of nation-states.
In truth, the forces that are currently ripping Ukraine apart see nations, and the governments that rule them, as junior partners in their internecine feud, as they position themselves to rule the world. It is this more thorough appraisal that we will discuss in Part 4: Ukraine War! What Is It Good For? The Globalist Reset
You can read more of Iain’s work at his blog In This Together or on UK Column or follow him on Twitter. His new book Pseudopandemic, is now available, in both in kindle and paperback, from Amazon and other sellers. Or you can claim a free copy by subscribing to his newsletter.
Follow us on Telegram for regular updates & commentary
If you enjoy OffG's content, please help us make our monthly fund-raising goal and keep the site alive.
For direct-transfer bank details click here.