Ignoring Ukraine’s Neo-Nazi Storm Troopers

Exclusive: You might think a story about modern-day Nazi storm troopers attacking a European city without mercy would merit front-page coverage in the U.S. press, but not when the Nazi paramilitaries are fighting for the U.S.-backed Ukrainian government and are killing ethnic Russians, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

The U.S.-backed Ukrainian government is knowingly sending neo-Nazi paramilitaries into eastern Ukrainian neighborhoods to attack ethnic Russians who are regarded by some of these storm troopers as “Untermenschen” or subhuman, according to Western press reports.

Recently, one eastern Ukrainian town, Marinka, fell to Ukraine’s Azov battalion as it waved the Wolfsangel flag, a symbol used by Adolf Hitler’s SS divisions in World War II. The Azov paramilitaries also attacked Donetsk, one of the remaining strongholds of ethnic Russians opposed to the Kiev regime that overthrew elected President Viktor Yanukovych last February.

The Wolfsangel symbol on a banner in Ukraine.

The Wolfsangel symbol of Adolf Hitler’s SS on a banner in Ukraine.

Yet, despite this extraordinary reality modern-day Nazi storm troopers slaughtering Slavic people in eastern Ukraine the Obama administration continues to concentrate its criticism on Russia for sending a convoy of humanitarian supplies to the embattled region. Suddenly, the administration’s rhetoric about a “responsibility to protect” civilians has gone silent.

This same hypocrisy has permeated nearly everything said by the U.S. State Department and reported by the mainstream U.S. news media since the Ukraine crisis began last year. There was fawning coverage of the Maidan protesters who sought to overthrow Yanukovych and then an immediate embrace of the “legitimacy” of the regime that followed the Feb. 22 coup. As part of this one-sided U.S. narrative, reports about the key roles played by neo-Nazi activists and militias were dismissed as “Russian propaganda.”

But the ugly reality has occasionally broken through the blinders of the Western press. For instance, on Sunday, in the last three paragraphs of a long article about the Ukraine conflict, the New York Times reported that the Ukrainian military strategy has been to pound rebel-held cities from afar and then turn loose paramilitary forces to carry out “chaotic, violent assaults.”

“Officials in Kiev say the militias and the army coordinate their actions, but the militias, which count about 7,000 fighters, are angry and, at times, uncontrollable. One known as Azov, which took over the village of Marinka, flies a neo-Nazi symbol resembling a Swastika as its flag.” [See Consortiumnews.com’s “NYT Discovers Ukraine’s Neo-Nazis at War.”]

Actually, the Azov fighters do more than wave a Swastika-like flag; they favor the Wolfsangel flag of Hitler’s SS divisions, much as some of Ukraine’s neo-Nazis still honor Hitler’s Ukrainian SS auxiliary, the Galician SS. A Ukrainian hero hailed during the Maidan protests was Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera whose paramilitary forces helped exterminate Jews and Poles.

Yet, this dark side of the Kiev regime generally gets ignored by the mainstream U.S. media despite the fact that the idea of modern-day Nazi storm troopers wreaking havoc on Slavic “Untermenschen” would seem like a very juicy story.

But it would destroy the white-hat/black-hat narrative that the State Department and the MSM have built around the Ukraine crisis, with the Kiev regime in the white hats and the ethnic Russian rebels and Russian President Vladimir Putin wearing the black hats. It might be hard to sell the American people on the notion that neo-Nazis waving an SS flag and ranting about “Untermenschen” deserve white hats.

Kiev’s Tolerance of Neo-Nazis

More details about the Azov battalion’s role in the fighting were reported in the conservative London Telegraph. In a somewhat sympathetic article, Telegraph correspondent Tom Parfitt wrote that “In Marinka, on the western outskirts, the [Azov] battalion was sent forward ahead of tanks and armoured vehicles of the Ukrainian army’s 51st Mechanised Brigade.

“[Despite some casualties] Andriy Biletsky, the battalion’s commander, told the Telegraph the operation had been a ‘100% success’. ’Most important of all, we established a bridgehead for the attack on Donetsk. And when that comes we will be leading the way.’”

The Telegraph then added: ”But Kiev’s use of volunteer paramilitaries to stamp out the Russian-backed Donetsk and Luhansk ‘people’s republics’, proclaimed in eastern Ukraine in March, should send a shiver down Europe’s spine. Recently formed battalions such as Donbas, Dnipro and Azov, with several thousand men under their command, are officially under the control of the interior ministry but their financing is murky, their training inadequate and their ideology often alarming. The Azov men use the neo-Nazi Wolfsangel (Wolf’s Hook) symbol on their banner and members of the battalion are openly white supremacists, or anti-Semites.”

In interviews, some of the fighters questioned the Holocaust, expressed admiration for Adolf Hitler and acknowledged that they are indeed Nazis, a fact also known by Kiev authorities.

Biletsky, the Azov commander, “is also head of an extremist Ukrainian group called the Social National Assembly,” according to the Telegraph article which quoted a recent commentary by Biletsky as declaring: “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 battalion itself is founded on right-wing views, Biletsky acknowledged, adding that Nazi allegiances are not grounds for exclusion. “The most important thing is being a good fighter and a good brother so that we can trust each other,” he said.

The Ukrainian offensive against the ethnic Russian rebels also has attracted neo-Nazis from around Europe. “Mr Biletsky says he has men from Ireland, Italy, Greece and Scandinavia,” the Telegraph reported.

These foreign recruits include Mikael Skillt, a former sniper with the Swedish Army and National Guard who leads and trains a reconnaissance unit. Skillt identified himself as a National Socialist who has been active in the extreme right-wing Party of the Swedes. “Now I’m fighting for the freedom of Ukraine against Putin’s imperialist front,” he said.

The Kiev government is aware of the Nazi sympathies among the fighters that it has sent into eastern Ukraine to crush the ethnic Russian resistance. “Ukraine’s government is unrepentant about using the neo-Nazis,” the Telegraph reported, quoting Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, as saying:

“The most important thing is their spirit and their desire to make Ukraine free and independent. A person who takes a weapon in his hands and goes to defend his motherland is a hero. And his political views are his own affair.”

President Petro Poroshenko even hailed one of the militiamen who died in fighting on Sunday as a hero, the Telegraph reported.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his new book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com). For a limited time, you also can order Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America’s Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.

29 comments for “Ignoring Ukraine’s Neo-Nazi Storm Troopers

  1. Vaba
    August 19, 2014 at 13:40

    The Wolfsangel symbol is presented on many municipal coats of arrms, nobody concider it to be just Nazi symbol. Don’t search for Nazies in Ukraine, the main Nazi of ourdays is Mr. Putin

  2. Abe
    August 15, 2014 at 15:02

    Vanishing point …
    Pepe Escobar, a Brazilian journalist focused on Central Asia and Middle East geopolitics, is a correspondent for Asia Times and the Real News Network. He is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge (2007), and Obama does Globalistan (2009).

  3. jay tee
    August 15, 2014 at 09:10

    I keep hoping Putin will do something like invade or something. If the west is going to put sanctions on Russia then Russia might as well do something to help the situation and stop these nazis . If you are going to be blamed for interfering then you might as well interfer. You don’t see them sending these fascist to Crimea now do you? That’s because Russian troops are there. So the same needs to be said for the east of Ukraine as well. BRING IN THE RUSSIAN TROOPS NOW before it’s too late and NATO has a base there.

    • Natalia Yasnaya
      August 18, 2014 at 22:52

      Russia is not really afraid of sanctions too much but the president still has to think of his people’s wealth and security. Unlike Crimea, where an absolute majority of population were eager to reunite with Russia, the situation in eastern Ukraine is not that simple. The proportion of pro-Russian and pro-Kiev residents might be some 70 to 30 per cent. So, if Putin brings in troops, they may be considered occupants by a considerable number of population there, which is unacceptable. If a military operation begins, the west’s hysteria about Russia’s involvement in the conflict would have increased to an unprecedented level. There would be casualties among Russian troops and we still remember Chechnya and Afghanistan, no mother wants her son killed in a somebody else’s war. There are some Russian volunteers in Donbass and I do hope rebels also get aid from public organisations. Now Russia is doing its best to bring the international community’s attention to what is really going on in Ukraine – ballistic missiles, phosphorous bombs, etc used against civilians, but apparently European leaders notice only what they are allowed to by Obama.

    • Cal
      August 25, 2014 at 13:36

      The Russians ARE the fascists.

  4. Abe
    August 15, 2014 at 00:03

    The Ukraine, Corrupted Journalism, and the Atlanticist Faith
    Karel van Wolferen, a Dutch journalist and retired professor at the University of Amsterdam, has published over twenty books on public policy issues. As a foreign correspondent for NRC Handelsblad , one of Holland’s leading newspapers, he received the highest Dutch award for journalism. His articles have appeared in The New York Times , The Washington Post , The New Republic , The National Interest , Le Monde , and numerous other newspapers and magazines.

  5. chris harrison
    August 14, 2014 at 13:25

    Two weeks ago a Ukranian TV station openly called for ethnic cleansing of the civilian population in Esat Ukraine. This station is supported by the USAID program through funding they received on May 2nd, the day of the Odessa Massacre. In this context the US is openly supporting ethnic cleansing. This is the You Tube video showing the call for ethnic cleansing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9SOVarOFJk below is a thread I posted to the Democratic Underground website which was locked and censored due to the fact that even once liberal websites have become tools of the powers that be. They obviously didn’t want this to be seen. here is the link to that locked thread. http://www.democraticunderground.com/1017208420 This is the transcript of the TV announcer.

    Transcript: “It’s perfectly simple. You need to kill 1.5 million people in Donbass”

    Translated from Ukrainian by Valentina Lisitsa
    Bogdan Boutkevitch: Ok, you ask me “How can this be happening?” Well, it happens because Donbass, in general, is not simply a region in a very depressed condition, it has got a whole number of problems, the biggest of which is that it is severely overpopulated with people nobody has any use for. Trust me I know perfectly well what I am saying.
    If we take, for example, just the Donetsk oblast, there are approximately 4 million inhabitants, at least 1.5 million of which are superfluous. That’s what I mean: we don’t need to “understand” Donbass, we need to understand Ukrainian national interests.
    Donbass must be exploited as a resource, which it is. I don’t claim to have a quick solution recipe, but the most important thing that must be done – no matter how cruel it may sound – is that there is a certain category of people that must be exterminated.

  6. Abe
    August 14, 2014 at 10:38

    Ukrainian Government Criminalizing Support For Rebellions in the East
    Sociologist Volodymyr Ishchenko says the threat of foreign invasion by Russia cannot justify the Ukrainian government’s assault on political freedom
    Ishchenko is deputy director of the Centre for Society Research in Kiev, an editor of Commons: Journal for Social Criticism, and a lecturer in the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy.

    • Cal
      August 25, 2014 at 13:31

      Criminalizing? Supporting a violent revolution on behalf of a foreign power IS criminal. The “rebellion” in Eastern Ukraine is treasonous.

  7. Pat
    August 14, 2014 at 04:58

    @jaycee … Well, as I wrote earlier, one needs to read between the lines. It’s safe to say that bringing democracy to the people is a cover or at least window dressing on the real policy, to which you allude at the end of your comment. What might that be? Some hints:

    Ukraine’s energy intensive economy impedes growth, leaves the economy highly vulnerable to price shifts, draws government resources (in the form of subsidies) away from other priority issues, and creates dependence upon foreign energy suppliers. This dependence on foreign energy sources, particularly Russia, enables often negative influences on the country’s democratic development. Reducing this dependence is a key USG priority in Ukraine and critical to promoting western democratic principles. [p. 30]

    USAID will also support more transparent, efficient, and better regulated energy markets to foster competitiveness in the sector and incentivize greater energy efficiency and security. In addition to addressing important goals under [Global Climate Change] and [Enhancing Capacity for Low Emissions Development Strategy] initiatives, the mission places a priority on these activities due to their importance to Ukraine’s economic and political development. [p. 31]

    Gee, doesn’t that sound nice? And how exactly are they going to do that? “Energy efficiency” and greenhouse emissions are code for “natural gas.” Ukraine has vast natural gas deposits, many of which are in the east. U.S. and European companies and their financiers want a piece of the action, but before they can do that, Ukraine needs to overhaul its banking and energy sectors, including opening the state-owned natural gas company to foreign investment. But they can’t say that, can they? They have to make it sound like a great deal for the Ukrainian people instead of the pillage and plunder that it’s going to be.

    We may get to see real soon how genuine their pro-democracy goals are. There are a couple of repressive laws moving through parliament. One would allow the government to censor national and international media and to block websites on the grounds of protecting “security and national interests.” The other has to do with the judicial system. Will the U.S. or Soros (working with USAID) try to set the parliament back on a “democratic” track, or will they look the other way and put all their effort into pushing through the tax and market “reforms” (which, by the way, are conditions on the $17 billion IMF bailout approved in April). Did you happen to read that there were protestors outside the parliament? As far as I could tell, no one was giving them cookies.

    • George
      August 17, 2014 at 22:09

      One very curious footnote is the recurring central role of Vice President Joe Biden in the Ukraine events.

      Biden has been personally involved since the beginning of the protests. And unusually, it was not NATO but the website operated by Vice President Joe Biden’s office that first announced US Sea Breeze and Rapid Trident II military maneuvers on May 21, 2014.

      As well, in a brazen conflict-of-interest, Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, is a newly-named director of the Ukrainian natural gas and oil company Burisma Holdings, Ltd., owned by Ihor Kolomoisky, the Ukrainian-Israeli mafia oligarch, whose is known as the “Chameleon”).

      IIsraeli-Ukrainian oligarch living in Switzerland, Ihor Kolomoisky, called South-East pro-federalist leader, Oleg Tsarev, to inform him that the Ukrainian Jewish community was prepared to pay a bounty of $ 1 million to whoever would assassinate him. He ordered him to immediately flee the country.

      Mr. Kolomoisky holds Mr Tsarev responsible for the death of a Jewish Kiev-coup supporter on May 9 in Mariupol.
      However, a leader of the Ukrainian Jewish community, Ian Epstein, denied Mr. Kolomoisky’s allegations.

      According to him, Mr. Kolomoisky does not represent Ukrainian Jews, even though he plays an important role in the international Zionist movement.

      Ihor Kolomoisky had already proposed a reward of 10,000 dollars for each “Russian saboteur” arrested in his stronghold of Dnipropetrovsk.

      Ihor Kolomoisky is regarded as the main leader of the Ukrainian mafia. He ranks as the second or third wealthiest man in the country (after Rinat Akhmetov and/or Viktor Pinchuk). He owns the metal industry, Privat Bank and, in 2011, he took over the gas sector.

      Ihor Kolomoisky chairs the United Jewish Community of Ukraine and the European Jewish Union. He founded the European Jewish Parliament (branded as a sham by the CRIF, an umbrella organization of French Jewish organizations) with the support of Bahrain. He is the co-owner of the Jewish News One international network (currently broadcasting as Ukraine News One).

      Ihor Kolomoisky was appointed governor of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast by the junta authorities in Kiev. He played an active role in the organization of the Odessa massacre of 2 May 2014 together with his private army, the “Dnieper-1” Battalion.

      He recruited (or) R. Hunter Biden, the son of U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden, and Devon Archer, co-chairman of the finance committee for John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign, as board members of his gas holdings company

  8. jer
    August 14, 2014 at 04:21

    The strong U.S. support given to Ukraine today (State Dept’s backing for Kiev’s neo-nazis) is similar to the U.S. support given to the KLA organ-trafficking bandits in the Balkans during Bill Clinton’ time. And also similar to his infamous ‘Iraq Liberation Act’ that later resulted in the 2003 slaughter of Iraq. As well as Bill’s infamous Christmas 1998 bombing of Iraq that was covertly called Bill’s monica lewinsky bombing operation. The neo-nazis are right now having a swell time in Ukraine as a result of this great huge U.S. descent into darkness thanks to Bill Clinton who was just as bad as that eternal crop of bloodthirsty generals inside the U.S. pentagon. Perhaps, worse. Thanks for everything, Bill !

  9. Abe
    August 13, 2014 at 21:04

    David R. Marples book, Heroes and Villains: Creating National History in Contemporary Ukraine (2007), provides a concise summary (pages 308-311) of Ukraine’s twentieth-century legacy of terrorism and ethnic cleansing:

    “Under the difficult conditions of Polish rule that followed the First World War, many politically active Ukrainians chose to abandon democratic parties and reverted to extremism. In the 1920s the Communist Party of Western Ukraine (an autonomous section of the Communist Party of Poland) wielded some influence. However, by the late 1920s and early 1930s, and particularly during the period of Polish Pacification, the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), formed from the Ukrainian Military Organization (UVO), became the most dynamic of Ukrainian organizations, albeit in an underground and illegal format. The OUN was a terrorist organization devoted to attaining an independent Ukraine, and influenced by the Fascist and other authoritarian movements then prevailing in Europe. Although it was not in any way unique for its extremism, the OUN nonetheless represented a polarized political outlook. Following the rift in the organization and its division into the two wings under Bandera and Mel’nyk, the OUN continued, as earlier, to cooperate with different structures of Nazi Germany, the most likely agent of change in Eastern Europe. Following the Nazi–Soviet Pact and the division of Poland, it became clear that the OUN wished to use the anticipated German invasion to bring about political change in the territories populated by ethnic Ukrainians. The same Pact also effectively united Ukrainian territories in one entity (the Ukrainian SSR), other than the western region of Transcarpathia.

    “With the outbreak of the German–Soviet war, both wings of the OUN co-operated with the advancing German army. A distinction should be made between the OUN-M, which continued its collaboration throughout the war years, and the OUN-B, which broke with the German administration, after the latter’s failure to approve the independent Ukraine proclaimed in L’viv on 30 June 1941. The announcement of that state, on the other hand, was premature and not clearly supported by a majority of the population. It is also uncertain how severely Bandera and his followers were treated by the Germans in the initial weeks after the 30 June proclamation. Reports say that the OUN-B immediately began to oppose both the new occupiers and the Soviets appear exaggerated. With the lapse of several months, nevertheless, German intentions had been made plain, and the OUN-B, with its commitment to achieving an independent Ukraine, could no longer cooperate realistically with a former ally. The moderation of its prewar doctrine duly followed at the Third Extraordinary Congress of the OUN of 21–25 August 1943, when the “Fascist” elements of the original program were discarded. By this same date, the OUN-B had been superseded as a military formation by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, though the ideology remained that of the OUN-B, and the latter served as the guiding force for a campaign that now turned against the Soviet Union and Red Army. The turning point in this supposed transformation of OUN-B thinking was the Battle of Stalingrad, which ended on 2 February 1943, and the subsequent retreat of the German Wehrmacht. To most observers it was clear that Hitler’s Eastern campaign was doomed to failure. For Ukrainians, like others such as Lithuanians and Latvians, the only potential source of future aid for their cause was an alliance with the democratic powers of the West.

    “UPA, in turn, was prepared to take the same gamble. Its activities date from the spring of 1943, once the forces under the influence of the OUN-B had triumphed over the original band following Taras Bul’ba-Borovets’; as well as the OUN-M. Politically, placing the date of its foundation at October 1942 was expedient because it suggested that UPA’s beginnings occurred at a time when the Germans were still advancing, and the final victor in the war unpredictable. The notion, widely disseminated today, that the army turned its forces on the two totalitarian enemies simultaneously, is far-fetched. The UPA had two enemies, but the other one was the Polish population in Volhynia and Galicia. This is not to suggest that it cooperated wholeheartedly with the Germans; rather there were conflicts from the spring of 1943 to the spring of 1944 that were sporadic and largely spontaneous. By the latter date, the two sides agreed to cooperate, a move according to Peter J. Potichnyj (a young participant of the UPA shortly afterward) that was expedient from UPA’s perspective. The Germans were losing the war but were still strong enough to deliver powerful counterattacks against the advancing Red Army. Under Klyachkivs’kyi, the UPA initiated an ethnic cleansing of the Polish population of Volhynia that, as we have seen, took up to 60,000 lives. It was conducted with a brutality not seen again in Europe until the civil war in former Yugoslavia in the early 1990s. That statement is not to deny that the UPA membership was varied. It contained non-Ukrainians, former soldiers of the Red Army, and people whose ideological outlook was far from extreme. However, those who led the organization brought about a fanatical insurgent group that paid little attention to humanitarian concepts. Poland responded with attacks on the Ukrainian population that was deported from Poland from 1944 onward.

    “Once the Red Army returned to the territories inhabited by UPA, the UPA–Soviet conflict escalated to a scale unprecedented in the modern history of Ukraine. It is estimated that the population in this region was around four million (following the drastic reduction of ethnic Poles), and at least 10% of that figure had some association with the UPA according to the figures provided by the Soviet side. Two points can be made here. The first concerns the policies of the USSR toward the reoccupied region: an amnesty that seems to have been well received was followed by brutal repressions carried out by troops of the internal security forces under the leadership of party secretary Nikita Khrushchev. Simultaneously a propaganda campaign attempted to identify the UPA with the German occupiers, as collaborators and traitors. Such tactics escalated the violence. In truth what occurred can be described neither as a civil war nor a war of liberation against a foreign occupier. There were ethnic Ukrainians on both sides and—perhaps more to the point—it was mainly innocent people that wished to remain on the sidelines who became the new victims. It was a war without quarter, without any form of toleration or human decency. Further, from the Soviet perspective, Western Ukraine was not unique. The entire Western borderlands were regarded as politically untrustworthy and in need of large-scale repressions. Many who were not killed or injured were deported, further uprooting the lives of people whose had been disrupted in one way or another for the past fifteen years. The population in short was to be subdued by brutality and force and there was no question that the ruthless German occupation was to be succeeded by an equally savage, long-term Soviet one. It is posited that Soviet tactics were needless following the amnesty and they exacerbated the situation, not least by eliminating the freedom of choice for the occupied population concerning their future.

    “UPA, reorganized into a military formation under the leadership of Roman Shukhevych, offered little solace, either. Its actions were directed first and foremost at eliminating Soviet security officials and Red Army soldiers, and there is ample evidence of the location and consequences of many of these conflicts. In this sense it could be said to be defending Ukrainian lands against an occupier. On the other hand, its viciousness toward ethnic Ukrainians who opted not to join its ranks, or wavered in such a decision, was also much in evidence. As Timothy Snyder has noted, the UPA may have killed as many local Ukrainians as it did Soviet forces, and to this tragic toll must be added the Polish victims cited above. Retribution in the form of removal of limbs, or the deaths of family members of those who refused support, was common. In a fight literally to the death, there was no room for compromise. From the “killing fields” of Western Ukraine it is rather difficult to determine, in any historical narrative that can make up a modern national history, the heroes and villains. What often surprises is less the violence than how well it was organized and directed. The UPA was fighting in its view the same powers that had persecuted Ukrainians and destroyed their national culture in the 1930s. But it was also fighting its own people, and since 1940, such in-fighting had regularly resulted in butchery, even among people whose political outlook was similar. It epitomized the polarization of political life in Ukrainian territories that were yet to fall under Soviet rule and it is difficult to portray the period other than as the saddest chapter in the long history of Ukrainians.”

  10. Abe
    August 13, 2014 at 21:02

    Some history of the Galician SS Division:

    After the failure at the Battle of Stalingrad in 1943, the Germans belatedly recruited manpower from the former Soviet states they still occupied. Thousands of Ukranians volunteered to join the 14th Waffen-Grenadier Division of the SS, Halychyna (Galicia) No. 1.

    A special commando unit from the Division was alleged to have committed various atrocities, including killing 1,500 civilians in L’viv and burning the settlement of Oles’ko, causing the deaths of 300 inhabitants. The Division was encircled and routed by Soviet forces in the summer of 1944. It was reformed and transferred to Slovakia for anti-partisan duties. In March 1945, the Germans authorized the formation of a Ukrainian National Army to which the Division was attached.

    With the defeat of Germany in April 1945, most Division troops surrendered to the British. The Ukrainian POWs spent almost two years in Italy and were eventually permitted to enter the UK. Many later immigrated to North America.

  11. Pat
    August 13, 2014 at 18:38

    Here is the plan, sort of:

    Ukraine Country Development Cooperation Strategy, 2012-2016, produced by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

    USAID is technically an independent organization, but in practice it works so closely with the State Department that it’s an arm of State. Historically, USAID has been a cover for CIA operations abroad. Russia threw it out of the country in September 2012 for supporting anti-government activists. A few months earlier, a group of South American countries signed a resolution to do likewise, specifically citing USAID activities to destabilize their governments (not all of them followed through). The U.S. plot to destabilize Cuba through social media was carried out through USAID.

    Of course, this report is the official U.S. spin. You’ll have to read between the lines and translate some of the euphemisms. And of course it doesn’t talk about the insidious means the agency is using to achieve its noble-sounding goals. Nonetheless, there are clues. For example, it says USAID is the largest donor to the Ukrainian parliament, and it gives money to political parties in Ukraine. It also says (which I knew) that it has been operating in Ukraine for 20 years.

    • Pat
      August 13, 2014 at 18:42

      Oops … this comment was meant to be a reply to Lynne above, who asked whether the American people were being let in on the plan.

      • jaycee
        August 13, 2014 at 21:06

        One of the interesting things about the document you shared is a Development Hypothesis on page 20, which lists “long-standing problems” and identifies means by which the problems can be addressed:

        “The development hypothesis is that by supporting key government reforms and democratic ways of adopting them, more inclusive methods of policy development, improved legislative processes, and greater citizen and judicial oversight of government action, the transparency of government actions will be increased and government accountability to citizens and to the rule of law will be reinforced, leading to a more stable and democratic Ukraine.”

        Even if the coup can be considered a “government reform”, it seems every single goal listed is now much further away from fulfillment precisely because of the coup and the resulting chaos. Whereas the negotiated deal on the table ahead of the coup was much more in keeping with USAID’s stated desires. So why did the US move so quickly to assert the legitimacy of the coup? It appears another policy was in place.

  12. Yar
    August 13, 2014 at 18:06

    And there are many things that don’t appear in the Western media at all. For example, “military tourism” (it was told by Ukrainian Nazis themselves) – anyone can shoot using an artillery to civilian homes etc (in direction of cities and villges) for the money. Foreign “tourists” are welcomed. A nice stroke…

  13. Ann
    August 13, 2014 at 15:33

    The Wolfsangel and Celtic Cross are banned as “symbols of unconstitutional organisations” under German Strafgesetzbuch (Criminal Code) § 86a. The prohibition is not tied to the symbol itself but to its use in a context suggestive of association with outlawed organizations. Thus, the Wolfsangel is outlawed if used in the context of neo-Nazi organizations but not in other contexts such as heraldry or art. The Swastika is outlawed if used in a context of völkisch ideology, while it is legitimate if used as a symbol of Hinduism, Jainism or Buddhism.

    Symbols known to fall under the law include:
    • the Swastika as a symbol of the Nazi Party, prohibited in all variants, including mirrored, inverted etc.
    • the Wolfsangel
    • the Celtic cross in the variant used by the White Power movement. The legal status of the symbol used in non-political contexts is uncertain, but non-political use is not acted upon in practice
    • the solar cross as a symbol of the Ku Klux Klan
    • the Sig rune as used by the SS
    • the Sturmabteilung (Storm Trooper) emblem

  14. jaycee
    August 13, 2014 at 15:10

    Alexander Cockburn wrote a column around the time of the first Gulf War trying to come to grips with how the mainstream media was so successful in promoting false narratives, even in the face of contradictory evidence. He identified a key element: a floating context-free temporal landscape always in the present tense, what he called “the eternal present”. A current example is the Malaysian airliner, which has been almost completely dropped from the news cycle – such that one has to pause and deliberately think back to remember the media frenzy which culminated with mug shots of Putin and the word “Pariah” splashed across the covers of newsweeklies almost everywhere. That was only 2-3 weeks ago.

    As for the neo-nazis, despite the efforts to downplay their significance, they were the critical driving force behind the February coup and subsequent destabilization of the country. Here, on February 21, the NY Times describes the mediated political settlement reached in Kiev, including information that the neo-nazi’s in the Maidan believed they held veto power over the deal. It also describes anger and heated emotions in the aftermath of the sniper attacks, blamed on Yanukovych, as driving the Maidan protesters to protest the agreement. (Later, Kiev’s own prosecutor would concede that the sniper attacks were staged from a building entirely controlled by Right Sector. At that point the investigation was wrapped up).

  15. lynne
    August 13, 2014 at 13:39

    I am far more concerned with Fascist Nazis than Putin. What surprises me is that Putin helped Obama get out of a jam in Syria not long ago. What is the rationale for picking a fight with Russia? Is it all because the previous President of Ukraine chose the Russian package over the EU austerity plan? Or are we still trying to control as much territory adjacent to Russia as possible?
    I wish “the people” of America were let in on the plan. I wish we knew WHO really calls the shots. All of these decisions are done in our name. We deserve to know.

    • Bo
      August 14, 2014 at 13:06

      At the end,only poor and innocent will suffer. in USA,Russia,Ukraine and so on…

  16. August 13, 2014 at 13:32

    When the elected government of Ukraine was overthrown in Kiev, video showed the Confederate flag hoisted on a prominent column. What can also be seen on this video is that the symbol of Stormfront, the neo-Nazi organization, is situated just in front of the Confederate flag.

    The editor of Stormfront, Lewis Doherty, was one of the chief supremacist witnesses against the Confederate Memorial Association (CMA) museum and library in Washington, D.C., which resulted in the closing of the facility.

    Doherty’s testimony echoed that of Richard Hines, who provided significant funding for Kirk Lyons, the neo-Nazi lawyer known for representing a whole host of white supremacist organizations.

    Both witnesses objected to the non-racist cultural objectives of the century-old organization and therefore wanted white supremacist causes to be undertaken by the group. The CMA preferred to close the facility rather than to accede to the white supremacist demands.

    I much later discovered that the lawyer for most of the litigation against the CMA was a principle in a front organization known as Wrightmon USA, which was being paid $15,000 per month to represent apartheid South Africa’s Rio Tinto mining operations.

    John Edward Hurley

    • ken
      August 20, 2014 at 21:43

      What’s the deal with the Confederate flag? It has no association with this part of the world only the Sotheastern slave states during the American civil war

  17. Abe
    August 13, 2014 at 13:12

    The current geopolitical situation in Ukraine is aptly symbolized by a Hakenkreuz or angled cross, specifically in the form of a Wolfsangel or wolf-hook.

    A Wolfsangel is a wolf-hunting device, used in a similar way as a fishing hook. It is attached on a chain which is anchored to a tree or similar stout object, and a bait is put on the hook. When the wolf eats the bait, it swallows the hook. The chain prevents the wolf from escaping, and it can be killed at will.

    The Wolfsangel was the symbol of the 2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich, an elite German division fighting primarily on the Eastern Front during World War II. During Operation Barbarossa in 1941, Das Reich fought in the battles of the Dnieper River crossings, Smolensk, Kiev and Vyasma. It was in the spearhead of the failed attempt to capture Moscow. In 1943, after the catastrophic defeat of German forces at Stalingrad, Das Reich helped recapture Kharkov and was thrown into the titanic battle of Kursk.

    Thus the Wolfsangel symbol recalls the most violent and bloody battles against what variously described in Nazi propaganda as “Jewish Bolshevik subhumans”, the “Mongol hordes”, the “Asiatic flood” and the “red beast.”

    After World War II, the Wolfsangel symbol has been used by some Neo-Nazi organizations, including the Svoboda party in Ukraine. Today we see the same vicious Nazi propaganda lines invoked by the post-coup regime in Kiev in its “anti-terrorist” campaign in eastern Ukraine.

    Mainstream media deliberately ignore the fact that Svoboda (formerly known as the Social-National Party of Ukraine in a deliberate inversion of National-Socialism) and Right Sector armed neo-Nazi militants exploited the largely peaceful Maidan anti-government protests, and violently seized power in Kiev. Neo-Nazis leaders were given key positions in the post-coup government.

    Immediately after the putsch, the new regime proceeded to saddle the nation with IMF debt and suppress political opposition, particularly among the ethnic Russian citizenry of southern and eastern Ukraine. This led directly to referendum and secession in the region of Crimea, calls for referendum in the Kharkiv, Donetsk and Luhansk regions, and today’s armed conflict.

    Thanks to the US/NATO sponsors of the post-coup regime, the Wolfangel banner is flying over Ukraine.

    The question is: how long will the world continue to take the bait?

    • Cyril
      August 13, 2014 at 15:32

      From France/Paris

      How long to understand ?? maybe a conflict . We can see how US-UE-OTAN are Arogant and cinycal to justify business.
      I me french, my girlfriend is Russian, shame on me with UE sanction, she laugh and she dont mind, Russia will choose East and BRICS, they pay attention to East Ukraine population with help(donation for people) they are just upset.

    • Deleze
      August 26, 2014 at 16:31

      Another deed of “Das Reich” the slaughter of the whole population (800 to 900 persons, including about 250 children) in the village of ORADOUR -sur-Glane near LIMOGES in France. The village was burnt. The ruins can still be seen today.

  18. Zachary Smith
    August 13, 2014 at 11:46

    Those neo-nazis were recruited, armed, and paid by Western backers. Why they don’t get more news coverage is an interesting issue which needs more investigation. But it is a fact the coverage is minimal to nonexistent.

    “The Ukrainian offensive against the ethnic Russian rebels also has attracted neo-Nazis from around Europe. “Mr. Biletsky says he has men from Ireland, Italy, Greece and Scandinavia,” the Telegraph reported.”

    But the general technique is a mirror image of what was done to create ISIS. Assemble fanatical goons from all over the place, and send them out to do your dirty work. Immensely cheaper than doing the same job with your soldiers, and you can pretend you aren’t involved.

    BTW, I’ve noticed that the backers of ISIS aren’t getting any publicity either. From reading the news stories, a person would assume the group just appeared out of thin air.

    Tin-foil-hat time: Perhaps the massive increase in the Homeland Security stuff in the US is related to the new goon-recruitment method of combat. Militarizing the local police everywhere could be designed to make it harder for other nations to turn the tables on the US and begin using the technique against the Homeland. Notice also how those local police are being encouraged to have hair-trigger reactions and violently arrest (or kill) anybody who even back-talks them. And almost always they get away with it.

    All these issues may be related.

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