US & Ukraine at UN Refuse to Condemn Nazism

The Ukrainian vote against the U.N. resolution against Nazism was motivated by sympathy for the ideology of historic, genocidal active Nazis. It is as simple as that, writes Craig Murray.

Members of the special Ukrainian neo-Nazi police regiment Azov in 2014. (My News24, CC BY 3.0, Wikimedia Commons)

By Craig Murray

This is verbatim from the official report of the U.N. General Assembly plenary of Dec. 16:

“The Assembly next took up the report on ‘Elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance,’ containing two draft resolutions.

“By a recorded vote of 130 in favour to 2 against (Ukraine, United States), with 49 abstentions, the Assembly then adopted draft resolution I, ‘Combating glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance’.” It goes on:

“By its terms, the Assembly expressed deep concern about the glorification of the Nazi movement, neo?Nazism and former members of the Waffen SS organization, including by erecting monuments and memorials, holding public demonstrations in the name of the glorification of the Nazi past, the Nazi movement and neo-Nazism, and declaring or attempting to declare such members and those who fought against the anti-Hitler coalition, collaborated with the Nazi movement and committed war crimes and crimes against humanity ‘participants in national liberation movements’.

Further, the Assembly urged States to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination by all appropriate means, including through legislation, urging them to address new and emerging threats posed by the rise in terrorist attacks incited by racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance, or in the name of religion or belief. It would call on States to ensure that education systems develop the necessary content to provide accurate accounts of history, as well as promote tolerance and other international human rights principles. It likewise would condemn without reservation any denial of or attempt to deny the Holocaust, as well as any manifestation of religious intolerance, incitement, harassment or violence against persons or communities on the basis of ethnic origin or religious belief.”

Torchlight march in honor of the anniversary of the birth of Stepan Bandera, Ukrainian wartime fascist leader, Kyiv, January 1, 2015 (VO Svoboda/cc-by-3.0/Wikimedia Commons)

In Ukraine, support for the Ukrainian nationalist divisions who fought alongside the Nazis has become, over the last eight years, the founding ideology of the modern post-2013 Ukrainian state (which is very different from the diverse Ukrainian state which briefly existed 1991-2013). The full resolution on Nazism and racism passed by the General Assembly is lengthy,  but these provisions in particular were voted against by the United States and by the Ukraine:

  • “Emphasizes the recommendation of the Special Rapporteur that ‘any commemorative celebration of the Nazi regime, its allies and related organizations, whether official or unofficial, should be prohibited by States’, also emphasizes that such manifestations do injustice to the memory of the countless victims of the Second World War and negatively influence children and young people, and stresses in this regard that it is important that States take measures, in accordance with international human rights law, to counteract any celebration of the Nazi SS organization and all its integral parts, including the Waffen SS;

  • Expresses concern about recurring attempts to desecrate or demolish monuments erected in remembrance of those who fought against Nazism during the Second World War, as well as to unlawfully exhume or remove the remains of such persons, and in this regard urges States to fully comply with their relevant obligations, inter alia, under article 34 of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions of 1949;

  • Condemns without reservation any denial or attempt to deny the Holocaust;

  • Welcomes the call of the Special Rapporteur for the active preservation of those Holocaust sites that served as Nazi death camps, concentration and forced labour camps and prisons, as well as his encouragement of States to take measures, including legislative, law enforcement and educational measures, to put an end to all forms of Holocaust denial.”

As reported in The Times of Israelhundreds took part in a demonstration in Kiev in May and others throughout Ukraine, in honor of a specific division of the SS. That is but one march and one division — glorification of its Nazi past is a mainstream part of Ukrainian political culture.

Protesters in Kiev with neo-Nazi symbols – SS-Volunteer Division “Galicia” and Patriot of Ukraine flags, 2014. (CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons)

In 2018 a bipartisan letter by 50 U.S. representatives condemned multiple events commemorating Nazi allies held in Ukraine with official Ukrainian government backing.

There are no two ways about it. The Ukrainian vote against the U.N. resolution against Nazism was motivated by sympathy for the ideology of historic, genocidal active Nazis. It is as simple as that.

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The United States claims that its vote against was motivated by concern for freedom of speech. We have the Explanation of Vote that the United States gave at the committee stage:

“The United States Supreme Court has consistently affirmed the constitutional right to freedom of speech and the rights of peaceful assembly and association, including by avowed Nazis”

That sounds good and noble. But consider this — why does the United States government believe that avowed Nazis have freedom of speech, but that Julian Assange does not? You can have freedom of speech to advocate the murder of Jews and immigrants, but not to reveal U.S. war crimes?

Imperial Interests

Ukrainian volunteer battalion members with neo-Nazi Wolfsangel symbol, July 24, 2014. (CC BY 3.0, Wikimedia Commons)

Why was the U.S. government targeting journalists in the invasion of Iraq? The U.S. believes in freedom of speech when it serves its imperial interests. It does not do so otherwise. This is the very worst kind of high-sounding hypocrisy, in aid of defending the Nazis in Ukraine.

The second reason the United States gives is that Russia is making the whole thing up:

“a document most notable for its thinly veiled attempts to legitimize Russian disinformation campaigns denigrating neighboring nations and promoting the distorted Soviet narrative of much of contemporary European history, using the cynical guise of halting Nazi glorification” 

The problem here is that it is very difficult to portray The Times of Israel or 50 bipartisan U.S. congressional representatives as a Russian disinformation campaign. There is no historical doubt whatsoever of Ukrainian nationalist forces’ active support of Nazism and participation in genocide, not just of Jews and Roma but of Poles and religious minorities. There is no doubt whatsoever of the modern glorification in Ukraine of these evil people.

Memorial cross marking the place in the Kaunas district of Lithuania where Juozas Luksa died. (Vilensija, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons)

It is of course not just Ukraine. In Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania the record of collaboration with Nazis, of active participation in fighting for Nazis, and in active participation in genocide is extremely shaming. Throughout Eastern Europe there is a failure in these “victim nations” to look history squarely in the eye and to admit what happened — a failure the United States in actually promoting as “a campaign against Russian disinformation”.

I recommend to you the website  Defending History, run by the admirable David Katz, which is a large and valuable resource on this website from a Lithuanian Jewish perspective that cannot remotely be dismissed as Russian or left-wing propaganda. The front page currently features the December 2021 naming of a square in the capital after Lithuanian “freedom fighter” Juokas Luksa “Daumantas,” a man who commenced the massacre of Jews in Vilnius ahead of the arrival of German forces.

These are precisely the kind of commemorations the resolution is against. There has been a rash of destruction of Soviet war memorials and even war graves, and erection of commemorations, in various form, of Nazis throughout the Baltic states. That is what paras 6 and 7 of the resolution refer to, and there is no doubt whatsoever of the truth of these events. It is not “Russian disinformation.”

However the European Union, in support of its Baltic states members and their desire to forget or deny historical truth and to build a new national myth expunging their active role in the genocide of their Jewish and Roma populations, would not support the U.N.Resolution on Nazism. The EU countries abstained, as did the U.K.. The truth of course is that NATO intends to use the descendants of Eastern European racists against Russia much as Hitler did, at least in a cold war context.

You won’t find that in the Explanation of Vote.

Craig Murray is an author, broadcaster and human rights activist. He was British ambassador to Uzbekistan from August 2002 to October 2004 and rector of the University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010. His coverage is entirely dependent on reader support. Subscriptions to keep this blog going are gratefully received.

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18 comments for “US & Ukraine at UN Refuse to Condemn Nazism

  1. December 24, 2021 at 20:09

    Bear in mind, most of the collaboration with Nazis in WWII was due to the common hatred of Josef Stalin, and the Nazis were seen as saviors when they invaded the Soviet Union. Conservative estimates are that Stalin’s purges and farm collectivization policies resulted in 4 million Ukrainian deaths. Other estimates are as high as 7 million Ukrainians died of his policies. Is it any wonder that Ukrainians were pissed off at Stalin and supported the Nazi invasion? Then, following the defeat of the Nazis, there were reprisals against those Ukrainians who collaborated.

    There had always been antipathy between Kiev and Moscow from Moscow’s very beginning in the 11th century. But it never reached the level it did in the 1930’s under Stalin’s rule. Ukrainians haven’t forgotten and they haven’t forgiven and those who collaborated with the Nazis in their effort to defeat the Stalinist regime were then, and still are, considered heroes.

  2. Mareks Vilkins
    December 24, 2021 at 14:56

    “In Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania the record of collaboration with Nazis, of active participation in fighting for Nazis, and in active participation in genocide is extremely shaming. Throughout Eastern Europe there is a failure in these “victim nations” to look history squarely in the eye and to admit what happened”

    I would suggest you do your homework before accusing whole nations:

    On the Margins: About the History of Jews in Estonia
    By Anton Weiss-Wendt

    History of Latvia Jews by Josifs Šteimanis

    or Andrew Ezergailis works published by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

  3. December 24, 2021 at 12:48

    The distance between freedom of speech (presumably, speaking the truth) and freedom to ruthlessly mass murder is … well, like really, really, REALLY far…

    Peace on Earth in 2022….

  4. NotEuclid
    December 24, 2021 at 06:49

    The Soviet Union took prisoners not limited to scientists.

    The centre of Minsk was rebuilt by prisoners of war as were other cities including Briansk, whilst other prisoners of war helped rebuild Soviet industry and other assets, primarily in the “European Republics” but not limited to such republics, which had been destroyed by those who became prisoners of war.

    Prisoners of war also worked in mining and other industries in “The Soviet Union”.

    This policy was informed by Soviet juridical notions of “education through labour.” and rendered necessary by exclusion from the “Marshall Plan”

    The prisoners of war were mostly repatriated by 1955.

      December 24, 2021 at 07:33

      The reference was to Operation Osoaviakhim, not POWs.

  5. Adam Gorelick
    December 23, 2021 at 17:24

    The U.S. vote against the U.N. resolution shouldn’t come as much of a shock given the hypocritical, rhetorical crap about respecting “freedoms” coming out of Washington. “…promoting the distorted Soviet narrative…using the cynical guise of halting Nazi glorification.” Part of the self-promoting American narrative of WWII, of course, is that Russia didn’t play an indispensable role in crushing Hitler’s forces and winning the war; it was the U.S.A. that saved the world. Though, funnily enough, the Soviets didn’t bring Nazi scientists to their country and give them lucrative employment. But The United States has a long history of facilitating coups in favour or support of dictatorships and racist nationalist movements – or arming and training “moderate rebels”. Salafi Jihadism in Syria, neo-nazism in Bolivia…if it’s good for business it’s good for America. Though most commentary coming from the Israeli press or pro- Israeli organizations on Ukrainian fascism betrays a certain irony given the state’s own morally repugnant racist policies toward Palestinians – tacitly supported by the U.S.A. for geopolitical gain.

      December 23, 2021 at 17:39

      But the Soviets did bring back Nazi scientists to work for them too. Their version of Operation Paper Clip. hXXps://

    • December 24, 2021 at 20:14

      “If it’s good for General Bullmoose, it’s good for America”. – Al Capp

  6. Ian Stevenson
    December 23, 2021 at 16:18

    I expect the Soviet government did not intend a famine. Russians also died.
    It was incompetence. There is a list of Historians supporting this view. I won’t list them here but include Stalin’s biographer Stephen Kotkin, Wheatcroft and Getty.
    Historians can analyse but the truth often comes second to what people think was the history. A serious historian has to take that into account.

  7. Sekhmetnakt
    December 23, 2021 at 11:15

    As always the only “disinformation campaign” is being waged by the US Empire, not Russia. The US Empire reveals it’s true philosophy of fascism not democracy. Fascism not freedom of speech. Fascism not human rights. And crypto fascist neoliberals like Biden want us to go to (nuclear) war with Russia to support Ukrainian fascists, and fascism in general. Disgusting antisemitism and fascism is not “patriotic”, but rather purely treasonous.

  8. Vera Gottlieb
    December 23, 2021 at 10:09

    Way to go !!! All the soldiers who gave their lives fighting Nazism must be turning in their graves. I would not expect better from Ukraine – but from the US??? Shame on you, war mongering Yanx.

  9. Dfnslblty
    December 23, 2021 at 09:15

    usa’s excuses for its “no vote” at the UN are specious at best.
    Violence is not protected speech.
    usa’s vote at the UN is wrong and shameful — it represents the republic’s fascist and undemocratic posture.

    Russia is not the enemy — the enemy is the internal inequalities and injustices perpetrated by scotus and oligarchs in congress.

    Protest Loudly!

  10. mgr
    December 23, 2021 at 08:25

    Three cheers for a rules-based international order: “We make the rules. You follow them…”

  11. NotEuclid
    December 23, 2021 at 07:59

    “glorification of its Nazi past is a mainstream part of Ukrainian political culture.”

    It was also in Scotland including Crail, Dundee, Edinburgh, Forfar and Kirriemuir although lessening with the years including Mr. Gecas and his associates, informed by notions that abscence makes the heart grown fonder, whilst familiarity breeds contempt, conditioning your assertion as does “.How representative the pro Naxis are I don’t know but we have them too.”

  12. Ian Stevenson
    December 23, 2021 at 06:12

    No way do I want to support the legacy of Nazism. When the Germans invaded Ukraine they were often welcomed and, many fought with them. The main reason was four million (Britannica but figures are estimates) died in the famine induced by Stalin. Watching one’s family die of starvation tends to incalcate lasting hatreds. It is not hard to see why so many signed up to the opponents of communism and Russia. It does not excuse the participation in the actions against minorities like the Jews. But brutalised populations do brutal things. They were not the only East Europeans to give support to the Holocaust.
    Seeing some of the reactions to refugees crossing the Channel, I am sure if we Brits had been in that situation, a number of our people would have done the same.
    Sevety plus years later I would hope the Ukrainians could take a different view. Most don’t want to be too close to Russia and see the societies of the EU as a model. How representative the pro Naxis are I don’t know but we have them too.
    The Holocaust is rightly remembered. Why is the other holocaust forgotten?

    • Em
      December 23, 2021 at 07:55

      The distortions of logic applied selectively = amoral hypocrisy
      The migrant founding Jews of the State of Israel, who survived the Holocaust of Nazism, were of “brutalised populations” so let’s let their descendants off the hook, for all of eternity, for the “brutal things” they are inflicting on the Arab Palestinian populations, in the name of selective nationalism. Say one word against this state inflicted brutality and be branded and sullied as a Judeophobe – anti-Semite.
      “Watching one’s family die of starvation tends to inculcate lasting hatreds”, but Arab Palestinians and their supporters, worldwide, should not display even the slightest aversion to the Zionist state, which has been, to put it mildly, brutalizing them for generations now!
      Is it any wonder that the U.S. votes against the majority, in a U.N. General Assembly plenary session (Dec. 16th 2021) ‘Combating glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fueling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance’?”
      If the U.S. had not voted against, then they would have had to condemn Israel, and perhaps, even reflect on their own sordid conduct, both globally and domestically, for generations.
      A wee dram of free speech, if still permissible!

      • Ian Stevenson
        December 23, 2021 at 10:09

        I am pointing out that people get put in circumstances not of their own making and they make choices where there are no good options. People being people often take sides and thinking after that is doing everything to confirm.their choice. Let’s be thankful we were never put into that position.
        Their descendents do have a choice and many Ukrainians reject the neo Nazi past. A lot don’t as Craid Murray points out.
        As for Palestine I agree with your view and have argued elsewhere that Israel is oppressing the Arabs and they should have their state. The main reason they don’t is American support for Israel. They could enforce it by not vetoing UN resolutions and supplying billions of aid and weapons.

    • DocHollywood
      December 23, 2021 at 10:06

      “The main reason was four million (Britannica but figures are estimates) died in the famine induced by Stalin.”

      The claim that Stalin or the USSR deliberately caused the famine – called “The Holodomor”, also known as the Terror-Famine or the Great Famine – in which millions died is mythologized in neo-Nazi propaganda and is cited as if it’s an established historical fact that the USSR deliberately starved millions of Ukrainians to death in 1932-1933 as justification for Ukrainian Nazi-collaboration. But not all historians agree.

      “There is no evidence it (the famine) was intentionally directed against Ukrainians. That would be totally out of keeping with what we know — it makes no sense.”
      – Alexander Dallin, Professor of International History, Stanford University; previously Director of the Russian Institute at Columbia University and of the Center for Russian and East European Studies, author of ‘German Rule in Russia, 1941-45,’ a study of Hitler’s occupation of parts of Russia during World War II, “which remains the definitive work on that subject and won the Wolfson Prize for history” – ‘Alexander Dallin, 76, Dies; Precise Historian of Russia,’ NYT obituary, July 27, 2000

      “This {Holodomer) is crap, rubbish. I am an anti- Stalinist, but I don’t see how this [genocide] campaign adds to our knowledge. It’s adding horrors, adding horrors, until it becomes a pathology.”
      – Moshe Lewin, Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania, author of Russian Peasants and Soviet Power
      ‘An ardent anti-Stalinist. . .one of the foremost scholars of Soviet history’ – The Guardian obituary, September 27, 2010

      “I absolutely reject it. Why in god’s name would this paranoid government consciously produce a famine when they were terrified of war [with Germany]?”
      – Lynne Viola , the first US historian to examine Moscow’s Central State Archive on collectivization.
      Professor of History, University of Toronto. author of Stalinist Perpetrators on Trial: Scenes from the Great Terror in Soviet Ukraine, The Unknown Gulag: The Lost World of Stalin’s Special Settlements, Peasant Rebels Under Stalin, The Best Sons of the Fatherland.

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