If you don’t want or can’t see what’s going on, you won’t even see it.
By Nat South for the Saker Blog
This article covers three aspects related to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, namely an overview of how a noxious brand of Ukrainian fascism has shaped an all-pervading attitude at top levels. Some instances of malfeasance shown at the top levels of the Ukrainian government are also highlighted. The article also outlines how this unsettling mindset has seeped into military tactics on the ground. Lastly, this article contains part 2 of an inglorious roll call of commonplace hatred in Ukraine to show the extent of unadulterated hatred.
A distinct Ukrainian brand of fascism became the dominant political force by embedding itself into all aspects of Ukrainian society as well as political structures. Specific aspects of this were dealt with in a previous article (Just a handful…).
To say that there are hundreds of hotspots of Bandera glorifiers scattered throughout Ukraine may be an understatement. The worship, the reverence of Stepan Bandera, Roman Shukhevych are disconcerting but well-known. It is surreal and riddled with mind-boggling contradictions, (see image below). Coming from an alleged 1000+ year old country, basing its most revered national heroes on WWII era Nazi collaborators is simply phantasmagorical on all levels. In fact, the whole essence of Ukrainian nationalism is underpinned by:
- promoting the hatred of Russian speakers;
- portraying Russia as a hostile state against the Ukrainian people;
- glorification of the Ukrainian military and volunteer units, in the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) in Donbass;
- glorification of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA and OUN) that carried out widespread acts of horrific ethnic cleansing of Jews and Poles during WWII, (that fought the Soviets, sometimes collaborating with the Germans).
- allowing the praise and positive image of Ukrainian manned SS units and WWII death squads as national heroes.
In short, being “pro-Ukrainian” hinges on a blend of:
- modern-day vile hatred for Russians, Roma, Jews and others,
- readily accepting the notion of ethnic cleansing to protect the state,
- promotion of fascist ideologies.
How can this even be remotely ‘healthy’ or an acceptable part of a democratic society?
Post-Maidan Ukraine reflects a series of incongruous juxtapositions, many of which are disturbing and would be shocking for ordinary Europeans if they were fully aware and not perpetually mislead by complicit MSM outlets. Take one example where the state symbols of Ukraine are interwoven with openly UPA — OUN elements: the utterance of “Glory to Ukraine”. Then there is a tweet (now deleted) by the Ukrainian parliament:
”Outstanding figures in the history of Ukraine”
The Ukrainian government went as far as introducing legislation that gave a privileged status of WW2 “protagonists” and UPA veterans were regularly commemorated, where Kiev legalised the SS Galicia symbols, not considered as Nazi, and SS members were feted in the Western parts of Ukraine. In contrast, the term “Great Patriotic War” was officially abolished.
Very few Ukrainians have relatives that fought with the UPA or belonged to the OUN, including ironically Zelensky’s grandfather. The public remembrance ceremonies of those who fought against WWII Nazism were subverted and strongly discouraged, whereas those who fought against the Soviets were openly revered without any hindrance on the part of authorities or law enforcement.
Two excerpts of the normalcy of fascism:
When 15,000 people in 2014 (just one of many marches in support of UPA-OUN leaders since 2014) shout “Heil Bandera”, adorned with various neo-Nazi insignia and flags, especially during marches on Bandera’s birthday.
Often accompanied by shouts of “Hang the Moskals (on the lamppost/ tree/ branch)!” or “Muscovites to the knife” (stab the Moskals, “Москалей на ножи!”) or “Suitcase, station, Russia” (“чемодан вокзал Россия”), along with singing the praises for Bandera, “Bandera our father“.
Ukraine has a long-standing fixation with Bandera, take for example postage issued in 2009 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of Stephen Bandera. Plus, another postage stamp dedicated to Roman Shukhevych the year before. Did Norway ever issue a stamp to commemorate Quisling in the last 20 years? Or maybe France, a modern-era stamp to honour Petain or Laval? Simply unthinkable but this is precisely what Ukraine did.
Another simple example: when Kiev city authorities renamed two major thoroughfares in 2016, as part of the decommunization process, one is Bandera Avenue and the other one, (you guessed it) was renamed in honour of Shukhevych. Previously, it had been named after a Soviet general, Vatutin, who was killed during WWII by the UPA.
The concept of a warped Ukrainian national identity has deep UPA-OUN roots,
Post-2014 governments gradually sought to change and ban the language and cultural identity of Hungarian, Greek, Rusyn and Russian minorities in Ukraine. The result is a rebranding of an ideology and leaders into something considered to be an intangible definition of being the “right kind” of Ukrainian.
The nefarious rabbit hole goes much deeper
Joining the dots: starting with this extract of interviews by President Zelensky’s advisor, Aleksey Arestovich, offers a exclusive first-person glimpse into the overriding mindset at work, to be found at the highest level of Ukrainian officialdom. Straight off, the 2nd segment is part of an interview on Ukrainian TV. These statements are filled with absolute malfeasance and contempt for democracy and note the praise for ISIS leadership and their inhumane treatment
“Cruelty for show. It is inhuman but it is of a very high level, a wise strategy.”
So that was one example, here is another glimpse to get a fuller understanding. Once more, a banal insight, of someone in a government that was supposed to implement the Minsk agreements, to stop the conflict in Donbass. The discourse presented shows a blunt refusal to even consider implementing the Minsk agreements, “a middle-finger to the right and left and at the same time — also to Russia and the West”.
These videos speak volumes about the level of radicalisation that exists in Ukraine. Western officials have not spoken out about this mindset or the level of pure hatred that is considered as normalcy.
Another aspect to this prevailing malfeasance is when President Zelensky announced that prisoners with combat experience and ex-ATO participants were to be released from custody in the country. While orders were given for weapons to be handed to all and sundry, causing a spate of shootings, killings, robberies, and criminal gang shootouts. The surreal response justifying the release of criminals by a Ukrainian official is remarkable and once more offers a unique insight into the mindset.
One example of a freed criminal: Daniil Dashuk of Belarus (former member of the notorious Special Police ‘Tornado’ Battalion). The only ‘volunteer’ unit that ended up being disbanded, with several members prosecuted and jailed for inhumane treatment while serving in the ATO, known for raping minors in front of parents and committing senseless killings. One of the commanders was Ruslan Onishchenko, a bone fide Ukrainian Nazi. Now let loose to fight, kill and torture again by Zelensky.
Enter once more, Aleksey Arestovich, the one who praised ISIS cruelty, who also argued that “international humanitarian laws or the laws of war don’t apply in this conflict“.
Ukrainian military strategy is heavily focused on using cities and civilian infrastructure as cover for military action. An example of this is the shopping centre in Kiev that was used for artillery and MRLS units. There is overwhelming evidence for them using civilian residences as firing positions, placing artillery, (video of civilians protesting), placing APC near civilian areas. Furthermore, Azov in Mariupol has deliberately used many multi-storey housing with civilians as hostages. This ugly aspect was picked up by The Washington Post.
Extract from Washington Post March 2022
The Washington Post article adds:
Increasingly, Ukrainians are confronting an uncomfortable truth:The military’s understandable impulse to defend against Russian attacks could be [is]putting civilians in the crosshairs.Virtually every neighborhood in most cities has become militarized, […]
No one of the people interviewed coming out from Mariupol said that the Ukrainian military and Azov never provided any help, no water, no food and not even any help with injured, ill civilians or kids. Instead, there is the opposite, as noted by an Al Jazeera reporter:
The question regarding why is the Ukrainian military using civilians as cover is answered to some extent by the callous attitudes espoused by Aleksey Arestovich in the videos.
Large chunks of modern-day Ukrainian identity have piggybacked on WWII fascism. The downplaying & standing by the actions of Ukrainian nationalists by Western media & “experts “is despicable. This now translated into total contempt for civilians, now seen as expendable in the pursuit of Ukrainian national interests.
PART 2 — The roll call of pure hatred
(Part 1 is the 1st article on blog)
Each day more banal vile hatred comes to the surface in Ukraine. The thin veneer of hatred is becoming less hidden each day. Of course, there are many who simply want to gloss over the jarring and remarkably clear examples of everyday fascist attitudes coupled with a virulent hatred for Russia and Russian speakers in Ukraine.
Ex-Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine (2016-2019), Volodymyr Omelyan said on Ukrainian Lviv NTA TV channel:
“I hope that the discussion about good Russians and bad Russians will be completed with a short conclusion: a good Russian or just a Muscovite, (Moskal) is a dead Muscovite.” […] “But bad Russians are like that from birth, and you shouldn’t talk about them at all.”
He has enlisted in the Territorial Defense in Kiev at the beginning of the Russian military intervention. Previously he stated the following:
“Democracies will always win. Maybe it will take longer than everybody expects. But Putin has chosen the path of Hitler. And we already know how Hitler ends.”
Now the list so far:
- International funded Ukrainian medical agency head recommendation to castrate Russian prisoners.
- Mayor of Konotop, Artem Semenikhin, stating that Russians are cockroaches in a PBS interview;
- Government-funded bodies saying Russians are impure half-castes on Twitter;
- Ukrainian ambassador to Germany praising Azov and other neo-Nazis;
- Calls for the assassination of Russian pilots’ families (Part 1);
- Medical head instructing the castration of Russian prisoners, (Part 1)
- Ukraine soldiers shooting captured Russian soldiers in the legs and knees;
- Ukrainian TV host uses Adolf Eichmann quote to advocate genocide of Russians (Part 1);
- Numerous videos, photos of a staggering amount of nazi insignia, flags, portraits, busts, literature and WWII Nazi memorabilia left behind in various military units;
Two days, two takes on inhumane treatment of prisoners.