by George Eliason, Special Correspondent for the Saker Blog in Novorussia
On May 2nd, the civic organization “Memorial” and the Federation of Trade Unions in Lugansk People’s Republic held an international roundtable at the Russian World Hall in Lugansk. It commemorated the 2014 tragedy at the Trade Union building in Odessa in which Kiev reported 48 people killed and over 200 injured and the genocide in Donbass that followed it that Kiev is reporting 13000 casualties.
The expert panel discussed the reasons why such criminal events happened as well as steps that need to be taken to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
The one point all the participating experts agreed on is without Ukrainian nationalism, none of this would have transpired. They discussed the grossly apparent parallels between Nazi ideology in the 1930s and Ukraine in the twenty-first century and how this is ignored in Europe and the west.
Before getting into the roundtable, the need for it has to be addressed. The possibility of finding a fascist elephant in the room depends on whether or not LNR is holding the roundtable as a PR move and an exercise in self-indulgence or this is a legitimate attempt to call the world’s attention to a problem that could go worldwide.
I had a running interview with retired Ukrainian Congressional Committee of America, Arizona State President, George Masni aka Taras Masnij in 2014-2016 about how the Ukrainian Diaspora raises their children to idolize Stepan Bandera and to be like him. Masni denies the existence of the OUN even though he’s part of it. He’s part of the reason Nazism could go worldwide.
The following comments follow my last Ukraine election article stating Zelenskiy’s administration was already sold out to OUN fascist ideology. This is because his spokesman Sviatoslav Yurash is a fascist and has been a spokesman for fascist Ukraine since 2014. He is also a Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) deputy director in Kiev. Because the UWC is an OUN Nazi/nationalist governance and lobbying vehicle; they were already in the driver’s seat with Zelenskiy.
George Masni -The article’s premise, that Ukrainian Nationalists are pulling all the strings and will control Zelensky’s presidency is probably wrong. For a moment put aside all the ancient history and obvious anti-Ukrainian propaganda. Look at Zelensky’s campaign staff. You will immediately notice that most of them have Russian surnames and most come from eastern Ukraine. Several of them even worked for Yanukovych. All of the staff seem to have impressive credentials. It is hard to believe such an impressive group of people would support a candidate that was being controlled by Ukrainian nationalists or even agree to work with a rabid Ukrainian nationalist.
Yurash is a nationalist but he is also a legitimate journalist with journalistic connections. Obviously, the campaign staff knew who Yurash was. If they believed he was a political threat they would have insisted that Zelensky fire him. Instead, they continued to work together. click here
Keep in mind that campaign staff is volunteers whose work ends when the campaign ends. Zelensky’s real staff will be announced shortly before or soon after the president assumes his office. Only then will it be possible to know if Zelensky is controlled by nationalists (or anyone else) or if he is his own man.
GE -How do you explain Yurash’s role as a top advisor to Zelenskiy. George(Masni), the last time we did this, I gave you an entire year to open up a real discussion on Ukraine and nationalism. You lied and lied.
You say these things and then the Diaspora acts like the banderites they really are.
George(Masni), explain how in one breath your fascist Diaspora can say they are a positive influence and in the next explain Ukrainization is banderization?
The Ukraine Weekly on the 25th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence– The Ukrainianization process and work with youth, families and the general population by many formations and organisations that worked on the premise of understanding Ukrainian nationalism as a positive tool to re-engage people, to think about who we are, have started to take effect. No longer do they believe the propaganda that nationalism was fascist and an enemy of the people.
As time moves on, we see that things take a natural course. We see that two wings of the OUN Banderivtsi and Melnykivtsi are working actively on the international level, working in partnership and currently are in strong negotiations about becoming a single entity again- The Ukraine Weekly
GE-You do realize when I mention rabid nationalists I’m only considering the UCCA and UWC? You are part of that group or were as a state level Ukrainian nationalist leader dear Taras(George Masni).
For the past 5 years, you and your groups have made it clear that unless forced, you will never allow Ukraine to be self-governing. Shame. But many thanks for keeping it obvious.
It takes a certain kind of gall to be a radical nationalist who corrupts countries and then says the president-elect doesn’t have anything to do with radical nationalists.
The quote from the Ukraine Weekly was made by an OUN leader about both Nazi groups while at the 25th-anniversary celebration in Ukraine. These nationalists are American, Canadian, Brit, and Aussie. Most have only been to Ukraine on vacation. They don’t think Ukrainians are Ukrainian enough to be Ukrainian (nationalists) like them (the Diaspora). Because of this, they have to de-Sovietize, sanitize, and remove the Moskal curse. This is exactly how their fathers and mothers thought about it in World War II.
So tell me, do we need to deal with Ordinary Nationalism?
Lugansk 2019 Anti-Nationalist Roundtable
The Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions of LPR, Oleg Akimov who hosted the roundtable opened by giving an update on how much the work of the trade union in Lugansk was growing. The Federation represents the LNR’s trade unions at the World Federation of Trade Unions. They are also continually sharing information about the effect nationalism is having on Ukraine and the civil war in Donbass.
Sergey Belov opened for the host NGO Memorial where he serves as a member of the board. The Memorial group is part of the special commission collecting evidence of war crimes Ukraine has committed against the general public in Lugansk People’s Republic. The discovery part of the work is complete and can bring it to the international courts for justice.
LNR Foreign Minister Vladislav Danego spoke about the need to develop mechanisms to reduce the traction fascism has in Ukraine. Currently, about 13% of the Ukrainian population is fascist in political orientation. This is after the big uptick in ultra-nationalism following the Maidan coup in 2014. For the last 5 years, Ukrainians are barraged with nationalist state propaganda.
FM Danego went further to say the information his office has is important to fighting fascism globally and the people who can do so have a responsibility to get it into the hands of people who are capable of fighting back. He opined that all people should use every means at their disposal to get this information up front and central in today’s international conversation.
Deputy Director General of the State Television and Radio Company (GTRK) of the LPR, Leonid Svidovskov prepared a video documentary that captured the heartbreak of the last 5 years. The 2014 Odessa massacre and the Lugansk Administration Building missile strike will remain two of the most poignant examples of atrocities Ukrainian nationalists have committed. The crimes are documented and the criminals must justify themselves before a court at some point in time. The volume of uninvestigated evidence in just videos shows the events from beginning to end from multiple angles and perspectives.
The discussion then turned to the legalities of the nationalist coup in 2014. The results of the coup in Ukraine are prohibited by the first and second chapters of the Ukrainian Constitution. This has to be looked at and weighed against international law. This means that evidence must be presented in courts with jurisdiction in these matters. –Yuri Medvedev– Associate Professor of the Department of International Legal Disciplines, Ph.D. in Law at the Institute of Law and International Law, Lugansk National University (LNU) named after Vladimir Dahl.
Alexander Levchenkov, the Head of the Theory and History of State and Law Department of the Luhansk Academy of Internal Affairs opined that Ukraine had already certified Lugansk People’s Republic (LNR)as a state according to their treatment of LNR and DNR.
He pointed out that today’s Ukraine would not exist without the war. Like its WWII predecessors, post- 2014 Ukraine is an integral nationalist state. Integral nationalism thrives only when there is turmoil and enemies can be made to fight.
I first reported on the formation of this investigative commission in November 2018 when Deputy Foreign Minister Anna Soroka described its formation and the scope of the investigation it would conduct at the “We will not forget! We will not forgive! memorial where hundreds of unknown civilians and military were buried in a mass grave. At the time she made it clear LNR was committed to identifying every person killed and injured by Ukraine’s army and volunteer punishing battalions. They were going to identify and catalog every object in LNR that was damaged by Ukraine.
The investigation went forward and Deputy Foreign Minister Anna Soroka working with the investigative group “Memorial.” They put the mechanisms in place to find proofs of Ukraine’s responsibility for crimes against humanity against LNR citizens. Human rights violations were also cataloged.
Over the course of 5 months, Memorial cataloged all the information about the number of people injured and killed by Ukraine as well as the number of objects (buildings, bridges, infrastructure) damaged or destroyed by the war. On top of that, the ecological damage has been documented. The forest replanting and waterway restorations are going to be very costly.
All this information will be brought to the international courts.
Today, the main thing is sharing this information. The need to resolve these crimes against humanity has to remain high in international news. The people of LNR and DNR are not statistics. Until nationalist militias destroyed their world, they lived very normal lives. Protecting their rights to do that again certifies the rights of people around the globe and sets a precedent that people’s lives do matter.