Announcements of presidential candidates, hawks demanding the U.S. declare war on Iran, and the bills giving “religious” discrimination rights to the ultra-conservative have pushed Ukraine off the media. Yet the United States continues to support the neo-Nazi leadership in a country taken over, like the United States, by oligarchs. Yesterday, however, hundreds of U.S. paratroopers landed in Ukraine to train its forces in a fight against “pro-Russian rebels.” Brigade planning officer Captain Ashish Patel said, “This training will help them defend their borders and their sovereignty.” The 173rd Airborne Brigade already trained with Ukrainian forces last September.
The conflict has been going on for 18 months since street protests ousted President Viktor Yanukovych because he prevented treaties with the European Union. In the past year, over 4,800 people have been killed and 1.2 million displaced by the conflict. By July EU nations and the U.S. declared sanctions against Moscow, accusing Russians of supplying rebels with the missile that took down a Malaysian commercial airplane. A ceasefire in September was renewed in February although separatists have reclaimed 200 square miles of land in eight months. A bipartisan group of congressional members, led by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), insist on supplying Ukraine with antitank missiles, reconnaissance drones and other arms.
The U.S. allies in Europe—including Great Britain, Italy, and Germany—oppose this move, arguing that Russia will overcome Ukraine and take the weapons. Ukrainians may even hand the weapons over to Russia; espionage shows that Ukrainian forces cannot be trusted with these weapons. Sending the weapons will also increasingly deteriorate U.S. relationship with Russia, driving Putin to join China in an alliance against the United States.
War hawks ignore or deny the part that neo-Nazis played in the February 2014 coup and their subsequent military offensives against ethnic Russians. Fourteen months later, on the 70th anniversary of the conclusion to the Holocaust, the Ukrainian parliament extended official recognition to Ukrainian fascists who collaborated with the Nazis in killing Jews. Any politicians and journalists who criticize the U.S.-backed regime in Ukraine suffer from not only repression but also death.
During World War II, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army joined the Nazis in their mass-murder of Jews, Poles and other minority groups. The Simon Wiesenthal Center condemned both Ukraine’s recognition of the UIA and a second bill that equated Communist and Nazi crimes. Dr. Efraim Zuroff said:
“The decision to honor local Nazi collaborators and grant them special benefits turns Hitler’s henchmen into heroes despite their active and zealous participation in the mass murder of innocent Jews. These attempts to rewrite history, which are prevalent throughout post-Communist Eastern Europe, can never erase the crimes committed by Nazi collaborators in these countries.”
After the 2014 coup, neo-Nazi militias attacking ethnic Russian cities in eastern Ukraine wore swastikas and SS symbols, a fact largely ignored in the mainstream U.S. news media. Despite the resurgence of neo-Nazi rioters warring against ethnic Russians in the east, the mainstream U.S. media blames ethnic Russians for not submitting to the post-coup regime in Kiev. Hatred for Russia and its leader, Vladimir Putin, is so prevalent in the United States that it can be easily used to justify aggression against Russia while actually protecting the Ukrainian neo-Nazi leadership.
The Jerusalem Post has written about concerns for the safety of Jews in Ukraine, especially after the discovery that the police chief for Kiev’s province has ties with a neo-Nazi organization. Right-wing
Dimitri Jarosch, official adviser to the army leadership, also organized many of the fighters behind the February 2014 putsch. U.S.-backed Maidan protests against Yanukovych in November 2014 came from neo-Nazi militias trained in western Ukraine and bused to Kiev. Commander of the Maidan forces, Andriy Parubiy, became national security chief and incorporated Maidan militia forces into the National Guard that sent to eastern Ukraine to fight ethnic Russians resisting the coup. The U.S. government and media consistently cheered the openly white supremacist, anti-Semite neo-Nazis who overcame Ukraine. Azov commander Andriy Biletsky, also head of an extremist Ukrainian group called the Social National Assembly, said, “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.”
Ukrainian officials in Kiev have acknowledged that they knew about the militias’ extremist positions but needed troops who were strongly motivated to fight. Over a year after the coup, mainstream U.S. news outlets claim that any mention of significant neo-Nazi presence in Ukraine is “Russian propaganda.”
Ten opposition figures have mysteriously died in the past few months: some are clearly murders while others are claimed to be suicides by the Ukrainian government. This past week Oleg Kalashnikov, a political leader of the opposition Party of Regions, was shot to death in his home. He had been campaigning for the Ukrainians to celebrate the World War II Allied victory, infuriating western Ukrainians who identify with Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich. The next day Ukrainian journalist Oles Buzina was murdered after he protested government censorship on news outlets. Another dissident journalist, Serhiy Sukhobok, was supposedly killed in Kiev, but the Ukrainian government has withheld information about his murderers. If any reports about these deaths emerge in the U.S. media, the killed are called “pro-Russian,” and the U.S. media now avoid any mention of Ukrainian leaders as neo-Nazis.
The other rulers of Ukraine are oligarchs, the wealthy businessmen who made their money from privatization during the 1990s. One of them has gone too far even for President Petro Poroshenko, who had appointed him governor. Khor Kolomoisky, who financed volunteer battalions to supplement the country’s army, deployed his personal militia, many of them neo-Nazis, to block regulations on his business interests. The other oligarchs remain, owning and controlling the media and the banks while putting their people into the parliament through a closed party-list voting system. As in the United States, Ukraine’s government is controlled by the wealthy. U.S. media smoothed over the oligarchic control of Ukraine by writing that these men were “too rich to bribe.”
Like the far-right policies in the United States, slash old-age pensions and remove worker protections. They also hiked the price of heating fuel in exchange for a $17.5 billion bailout of the country’s collapsing financial structure.
U.S. control of Ukraine is also seen in its Finance Minister, Natalie Jaresko, former chief executive officer of the Western NIS Enterprise Fund (WNISEF), created by Congress from taxpayer money in the 1990s to help jumpstart an investment economy in Ukraine. Although her salary was only $150,000, her IRS reporting in 2004 was approximately $450,000. To attain her new position, Jaresko gained Ukrainian citizenship literally overnight; now she is responsible for dispensing $17.5 billion from the International Monetary Fund and billions more from U.S. and European government. Later compensation was removed from public disclosure.
Considering Jaresko’s history, there is a question about whether the money she manages will go to the poor Ukrainians or its other oligarchs. Meanwhile the United States is sending paratroopers to the Ukraine to train neo-Nazis who already commit “ISIS-style” war crimes, according to Amnesty International. Ukrainian neo-Nazis want a war with Russia, and the United States plans to give it to them.