Nazis In Ukraine

When Vladimir Putin declared that a primary objective of Russia’s invasion was to “de-nazify” Ukraine, the political elites and their media went ballistic. Michael McFaul, former U.S. ambassador to Russia, said flatly, “There are no neo-Nazis in Ukraine.” The truth? The CIA has been organizing, funding, and training Nazis and developing fascist assets inside Ukraine for 75 years. Nazis are a powerful and growing presence. 

In 2014, the CIA and U.S. State Department engineered a coup that overthrew Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine’s democratically elected pro-Russian president. The United States replaced him with a pro-American, anti-Russian president—and the Nazification of Ukraine kicked into high gear. Well-funded, highly trained, and heavily armed neo-Nazi militias that had appeared almost overnight to stage the coup unleashed terror upon ethnic Russians and political opponents of the new regime. 

Since then, Democrats and Republicans have empowered and enabled neo-Nazis to infest all levels of Ukrainian government and society. Nazi influence has only grown stronger during the presidency of Volodymyr Zelenskyy. 

Ukrainian Nazism has deep historical roots. While 4.5 million Ukrainians fought in the Red Army to defeat the Nazis, many Ukrainian fascists and anti-Semites collaborated with the Germans in World War II. One in every four Jewish victims of the Holocaust—some 1.5 million people—was murdered in Ukraine. 

The celebration and glorification of Nazi collaborators and murderers of Jews pervade Ukraine today. Many cities have statues and streets named after them. The birthday of Stepan Bandera, Ukraine’s leading German collaborator of World War II and father of Ukrainian Nazism, is celebrated as a national holiday.

Ukraine is saturated with Nazi militias, organizations, and political parties. Desecration of Holocaust memorials and parades honoring World War II Nazi German dead are regular events. Children are taught to hate and kill ethnic Russians at indoctrination camps. 

There is an unbroken historical link between the original Ukrainian Nazis and today’s incarnations. 

The most notorious is the Azov Battalion. Azov’s ideology, symbols, and insignias are Hitlerian through and through. Its mission is to “lead the white races of the world in a final crusade . . . against Semite-led Untermenschen [sub humans].”

After the 2014 coup, the Azov Battalion attacked ethnic Russians in the Donbas, committing numerous war crimes. In the recent battle in Mariupol, Azov Battalion soldiers prevented civilians from escaping the city and shot dead those attempting to flee. Azov troops have tortured and murdered Russian prisoners of war and then used their victim’s cellphones to call and taunt the Russian’s wives and parents and show them photos of their murdered loved ones. These atrocities have been hidden by the Western media.

The Azov Battalion received extensive training from both the American and Canadian military. Now part of Ukraine’s National Guard, the Azov Battalion is the only Nazi military formation in the world to be formally incorporated into a nation’s armed forces. The Azov street fighting wing has been incorporated into the National Police

Azov has built a worldwide network recruiting white supremacists to train and fight in Ukraine. This has included the American Rise Above Movement (RAM), members of which trained in Ukraine after their participation in the 2017 Charlottesville, Virginia “Unite the Right” riot. According to the FBI indictment of RAM members, the Azov Battalion “is believed to have participated in training and radicalizing United States-based white supremacy organizations.” 

For much of the last six years, leftist elites and their media have preached that the greatest threat to American democracy is white supremacist extremism—falsely accusing Republican patriots of racism. But now that they are all in with the Ukrainian war effort, the elites and their media have a problem. They are the ones supporting real white supremacists and Nazis in Ukraine. So, they are attempting to reinvent the narrative by whitewashing Ukrainian Nazis in a coordinated media campaign. The elites have finally found white supremacists they like.   

Where does Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy fit in? 

To deflect from the fact that Ukraine is the most ultra nationalist, white supremacist, Nazi-infested country in the world, the media loudly proclaims that Zelenskyy is Jewish. With this, any question about Nazis in Ukraine is supposed to stop right there. The simplistic reasoning goes like this. “Volodymyr Zelenskyy is Jewish. It is impossible for a president who is Jewish to tolerate Nazis in his government, military, and society. Therefore, there are no Nazis in Ukraine.” End of story. 

But reality tells a much different story. 

Zelenskyy barely pays lip service to the expanding Nazi-collaborator glorification consuming Ukraine, and he is in full collaboration with neo-Nazi parties and organizations. One of his popular election promises was to achieve peace in Donbass through the implementation of the Minsk II peace agreement. But immediately upon election, Zelenskyy was bluntly instructed by the Azov Nazis that any negotiations would be unacceptable. Dmytro Yarosh, a co-founder of the fascist Right Sector, announced Zelenskyy’s fate if he negotiated—“He will hang on some tree on Khreshchatyk (Kiev’s main street).” Zelenskyy caved. He refused to negotiate or implement the peace agreement and escalated the conflict. 

In November, Zelenskyy made Yarosh an advisor to the commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces.

To further legitimize Nazi elements, Zelenskyy presented the “Hero of Ukraine” medal to a leader of Right Sector, another major neo-Nazi faction, in a formal ceremony before parliament. 

 In Ukraine, being Jewish and also supporting Nazis is not unique to Zelenskyy. Ihor Kolomoyskyi is a notoriously corrupt billionaire oligarch. He is not only Zelenskyy’s top financial backer but also the original financial sponsor of the Nazi Azov and Aidar Battalions, bankrolls several other neo-Nazi militias, and as owner of Burisma Holdings—was Hunter Biden’s boss. Kolomoyskyi is also Jewish. 

For Zelenskyy and Kolomoyskyi, when it comes to choosing whether to support Nazis, just being Jewish was not enough. You must have morality too.

Recently, during his continual world tour begging governments for a no-fly zone so the United States and Russia can start another world war, Zelenskyy fell morally short again. Jewish critics blasted him for his outrageous speech to the Israeli Knesset and his “distortions of the Holocaust.” Zelenskyy had denigrated the memories of Holocaust victims by equating the Russian invasion of Ukraine to the Holocaust perpetrated by Nazi Germany. He also recounted an imaginary history declaring that the Ukrainians’ significant war effort against the Germans was that “they rescued Jews.” If only they had.

Zelenskyy’s address to the Greek parliament may have been even worse. His performance highlighted video presentations by two Azov Battalion Nazis, one of Greek descent. Greece endured a brutal Nazi occupation during the war, so the reaction to Zelenskyy’s stunt wasn’t surprising—Greek lawmakers were outraged. Several walked out in disgust. 

For a politician who uses his Jewishness and memory of family members murdered by Germans to deflect accusations that Ukraine has a Nazi problem—Zelenskyy’s performances and his track record as president are deeply troubling. 

Why? Because it reveals that for Zelenskyy, fighting Nazism just isn’t that big of a deal. That’s why he can work intimately with Azov Battalion Nazis, highlight them on an international stage, place them in high-level government positions, honor Nazis with his nation’s highest award—while remaining virtually silent about the growing Nazism, increased incidents of anti-Semitism, and glorification of Nazi collaborators across Ukraine. 

A short clip from a recent interview provides valuable insight into Zelenskyy’s mindset. Zelenskyy offers his opinion about Stepan Bandera, the premier Ukrainian Nazi, and collaborator responsible for countless atrocities against Jews, Poles, Russians, and Roma. To Ukrainians who believe Bandera was a “hero,” Zelenskyy says, “That’s cool.” He even praises the fascist anti-Semite for fighting for “freedom of Ukraine.” That really says it all. 

Volodymyr Zelenskyy exploits the memory of his murdered Jewish ancestors to deflect from the fact that he is collaborating with Nazis to run wild in Ukraine. Shame on him. 

The war has revealed Zelenskyy’s authoritarian impulses and demonstrated that his support of the Nazi movement inside Ukraine was not a passive enabling. He is actively increasing their power and influence. The ruling class media has perpetuated the myth of “Ukrainian democracy.” In framing the conflict, Joe Biden mouthed this theme—this is a “battle between democracy and autocracy.” A good propaganda line, but one not connected to reality. Ukraine and Zelenskyy have nothing to do with democracy. 

Zelenskyy has manipulated the war as a pretext to assume dictatorial powers and further empower Nazis. He has banned 11 opposition political parties, jailed political opponents, and prohibited dissident speech. Significantly, he didn’t touch any pro-Nazi parties and groups like the Azov National Corps, Svoboda, Right Sector, and C14. They remain free to organize, agitate, and expand. The key takeaway here is Zelenskyy doesn’t consider the Nazis to be opposition parties. They aren’t his opposition—they are his allies. 

Zelenskyy has seized control of the news media to contain information and prevent questions or criticism. To “tell the truth about the war,” he nationalized all privately owned television news broadcasting, combining all channels into a single 24-hour channel. 

Zelenskyy also ordered the arrest of Viktor Medvedchuk, his primary political rival. Medvedchuk was charged with treason even though his now banned Patriots for Life Party had condemned the Russian invasion. 

Ukraine’s internal security service, the SBU, is shot through with neo-Nazis and extremists and operates much like the Gestapo or KGB. Zelenskyy has unleashed the SBU, whose agents are kidnapping, torturing, and assassinating dissidents, political opponents, and even mayors who advocate local negotiations with the Russians. 

Zelenskyy is an actor. The elites and their media have cast him in the role of the hero—“a Churchill for our times.” By burying the truth, they have ensured that his performance has received only rave reviews so far. But the truth always comes out in the end. A man cannot support Nazis and be righteous. So, one thing we know for sure—Zelenskyy’s hero act is a fraud. Knowing that, we can be sure of more to come. 

About Maurice Richards

Maurice Richards is the former chief of the Martinsburg Police Department in West Virginia. He served as chief from 2015 to 2020 after a 24-year career in the Chicago Police Department. Richards holds a doctorate in adult education from Northern Illinois University. His writing has been featured in Human Events, The Federalist, The Hill, and The Daily Caller

Photo: Vladik Musienko/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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