Lies, lies and more lies!
The Ukrainian nationalist fetish with Nazism
Russian forces crossed the border into Ukraine on 24th February 2022 and the western world went into meltdown. What is a defensive military operation by Russia was seen by the imperialist West as a full blown invasion into a sovereign territory with Ukrainian history starting in 2022. To have some objectivity and understanding of how the Ukraine ended up here one needs to go back to at least November 2013. The start of the Euromaidan colour revolution, which culminated in violence with the rise of the Right Sector nationalists taking to the streets of Kiev and the forcing out of Viktor Yanukovich, the democratically elected pro-Russian President of Ukraine. This coup was unconstitutionally ratified by the Rada on 22nd February 2014 leading to the Russian speaking and populated Donbas areas in the east, Donetsk and Lugansk, declaring autonomy with a referendum that was declared on 11th May 2014. The referendum resulted in 89% voting in favour of self-rule, with 10% against, with a turnout of nearly 75%. Germany, acting for the EU, along with the US and the new illegitimate government of Ukraine, refused to accept the result with Angela Merkel informing Putin that any elections in the East must be held under Ukrainian law. The blatant hypocrisy was that no such consideration or observance of legality and constitutional norms either by the Europeans or the Americans was afforded to the ousting of Yanukovich.
Since 2014 over 14,000 people have died in the ongoing conflict in the East  with atrocities being carried out by the Azov Battalion, who were formed as a reactionary force against the self-determination of the people of the DonbasS. The self-declared Nazis, who use the Wolfsangel insignia used by the Nazi SS, have a history of carrying out torture and war crimes. The spokesman for the Battalion, Andriy Diachenko, in March 2015 openly told USA Today that 10% to 20% of the group’s members were Nazis and with their zeal they made ideal shock troops to fight ‘separatists’ as an alternative to what was otherwise a poorly organised Ukrainian military. Even the US administration declared them a terror group, which was then overturned by Congress in 2016. But to ensure that training and funding by the Americans and Canadians could continue for this fascist group, it was simply absorbed into the Ukrainian National Guard to provide it with the cover of respectability.
In a country that has a 17% ethnic Russian population and which has increasingly become Russophobic, it is hardly any surprise that racism is prevalent when Ukraine provides cult status to the Nazi collaborator, Stepan Bandera. The cult of Bandera has whitewashed the history of fascism in the Ukraine and the atrocities that were carried out against Poles, Jews and Communists during WWII, which were to cleanse the land from what they saw as ‘undesirables’, all in the false belief of achieving a ‘state’ in collaboration with the Nazis. Ukrainian politicians have deliberately airbrushed over his and the crimes of others by bringing in this fascist son of Ukraine into the sphere of normal day to day life, renaming streets and districts after him, erecting statues and even at one point providing a national holiday in his honour. This is all designed to provide a level of respectability, not only for Bandera, but for their new brand of nationalist anti-Russian fervour. Both Israel and Poland have previously raised concerns and objections through their diplomats against this blatant revision of history. Racism is not unique to the Ukraine but has also been simmering underneath the political landscape within the rest of Europe. However, this rose to the surface once Russian military operations were underway.
Attacks on Russian culture and legitimising Russians as targets
Russian concerns for ethnic Russians living in Ukraine, the autonomous eastern Republics, the failure of Ukraine while acting as a proxy of the US to implement the Minsk II Protocols, and with an increasingly belligerent NATO and its own security being security threatened, Russian patience finally snapped. Immediately the British press as well as that of the other European and American media went onto a war footing attacking anything cultural and politically identifying as Russian. This deluge of Russophobia included not only sanctions against any individuals or businesses perceived as having a ‘relationship’ with Vladimir Putin, but have also included Russian and Belarusian paralympic athletes who were then banned from competing by the International Paralympic Committee, the banning of Russian and Belarusian tennis players from Wimbledon, the International Tchaikovsky Competition removed from the World Federation of International Music Competitions , the University of Florida renaming its Karl Marx study room, Bicocca University cancelling a course on Dostoevsky, the Fédération Internationale Féline (FIFe) banning Russian felines from participating in events, and Netflix stopping production on an adaptation of Tolstoy’s novel ‘Anna Karenina’. Literally anything associated with being Russian is seen as a ‘legitimate’ target in a whirl wind of cancel culture and cultural vandalism. Compare this to the illegal wars by the US and Britain and the immediate double standards are all too apparent. Where have we seen the call for sanctions to be applied to Britain and the US who consistently prosecute wars with impunity, murdering thousands of innocent civilians indiscriminately in the process?
But it doesn’t simply end there; Andrij Melnyk, the Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany, when being interviewed by the newspaper ‘Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung’ declared all Russians as enemies. This makes all Russians a legitimate target for violence, which is not any different from the ideology of Da’esh and Al-Qaeda, who announce that all British, American and civilians from other western nations, are legitimate targets in their ‘holy war’ against the West. Where was the denunciation from the EU that a senior foreign diplomat sitting in Germany was encouraging racist violence toward civilians? This anti-Russian bile hit new heights when Ukraine’s own Doctor Mengele, Gennadiy Druzenko, claimed during an interview on Ukrainian television that he had ordered his doctors to castrate any captured injured Russian POWs because they are cockroaches and not people. This was a call for war crimes to be committed, a blatant disregard for the Geneva Convention which provides protection for all prisoners of war. The flirtation with Nazis seems to be commonplace, a live broadcast on the Ukrainian channel 24 consisted of the TV presenter alongside a photo of the Nazi Adolf Eichmann appearing on the screen. He then went on with his racist genocidal tirade “I know that in Russia they call us Nazis and fascists, therefore, I allow myself to quote Adolf Eichmann, who said that in order to destroy a nation, you must destroy, first of all, its children. Because if you kill their parents, the children will grow up and take revenge. By killing children they will never grow up and the nation will disappear.” He then added “You have to understand that it’s about the victory of the Ukrainian people, not about peace. We need victory. And if we have to slaughter all your families I’ll be one of the first to do it, and hope that there will never be such a nation as Russia and the Russians on this earth again.”
War crimes are being committed by the Ukrainians and the silence coming out of western political circles is deafening, when there is a whimper people try to justify it. Questioning any of this instantly earns one a ‘Putin lover’ tag to immediately stamp down on any debate. The clown prince, Zelensky, has been culpable in this, he has sacrificed his people on the NATO altar with a promise that which will never materialise. His outrageous claims to the world audience have been nothing short of a desperate call for NATO to come and save him and a potential escalation towards WWIII. He has deliberately handed out weapons to all and sundry throughout the population, not only making civilians a poorly trained potential target but also putting guns into the hands of fascists and criminals. Some of his outlandish claims have been debunked, including the attack on Babyn Yar that never happened and the ‘bombing’ of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, which in reality was fire in a training block outside its perimeter, and the destruction of a Turkish mosque in Mariupol, something that Turkey itself refuted. He is a puppet that is having his strings pulled from behind the scenes by those that really have the power, the Americans, the corrupt Ukrainian oligarch criminals and the far right, his performances are worthy of his role as an entertainment actor and not the pin up boy the media are trying to portray him as.
There is ample evidence through witness testimonies given to independent journalists of atrocities being committed by Ukrainian forces towards their own citizens, with claims of beatings and executions of anyone suspected of having sympathy or having collaborated with Russian forces. Interviews with civilians finally escaping areas such as Mariupol after multiple attempts, claiming that Azov soldiers have used them as human shields with threats of being shot should they try to escape. Photographic evidence has surfaced of bodies wearing white arm bands, as also do Russian soldiers as an aid to identify themselves, bodies with their hands tied behind their back some with Russian food aid parcels scattered nearby, as occurred in Bucha. Accepting Russian aid could be seen as an act of treachery and it is no stretch of the imagination that such treason would be punished. This is particularly true as in the case of the Mayor of Kherson, while acknowledging the distribution of Russian aid, which in itself is hardly the actions of a force that are hell bent on killing citizens simply for being Ukrainian even more so that Russians also live in the population, stated that “So Russians want to send their humanitarian aid, but the people of Kherson are refusing it. Because they are patriots and they don’t want aid from Russians. They want aid from Ukrainians. So we are not receiving humanitarian aid at the moment”. In other words he was forbidding acceptance of Russian aid given the risk of people starving.
Despite Russian forces retreating from the area several days before and the Mayor of Bucha not mentioning any executed civilians in his address to the cameras the day after that retreat, accusations of dead bodies littering the streets and war crimes started filtering through several days after Ukrainian forces announced a sweep of the area, a sweep to filter out any unwanted elements. When the accusations of Russian war crimes surfaced, Russia immediately requested an urgent UN meeting to discuss these accusations, this request was steadfastly refused by the British chair. This refusal flies in the face of natural justice and seeking the truth and is clearly a manoeuvre by the British to cover over what could be an inconvenient embarrassment. Footage has also emerged of executions of bound Russian soldiers, in stark contrast of an absence of any footage of Ukrainian soldiers being executed. War is never surgically clean, it is incredibly dirty, bloody and inevitably civilians become trapped in the crosshairs resulting in innocent casualties. What is striking is that while footage of alleged atrocities towards Russian soldiers and civilians at the hands of Ukrainian fascists is in the public domain, are the excuses from western commentators who suggest that these are either false, or at best questionable requiring forensic investigation to confirm what had taken place.
Compare this with accusations of Russian war crimes, no such due process is necessary for war mongers like Biden and Johnson to immediately declare ‘genocide’. This guilt without trial not only debases genocide but also undermines the due process required in holding war criminals to account, the guilt is automatic and without any scrutiny. This is just a continuation of the archaic demonisation of Russians, no less than how the Nazis saw Russians as being ‘sub-human’ to justify the barbaric treatment and wholesale slaughter in the East during WWII. Where were the calls and immediate guilt applied to the US and Britain for its wars and appalling loss of life in Afghanistan and Iraq? Nearly 1 million people died in Iraq in a brutal military operation described chillingly by the Americans as ‘Shock and Awe’, with the indiscriminate levelling of cities like Mosul and Fallujah. US torture facilities were set up in Abu Ghraib to illegally torture Iraqis away from the prying eyes of the world. Where were the calls for war crime investigations, where are the individuals including politicians being held to account? Anyone daring to expose these war crimes are immediately punished, as were Edward Snowden and Julian Assange, the latter who is going through the process of extradition to the US where he faces a potential 175 years behind bars. Where are the sanctions against the main protagonists, the US and Britain? There is currently a war in Yemen, over 377,000 people have died, many being children. Britain is fuelling this conflict by providing arms, yet the appalling number of deaths in Yemen pale into insignificance when comparably much smaller numbers die in Europe. All too often the colour of a person’s skin, along with their cultural and religiously identity, determine the status of victimhood in times of war. What makes this even more sickening is that the US calls for the ICC to investigate Russia, while the US itself applied sanctions on the ICC in an effort to avoid accountability through threats. This hypocrisy is astounding.
Western embrace of Ukrainian fascism
The politicians in Kiev, Washington and Europe have deliberately downplayed the role of NATO expansion , the history and rise of fascism and the attacks on the people of the Donbass, which are all documented by the (OSCE) Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe all of which are attempts to delegitimise Moscow. Russian concerns are well founded and well documented, not only just by those on the left but also within liberal and conservative political circles and by ex-NATO personnel. But in this new age of propagandist ‘fake news’, the truth has now become lies deliberately propagated by a compliant ‘free’ bourgeois press. The dismissal of the seriousness and importance of the far right in Ukraine is often supported by claiming that they don’t have a foothold in the Rada and questions about how could a country with Nazi sympathisers possibly have a Jewish President. This is easily explained, while Svoboda secured 10% of the vote in 2012 election and having influenced Ukrainian politics towards the right, it was inevitable that mainstream parties would capitalise on this by simply adopting the same territory. This is in no way different from how the Tories stole the UKIP vote by adopting their politics in the UK elections. Britain left the EU on a wave of nationalism without UKIP ever gaining one seat in a Parliamentary election.
Having ultra-nationalists absorbed into the political and state machinery, such as the police and military, is tantamount to having successfully carried out a coup d’état and getting their dirty hands onto the levers of power. Zelensky was financed by the energy oligarch and then governor of Dnipropetrovska region, Igor Kolomoisky, who himself is also Jewish. It was also Kolomoisky who financed the Azov Battalion, which was initially formed as a volunteer group in May 2014 born out of the ultra-nationalist Patriot of Ukraine gang, and the neo-Nazi Social National Assembly (SNA) group. Both groups have historically engaged in xenophobic behaviour and neo-Nazi rhetoric, physically attacking migrants, Roma and the LGBT communities. The founding leader Andriy Biletsky boasted in 2010, that Ukraine’s national purpose was to “lead the white races of the world in a final crusade against Semite-led Untermenschen (inferior races)”. No argument is required to understand the fascist nature of this group, those that support it, and indeed the state which accommodates such fascists. Biletsky was an MP in the Ukrainian Parliament up until 2019 after having been elected in 2014. For so long the bourgeois press were reporting on the nature and danger of these groups and the political situation in Ukraine, yet in this conflict they have now become heroes. Fascists that have been whitewashed and sanitised for western consumption by the same who were denouncing them, proof indeed that neoliberal capitalism and fascism are bedfellows in times of crisis.
Refugees and racism
Refugees fleeing the conflict have not been spared. While considering that Ukraine is not a member of the European Union, in effect a ‘third country’, white Ukrainians are being welcomed with open arms. The British government have even set up a scheme that financially provides £350.00 per month for anyone who is able to take in Ukrainian refugees. Contrast this with the fences put up on the Polish/Belarus border, which prevented refugees from other non-EU countries reaching safety and which contributed to a number of unfortunate souls freezing to death in forests. There have been multiple reports of African and Asian students fleeing the conflict in Ukraine not being allowed to board trains in Kiev, a policy of indigenous first. Those that did make it to the border crossing into Poland were aggressively questioned and redirected into immigration detention centres, while white Ukrainians were immediately welcomed and provided with safe places, support and schooling for their children.
The bourgeois press had no problem at all in accommodating this sickening racism. These are just a sample selection comments of such, this from the BBC – “It’s very emotional for me because I see European people with blue eyes and blonde hair being killed.”; CBS News – “This isn’t Iraq or Afghanistan…This is a relatively civilized, relatively European city.”; BFM TV – “It’s an important question. We’re not talking here about Syrians fleeing…We’re talking about Europeans.”; Spanish TV news channel La Sexta – “These aren’t like the other children that we’ve become accustomed to see suffer on TV, these children are blond with blue eyes, this is very important.”; ITV, This Morning – “The US has used [a thermobaric bomb] before in Afghanistan. But the idea of it being used in Europe is stomach-churning.” The latter comment emphasises that Europeans are seen as civilised, despite the horrendous history of conflict on the continent, while those that Europe seeks to exclude are barbarians who are used to such violence.
The empathy for ‘fellow Europeans’, while a distinct lack of it is shown to refugees from elsewhere that are deliberately being left allowed to drown in the Mediterranean and the English Channel in the attempt to reach fortress Europe is sickening. It is plainly clear the there is a hierarchy of what constitutes as a human being. The European Union offshores its legal responsibilities by paying Turkey €billions annually to ensure that refugees from outside don’t reach Europe, despite the fact that it is Western bombs that are raining down on them to begin with. Britain seeks to also offshore its legal responsibilities with the UK Foreign Secretary, Priti Patel, announcing on 14th April while Parliament was in recess, that it has partnered with Rwanda to take in any refugees coming into the UK. There are only a handful of countries globally that treats refugees in this appalling manner, Australia being one of them, which also has a horrendous colonial history with its mistreatment of the indigenous population. The other being Israel, the colonial settler state that racially mistreats Palestinians with impunity and who also offshore their refugees to Rwanda. Perhaps the despicable Patel had an insight into this provided by Israel, given her history of dirty dealings with the ethno-state, which were previously carried behind the scenes of Theresa May’s government and without May even being aware that she was trying to bury handing British overseas aid to the Israeli military before Patel was sacked for her treachery.
Not only does Rwanda have its own history of genocide being carried out but the present Rwandan government has a problem with corruption and human rights abuses, something that the British government were only raising concerns with just over 9 months ago. These concerns have now been miraculously waived to facilitate official British state racist policy towards people fleeing persecution. But this comes at a cost. This ‘partnership’ is set to cost the British taxpayer a fortune with the Tory MP Andrew Mitchell, claiming that it would be more cost effective to place refugees in the Ritz and provide schooling at Eton than to send them to Rwanda. However, this is not about cost, something that even the corrupt Labour Party fail to understand, it is a ‘flag waving’ policy from a disastrously failing government designed to pander to its right- wing base and divert attention from the narcissistic Johnson. What the British treatment of refugees should be about is the UK fulfilling its legal obligations under the 1951 Refugee Convention, which is to allow refugees to claim asylum wherever they wish and to treat them with dignity…. just as the Ukrainians fleeing the conflict are being treated. There is no such prerequisite as to how people fleeing war should travel, or how they claim asylum. The all-too-common term of ‘illegal refugee’ is a simple term for governments to hide behind and shirk their responsibility from the consequences of their own foreign policy.
War objectives and the stepping-stone to further conflict with China
The US has declared its intention to continue the conflict by the supply of weapons and other assistance to Ukraine, Biden has announced another package of additional military aid to the tune of $800 million on 13th April 2022. The British government has also announced further military aid with the provision of Stormer armoured missile launchers. This will do nothing to alleviate the issue that Ukraine finds itself in and will only prolong the suffering of civilians while the conflict continues to its logical outcome. The attack on the Moskva missile cruiser off the coast was a symbolic act, very much as the sinking of the Belgrano was during the Falklands conflict, an act to affect morale. However, all this has achieved is to further cement Russian resolve and to escalate retaliation. Russia is in this for the long run and while western political commentators claim that the ‘invasion of sovereign territory’ is to annex the Ukraine and absorb it into a ‘greater Russia’, the reality is completely the opposite. Russian objectives were clearly defined at the beginning of this conflict; prevent Ukraine becoming a NATO member to ensure that missiles could not be placed 5 minutes flying time from Moscow, something that the Americans would never allow if it was Washington; degrade the Ukrainian military, particularly when it came to the Azov Battalion, who have been terrorising the people of the Donbass; and to protect the autonomous regions of the Donbass. All of these objectives are being met.
The western part of Ukraine has been relatively untouched, the military conveys outside of Kiev seem to have been in a holding capacity while military operations were concentrating in the South and East of the country. It is becoming increasingly clearer that the easter part of Ukraine will be partitioned off to protect the Donbass from the horrendous war that has been raging for the last 8 years. Russia has a huge conventional military and is a nuclear superpower, an overhang from its Soviet Union days. Anyone of the belief that Russian resolve will erode and crumble are deluded. The policy of the US and its allies to fight to the last Ukrainian will fail. In a partition scenario, should this indeed be the case, then at some point a territorial demarcation point will placed within the country. This then removes all possibility of guerrilla warfare and is more likely to result in negotiations and buffer zones. This already has a precedent and is similar to Cyprus in 1974 and which still exists up to today. Additional pressure in the application of sanctions is unlikely to have any effect, which in all likelihood was to be expected by Putin as they were used as a tool in 2014. What is clear is that Russia does not rely on the export of capital, it is an exporter of raw materials. It will simply apply its trade elsewhere. While Russia is the world’s most sanctioned nation any glance of the world map will show that there is a clear disconnect between the US and its western allies, including Australia, and that of the remainder of the world who understand the colonial mindset of the Global North better than anyone. The only people who will be paying for the consequences of this ridiculous economic war will be the working class on all sides.
This conflict in Ukraine was completely unnecessary but deliberately engineered, it wasn’t as if Russia hasn’t been objecting over the last 8 years and it was certainly clear as to what Russia’s red lines were and what those consequences would be should they be crossed. The US and its allies have been playing games and using Ukraine as a football in an attempt to undermine Russia. The end objective is clear, it is an attempt to degrade and subordinate Russia to further pave the way for increasing global domination by the world’s hegemonic power, a power-hungry monster that increasingly ravages the planet through war on peoples and devours natural resources in an insatiable quest for profit. China, which has become the factory of the world for Western capitalism, has flexed its economic muscles which is an unexpected by-product of the outsourcing of manufacturing by the west who have been taking advantage of China’s cheap labour. This is something that the US does not seem to like. Increasingly aggressive US rhetoric aimed at China with forays into the South China Sea, the Indo-Pacific AUKUS Pact, and surrounding China with compliant client states is lurching the world towards WWIII and nuclear annihilation.
As Communists we need to recognise this, that defeat for Russia will be a catastrophe for the left globally and will set out this path. For this reason we must advocate for the defence of Russia in this conflict, recognise the aggressive role of and stand for the defeat of NATO, the neutrality of Ukraine, and for the self-determination of the people of the Donbass. While we defend Russia we recognise the Bonapartist nature of Vladimir Putin and that of the Russian political landscape, we also recognise that Ukraine exists as a nation and that only Socialist revolution will provide the answer to these problems.