FLASHBACK: Ukraine’s Nazi Problem is REAL, Even if Putin’s ‘Denazification’ Claim Isn’t
Just because the mainstream media and government of the world’s aren’t acknowledging the Nazi problem in the Ukraine, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist.
But not acknowledging this problem means that little is being done to guard against it.
While Vladimir Putin claims that the justification is for the ‘Denazification’ of the country, perhaps he’s right, or perhaps he’s wrong. However, he’s not wrong that the Ukraine has a Nazi problem.
Putin says that his move over a year ago was “to protect people” who have been “subjected to bullying and genocide,” and that Russia “will strive for the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine.”
On the face, Putin’s smear is possibly absurd, and critics would argue that’s because Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is allegedly Jewis and said that members of his family were killed during World War II.
Labeling enemies as Nazis is a common political ploy, even used by groups like Antifa, BLM, and Democrat operatives here in the United States to sway favoritism. Russia is no different.
Disinformation campaigns try to stir up feelings of national resurgence and vengeance against a WWII foe to justify a conquest.
But even though Putin may be engaging in propaganda, its’ also true that the Ukraine has a real Nazi problem. These problems are both in their past, and in their present.
Among them is the devastation of Jewish communities in the country. When we say that Vladimir Putin is lying, we’re saying that in regards to his goal to ensure anyone’s welfare.
It would be a dangerous oversight to deny Ukraine’s antisemitic history and collaboration with Hitler’s Nazis, as well as their later-day embrace of neo-Nazi factions in some quarters.
The following is from NBC News:
On the eve of World War II, Ukraine was home to one the largest Jewish communities in Europe, with estimates as high as 2.7 million, a remarkable number considering the territory’s long record of antisemitism and pogroms. By the end, more than half would perish. When German troops took control of Kyiv in 1941, they were welcomed by “Heil Hitler” banners. Soon after, nearly 34,000 Jews — along with Roma and other “undesirables” — were rounded up and marched to fields outside the city on the pretext of resettlement only to be massacred in what became known as the “Holocaust by bullets.”
The Babyn Yar ravine continued to fill up as a mass grave for two years. With as many as 100,000 murdered there, it became one of the largest single killing sites of the Holocaust outside of Auschwitz and other death camps. Researchers have noted the key role locals played in fulfilling Nazi kill orders at the site.
Nowadays, Ukraine counts between 56,000 to 140,000 Jews, who enjoy freedoms and protections never imagined by their grandparents. That includes an updated law passed last month criminalizing antisemitic acts. Unfortunately, the law was intended to address a pronounced uptick in public displays of bigotry, including swastika-laden vandalism of synagogues and Jewish memorials, and eerie marches in Kyiv and other cities that celebrated the Waffen SS.
In another ominous development, Ukraine has in recent years erected a glut of statues honoring Ukrainian nationalists whose legacies are tainted by their indisputable record as Nazi proxies. The Forward newspaper cataloged some of these deplorables, including Stepan Bandera, leader of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), whose followers acted as local militia members for the SS and German army. “Ukraine has several dozen monuments and scores of street names glorifying this Nazi collaborator, enough to require two separate Wikipedia pages,” the Forward wrote.
Another frequent honoree is Roman Shukhevych, revered as a Ukrainian freedom fighter but also the leader of a feared Nazi auxiliary police unit that the Forward notes was “responsible for butchering thousands of Jews and … Poles.” Statues have also been raised for Yaroslav Stetsko, a one-time chair of the OUN, who wrote “I insist on the extermination of the Jews in Ukraine.”
Far-right groups have also gained political currency in the past decade, none more chilling than Svoboda (formerly the Social National Party of Ukraine), whose leader claimed the country was controlled by a “Muscovite-Jewish mafia” and whose deputy used an antisemitic slur to describe Ukrainian-born Jewish actor Mila Kunis. Svoboda has sent several members to Ukraine’s Parliament, including one who called the Holocaust a “bright period” in human history, according to Foreign Policy.
Just as disturbing, neo-Nazis are part of some of Ukraine’s growing ranks of volunteer battalions. They are battle-hardened after waging some of the toughest street fighting against Moscow-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine following Putin’s Crimean invasion in 2014. One is the Azov Battalion, founded by an avowed white supremacist who claimed Ukraine’s national purpose was to rid the country of Jews and other inferior races. In 2018, the U.S. Congress stipulated that its aid to Ukraine couldn’t be used “to provide arms, training or other assistance to the Azov Battalion.” Even so, Azov is now an official member of the Ukraine National Guard.
You can read more from our friends at NBC News.
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