May 14, 2023
In Russia and Ukraine Russia-Ukraine War
They Are Propagandizing For Nazis But Won’t Tell You That
May 13, 2023
At the start of the recent war in Ukraine ‘western’ media changed their mind about Ukrainian Nazi groups. What they had condemned over years in their headlines and pieces was first whitewashed and when was not enough simply eliminated from the context. As example I had pointed to the changing headlines and descriptions of the fascist Azov militia in the pages of the New York Times.
On his flak jacket was a symbol commonly used by the Azov Battalion, a Ukrainian neo-Nazi paramilitary organization.
Defenders of the Ukrainian Azov Battalion, which the F.B.I. calls “a paramilitary unit” notorious for its “association with neo-Nazi ideology,” accuse us of being part of a Kremlin campaign to “demonize” the group.
Facebook last week said it was making an exception to its anti-extremism policies to allow praise for Ukraine’s far-right Azov Battalion military unit, “strictly in the context of defending Ukraine, or in their role as part of the Ukraine National Guard.”
These scenes are from videos shared online in recent days by the Azov regiment, a unit in the Ukrainian military, which says they were taken in the mazelike bunkers beneath the sprawling Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, Ukraine.
As I had written previously:
What was once “a Ukrainian neo-Nazi paramilitary organization” which even the FBI said is notorious for its “association with neo-Nazi ideology” was first relabeled as merely “far right” before it became a normal “unit in the Ukrainian military”.
In yesterday’s report about some dubious Ukrainian military success near Bakhmut the Times has taken its next step which is to avoid mentioning Azov at all:
Videos released on Friday by Ukraine’s 3rd Separate Assault Brigade showed soldiers piling out of armored personnel carriers and assaulting a Russian trench. “Forward, forward!” a soldier yelled in the video, filmed on a helmet camera. The soldiers dived for cover as Russian fighters threw a hand grenade, then ran forward and threw their own grenade into a Russian bunker. The video could not be independently verified.
When one throws “Ukraine’s 3rd Separate Assault Brigade” into a web search engine one is likely to be pointed to Wikipedia which then reveals the complete name of that military unit:
The 3rd Separate Assault Brigade Azov (Ukrainian: 3-тя окрема штурмова бригада Азов) is a brigade of the Ukrainian Ground Forces formed in 2022. …
The brigade, which was established in November 2022, emerged from the Azov Special Operations Forces (SSO) and initially comprised veterans of the Azov Regiment. Since than its a fully operational combat unit within the Ukrainian Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
During the war Azov has grown through active recruiting from “the Azov Battalion, a Ukrainian neo-Nazi paramilitary organization” into the Azov Regiment and, after losing in Mariupol, into a brigade size unit.
“The defensive phase of the battle for Bakhmut is ending,” said Andriy Biletsky, who has ultimate command of the brigade, among other units in the Ukrainian Army. Now, he said, Ukraine would ramp up the pressure on the Russians from the north and south.
Who is this Andriy Biletsky? Well, you will not learn that from the current New York Times which leaves his title and position undefined.
Which again leads me to Wikipedia:
Andriy Yevheniyovych Biletsky is a Ukrainian far-right politician. He is the leader of political party National Corps. He was the first commander of the volunteer militia Azov Battalion, which he founded in 2014, and a co-founder of the nationalist movement Social-National Assembly.
Reading further we can also learn about Biletsky’s political views:
In 2010, Biletsky said that the Ukrainian nation’s mission is to “lead the white races of the world in a final crusade…against Semite-led Untermenschen”.
There is more to learn about Andriy Biletsky’s ideology:
In addition to the supremacy of the white race, Biletsky claimed to defend the West, to want the destruction of democracy in Europe, the destruction of capitalism and of the “Zionist international”, which would be replaced by “Nazocracy”, which are his own words. As a historian, Biletsky, in addition to the conspiracy theory that was very much a part of his rhetoric, was also committed to revisionism, rewriting the history of the Ukrainian people, whose roots, according to him, lay in the Scythian civilisation, which he linked to the Cossacks, in an attempt to erase the real origin of the Kiev Rus’. Going much further than the Nazis, he went so far as to declare that the latter had not taken into account the need to racially cleanse the population, including the Aryan population, in order to eradicate degenerate subjects, such as alcoholism, drug addiction and others. His idea was to take into account “the biological character of each family”. Going much further than American eugenics, he proposed the total and literal cleansing of the race, stating that the Ukrainian national culture was derived from the people, not from their history, religion, heritage, or language. He even declared that “the historical mission of the Ukrainian nation at this critical moment is to lead the white peoples of the world in the last crusade for its existence, and to fight against the sub-humanity led by the Semites”.
Reading more about him reveals that Biletsky has not only theorized Nazi ideology but has over years committed violent acts against various of the ‘enemies’ it designates. He had been arrested and jailed for those crimes several times.
The Wayback machine has a copy of a booklet (in Russian) with various of his writings. In 2005, for example, he wrote about “What is Ukraine” (pg 17, 18) (machine translation):
The nationalists’ view of Ukraine is definitely a view into the past and present, and the project of the future – Great Ukraine.Our Ukraine has an area of 945 thousand km2 (i.e., 343 thousand km2 more than today’s than today’s), inhabited by 60 million people, mostly Ukrainians. These 343 thousand kilometers of land were taken away from the Ukrainian nation in the past: the Kuban and nation: the Kuban and Eastern Slobozhanshchyna (now under Muscovy), Kholmshchyna and Podlasie (under Poland), Beresteyshchyna (under Belarus), Transnistria (under Moldova), Marmoroshchyna (under Romania), Presov region (under Slovakia), Western Transcarpathia (under Hungary). All of these lands, together with modern Ukraine, make up indivisible united Ukraine, which we have no right to trade or nor give up.
However, Ukraine is not just a piece of territory in the center of Europe, outlined by the settlement of the Ukrainian nation, it is an absolutely unique alloy, an ethno-geographical organism.
Those are a lot of wars that will need to be waged for that ‘project of the future’ …
I have found no information about Biletsky current official position though the way the NY Times describes him – “who has ultimate command of the brigade, among other units in the Ukrainian Army” – one must assume that he is now a high ranking military officer.
From directly describing the ideology of Azov as ‘neo-Nazi’ the New York Times has moved over several station into avoiding its mentioning. It quotes its leader without identifying him and without giving any context.
But it will happily describe the pre-produced propaganda videos his neo-Nazis send to their press contacts.