Russian Federation Sitrep 2014.03.06

RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP

6 March 2014

Information battlespace. Just as in the Ossetia War, Western governments and media are in full propaganda mode. And, again, their citizens and news consumers will eventually find out they are being lied to. But this time it will be sooner because the New Media is stronger and alternative views are available. The discovery of neo-Nazis and the sniper story will accelerate the collapse. Washington will soon be talking to itself.

Snipers. On 21 February an agreement was cobbled together by representatives of the EU-Russia-Yanukovych-opposition (text here). Very soon snipers started killing people on Maidan Square – both police and protesters and the agreement collapsed. We have an intercepted conversation from 26 February in which an Estonian diplomat tells Ashton that his information is that the snipers were from the “new coalition” (ie the people now in power in Kiev). It is genuine. Easy deductions: the sigint part of the former Ukrainian security service bugged the call. Ergo it has defected from Kiev; ergo what’s the next revelation going to be? It now would seem to be a good bet that these guys bugged the Nuland phonecall too and maybe the Crimea communication too (see below). It took a day but the story has crossed the Atlantic and arrived on Fox.

Zen Judo. Russia wins if it does nothing; USA/EU lose if they do anything.

Who’s in charge? These guys have the street power: “talking” to prosecutors; no one will take my weapons away; a town council gets the word. Why do you suppose these things are proudly filmed and put out on You Tube? Pour encourager les autres? The BBC interviews some of these people; go to 2:48 – a little bit like Hitler… in our own way. The Guardian finally reports; the comments are fun to read – that’s not what you told us! “I had thought that Russian propaganda about ‘Nazis’ was just that, propaganda, nothing more. Now I read this article describing the composition of the new cabinet, and I’m floored. It’s dominated by neo-nazis and palaeo-nazis, with only token representation of moderates.” More on the Pravy Sektor and Svoboda presence. Another media outlet wakes up. A Swedish paper. There’s’ a report from Russian media (tomorrow’s news today in many cases – the sniper story first appeared on RT and spread from there) that Yatsenyuk is trying to regularise these people as an accepted militia. When will this information cross the Atlantic? Floored indeed.

It’s over. Ukraine is a space on the map combining bits of the Russian Empire, Poland and Romania bounded by lines drawn by Lenin, Stalin and Khrushchev. Inside that space are indeed people who regard themselves as “Ukrainians” but there are lots of other national identities too. It is a country split on “east-west” issues. The “Ukraine concept” could rub along so long as no one tried to make all Ukraine obey the desires of half Ukraine. To insist on alliance with Russia alienates the west just as NATO membership alienates the south and east. The stable option is neutrality. To insist on EU association and cutting Russia off is as bad as a Russia trade connection that cut the EU off. The stable option is an arrangement with each (“tripartite” – here rejected by the EU). But Western arrogance and ignorance keeps trying to split it (blaming Russia as it does). The so-called “Orange Revolution” ten years ago soon forgot “democracy” and “reform” in its desire for NATO membership. This time the “Ukraine concept” has been blown apart thanks to the West’s insistence on EU and not Russia and the neo-Nazi seizure of power. Ukraine is slowly separating along the tear line. Not “secession” yet, let alone joining Russia, but “dissociation”. This would be happening if Putin had never existed; it was implicit in the “Ukraine concept”. The Armed Forces, security structure, police services have probably split. The Ukrainian state has ceased to exist and I don’t see how it can be put back together.

Stepan Bandera. Learn about him, he’s a hero in the west of Ukraine and the people in power in Kiev but in the south and east he’s a “fascist” or “Nazi”. This disagreement is the precise oin-point of the destruction of the “Ukraine concept”. Here’s Wikipedia to start with.

Coup in Crimea thwarted? Some people have pieced together a story of a coup attempt in Crimea on 27/28 February that was thwarted by Russian special forces. Here are the arguments and information; read them for yourself. One, Two Three. Videos, intercepted communications, aircraft movements.

Reality bites. US supply routes to Afghanistan depend very heavily on Russia. Crimeans are perfectly happy with the situation. Russia by treaty is entitled to have 25,000 troops in Crimea; it has not exceeded that number. Russian gas supplies to Europe. China is not amused. Turkey is calm. Abandon US dollar? And the nature of the people Washington and Brussels have put into power. And polling data.

© Patrick Armstrong Analysis, Ottawa, Canada http://www.russiaotherpointsofview.com/ http://us-russia.org/)

Hyperlinks ought to work immediately but, if not, right-click, copy link location, put it in your browser.

 

    • Diego Zampini

      Dear Patrick: You probably already saw this, but just in case I let you know, and thru you all the readers of this blog. It is well known that some of the episodes that turned the tide of the battle of public oppinion against Yanukobych was that three members of the opposition -Dmytro Yarosh, Dmytro Bulatov and Tatyana Chornovol- reportedly were beaten and humilliated by thugs controlled by Yanukobych. However there are now serious doubts about the authenticity of such beatings and humilations.
      This article by Thierry Meyssen (http://www.voltairenet.org/article182057.html) clearly show that, in the final frames of the video where Yarosh was reportedly humilliated by members of the Berkut (the anti-riot police of Yanukobych) the policeman that can be seen in profile … is no other that Andrey Dubrovik, the chief of security of the “Fatherland” party of Yulya Timoshenko!
      Another article by Meyssen (http://www.voltairenet.org/article182428.html), while describing who-is-who in the new Ukranian cabinet, can’t help to notice the lack of scars in Dmytro Bulatov’s face in the more recent photos, in spite the photo sesions where he appeared after the “beating” showed apparently terrible bloody wounds , which should leave some sort of scars, IMHO.
      So, leting aside the “reasonable doubt” about whether these new Ukranian leaders are neo-nazis or not, it seems clear that what they are is liers, capables to mount any theatralic trick to present themselves as victims to seize power. So far, it seems they succeded. But I don’t know how long they will last when the truth will be known. And they must remember that, as the Chinese says: “It is easy to seize power, but it is hard to keep it later”.

  • It’s unlikely that Russia moves on Ukraine unless NATO does. What Russia likely will do is prepare an all-out nuclear strike against the coastal perimeter of the US and maybe Canada as well…highest value targets. That’s why I live in Huntsville and not Detroit…all I have to do is sit back and “zen out”.

  • johnUK

    Interesting info if true about the Crimean coup plot that would justify Russian presence but not annexation.

  • AP

    This letter by the world’s leading scholars on Ukrainian nationalism and fascism is a nice antidote to the nonsense fantasy about neo-Nazis running amok in Kiev:

    https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/to-journalists-commentators-and-analysts-writing-on-the-ukrainian-protest-movement-euromaidan-kyiv-s-euromaidan-is-a-liberationist-and-not-extremist-mass-action-of-civic-disobedience

    There is also a nice article by Anton Shekhovtsov, probably the leading scholar on modern Ukrainian fascists:

    http://anton-shekhovtsov.blogspot.de/2014/02/a-comment-on-cas-muddes-article-new.html#more

    ———————–
    This issue does, at least, help indicate one’s knowledge of recent events in Ukraine.

    “While the Right Sector has indeed a neo-Nazi fringe – constituted by the representatives from the “White Hammer” group, “Patriot of Ukraine”/Social-National Assembly – the main group behind the Right Sector is “Tryzub” (Trident) which is far from neo-Nazism, racism and anti-Semitism. Its ideology can be interpreted as national conservative.”

    “Svoboda may be more extreme than the French National Front or the Freedom Party of Austria, but it is probably less extreme than Jobbik, NPD, Golden Dawn, Tricolour Flame, BNP, etc.”

  • AP

    And here an open letter form Ukraine’s Jewish leaders:

    http://eajc.org/page32/news43672.html

    “They have tried to scare us (and are continuing their attempts) with “Bandera followers” and “Fascists” attempting to wrest away the helm of Ukrainian society, with imminent Jewish progroms. Yes, we are well aware that the political opposition and the forces of social protests who have secured changes for the better are made up of different groups. They include nationalistic groups, but even the most marginal do not dare show anti-Semitism or other xenophobic behavior. And we certainly know that our very few nationalists are well-controlled by civil society and the new Ukrainian government – which is more than can be said for the Russian neo-Nazis, who are encouraged by your security services.

    Another nice article about antisemtisim:

    http://eajc.org/page34/news43249.html

    “neither the formal political opposition nor the broad protest movement don’t give any real grounds for accusing them on anti-Semitism. On the contrary: the Maidan stage equally hosts a praying rabbi, the Chairman of the Association of Jewish Communities and Organizations of Ukraine (VAAD Ukraine) Josef Zisels with a speech, and a klezmer band singing in Yiddish. All of this not only doesn’t incite any kind of negative reaction but is supported and welcomed by everyone, including the nationalists. The protesters use their free time to listen about Ukraine’s Jewish cultural and historic heritage: these lectures are rather popular and the audience is very interested. Finally, there have already been several events in Tel-Aviv before the Embassy of Ukraine where the residents of Israel showed their support for the Ukrainian people, protested against police terror, and showed their grief for those who were killed. These rallies have garnered a wide resonance in Ukraine and the reaction from the civil protesters was overwhelmingly positive.”

    Meanwhile, a Jewish Afghan vet who helped train the Ukrainian militants was given a hero’s funeral in western Ukraine:

    http://www.timesofisrael.com/jewish-afghan-war-vet-killed-fighting-in-kiev-buried/

    Somehow these facts don’t fit the strange narrative of Nazis running amok in post-Yanukovich Kiev.

    • johnUK

      You know I have been critical of Russia’s actions in the Crimea and the Ukraine but the fact is when the EU and US created and hand-picked the government it comprised of pro-western leaders, oligarchs and members of fascist groups with no real Russian representation. Essentially it is a pro-western version of the previous government who had a chequered relationship in regards of securing Russian interests.

      I honestly don’t know what the situation on the ground is just now in the Ukraine but there are some big issue that have not been clarified.

      Are the groups that are still armed that did not adhere to the conditions of the February 21st agreement that stormed and occupied government administrative building still roaming the streets?

      Will western NGO’S that financed the opposition to the previous government and in Russian still be financing opposition groups to the new government in Kiev?

      Given that the new government was largely put in place with EU and US assistance who will likely have secret communications on matters and the new Ukrainian government is dependent on the promised Russian loan agreement and debt what guarantee is there that Russia’s interest in Ukraine will be secured?

      If true following foreign policy initiative of trafficking foreign terrorists in Bosnia, Kosovo, Chechnya, Azerbaijan, Xinjiang, Libya and Syria during the protest period in Ukraine are these people still operating in the country?

      http://www.moonofalabama.org/2014/03/the-crimean-anti-coup-move.html#more

      http://allhackersnews.com/2014/02/anonymous-operations-expose-ukrainian-bandera-nazis.html#more-1029

  • Diego Zampini

    Once again, excelent article!! Keep the good work! JohnUK: the topic about whether Crimea must be part of Russia or not is a matter of hot debate, but IMHO, it belongs to Russia, and I’ll try to explain why. There were never ukranians in Crimea, at least not as indigenous people. The “indigenous population” might be considered the Crimean Tartars, who occupied Crimea around 1240 as part of the Golden Horde, and later became the Crimean Kaganate in 1443, becaming subject of the Turkish Empire since 1565. How the Russian Empire got his hands on Crimea? Thru war against the Otsman Empire in 1768-1774 – after 1774 the Crimean Kaganate was independent till 1783 when was definitively occupied by Russian forces. Till that moment there were no ukranians in Crimea. Only after WWII ukranians began to settle in Crimea in significant numbers, becoming the current 26% of the population. And during all the Russian Empire and most of the history of the Soviet Union, Crimea was part of the RSFSR, and not part of the Ukranian SSR. But why ended up Crimea in Ukraine? Becuase in 1954 Kruschev decided to translate the control of Crimea to the Ukraine SSR. At that time there was no problem, all were members of the USSR. When the Soviet Union broke up in 1991, Ukraine claimed the ownership of Crimea because of Khruschev’s decree. Weak, and needed of US economic assistance, Russia was in no pósition to argue. Furthermore, as long as the Ukranian government allowed the Fleet of the Black Sea to stay in Sevastopol and trated well the Russian speaking population, no problem. But that definitively changed now. And the Russian families there (many who lived there more than to 200 years) are 65% of the population, IMHO they have full right to decide if they want to be part of Russia.

    • AP

      “Only after WWII ukranians began to settle in Crimea in significant numbers, becoming the current 26% of the population.”

      Russians were outnumbered by Tatars, the natives of Crimea, as recently as 1897:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Crimea

      Even back then, the ratio of Russians to Ukrainians in Crimea was similar to what it is now.

      Russians were still slightly less than 50% of Crimea’s population in 1939. The majority Russian nature of Crimea is a relatively recent, post World War II phenomenon.

      There are parallels between the situation of native Tatars in Crimea and native Serbs in Kosovo.

      • Diego Zampini

        AP: thank you very much for the remarks, they are very usefull for readers. I of course know that, till 1944, Tatars outnumbered all the other ethnic groups in Crimea (Russians, Ukranians, Germans and Jews), being the 52% of the Crimean population. It was the massive deportation of the Tatars after the liberation of the peninsula by the 4th Ukranian Front’s forces in 1944, which changed the balance of numbers (a very unfair and tragic event, but not unjustified – it is a fact that most Tatars collaborated in 1941-44 with the Nazi occupants to exterminate the Jews and strongly misstreat the Russian inhabitants, justifying IMHO the following punishment – the deportation). If I would have been Stalin, I would not deported them, I think is a horrible thing to do, no matter whatever was your crime. But back to 1944 and taking into account the suffering and misery that Nazis had inflicted in the Russian and Slavic populations, to punish anyone who had collaborated with them was something logic to do.
        But let’s back to the chorus: while the Tatars are indeed a nationality, they are not a country anymore. By the contrary Ukraine and Russia are both nationalities and countries, and both claim rights to own Crimea. And IMHO is Russia who has more rights to claim Crimea, simply because of the two ethnic groups, Russians were the ones which settled first, and in bigger numbers.

        • AP

          Actually Ukrainians outnumbered Russians in Crimea until the late 1850s, so they settled first (although, in the 1850s, both groups were quite small). The fair thing would be to have an internationally monitored referendum and perhaps split the peninsula depending on how the vote goes, with the Tatar- and Ukrainian populated areas in the north and center (depending on the vote) staying with Ukraine and places such as Sevastopol joining Russia, with Ukraine being compensated for the loss of territory. This is probably how things should have been handled with Kosovo.

          Here btw is an ethnic map of Crimea:

          http://pollotenchegg.livejournal.com/176304.html

          • A Cyprus type situation that is divided between Turkish and Greek regions?

  • Test2014

    Sorry but nope, Kosovo is an entirely different story. The Albanians were a tiny minority just a century ago and have multiplied extremely within 3-4 generations. In the 90’s, albanian families had 7 kids on average.

    That’s the same strategy that for example shiites used for centuries, becoming the majority is just as good as winning a real war.

    • AP

      In 1863 Crimea had 180,000 Tatars and only 30,000 Russians. Albanians became a majority in Kosovo around 1900 after Serbs suffered from ethnic cleansing in the late 19th century; Russians a majority in Crimea only after World War II.

      According to the 1931 Yugoslav census Kosovo was by language 68% Muslim and 32.6% Slavic (Serbian, Croat, Sloven, Macedonian).

      Kosovo was thus, actually, Albanian longer than Crimea has been Russian. Moreover according to the 1991 Yugoslav census Serbs were 10% of Kosovo’s population; Tatars are about 12% of Crimea’s current population.

    • Doug M.

      Dude, the Royalist Yugoslav censuses are available online. Kosovo was already majority Albanian when the Serbs marched in in 1912. The censuses show that Kosovo was 73% Muslim in 1921, 68% in 1931 — and since almost all Muslims were Albanians (the Bosniaks and Turks were never more than a few percent each) you can do the math.

      A lot of Serbs seem to have convinced themselves that somehow Kosovo only became majority Albanian after 1945. Nope.

      Doug M.

    • Doug M.

      “In the 90′s, albanian families had 7 kids on average.”

      — also a non-fact statement. Kosovo’s Albanian birthrate seems to have peaked in the 1970s, then fallen steadily: basically the same pattern as everyone else in the region, just delayed by a generation or so. But *because* it was delayed by a generation or so, from about 1970 onwards Albanians were indeed having more kids than their Serb neighbors. Around 1980 suddenly the Serbs noticed this and began to freak the fuck out over it. Ironically, the freakout came just as the Albanian birthrate was starting to drop down like everyone else’s, But terror of Albanian fertility (THEY ARE OUTBREEDING US! LIKE ANIMALS!) became hardwired into Serb nationalism really quickly and has been a staple ever since.

      Kosovo’s current TFR — average number of kids per woman — is 2.4, down from 2.7 in 2002. Extend that line backwards and you see that Kosovar families were having about three kids each in the 1990s, not “7 kids on average”.

      Doug M.

  • AP

    (In order to salvage my comment from moderation exile, I’m reposting it with only one link):

    A lot of nonsense written about supposed massive neo-Nazi influence in post-Yanukovich Ukraine.

    A quote from an open letter form Ukraine’s Jewish leaders:

    (google “Open letter of Ukrainian Jews to Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin” and “World Jewish News” )

    “They have tried to scare us (and are continuing their attempts) with “Bandera followers” and “Fascists” attempting to wrest away the helm of Ukrainian society, with imminent Jewish progroms. Yes, we are well aware that the political opposition and the forces of social protests who have secured changes for the better are made up of different groups. They include nationalistic groups, but even the most marginal do not dare show anti-Semitism or other xenophobic behavior. And we certainly know that our very few nationalists are well-controlled by civil society and the new Ukrainian government – which is more than can be said for the Russian neo-Nazis, who are encouraged by your security services.

    We have a great mutual understanding with the new government, and a partnership is in the works. There are quite a few national minority representatives in the Cabinet of Ministers: the Minister of Internal Affairs is Armenian, the Vice Prime Minister is a Jew, two ministers are Russian. The newly-appointed governors of Ukraine’s region are also not exclusively Ukrainian.

    signed by

    Josef Zisels Chairman of the Association of Jewish Communities and Organizations of Ukraine (VAAD) Ukraine, Executive Vice President of the Congress of National Communities of Ukraine

    Alexander Suslensky D.Sc., Vice President of the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine, businessman

    Andrei Adamovsky First Vice President of the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine, member of the “Hillel” Jewish Student organization Observation Council (citizen of Russia)

    Rabbi Alex Dukhovny Head Rabbi of the Ukrainian Progressive Judaism communities

    Rabbi Reuven Stamov Head Rabbi of the Ukrainian Traditional Judaism communities

    Leonid Finberg Director of the NaUKMA Center for the Studies of History and Culture of Eastern European Jewry, VAAD Ukraine Vice Chairman

    A Jewish Afghan vet who helped train the Ukrainian militants was given a hero’s funeral in western Ukraine:

    http://www.timesofisrael.com/jewish-afghan-war-vet-killed-fighting-in-kiev-buried/

    Somehow these facts don’t fit the strange narrative of Nazis running amok in post-Yanukovich Kiev.

    Whom did Patrick Armstrong link to in his article supporting the bizarre view that Ukraine is now crawling with neo-Nazis? A column in a Swedish newspaper written by Åsa Natacha Linderborg, who according to her wikipedia page is a member of the Swedish Communist Party and who made a controversy by publishing under her editorship an article claiming Israeli soldiers have been harvesting Palestinian organs.

    • That’s not the only thing I linked to.

      • AP

        Yes, you also linked to Justin Raimondo’s article, rather biased, and a guy with no history of expertise in this subject. Comments section from a Guardian article (because random commentators are a legit source of objective information) and youtube videos of a radical militant in Rivne, a provincial town far from Kiev. Was the prosecutor getting roughed up the same one who had been sentencing people to house arrest and threatening them with prison for desecrating Yanukovich portraits while the big thug was still in power?

        Sorry, I prefer the collective judgments of experts on the Ukrainian radical right and actual Jewish leaders in Ukraine for information on such a controversial subject. Naturally these are the exact types of sources that some people would like to avoid.

        • And those aren’t the only things I linked to. Is Raimondo wrong in his listing of who has positions in the new government? Yes or No? For example he says “Oleh Makhnitsky – Svoboda member of parliament, is prosecutor-general.” is this true or false? yes or no?

          • AP

            Raimondo is not wrong in that point, but this list could have come from a neutral source rather than from his biased article. He is no expert on Ukrainian politics or history, he runs an antiwar blog devoted to keeping America out of foreign wars and conflicts. His work is thus polemic rather than objective in nature. If America decided to join Russia in invading Ukrainian (or some other) territory, he would surely start producing biased Russophobic articles. But since America is supporting the central and western Ukrainians rather than the Russians, he is going to vilify the former groups.

            As a junior coalition partner Svoboda is of course getting positions in the new government. Not acting president or PM, but prosecutor-general and several other ones. Svoboda is running well behind in the polls so this number will decrease after the next elections which hopefully will happen later this year, after the presidential one.

            • So, despite his not being an “expert”, you concede Raimondo’s accuracy on the issue I quoted him on. Thank you. Comforting to know you believe that Svoboda and Pravy Sektor have little future in elections.
              Still not the only sources I quoted.

              • AP

                “So, despite his not being an “expert”, you concede Raimondo’s accuracy on the issue I quoted him on.”

                Again, the issue isn’t whether he was accurate on that specific point, but rather your choice to link to an article in which the accurate information is embedded in a biased polemic. Pat Buchanan might have accurate stats about minority crime rates in his essays, but when writing about crime rates I wouldn’t link to an article devoting to smearing blacks that happened to have some accurate stats in it. I’d link to neutral sources. Unless my purpose was itself polemical. Is yours?

                “Comforting to know you believe that Svoboda and Pravy Sektor have little future in elections.”

                An article about polls you linked to – which itself was naturally also biased, like much of what you present – nevertheless had an excellent link to raw poll data:

                http://socis.kiev.ua/ua/press/nove-sotsiolohichnoho-opytuvannja-stanom-z-25-ljutoho-po-4-bereznja-2014.html

                In ratings of potential presidential candidates Tiahnybok got 2.5% and Yarosh got 1.6%.

                Funny isn’t it how these two happen to get much more than 4.1% of anti-Maidan media coverage?

                In terms of party preference, Svoboda gets 4.3% (6.5% among likely voters). There is a good chance the the moderate opposition parties wouldn’t even have go into coalition with Svoboda to keep a majority.

                This is a nice survey that demonstrates the effect of anti-Maidan propaganda and how it skews reality on those naive enough to believe it:

                http://www.kiis.com.ua/?lang=eng&cat=reports&id=231&page=1

                In central Ukraine, the epicenter of where the action is actually happening and where people are actual eyewitnesses and participants to revolutionary events, only 16.9% of the people attribute this to Western influence. The causes are, in order of preference:

                1. Outrage at the corrupt Yanukovich regime 54.8%
                2. Protest against police brutality 36.6%
                3. Sense of civic duty and self-will 31.1%
                4. Desire to turn Ukraine into a civilized country like others in Europe 31%
                5. Nationalism 17.4%

                Contrast that to people from Russia (who are in Ukraine and thus get their info from their media), who attribute these events:

                1. Western influence 43.1%
                2. Nationalism 30.5%
                3. Outrage at the corrupt Yanukovich regime 16.8%

                People from eastern and southern Ukraine, where there had been few protests, and who were dependent on anti-Maidan media, are even more clueless.

                So two interpretations:

                1. Russian media know more about why people resisted Yanukovich than did the resisters and eyewitnesses themselves (!)
                2. Russian media is completely inaccurate with respect tot he cause of the demonstrations, and people who believe it about events in Ukraine are, as a result, wildly wrong.

                And the ultimate conclusion is that those who spread the Russian POV about the reasons for these events are basically just spreading disinformation. This serves some useful purposes for some parties, but is a disservice to those who just want to know what is really happening. Furthermore, given the obvious inaccuracy about why people were resisting, any other information about contemporary Ukrainian events from Russian sources ought to be viewed with considerable caution. Russian media are simply an unreliable witness here.

              • AP

                Oops! Typo!

                “Contrast that to people from Russia (who are in Ukraine and thus get their info from their media), who attribute these events:”

                Should be changed to “Contrast that to people from Russia (who are not in Ukraine and thus get their info from their media), who attribute these events:

    • akarlin

      I am sorry about this.

      Okay, I’m going to loosen the comments/spam setting a bit, let’s see if that solves the problem you sometimes have.

  • AP

    What do actual experts on Nazism and the far right in Ukraine say about the presence of neo-Nazis in post-Yanukovich Ukraine? A nice link here:

    http://anton-shekhovtsov.blogspot.de/2014/02/a-comment-on-cas-muddes-article-new.html

    “While the Right Sector has indeed a neo-Nazi fringe – constituted by the representatives from the “White Hammer” group, “Patriot of Ukraine”/Social-National Assembly – the main group behind the Right Sector is “Tryzub” (Trident) which is far from neo-Nazism, racism and anti-Semitism. Its ideology can be interpreted as national conservative.”

    “Svoboda may be more extreme than the French National Front or the Freedom Party of Austria, but it is probably less extreme than Jobbik, NPD, Golden Dawn, Tricolour Flame, BNP, etc.”

    An open letter signed by dozens of leading experts on the far right in Ukraine, states:

    “As a result of our professional specialization and research experience, we are aware of the problems, dangers and potential of the involvement of certain right-wing extremist groupings in the Ukrainian protests. Following years of intensive study of this topic, we understand better than many other commentators the risks that its far right participation entails for the EuroMaidan. Some of our critical comments on nationalist tendencies have triggered angry responses from ethnocentrists in Ukraine and the Ukrainian diaspora living in the West.

    While we are critical of far right activities on the EuroMaidan, we are, nevertheless, disturbed by a dangerous tendency in too many international media reports dealing with the recent events in Ukraine. An increasing number of lay assessments of the Ukrainian protest movement, to one degree or another, misrepresents the role, salience and impact of Ukraine’s far right within the protest movement. Numerous reports allege that the pro-European movement is being infiltrated, driven or taken over by radically ethnocentrist groups of the lunatic fringe. Some presentations create the misleading impression that ultra-nationalist actors and ideas are at the core or helm of the Ukrainian protests. Graphic pictures, juicy quotes, sweeping comparisons and dark historical references are in high demand. They are combined with a disproportionate consideration of one particularly visible, yet politically minor segment within the confusing mosaic that is formed by the hundreds of thousands of protesters with their different motivations, backgrounds and aims.”

    “…True, the violent and non-violent protesters also comprise a variety of radicals of both the far right and far left. Yet, the movement as a whole merely reflects the entire Ukrainian population, young and old. The heavy focus on right-wing radicals in international media reports is, therefore, unwarranted and misleading. Such an over-representation may have more to do with the sensationalist potential of extremely ethnonationalistic slogans, symbols or uniforms than with the actual situation, on the ground.”

    • Diego Zampini

      Dear AP:
      You says that “An open letter signed by dozens of leading experts on the far right in Ukraine, states:” but you did not say who these experts are. Who are they? Can you please tell us who are those so-called experts, so we can verify whether they are in fact experts or not?

      • AP

        It was in the link:

        https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/to-journalists-commentators-and-analysts-writing-on-the-ukrainian-protest-movement-euromaidan-kyiv-s-euromaidan-is-a-liberationist-and-not-extremist-mass-action-of-civic-disobedience

        Iryna Bekeshkina, researcher of political behavior in Ukraine, Sociology Institute of the National Academy of Sciences, Ukraine

        Tetiana Bezruk, researcher of the far right in Ukraine, Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Ukraine

        Oleksandra Bienert, researcher of racism and homophobia in Ukraine, PRAVO. Berlin Group for Human Rights in Ukraine, Germany

        Maksym Butkevych, researcher of xenophobia in post-Soviet Ukraine, “No Borders” Project of the Social Action Center at Kyiv, Ukraine

        Vitaly Chernetsky, researcher of modern Ukrainian and Russian culture in the context of globalization, University of Kansas, USA

        Marta Dyczok, researcher of Ukrainian national identity, mass media and historical memory, Western University, Canada

        Kyrylo Galushko, researcher of Ukrainian and Russian nationalism, Institute of Ukrainian History, Ukraine

        Mridula Ghosh, researcher of human rights abuses and the far right in Ukraine, East European Development Institute, Ukraine

        Olexiy Haran, researcher of Ukrainian political parties, Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Ukraine

        John-Paul Himka, researcher of Ukrainian nationalist participation in the Holocaust, University of Alberta, Canada

        Ola Hnatiuk, researcher of right-wing tendencies in Ukraine, University of Warsaw, Poland

        Yaroslav Hrytsak, researcher of historic Ukrainian nationalism, Ukrainian Catholic University at L’viv, Ukraine

        Adrian Ivakhiv, researcher of religio-nationalist groups in post-Soviet Ukraine, University of Vermont, USA

        Valeriy Khmelko, researcher of ethno-national structures in Ukrainian society, Kyiv International Institute of Sociology, Ukraine

        Vakhtang Kipiani, researcher of Ukrainian nationalism and samizdat, “Istorychna pravda” (www.istpravda.com.ua), Ukraine

        Volodymyr Kulyk, researcher of Ukrainian nationalism, identity and media, Institute of Political and Ethnic Studies at Kyiv, Ukraine

        Natalya Lazar, researcher of the history of the Holocaust in Ukraine and Romania, Clark University, USA

        Viacheslav Likhachev, researcher of Ukrainian and Russian xenophobia, Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, Israel

        Mykhailo Minakov, researcher of Russian and Ukrainian political modernization, Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Ukraine

        Michael Moser, researcher of languages and identities in Ukraine, University of Vienna, Austria

        Bohdan Nahaylo, researcher of ethnic tensions in Eastern Europe and the CIS, formerly with UNHCR, France

        Volodymyr Paniotto, researcher of post-Soviet xenophobia, Kyiv International Institute of Sociology, Ukraine

        Olena Petrenko, researcher of war-time Ukrainian nationalism, Ruhr University of Bochum, Germany

        Anatolii Podolskyi, researcher of genocide history and antisemitism, Ukrainian Center for Holocaust Studies at Kyiv, Ukraine

        Alina Polyakova, researcher of radical right movements, University of Bern, Switzerland

        Andriy Portnov, researcher of modern Ukrainian, Polish and Russian nationalism, Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany

        Yuri Radchenko, researcher of war-time Ukrainian nationalism, Center on Inter-Ethnic Relations in Eastern Europe at Kharkiv, Ukraine

        William Risch, researcher of Ukrainian nationalist thought and politics, Georgia College, USA

        Anton Shekhovtsov, researcher of West and East European right-wing extremism, University College London, United Kingdom

        Oxana Shevel, researcher of Ukrainian national identity and historical memory, Tufts University, USA

        Myroslav Shkandrij, researcher of inter-war Ukrainian radical nationalism, University of Manitoba, Canada

        Konstantin Sigov, researcher of post-Soviet discourse strategies of the “Other,” Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Ukraine

        Gerhard Simon, researcher of contemporary Ukrainian history and nationality affairs, University of Cologne, Germany

        Iosif Sissels, researcher of hate speech and antisemitism, Association of Jewish Organizations and Communities (VAAD) at Kyiv, Ukraine

        Timothy Snyder, researcher of historic Ukrainian nationalism, Yale University, USA

        Kai Struve, researcher of Ukrainian radical nationalism and the Holocaust, University of Halle, Germany

        Mykhaylo Tyaglyy, researcher of genocide and antisemitism, Ukrainian Center for Holocaust Studies at Kyiv, Ukraine

        Andreas Umland, researcher of the Russian and Ukrainian post-Soviet extreme right, Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Ukraine

        Taras Voznyak, researcher of Ukrainian intellectual life and nationalism, Magazine “JI” (L’viv), Ukraine

        Oleksandr Zaitsev, researcher of Ukrainian integral nationalism, Ukrainian Catholic University at L’viv, Ukraine

        Yevgeniy Zakharov, researcher of xenophobia and hate crimes in today Ukraine, Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group, Ukraine

        —————–

        Some of them, such as Jean Paul Himka, have really come under attack from Ukrainian nationalists for writing extensively about the massacres committed by Ukrainian nationalist sin the 1940’s. An example of one such attack:

        http://ukraineanalysis.wordpress.com/2011/08/07/erroneous-methods-in-j-p-himka%E2%80%99s-challenge-to-%E2%80%9Cukrainian-myths%E2%80%9D/

        So just because some of them are Ukrainian and/or from Canada does not mean that the people on this list are some sort of apologists.

        ——————

        At any rate, since there are actual experts on these topics, why – if one truly wants to be objective – link to dubious sources such as the Swedish Communist Party member journalist or the anti-war activist (Raimondo) who are laypeople with no background, and moreover with ideological biases?

  • AP
  • johnUK

    AP and western critics do make good points with Russian medias hyperbolic reporting and characterisation of the Maidan protests and the whole NAZI angle that is a real red herring and negate real grievances and concerns Russia has regarding events in Ukraine that they have completely strewed up not just in Russian foreign policy by as a whole one of the worst foreign policy initiatives in decades.

    • johnUK

      Forgot to add a part when editing the comment.

      ..in Ukraine and annexation of Crimea that they have completely strewed up not just in Russian foreign policy by as a whole one of the worst foreign policy initiatives in decades

  • donnyess

    The Yukos devil that Putin let loose spread his wings…slots right in with the new “establishment”.

    http://www.dawn.com/news/1092167/putin-says-crimea-separatist-drive-is-in-keeping-with-international-law

    Dugin posts his “Dear John America” letter.

    http://www.4pt.su/en/content/letter-american-people-ukraine

  • donnyess

    Putins blunder might cause Dugins birth?…or monster-monster which guys the monster? I certainly agree with the “Renew America” part that’s for sure.

    http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/kincaid/140309

  • johnUK

    Do you know what the sign and books say?

    Post claims that Russian Neo-Nazis have been in Crimea from this protest in 2009-10.

    http://romaninukraine.com/russian-nationalists-crimea/

    http://maidantranslations.com/2014/03/07/neo-nazis-auf-der-krim-photo/

  • johnUK

    Criticism and evaluation of Russian media coverage of the protests.

    http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/the-media-war-behind-the-ukraine-crisis/495920.html

  • johnUK

    Karlin did you get my email requesting to remove comments that I had my contact info on?

    http://darussophile.com/2013/07/chechens/#comment-23290

  • donnyess

    QUESTION: Is Yanukovych even still alive? There have been rumours that he died.

    VLADIMIR PUTIN: I have seen him once since he arrived in Russia. That was just two days ago. He was alive and well and wishes you the same. He’ll still have a chance of catching a cold at the funeral of those who are spreading these rumours of his demise.

    http://eng.kremlin.ru/transcripts/6763

  • donnyess

    “Putin cannot let this radically anti-Russian government to have a country with a half Russian population and many pro-Russian zones. If he let this he will be done on the international and domestic level. So reluctantly he accepts war. And once entering it there will be no other solution for Russia but to win it”……Alexander Dugin

    http://www.4pt.su/en/content/war-russia-its-ideological-dimension