Ukraine has long been witnessing rise of Nazis


On February 19, 2019, the Jerusalem Post in a report gave detailed description of how the Ukrainian society has not only been witnessing the rise of Nazis but the society was being gradually engulfed by anti-Semitism, Jew-hatred and almost worshipping Adolf Hitler as a hero.

According to media reports, a shopping mall in Ukraine that is located on a street named for a collaborator with the Nazis decorated a staircase with a very large swastika. Imaged and footage from inside the Horodok shopping mall on Kiev’s Bendera Avenue surfaced on Facebook and other social media platforms. They show shoppers climbing up and down the staircase, whose middle-section stairs feature a large swastika locked in a white rhombus encircled by red, similar to Nazi Germany’s flag. The street where the shopping mall is located is named for Stepan Bandera, a Ukrainian ultra-nationalist and a Nazi who briefly collaborated with Nazi Germany in its fight against Russia. His troops are believed to have killed and raped thousands of innocent Jews.

Earlier the street used to be Called Moscow Avenue. It was named for Bandera in 2016 despite protests by some Jewish community leaders and Ukrainian Poles, whose community also suffered war crimes by Bandera’s troops.

According to Eduard Dolinsky, the director of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, the video was taken by a shopper, hours before several hundred ultra-nationalists and Nazis marched through Kiev carrying torches.

But here again, Ukrainian authorities tried to put the blame on Moscow stating it was part of Russian “hybrid information warfare” campaign which “Ukraine has been facing since 2014”.

Ukraine’s Ambassador to Israel Hennadii Nadolenko wrote in a letter to The Jerusalem Post: “The management of the shopping center apologized for the incident and said that the computer system was broken [into] by a hacker attack”.

“We regard this outrageous incident with the hacker attack in the Gorodok Gallery shopping mall as part of a hybrid information warfare, which Ukraine has faced since 2014 and in which the Russian Federation uses all possible measures of propaganda”, he wrote.

The footage shows shoppers climbing up and down the staircase, whose middle-section stairs feature a large swastika on a red banner, reminiscent of Nazi Germany’s flag.

While putting the blame on Moscow, Ukrainian Ambassador to Israel Hennadii Nadolenko further said that the Ukrainian police were “actively looking for people involved in this attack”, which he called “indignant”.

He also wrote that the “use of Nazi symbols is prohibited by the Ukrainian legislation”.

But Ukrainian authorities neither updated anyone about the so-called investigation by police nor ever came up with any specific explanations describing how such outrageous incident took place.

Neo Nazis in the United States backing Nazis and Zelensky in Ukraine

During Russian operation in Ukraine, Sergeant Ivan Kharkiv of Azov Battalion, a notorious group which is seen as tomorrow’s Nazi Al Qaeda told reporters “If [Russian President Vladimir] Putin wants to take Mariupol, he must know that at least 10,000 of his guys will die”.

He also suggested “destroying” all media outlets in Russia that support President Vladimir Putin.

While this Sergeant Ivan Kharkiv of Azov Battalion was speaking to reporters, a a young soldier walked over. Kharkiv introduced him. While shaking hands a large black tattoo becomes particularly visible on the young man’s extended upper bicep. The tattoo is an image of the Nazi eagle atop a black swastika.

When the Man with Nazi tattoo was gone Kharkiv sighed and said, “And yes we also have some guys who support those ideas. But guys with rightist extreme ideologies are in all armies… in the US and in Russia. There are skinheads, for example. We tell them ‘OK, but we have a National Ukraine ideology. If you don’t have this as well, then you can leave.’ But also we have guys from many religions, who believe in different gods or no god, and they all sleep in the same room”.

Kharkiv also made a false claim of Jews being members of the Azov Battalion.

For the Azov, it’s not just a matter of the occasional very confused kid hung up on some twisted variant of the Nazi ideology who wants to enlist. One could say it goes back to the history of collaboration between some Ukraine nationalists and the Nazis fighting the Soviets during World War II. But more specifically and more recently there is a recurring history of Nazi ideology in the battalion that goes back to its founder, Andriy Biletsky, who pulled together the neo-Nazi group called the Social-National Assembly (SNA) in 2008.

In the recent years, Biletsky and the SNA created the Azov Battalion as a volunteer militia. Both the battalion and the SNA sport what is essentially a crude swastika on their logo, although they publicly deny that it is a swastika. Some members of the Azov Battalion even wear the swastika symbol against a yellow background as armbands. A significant portion of the Azov Battalion denies, at least publicly, that it has any neo-Nazi or white supremacist beliefs. Instead these members claim that the swastika-ish symbol on their flags and logo is not a swastika but an N and an I combined to mean “national identity”.

This is a hard sell considering the ideology of Biletsky, their founder and military commander. Also, the numerous swastika tattoos of different members and their tendency to go into battle with swastikas or SS insignias on their helmets make it very difficult for other members of the group to plausibly deny any neo-Nazi affiliations.

And the most alarming fact is – Biden is giving military training to the Ukrainian Nazis, including members of Azov Battalion. Actually, the US has been consistently training neo-Nazis in Ukraine including members of Azov Battalion for years in broad daylight. Millions of US tax payer’s money has been spent towards giving military training to Nazis in Ukraine.

Another alarming fact is – a large number of Nazis from Ukraine, including members of Azov Battalion are studying in several universities in the United States.

No one possibly is considering a dangerous issue. What will happen once the Ukraine war is over and these trained Nazis and members of Azov Battalion start shifting to the United States and other western nations with the mind poisoned with affection for Hitler and his Nazi ideology?

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Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
An internationally acclaimed multi-award-winning anti-militancy journalist, writer, research-scholar, counterterrorism specialist and editor of Blitz. He regularly writes for local and international newspapers on diversified topics, including politics and counterterrorism. Follow him on 'X' @Salah_Shoaib

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