Neo-Nazi Symbols on Ukrainian Troops ‘Cannot be Divorced’ From Their Origin
by Fantine Gardinier
After Russia launched its special operation in February 2022, Western media that had readily called Ukrainian nationalist groups neo-Nazis rushed to unring the bell, insisting the Azov Battalion and others had “departed” from their hateful ways and did not glorify figures who collaborated with the WWII invasion, occupation, and genocide.
A Monday article in the New York Times highlighted what Western media has sought to downplay for the past year: the existence of neo-Nazis in the Ukrainian military and the proliferation of Nazi symbolism, including the Totenkopf “Death’s Head” emblem used by the SS and the Sonnenrad “Black Sun,” which was also heavily used by the Nazis and subsequent groups sympathetic to their ideology.
However, the Times sought to downplay the symbolism, casting it as devoid of the fascist meanings associated with it and repeating Ukrainian nationalist talking points about how the symbols have unique traditional meanings in Ukraine.
Jeremy Kuzmarov, the managing editor of Covert Action magazine and the author of a number of books on US foreign policy, told Radio Sputnik on Tuesday that despite the attempting “whitewashing” of the symbolism and those who sport it, such symbolism “cannot be divorced” from its meaning in Europe.
Kuzmarov said the media, including the Times, was “skewing the situation” by refusing to separate journalism from propaganda by asking Ukrainian soldiers to remove neo-Nazi patches prior to being photographed.
Kuzmarov noted, as does the Times article itself, that part of the reason for the launching of the special military operation in Ukraine in February 2022 was to de-Nazify the country after such groups had been allowed for years to violently persecute and kill ethnic Russians in Ukraine, including pushing the eight-year-long war against the autonomous, Russian-speaking Donbass.
The proliferation of such symbols among Ukrainian troops “gives some legitimacy” to those claims in Western eyes “and they can’t have that.”
US Long Supported Nazi Collaborators
In the final stages of World War II, the US rushed to make contact with Nazi collaborators from the Soviet Union and parts of Europe liberated by the Soviets, most of all those in Ukraine. After the war, the newly-created CIA helped sponsor an insurgency in Ukraine that by the agency’s own estimates killed more than 35,000 people by the time it was suppressed in the mid-1950s.
“Basically, that’s what we’re seeing again: the US CIA mobilizing neo-Nazi networks to take on the Russians. A lot of the front line fighting is carried out by these militias, many of which openly wear that insignia,” Kuzmarov said.
Read the full article at Sputnik International.
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Published on June 7, 2023