Stay Away From Kiev

"Their children will hole up in basements!" screeched Ukrainian "President" Poroshenko, the oligarch and "Chocolate King." "This is how we will win this war!" He was talking about the children of the people of East Ukraine, whose cities are being bombed from the air by the US-supported Ukrainian military. Thousands have been killed, mostly civilians: Ukraine’s war on its own people has displaced nearly a million people. Many have fled to neighboring Russia, while a little under half a million are classified as internally displaced refugees. The Ukrainian military, which claims to be fighting "terrorists," is using cluster bombs – weapons that are banned in the civilized world, but freely used by Ukraine’s military, which includes the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion.

Formally inducted into Ukraine’s US-backed military machine, the Azov Battalion was organized by openly neo-Nazi groups, and has been such a success that their deputy commander, Vadim Troyan, has been appointed the city of Kiev’s chief of police. Troyan is a member of the "Patriot[s] of Ukraine," a paramilitary group associated with the Social-National Assembly – an umbrella group, founded in 2008, uniting a number of ultra-rightist and openly neo-Nazi Ukrainian organizations. The appointment was made by Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, a member of the "moderate" People’s Front party of Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

While both Troyan and the Ukrainian government deny any association with neo-Nazis, the Human Rights Group of Kharkiv says he "ran for Ukraine’s parliament this year as a member of the People’s Front.  He is described on their site as being a member of ‘Patriot of Ukraine.’" Before Troyan’s elevation to the top law enforcement position in the country’s capital, he and his fellow neo-Nazis were quite well-known to the police in Kharkiv, where they regularly beat up their political opponents as well as foreign students, migrants, and homosexuals.

So if you’re going to Kiev, perhaps to do a little sight-seeing, or maybe to attend a conference, and you’re a foreign student, or a homosexual – or even if you just look a little out of place – be forewarned: it’s not safe.

And if you’re a reporter covering the conflict in Ukraine, and you have any interaction with the Ukrainian government – specifically the Ukrainian intelligence service known as the SBU – be advised that you will be dealing with Yuri Michalchyshyn, formerly the chief ideologist of the neo-fascist Svoboda party, who has been appointed head of the SBU’s "Department of Propaganda."

Michalchyhyn is a real piece of work: as the former head of the "Joseph Goebbels Political Research Center," he isn’t shy about his advocacy of National Socialism. "We are against diversity," he told the Guardian. "Ukraine is for Ukrainians." Among his political activities: organizing a torchlight parade replete with Nazi symbolism. Michalhyhyn considers the Holoaust "a bright episode in European civilization."

One can only imagine what kind of propaganda Michalchyhyn will be turning out on behalf of the Ukrainian SBU – paid for with American tax dollars.

Even supporters of the Maidan coup, such as the socialist Volodymyr Ischenko, who calls it a "peoples’ revolt," are sounding the alarm over the rise of the organized fascist movement in Ukraine. Yet there has been almost zero coverage of this in the Western media, which is content to echo the US State Department’s line about how Democracy is marching onward in Kiev as Ukraine "chooses Europe" over the East.

We are told that the Ukrainian far right isn’t a real factor in the nation’s politics because the extremist parties didn’t do well in the parliamentary elections, and yet many of the most explicit neo-Nazis ran under the banner of the "mainstream" parties, such Azov Battalion commander Andriy Biletsky, who ran for the parliament – and won – as the candidate of the People’s Front.

The ugly reality is that the Ukrainian "revolution" was nothing of the sort: it was a coup rather than a revolution, and its leadership, rather than being aspiring democrats who want to be members in good standing of the West, are in fact a collection of thieving oligarchs, like Poroshenko, neo-Nazi thugs, and the usual opportunists who hang around every Western-backed "color revolution" looking for the main chance. Standing behind them are the Western intelligence agencies who ginned up this phony "revolution," and are now homing in on the Russians, hoping to provoke a full-scale invasion of Ukraine so as to justify their plans for a revival of the cold war.

As for the future of Ukraine: it is being set up for a full-scale fascist takeover. When the neoliberal policies of the EU-supported Ukraine government are implemented, people will be losing their pensions, and what little economic security they have left. Prices will rise – and so will demagogues such as Radical Party leader Oleh Lyashko, an ultra-nationalist whose party recently won 1.7 million votes and 22 seats in the parliament. According to one report, Lyashko’s campaign posters "featured him impaling a caricatured Jewish oligarch on a Ukrainian trident."

The selling of the Ukrainian "revolution" as a "democratic" uprising that established a "pro-Western" liberal government in Kiev has got to be one of the public relations triumphs of the century. The masters of spin who pulled this off have managed to turn black into white – but the truth is slowly emerging. Perhaps the Western media will begin to wake up when Kiev’s chief of police starts breaking up opposition party meetings and giving fascist hoodlums the run of the streets – or perhaps not. In any event, it’s clear that the warning I issued from the very beginning – that a monster is awakening in Ukraine – was right on target.

NOTES IN THE MARGIN

You can check out my Twitter feed by going here. But please note that my tweets are sometimes deliberately provocative, often made in jest, and largely consist of me thinking out loud.

I’ve written a couple of books, which you might want to peruse. Here is the link for buying the second edition of my 1993 book, Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement, with an Introduction by Prof. George W. Carey, a Foreword by Patrick J. Buchanan, and critical essays by Scott Richert and David Gordon (ISI Books, 2008).

You can buy An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard (Prometheus Books, 2000), my biography of the great libertarian thinker, here.

Read more by Justin Raimondo

Author: Justin Raimondo

Justin Raimondo is the editorial director of Antiwar.com, and a senior fellow at the Randolph Bourne Institute. He is a contributing editor at The American Conservative, and writes a monthly column for Chronicles. He is the author of Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement [Center for Libertarian Studies, 1993; Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2000], and An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard [Prometheus Books, 2000].