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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/8/14

Seeing No Neo-Nazi Militias in Ukraine

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In December 2012, barely a year before the coup, the European Parliament expressed concern about "the rising nationalistic sentiment in Ukraine" represented by Svoboda, whose founders included admirers of World War II Nazi collaborators, such as Stepan Bandera and Adolf Hitler's Ukrainian auxiliary, the Galician SS.

A parliamentary statement from Brussels noted "that racist, anti-Semitic and xenophobic views go against the EU's fundamental values and principles" and urged "pro-democratic parties" in Ukraine's parliament "not to associate with, endorse or form coalitions with" Svoboda.

After the coup, which was strongly supported by Svoboda and spearheaded by its associated neo-Nazi militias from the west, Svoboda and other far-right political groups were given several ministries in recognition of their crucial role in the anti-Yanukovych putsch.

Now with Svoboda at the center of power in Kiev, the EU has muted its alarm, all the better to maintain the white hat/black hat scenario favored by Official Washington and the mainstream U.S. media. That narrative portrays the Kiev regime as the blameless white hats and Russia's President Vladimir Putin and the ethnic Russian rebels in the east as the evil black hats.

Amnesty International's Report

Besides the fascist leanings of some Ukrainian militias, there is also the issue of their brutality. On Monday, Amnesty International issued a report condemning abuses committed by Kiev's Aidar militia against civilians north of the rebel-held city of Luhansk.

"Members of the Aidar territorial defence battalion, operating in the north Luhansk region, have been involved in widespread abuses, including abductions, unlawful detention, ill-treatment, theft, extortion, and possible executions," the Amnesty International report said. "The Aidar battalion is one of over thirty so-called volunteer battalions to have emerged in the wake of the conflict, which have been loosely integrated into Ukrainian security structures as they seek to retake separatist held areas."

The Aidar battalion commander told an Amnesty International researcher: "It's not Europe. It's a bit different. ... There is a war here. The law has changed, procedures have been simplified. " If I choose to, I can have you arrested right now, put a bag over your head and lock you up in a cellar for 30 days on suspicion of aiding separatists."

The AI report continued...

"Our findings indicate that, while formally operating under the command of the Ukrainian security forces combined headquarters in the region members of the Aidar battalion act with virtually no oversight or control, and local police are either unwilling or unable to address the abuses.

"Some of the abuses committed by members of the Aidar battalion amount to war crimes, for which both the perpetrators and, possibly, the commanders would bear responsibility under national and international law."

In other words, evidence is mounting that the Kiev regime has waged its so-called "anti-terrorist operation" against ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine by using out-of-control paramilitaries, some guided by Nazi ideology. This behavior, fitting with the far-right political extremism previously known to EU leaders, also violates norms agreed to by the Ukrainian government in its commitment to the OSCE.

Yet, apparently for geopolitical reasons, the Obama administration, the EU and the OSCE have muted any criticism. This silent hypocrisy has been largely echoed in the Western mainstream media.

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Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq, can be ordered at secrecyandprivilege.com. It's also available at
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