As the fire worsened, those dying inside were serenaded with the taunting singing of the Ukrainian national anthem. The building also was spray-painted with Swastika-like symbols and graffiti reading "Galician SS."
The death by fire of dozens of people in Odessa recalled a World War II incident in 1944 when elements of a Galician SS police regiment took part in the massacre of the Polish village of Huta Pieniacka, which had been a refuge for Jews and was protected by Russian and Polish partisans. Attacked by a mixed force of Ukrainian police and German soldiers, hundreds of townspeople were massacred, including many locked in barns that were set ablaze.
Yet, this historical context is almost always missing in the mainstream U.S. media which goes along with the State Department's desire to delete the neo-Nazi role in last February's coup and inside the post-coup government. Despite the May election of billionaire oligarch Petro Poroshenko as Ukraine's new president, many of the same extremists remain in key positions, including Parubiy as national security chief.
Citing Hard Truths
The presence of Nazi ideology and the evolution of the Ukraine civil war into an ethnic conflict was noted by New York University and Princeton Professor Stephen F. Cohen in an article for The Nation magazine. As Cohen explained:
"Independent Western scholars have documented the fascist origins, contemporary ideology and declarative symbols of Svoboda and its fellow-traveling Right Sector. Both movements glorify Ukraine's murderous Nazi collaborators in World War II as inspirational ancestors. Both, to quote Svoboda's leader Oleh Tyahnybok, call for an ethnically pure nation purged of the 'Moscow-Jewish mafia' and 'other scum,' including homosexuals, feminists and political leftists.
"And both hailed the Odessa massacre. According to the website of Right Sector leader Dmytro Yarosh, it was 'another bright day in our national history.' A Svoboda parliamentary deputy added, 'Bravo, Odessa... Let the Devils burn in hell.'
"If more evidence is needed, in December 2012, the European Parliament decried Svoboda's 'racist, anti-Semitic and xenophobic views [that] go against the EU's fundamental values and principles.' In 2013, the World Jewish Congress denounced Svoboda as 'neo-Nazi.' Still worse, observers agree that Right Sector is even more extremist. ...
"In December 2012, a Svoboda parliamentary leader anathematized the Ukrainian-born American actress Mila Kunis as 'a dirty kike.' Since 2013, pro-Kiev mobs and militias have routinely denigrated ethnic Russians as insects ('Colorado beetles,' whose colors resemble a sacred Russia ornament). More recently, the US-picked prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, referred to resisters in the Southeast as 'subhumans.' His defense minister proposed putting them in 'filtration camps,' pending deportation, and raising fears of ethnic cleansing.
"Yulia Tymoshenko -- a former prime minister, titular head of Yatsenyuk's party and runner-up in the May presidential election -- was overheard wishing she could 'exterminate them all [Ukrainian Russians] with atomic weapons.' 'Sterilization' is among the less apocalyptic official musings on the pursuit of a purified Ukraine."
Yet, the U.S. State Department and the mainstream U.S. media continue to portray the conflict as simply "Russian aggression" that must be countered by overwhelming military force in Eastern Ukraine and by severe economic sanctions -- along with possible political destabilization -- against Moscow.
As the Washington Post's editorial declared:
"Last Thursday Secretary of State John F. Kerry said that 'it is critical for Russia to show in the next hours, literally, that they are moving to help disarm the separatists.' Many hours have passed with no disarmament. On Friday, E.U. leaders set a Monday deadline for a series of steps, including the evacuation of border posts. These have not been carried out.
"A failure by the West to act following such explicit rhetoric would be a craven surrender that would provoke only more Russian aggression."
So the only course that Official Washington can seem to see ahead is one of unleashing Ukraine's conventional military force and its paramilitary adjuncts against the popular resistance in the East, a path that could put the Obama administration and the mainstream U.S. press corps on the side of the violent suppression of ethnic Russians, a situation that could easily slide into ethnic cleansing and even genocide.
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