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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 5/8/19

Lugansk People's Republic May 2019 AntiNationalist Roundtable

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On May 2nd, the civic organization "Memorial" and the Federation of Trade Unions in Lugansk People's Republic held an international roundtable at the Russian World Hall in Lugansk. It commemorated the 2014 tragedy at the Trade Union building in Odessa in which Kiev reported 48 people killed and over 200 injured and the genocide in Donbass that followed it that Kiev is reporting 13000 casualties.

The expert panel discussed the reasons why such criminal events happened as well as steps that need to be taken to make sure it doesn't happen again.

The one point all the participating experts agreed on is without Ukrainian nationalism, none of this would have transpired. They discussed the grossly apparent parallels between Nazi ideology in the 1930s and Ukraine in the twenty-first century and how this is ignored in Europe and the west.

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The roundtable was titled Ordinary Nationalism .

Before getting into the roundtable, the need for it has to be addressed. The possibility of finding a fascist elephant in the room depends on whether or not LNR is holding the roundtable as a PR move and an exercise in self-indulgence or this is a legitimate attempt to call the world's attention to a problem that could go worldwide.

I had a running interview with retired Ukrainian Congressional Committee of America, Arizona State President, George Masni aka Taras Masnij in 2014-2016 about how the Ukrainian Diaspora raises their children to idolize Stepan Bandera and to be like him. Masni denies the existence of the OUN even though he's part of it. He's part of the reason Nazism could go worldwide.

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The following comments follow my last Ukraine election article stating Zelenskiy's administration was already sold out to OUN fascist ideology. This is because his spokesman Sviatoslav Yurash is a fascist and has been a spokesman for fascist Ukraine since 2014. He is also a Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) deputy director in Kiev. Because the UWC is an OUN Nazi/nationalist governance and lobbying vehicle; they were already in the driver's seat with Zelenskiy.

George Masni -The article's premise, that Ukrainian Nationalists are pulling all the strings and will control Zelensky's presidency is probably wrong. For a moment put aside all the ancient history and obvious anti-Ukrainian propaganda. Look at Zelensky's campaign staff. You will immediately notice that most of them have Russian surnames and most come from eastern Ukraine. Several of them even worked for Yanukovych. All of the staff seem to have impressive credentials. It is hard to believe such an impressive group of people would support a candidate that was being controlled by Ukrainian nationalists or even agree to work with a rabid Ukrainian nationalist.

Yurash is a nationalist but he is also a legitimate journalist with journalistic connections. Obviously, the campaign staff knew who Yurash was. If they believed he was a political threat they would have insisted that Zelensky fire him. Instead, they continued to work together. click here

Keep in mind that campaign staff is volunteers whose work ends when the campaign ends. Zelensky's real staff will be announced shortly before or soon after the president assumes his office. Only then will it be possible to know if Zelensky is controlled by nationalists (or anyone else) or if he is his own man.

GE -How do you explain Yurash's role as a top advisor to Zelenskiy. George(Masni), the last time we did this, I gave you an entire year to open up a real discussion on Ukraine and nationalism. You lied and lied .

You say these things and then the Diaspora acts like the banderites they really are.

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George(Masni), explain how in one breath your fascist Diaspora can say they are a positive influence and in the next explain Ukrainization is banderization?

The Ukraine Weekly on the 25thanniversary of Ukraine's independence - The Ukrainianization process and work with youth, families and the general population by many formations and organisations that worked on the premise of understanding Ukrainian nationalism as a positive tool to re-engage people, to think about who we are, have started to take effect. No longer do they believe the propaganda that nationalism was fascist and an enemy of the people.

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George Eliason is an American journalist that lives and works in Donbass. He has been interviewed by and provided analysis for RT, the BBC, and Press-TV. His articles have been published in the Security Assistance Monitor, Washingtons Blog, (more...)
 

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George Masni

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Since I am mentioned in this article I feel obligated to make a few separate point by point corrective comments:

1) The Ukrainian Diaspora does NOT raise "their children to idolize Stepan Bandera and to be like him". What they do say about him is within the context of Ukrainian history and culture. They mostly say that he fought for Ukraine's freedom and it is for that alone they present him as a hero like figure. No major Ukrainian Diaspora organization supports any of Bandera's radical wartime political ideology. This is weakly analogous to how American children view Abraham Lincoln. They all know that Lincoln freed the slaves and is widely regarded as one of the greatest presidents in U.S. He is a great American hero but do children know any of the negatives that occurred during his presidency? Are these thing children need to know? For example:

a) Lincoln initially supported the Corwin Amendment which would have legitimized slavery in states where it already existed.

b) Several times he suspended some civil liberties, including the writ of habeas corpus.

c) He expanded his war powers, disbursed funds before appropriation by Congress, and arrested and imprisoned thousands of suspected Confederate sympathizers.

d) Did he really care about American slaves? He was more than willing to let slavery continue if that meant preserving the Union.

e) After the civil war Lincoln talked about the need to reconstruct the South and rebuild the Union: "With malice toward none; with charity for all" but he had the military and military governors administer the fallen southern states.

f) He approved 39 execution warrants for the "Sioux Uprising"

Submitted on Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 3:57:09 AM

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More examples can be given of Lincoln's actions that can be portraited in a bad light but the elephant in the room that no one dares talk about is large number of people who died under his presidency. The intense combat in the American Civil War left 620,000 to 750,000 soldiers dead along with an unknown number of civilians. More U.S. military deaths occurred than in all other wars combined. Who is to blame of all this? Surely Lincoln, as commander in chief, who controlled the Union forces can not be entirely innocent. (javascript:nicTemp) (javascript:nicTemp).

If the Union had lost the civil war Lincoln would have been villianized to no end. Bandera and OUNb did lose their struggle against the Germans and Soviets, so now, 75 years later, it is very easy to defame them. I am most definitely am not comparing Bandera to Lincoln. My point here is that Abraham Lincoln is seen as a national hero despite his many short comings. The same is true for Stephan Bandera. Every nation, including Ukraine, needs to have national heroes. Ukraine hardly has any and it simply is not Eliason's place to criticize a nation's need for historical heroes. What's worse Eliason is also stating as fact something that is impossible. He says all of Bandera's shortcomings were somehow magically were passed on the estimated 20,000,000 or more members of the Ukrainian diaspora (javascript:nicTemp). This is pure rubbish! .

Submitted on Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 3:58:12 AM

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George Masni

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Response to "Masni denies the existence of the OUN even though he's part of it. He's part of the reason Nazism could go worldwide."

What I said was the original secretive militant wartime organization OUNb was defunct. From what is historically known this seems to be true. During WWII and for some years afterwards the fanatical OUNb militarily opposed both the communists and the Germans. Most of the OUNb membership and anyone suspected of supporting it were physically destroyed by the U.S.S.R. OUNb ceased operating a few years after Bandera was assassinated in 1959. The organization then fell into disarray even though some people unsuccessfully tried to continue its original work. When an organization's leadership fails and its membership drops to very small numbers that organization dies. Today very few if any of OUNb members are still alive. For all practical purposes and intents the original OUNb doesn't exist anymore. By the way, I was never associated with OUNb in any way.

Some of OUNb's political ideas however did survive. Its main goal, the promotion of a free and democratic Ukrainian state, have continued in many forms. This has partially expressed itself in the completely legal formation of various small far right Ukrainian political parties. Some of them claim to be inheritors of modified forms of OUNb's and OUNm political ideology. The political platforms of all of these minority parties have been soundly rejected by the people of Ukraine. They have very little influence in Ukrainian politics.

Submitted on Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 4:29:05 AM

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There is a world of difference in the agendas of today's Ukrainian diaspora organizations and that of the original militant wartime OUNb. The only thing the UCCA and the original OUNb have in common is that both organizations promoted/promote the idea of a free and democratic Ukraine. Do fascist organizations have democratic elections where actual votes are counted to select their leadership from a wide field of competing candidates? UCCA does.

Today's Ukrainian diaspora organizations, including the UCCA and UWC, are legitimate pro-Ukrainian political lobbying organizations. They have the support of the Ukrainian diaspora and other groups that support true democracy. Eliason deliberately ignores this.

Submitted on Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 4:30:17 AM

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Regarding Sviatoslav Yurash, most of the articles I have seen do not even mention him. There is an English language 40 minute video where he talked about his campaign work. He did not come off as a "rabid" Ukrainian nationalist click here. Yurash volunteered and was accepted to work in Zelensky's campaign was because of his journalistic connections click here.

Zelensky's political platform has stressed that it will work to curtail corruption and end the war in eastern Ukraine. These ideas resulted in massive nationwide support from all sides, including that of some nationalists like Yurash. Yurash is not included in the circle of the 2 dozen people closest to Zelensky, who it is though will be part of his "full" administration click here. There is no reasonable way to conclude as George Eliason does that "Zelenskiy's administration was already sold out to OUN fascist ideology".

Submitted on Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 5:02:49 AM

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Regarding this article itself, it takes two sides to tango. The LNR's "expert panel", when it "discussed" the Odessa tragedy and the "genocide" in Donbass, took a one sided approach to these issues. It only blames Ukrainian fascism or neo-nazism for these great losses of innocent life. Am I to believe no pro-Russian fascists or Russian volunteers participated in any of these events? Atrocities committed by both sides. All war crimes and atrocities should be investigated and all guilty parties should brought to justice. This can only be done by an independent international organization, not an LNR sponsored round table.

There are far fewer real Neo-Nazis in Ukraine than in Russia. Even using a 1997 estimate: "In 1997, the Moscow Anti-Fascist Center estimated there were 40 (nationalist) extremist groups operating in Russia". Other sources also say that Russia has far more active Neo-nazi groups than Ukraine click here.

Any discussion of the "struggle against neo-Nazism" that focuses only on Ukraine and not at all on Russia is a farce. To me is seems very obvious that the whole round table event, which was OKed by the LNR, was intended to be mostly pro-LNR propaganda for foreign consumption.

Submitted on Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 5:35:30 AM

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