Sidestepping Ukraine’s ‘N-Word’ for Nazi

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Sidestepping Ukraine’s ‘N-Word’ for Nazi

A mural decorating the outside of the Ukraine paramilitary battalion headquarters features a Wolf Hook or Wolfsangel symbol also used by Nazis. (Photo: Bojan Pancevski)

The New York Times, in its ceaseless anti-Russian bias over the Ukraine crisis, now wants everyone to use the “I-word” – for “invasion” – when describing Russia’s interference in Ukraine despite the flimsy supporting evidence for the charge presented by Kiev and NATO.

The evidence, including commercial satellite photos lacking coordinates, was so unpersuasive that former U.S. intelligence analysts compared the case to the Iraq-WMD deception of last decade. Yet, while ignoring concerns about the quality of the proof, the Times ran a front-page story on Friday mocking Western political leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Barack Obama, for not uttering the “I-word.”

The Times’ article by Andrew Higgins essentially baited Merkel and Obama to adopt the most hyperbolic phrasing on the crisis or risk being denounced as weak. The Times couched its criticism of their “circumspect” language – or what it called “terminological fudges” – as a victory for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

But the Times and other U.S. mainstream news outlets have engaged in their own “terminological fudges” regarding Ukraine’s “N-word” – for Nazi – by hiding or burying the fact that the Kiev regime has knowingly deployed neo-Nazi militias to wage bloody street fighting against ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine.

This grim reality has become one of the most sensitive facts that U.S. State Department propaganda and MSM coverage have sought to keep from the American people who surely would recoil at the notion of siding with modern-day Nazis. Yet, to fully understand the role of these neo-Nazi extremists, Americans would need a translator for the circumlocutions used by the Times and other U.S. news outlets.

Typically, in the U.S. press, Ukraine’s neo-Nazis are called “nationalists,” a term with a rather patriotic and positive ring to it. Left out is the fact that these “nationalists” carry Nazi banners and trace their ideological lineage back to Adolf Hitler’s Ukrainian auxiliary, the Galician SS, and to Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera, whose paramilitary forces slaughtered thousands upon thousands of Poles and Jews.

Other MSM references to the Nazis are even more obscure. For instance, the neo-Nazi militias are sometimes called “volunteer” brigades, which makes them sound like the Boy Scouts or the Rotary Club. But usually there is just the simple omission of the Nazi “N-word.”

On Thursday, the Times published a contentious article critical of Putin’s plan for resolving the Ukraine crisis while also noting that the peace talks faced obstacles from elements of both sides: “Moscow does not fully control the separatists; nor is it clear that Kiev can automatically rein in the armed militias it has unleashed alongside its military in the east.”

Filtered out of that sentence was the “N-word.” The reason that those “armed militias” might resist peace is because they consist of neo-Nazi ideologues who want a racially pure Ukraine. They are not reasonable people who favor living with ethnically diverse neighbors

Ukraine’s militias include openly neo-Nazi battalions such as the Azov brigade, which flies the “wolfangel” banner that was favored by the Nazi SS. Azov leaders espouse theories of racial supremacy deeming ethnic Russians to be “Untermenschen” or subhumans.

Sidestepping the N-word

But the Times sidesteps the Nazi “N-word” because otherwise readers might start doubting the “white hat/black hat” narrative that the Times has spun since the beginning of the crisis last winter. Usually whenever Ukraine’s neo-Nazis are mentioned, it is the context of the Times dismissing their presence as a myth or as simply “Russian propaganda.”

Other times, the reality is buried so deep in articles that very few readers will get that far. For instance, an Aug. 10 Times article by Andrew E. Kramer mentioned the emerging neo-Nazi paramilitary role in the final three paragraphs of a long story on another topic.

Given how extraordinary it is that armed Nazi storm troopers are being unleashed on a European population for the first time since World War II, you might have thought that the Times missed the lede. But the placement of this juicy tidbit fit with the newspaper’s profoundly unprofessional treatment of the Ukraine crisis throughout.

You had to get to the third-to-the-last paragraph to learn: “The fighting for Donetsk has taken on a lethal pattern: The regular army bombards separatist positions from afar, followed by chaotic, violent assaults by some of the half-dozen or so paramilitary groups surrounding Donetsk who are willing to plunge into urban combat.”

Then, the next-to-the-last paragraph told you: “Officials in Kiev say the militias and the army coordinate their actions, but the militias, which count about 7,000 fighters, are angry and, at times, uncontrollable. One known as Azov, which took over the village of Marinka, flies a neo-Nazi symbol resembling a Swastika as its flag.” [See Consortiumnews.com’s “NYT Discovers Ukraine’s Neo-Nazis at War.”]

The conservative London Telegraph provided more details about the Azov battalion in an article by correspondent Tom Parfitt, who wrote: “In Marinka, on the western outskirts [of Donetsk], the [Azov] battalion was sent forward ahead of tanks and armoured vehicles of the Ukrainian army’s 51st Mechanised Brigade. …

“But Kiev’s use of volunteer paramilitaries to stamp out the Russian-backed Donetsk and Luhansk ‘people’s republics’, proclaimed in eastern Ukraine in March, should send a shiver down Europe’s spine. Recently formed battalions such as Donbas, Dnipro and Azov, with several thousand men under their command, are officially under the control of the interior ministry but their financing is murky, their training inadequate and their ideology often alarming. The Azov men use the neo-Nazi Wolfsangel (Wolf’s Hook) symbol on their banner and members of the battalion are openly white supremacists, or anti-Semites.”

In interviews, some of the fighters questioned the Holocaust, expressed admiration for Adolf Hitler and acknowledged that they are indeed Nazis, a fact known by Kiev authorities, the Telegraph reported.

Andriy Biletsky, the Azov commander, “is also head of an extremist Ukrainian group called the Social National Assembly,” according to the Telegraph article which quoted a recent commentary by Biletsky as declaring: “The historic mission of our nation in this critical moment is to lead the White Races of the world in a final crusade for their survival. A crusade against the Semite-led Untermenschen.” [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Ignoring Ukraine’s Neo-Nazi Storm Troopers.”]

Russian Claims ‘Essentially True’

Recently at the port city of Mariupol, Foreign Policy’s reporter Alec Luhn also encountered the neo-Nazis of the Azov and other Ukrainian government militias. He wrote: “Blue and yellow Ukrainian flags fly over Mariupol’s burned-out city administration building and at military checkpoints around the city, but at a sport school near a huge metallurgical plant, another symbol is just as prominent: the wolfsangel (‘wolf trap’) symbol that was widely used in the Third Reich and has been adopted by neo-Nazi groups. …

“Pro-Russian forces have said they are fighting against Ukrainian nationalists and ‘fascists’ in the conflict, and in the case of Azov and other battalions, these claims are essentially true.”

But this inconvenient truth is not something that the U.S. State Department and the mainstream U.S. press want you to know. Instead they have spun a false narrative that blames the entire Ukraine crisis on Russia’s President Putin and his diabolical design to reclaim countries to his west for a revival of the Soviet Union.

The actual reality was that Putin wanted to maintain the status quo in Ukraine by supporting elected President Viktor Yanukovych. It was the West that stirred up trouble in Ukraine with neocon U.S. officials like Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and Sen. John McCain actively supporting a coup – spearheaded by neo-Nazi street fighters – that overthrew Yanukovych on Feb. 22.

After the coup, in recognition of the crucial role played by the neo-Nazis, they were given several ministries and their militias were later incorporated into the Ukrainian military for the offensive into eastern Ukraine to crush the uprising of ethnic Russians who had supported Yanukovych and favored closer economic ties to Russia. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Ukraine’s ‘Dr. Strangelove’ Reality.”]

But that more nuanced narrative – recognizing the complicated reality of Ukraine’s history and politics – would destroy the white hat/black hat storyline favored by the New York Times and the MSM, making the coup regime in Kiev the “good guys” and making Putin and the ethnic Russians the “bad guys.”

To protect that narrative, everyone has to go silent on Ukraine’s “N-word.”

Robert Parry

Robert Parry

Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, was written with two of his sons, Sam and Nat. His two previous books are Secrecy & Privilege: The Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq and Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth'.

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