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Parry writes: "The U.S.-backed Ukrainian government came up with a curious way to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Holocaust being brought to an end. The parliament in Kiev voted to extend official recognition to Ukrainian fascists who collaborated with the Nazis in killing Jews."

Ukrainian deputies stand to observe a minute of silence to mark the 70th anniversary of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi death camp. (photo: Roman Pilipey/EPA)
Ukrainian deputies stand to observe a minute of silence to mark the 70th anniversary of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi death camp. (photo: Roman Pilipey/EPA)

How Ukraine Commemorates the Holocaust

By Robert Parry, Consortium News

17 April 15


Pundit Thomas Friedman says the new Ukraine regime “shares our values” but – as much of the world marked the 70th anniversary of the Nazi Holocaust finally being ended by Russian and U.S. armies – politicians in Kiev were busy honoring Ukraine’s Nazi collaborators, writes Robert Parry.

he U.S.-backed Ukrainian government came up with a curious way to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Holocaust being brought to an end. The parliament in Kiev voted to extend official recognition to Ukrainian fascists who collaborated with the Nazis in killing Jews.

Though Official Washington and the mainstream U.S. media continue to dutifully ignore the key role played by neo-Nazis in Ukraine’s February 2014 coup and in the post-coup regime’s subsequent military offensives against ethnic Russians in the east, Ukrainian politicians can’t stop their arms from snapping into Heil Hitler salutes like the fictional character Dr. Strangelove. They can’t hold back this reflex even as the world stopped this week to recall the Nazi barbarity that claimed the lives of some six million Jews as well as other minorities.

On April 9, the Ukrainian parliament passed a bill making the ultra-nationalist Ukrainian Insurgent Army eligible for official government recognition, a demand that has been pushed by Ukraine’s current neo-Nazi and ultra-nationalist movements, the same forces that spearheaded the overthrow of elected President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014 and then the slaughter of thousands of ethnic Russians who resisted the new order.

Ukraine’s honor-the-Nazi-collaborators vote came amid increased repression of opposition politicians and journalists who dare to criticize the U.S.-backed regime as it moves to repudiate the political settlement envisioned by February’s Minsk-2 agreement and instead prepares for a resumption of the war to crush the resistance in eastern Ukraine once and for all. [See’s “Ukraine’s ‘Poison Pill’ for Peace Talks.”]

Emergence of ‘Death Squads’

Over the past several months, there have been about ten mysterious deaths of opposition figures – some that the government claimed to be suicides while others were clearly murders. It now appears that pro-government “death squads” are operating with impunity in Kiev.

On Wednesday, Oleg Kalashnikov, a political leader of the opposition Party of Regions, was shot to death in his home. Kalashnikov had been campaigning for the right of Ukrainians to celebrate the Allied victory in World War II, a gesture that infuriated some western Ukrainian neo-Nazis who identify with Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich and who now feel they have the current government in their corner.

On Thursday, unidentified gunmen murdered Ukrainian journalist Oles Buzina, a regime critic who had protested censorship being imposed on news outlets that didn’t toe the government’s propaganda line. Buzina had been denounced by a pro-regime “journalistic” outfit which operated under the Orwellian name “Stop Censorship” and demanded that Buzina be banned from making media appearances because he was “an agent of the Kremlin.”

This week, another dissident journalist Serhiy Sukhobok was reportedly killed in Kiev, amid sketchy accounts that his assailants may have been caught although the Ukrainian government has withheld details.

These deaths are mostly ignored by the mainstream U.S. news media – or are mentioned only in briefs with the victims dismissed as “pro-Russian.” After all, these “death squad” activities, which have also been occurring in government-controlled sections of eastern Ukraine, conflict with the preferred State Department narrative of the Kiev regime busy implementing “democratic reforms.”

But many of those “democratic reforms” amount to slashing old-age pensions, removing worker protections, and hiking the price of heating fuel – as demanded by the International Monetary Fund in exchange for a $17.5 billion bailout for Ukraine’s collapsing financial structure.

Similarly, the decision by the Ukrainian parliament to bend to the demands of neo-Nazi and other ultra-right groups to honor Ukraine’s World War II fascists is also downplayed or ignored by the major U.S. media.

The Holocaust in Ukraine

During World War II, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, an offshoot of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, collaborated with the Nazis in their orgy of mass murder against Jews, Poles and other minority groups. The UIA also joined with the Nazis in fighting against the Soviet Union’s Red Army, although some UIA elements did ultimately turn against the Germans over their occupation of Ukraine.

Ukraine was the site of several major Holocaust atrocities including the infamous massacre at Babi Yar in Kiev, where local Ukrainian fascists worked alongside the Nazi SS in funneling tens of thousands of Jews to a ravine where they were slaughtered and buried.

According to the Jerusalem Post, the Simon Wiesenthal Center condemned Ukraine’s recognition of the UIA as well as a second bill that equated Communist and Nazi crimes.

“The passage of a ban on Nazism and Communism equates the most genocidal regime in human history with the regime which liberated Auschwitz and helped end the reign of terror of the Third Reich,” said Wiesenthal Center director for Eastern European Affairs Dr. Efraim Zuroff, adding:

“In the same spirit the decision to honor local Nazi collaborators and grant them special benefits turns Hitler’s henchmen into heroes despite their active and zealous participation in the mass murder of innocent Jews. These attempts to rewrite history, which are prevalent throughout post-Communist Eastern Europe, can never erase the crimes committed by Nazi collaborators in these countries, and only proves that they clearly lack the Western values which they claim to have embraced upon their transition to democracy.”

Not Seeing Nazis

Despite propaganda efforts by the Obama administration and the major U.S. news media to play down western Ukraine’s legacy of Nazi collaboration, one of the heroes honored during the Maidan protests, which led to the Feb. 22, 2014 coup, was Stepan Bandera, an OUN leader who worked with the Nazis before falling out with them over issues of Ukrainian independence.

After spearheading the 2014 coup, the neo-Nazi and ultra-nationalist militias from western Ukraine were enlisted as the shock troops to attack ethnic Russian cities in eastern Ukraine, which had been the political base for ousted President Yanukovych. Even though some of those militias sported Swastikas and SS symbols, the mainstream U.S. news media either ignored those inconvenient realities or acknowledged them in the final paragraphs of long stories. [See’s “Seeing No Neo-Nazi Militias in Ukraine.”]

The recognition of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army was demanded last October by Ukraine’s right-wing and neo-Nazi groups, including the Svoboda party and the Right Sektor, which surrounded the parliament in Kiev with 8,000 protesters.

At that time, with U.S. officials sensitive to the image of the Ukrainian government caving in to rioters carrying neo-Nazi banners, the legislation was defeated. However, in recent weeks with the Kiev leadership leaning more heavily on the neo-Nazis and other ultra-nationalists to carry out the war against ethnic Russians in the east, more concessions are being made to the extremists.

Lurches to the Right

These lurches to the right have again been largely ignored by the mainstream U.S. media, which continues to blame the ethnic Russians for not submitting to the post-coup regime in Kiev and to demonize Russian President Vladimir Putin as the supposed instigator of all the trouble.

But the Jerusalem Post noted, “While Jewish worries over anti-Semitism have been on the back burner due to the war [in Ukraine], several recent developments have shown that antipathy toward Jews, or at least indifference toward such attitudes when held by important military or political figures, still exists in Ukraine.

“Last November Jewish organizations expressed their displeasure when it was disclosed that the newly appointed police chief for the Ukrainian province in which Kiev is located came under fire after it was alleged that he had past ties with a neo-Nazi organization.”

The Jerusalem Post also took note of the Kiev regime’s recent appointment of right-wing extremist Dimitri Jarosch, who organized many of the fighters behind the February 2014 putsch, to be an official adviser to the army leadership.

The larger historical context is that Nazism has been deeply rooted in western Ukraine since World War II, especially in cities like Lviv, where a cemetery to the veterans of the Galician SS, a Ukrainian affiliate of the Nazi SS, is maintained. These old passions were brought to the surface again in the battle to oust Yanukovych and sever historic ties to Russia.

The muscle behind the U.S.-backed Maidan protests against Yanukovych came from neo-Nazi militias trained in western Ukraine, organized into 100-man brigades and bused to Kiev. After the coup, neo-Nazi leader Andriy Parubiy, who was commander of the Maidan “self-defense forces,” was elevated to national security chief and soon announced that the Maidan militia forces would be incorporated into the National Guard and sent to eastern Ukraine to fight ethnic Russians resisting the coup.

As the U.S. government and media cheered on this “anti-terrorist operation,” the neo-Nazis and other right-wing battalions engaged in brutal street fighting against Russian ethnic rebels. Only occasionally did this nasty reality slip into the major U.S. news media. For instance, an Aug. 10, 2014 article in the New York Times mentioned the neo-Nazi paramilitaries at the end of a lengthy story on another topic.

“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,” the Times reported.

“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’s “NYT Discovers Ukraine’s Neo-Nazis at War.”]

Meeting the Nazis

The conservative London Telegraph offered more details about the Azov battalion in an article by correspondent Tom Parfitt, who wrote: “Kiev’s use of volunteer paramilitaries to stamp out the Russian-backed Donetsk and Luhansk ‘people’s republics’… 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.”

Based on interviews with militia members, the Telegraph reported that some of the fighters doubted the reality of the Holocaust, expressed admiration for Adolf Hitler and acknowledged that they are indeed Nazis.

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 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.”

In other words, for the first time since World War II, a government had dispatched Nazi storm troopers to attack a European population – and officials in Kiev knew what they were doing. The Telegraph questioned Ukrainian authorities in Kiev who acknowledged that they were aware of the extremist ideologies of some militias but insisted that the higher priority was having troops who were strongly motivated to fight. [See’s “Ignoring Ukraine’s Neo-Nazi Storm Troopers.”]

Since the coup, the New York Times and other mainstream U.S. news outlets have decried any recognition of the significant neo-Nazi presence in Ukraine as “Russian propaganda.” So, Ukraine’s new initiative to honor Nazi collaborators – in legislation coinciding with the commemoration of the end of the Holocaust – also must be ignored.

The pro-coup propaganda in the U.S. media has been so pervasive that a powerful “group think” took hold with the Kiev regime revered as white-hatted “good guys,” certainly not brown-shirted neo-Nazis. Or as the New York Times’ dimwitted foreign policy pundit Thomas L. Friedman declared in a column earlier this year, the new leaders of Ukraine “share our values.”


Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and You also can order Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America’s Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here. your social media marketing partner


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+11 # Douglas Jack 2015-04-17 18:45
The goal of 3 centres of 'trillionaire' (# seconds in 32,000 years) oligarchs & their bevy of 3000 submissive billionaires (# sec. 32 yr.) is world control of people & resources. They finance / arm mercenaries for destabilization of elected governments everywhere they perceive weakness & resources to extract. They are in panic with 133 Santa Cruz BRICS nations adoption of a world development bank not based on USDollar, their only resource.

Humanity's worldwide universal indigenous ancestors found 'economic' (Gk 'oikos' = 'home' + 'namein' = 'care-&-nurture ') 'democracy' in worker, founder, supplier & consumer investment & ownership for all aspects of the essential economy.

Cultural welcoming community-econo my is essential if we want the whole world to rediscover 'indigenous' (Latin 'self-generatin g') heritage as stewards of the worldwide Polyculture Orchard.

All humanity's indigenous ancestors lived in multihome dwelling (Longhouse/apar tment, Pueblo/townhous e & Kanata/village) complexes with privacy but as well where culture of female-male intergeneration al collaboration thrives called the Great-good-way-of-kindness.
+40 # Stilldreamin1 2015-04-17 18:58
Does anyone at the NYT read Robert Parry? They should.
+27 # Anonymot 2015-04-17 19:51
No, but you should join me in sending the Parry articles URL to your favorite editors & journalists (including the Public Editor) at the NYT. Some of them will click. It would be useful if many people did that.
+24 # Merlin 2015-04-18 07:12
Stilldreamin1 2015-04-17 18:58
Anonymot 2015-04-17 19:51

You guys have a lot more faith in the "simple ignorance" of the NYT editors than I do. That once they "discover Parry" they will have this great epiphany and "understand."

In my view these two very influential papers (NYT & WaPo) are doing what they do, completely knowing what they are doing and who they work for.

Send all you want, but there ain't gonna be no epiphany at them papers.
+12 # Radscal 2015-04-18 12:54

Robert Parry formerly worked for AP and Newsweek. He uncovered truth about the Iran/Contra cocaine crime spree and found and released a CIA terrorist training manual printed for the Contra's.

He won the George Polk journalism award for that remarkable investigative journalism.

Which means, he didn't fit into the propaganda machine of corporate news media and so was basically black-listed.

His Consortiumnews website is well worth regular visits and support.
+39 # lorenbliss 2015-04-17 19:20
Give Moron Nation ten more years of dumbing-down -- at the current rate of moronation, maybe even less than that -- and it will be official policy the United States was on the wrong side in World War II: that U.S. support would have enabled capitalism's conquest of the planet 70 years ago.

That of course was the intent of the 1934 Bankers Plot, which had it not been defeated -- mostly by U.S. Communists and Soviet intelligence operatives -- would have made the U.S. the dominant partner in the Rome-Berlin-Tok yo (and Washington D.C.) Axis.

Meanwhile the fact that capitalism and Nazism are merely different labels for an identically savage system of oppression is (again) underscored by the Ukrainian events Mr. Parry so courageously reports. That capitalism and Nazism are synonyms was proven long ago by the Nazi-type tyrants the U.S. has gleefully supported since World War II: Franco, Batista, Poppa Doc, Diem, Trujillo, Samosa, Pinochet etc. ad nauseam.

Nor can this emphatically Nazi-like legacy be blamed entirely on the legions of Nazi war criminals welcomed to the U.S. by government and industry after 1945. Never mind their intent was to use the U.S. to create a Fourth Reich, this nation was already founded on genocide: just ask the First Nations peoples.

Point being, the U.S. puppet government in Kiev is showing us the true values and intentions of our capitalist overlords and is therefore a terrifying glimpse of our own political and economic future.
+16 # Merlin 2015-04-18 07:16
lorenbliss 2015-04-17 19:20

Beautifully put, Lorenbliss. Thanks!
+7 # Radscal 2015-04-18 13:01
Wasn't it General Smedley Butler who exposed the 1934 coup? He was the person approached to "lead" the coup, but instead testified to Congress.

Unfortunately, his testimony did not lead to any charges (there is no clearer example of Treason), and the banking and corporate interests behind the coup all added tidy fortunes in WW II war profiteering to their already substantial wealth.
+11 # lorenbliss 2015-04-18 15:48
Most of the Bankers Plot details have been suppressed, but Soviet spooks apparently knew of the plot almost from its beginning. (This is surely plausible as it was hatched by Hitler and his Nazi regime, which GRU – the formidable Red Army intelligence organization – had thoroughly infiltrated [see for example "The Red Orchestra" by V. E. Tarrant].)

General Butler, a two-time Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, was asked to lead the American Legion, which was to become a U.S. version of the Nazi SS. Butler was outraged, complained to what is now called "mainstream media" and was ignored. Finally some Communist-influ enced monthly exposed the plot. Then a party affiliate on one of the New York City dailies – as I recall it was The World-Telegram – convinced his editor to run it, and a national scandal resulted.

It is possible President Roosevelt's subsequent regard for Stalin grew from the role Soviet intelligence played in defeating the plot.

In any case, the cover-up began immediately – the conspirators were plutocrats of the type known today as "too big to jail," and no one was ever prosecuted – except of course the Communists whose patriotism saved the New Deal and saved us from Nazism. That prosecution, actually a persecution, was a debacle from which we will never recover: the vast post-World-War- II purge of Communists, socialists and intellectuals that destroyed the U.S. Left and reduced the citizenry to Moron Nation.
+5 # Radscal 2015-04-18 17:29
Really? Wow!

I knew more than a few of the conspirators were Nazi sympathizers, but had never read that the German Nazis were behind it. In fact, I've seen lots of cases where those same conspirators were behind funding and building the Nazi war machine.
+24 # RY25L 2015-04-17 19:37
this is who Obama and Hillary Clinton supported after the prodding by rightie GOP Senators...all for the purpose of having Texas natural gas producers try to overtake the market in western europe served by Russian GAZPROM.....usi ng the the political situation over there as a pretext for this kind of shameful marketing positioning... wonder Putin begged to differ.

+22 # jpmarat 2015-04-17 20:26
Don't bother sending truth to media "editors"; they already know.
They are committed to lying US into dangerous confrontations, one after another. Systematically spread info to people who might, over time, listen and learn. Publicly, actively challenge lies. Protest at Hillary events? Protest at Dem Convention? EXPOSE lying Dems? Send $$ to Hillary challengers? Sanders? ACT. Take collective ACTION.
-18 # 2015-04-17 20:30
According to the ADL, the most anti-Semetic countries are all Islamic states:

Scores for the highest prevalence of anti-Semitism were as follows:

Iran 92%
Yemen 88%
Algeria 87%
Libya 87%
Tunisia 86%
Kuwait 82%
and so forth.

The highest prevalence of anti-Semitism outside of Islamic states were in Eastern Europe:

Turkey 69%
Greece 69%
Poland 44%
Bulgaria 44%
Serbia 42%
Hungary 41%
Belarus 38%
Ukraine 38%
and so forth.

Religious and/or ethnic hatred of Jews is indeed quite high in the Ukraine but the Ukraine is hardly a outlier in the region. So yes, we should criticize the Ukraine and Russia and the rest of Eastern Europe but our criticism should be in context, recognizing that Ukrainians are "middling" bigots in a very bigoted region.

Personal Note: My Jewish grandfather was treated fairly well in his years in the Ukraine and had many Ukrainian drinking buddies but was ostracized in Russia and the Balkans where he also spent time in his youth -- he had no Hungarian drinking buddies.

Lee Nason
New Bedford, Massachusetts
+15 # Douglas Jack 2015-04-18 07:26
Lee, RE: "the most anti-Semetic countries are all Islamic states". I have to flag/report this as an anti-Semite statement because as the world knows, Jews (Sephardic but not necessarily Ashkenazi) Arabs & Aramaics are Semites. Often narrow-mindedne ss such as your statement here is used as hate-speech against people based solely upon their origins. Get a life beyond fear, bigotry & hate, then get an education & lighten up.
+10 # Helen Marshall 2015-04-18 09:55
Here she comes again! The ADL is of course the most neutral and respected source on this issue...but the entire statement is irrelevant, the point of the article is the strategy of the neo-cons in Washington, abetted by the major media concerns, to portray the US-installed government in Kiev as a poster child for the Enlightenment.
+7 # Radscal 2015-04-18 13:06
Jewish groups in Ukraine reported a sudden rise in anti-Jewish activities during the Maidan "protests" and then spiking enormously after the coup.

But, your JDL and other Zionist groups downplayed that and said, as you just did, that the real anti-Jewish issue was Russia.

At first, I was confused as to why Jewish organizations were ignoring the very real anti-Jewish actions in the putsch state of Ukraine.

But then I realized that it wasn't a "Jew against Jew" situation.

It is a "Fascists for Fascists" "Reconquest."
+2 # Mannstein 2015-04-19 18:59
Anything coming out of the ADL is suspect. Abie Foxman has an ax to grind. Where was the ADL when the Ukrainians were lobbying to declare the Holomodor a genocide? Could it be that Stalin's willing executioner Lazar Kaganovich just happen to have been a member of the tribe?

There is good reason why Eastern Europeans have no lost love for Jews. When Eastern Poland, for instance, was invaded by the Red Army in 1939, the majority of Polish Jews welcomed the occupiers with open arms. After WWII eastern European countries were taken over by Communist governments. Stalin made sure that the new rulers were primarily members of the chosen tribe. this was the case in Poland, Romania, and Hungary.
0 # Krackonis 2015-04-22 12:08
I love those numbers. If you look carefully you may find the question "Do you dislike Israel as a nation?" is different than "You want to kill Jews?"

Since Iran has one of the largest Jewish populations outside Israel I am wondering why they are not all dead?
+18 # MidwestTom 2015-04-17 21:07
We support an independent Kurdistan for the Kurds in Iraq, but oppose letting the native Russians living in Ukraine join Russia, why?

The internationalis t must be getting frustrated, they have tried to start WWIII in Libya, Sudan, Pakistan, Syria, and Ukraine, and so far they have failed. With Hillary or Bush as president they will be much closer to success.
0 # Mannstein 2015-04-19 19:02
They also refused to let native Germans living in Danzig join Germany and WWII was the result.
-27 # ericlane 2015-04-18 06:11
There goes old Robert Perry. Ukraine government, Nazi. Russia, saintly. Ukraine govt. evil. Russia pure, "I don't know why they treat us so bad? We never cause anyone any harm." Ukraine govt. is killing everyone who disagrees with it. Russian govt. doesn't have anyone who disagrees with them because they are either all already dead or, well, all dead. Just remember this, Putin good. Ukraine bad. That's about it.
+11 # Maturus 2015-04-18 07:33
None so blind.....
+1 # Mannstein 2015-04-19 18:24
Robert Perry conveniently forgets to mention the Ukrainian Holodomor of the early 1930's. 7 million Ukrainian Christians were starved to death by Stalin's willing executioner the Jew Lazar Kaganovich. The Ukrainians have plenty to commemorate and it has nothing to do with the Holocaust which seems to be the only suffering that is allowed to be remembered in the West.
+15 # Kootenay Coyote 2015-04-18 08:17
& this is the government on whose behalf Canadian PM Harper is sending 200 Canadian soldiers as ‘military advisors’. Fascists of a feather flock together.
+1 # Mannstein 2015-04-19 18:32
@ Kootenay Coyote

When will Canadians finally get rid of the Stalinist institution also known as the Human Rights Commission presided over by 3 Commissars and where truth is no defense, accusers do not have to face defendants for cross examination and where a non guilty verdict has never been pronounced? Uncle Joe must be smiling to himself in the fires of hell.
+9 # Edwina 2015-04-18 10:21
A rather creative notion of "reconciliation ", I'd say. It was the hands off treatment of the Nazis in the '30s that enabled the Nazis to take over Germany. This provides the clue (to the clueless) that our wars are about the economy and resources, not about human values. Still, I'd question how anti-Semitism is defined by ADL. It tends to be an amorphous, many-use concept, like "terrorism" that needs to be defined whenever it is used.
+8 # REDPILLED 2015-04-18 10:30
Morality has never meant anything to imperialistic states intent on the delusion/fantas y of global domination.

Besides, if the corporate media doesn't report it, then it never happened.
-5 # Mannstein 2015-04-19 19:09
Putin claims the Katyn Massacre in Poland which was perpetrated by the NKVD the former KGB was justified as an act of war. That's the guy that Perry is carrying water for.

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