The CIA could cause Nazi terror in Ukraine

The US government has a well-documented history of supporting extremist groups through an array of foreign policy mishaps, which inevitably end up blowing up in the face of the American public. In the 1960s, the CIA worked with anti-Fidel Castro Cuban radicals who turned Miami into a hub of terrorist violence. In the 1980s, the agency supported and encouraged Islamic radicals converging on Afghanistan, who would orchestrate the 9/11 attack. And, in the 2010s, Washington backed not-so-“moderate” Syrian rebels who ended up cutting off a swath of atrocities among civilians and Kurdish forces that were supposed to be US allies.

Based on a new report, it looks like we may soon be able to add another to this list of fatally ignored lessons: Ukrainian neo-Nazis.

According to a recent Yahoo! News report, since 2015 the CIA has been secretly training forces in Ukraine to serve as “insurgent leaders,” in the words of a former intelligence official, in case Russia eventually invades the country. Current officials say the training is purely for intelligence gathering, but former officials Yahoo! said the program involved training in firearms, “cover and move” and camouflage, among other things.

Given the facts, chances are the CIA is training real Nazis as part of this effort. The year the program began, 2015, also happened to be the same year that Congress passed a spending bill that provided hundreds of millions of dollars in economic and military support to Ukraine, a project which was expressly modified to allow that support to flow to the country’s resident neo-Nazi militia, the Azov Regiment. According to Nation At the time, the text of the bill passed in the middle of this year included an amendment explicitly banning “weapons, training and other assistance” in Azov, but the House committee responsible for the bill suffered pressure from the Pentagon months later to remove the language, falsely telling them it was redundant.

Despite the sometimes open acknowledgment of its Nazism – its former commander once said that Ukraine’s “historic mission” was to “lead the white races of the world in a last crusade for their survival” in “a crusade against the Untermenschen led by Semites” – Azov was integrated into the country’s National Guard in 2014, due to its effectiveness in the fight against Russian separatists. American weapons poured into the militia, NATO and US military officials were pictured meeting them, and militia members spoke about their work with American trainers and the lack of verification track record for eliminating white supremacists.

Given all this, it would be more surprising if the neo-Nazis of Azov do not have trained as part of the CIA’s clandestine insurgency program. And we are already seeing the first signs of a backfire.

“A number of prominent figures among far-right extremist groups in the United States and Europe have actively sought relations with far-right representatives in Ukraine, in particular the National Corps and its associated militia, the Regiment Azov,” states a 2020 report from the US Military Academy West Point Counterterrorism Center. “People based in the United States have spoken or written about how the training available in Ukraine could help them and others in their paramilitary-type activities back home.

A 2018 FBI affidavit claimed that Azov “would have participated in the formation and radicalization of white supremacist organizations based in the United States”, including members of the white supremacist movement Rise Above, prosecuted for planned attacks against counter-protesters at far-right events, including the Charlottesville “Unite the Right” Rally that Joe Biden later co-opted as his presidential campaign vindication. Although it appears that the perpetrator of the Christchurch mosque massacre did not travel to Ukraine as he claimed, he was clearly inspired by the far-right movement there and carried a symbol used by the members of Azov during the attack.

Since taking office, Biden has launched an incipient national “war on terror” based on the fight against far-right extremism, even if the strategy quietly aims to target protesters and activists on the left, which who’s already done it. Yet, at the same time, three separate administrations, including Biden’s, have provided training, weapons and materials to the far-right movement that inspires and even trains these same white supremacists.

To add to the absurdity here, the reason Washington came to the aid of the Ukrainian Nazis is so they can serve as a bulwark against Russia, which war hawks liken, as they always do, to the regime of Adolf Hitler and his expansion across Europe in the 1930s. While Vladimir Putin’s Russia may be a malevolent actor on a number of fronts, Putin’s recent forays into neighboring states like Ukraine are largely driven by the expansion of the NATO military alliance to at its borders and the resulting security implications.

In other words, to stop what American hawks classify as the next Hitler and Nazi Germany, Washington supported literal neo-Nazi militias in Ukraine, who in turn communicate and train local white supremacists, whom Washington in turn intensifies threatening repressive bureaucracy at home to counter. This is what some have called the “self-licking ice cream cone” in action – the US national security establishment creating the very threats that justify themselves. Instead of defusing tensions by simply agreeing to longstanding Russian demands to set a hard limit on NATO’s eastward expansion, Washington has apparently decided that unlimited planetary military dominance is so important that it would just rather go to bed with real fascists.

The United States’ alliance with Nazi-infected Ukraine has already proven awkward for a president trying to both contrast his far-right predecessor and establish the United States as leader. leader in a global effort to strengthen democracy. Late last year, in a vote completely silenced by the press, the United States was one of only two countries (the other being Ukraine) to vote against a draft resolution of the United Nations “combatting the glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fueling contemporary forms of racism”. Both countries have consistently voted against this resolution every year since 2014.

The Biden administration rolled out an almost identical boilerplate explanation for his no that Donald Trump had used, citing the constitutional right to free speech even for those with repugnant views. But this concern is difficult to reconcile with the text, which simply expresses concerns about public memorials, protests and Nazi rehabilitation, condemns Holocaust denial and hatred of violence, and calls on governments to eliminate racism through education and countering far-right terrorist threats. — all roughly identical to Biden’s rhetoric and policies.

Washington’s real concern here lies in its description of the resolution as “thinly veiled attempts to legitimize Russian disinformation campaigns denigrating neighboring nations” – that is, Ukraine. But Ukraine’s ties to modern Nazism are a far cry from Russian fake news and are in fact extensive and well-documented: from the official incorporation of Azov into the ranks of Ukrainian law enforcement and government officials with far-right ties to state-sponsored tributes to Nazi collaborators and promotion of Holocaust denial.

It’s no small irony that the US President, elected in large part to halt the perceived advance of fascism at home, continues to support the US for a long time to literal Nazis in what may well be fascism’s nexus. international. And if these Ukrainian Nazis are truly part of the CIA-trained insurgents, it will be no small feat if they ever follow the same professional trajectory as Osama Bin Laden.