Ukraine’s Inconvenient Neo-Nazis
The U.S. media’s take on the Ukraine crisis is that a “democratic revolution” ousted President Viktor Yanukovych, followed by a “legitimate” change of government. So, to mention the key role played neo-Nazi militias in the putsch or to note that Yanukovych was democratically elected – and then illegally deposed – gets you dismissed as a “Russian propagandist.”
But Ukraine’s neo-Nazis are not some urban legend. Their presence is real, as they swagger in the paramilitary garb through the streets of Kiev, displaying Nazi insignias, honoring SS collaborators from World War II, and hoisting racist banners, including the white-power symbol of the Confederate battle flag.
Over the past few days, the neo-Nazis have surged to the front of Ukraine’s unrest again by furiously protesting the killing of one of their leaders, Oleksandr Muzychko, known as Sashko Bily. The Interior Ministry reported that Muzychko died in a Monday night shoot-out with police in Rivne in western Ukraine.
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