Why Canada Defends Ukrainian Fascism

Canada has a reputation for being a relatively progressive state with universal, single-payer health care, various other social benefits, and strict gun laws, similar to many European countries but quite unlike the United States. It has managed to stay out of some American wars, for example, Vietnam and Iraq, portrayed itself as a neutral “peace keeper”, pursuing a so-called policy of “multilateralism” and attempting from time to time to keep a little independent distance from the United States.

Behind this veneer of respectability lies a not so attractive reality of elite inattention to the defence of Canadian independence from the United States and intolerance toward the political and syndicalist left. Police repression against communist and left-wing unionists and other dissidents after World War I was widespread. Strong support for appeasement of Nazi Germany, overt or covert sympathy for fascism, especially in Québec, and hatred of the Soviet Union were widespread in Canada during the 1930s. The Liberal prime minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King, hobnobbed with Nazi notables including Adolf Hitler, and thought that his British counterpart Neville Chamberlain had not gone far enough in appeasing Hitlerite Germany. Mackenzie King and many others of the Canadian elite saw communism as a greater threat to Canada than fascism. As in Europe, the Canadian elite—Liberal or Conservative did not matter—was worried by the Spanish civil war (1936-1939). In Québec French public opinion under the influence of the Catholic Church hoped for fascist victory and the eradication of communism. In 1937 a Papal encyclical whipped up the Red Scare amongst French Canadian Catholics. Rejection of Soviet offers of collective security against Hitler was the obverse side of appeasement. The fear of victory over Nazi Germany in alliance with the USSR was greater than the fear of defeat against fascism. Such thoughts were either openly expressed over dinner at the local gentleman’s club or kept more discrete by people who did not want to reveal the extent of their sympathy for fascism.

Even after the Nazi invasion of the USSR in June 1941, and the formation of the Grand Alliance against the Axis, there was strong reticence amongst the governing elite in Canada toward the Soviet Union. It was a shotgun marriage, a momentary arrangement with an undesirable partner, necessitated by the over-riding threat of the Nazi Wehrmacht. “If Hitler invaded Hell,” Winston Churchill famously remarked, “I would make at least a favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons.” Once Hitler was beaten, however, it would be back to business as usual. The Grand Alliance was a “truce”, as some of my students have proposed to me, in a longer cold war between the west and the USSR. This struggle began in November 1917 when the Bolsheviks seized power in Petrograd; it resumed after 1945 when the “truce”, or if you like, the Grand Alliance, came to a sudden end.

This was no more evident than in Canada where elite hatred of communism was a homegrown commodity and not simply an American imitation. So it should hardly be a surprise that after 1945 the Canadian government—Mackenzie King was still prime minister—should open its doors to the immigration of approximately 34,000 “displaced persons”, including thousands of Ukrainian fascists and Nazi collaborators, responsible for heinous war crimes in the Ukraine and Poland. These were veterans of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), the Waffen SS Galicia and the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), all collaborators of Nazi Germany during World War II.

The most notorious of the Nazi collaborators who immigrated to Canada was Mykhailo Chomiak, a mid-level Nazi operative in Poland, who came under US protection at the end of the war and eventually made his way to Canada where he settled in Alberta. Had he been captured by the Red Army, he would quite likely have been hanged for collaboration with the enemy. In Canada however he prospered as a farmer. His grand-daughter is the “Ukrainian-Canadian” Chrystia Freeland, the present minister for external affairs. She is a well-known Russophobe, persona non grata in the Russian Federation, who long claimed her grandfather was a “victim” of World War II. Her claims to this effect have been demonstrated to be untrue by the Australian born journalist John Helmer, amongst many others.

In 1940 the Liberal government facilitated the creation of the Canadian Ukrainian Congress (UCC), one of many organisations used to fight or marginalise the left in Canada, in this case amongst Canadian Ukrainians. The UCC is still around and appears to dominate the Ukrainian-Canadian community. Approximately 1.4 million people living in Canada claim full or partial Ukrainian descent though generally the latter. Most “Ukrainian-Canadians” were born in Canada; well more than half live in the western provinces. The vast majority has certainly never set foot in the Ukraine. It is this constituency on which the UCC depends to pursue its political agenda in Ottawa.

After the coup d’état in Kiev in February 2014 the UCC lobbied the then Conservative government under Stephen Harper to support the Ukrainian “regime change” operation which had been conducted by the United States and European Union. The UCC president, Paul Grod, took the lead in obtaining various advantages from the Harper government, including arms for the putschist regime in Kiev. It survives only through massive EU and US direct or indirect financial/political support and through armed backing from fascist militias who repress dissent by force and intimidation. Mr. Grod claims that Russia is pursuing a policy of “aggression” against the Ukraine. If that were true, the putschists in Kiev would have long ago disappeared. The Harper government allowed fund raising for Pravyi Sektor, a Ukrainian fascist paramilitary group, through two organisations in Canada including the UCC, and even accorded “charitable status” to one of them to facilitate their fund raising and arms buying. Harper also sent military “advisors” to train Ukrainian forces, the backbone of which are fascist militias. The Trudeau government has continued that policy. “Canada should prepare for Russian attempts to destabilize its democracy,” according to Minister Freeland: “Ukraine is a very important partner to Canada and we will continue to support its efforts for democracy and economic growth.” For a regime that celebrates violence and anti-Russian racism, represses political opposition, burns books, and outlaws the Russian language, “democracy” is an Orwellian portrayal of actual realities in the Ukraine. Nevertheless, late last year the Canadian government approved the sale of arms to Kiev and a so-called Magnitsky law imposing sanctions on Russian nationals.

There is no political opposition in the House of Commons to these policies. Even the New Democratic Party (NDP), that burnt out shell of Canadian social democracy, supported the Harper government, at the behest of Mr. Grod, a Ukrainian lobbyist who knows his way around Ottawa. In 2015 the UCC put a list of questions to party leaders, one of which was the following: “Does your party support listing the Luhansk People’s Republic and the Donetsk People’s Republic as terrorist organizations?” The Lugansk and Donetsk republics are of course anti-fascist resistance movements that emerged in reaction to the violent coup d’état in Kiev. They are most certainly not “terrorist” organisations, although they are subjected to daily bombardments against civilian areas by Kiev putschist forces. Nevertheless, the then NDP leader, Thomas Mulcair, who would have agreed to almost anything to win power, answered in the affirmative. This must have been a moment of dismay for Canadians who still harboured illusions about the NDP as a progressive alternative to the Liberal and Conservative parties. How could it support a US/EU installed putschist regime which governs by intimidation and violence? In fact, it was a Conservative electoral strategy to obtain the votes of people of Ukrainian and East European descent by backing putschist Kiev and denouncing Russia. Mulcair was trying to outflank Harper on his right, but that did not work for he himself was outflanked on his left.

In the 2015 federal elections the Liberals under Justin Trudeau, outwitted poor Mr. Mulcair and won the elections. The NDP suffered heavy electoral losses. Mulcair looked like someone who had made a Faustian bargain for nothing in return, and he lost a bid to remain as party leader. The Liberals campaigned on re-establishing better relations with the Russian Federation, but that promise did not hold up. The minister for external affairs, Stéphane Dion, tried to move forward on that line, but appears to have been stabbed in the back by Mr. Trudeau, with Ms. Freeland guiding his hand in the fatal blow. In early 2017 Dion was sacked and Freeland replaced him. That was the end of the Liberal promise to improve relations with the Russian government. Since then, under Freeland, Russian-Canadian relations have worsened.

The influential Mr. Grod appears to keep the Canadian government in his hip pocket. There are photographs of him side by side with Mr. Harper and then with Mr. Trudeau, with Ms. Freeland on his left. Mr. Grod has been a great success in backing putschist Kiev. Last summer Mr. Trudeau even issued a traditional Ukrainian fascist salute, “SlavaUkraini!”, to celebrate the anniversary of Ukrainian independence. The prime minister is a great believer in identity politics.

The latest gesture of the Canadian government is to approve $1.4 million as a three year grant to promote a “Holodomor National Awareness Tour”. Ukrainian “nationalists” summon up the memory of the “Holodomor”, a famine in the Ukraine in 1932-1933, deliberately launched by Stalin, they say, in order to emphasise their victimisation by Russia. According to the latest Stalin biographer, Steven Kotkin, there was indeed a famine in the USSR that affected various parts of the country, the Ukraine amongst other regions. Kazakhstan, not the Ukraine suffered most. Between five and seven million people died. Ten millions starved. “Nonetheless, the famine was not intentional. It resulted from Stalin’s policies of forced collectivization…,”Kotkin writes, himself no advocate of the Soviet Union. Compulsion, peasant rebellion, bungling, mismanagement, drought, locust infestations, not targeting ethnicities, led to the catastrophe. “Similarly, there was no ‘Ukrainian’ famine,” according to Kotkin, “the famine was [a] Soviet[-wide disaster]” (Stalin, 2017, vol. 2, pp. 127-29). So the Liberal government is spending public funds to perpetuate a politically motivated myth to drum up hatred of Russia and to support putschist Kiev.

The Canadian government also recently renewed funding for a detachment of 200 “advisors” to train Ukrainian militias, along with twenty-three million dollars—it is true a pittance by American standards—for “non-lethal” military aid, justified by Ms. Freeland to defend Ukrainian “democracy”. Truly, we live in a dystopian world where reality is turned on its head. Fascism is democracy; resistance to fascism is terrorism. Identity politics and Canadian multiculturalism are now invoked to defend Ukrainian fascism celebrated in the streets of Kiev with torchlight parades and fascist symbols, remembering and celebrating Nazi collaborators and collaboration during World War II. “Any country sending representatives to Russia’s celebration of the 70th anniversary of their victory against Adolf Hitler,” warned putschist Kiev in April 2015, “will be blacklisted by Ukraine.”

“The further a society drifts from the truth,” George Orwell once said, “the more it will hate those that speak it.” Well, here is one truth that Mr. Trudeau and Ms. Freeland will not want to hear, hate it or not: 42,000 Canadian soldiers, not to mention 27 million Soviet citizens, died during the war against the Axis. Memories must be fading, for now we have come to this pass, where our government is supporting a violent, racist regime in Kiev directly descended from that very enemy against which Canada and its allies fought during World War II.The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.

Canada’s Nazi Monuments

Why does Canada have not one but several memorials to Nazi collaborators? And why, when statues are toppling all over the world, have Canadian Jewish groups remained silent?

By Lev Golinkin

“Graffiti on monument commemorating Nazi SS division being investigated as a hate crime by police.” Ordinarily, you’d assume a headline about Nazis as victims came from The Onion (and indeed, they’ve been prescient on this). But it’s 2020; we’re well down the rabbit hole of the American president who calls neo-Nazis “good people,” and this all-too-real article is from the Ottawa Citizen, a major Canadian newspaper. Indeed, the news that Canada has a monument commemorating Third Reich soldiers is just the outer layer of a nesting doll of progressively shocking facts.

First, Canada has not one but several memorials to Nazi collaborators. Second, even though Canada, like the United States, is in the midst of a reckoning about statues to monsters, the chances of Ottawa’s doing anything, even speaking out, on this are next to none. Finally, Canadian-Jewish organizations—people you might think have an interest in denouncing monuments celebrating butchers of Jews—have been distinctly silent about this. That’s both stunning and unsurprising.

The story of how a monument to Nazi collaborators ended up in Canada—a nation that lost over 45,000 men fighting against the Nazis—is both dark and complex, involving geopolitics, historical revisionism, propaganda, anti-Semitism, and the quiet continuation of a war that for most people ended 75 years ago.

The story about Jewish organizations appeasing Holocaust distortion is far simpler. It’s a story about silence. And cowardice.

An “Unfortunate” Tribute to the SS

The monument in question is a cenotaph honoring members of the SS Galichina division of the Waffen-SS, the Nazi party’s military branch whose long list of war crimes includes the Holocaust. The pillar, which is located in a Ukrainian Cemetery in Oakville, Ontario, was vandalized with the words “Nazi war monument” sometime around June 21. Early in the investigation, the police classified the vandalism as a “hate crime,” meaning the SS members are the ones who were victims of hate here.

In response to David Pugliese of the Ottawa Citizen, the Halton Regional police spokesman stated, “This incident occurred to a monument and the graffiti appeared to target an identifiable group.” The fact that the “identifiable group” in question is an SS division didn’t seem to matter.

After Pugliese’s article gained traction, the Halton Regional police department apologized, stating that the incident has been reclassified as simple vandalism. The police chief added an admirable tweet, saying, “The most unfortunate part of all this is that any such monument would exist in the first place.”

It is, indeed unfortunate, for the SS Galichina (also known as the 14th Waffen-SS Division) was an actual unit in the SS, deemed important enough to receive a personal visit from Heinrich Himmler, Hitler’s second in command and one of the principal architects of the Holocaust.

During his speech to rally the Ukrainian SS troops, Himmler waxed poetic about how much better-off Ukraine was with the Jews exterminated and mused about the fighters’ willingness to slaughter Poles. SS Galichina recruitment posters proudly featured Hitler; there’s no doubt about just who it is the Oakville memorial honors.

But the truly unfortunate thing is that Oakville’s monument is only one of several glorifying Nazi collaborators and butchers of Jews scattered throughout Canada. Edmonton has a bust of Roman Shukhevych, who was in charge of a nationalist battalion serving as Nazi auxiliaries that later morphed into a German auxiliary police battalion. These units took part in lethal anti-Semitic violence and brutal counterinsurgency suppression. Shukhevych also commanded the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), which killed Jews and systematically massacred 70,000–100,000 Poles; the Oakville cemetery has a prominent UPA monument as well.

Who built them? The Nazi collaborators themselves, whom Canada took in with open arms.

Butchers Welcome

The most infamous case of Nazis launching successful postwar careers in the New World is Operation Paperclip, when the US government secretly brought over Nazi scientists and engineers who helped pioneer America’s rocket program. But Operation Paperclip is known only because of its impact; the truth is, the United States and Canada took in thousands of concentration camp guards, SS fighters, and other Nazi collaborators from Ukraine and other nations such as Latvia, which had its own SS division, one it honors today with parades.

Unlike the Jews they had tortured and murdered, these Holocaust perpetrators got to settle down, start families, work, live, and die in peace. Along the way, they rebranded themselves as “victims of Communism” and “freedom fighters” to whitewash their bloody pasts. Once in a while you hear about one of them—some of the last remaining Nazis in the United States were Ukrainian—but most went on to live unmolested and free in North America.

There are several theories about why the US and Canadian governments welcomed these murderers. Some say it’s because they helped lead the fight against the USSR in the Cold War; indeed, declassified CIA materials admit to it. Others point out they were used as strike-breakers to weaken the resistance of labor movements.

Underneath, though, is a much simpler explanation: American and Canadian elites let in Holocaust perpetrators for the same reason they denied asylum to Jewish refugees on the MS St. Louis who desperately tried to escape the Holocaust only to be rejected at every port of call: anti-Semitism.

Enter Putin

In 2017, the awkwardness of being a country that simultaneously honors Canadians who died fighting for the Allies and Ukrainian units who fought for the Third Reich exploded into international headlines. The scandal was triggered by an interesting party: Moscow.

Vladimir Putin has made World War II remembrance a cornerstone of building patriotism and pride in Russia, commemorating the USSR’s enormous sacrifice with films and elaborate parades. Moscow’s focus on defeating the Nazis went into overdrive after the 2013–14 Ukrainian uprising. The new Kiev government had its own neo-Nazi battalions and instituted an ultranationalist policy of officially honoring Shukhevych, the SS Galichina, and other Nazi lackeys and Holocaust perpetrators. These actions, which I and others reported for The Nation, have been condemned by Israel and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, among others.

Moscow seized on this to justify annexing Crimea and supporting separatists in Eastern Ukraine. To this day, the Kremlin propaganda machine delights in trolling the West about Ukraine and other nations’ whitewashing of Nazi collaborators; in addition to feeding the cult of WWII at home, the trolling is used to put Russia’s Western adversaries in an awkward spot.

Three years ago, the Kremlin decided to take the show on the road. The Russian embassy in Canada began gleefully tweeting about the Canadian monuments, including the SS Galichina memorial in Oakville. It’s safe to assume Moscow knew that this would create a wedge issue between Ottawa and Canada’s large Ukrainian diaspora.

But the Russian trolling backfired. Indeed, Moscow propaganda bemoaning Nazi whitewashing was a gift for the whitewashers, who began to attack anyone protesting the glorification of Nazi collaborators as carrying water for the Kremlin. Under anything approaching normal circumstances, the “You’re siding with Putin” logic wouldn’t have worked in a remedial middle school debate. It’s the ultimate straw man argument—the question of whether we should condemn those who honor Nazi butchers and engage in Holocaust distortion has nothing to do with Russia. The Kremlin, like most governments, routinely denounces things like terrorist attacks; does that make Americans who oppose terrorism Kremlin stooges?

But this didn’t happen under normal circumstances. It happened during the three-year orgy of Russiagate, when accusations of doing Putin’s bidding were hurled with abandon in the media. In this miasma, ultranationalist accusations became an extraordinarily effective weapon, deployed to smear anyone who dared speak out.

The Russia factor transformed a clear case of anti-Semitism into a debatable affair. Western outlets churned out insipid articles framing the issue as a Russia story while allowing that perhaps those glorifying Holocaust perpetrators had valid points. A common argument is that Shukhevych and others were honored for fighting the Soviets, not slaughtering Jews. Osama bin Laden also fought against Moscow; should we erect statues celebrating his efforts?

The very media that rightfully denounced Trump for both-siding white supremacists ended up both-siding Holocaust distortion.

“A Threat to Democracy”

To understand just how serious (and career-threatening) the Russia charges were, consider that over the past couple of years, we’ve witnessed an explosion of anti-Semitism, including Holocaust distortion/denial. Yet the only reason you’re reading about Canada designating Nazi collaborators “hate crime” victims is because of three people: the Ottawa Citizen’s Pugliese, fellow journalist Scott Taylor, and American blogger Moss Robeson, who’ve hammered away at the issue in the media and on Twitter.

Pugliese and Taylor weighed in on the glorification of Ukrainian and Latvian Nazi collaborators before and were attacked for it at international levels. The Ukrainian embassy in Canada accused Pugliese of writing “Kremlin-style propaganda,” while the Latvian foreign ministry labeled his articles a “threat to democracy.” Meanwhile, the Latvian ambassador to Canada accused Taylor of swallowing Russian propaganda.

Nor is this limited to the media. In 2012, Swedish postdoctoral fellow Per Anders Rudling, who bravely chronicled the whitewashing of Shukhevych and others, was subjected to a brutal campaign designed to discredit his academic career.

Despite their different professions and nationalities, Pugliese, Taylor, Robeson, and Rudling have one thing in common: None of them run websites with prominently placed donation buttons asking for money to fight anti-Semitism. Canadian-Jewish organizations, on the other hand, have those buttons. This takes us to the final sordid part of this story—appeasement by Jewish groups.

The two major Jewish-Canadian advocacy groups are the Centre for Israeli and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) and B’nai Brith Canada. Despite Canada’s Nazi collaborator monuments’ having been in the news for three years, the CIJA’s press release section doesn’t contain a single item on the issue. (CIJA’s press office did not respond to a request for any pertinent press releases.) That’s despite CIJA’s numerous denunciations of other anti-Semitic incidents.

B’nai Brith’s behavior has been even stranger. In 2017, B’nai Brith official Aidan Fishman parroted ultranationalist talking points about how the real story was Russian propaganda, not Canada’s honoring the SS. Fishman later doubled down, claiming “the intent of these monuments is not to stir up hatred or glorify crimes against Jews.”

B’nai Brith later condemned the “glorification of Nazis” in Europe, not the more inconvenient commemorations at home. At the same time, it was vocal about Shukhevych’s crimes and supported an effort to strip another Ukrainian war criminal of Canadian citizenship.

When it comes to the recent uproar over the Oakville monument, B’nai Brith appears to have split the difference between defending and condemning Nazi collaborators, initially electing to remain silent. However, in response to an inquiry from The Nation, the group said, “There is no place for monuments in our society that glorify military units, political organizations or individuals who collaborated with the Nazis in World War II. B’nai Brith Canada calls for such monuments to be removed and for comprehensive education efforts to accurately portray the historical record of those individuals and organizations involved.” The only major Jewish organization to forthrightly address the current scandal is the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Unfortunately, this isn’t surprising. As I and others have noted, Jewish groups appear to be following Benjamin Netanyahu’s lead. Netanyahu has turned a blind eye to horrific Holocaust denial/distortion in Eastern Europe, including Poland, Lithuania, and Hungary, in exchange for favorable UN votes. Perhaps that’s the case here.

Either way, motivations don’t much matter. The sentence, “We are choosing to remain silent on Holocaust distortion because…” doesn’t have a morally justifiable ending—especially when you’re raising money to fight anti-Semitism.

Those who fought in WWII and Jews caught in the horrors of the Holocaust were faced with terrifying demands: charging the beaches of Normandy, surviving unspeakable conditions, carrying out real resistance behind enemy lines. We are given much simpler tasks. We’re merely asked to speak up for the memory of dead Jews and Allied soldiers. Unfortunately, so far we have failed, which is why Canada’s Nazi monuments continue to stand tall.

https://www.thenation.com/article/world/canada-nazi-monuments-antisemitism/

Influential DC-based Ukrainian think tank hosts neo-Nazi activist convicted for racist violence

The US-Ukraine Foundation hosted notorious neo-Nazi militant Diana Vynohradova in a webinar this month. While legitimizing Ukrainian white supremacists, the think tank has forged close ties with foreign policy elites in Washington.
By Moss Robeson

The influential Washington-based US-Ukraine Foundation (USUF) hosted a webinar this July 15 about a documentary about Vasyl Slipak, a famed Ukrainian opera singer who died in 2016 fighting alongside the ultranationalist Right Sector’s “Volunteer Ukrainian Corps” (DUK) in eastern Ukraine.

The webinar featured an appearance by Diana Vynohradova (Kamlyuk), a sieg-heiling neo-Nazi decorated with white supremacist tattoos. Vynohradova was convicted of participating in a notorious racist murder and has incited hatred against Jews, denigrating them as “k****s.”

With her presence in the webinar, Vynohradova provided a shocking example of the mainstreaming of neo-Nazism in Ukrainian politics, and the tolerance for pro-NATO fascists in Washington. The USUF which provided her with the stamp of approval is a leading think tank of the Ukrainian diaspora with ties to the US State Department and anti-Russian foreign policy advisors in both parties.

Through its Friends Of Ukraine Network (FOUN), the USUF has recruited some of the most hardline anti-Russia foreign policy hands in the Beltway. The Canary UKreported last year that the USUF and FOUN are “pushing a frightening escalation of the armed conflict in Ukraine” through their annual policy recommendations to the US government, and that the FOUN has described itself as “the largest, highest level and most politically diverse group of Americans to call for arming Ukraine with American weapons.”

FOUN’s membership roll lists several fellows of the NATO-backed Atlantic Council, including Anders Aslund, former US Ambassador to Ukraine John Herbst, and Michael Carpenter, the executive director of the Penn-Biden Center and a top advisor to Democratic presidential nominee Joseph Biden. As The Grayzone’s Max Blumenthal reported, Carpenter helped host Andriy Parubiy, the far-right Ukrainian legislator and founder of the neo-fascist Social-National Party, when he visited Washington in 2018.

The USUF’s influence within the State Department was apparent during a December 2013 event where then-Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland boasted about the US government investing five billion dollars in post-Soviet Ukraine to “promote civic participation and good governance.”

Though it describes itself as a “do tank,” the USUF did not respond to a request for comment on its hosting of a Ukrainian neo-Nazi involved in racist violence.

Shortly before the USUF panel, a Ukrainian journalist was forced to flee Kyiv after co-authoring a report detailing a Ukrainian media outlet’s myriad ties to neo-Nazis, including Vynohradova.

Helping murder a Nigerian, inciting against Jews, intimidating journalists
On July 3, five days before the USUF announced its webinar featuring Vynohradova, a respected Ukrainian journalism site called Zaborona published an exposé of StopFake, a propagandistic “fact-checking” organization funded by the UK Foreign Office and several EU member states. The article dedicated over a paragraph to Diana Vynohradova, noting her close relationship with one of the main faces of StopFake, Marko Suprun.

Zaborona reported that Vynohradova was convicted in the early 2000s for her participation in the racist murder of a Nigerian citizen. “I don’t like Negroes,” her friend replied when asked why he stabbed the Nigerian to death.

While in prison, Vynohradova wrote poems for the notorious neo-Nazi band Sokyra Peruna. During the 2013-14 “Revolution of Dignity,” she advised protesters from the main stage on Kyiv’s Independence Square “not to give in to supplications from the kikes.”

In the past, Vynohradova wore a neo-Nazi “1488” tattoo on her right arm, but she has since covered it up. She has not bothered to hide the white supremacist Celtic Cross above it, however, and continues to sport a kolovrat necklace — a Slavic pagan symbol that resembles a swastika.

Just days before the USUF panel, Zaborona editor-in-chief Katerina Sergatskova fled Kyiv with her family after being doxxed by Ukrainian nationalists.

Celebrating the crypto-Nazi “Kommandos” summer camp for teens

During the USUF panel, Vynohradova was introduced by the moderator, retired Ukrainian Major General Volodymyr Havrylov, as a spokesperson for the … erm … Right Sector. Wherever she is, the general stated, Vynohradova is “doing something useful for the country, as always.” 

Vynohradova opened her remarks by praising Vasyl Slipak. “I think he was a person [on] some kind of sacred mission,” she said of the ultra-nationalist martyr. “He had some superior force, as if other-wordly. Vasyl, for me, is a model that I bring up for children as we raise them.”

Later, Vynohradova panned her smartphone lens to a group of teenage Ukrainian nationalists gathered on a field and bearing a Right Sector flag. 

“We [Right Sector] are doing youth camp here, of young patriots, the club named Kommandos,” the neo-Nazi explained. They promised to avenge the death of Slipak, calling him “this Great Knight of Ukraine.” 

Slava, Slava, Slava!” (Glory, Glory, Glory!),” the youth chanted. 

The “Kommandos” is a crypto-Nazi “military-patriotic” youth camp with attendees as young as ten years old. Vynohradova is its lead instructor. The campers’ t-shirts are produced by a white supremacist clothing brand, SvaStone, founded by Arseniy “Bilodub” Klimachev, the frontman of Sokyra Peruna and a leader of Right Sector. 

Another Kommandos supporter is Anatoly Shponarsky, an MMA fighter with the neo-Nazi “14 words” tattooed on his stomach who provided the camp with “sports equipment.” The above photo of nationalist youth pretending to sleep in the shape of a swastika was uploaded to the camp’s official Facebook page last summer.

Besides serving as an organizer of “Right Youth” summer camps, Vynohradova has been involved in all three wings of the fascist Right Sector’s “national liberation movement,” as a spokesperson for the Right Sector’s Volunteer Ukrainian Corps (DUK), and as a member of the party’s leadership. 

Reverence for the “radical” rightist Slipak, calls for blood and soil indoctrination

The moderator of the USUF panel, Ukrainian Major General Volodymyr Havrylov, was the former military attache at the US embassy. Markian Bilynskyj, the USUF’s vice president for field operations and director in Ukraine, facilitated the discussion, and presumably was responsible for inviting the neo-Nazi Vynohradova.

Oksana Koliada, the former Minister of Veterans Affairs in Ukraine (2019-20), was originally scheduled to participate in the webinar. With her help, according to journalist Oleksiy Kuzmenko, the Veterans Affairs Ministry was “hijacked” by the “Veterans Movement of Ukraine” (VMU), which the neo-Nazi Azov movement co-founded. Soon after her appointment, Koliada attended a concert organized by the VMU and headlined by Sokyra Peruna.

Metropolitan Archbishop Borys Gudziak, the highest authority of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in the US, took Koliada’s place and began the USUF discussion. As the former Apostolic Exarchate for Ukrainian Greek Catholics in France, he knew Slipak, who lived in Paris before he returned to Ukraine in 2014. 

“Vasyl was radical in everything,” Gudziak recalled. 

“For some, you know, who see a picture or two or a clip or two, you might say, boy, he was some extreme nationalist,” said Gudziak. He didn’t deny this perception, but insisted that the truth was more complicated. “I think he was motivated by injustice … seeing Ukrainians, people of his blood, people of his nation, being harmed and killed … and he acted in a reflex.” 

According to the Archbishop, Slipak should serve as an example for Ukrainians, “to take us out of our complacency, out of our bourgeois complaining … [and to] share what you have, give what you can. Maybe give your life itself. I think Vasyl Slipak will be speaking in this manner to all who will come to know his story.” Gudziak remained quiet for the rest of the webinar.

A documentary about Slipak screened at the start of the webinar. Entitled “Myth,” the film featured an animation based on Slipak’s last words: “I will dissolve [into Ukraine] and live forever.”

As a pool of blood spread into the shape of Ukraine, the slogan invoked Nazi concepts of blood and soil.

The 25-year-old Ukrainian legislator, Yana Zinkevych, joined the panel later on to emphasize the need to incorporate Vasyl Slipak’s story into the education of Ukrainian youth, and even high school textbooks, as an “example of sacrifice.” 

The USUF’s Markian Bilynskyj agreed, declaring, “it goes back to what Archbishop Gudziak was saying,” that Slipak’s death should inspire others to encourage “more selfless involvement in society.”

Zinkevych was elected to Ukraine’s Parliament last summer as a member of the former president Petro Poroshenko’s “European Solidarity” party. She also served as commander of the “Hospitallers,” a medical battalion of the “Ukrainian Volunteer Army” led by Dmytro Yarosh, the founder and ex-leader of the far-right Right Sector.

Zinkevych and the Hospitallers were previously part of the DUK when Yarosh commanded Right Sector. Dmytro Yarosh issued an ominous warning to the liberal Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy last year, promising that he would be lynched if he “betrays” his country.

While serving as a high level member of Poroshenko’s ostensibly center-right party, Zinkevych has continued to associate with extremists in groups like Right Sector.

Emboldening neo-Nazis while downplaying their influence

The far-right outfit Right Sector endorses the 20th century Ukrainian fascist concept of “Natiocracy,” which holds that Ukraine should be governed by a nationalist dictatorship. After the 2019 presidential election, it issued a statement suggesting the necessity of acting “outside of formal democratic procedures” in conjunction with allied “armed formations” to safeguard Ukraine’s independence. Even the NGO Freedom House, a US government-funded outfit that supports regime change operations abroad, has described Right Sector as “extremist.”

John Herbst, director of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center and chairs the FOUN’s National Security Task Force, has done his best to downplay the influence of Right Sector. In 2018, he claimed to Newsweek, “Pravy Sektor was a real force years ago, but even then a limited force that Russia exaggerated, so that’s an old Kremlin propaganda piece…”

Anders Åslund, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and vice-chair of FOUN’s Economic Security Task Force, took the denial of Right Sector’s street muscle a step further in 2015, declaring it a fantasy “which Russian propaganda had created.”

If the “Friends of Ukraine” nestled in top Beltway think tanks truly believe that Right Sector is just a figment of “Kremlin propaganda,” they must not have watched the white supremacists starring in the latest webinar sponsored under their watch – or the film that screened before it began.

Below is a scene from “Myth,” the documentary on Vasyl Slipak that screened during the USUF webinar. Slipak can be seen standing on the far-right with his DUK unit. On the left, a Nazi “SS” symbol is visible on the wall.

https://i1.wp.com/thegrayzone.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Screen-Shot-2020-07-16-at-9.32.51-PM.png?resize=1024%2C460&ssl=1

Neo-Nazi’s arrest highlights Ottawa’s support for Ukrainian far right

March 2020

The recent arrest of a Canadian neo-Nazi on the run in the US should embarrass the federal government. As has been reported, it raises important questions about extremists in the Canadian military. Ignored, however, is the link between the arrest and Ottawa’s support for far-right forces in the Ukraine.

A month ago Canadian Forces engineer Patrik Mathews was arrested by the FBI. This week he pled not guilty to gun charges and plotting to poison water supplies, derail trains and kill people to provoke conflict to create a white “ethno-state.” In August Matthews fled southward after he was outed as a recruiter for The Base, a neo-Nazi group that helped him go underground in the US.

Mathews’ case highlights concern about white supremacists in the Canadian Forces. While the issue has received attention recently, it’s not a new problem. Most cite the early 1990s “Somalia Affair” as the time when the concern was made public. But, in fact the issue is as old as the Canadian military. For example, up to the end of World War II Royal Canadian Navy policy required that “candidates must be of pure European descent.” In other words, the problem of racism and racists in the Canadian Forces is structural and longstanding, something that has never been properly acknowledged or dealt with.

But there is another angle to Matthews’ arrest that should concern every Canadian worried about the rise of the far-right. The Base has ties to the best organized neo-Nazis in the world, whom Ottawa has not condemned, but in fact bolstered. A recent Vice headline noted, “Neo-Nazi Terror Group The Base Linked to the War in Ukraine”. One of The Base members arrested alongside Matthews sought to fight in the Ukraine, according to the charges laid against him. Other members and associates of The Base and other like-minded extremist groups have travelled to the Ukraine recently to meet ultra-nationalists there. Mollie Saltskog, an intelligence analyst at the Soufan Center, a non-profit terrorism watchdog, compared the extreme right’s ties to Ukraine to Al Qaeda’s nesting grounds. “The conflict in eastern Ukraine is to the white supremacists what Afghanistan was to the Salafi-jihadists in the 80’s and 90’s,” Saltskog told Vice. “Remember, al-Qaeda, for which the English translation is ‘The Base,’ was born out of the conflict in Afghanistan.”

The far right benefited from the 2014 right-wing nationalist EuroMaidan movement that ousted president Viktor Yanukovych. “The emergence of Azov Battalion and Right Sector in Ukraine in 2014 electrified the neo-Nazi movement” in North America and Europe, notes Jordan Green in “The lost boys of Ukraine: How the war abroad attracted American white supremacists.”

Ottawa supported the US-backed coup against a president oscillating between the European Union and Russia. In July 2015 the Canadian Press reported that opposition protesters were camped in the Canadian Embassy for a week during the February 2014 rebellion against Yanukovych. Since the mid-2000s Ottawa has provided significant support to right wing, nationalist opponents of Russia in the Ukraine.

As part of Operation UNIFIER, 200 Canadian troops — rotated every six months — work with Ukrainian forces that have integrated right wing militias. In June 2018 Canada’s military attaché in Kiev, Colonel Brian Irwin, met privately with officers from the Azov battalion, who use the Nazi “Wolfsangel” symbol and praise officials who helped slaughter Jews and Poles during World War II. According to Azov, Canadian military officials concluded the briefing by expressing “their hopes for further fruitful cooperation.”

Alongside the US, Canada funded, equipped and trained the neo-Nazi infiltrated National Police of Ukraine (NPU), which was founded after Yanukovych was overthrown in 2014.

A former deputy commander of the Azov Battalion, Vadim Troyan had a series of senior positions in the NPU, including acting chief. When a policeman was videoed early last year disparaging a far right protester as a supporter of Stepan Bandera, the National Police chief, National Police spokesman, Interior Minister and other officers repudiatedthe constable by publicly professing their admiration for Bandera. During World War II Bandera aligned with the Nazi occupation, carrying out murderous campaigns against Poles and Jews.

Soon after it was set up, Foreign Minister Stephane Dion announced $8.1 million for the NPU, which replaced the former regime’s police. Canada has provided the force with thousands of uniforms and cameras and helped establish the country’s first national police academy. Beginning in June 2016 up to 20 Canadian police were in the Ukraine to support and advise the NPU. In July 2019 that number was increased to 45 and the deployment was extended until at least 2021.

The post-Maiden Ukrainian government included a number of neo-Nazis. During his 2016 trip to Ukraine Trudeau was photographed with Andriy Parubiy, Ukrainian Parliament speaker, who had a background with the far right and was accused of praising Hitler. Liberal and other party politicians in Canada also spoke alongside and marched with members of Ukraine’s Right Sector, which said it was “defending the values of white, Christian Europe against the loss of the nation and deregionalisation.”

While they talk about the danger of the far right, the Liberals have refused to back a number of UN resolutions opposed to glorifying Nazism, neo-Nazism and racial discrimination because they are viewed as targeting the Ukraine. On November 19, 2015, Ottawa voted against a UN General assembly resolution critical of the aforementioned subject supported by 126 states. The US, Palau and Ukraine were the only other countries to vote against the resolution titled “Combating glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.” In November the Liberals abstained on a similar resolution.

At this point it seems unlikely that far right groups like The Base will gain significant traction in Canada. But, if they do it will be in part blowback from Canadian policy that views the Ukraine as a proxy in Washington’s campaign to weaken Russia. But, don’t expect the Canadian corporate media to report on this angle of Patrik Matthews’ arrest.

Long history of Ukrainian-Canadian groups glorifying Nazi collaborators exposed by defacing of Oakville memorial

News broke on July 17 that a war memorial honouring Ukrainian Nazis who served with the German SS recently had the phrase “Nazi war memorial” painted on it. These Nazis were part of the openly fascist Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, in the 14th Volunteer Waffen-SS Grenadier Division (the Galicia Division). The Wiesenthal Center’s Canadian representative, Sol Littman, explained that this SS division largely comprised Ukrainians who served with Nazi police battalions and death squads.

They committed many massacres and crimes against humanity, including the Huta Pieniacka murder of 850 to 900 citizens of Polish descent. The Halton Regional Police were originally investigating the incident as a “hate crime,” but were forced to change the description of the incident to “vandalism.”

Ukranian Nazi collaborators: From working for the Nazis, to crushing the insurgent Canadian left in the 1950s

The Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists was founded in 1929. Its fascist and openly anti-Semitic ideology was that Jews and Russian-speaking citizens must be removed from Ukrainian society at any cost. They enthusiastically collaborated with Nazi Germany in the 1940s to exterminate Jews, Russians, and anyone who attempted to protect them. The OUN was only forced out of Ukraine after the USSR took control of the country, upon the end of the Second World War.

The Ukrainian fascists found new homes in Canada, where the ideology of anti-communism was extremely potent. Peter Vronsky, a former documentary Director at the National Film board revealed that:

“a little known US-financed group in Canada called the “Canadian Christian Council for the Resettlement of Refugees” privately lobbied the Canadian government in the 1950s to admit former Nazi Waffen-SS ‘foreign legion volunteers’ like the Moslem Bosnian-Albanian Nazi SS troopers, Ukrainian SS volunteers, and others, to come to Sudbury wholesale to work in the mines.”

The Jewish News of North California reported that the Canadian government admitted more than 2,000 Ukrainian members of the Nazi 14th SS Division in the 1950s. This was done to crush the burgeoning leftist Ukrainian diaspora that was building up during the previous few years.

One way of getting into postwar Canada “was by showing the SS tattoo,” Canadian historian Irving Abella told 60 Minutes interviewer Mike Wallace in 1997. “This proved that you were an anti-Communist.”

Canada knowingly failed to report them to Germany, resulting in many of the 1,882 recipients of the German “victim pensions” being Ukranian Nazis living in Canada.  Many former Nazis, including suspected war criminals such as Radislav Grujicic, were paid by the RCMP to provide intelligence reports on left-wing immigrants who had recently came to Canada, reported the CBC in 1996.

In 1995, a Toronto Star article exposed that a Canadian mining company, INCO, utilised Ukrainian Nazi collaborators to crush leftist labour organizing in the early 1960s. As a whole, they were crucial in shaping the anti-leftist lean of Canadian unions, resulting in the current centrist and right-wing unions which are being crushed by the bosses today.

Ukrainian-Canadian nationalism: A proud tradition of whitewashing Ukrainian collaboration with the Nazis to this day

In the present day, the Oakville memorial to the Nazi SS Galicia Divison is far from the only memorial honouring Ukrainian Nazi collaborators in Canada. In 2010, the Canadian government authorized a memorial to the “victims of communism” after an aggressive campaign from Tribute to Liberty. This group minimizes Nazi war crimes, in favour of targeting the Soviet Union, which lost 25 million citizens in the fight against fascism, during World War II. The Liberals have continued to support it, even after public outcry forced the monument to be downsized and moved out of its spot near the Supreme Court of Canada.

The “victims of communism” memorial is based on an incompetently sourced database, which even considered Nazis as victims. This concept relies on The Black Book of Communism, which counts Nazicollaborating fascists, anti-Semitic White Army fighters and czarist officers who oversaw genocidal pogroms against Jews in its list of “victims of communism.” Contributors to the book admitted that the book’s editor Stephane Courtois fabricated the numbers to arrive at the much parroted 100 million figure. It also minimizes the horrific crimes of fascism, ignores the deaths under the capitalist economic system, while portraying communism as the greatest threat.

The memorial’s farcical justification is symbolic of the glorification of Ukranian Nazi collaborators in modern day Canada.

Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s former foreign affairs minister, and current Deputy Prime Minister knows all about glorifying Ukrainian Nazi collaborators.

Chrystia Freeland & neo-Nazi glorifying Ukrainian-Canadian groups in modern day Canada

Freeland is also deeply connected with the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) and the League of Ukranian Canadians (LUC), which glorify the fascist Union of Ukranian Nationals group and Ukranian Nazi collaborators. The UCC considers the fascist nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera, the fascist political and military leader of the Bandera faction of the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists, OUN, as one of Ukraine’s greatest national heroes. They both honour Yaroslav Stetsko, Bandera’s right-hand man, who stated in his 1941 autobiography:

“I therefore support the destruction of the Jews and the expedience of bringing German methods of exterminating Jewry to Ukraine, barring their assimilation and the like.”

The group’s youth division often marches with portraits of Bandera and Stetsko, while posing for photos with Bandera’s portrait in back. On the 100th birthday of Bandera, the UCC’s youth group even participated in a ceremony, in which they performed patriot Ukrainian songs to honour him.

Freeland has followed the UCC line on Bandera, describing him as a “western Ukrainian partisan leader … who led a guerrilla war against the Nazis and the Soviets.

She has repeatedly marched with the youth groups which venerate Bandera, supporting the indoctrination which makes a martyr out of Bandera.

In 2014 and 2016, Freeland marched in and promoted Toronto’s Ukrainian Festival included which fundraising efforts by Right Sector Canada, a neo-nazi group.  Their goal was to purchase military equipment for their fighters in Ukraine.  The Right Sector glorifies Stepan Bandera, and wants to “build a nationalist Ukrainian state and stage a nationalist revolution”.

In 2017, it was exposed that Freeland’s maternal grandfather — Michael Chomiak — was a fascist propagandist. Freeland claimed that this was “Russian disinformation”, but the truth had been exposed for all to see. Chomiak ran Krakow News, a Ukrainian-language newspaper, out of Nazi occupied Krakow, Poland. The paper praised Hitler, ran giant ads for Ukrainian SS recruitment, and spread antisemitic propaganda which justified the slaughter of Jews, Poles and Russians. Chomiak had multiple safe opportunities to escape the Nazis, yet chose to stay at every opportunity.

Chomiak’s Nazi collaboration was exposed by a small academic journal in the 1990s, yet Freeland continued to praise and idolise Chomiak for decades. Even after becoming an MP for the Toronto-Centre riding in a 2013 by-election, Freeland continued to praise the Nazi collaborator. Trudeau lobbied Freeland to run for the Liberals in the by-election, and has failed to challenge her support for Ukranian neo-Nazis ever since she was elected.

In 2016, Freeland tweeted this on Black Ribbon Day, which commemorates victims of both Stalinism and Nazism:  “Thinking of my grandparents Mykhailo & Aleksandra Chomiak on Black Ribbon Day. They were forever grateful to Canada for giving them refuge and they worked hard to return freedom and democracy to Ukraine. I am proud to honour their memory today.”

Given her close ties to Ukrainian nationalists and neo-nazis, it is far from surprising that this support would lead to her using the position of power as foreign minister to actively support Ukrainian neo-Nazi militias, including the Azov Battalion.

Canada’s support for Ukrainian Neo-Nazi Militias

The Azov Battalion was formed out of the neo-Nazi gangPatriot of Ukraine. Azov’s original commander, Andriy Biletsky stated that Ukraine’s mission should be to “lead the White Races of the world in a final crusade…against the Semite-led Untermenschen.”

Multiple Western outlets have confirmed that the militia is a neo-nazi one: The New York Times called the battalion “openly neo-Nazi,” while USA TodayThe Daily BeastThe Telegraph, and Haaretz documented group members’ proclivity for swastikas, salutes, and other Nazi symbols, and individual fighters have also acknowledged being neo-Nazis. The unit has recruited neo-Nazis from Germany, the UKBrazilSweden, and America.

In June 2014, Ukraine formally integrated extremist far-right militias including the Aidar, Dnipro, Donbass, and Azov battalions into the National Guard, which is led by Ministry of Internal Affairs.

These militias have also been accused of committing war crimes on multiple occasions, while in spring 2018, a lethal wave of anti-Roma pogroms swept through Ukraine, with at least six attacks in two months. The C14 and the National Druzhina,  the two gangs behind the the attacks, proudly posted pogrom videos on social media. National Druzhina is a part of the Azov Battalion.

These groups, and even the Ukranian National Police leadership share the UCC and LUC’s reverence for Stepan Bandera, a Ukrainian Nazi collaborator and OUN leader.

In 2015, the Stephen Harper government initiated Operation UNIFIER, a program which saw the Canadian Armed Forces supply the Ukrainian military and paramilitary police units with training and weapons. Freeland never condemned the effective funding of Ukrainian neo-Nazi militias, refused to cancel the program, and proceeded to extend the UNIFIER program until 2022.

While there have been limited attempts by multiple countries to prevent weapons from reaching the militias, the Daily Beast reported that these efforts have miserably failed.

Volodymyr Zelensky, who made reaching peace with Russia a major part of his platform, was elected as Ukraine’s new President in April 2019. The neo-Nazi militias have accused Zelensky of “treason” against the Ukrainian state, while actively blocking demilitarization efforts led by the Ukrainian military. In October 2019, the Azov Battalion even replaced soldiers who were withdrawing from the Zolote region.

It is clear that these neo-Nazis hold tremendous power in Ukraine, which they hope to use to eventually use to take control of Ukraine, and based on the statements of neo-Nazi militia leaders, commit genocide against Jews, the Roma population and other minorities in the country. It is an utter disgrace that two major Ukrainian-Canadian groups, and Deputy Prime Minster Freeland continue to support funding these neo-Nazi militias, risking the rise of a new fascist state in Europe.

https://www.thecanadafiles.com/europe/ukcdnm

How a network of Ukrainian ultra-nationalists penetrated Canada’s Conservative Party to lobby for military conflict

Once an underground network of fascist ideologues shunned by the Ukrainian Canadian community for “criminal ideas,” Canada’s ultra-nationalist Bandera lobby is today a major political player. It recently rubbed shoulders with former PM Stephen Harper and top contenders for the leadership of his Conservative Party.

By Moss Robeson

A month ago in Toronto, former Canadian Prime Minister and Conservative Party heavyweight Stephen Harper called out to an audience of Ukrainian Canadians, “Slava Ukraini!

Harper’s audience responded to his cry of “Glory to Ukraine!” by compleing the salutation of the Ukrainian Nationalist movement once led by the notorious fascist Stepan Bandera: “Heroyam Slava!” In other words, “Glory to the Heroes!” who, in fact, collaborated with Nazi Germany during its occupation of Ukraine in World War Two.

Harper spoke as the keynote guest at a gala organized to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the League of Ukrainian Canadians (LUC) and its newspaper, Homin Ukrainy (“Ukrainian Echo”), as well as the 65th anniversary of the League of Ukrainian Canadian Women (LUCW). The event capped off a three day, tri-annual convention of the Leagues.

Held on February 22, the gala took place six years and one day after the Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych fled his country following the Euromaidan “Revolution of Dignity” in Kyiv, which saw pro-EU protesters and hard-right street fighters topple their Russian-oriented government.

Through the so-called “Canadian Conference in Support of Ukraine” (CCSU), many of Canada’s leading Conservatives have befriended a historically criminal, fascist network of Ukrainian nationalists that has remained dedicated to pushing the West to the brink of war with Russia since before World War Two ended. Today, followers of the long dead Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera are vying with Ukraine’s neo-Nazis to lead another “revolution” – this time, against Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy and his moves to peace with Russia.

During the Cold War, the Banderivtsi agitated for the declaration of a U.S.-led “holy war of liberation” against Soviet Russia – a World War Three – placing their faith in the United States government to free the Soviet “prison of nations” by force, and to do so without obliterating them in the process with nuclear weapons. Similary, during World War Two, the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists led by Bandera (OUN-B) initially counted on Nazi Germany to “liberate” Soviet Ukraine, although Adolf Hitler had no intentions of doing so.

The LUC is the Canadian spearhead of the CCSU and an international coalition of NGOs affiliated with the decades-old, highly secretive cult of personality centered around Stepan Bandera. The League of Ukrainian Canadians plays a leading role in the Ukrainian Canadian Congress and the Ukrainian World Congress, the first vice president of which (from Australia) is the present-day leader of the OUN-B. “At the Forefront of Ukrainian Issues” is the LUC’s slogan.

Bandera’s OUN-B, an extremist “revolutionary” fascist organization, carried out numerous brutal pogroms against Jews throughout western Ukraine in 1941 before infiltrating Nazi auxiliary police units that served at the frontlines of the “Holocaust by Bullets.” Bandera aspired to be the Führer of a pro-Nazi Ukrainian dictatorship, but was rejected by Hitler and later the CIA. He was drifting into irrelevance when his 1959 assassination by the KGB in Munich turned him into a beloved ultra-nationalist martyr.

Over the course of the Cold War, the CIA attempted to incubate a rival, so-called “democratic” faction of the OUN-B – which also happened to be led by former Nazi collaborating war criminals. But the more radical, fascistic Banderites eventually hijacked Ukrainian communities around the world in the name of an anti-democratic “Ukrainian Liberation Front.” The OUN-B sought to establish a “dictatorship in exile,” as told by historian Per Anders Rudling, “intended to be re-exported to Ukraine, following its ‘liberation.’”

In 1956, the CIA collected from its Ukrainian collaborators a “set of complaints” made against Stepan Bandera and “a list of his anti-American acts,” however, “we were not interested in the specifics or evidential details related to the complaints or acts since these were already known to Headquarters.” That included the existence of an “illegal underground Bandera organization” of “blindly loyal” cadres mobilizing in the United States, taking orders from the fascist OUN-B leadership then located in Munich.

Meanwhile, according to a book by Lubomyr Luciuk, a professor at the Royal Military College of Canada, the OUN-B’s “rezident” in Canada “had an organized if modest nationalist network in place by the fall of 1948 … [and] was in regular communication with the nationalist provid (or leadership) in Europe.”

Furthermore, “everything possible was being done to ensure that nationalist cadres were spread out ‘in a planned way’ across Canada, to ensure that the Banderivtsi would have some of their people in every centre where they might be able to work on behalf of the liberation movement.”

At the third national convention of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress in 1950, Stepan Bandera’s followers “were harried and jeered out of the meeting hall,” writes Luciuk, “accompanied by a stern reprimand from the podium … [denouncing] those whom he accused of trying to ‘take over’ Ukrainian Canadian organizational life.”

By the 1960s, some in the CIA were convinced that the KGB had infiltrated the OUN-B at high levels, perhaps to the point of controlling it through double agents. The OUN-B and its supporters in the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America eventually denounced the US-backed ex-Banderites based in New York City as “CIA tools” who were “soft on Communism.” The New York-based nationalist clique responded by accusing the former of colluding with ex-Nazi West German officials.

Despite all this, there is no evidence that Western governments took measures to suppress the OUN-B. Instead, well-connected anti-communist political interests from around the world nurtured the Banderites, ensuring that their apparatus would live on not just in the US, but in Great Britain, Australia, Canada, and Western Europe. All parties abided by the OUN-B’s whitewashed, distorted script when it came to the Ukrainian Nationalists and World War Two.

“You have to understand,” a member of the OUN-B told journalist Russ Bellant, “we are an underground organization. We have spent years quietly penetrating positions of influence.”

Today, the transnational crypto-fascist network of Banderite NGOs once known above board as the “Organizations of the Ukrainian Liberation Front” operates in the open and with the full-throated support of Western politicians like Stephen Harper. Its global coordinating body is called the International Council in Support of Ukraine, or ICSU, which in turn looks to the OUN-B for leadership.

The ICSU and the Ukrainian World Congress are presently headquartered in Toronto. And it’s there that the LUC – the group that hosted Harper – presides over the ICSU’s Canadian branch, the CCSU. Oksana Prociuk-Cyz, CEO of the largest Ukrainian Canadian credit union, is a former treasurer of the ICSU, the present-day leader of which, Borys Potapenko, is from Detroit, but a former executive director of the LUC.

Over forty years ago, Potapenko chaired a “Committee in Defense of Ukraine” that “conducted a major campaign in protest against the showing of the [1978] television movie ‘Holocaust’” starring Meryl Streep and James Woods.

Several nationalist subsidiary groups function under the CCSU’s umbrella. They include the Ukrainian Youth Association of Canada, Homin Ukrainy, and the Canadian Society of Veterans of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA). The UPA was responsible for the ethnic cleansing of tens of thousands of ethnic Poles and an unknown number of Jews from 1943 through ‘44. 

According to Lubomyr Luciuk, a Canadian academic and Ukrainian nationalist historian, Homin Ukrainy had been “an unflagging advocate of revolutionary nationalist principles,” and the Canadian “press organ of the movement headed by the Banderivtsi.” In an email, Luciuk told me that he was unaware of any OUN-B activity in Canada “anymore,” but declined to specify when he believed it ceased to operate in the country. Luciuk’s downplaying of the Bandera network in Canada might have something to do with “his continuous…cooperation with various OUN-B institutions,” including the ICSU. 

The recent gala in Toronto demonstrated how far an underground network once held in suspicion by the CIA and the Ukrainian Canadian community has come. Besides Stephen Harper, the 2020 LUC gala featured both Peter McKay and Erin O’Toole, contenders for the leadership of Canada’s Conservative Party.

A Conservative Party pilgrimage to Ukraine’s Holocaust-distorting museum

The contest for leadership of Canada’s Conservative Party is in full swing. Erin O’Toole and the more moderate Peter McKay are the top candidates to succeed Andrew Scheer as party head. In February, the two rubbed shoulders with Ukrainian Nationalist lobbyists at the LUC gala and participated in a VIP reception with leaders of the CCSU – the Canadian coalition of Banderite organizations.

Stephen Harper was clearly the star of the show. The former prime minister’s photo ops showed him beside ICSU president Borys Potapenko; Andriy Levus, an OUN-B affiliated leader of the so-called “Capitulation Resistance Movement” in Ukraine; and Orest Steciw, former longtime president of the League of Ukrainian Canadians.  

During the Cold War, Steciw chaired the Canadian branch of the Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations (ABN), a crypto-fascist coalition of “national liberation movements” led by the OUN-B that claimed to speak for the “captive nations” of the Soviet Union. The ABN, believing World War Three to be “inevitable” and even necessary, all but called for a pre-emptive nuclear strike on Soviet Russia.

According to journalists Scott and Jon Lee Anderson, the ABN was “the largest and most important umbrella for Nazi collaborators in the world,” and a central component of the World Anti-Communist League. The three most recent leaders of the ICSU were all formerly affiliated with the now-defunct ABN. 

In 1963, a leading Catholic Ukrainian Canadian weekly, Ukrainski Visti, condemned the extremism of the figures behind the ABN. In an editorial, the Visti slammed the “criminal ideas – ‘WE WANT WAR’ –” of the ABN leader Yaroslav Stetsko and the “Bandera Mafia”: “We believe that the uncompromising influences of the Banderaites [sic] are very strong,” the paper declared, “but the Ukrainian people and the peoples of the world want peace!”

The ideological heirs to this “we want war” movement were on stage with Harper at the recent LUC gala in Toronto. There, Andriy Shevchenko, the Ukrainian Ambassador to Canada, awarded the former Prime Minister the Order of Liberty – Ukraine’s highest honor for a non-citizen. Next, Borys Potapenko presented Harper with the “Pinnacle Award” on behalf of the ICSU. (The latter has only one prior recipient: former NATO Supreme Commander of Europe Gen. Wesley Clark in 2015.)

“What Prime Minister Stephen Harper has done for Ukraine during his time in office can only be compared to what Ronald Reagan did for the demise of the Soviet Union,” Potapenko effused. In 1995, following the USSR’s collapse, Potapenko wrote in the ABN’s newsletter that Russia should next be broken up into 21 independent states.

In his own speech, Harper concluded with a remarkable statement of support for the neo-Banderites: “I greatly admire the work you’re all doing as part of the International Council in Support of Ukraine, and all the organizations that it embraces… God bless all of you. God bless Canada. Slava Ukraini!

“Glory to the Heroes!” they answered. Originally performed with a fascist salute during World War Two, the Nationalist call and response was popularized in Ukraine by the anti-Yanukovych “Euromaidan,” or 2013-2014 “Revolution of Dignity,” supported by Western governments and hijacked by the far-right.

This was far from the only public engagement between leaders of the Banderite network and the Conservative Party. Harper made several visits to Ukraine during his time in office, often accompanied by ICSU representatives. 

In 2010, Harper visited the “Lonsky Street Prison Museum,” an ICSU partner and possibly an OUN-B front, located at 1 Stepan Bandera Street in Lviv. In 1941, the prison was one of several sites where Jews were tortured and killed during a major pogrom largely carried out by OUN-B militiamen following Germans’ orders that left hundreds if not thousands of Jews dead.

The prison museum does not acknowledge this history, however, and instead glorifies the OUN-B. It paints a decidedly revisionist picture that primarily memorializes the Ukrainian victims of the Soviet secret police murdered there, and erases Ukrainian collaboration with Nazi occupiers and its Jewish victims.

Ruslan Zabily has directed the Holocaust-distorting museum for over a decade. In 2012, the organizations of the CCSU organized an extensive Canada-wide lecture tour for him culminating in photo ops between Zabily and then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper, during which the Canadian leader praised his museum.

Harper’s Conservative colleagues deepened their ties with the Banderites in October 2018 by meeting with visiting “youth leaders” from Ukraine who were, in fact, exponents of the OUN-B’s international apparatus.

The meeting was designed by the ultra-nationalist activists as a forum for marketing their nascent “Stop Revanche” campaign to sympathetic Canadian politicians.

Sabotaging peace in eastern Ukraine

The right-wing slogan, “Stop Revanche,” was developed in response to fears that pro-Russian politicians might achieve electoral success in Ukraine’s 2019 elections. The slogan picked up steam in response to the ascent of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and his “Servant of the People” party. So did others such as “No Capitulation” and “Protect Ukraine.”

As a nationally beloved comedian with no political experience who nonetheless gained mass appeal with his call to resolve the separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine, and his depiction of an anti-corruption president on a fictional TV show (“Servant of the People”), Zelenskiy easily defeated the deeply unpopular, corrupt incumbent, Petro Poroshenko, who drifted hard to the right after taking office in 2014. Poroshenko’s nationalist base, exposed to represent a small minority of Ukrainians, fumed at the results.

As the US-funded RFE/RL reported last summer, “Revanche has emerged as one of the buzzwords of this extraordinary election cycle. Those posting, protesting, and pronouncing the word come from nationalist and right-wing political camps… and also from some pro-Western activists…”

From behind the scenes, the OUN-B aspires to lead a new Maidan-style revolution supported by “some pro-Western activists” but inevitably powered in large part by the neo-Nazi led Azov movement and other militant far-right groups. Through a wave of national demonstrations, Ukraine’s ultra-nationalists hope to drive Zelenskiy and all other pro-peace (“capitulationist”) elements from the government. In turn, they plan to recharge the proxy war in eastern Ukraine. 

The political forces that launched the “Stop Revanche” slogan and visited Toronto in October 2018 played a prominent role in launching the anti-Zelenskiy “Resistance Movement” a year later.

The February 2020 LUC gala in Toronto represented the latest leg of this anti-peace campaign in the West. On hand for the event was Andriy Levus, the leader of an ICSU-affiliated NGO called Vilni Liudy, or “Free People,” that is a central engine of the “Capitulation Resistance Movement.” According to the latter’s Facebook page, both entities have an office in the OUN-B’s headquarters building in Kyiv.

In July 2019, following Zelenskiy’s friendly meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa, Conservative members of parliament O’Toole and James Bezan made an ominous public promise to all but militarily confront Russia if brought to power: “A Conservative government … will advocate for, and lead, a peacekeeping mission along the Ukraine-Russia border,” the two hardliners promised. 

By pursuing a relationship with the Bandera lobby and apparently the Capitulation Resistance Movement as well, the Conservative Party leadership is effectively working to sabotage the roadmap to peace Zelenskiy is traversing to end the “frozen conflict” in eastern Ukraine.

As the League of Ukrainian Canadians’ closest allies in Ukraine are demanding that their government retake control of separatist territory and its eastern border with Russia before any elections take place in the rebel-held Donbas region, Conservative officials have proposed stationing Canadian troops there.

Although the Conservatives lost the 2019 Canadian national election, their cozy relationship with the transnational Banderivtsi could still drive a wedge between Ottawa and Kyiv, and prolong or even escalate the ongoing armed conflict in eastern Ukraine. 

Considering its historic enthusiasm for a cataclysmic showdown with Russia, the OUN-B’s persistent presence in Western halls of power is no small cause for concern. Today, this crypto-fascist network is working to unite the right from Ottawa to Kyiv, bringing sympathetic Western officials in line with Ukrainian neo-Nazis to destabilize the Zelenskiy government and sabotage its bid for peace.

There are monumets to Nazi collaborators in Canada and nobody is doing anything about it.

News that graffiti on a memorial to Nazi soldiers is being treated as a “hate crime” has stunned many Canadians, who were not only baffled by the police’s logic but also seemingly unaware that their country hosted such a monument.

The object in question, which was erected for Ukrainian nationalists who fought for the Nazis as part of the infamous 1st Galician Division of the SS during World War II, had been defaced in late June.

Located at the Saint Volodymyr Ukrainian Cemetery in Oakville, Ontario, the cenotaph reportedly had the words “Nazi war monument” painted on it some weeks ago – pretty accurately describing the essence of this particular memorial.

A hate crime investigation into the incident was launched by the police several days later. Law enforcement opted against releasing photos of the graffiti to the public to prevent “further spreading” of the message. Moss Robeson, a researcher writing about the actions of the Ukrainian Nazi collaborators in North America, was one of the first to notice the controversial probe and post about it on Twitter earlier this month.

https://www.rt.com/news/495118-canada-nazi-memorial-hate-crime/