It's true. Who doesn't have a battalion of neo-Nazis? These are the good, non-Jew hating Nazis, too--an added bonus. That they are a convenient talking point is all the more reason to throw in with them instead of letting 'em fight it out.https://georgetownsecuritystudiesreview.org/2018/10/22/glory-to-ukraine-the-de-glorified-truth-of-ukrainian-nationalist-policy/
Glory to Ukraine? The De-glorified Truth of Ukrainian Nationalist Policy
The 2014 Revolution of Dignity, Russia’s consequent annexation of Crimea, and the revolt in Donbas marked a turning point for Ukraine. They undermined the country’s internal cohesion and put renewed focus on its role in the international community, but they also created an opportunity for the nation to break away from its “big brother” Russia and truly cement itself as a country in its own right. As Ruslan Minich muses, “Nationalism is on the rise in Ukraine, and that’s a good thing.” Indeed,4455 55.7% of the population is adopting a more civic understanding of the word today, viewing all citizens of Ukraine as “Ukrainians” regardless of ethnicity, language or religion. This is compared to only 38.8% in 2007.[i] However, the government seems to be using the nation’s historic momentum to move in the opposite direction, pushing harmful policy that takes on a fascist air and seeks to redefine historical controversies that have been buried for years. President Poroshenko’s controversial policy has not engendered much of a reaction from the U.S. or Europe, but it might ultimately prove yet another stumbling block for Ukraine’s ascension to the EU and NATO.
The most pronounced development is the official comeback of the call-and-response “Slava Ukraini, heroyam slava!” (in English “Glory to Ukraine, glory to the Heroes!”).[ii] The chant dates back almost 100 years and has been used by a variety of groups, each using the same call but creating their own responses. The combination that gained popularity during the 2013-14 Euromaidan protests, however, traces back to the 1930s, when it was employed by the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and the Ukraine Insurgent Army (UPA). These organizations fought for Ukrainian independence before and during World War II, allying with Nazi Germany to achieve this goal and perpetrating atrocities against tens of thousands of Jews and Poles.[iii] Today the call-and-response is widely used by Ukrainians as the soldiers’ battle cry, an end note in Poroshenko’s national addresses, during press conferences with Western counterparts, and as a slogan for the pro-European reform of Ukraine.
Rather than leave it as the people’s unofficial rallying cry, the Ukrainian government pushed to have it become the official greeting of the Ukrainian Armed Forces per a suggestion by Prime Minister Hroysman in February,[iv] and this proposal was finally codified into law in October of this year.[v] In another realm, it has become the official slogan of the Ukrainian national soccer team. The national squad sported jerseys with the slogan printed on the back for the first time in September in a game against the Czech Republic. Unsurprisingly, Russia has criticized the move for glorifying a fascist slogan, but the jersey design is in accordance with UEFA rules and is officially accepted for one season’s use.[vi] The uniform change follows an already controversial summer of soccer hosted by Russia, which saw controversy when Croatian defender Domagoj Vida, an ex-Dynamo Kiev player, posted a video following Croatia’s quarter final win over Russia in which he dedicated the victory to Ukraine, exclaiming “Glory to Ukraine!”[vii] Vida subsequently received a fine from FIFA, which the Football Federation of Ukraine offered to pay on his behalf.[viii]
Some argue that officially adopting the slogan that served as the citizens’ rallying cry in a pivotal event is a natural and necessary step for a nation in the process of creating its identity. However, seen in conjunction with other developments, this policy is worrying given the fascist ideology from which the slogan is derived. In 2015, Ukraine passed a law recognizing controversial nationalist groups like the OUN and UPA as “independence fighters” and making it illegal to question the legitimacy of their actions. Supporters argued this was a way to build national identity, but the law also faced criticism by academics and human rights organizations for promoting harmful ideology and disregarding certain ethnic groups’ struggles.[ix] In addition, these laws risk exacerbating divisions in an already fragmented country, as many citizens, especially in the south and east, identify more closely with Russia and want policy to reflect that. Another concerning example of this trend is the legitimization of far-right extremist movements like Pravy Sektor, Azov, and Aidar: volunteer battalions that the Ukrainian Armed Forces integrated into their official force structure due to a shortage of government forces. According to the Ukrainian Minister of Defense, there are currently 40,000 volunteers defending the eastern border[x] compared to the 34,000 regular army forces currently deployed on the front.[xi] While not all volunteers belong to far-right organizations, this number is still illustrative of the far-right’s noticeable presence on the battlefield and in society.
The government has also enacted incendiary, nationalist policy regarding language. In 2016, the Rada introduced a minimum 75% quota for Ukrainian-language shows on television despite only 68% of the population considering Ukrainian their mother tongue, 50% of the population using it at home, and only 39% speaking it at work.[xii] In a similar vein, Ukraine has attempted to pass a law banning teaching in minority languages after primary school. For reference, Ukraine had 621 schools teaching in Russian, 78 in Romanian, 68 in Hungarian, and five in Polish in 2015.[xiii] This has sparked outrage among international rights organizations and ethnic minorities across Ukraine, and it has contributed to Orban’s secret distribution of Hungarian passports to residents in the ethnically Hungarian Zakarpattya region, which he has justified as “protecting Hungarian nationals abroad.”[xiv]
While Ukrainian NATO and EU membership is very far off, Poroshenko and Ukraine’s citizenry must take a long, hard look inward and determine how far the pro-Ukrainian agenda can go before it becomes destructive to an ascension agreement. It is unimaginable that the EU or NATO would support fascist leanings and discriminatory language policies. Moreover, these policies are polarizing the nation, over-representing the pro-European regions, and further fragmenting a country that is already loose at the seams. In an effort to build a national identity, the government is tearing the country apart.
14,000 dead due to internal strife in under a decade and the neo-con/imperial-lib takeaway is that the USA has to be involved in picking which corrupt side it needs to sponsor; thankfully we're picking Ukraine. I hope that due to this and rising gas prices, the USA won't be forced to hire Hunter Biden, the only expert in both fields.
If you slaughter almost 5 9/11s internally, maybe there are cultural problems that the warmonster USA doesn't need to be involved in, but hey, there's not a bigger exporter of violence than us. And we have the capable leaders that got us Afghanistan running the show, along with their legions of cheerleaders.
Sarcasm aside, at least there are some funny aspects, like NATO deleting this tweet. But again, not a big deal. Nothing Hill & Knowlton couldn't fix.
Declaration of bias: I throw in with this guy, whoever he is,
"She goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force. She might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit."