On this edition of Parallax Views, journalist Lev Golinkin joins me to discuss the U.S. arming of the Azov Battalion and Ukranian far-right neo-Nazi elements. Lev is the author of A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka and arrived in the U.S. as a child refugee Kharkov, a city in eastern Ukraine. His writings on Ukraine have been featured in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The Forward, The Nation, and Time.Com. For some time now Lev has been raising the alarm bells about the U.S. arming of the Azov Battalion and far-right elements in Ukraine. He is quick to point out that, of course, not all Ukrainians are of this fascist ultranationalist contingent, but that concerns about the Azov Battalion and other Ukranian ultranationalist organizations are not merely Russian/Kremlin propaganda. The U.S. support for elements like the Azov Battalion could, Lev believes, lead to forms of blowback especially as news surfaces that U.S. neo-nazis heading over to Ukraine to network with and receive paramilitary training from the.
Lev and I delve into the history of the Azov Battalion and the history of Ukranian ultranationalism more broadly going back to the figure of Stepan Bandera in WWII, the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, and the origins of Ukranian ultranationalism in Galicia. Lev explains the sordid history of Ukranian ultranationalists and their violence against Poles, Jews, and even fellow Ukranians. Additionally, Lev and I talk about the Maidan uprising, the targeting of Ukranian Jewish activist Eduard Dolinsky by neo-nazi elements, Obama-era foreign policy official Evelyn Farkas and her comments on the U.S. support of Ukranian ultranationalists, the horrific pogroms against the Roma by Ukranian ultranationalists today, the Atlantic Council’s defense of the Azov Battalion, Andriy Yevhenovych Biletsky of the far-right Ukranian political party National Corps and its connection to the Azov Battalion, countering claims that discussion of the Azov Battalion is just Russian propaganda, the “freedom fighters” vs. “neo-nazis” distinction, Nazi monuments around the world, Werner Von Braun and Operation Paper Clip, the foreign policy establishment and the military-industrial complex, and much, much more!