International Relations International Security Neo-Fascism Russia Ukraine Ukrainian Crisis Ukrainian neofascism Ukrainian politics Ukrainian ultranationalism Ultra-Nationalism Weimar Maidan Ukraine

REPORT – The New Terrorist Threat: Ukrainian Ultra-Nationalist and Neo-Fascist Terrorism at Home and Abroad

by Gordon M. Hahn

On 16 February 2020, the U.S. State Department Coordinator for Counterterrorism arrived in Ukraine.[1] The agenda was not announced. The hope is that he discussed at least some of the issues discussed in this report with his Ukrainian counterparts. Five years ago the threat of ultranationalist-neofascist Ukrainian terrorism (UNUT) should have been clear to all, but it was not.[2] Things have not gotten any better. The threat has grown, and there remains no acknowledgement of the UNUT threat. The threat remains one both to Ukraine as well as Europe, Russia and the United States and is part of a larger ultranationalist-neofascist international movement and terrorist threat.

Identitarian violence and terrorism is deeply embedded in the nationalist, ultranationalist, and neofascist strand of Ukrainian political culture. Contemporary UNUT is inherited largely from Galicia and the Nazi-allied Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and Ukrainian Partisan Army (UPA) of World War II and thus is a near century-long tradition. Not only did the OUN assassinate officials, including Polish and perhaps more understandably Soviet officials and NKVD officers, OUN members also tried to assassinate US President Delano Roosevelt, according to archival documents.[3] The UNUT tradition is being carried forward by Ukraine’s ultranationalist and neofascist groups, such as Right Sector, the Svoboda Party, Right Sector, Azov, the National Corps (Natsional’nyi Korpus) or NatsKorpus, and C14. This is no coincidence as it these groups that have fostered a cult of personality surrounding Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukhevich, the OUN’s and UPA’s respective founders. in the nationalist, ultranationalist and neofascist subculture of Ukraine, helping to establish them as officially recognized national heroes.

Unfortunately, Western media and academia are largely ignoring or in the business of covering up this brutal legacy. Thus, one broadly published ‘expert’ on Ukraine frequently featured in the prestigious journal Foreign Affairs, OUN and Ukrainian nationalism apologist, Alexander Motyl, refers to the contemporary ultranationalist Svoboda Party, which played a role in the original Maidan regime-founding terrorist attack and subsequently others, as akin to America’s ‘Tea Party’, even though the American ‘Tea Party’ has been involved in no violence let alone organized violence or terrorism.[4]

Maidan Regime Born by Revolutionary Terrorism

The definition of terrorism is political violence intentionally targeting state officials or agents (police, security, military, intelligence) during peacetime or intentionally targeting civilians for purposes of sending a message or threat to a third party [neither perpetrator nor victim if the attack(s)]. On 20 February 2014, the present Maidan-born regime in Ukraine was brought to power on the backs of a terrorist attack involving the murder of tens of civilians and police by ultra-nationalist and neofascist forces among the Maidan opposition and demonstrators.[5] Born in terrorism, this hybird regime continues – even after the election of Volodomyr Zelenskiy as president and a new Verkhovna Rada with fewer ties to the Maidan – to exhibit elements of ultranationalism, neofascism, and authoritarianism. As the regime has failed to face up to the horror of its formative experience and original sin – though some in Ukraine are beginning to utter the truth under the new perhaps more pliable Zelenskiy government — it also continues to harbor ultranationalist and neofascist groups, including armed ones. Some of these radical groups are engaged directly in terrorism.

Revolutionary UNUT terror extended beyond the Maidan or even Kiev during the revolt’s heady days. For example, Deputy of the Supreme Rada (Ukraine’s parliament) and leader of the ultra-nationalist Radical Party (RP) Oleh Lyashko acknowledges that members of his party murdered anti-Maidan leaders during the ‘revolution’, and Amnesty International condemned these and other actions committed by Lyashko’s thugs and the impunity from the Maidan regime they enjoyed. Lyashko was summoned by the Ukrainian Prosecutor’s Office thirteen times without showing up or even bothering to explain his failure to do so, and he continued to serve as a Rada deputy until his defeat at the polls in 2019. The post-revolutionary period has seen numerous other, more serious terrorist attacks.

Post-Revolutionary UNUT

The list of incidents in Ukraine of pro-Maidan terrorism in the wake of the February seizure of power by Maidan elements is long. One of the reasons is that ultranationalism and neofascism and the resulting UNUT are not solely a societal phenomenon. They have roots in the post-Maidan state and regime. The Ukrainian Maidan regime is hybrid in two senses: (1) ideo-institutionally, if you will, and (2) sociopolitically. First, the Ukrainian state includes elements of both democratic and authoritarian ideology and practice. Heroization of Ukraine’s pro-Nazi fascist groups of World War II, the OUN and the UPA, and tolerance, even support for contemporary ultranationalist and neofascist groups that are modeled on these pro-Nazi groups. At the same time, elections are free and mostly fair, despite some fascist violence and intimidation. However, most of the opposition now lies outside the country by dint of Russia’s annexationist reunification of Crimean and the civil war in Donbass. Second, it is hybrid in the sense that the Maidan regime is populated by a mix of oligarch-controlled politicians and bureaucrats and ultra-nationalist and neofascist groups. Given the significant ultranationalist element, it is hardly surprising that the Maidan Ukrainian state has engaged in authoritarian acts such as terrorism.

Kiev’s ‘Anti-Terrorist’ Operation

In mid-April 2014, the Maidan regime declared and immediately commenced its ‘anti-terrorist’ operation (ATO) in Donbass and proceeded to bomb civilian areas across the region for months with air power, tank, and artillery. This set a tone for both the new Maidan regime’s towards political violence, already prejudiced by the Maidan snipers, and relations between Maidan Kiev and the Donbass rebels. Civil war became an incubator and networking opportunity for UNUT and its practitioners. Remember that at this time there was still no Russian troop presence, and perhaps a hundred Russian volunteers in Donbass backed the native rebels. In late February and March in the immediate wake of the illegal seizure of power in Kiev by the Maidan’s oligarchic-ultranationalist groups, spearheaded by the snipers’ massacre, both Crimea’s and Donbass’s rebels engaged in little violence and simply repeated (sans snipers) the Maidan revolt in Kiev in taking over city and provincial government administration buildings in Donetsk, Luhansk, and other regions of eastern and southern Ukraine. They were dubbed instantly ‘terrorists’ by the Maidan regime under its ATO, and Kiev hastily formed volunteer battalions, most of which were manned largely by members of ultra-nationalist and neo-fascist parties. At least nominally subordinated to the Defense and Internal Ministries, neo-fascist battalions like Azov, Aidar, Dnepr, and others carried out a good deal of the state terrorism in Donbass, taking the lives of several thousand Donbassians and wounding many more. In late April, Mariupol saw one of the war’s worst acts of state terrorism, when the neo-fascist Azov battalion equipped with tanks and armored personnel carriers destroyed a police station, killing some twenty officers who refused to go over to the Maidan regime’s side.[6] It is worth noting again that when facing a very similar, indeed far more threatening situation in Chechnya in 1991, Moscow negotiated for three years before starting its anti-terrorist operation under some criticism from Western governments. Kiev started its ATO in less than six weeks with virtually no attempt to negotiate and full Western backing.

Odessa

Elements of the state were tied to the 2 May 2014 Odessa terrorist pogrom against anti-Maidan protestors and perhaps many of the other terrorist attacks discussed below. The most horrendous terrorist attack in the post-‘revolutionary’ period so far has been the Odessa terrorist pogrom, in which 48 peaceful, anti-Maidan demonstrators were burned alive, shot and/or beaten to death. It appears to have been a joint operation coordinated by one of the main organizers of the Maidan snipers’ massacre and now Chairman of the Maidan regime’s National Security and Defense Council Andriy Parubiy along with local law enforcement and the then very influential neofascist group, Right Sector (Praviy sector) or RS. Parubiy was videotaped on the outskirts of Odessa three days before the pogrom meeting with one of its leaders, Mikola Volkov, who during the event was videotaped speaking on a walkie-talkie and firing a pistol on people in the windows of the burning Trade Union building.[7] RS activists had been carrying out a more ‘soft’ reign of terror across the country – from war crimes on the Donbass war front to beatings of officials, alleged criminals, drug dealers, and prostitutes to attacks on media organs and thus played the lead role in the terrorist pogrom in Odessa RS not once but twice claimed responsibility for the atrocity. The attack unfolded by sparking a clash between pro-Maidan demonstrators, led by RS and likely other nationalist elements, and anti-Maidan demonstrators. The former chased some to the Trade Union building, where a tent camp had been set up by anti-Maidan demonstrators, who were chased into the building. It was then set on fire and fired upon by some in the cheering pro-Maidan crowd surrounding the building.[8]

RS claimed responsibility for the attack in euphoric fashion: “May 2, 2014 is another bright page in our national history.” It noted that “about a hundred members of ‘Right Sector’ and patriotic-minded Odessa residents countered the rebels”, and “Dmitro Yarosh ignored the ‘expedience’ of the election campaign to coordinate the action against the Russian aggression.” In the second claim of responsibility a year later, RS thanked “the bold and coordinated actions in Odessa,” noting that the “feat will live in our hearts forever” and: “On that day we all fought and won!” The election campaign to which the first RS claim of responsibility refers was the presidential election held 23 days after the terrorist pogrom, and Yarosh openly campaigned and won just over 1 percent of the vote. But Yarosh’s game and that of the other ultra-nationalists is politics by much more than democratic means.[9]

Mukhachevo

In July 2015, units of the notorious Right Sector (RS), specifically its militia unit in Transcarpathia, attacked police in the western town of Mukachevo. RS fighters used machine guns and a grenade launcher. Several police and several civilians were killed and wounded, with up to 14 casualties, according to some reports. Security forces flooded in but instead of attacking and arresting the RS fighters, negotiations ensued; some of them involving directly or indirectly Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko himself and his Interior Minister, Arsen Avakov, who implemented the policy of forming volunteer battalions to include a large component of neo-fascists, including RS members and its then leader Dmitrii Yarosh (who also became an advisor to Ukraine’s Defense Minister), given their ‘patriotic enthusiasm.’ RS refused to disarm in the wake of the attack and convened demonstrations in Kiev at the presidential administration and some ten provincial capitols in Mukhachevo’s wake. Other neo-fascist groups and their battalions backed RS. The recently fired head of Ukraine’s intelligence service, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), Valentin Nalyvaichenko, also backed RS against the Porosehnko-led factions of the Maidan regime.[10] This allowed the attack to go with full impunity for the RS.

Lviv (Lvov)

Days after the Mukachevo attack, RS’s Lviv branch took down the European Union flag flying at the Lviv Oblast Administration’s building and replaced it with RS’s red and black (blood and soil) flag.[11] RS forces and activists began to set up checkpoints on the outskirts of some cities, including Lviv, where, according to reports, several RS checkpoints have been set up to prevent “titushki” from entering the city. On the next morning, two headquarters of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) in Lviv were mined and the detonations wounded two policemen. One had his foot amputated and kidney removed, and another is now blind from their wounds. RS Lviv has denied any connection with the bombings but has used them as a pretext for sending its goons across Lviv and setting up checkpoints.[12] In response, RS’s Lviv branch announced its intention to establish a presence and presumably act in response to any events in the city.[13] The MVD stated it regards the likely RS attack in Lviv as being connected with the conflict in Mukachevo, meaning it too suspects RS, and categorized it as a “terrorist attack.”[14]

The next month, a demonstration led by the Svoboda Party and its anti-Semitic and Russophobic chairman Tyahnibok attempted to storm the hall of Ukraine’s parliament, the Supreme Rada. Svoboda was ‘demonstrating’ against the Rada’s passage of constitutional amendments that ostensibly would have given the Donbass regions Donetsk and Luhansk power-sharing with, or autonomy from the central government in Kiev. Video and photos showed Svoboda leader Tyahnibok and his deputy Yurii Sirotyuk acting aggressively towards riot police and then Sirotyuk beating a path to the building using a rubber truncheon on police.[15] Tyahnibok’s fighters then tossed a grenade and shot firearms at police. The grenade explosion caused one policeman to lose part of his foot, and fifteen police were reported wounded and injured as a result of the battle.[16] In evening MVD chief Arsenii Avakov reported the clash left 125 wounded “siloviki”, including one in a coma, and held Tyahnibok responsible.[17] However, as with the history of RS’s neo-fascist terrorism, Tyahnibok and Svoboda faced no consequences.

Right Sector apparently played a separate game on this day, setting up a road block on a Kiev street leading to parliament in a failed attempt to prevent deputies from getting to the Rada to vote.[18] After the violence, Right Sector and Yarosh came out in full support for Tyahnibok and Svoboda.[19] The news from Kiev became even worse, when the more ‘moderate’ nationalist party ‘Self-Help’ defended Svoboda’s action. Self-Help is led by the mayor of Lviv (Lvov), a hotbed of Ukrainian nationalism.[20]

Kyiv (Kiev)

In April 2018, the neofascist C14 group carried out a violent attack on a Roma camp in Kyiv, initially producing a non-reaction from police until a video of the attack emerged.[21]

Rivne (Rovna)

In June 2018, neo-fascist from an obscure group with a surprisingly large following on the Internet carried out a pogrom of a camp of Roma, killing one and wounding four, including a 10-year old boy.[22] The group, known as ‘Sober and Angry Youth’ (‘Tvereza ta zla molod’ in Ukrainian, ‘Trezvaya i Zlaya Molodezh’ in Russian or TZM), has been behind numerous attacks against immigrants and property of minority provenance. TZM’s ideology includes neo-Paganist symbols and practices and the ultranationalist and neofascist themes similar to Ukraine’s C14 and the Azov Battalion and its affiliated structures, the NatsKorpus political party and the National Druzhina.[23] The Azov-affiliated NatsKorpus (or National Militia) also has been implicated in attacks on ethnic Roma settlements and the LGBT community.[24]

Targeted Terrorism: Assassinations Plus

Numerous other smaller attacks such as murders of journalists, former Yanukovich regime officials, and just anti-Maidan citizens have occurred; many going unsolved and unpunished. For example, RS has been at the forefront of efforts by ultra-nationalist elements in and outside of the Poroshenko government to harass independent media organs, such as Vesti-Ukraine. In one case, the driver of one of the newspaper’s truck drivers was killed.[25]

Oles’ Buzina Assassination

The suspects in the 16 April 2015 murder in Kiev of independent journalist Oles’ Buzina are two ultranationalists, Andrey Medvedko and Denis Polishchuk. Some sources report that Medvedko operated under the nickname ‘Manson’, was the actual murderer, and once headed the Pecherskii District Branch of Tyagnibok’s Svoboda Party. He is said also to be a founder of C14 and fought in Donbass under the ATO in the volunteer Battalion ‘Kiev-2.’ Polishchuk (nickname ‘Allah’) is reported to have been a candidate to the Verkhovna Rada from the ultranationalist Ukrainian National Assembly (UNA-UNSO) in 2012 and also fought in Donbass.[26] Both likely have ties to both Right Sector and C14. Members of RS attempted to provide an unsubstantiated alibi, claiming the suspects Medvedko and Polishchuk were at the RS training camp in Dnepropetrovsk at the time of the murder, and RS, C14, the organization ‘Freedom to Patriots’, and ‘Dnepr’ volunteer battalion commander Semyon Semyonchenko have held protests outside the courtroom during preliminary hearings and at the General Prosecutors’ Office.[27] Medvedko has charged the murder was committed by an RS member, who is said to be the person in a video claiming responsibility for Buzina’s assassination and another political murder.[28]

The trial of Medvedko and Polishchuk for the murder of Buzina has still not commenced five years after the crime, and both defendants were released from custody (Medvedko was returned to custody while Polishchuk is under house arrest). The Ukrainian authorities did ban a film about Buzina’s life, and in September 2019, Medvedko was voted to the public council of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU).[29] NABU is close to the U.S. State Department and George Soros’s Open Society Institute’s five offices in Ukraine.[30] This is well-known in Ukraine as well.[31]

Pavel Sheremet Assassination

Five ultranationalist former volunteer battalion fighters with ties to nationalist groups were detained and charged in December 2019 with the high profile assassination of famous Belarusian journalist Pavel Sheremet, who was killed when his car exploded as he left home. Sheremet lived in Kiev and was a host for a morning show on Radio Vesti and a journalist at the pro-Maidan website Ukrainskaya pravda.  Among the charged in the assassination is ATO fighter and rock musician Andrei Antonenko, said to be a favorite of former President Petro Poroshenko, who noted the popularity of one of Anotonenko’s songs among the volunteer battalions making it the ATO’s “anthem.”[32] Likely the leader of the group, Antonenko is “well-known in nationalist circles,” was a frequent guest of RS, and was defended by C14 after being accused of participation in assassination.[33] The prosecutors’ dossier on Antonenko notes his “ultranationalist ideas” and “cultivation of the greatness of the Aryan race.”[34]

The group apparently wanted to use the murder or some other act to destabilize the country presumably to ultranationalists’ benefit. One member of the group proposed firing Grad rockets on Kiev to destabilize the country.[35] The accused have been supported by the neofascist organizations, C14 and NatsKorpus.[36] 

In July 2019, someone fired a grenade launcher at the television headquarters of channel 112 in Kiev, damaging the building. The channel had scheduled showing Oliver Stone’s film on the Maidan which, among other things, discusses the ultranationalist and neofascist origins of the February 2014 Maidan snipers’ terrorist massacre. After the attack, the broadcast was cancelled.[37] 

It should be added that ultra and neofascist groups not only carry out political terrorism and criminal murders, they also engage in acts of political intimidation, storming city or regional council meetings or court sessions to force resignations of officials or induce certain decisions.[38]

International UNUT

A 2019 report from the Soufan Center noted that white supremacist extremists of the kind extant in and around Ukraine’s Maidan regime are “strengthening transnational networks and even imitating the tactics, techniques, and procedures of groups like al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS). These networks share approaches to recruitment, financing, and propaganda, with Ukraine emerging as a hub in the broader network of transnational white supremacy extremism, attracting foreign recruits from all over the world. Where jihadis travel to fight in places like Syria, white supremacists now have their own theater in which to learn combat—Ukraine… While fighters espousing white supremacist beliefs have traveled to Ukraine, others have joined for a variety of reasons, much like their jihadi counterparts. Nonetheless, many fighters, particularly from Western countries, have taken advantage of the conflict in Ukraine to expand the global white supremacy extremist movement. Moreover, those that traveled to Ukraine for adventure, nationalism, or sheer boredom, may eventually become radicalized and grow more interested in white supremacist ideology over time. This demonstrates that the WSE movement has transnational roots and global connections and is growing in both frequency and strength.”[39]

Indeed, Ukrainian ultranationalist and neofascist organizations in particular are developing ever deeper ties with the international ultranationalist, neofascist white supremacist movement, and UNUT has spread beyond Ukraine’s borders, threatening the rest of Europe, the West, and perhaps beyond. For example, the notorious Azov Battalion, now integrated into the Ukrainian state’s National Guard, has hosted and trained fighters from tens of countries from across Europe to North and South America from Brazil to Australia, giving them battlefield experience. Even provincial Sweden has contributed at least one married couple to Maidan Azov’s fight.[40] Azov is the military wing of the Social-National Assembly (SNA) led by the notorious white supremacist Andriy Biletskiy. The SNA was a founding group of Right Sector, it is no surprise that Azov includes many RS recruits.[41]

Azov’s, the Assembly’s and Biletskiy’s ideology is an extremist brand of Ukrainian neofascism melded with international white supremacism. The SNA program emphasizes the concept of “nationocracy,” which was later incorporated into the RS program and propaganda courses. The SNA in power would ban all political parties, organizations, associations and ideological groups, so the ethnic Ukrainian elite holds full power: “Political power is wholly owned by the Ukrainian nation through its most talented, idealistic and altruistic national representatives who are able to ensure proper development of the nation and its competitiveness.” “Supreme power (executive, legislative and judicial) of the Ukrainian state will be in the hands of the head of state, who is personally responsible to the nation’s own blood and property.” Capitalism is to be “dismantled” and democracy is to be “eliminated.” All actions that fail “to comply with obligations to the nation and the state will entail the restriction of civil rights or deprivation of citizenship … The ultimate goal of Ukrainian foreign policy is world domination.”[42]

SNA leader and Azov commander Andriy Biletskiy, prior to running the SNA, led the equally ultra-nationalist ‘Patriots of Ukraine,’ the military wing of the UNA, which modeled on the UPA and OUN, respectively, and was in the business of beating immigrants. In a 2010 interview, Biletskiy described his organization as nationalist “storm troopers.”[43] A year later, under Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych whom his comrades would overthrow, Biletskiy was in prison, after his organization—renamed the SNA—had been involved in a series of shootouts and fights. In 2007, Biletskiy castigated a government decision to introduce fines for racist remarks, noting: “So why the ‘Negro-love’ on a legislative level? They want to break everyone who has risen to defend themselves, their family, their right to be masters of their own land! They want to destroy the Nation’s biological resistance to everything alien and do to us what happened to Old Europe, where the immigrant hordes are a nightmare for the French, Germans and Belgians, where cities are ‘blackening’ fast and crime and the drug trade are invading even the remotest corners.”[44] Biletskiy has also said: “The historic mission of our nation in this critical moment is to lead the White Races of the world in a final crusade for their survival. A crusade against the Semite-led Untermenschen.”[45]

The Maidan and the resulting Donbass civil war gave radicals like the Biletskiy and the NSA a golden opportunity to become more mainstream and thus recruit and expand. Following Maidan’s overthrow of Yanukovych, the SNA and Patriots of Ukraine were rewarded with Biletskiy’s release from prison. Regarded as a political prisoner by the Maidan’s leaders, the new regime’s MVD would give Biletskiy command of Azov. Biletskiy and Azov became the beneficiary of major funding from both oligarch Igor Kolomoiskii and the ultra-nationalist Radical Party of Oleh Lyashko.[46] By April 2015, Azov was attempting to reach the strength of 1,200 fighters with  training necessary to qualify it to receive heavy weaponry from the Ukrainian army.[47] Azov units were dispersed in small groups along the Donbass front. Its headquarters and main training base sit in Mariupol on the Sea of Azov adjacent to the Black Sea. The Azov battalion’s general reputation and alleged war atrocities would prompt the U.S. Congress in June 2015 to adopt an amendment that ostensibly forbade US advisors training the Ukrainian army and National Guard from training members of Azov.[48] Anton Gerashchenko, advisor to MVD chief Arsen Avakov, responded to the U.S. Congress’s move by saying there was an “anti-Ukrainian lobby” in Congress.[49] The month after the congressional ban, however, Azov ‘sergeant’ Ivan Kharkiv stated that U.S. military advisors had been and still were training Azov fighters, and a U.S. official stated that any screening would not be for ideology but for human rights violations.[50]

MVD chief Avakov, who played a major role in forming all the volunteer battalions, has helped Azov go mainstream. In October 2014, he appointed SNA member and Azov deputy commander, Vadim Troyan, as Kiev Oblasts’s MVD chief and in March 2016 promoted him to the post of first deputy chief of the new National Police. Troyan was captured in a photograph giving the Nazi salute with several Azov members.[51] Before the war, Troyan worked in a company led by a close Avakov associate.[52] The notorious international neofascist network ‘Combat 18’ has a group in Ukraine. Affiliated with Azov, it was given the authority to conduct “street patrols.”[53]

Azov, along with RS and the SP, since 2014 have been holding joint Nazi-like torchlight marches through Kiev and other cities. For example, on 14 October 2014, in the wake of the first Minsk ceasefire agreement (Minsk 1), these groups held a march throughout Kiev, threatening the new Maidan regime with the ‘nationalist revolution’ to which they aspire.[54] These groups not only support a ‘nationalist revolution’ to replace the hybrid democratic-authoritarian, oligarchic-ultranationalist Maidan regime but to return Crimea and Donbass to Ukraine by force.

Increasingly, Azov, RS, and other UNUT groups are recruiting, inspiring, and networking globally with pro-Nazi extremists across the globe. In these terms, as the Soufan Center notes: “There are striking resemblances between the Azov Battalion’s Western Outreach Office and al-Qaeda’s Maktab al-Khidamat (MAK).” Members of Azov’s Western Outreach Office (WOO) “travel around Europe to promote the organization and meet with like-minded individuals and groups,” inviting “prominent white supremacy extremist ideologues to visit Ukraine.” In October 2018, a leading American white supremacist ideologist, Greg Johnson, visited Ukraine and attended a series of events hosted by the NatsKorpus. Earlier that summer, German-language flyers were handed out to the audience at a rock concert in Thuringia, inviting them to join Azov Battalion in order to “save Europe from extinction.”[55] The Azov Battalion has cultivated a relationship with members of Germany’s supremacist ‘Atomwaffen Division’ (atomwaffen means “atomic weapons”), the name of a weapons research unity in Nazi Germany.[56]

In 2016, Brazilian police uncovered an Azov recruiting effort to bring neo-Nazi fighters to fight against the Donbass separatists. An Italian member of an international national-socialist (Nazi) group called Misanthropic Division (MD) had been recruiting young people to fight in Ukraine. MD reportedly has ties to Azov. “They offered money and military training. We confirmed that a native of Porto Alegre had been fighting in Ukraine after being recruited,” a police spokesman stated, adding that at least five other extremists may have joined the war.[57] In July 2019, Italian police identified an Italian extremist as a recruiter for Ukraine’s neo-Nazi Azov Battalion.[58] Just as with jihadi fighters drawn to fight in Syria and Iraq in recent years, who pose a threat to the countries from where they came when they return to the West, Russia, Central Asia, China, so too do these Ukraine-trained ultras and neofascists pose a threat to the homelands from which they came.

At the same time, it must be borne in mind that ultras and neofascists in Ukraine are opposed not just to Russia and its influence. They are as equally opposed to the West, which is viewed by them as by many Russian nationalists and traditional statists as a den of hyper-liberalism. Thus, a RS short course on ideology, promoting “nationalist revolution” and “nationocracy,” asserts the “Militant Ukrainian National Revolution” will have a strong religious element and “not distinguish between the defense of the Christian faith and the Church of the national liberation struggle.” It rejects the “empires of communism, Russian great-power chauvinism, democratic liberalism and cosmopolitanism” which are inherently “hostile to the Ukrainian nation.”[59] Thus, RS’s program proposes a non-aligned course in the current understanding of that term. Partnership with NATO, the EU, the CIS and other existing international organizations is regarded as “dangerous and destructive.” Ukrainian geopolitical strategy is to be based on something like Pilsudski’s ‘Intermarium’: the creation of a “priority space” encompassing a north-south axis extending from the Baltic Sea to the Caucasus and Black Sea based on countries Ukraine has “historically cooperated with” – Sweden, Lithuania, Poland, Turkey, Georgia).[60] In 2007, SNA and Azov leader Biletskiy castigated a government decision to introduce fines for racist remarks, noting: “So why the ‘Negro-love’ on a legislative level? They want to break everyone who has risen to defend themselves, their family, their right to be masters of their own land! They want to destroy the Nation’s biological resistance to everything alien and do to us what happened to Old Europe, where the immigrant hordes are a nightmare for the French, Germans and Belgians, where cities are ‘blackening’ fast and crime and the drug trade are invading even the remotest corners.”[61] Biletskiy has also said: “The historic mission of our nation in this critical moment is to lead the White Races of the world in a final crusade for their survival. A crusade against the Semite-led Untermenschen.”[62]

It is very likely that almost all, if not all the foreign fighters in Ukraine fighting on Maidan Kiev’s side adhere to an ideology approximating those outlined above. The estimated number of foreign fighters in Ukraine fighting on Kiev’s side against the Donbass rebels as of 2019, excluding some 3,000 from Russia is 879, with 300 hailing from Belarus and 15 from the U.S.[63] Their return home with the firearms and explosives training and ideologically-hardened temperament poses a potential and in some places already a kinetic threat to their homelands. According to the Soufan report, “the goal of many of these members is to return to their countries of origin (or third-party countries) to wreak havoc and use acts of violence as a means of recruiting new members to their cause.”[64] The blowback threat seems particularly acute for neighboring Belarus, though thus far there has been no tangible effect there.

Extremists among the Ukrainian diaspora, some of who have been attempting to carry out terrorist attacks abroad against Russian targets (see below), might re-target their attacks under the sway of the movement’s anti-Westernism, especially if it intensifies. Should Ukraine’s position be perceived by ultras, neofascists and their diaspora sympathizers to be worsening as a result of Western action or lack thereof, then the ‘Western betrayal’ could cause such a ‘retargeting’ their terrorist efforts. Thus, far UNUT abroad has been confined to plots and attacks inspired by Ukraine’s ultra and neofascist groups and their radical ideologies and carried out by Ukrainian diaspora members.

UNUT-inspired Terrorist Attacks and Plots Outside Ukraine

The UNUT-Azov-Inspired London Plot

The first case of Ukrainian neo-fascist international terrorist plot developed during the Maidan revolt, underscoring the radicalizing effect of the increasingly violent Maidan ‘demonstrations’, as nationalists, ultranationalists, and neofascists began to raise the profile, leading to their snipers’ terrorist massacre on 20 February 2014. This foreign plot was a planned attack the Russian embassy located in central London next to Hyde Park hatched by a 33-year-old Ukrainian-born, likely Argentinian national named Vadim Bezkorovainiy. According to London prosecutor Robin Sellers, Bezkorovainiy wanted to join the Ukrainian army in order to legalize Ukrainian residency and was undertaking “premeditated and concrete steps in preparation of a terrorist act” against the Russian embassy. Bezkorovainiy was arrested initially in 2012 for using false documents and living under a false name in the UK. At the of time of planning the plot, he began surveilling the Russian embassy. A search of his home uncovered items indicating preparation of a terrorist attack. For years, Bezkorovainiy, who at times told police he is a Ukrainian citizen, moved around Europe using false documents. Bezkorovainiy’s computer held photographs and reconnaissance videos of the Russian embassy, and his Internet activity indicated an interest in acquiring explosives and the making of detonators.[65]

Bezkorovainiy was radicalized while staying in Kiev during the Maidan when, according to his statements to British prosecutors, Ukraine “tasted freedom.” His statement adds: “we overthrew Yanukovych and that what is going on now in Ukraine and in Crimea was planned long ago by both Yanukovych and his people, who up until now have been in power in Ukraine, and in the Kremlin.… Military action will be turned back onto the territory of Russia. (Russian) military actions in Crimea will not go unpunished.” While in Kiev in January 2014 – that is, at the height of the Maidan’s own radicalization before Yanukovych’s removal – Bezkorovainiy began to searching for information on making explosives on the Internet. In March 2014, while visiting his former girlfriend and her 8-year old daughter, he proposed buying the little girl a rifle or bazooka and teaching her to shoot. Upon hearing this, his former girlfriend asked him to leave.[66]

The Christchurch Attack’s UNUT-Azov Connection

The infamous March 2019 attack on a mosque that killed 50 Muslims and wounded 49 in Christchurch, New Zealand also had a UNUT connection. The manifesto of the attack’s perpetrator, Brenton Tarrant, states he had trained with the Azov Battalion. He also often wore the neo-Nazi emblem, the altered German Nazi ‘Wolfsangel’ that is Azov’s own emblem.[67] In the wake of the attack an unidentified, encrypted site of a Ukrainian neofascist organization was reported to be selling the 87-page manifesto in hardcover, over which New Zealand protested, having banned its publication and dissemination in New Zealand.[68]

The Kansas UNUT-Inspired Plot

Last September, the FBI arrested a U.S. soldier, Jarrett William Smith, who was planning to bomb an unidentified major news network, distributed bomb-building instructions online, and planned to go to Ukraine to fought under Azov’s flag. According to prosecutorial documents Smith joined the U.S. military only after declaring his wish to fight against the Donbass militants. From 2016, Smith allegedly communicated with his “mentor,” according to investigators, another American, Craig Lang, who already had traveled to Ukraine and along with another another U.S. army vet, Alex Jared Zwiefelhoffer, fought with Right Sector against the Donbass rebels in 2017. In April 2018, Lang and Zwiefelhofer allegedly killed a husband and wife in Lee County, Florida, during an armed robbery, committed, according to court documents, to finance their travel to Venezuela, where they hoped to fight against the Venezuelan government. Lang had his passport revoked and, according to court documents, therefore met with three associates in August 2018 to plan a passport exchange and falsification effort to help Lang travel to Ukraine. By mid-September, Lang had bought his airline ticket to Ukraine using the false papers, but then decided to go to Mexico instead in late September. He then flew onto Spain and in late November used his revoked passport to get into Ukraine, where he is believed to be living currently.[69]

UNUT-Azov Followers’ California Attacks

Another violent neofascist group, the Rise Above Movement or RAM, four members of which were arrested in October 2018 for organizing a series of violent actions on the edge of terrorism, in three California cities in 2017, has developed ties to Ukrainian ultras. Three of the young men traveled to Europe to celebrate Adolf Hitler’s birthday, met with a radical militia group there, and then traveled to Ukraine, say U.S. federal prosecutors. Prosecutors said the four men used the internet to recruit, coordinate “combat training,” and plan violent riots. FBI Special Agent Scott Bierwirth’s criminal complaint noted that an Instagram page contained a photo of RAM members with Olena Semenyaka, a leading figure in the neo-Nazi scene in Ukraine and Eastern Europe. In Ukraine, Semenyaka is influential in the NatsKorpus, the Militant Zone, and the Pan-European Reconquista movement, all of which have ties to the Azov Battalion. Now integrated into the Ukraine’s National Guard – that is, into the state’s organs of coercion or siloviki – Azov, Bierwirth says Azov Battalion, known for neo-fascist ideology, “has participated in training and radicalizing U.S.-based white supremacist organizations.”[70]

Conclusion

UNUT is rapidly becoming an international terrorist threat. It threatens not only democratization and stability of the regime in Kiev. The growing international network of ties with other ultranationalist, neofascist, and white supremacist groups threatens to bolster the international ultranationalist, neofascist and white supremacist movements and perhaps even radicalize it. As we have seen, the Ukrainian and Russian hub of the movements whipped up by the Donbass civil war has in turn energized the larger movement, producing plots and violence here in the U.S. as the California and Kansas arrests demonstrate.

It also has the potential to destabilize the region immediately around Ukraine. Russia’s own ultranationalists, neofascists, and white supremacists fighting on the other side of the trenches in Donbass could unify with some Ukrainians once the civil war is settled. Belarus is particularly at risk of destabilization and potential devolution into a civil war similar to that in Ukraine pitting pro-Russian and anti-Russian forces. Of the foreign fighters participating in the Donbass conflict, the second largest contributor after Russia is Belarus. Belarussians, like Russians are fighting on both sides, with nearly 300 on the side of Maidan Kiev and nearly 500 on the side of the Donbass rebels.[71] Their return home could pose a real problem for the country. In addition, Russia is under an even more direct threat of terrorist attack from UNUT, given Russia’s support for the Donbass rebels. A successful UNUT attack in Russia could be a trigger restarting the Donbass war in greater earnest with a return to direct Russian military intervention. Russia has uncovered some plots allegedly in the planning stage, but it is difficult to tell how much Russian law enforcement has trumped up or exaggerated their investigation.

The West – Washington, Brussels, and the OSCE – would do well to pressure Ukrainian President Zelenskiy to step up his still lackadaisical efforts to disarm all remaining armed UNUT-type elements in his country and demand Ukrainian law enforcement and intelligence sever all ties with such groups and guarantee there will be no impunity for them before it is too late for Kiev and who knows who else.

POSTSCRIPT

On April 6, the US State Department added a small Russian extremist group, the Russian Imperial Movement (RIM), to its list of international terrorist groups. It did so on the basis of the following: “In August of 2016, two Swedish men traveled to St. Petersburg and underwent 11 days of paramilitary-style training provided by RIM.  A few months later, these men and another person conducted a series of terrorist attacks in the Swedish city of Gothenburg.  In November of 2016, they detonated a bomb outside a cafe.  Two months after that, they bombed a migrant center, gravely injuring one person.  And three weeks after that, they placed another bomb at a campsite used to house refugees.  Thankfully, that device failed to detonate. Swedish authorities were able to arrest the attackers, and they’ve now been tried and convicted for their crimes.  The prosecutor who handled their case blamed RIM for radicalizing them and for providing the training that enabled the attacks.” [72]

I will leave it to the reader to decide for himself or herself whether RIM’s record is more threatening than Azov’s and the other Ukrainian groups included in this report and whether Azov or any other Ukrainian terrorist group should be placed on the U.S State Departments terrorist ledger. Without reiterating the above in order to make a detailed comparison or argument here, it seems to your author that Azov should be so designated, if the State Department is to be consistent in accordance with the criteria it applied to RIM. I will also leave it to the reader to put his or her conclusion on that question in the context of other issues, such as the Donald Trump Administration’s alleged collusion with the Kremlin and being in the latter’s pocket.

I will only suggest that if Azov’s actions have been more robust than RIM’s and Azov is a state organ and its leaders’ affiliated structures under the state’s protection as they have enjoyed impunity in the wake of committing crimes, then we can conclude that (A) either Trump is closer to being a puppet of Kiev than one of the Kremlin or (B) that Trump is being misinformed or disinformed about the Maidan regime currently if uncomfortably led by Mr. Zelenskiy or (C) that Trump is running scared of the Democratic Party’s false ‘Trump puppet’ narrative in an election year and is trying to prove ‘holier than the Pope.’


FOOTNOTES

[1] “Ukrainu letit Neitan Sails Koordinator GosDepa SShA po protivodesitiyu terrorizmu,” Strana.ru, 14 February 2020, https://strana.ua/news/249959-v-ukrainu-letit-nejtan-sejls-koordinator-hosdepa-ssha-po-protivodejstviju-terrorizmu.html?fbclid=IwAR0ioXicZlg6QLeLRjloPBrbUb4nWHAci7teWBs3QxC6mP-gjVHLmdT4PFs.

[2] Gordon M. Hahn, “Europe’s New Terrorist Threat,” Russian and Eurasian Politics, 5 November 2015,  https://gordonhahn.com/2015/11/05/europes-new-terrorist-threat/.

[3] Ivan Katchanovskii, “The Politics of World War II in Contemporary Ukraine,” Journal of Slavic Military Studies, Vol. 27, No. 2, 2014, pp. 210-233, at pp. 219-20,  www.academia.edu/3378079/The_Politics_of_World_War_II_in_Contemporary_Ukraine.

[4] Alexander Motyl, “’Experts’ on Ukraine,” League of Ukrainian Canadians, 22 March 2014, www.lucorg.com/news.php/news/7543, posted from World Affairs, 20 March 2014; Alexander Motyl, “Will Ukraine Survive Yanukovych?,” The Manitoban, 18 March 2014, www.themanitoban.com/2014/03/will-ukraine-survive-yanukovych/19647/; and Alexander Motyl, “’Svoboda’, Ukraine, and the West,” Aspen Review, Issue 1, 2013, www.aspen.review/article/2017/svoboda%2c-ukraine%2c-and-the-west/). For a list of Motyl’s pieces in Foreign Affairs, see “Alexander J. Motyl,” Foreign Affairs, www.foreignaffairs.com/authors/alexander-j-motyl.

[5] For all the evidence, see Ivan Katchanovski’s work, especially, “The ‘Snipers’ Massacre’ on the Maidan in Ukraine (Revised and Updated Version),” Academia.edu, 20 February 2015, www.academia.edu/8776021/The_Snipers_Massacre_on_the_Maidan_in_Ukraine or Johnson’s Russia List, #33, 21 February 2015, Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs053/1102820649387/archive/1102911694293.html. See also Gordon M. Hahn, “REPORT: The Real Ukrainian Snipers’ Massacre, 20 February 2014,” Russian and Eurasian Politics Gordonhahn.com, 9 March 2016, https://gordonhahn.com/2016/03/09/the-real-snipers-massacre-ukraine-february-2014-updatedrevised-working-paper/.

[6] Gordon M. Hahn, “Working Paper: Violence and Escalation in the Ukrainian Crisis and Civil War – Escalation Point 8: Civil War or Putin’s War,” Russian and Eurasian Politics, 12 August 2015, (http://gordonhahn.com/2015/08/12/working-paper-violence-coercion-and-escalation-in-the-ukrainian-crisis-and-civil-war-escalation-point-8-civil-war-or-putins-war/.

[7] “Andrei Parubiy meeting Mikola Volkov, who was involved in the Odessa-Pogrom (29.4.2014),” YouTube.com, 8 May 2015, www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZTfLysUViU, last accessed 20 February 2020.

[8] See “Odesskaya tragediya: Po itogam 20 mesyatsev rassledovaniya,” 2 May Group Blogspot, 14 January 2016, http://2maygroup.blogspot.ca/2016/01/20.html#more. Perhaps the most comprehensive compilation, more than four hours of raw footage beginning from the street fighting in the city center, can be found at “Odessa. Tragediya 2-ogo maya 2014 goda. Ot nachal i do…kontsa,” YouTube, 19 December 2014, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRXHVSjV1IM, last accessed on 27 March 2016. For a similarly long, raw video beginning after the city street fighting from the storm of Kulikovo Field, see “Odessa dom profsoyuzov POLNOE VIDEO,” YouTube, 2 May 2014, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9AMjLBIliw, last accessed on 28 March 2016. A good collection of links to videos and other material can be found at “Ne 46, a 189 chelovek unichtozheno v Odesse 2 maya…,” Stikhi.ru, 5 May 2014, http://www.stihi.ru/2014/05/05/5404, last accessed on 27 March 2016. An early journalistic account with photographs and video is available at “Massovyie besporyadki v Odesse. Khronika sobytii,” Ekho Moskvy, 2 May 2014, http://echo.msk.ru/blog/echomsk/1312248-echo/, last accessed on 28 March 2016. For an eyewitness account just after the events by one of the people trapped in the building see, “04.05.2014, Odessa Osvobozhdennyi iz GorUVD activist antimaidana,” YouTube, 4 May 2014, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7DLMvsHmcI, last accessed on 27 May 2016. Several documentary films seek to sort out the facts and contain much of the same footage. See Ulrich Heyden, German documentary film “Lauffleuer,” at “lauffleuer – Rassledovanie zlodeyanii Odesse 2 maya 2014 (Nemetskii s subtitrami na russkom yazyke),” YouTube, 13 March 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZ6WDfAx1LM&feature=youtu.be, last accessed on 27 March 2016 and Paul Moreira, French documentary film ‘Ukraine – Les Masques De La Revolution,’ The Daily Motion, 2 February 2016, http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3pxmfe_ukraine-les-masques-de-la-revolution_tv, last accessed on 27 March 2016. See also Gordon M. Hahn, “Ukraine’s Neo-Fascist Right Sector Claims Responsibility Again for the 2 May 2014 Terrorist Pogrom,” Russian and Eurasian Politics, 2 May 2015, https://gordonhahn.com/2015/05/02/ukraines-neo-fascist-right-sector-claims-responsibility-again-for-2-may-2014-terrorist-pogrom/ and Gordon M. Hahn, “The Ukrainian Revolution’s Neo-Fascist Problem,” Fair Observer, 23 September 2015, www.fairobserver.com/region/europe/the-ukrainian-revolutions-neo-fascist-problem-14785/.

[9] Hahn, “Ukraine’s Neo-Fascist Right Sector Claims Responsibility Again for the 2 May 2014 Terrorist Pogrom”; Eugene Trofymenko, “ATO Po-narodnomu, Abo chomu ne Vladimir Putin ne vviv viyska,” Pravyi Sektor, 2 May 2014, http://pravyysektor.info/articles/ato-po-narodnomu-abo-chomu-ne-vladimir-putin-ne-vviv-vijska/; and “Anons: Rischnytsi 2 travnya v Odesi, Pravyo Sektor, 2 May 2015, http://pravyysektor.info/news/anons-richnytsi-2-travnya-v-odesi/). The latter two pages have been removed from RS’s webpage.

[10] Gordon M. Hahn, “Saving Maidan Ukraine From Itself: Mukhachev’s Implications,” Russian and Eurasian Politics, 13 July 2015, http://gordonhahn.com/2015/07/13/saving-maidan-ukraine-from-itself-mukachevos-implications/; Gordon M. Hahn, “Saving Maidan Ukraine From Itself: Mukhachev’s Implications,” Russian and Eurasian Politics, 14 July 2015, http://gordonhahn.com/2015/07/14/ukraines-neo-fascist-right-sector-preparing-a-revolt/; and http://anons.uz.ua/news/politics/21855-valentin-nalivaychenko-podderzhal-rebyat-iz-pravogo-sektora-zakarpatya.html, removed from Internet.

[11] “’Praviy Sektor’ zamenil flagy EC vozle Lvovskoi OGA na krasno-chernyie,” UNN, 12 July 2015, www.unn.com.ua/ru/news/1481576-praviy-sektor-zaminiv-prapori-yes-bilya-lvivskoyi-oda-na-chervono-chorni.

[12] “Postradavshei ot vzryva vo Lvove amputirovali nogu i udalili pochku,” Vesti, 14 July 2015, http://vesti-ukr.com/lvov/107227-postradavshej-ot-vzryva-vo-lvove-amputirovali-nogu-i-udalili-pochku.

[13] “PS poobeshal vzyat pod kontrol’ Lvov,” Vesti, 14 July 2015, http://vesti-ukr.com/lvov/107188-ps-poobewal-vzjat-pod-kontrol-lvov, removed from Internet.

[14] “MVD svyazivaet vzryvy v Lvove s sobytiyam na Zakarpat’e,” Glavnoe, 14 July 2015, http://glavnoe.ua/news/n233989 and “Vzryvy v Lvove kvalifitsirovaly kak terakt,” Glavnoe, 14 July 2015, http://glavnoe.ua/news/n234002.

[15] “Tolpu radikalov pod Radoi prokachivali Tyagnibok i Sirotyuk,” Vesti, 31 August 2015, http://vesti-ukr.com/strana/112928-tolpu-radikalov-pod-radoj-prokachivali-tjagnibok-i-sirotjuk.

[16] “Siloviku otorvalo nogu iz-za vzryva boevoi granaty,” Vesti, 31 August 2015, http://vesti-ukr.com/kiev/112907-iz-za-vzryva-granaty-siloviku-otorvalo-nogu#.

[17] “Avakov: 125 silovikov poluchili raneniya pod Radoi, odin v kome,” Ukrainskaya pravda, 31 August 2015, www.pravda.com.ua/rus/news/2015/08/31/7079685/.

[18] Gordon M. Hahn, “Dealing with Ukraine’s Neo-Fascists or Not,” Russian and Eurasian Politics, 20 June 2015, http://gordonhahn.com/2015/06/20/dealing-with-ukraines-neo-fascists-or-not/.

[19] “Dmitro Yarosh pro krainoschi pid chas vulichnoyi,” Pravii sector,  http://pravyysektor.info/news/news/695/dmitro-arosh-pro-krajnoschi-pid-chas-vulichnoyi-sutichki-bilya-vr.html.

[20] Gordon M. Hahn, “Ukraine’s Neo-Fascist ‘Tea Party’ Throws Grenades, Shoots Police, Attempts Storm Rada,” Russian and Eurasian Politics, 31 August 2015, http://gordonhahn.com/2015/08/31/ukraines-neo-fascist-tea-party-throws-grenades-shoots-at-police-attempts-storm-of-rada/).

[21] “Police Break Silence After Video Shows Far-Right Attack On Kyiv Roma,” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 26 April 2018, www.rferl.org/a/ukraine-police-break-silence-after-video-shows-far-right-attack-on-kyiv-roma/29194216.html.

[22] “Seven Arrested for Deadly Attack on Roma Camp in Western Ukraine,” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 24 June 2018, www.rferl.org/a/seven-arrested-for-deadly-attack-on-roma-camp-in-western-ukraine/29316319.html.

[23] “Straight Edge Neo-Nazi Group Attacked Ukrainian Roma Camp,” Bellingcat, 26 June 2018, www.bellingcat.com/news/uk-and-europe/2018/06/26/straight-edge-neo-nazi-group-attacked-ukrainian-roma-camp/.

[24] “White Supremacy Extremism: The Transnational Rise of the Violent White Supremacist Movement,” The Soufan Center, September 2019, https://thesoufancenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Report-by-The-Soufan-Center-White-Supremacy-Extremism-The-Transnational-Rise-of-The-Violent-White-Supremacist-Movement.pdf or https://thesoufancenter.org/research/white-supremacy-extremism-the-transnational-rise-of-the-violent-white-supremacist-movement/, p. 33. See also “How we can defeat violent white supremacy — and why we probably won’t,”The World News, 27 October 2019, https://twnews.us/us-news/how-we-can-defeat-violent-white-supremacy-and-why-we-probably-won-t and “Ukraine: Fatal Atack on Roma Settlement,” Human Rights Watch, 26 June 2018,www.hrw.org/news/2018/06/26/ukraine-fatal-attack-roma-settlement.

[25] Gordon M. Hahn, “One Day in the Life of Ukrainian Democracy,” Russian and Eurasian Politics, 21 June 2015, http://gordonhahn.com/2015/06/21/one-day-in-the-life-of-ukrainian-democracy/; Gordon M. Hahn, “Maidan Ukraine’s Authoritarianism Surplus: Update on Maidan’s Ukraine’s Democracy Deficit,” Russian and Eurasian Politics, 21 April 2015, http://gordonhahn.com/2015/04/21/maidan-ukraines-authoritarianism-surplus-update-on-maidan-ukraines-democracy-deficit/; and Gordon M. Hahn, “Everyday Neo-Fascism in Ukraine,” Russian and Eurasian Politics, 15 March 2015, http://gordonhahn.com/2015/03/15/everyday-neo-fascism-in-ukraine/.

[26] “Po delu Buziny gotovyat aresty ‘Revansha’ i ‘Chernogo Komiteta’,” Vesti, 19 June 2017, https://vesti.ua/kiev/104135-po-delu-buziny-gotovjat-aresty-revansha-i-chernogo-komiteta; “Natstisty ubivsjie Olesya Buzinu privedut k glave MVD? Delo pisatelya peredano v sud,” Narodnyi correspondent, 29 November 2017, https://nk.org.ua/politika/natsistyi-ubivshie-olesya-buzinu-privedut-k-glave-mvd-delo-pisatelya-peredano-v-sud-123560; “Kto stoit za ubystvom Olesya Buziny ta chomu sprava tyagnetsya 4 roku,” Narodnyi correspondent, 17 April 2019, https://fakty.com.ua/ru/ukraine/20190417-hto-stoyit-za-vbyvstvom-olesya-buzyny-ta-chomu-sprava-tyagnetsya-4-roky/; “Odnim iz dokazatelstv v dele Buziny sluzhit zhvachka kotoruyu vyplynula mat podozremaemogo,” TSN, 21 June 2015, https://tsn.ua/ru/politika/odnim-iz-dokazatelstv-v-dele-ubiystva-buziny-sluzhit-zhvachka-kotoruyu-vyplyunula-mat-podozrevaemogo-439542.html; and “Obvinyamemyie v ubyistve Buziny perekladyvayut vynu na gruppa ‘Lesnyaka’,” KP v Ukraine, 29 November 2017, https://kp.ua/incidents/593462-obvyniaemye-v-ubyistve-buzyny-perekladyvauit-vynu-na-hruppu-lesnyka.

[27] “Sud po delu podozremaevo v ubyistve Buziny perenesli,” Ukrainskaya pravda, 2 December 2015, www.pravda.com.ua/rus/news/2015/12/2/7091137/; “Shevchenkovskii sud nachal rassmotrenie dela ob ubiystve Buziny,” Ukrainskaya pravda, 9 February 2018, www.pravda.com.ua/rus/news/2018/02/9/7171085/; “V Odesse aktivisty ‘Pravogo sektora’ idut marsha, trebuya ocvobodit’ politzaklyuchgennyikh (Fototreportazh),” GordonUA, 13 December 2015, https://gordonua.com/tags/denis-polishchuk/p2.html; “V Kieve uchastniki marsha dobrovolcheskikh bataalonov trebuet priznat’ ATO voinoi (Fotoreportazh),” GordonUA, 3 July 2015, https://gordonua.com/photo/events/v-kieve-uchastniki-marsha-dobrovolcheskih-batalonov-trebuyut-priznat-ato-voynoy-fotoreportazh-87959.html; and “Aktivisty oblili ‘krov’yu’ dveri zdaniya Genprokuratury Ukrainy,” GordonUA, 29 July 2016, https://gordonua.com/news/localnews/aktivisty-oblili-krovyu-dveri-zdaniya-genprokuratury-142921.html.

[28]  “Obvinyamemyie v ubyistve Buziny perekladyvayut vynu na gruppa ‘Lesnyaka’,” KP v Ukraine, 29 November 2017, https://kp.ua/incidents/593462-obvyniaemye-v-ubyistve-buzyny-perekladyvauit-vynu-na-hruppu-lesnyka.

[29] “Fil’m o Buzine zapretili pokazuvat’ v Ukraine,” Ukrainskaya pravda, 28 April 2017, www.pravda.com.ua/rus/news/2017/04/28/7142617/ and “Figurant v dele Buziny vybrali v Sovet obshchestvennogo kontrolya NABU,” Ukrainskaya pravda, 30 September 2019, www.pravda.com.ua/rus/news/2019/09/30/7227708/.

[30] For a good overview of the evidence, see “Ukrainian Lawmaker Admits in Recording That Government Agency Linked to Soros Was Helping Hillary Clinton in 2016 Election,” The Gateway Pundit, 26 April 2019, www.thegatewaypundit.com/2019/04/ukrainian-lawmaker-admits-in-recording-that-government-agency-linked-to-soros-was-helping-hillary-clinton-in-2016-election/.

[31] See, for example, “’Vashingtonskii obkom’ menyaet kontseptsiyu: Kak otrazhyatsya na Ukraine kadrovyi chistki v Gosdepe SShA,” Strana.ua, 11 February 2020, https://strana.ua/articles/249148-kak-otrazjatsja-na-ukraine-kadrovye-chistki-v-hosdepe-ssha.html).

[32] “Avtor gimna Atoshnikov i lyubimets Poroshenko: Kto takoi Antonenko, kotorogo podozrevayut v ubiystve Sheremeta?,” Vesti, 12 December 2019, https://vesti.ua/politika/360730-avtor-himna-atoshnikov-i-ljubimets-poroshenko-kto-takoj-antonenko-kotoroho-podozrevajut-v-ubijstve-sheremeta- and “Politsiya zaderzhala podozrevaemykh v ubiystve zhurnalista Sheremeta,” Vesti, 12 December 2019, https://vesti.ua/strana/360717-politsija-zaderzhala-podozrevaemykh-v-ubijstve-zhurnalista-sheremeta).

[33] “Ubiystvo Sheremeta. Politsiya ob”yavila podozrevaemymi rok-muzykanta, detskii khirurg, I atoshnikov. Kak eto bylo,” Strana.ua, 12 December 2019, https://strana.ua/news/238954-zaderzhany-podozrevaemye-v-ubijstve-sheremeta-onlajn-transljatsija.html?fbclid=IwAR126vYRkEeAaUZaQNMxK6oVOh6v-UKQJnpxzFN6NqoPJb_WIQmml1IwMPc.

[34] “Zaderzhanie podozrevaemykh v ubiystve Sheremeta. Chto izvestno na dannyi moment,” Vesti, 12 December 2019, https://vesti.ua/strana/360717-politsija-zaderzhala-podozrevaemykh-v-ubijstve-zhurnalista-sheremeta.

[35] “Zaderzhanie podozrevaemykh v ubiystve Sheremeta. Chto izvestno na dannyi moment,” Vesti, 12 December 2019, https://vesti.ua/strana/360717-politsija-zaderzhala-podozrevaemykh-v-ubijstve-zhurnalista-sheremeta.

[36] Nikita Pidgora, Anton Savichev, and Anton Pechenkin, “Shest’ voprosov posle brifinga po ubiystvu Sheremeta,” Vesti, 12 December 2019, https://vesti.ua/strana/360778-shest-voprosov-posle-brifinha-po-ubijstvu-sheremeta-; Todd Prince, “Who Are The Five Suspects In The 2016 Killing Of Pavel Sheremet In Kyiv?,” Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty, 13 December 2019, www.rferl.org/a/ukraine-sheremets-killing-suspects/30324417.html; and “Ukrainian Police Detain Suspects Over 2016 Killing Of Journalist Pavel Sheremet,” Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty, 12 December 2019, www.rferl.org/a/interior-minister-says-ukrainian-police-detain-suspects-over-2016-killing-of-journalist-sheremet/30322252.html.

[37] “Telekanal ‘112 Ukraine’ otkazalsya ot pokaza fil’ma Olivera Stouna,” Vesti, 14 July 2019, https://vesti.ua/strana/343358-telekanal-112-ukraina-otkazalsja-ot-pokaza-filma-olivera-stouna.

[38] “V Lvove tolpa aktivistov vybili dveri RGA I zakhvatila zal zasedanii gorsoveta,” Vesti, 12 December 2020, https://vesti.ua/strana/360715-vo-lvove-tolpa-aktivistov-vybila-dveri-rha-i-zakhvatila-zal-zassedanij-hosoveta?fbclid=IwAR0dFn23wg0cED3MUjhUzCvDjsiZPb6wkkBqJj-H3ed08prBGcXAa8cQrzM.

[39] “White Supremacy Extremism: The Transnational Rise of the Violent White Supremacist Movement,” pp. 8-9.

[40] Tim Hume, “Far-Right Extremists Have Been Using Ukraine’s War as a Training Ground. They’re Returning Home,” Vice, 31 July 2019, www.vice.com/en_us/article/vb95ma/far-right-extremists-have-been-using-ukraines-civil-war-as-a-training-ground-theyre-returning-home.

[41] “Ukraine segodnya: Chto proiskhodit?,” Program ‘Arena sobytii’, Online TV, 26 June 2014, www.onlinetv.ru/video/1670/?autostart=1).

[42] Programa, Sotsialno-Natsionalna Assembleya, Snaua.info, http://snaua.info/programa/, last accessed 2 October 2019. See also Gordon M. Hahn, “Maidan Ukraine’s Neo-Fascist Problem,” Fair Observer, 23 September 2014, http://www.fairobserver.com/region/europe/the-ukrainian-revolutions-neo-fascist-problem-14785/.

[43] “Andrei Biletskii | Sotsial-natsionalizm – zolotoi vek Ukrainy,” YouTube, 7 December 2014, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KfqYT6U6xc; Leonid Bershidskiy, “Ukraine’s Neo-Nazis Won’t Get U.S. Money,” Bloomberg, 12 June 2015, http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-06-12/ukraine-s-neo-nazis-won-t-get-u-s-money; and Robert Parry, “US House Admits Nazi Role in Ukraine,” Consortium News, 13 June 2015, http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/30719-us-house-admits-nazi-role-in-ukraine.

[44] “Slovo bilogo vozhdya.pdf,” VKontakte,   http://vk.com/doc29866988_319980052?hash=14c0a1bebe416193ef&dl=a33eceb6cbe50c4daf, last accessed on 29 January 2016; and Bershidskiy, “Ukraine’s Neo-Nazis Won’t Get U.S. Money;” and Parry “US House Admits Nazi Role in Ukraine.”

[45] Tom Parfitt, “Ukraine crisis: The neo-Nazi brigade fighting pro-Russian separatists,” Telegraph (UK), 11 August 2014, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/11025137/Ukraine-crisis-the-neo-Nazi-brigade-fighting-pro-Russian-separatists.html.

[46] Taras Kozub, “Lyashko otkazalsya idti pod krylo Kolomoisogo,” Vesti Ukraina, 4 August 2014, http://vesti.ua/strana/63937-ljashko-otkazalsja-idti-pod-krylo-kolomojskogo.

[47] Nolan Peterson, “A Ukrainian National Guard Unit Trains to ‘Fight to the Death’,” Newsweek, 21 April 2015, http://www.newsweek.com/ukrainian-national-guard-unit-trains-fight-death-323891.

[48] Parry, “US House Admits Nazi Role in Ukraine.”

[49] “Pochemu SShA Otkryli Front Protiv Bataliona Azov,” Vesti Ukraina, 15 June 2015, http://vesti-ukr.com/strana/103513-pochemu-ssha-otkryli-front-protiv-batalona-azov.

[50] “Is America Training Neonazis in Ukraine?,” The Daily Beast, 4 July 2015, www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/07/04/is-the-u-s-training-neo-nazis-in-ukraine.html.

[51] “Pochemu SShA Otkryli Front Protiv Bataliona Azov” and “SMI: Troyan soglasilsya stat’ pervym zamom Dekanoidze,” Ukrainskaya pravda, 2 March 2016, http://www.pravda.com.ua/rus/news/2016/03/2/7100934/. 

[52] Oleg Bazar and Yevgenii Shvets, “Vadim Troyan: ‘My ponimali: sdadim Mariupol’ – proigraem voinu,” LB.ua, 2 December 2014, http://society.lb.ua/life/2014/12/02/287807_vadim_troyan_mi_ponimali_sdadim.html.

[53] “White Supremacy Extremism: The Transnational Rise of the Violent White Supremacist Movement,” p. 33 and Iuliia Mendel, “Attacks on Roma Force Ukraine to Confront an Old Ethnic Enmity,” New York Times, 21 July 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/07/21/world/europe/ukraine-roma-attacks.html.

[54] See a videos of such marches at “Shestvia Azova i Pravogo sektora po Kievu,” YouTube, 14 October 2014, uploaded by Pavel Sheremet, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcTHHuqAf10&feature=youtu.be and “Shestvie batal’ona Azova I Pravogo sektora,” YouTube, 14 October 2014, uploaded by Pavel Sheremet, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJjBrgxWF8M&ebc=ANyPxKpXOGCNqrTf38UgQ4S7BiH5rQcUoXvwzuplFHT3LEbn8STOELJ3awAK1mojqrSpneaXuDEK9ToxMoFje9EYDudWnQc0NA, last accessed on 20 February 2020.

[55] “White Supremacy Extremism: The Transnational Rise of the Violent White Supremacist Movement,” pp. 11, 31-2 and “Deutsche heuern bei rechtsextremem ukrainsischen Bataillon an,” Der Spiegel, 11 November 2017, www.spiegel.de/panorama/justiz/ukraine-deutsche-soeldner-heuern-bei-rechtsextrememfreiwilligenbataillon-an-a-1177400-amp.html.

[56] “White Supremacy Extremism: The Transnational Rise of the Violent White Supremacist Movement,” pp. 33 and 38 and “Defend the White Race: American Extremists Being Co-Opted by Ukraine’s Far Right,” Bellingcat, 15 February 2019, www.bellingcat.com/news/uk-and-europe/2019/02/15/defend-the-whiterace-american-extremists-being-co-opted-by-ukraines-far-right/.

[57] “Brazilian Ne-Nazis recruited to Fight in Ukraine,” Haaretz, 12 January 2017, www.haaretz.com/world-news/americas/brazilian-neo-nazis-recruited-to-fight-in-ukraine-1.5485098.

[58] Tim Hume, “Far-Right Extremists Have Been Using Ukraine’s War as a Training Ground. They’re Returning Home,” Vice, 31 July 2019, www.vice.com/en_us/article/vb95ma/far-right-extremists-have-been-using-ukraines-civil-war-as-a-training-ground-theyre-returning-home.

[59] “Korotokiy ideolohichno vyhovniy kurs dlya vo tryzub im s Bandery ta pravoho sektora,” Pravyysektor.info, 27 November 2015, http://old.pravyysektor.info/articles/korotkyj-ideolohichno-vyhovnyj-kurs-dlya-vo-tryzub-im-s-bandery-ta-pravoho-sektora/, last accessed on 18 February 2020.

[60] “Programa Pravogo Sektora,” Pravyysektor.info, http://pravyysektor.info/programa.html, last accessed on 30 January 2016.

[61] “Slovo bilogo vozhdya.pdf,” VKontakte,   http://vk.com/doc29866988_319980052?hash=14c0a1bebe416193ef&dl=a33eceb6cbe50c4daf, last accessed on 29 January 2016; Bershidskiy, “Ukraine’s Neo-Nazis Won’t Get U.S. Money,” Bloomberg, 12 June 2015, http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-06-12/ukraine-s-neo-nazis-won-t-get-u-s-money; and Robert Parry, “US House Admits Nazi Role in Ukraine,” Consortium News, 13 June 2015, http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/30719-us-house-admits-nazi-role-in-ukraine.

[62] Tom Parfitt, “Ukraine crisis: The neo-Nazi brigade fighting pro-Russian separatists,” Telegraph (UK), 11 August 2014, www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/11025137/Ukraine-crisis-the-neo-Nazi-brigade-fighting-pro-Russian-separatists.html. See also “The Azov Movement and the Christchurch Terrorist Attack,” ABC News, 8 April 2019, https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/latenightlive/the-azov-movment-and-the-christchurch-terror-attack/10981804.

[63] White Supremacy Extremism: The Transnational Rise of the Violent White Supremacist Movement,” p. 29.

[64] “White Supremacy Extremism: The Transnational Rise of the Violent White Supremacist Movement,” p. 31.

[65] “Ukrainets v sude Londona obvinyaetsya v terrorizme,” BBC, 3 November 2015, www.bbc.com/russian/uk/2015/11/151103_bezkorovainiy_hearings_old_bailey; see also “V Londone sudyat ukraintsa, gotovivshego vzryv posol’stva RF,” Ukraina.ru, 4 November 2015, http://ukraina.ru/news/20151104/1014734381.html.

[66] “Ukrainets v sude Londona obvinyaetsya v terrorizme,” BBC, 3 November 2015, www.bbc.com/russian/uk/2015/11/151103_bezkorovainiy_hearings_old_bailey.

[67] Rep. Max Rose, Twitter, 16 October 2019, https://twitter.com/RepMaxRose/status/1184518558392504321/photo/2 and “How we can defeat violent white supremacy — and why we probably won’t,” The World News, 27 October 2019, https://twnews.us/us-news/how-we-can-defeat-violent-white-supremacy-and-why-we-probably-won-t.

[68] “Manifesto of Christchurch’s shooter is sold in Ukraine,” 112 Ukraina, 22 August 2019, https://112.international/politics/manifesto-of-christchurchs-shooter-is-sold-in-ukraine-42875.html.

[69] Mike Levine, “FBI arrests Army soldier who allegedly discussed plans to bomb major American news network,” ABC News, 24 September 2019, https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/fbi-arrests-army-soldier-allegedly-discussed-plans-bomb/story?id=65802902.

[70] Brett Barrouguere, “Three Members of Rise Above Movement arrested in California, fourth sought as fugitive turns himself in,” Southern Poverty Law Center, 29 October 2018, www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2018/10/29/three-members-rise-above-movement-arrested-california-fourth-sought-fugitive-turns-himself.

[71] “White Supremacy Extremism: The Transnational Rise of the Violent White Supremacist Movement,” p. 29.

[72] www.state.gov/briefing-with-coordinator-for-counterterrorism-ambassador-nathan-a-sales-on-the-united-states-designation-of-the-russian-imperial-movement-and-its-leaders-as-global-terrorists/?fbclid=IwAR12YdWtkBaqIoMNBYTI29wYQAJbekT6_90yfp6MxAg_4ukG8tArULFFDYw.

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About the Author – Gordon M. Hahn, Ph.D., is an Expert Analyst at Corr Analytics, http://www.canalyt.com and a Senior Researcher at the Center for Terrorism and Intelligence Studies (CETIS), Akribis Group, www.cetisresearch.org. Dr. Hahn is the author of the forthcoming book: The Russian Dilemma: Aspiration, Trepidation, and the West in the Making of Russia’s Security Culture (McFarland, 2021). Previously, he has authored four well-received books: Ukraine Over the Edge: Russia, the West, and the “New Cold War” (McFarland, 2018); The Caucasus Emirate Mujahedin: Global Jihadism in Russia’s North Caucasus and Beyond (McFarland, 2014), Russia’s Islamic Threat (Yale University Press, 2007), and Russia’s Revolution From Above: Reform, Transition and Revolution in the Fall of the Soviet Communist Regime, 1985-2000 (Transaction, 2002). He also has published numerous think tank reports, academic articles, analyses, and commentaries in both English and Russian language media.

Dr. Hahn has taught at Boston, American, Stanford, San Jose State, and San Francisco State Universities and as a Fulbright Scholar at Saint Petersburg State University, Russia and has been a senior associate and visiting fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Kennan Institute in Washington DC, and the Hoover Institution.

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