Amid all the recent provocation and manuevering concerning Russia, Ukraine and the Azov Sea (see here and here), another story may have passed under a lot of peoples’ radars: concerning not the Azov Sea, but Ukraine’s Neo-Nazi ‘Azov Batallion’.
It’s arguably not a huge story in itself: and I’ll get to it in a moment.
But I want to explore how I think this story relates to so much else of what I’ve been talking about here for a few years now: including the war on Russia, the Islamists and the destablisation of the Middle East, the projected ‘race wars’ or societal breakdown, the rise of the Far-Right and white supremacists, and the possible or probable fascist conspiracy manuevering behind all of this.
You often find, when you’ve been keeping tabs on various different situations or themes for a few years, that they tend to come together and inter-relate more often than you’d think – indicating that even things that appear to be unconnected on the surface actually weave together as part of a dangerous web.
This would be either by deliberate design or by unforeseen consequences and the dominoe effect.
But here’s the story.
A recent FBI indictment seems to have revealed that Amercan white supremacists have been receiving training from Ukraine’s Neo-Nazi ‘Azov Batallion‘.
It emerges that this refers to members of the ‘Rise Above Movement’ in the US (including its founders), who had “violently attacked and assaulted counter-protesters” at white nationalist and white supremacist events.
This included the high-profile “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville last year (remember?).
According to Whitney Webb’s report at MintPress News, the court documents ‘refer to RAM as a “white supremacy extremist group” while the group self-represents as “a combat-ready, militant group of a new nationalist white supremacy/identity movement…’
The group’s founder Robert Rundo apparently has been making trips to Europe, including Ukraine, Italy and Germany, “to meet with members of European white supremacy extremist groups.”
As I have said for a few years now, a lot of these Far-Right or Neo-Nazi groups in different countries are not separate, unrelated entities. White Supremacy – or ‘White Jihad’ – is an international movement pursuing an international objective.
It tries to look like it is merely a series of separate reactions to unfolding events or conditions – but it isn’t.
The irony of the Ukrainian Nazis training militants in America is of course that the Ukrainian militias themselves were receiving training and support from the US State Department as part of the proxy war on Russia. Most of those various militias were said to be funded by shady private investors: but, at any rate, they were being openly trained and championed by the United States and NATO a few years ago as the crisis in Ukraine was heating up.
At the basic level, those extremist militias were being used – and could still be used – to try to destabilise Russia itself, the same way extremist militias were nurtured and backed in places like Libya and Syria – for the purposes of overthrowing the state or at least for general destabilisaiton.
But I suspect it’s probably bigger than even that – and that something like the ‘Azov Batallion’ is simply the tip of a bigger iceberg: a probable multi-purpose agenda along the same lines as something like the so-called ‘Islamic State’ group.
What is the ‘Azov Batallion’?
Originally a paramilitary group of right-wing Ukrainian nationalists linked to the country’s Social-National Party, Azov Battalion has since become incorporated into Ukraine’s Interior Ministry as a component of the country’s National Guard. In addition, the group’s founder Andrey Bilitsky, is a member of Ukraine’s parliament.
The group, who were openly known to drive around in tanks with Nazi symbols and making Nazi salutes, committed war crimes, and were also alleged to have engaged in beheadings (yes, beheadings) and allegedly burning crosses. See my older article here, or see James’s 2015 article over at Crimes of Empire here, in which he responded to video footage allegedly showing the Ukrainian mercenaries crucifying and burning a victim.
Said James at the time, ‘These are our allies. These are forces the US recently sent three hundred military training forces to aid. The forces the Australian Prime Minister stated we were “all behind”. They appear to have crucified a man and burned him alive on video. It is one of the worst things I have ever seen.’
In a worst-case scenario, I tend to wonder if the situation in Ukraine is going to be used as a training ground for white supremacist militants all over the place to cut their teeth with hands-on exprience – the same way parts of Syria, Libya and Iraq were made lawless so as to provide jihadists with staging areas and training ground: and how some of them then came back to Europe and supposedly carried out terrorist attacks (while others infiltrated into neighbouring Arab or African states to start up trouble there).
The likelihood is still that the extreme militias in Ukraine are intended primarily to fight Russia – and possibly even to infilitrate into Russia and train Russian (anti Putin) proxies (possibly Russian Neo-Nazi counterparts) to start up an armed conflict (along the lines of Aleppo, Raqqa, Idlib, etc). It would be an extraordinary irony if the very situation Russia went into Syria to help quell ends up being replicated in Russia itself: although this could be pursued in other ways too, with – for example – Islamist militants from neighbouring states in Russia’s neighourhood.
But, as usual, there are probably multiple agendas being pursued or serviced all at once: just as the Middle-East destabilisation was used both to unhinge that region and to also destablise Europe with the increased terror threat and the Migrant Crisis.
I would not be surprised if, sooner or later, Eastern Ukraine becomes to Europe and the West what Iraq or Syria became to the Middle East.
I was saying back then that both the Nazis in Ukraine – and the aspiring far-right militant groups in other countries – were the white, Western equivalent of the Islamic State jihadists. The same way that, for years, Islamists were trying to establish their network across multiple countries, planting the seeds of future uprising or bloodshed, so too the white supremacist groups do not limit their interests to their own cities or countries – but are engaged in an international agenda.
That’s why you could see Ukrainian Nazis training American white supremacists.
It’s the same reason, for example, that foreign Neo-Nazi activists were in recent years found to be training right-wing Brits for ‘a race war’ in ‘secret hate camps across the UK.’ For example, Anti Terror police were reported to be monitoring the ‘Sigurd Legion mob’, fearing that they were using the camps to prepare a wave of attacks against Muslims and Jews. The Far-Right/Neo-Nazi group ‘National Action’ (now classified in the UK as a Terrorist Organisation) was reported to have sent all of its members to those camps for training.
We also know that, for example, the Europe-wide, violent Fascist/Neo-Nazi movement called ‘Blood and Honour’ – which literally has its roots in Nazi Germany – is also an umbrella organisation for British racist groups such as the National Front and National Action; it is, in fact, known to have members and networks (I’m tempted to call them ‘cells’) in every country in the Western world.
To get a sense of ‘Blood and Honur’: one Hungarian-based Blood and Honour activist, Tompos Von Wewelsburg, called for all Syrian refugees to be massacred. ‘Blood and Honour’ activists in the Czech Republic have been charged with attempted murder following arson attacks on ethnic minorities.
And in the UK, the MP Jo Cox’s brutal murderer, Thomas Mair, is pictured below giving a Nazi salute and wearing a ‘Blood and Honour’ shirt.
There’s no doubt that, were circumstances to develop elsewhere that were similar to Eastern Ukraine, groups like ‘Blood & Honour’ could become the ‘Azov Batallion’ equivalent.
I wrote last year in an article about Islamist Extremists and White Supremacists: ‘The fact that this resurgence of Neo-Nazism can happen in Europe was demonstrated by the Nazi battalions in Ukraine...’
In describing these networks in a post three years ago on the refugee crisis, I wrote; ‘They are the basis of our very own, European ‘ISIS’ some dark day in the future… or perhaps simply a rebirth of the kinds of forces and ideologies that shaped Nazi/Fascist Europe eighty years ago.’
The only reason the Nazi militias in Ukraine were able to act more openly and substantively is because the situation in that country went in a direction that enabled them to do so. Were suitable circumstances to emerge anywhere else – Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, anywhere – the same sort of things could happen very easily.
These groups want a nation-spanning movement or conflict – precisely as the Islamists wanted a nation-spanning ‘jihad’. They are the Mirror of ISIS.
Their hope – like that of the Islamists – is to overturn Western civilisation and modern societies and either remake it a new image or restore it to some idea of past glory (the Neo-Nazi equivalent of ‘the caliphate’).
And just like the Islamists, they see their fellow white supremacists in other countries as ‘brothers’ and fellow warriors.
In fact, back in 2014, what struck me about the Ukrainian militias doing their ISIS impressions in their balaclavas was this: the fact that ‘volunteers’ or recruits from other European countries were literally going over to Ukraine to join the militias in their campaign against Russia.
I talked about that here: that’s the ‘ISIS’ model in a nutshell, just the white/European version (or “White Jihad”, as they now call it). Just as wannabe jihadists from all over the place were going into Libya, Syria or Iraq to join the extremists, so too were ‘volunteers’ heading over to Ukraine (albeit on a much smaller scale at that point).
To what extent intelligence agencies would be involved in this is unclear: but, if the whole ‘ISIS’/Middle-East scenario is anything to go by, probably quite a bit.
Back then, Ukraine’s Interior Minister Arsen Avakov had even admitted to the presence of foreign mercenaries in ‘volunteer battalions’ that have been taking part in the military operations in eastern Ukraine.
As I highlighted back in 2015: ‘The Russian Foreign Ministry demanded that Sweden, Finland, the Baltic states and France conduct a thorough investigation into alleged participation by mercenaries from these countries in hostilities in eastern Ukraine. The ministry said this while commenting on a story in the Italian publication Il Giornale that said mercenaries took part in a military operation as part of the so-called ‘Azov battalion’ in eastern Ukraine, its activity financed and led by tycoon Ihor Kolomoisky…’
And what does that remind us of? I said then: ‘This is all simply a copy-and-paste of the proxy war waged on Syria, albeit in Europe and minus the Islamic element.’
When you look at how the Libyan state was destroyed and plunged into chaos, or what happened in Syria, you can note a couple of things.
First, the extremists were already there in the society, no doubt doing things over a long period of time to create the right conditions.
Second, that the bigger bulk of ‘personnel’ were then flooded in when the conditions were right – in Libya this was 2011, in Syria it was 2012 and 2013. What you had was a widespread ‘community’ of radicalised invididuals – spread across different countries – that were on-hand to enter the equation at the right moment: a modern Barbarian horde unleashed to destroy civilisations.
If ‘ISIS’ is the model, then the same thing would play out in the West if and when the ‘trumpet’ is sounded, so to speak: then you’ll see all these “combat-ready” groups and people take up the baton. I’ve said for a while that I suspect a facsist group or cabal is looking to collapse the present order and stage a widespread takeover: were that to ever happen, it might need all of these militias and street-level ‘armies’ to help overwhelm the existing political establishments and existing socio-political orders.
It’s getting easier and easier to see some version of that state of affairs occuring. Such a fascist conspiracy need only disguise itself (thinly) behind the facade of the current right-wing nationalist or ‘Populist’ wave. Indeed, that is what I’ve come to believe is the whole plan playing out: and it’s easy to fabricate crises to push that state of affairs along – such as the recent false-flag killing in Chemnitz, Germany.
The other angle as well, as previously discussed, is the long projected ‘race war’ or ‘civil war’ type scenario or planned societal breakdown: which is being set up as essentially White Supremacists versus Islamist Extremists (with others caught in the middle). I’ve talked about that at length here.
I also talked about it here: in the ‘Seeds of Fascism‘ piece, which detailed Israel‘s dalliances with Far-Right groups (as well as clear Israeli links to things like the Front National, Geert Wilders, Tommy Robinson, etc): and how Israel’s current government seemed to have forged alliances with various traditionally anti-Semitic groups and parties and was actively stoking the right-wing ‘Populist’ fires.
Well, aside from the recent revelation of the Azov Batallion involving itself in an American group, it also emerged that Israel has been supplying weapons to the Ukrainian Neo-Nazis, the Azov Batallion in particular: to be clear, that’s Israel supplying arms to a Neo-Nazi militia that rides around with Nazi swastikas.
But, hey, apparently that’s where we’re at now.
Though, after the conclusions I was reluctantly drawn to in the ‘Seeds of Fascism’ article, none of that surprises me anymore.
Coming back to what the FBI indictment seemed to reveal: the idea that people from Azov Batallion were involved (via RAM), even in a minor way, with what went down in Charlottesville makes those events even more troubling.
That ‘Unite the Right’ rally got a ton of media coverage because of how much it was made to resemble a Nazi rally: with torch-carrying processions, Nazi chants, slogans and salutes.
It also included ‘Alt-right’ figureheads and activists like the wealthy white supremacist Richard Spencer, as well as members of Nazi groups (brandishing Nazi flags) and members of the KKK, ‘Vanguard America and Identity Evropa, ‘the Southern nationalist League of the South’, the National Socialist Movement (Nazi); the Traditionalist Workers Party; and the supremely dumb-sounding ‘Fraternal Order of Alt Knights’.
That incident also apparently resulted in a car being driven into counter-protesters, resulting in one young woman’s death and injuries to dozens of others.
Some of these groups or brotherhoods might seem or sound silly: even cartoonish. But when members of something like the Azov Batallion start showing up to offer training or advice, it’s not funny.
And remember that, once upon a time, when cartoonish ‘mad preachers’ like Anjem Choudary and Omar Bakri Mohammed were radicalising young men and talking about establishing an Islamist ‘caliphate’ in the Middle East, most people treated them as joke figures with infeasible ambitions.
It was no longer a joke when ‘jihadis’ from virtually every European country were pouring into Syria and Iraq and all the beheading and barbarity started.
If groups like the Azov Batallion – who’ve already been involving in beheadings – are able to spread their ‘training’ and their methods to other white-supremacist groups elsewhere (or to join up with other groups), some of these presently joke figures might not be so funny anymore.
Read more: ‘The Race War & the Charlottesville Unrest‘, ‘The Ukraine Mercenaries, the Comedy Passports and the Woman from Zaphorozia‘, ‘Islamist Extremists & White Supremacists – The Civil War & Planned Societal Breakdown‘, ‘The Chemnitz False-Flag & the Crisis in Germany‘, ‘The Global Far-Right Glories in the Murder of Jo Cox‘…