moon of alabama

Media Hide Fascist Ideology Of Ukrainian Militia Which Visit Congress
Moon of Alabama, Oct 5 2022

‘Western’ media continue to denazify Ukraine by pretending that the Nazi formations in that country, which they had long decried, are now a harmless collection of celebrities. One could follow those changes along various pieces in the NYT. On Mar 15 2019:

On his flak jacket was a symbol commonly used by the Azov Battalion, a Ukrainian neo-Nazi paramilitary organization.

On Feb 11 2020:

Defenders of the Ukrainian Azov Battalion, which the FBI calls “a paramilitary unit” notorious for its “association with neo-Nazi ideology,” accuse us of being part of a Kremlin campaign to “demonize” the group.

On Mar 17 2022:

Facebook last week said it was making an exception to its anti-extremism policies to allow praise for Ukraine’s far-right Azov Battalion military unit, “strictly in the context of defending Ukraine, or in their role as part of the Ukraine National Guard.”

On Apr 29 2022:

These scenes are from videos shared online in recent days by the Azov regiment, a unit in the Ukrainian military, which says they were taken in the mazelike bunkers beneath the sprawling Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, Ukraine.

As I had written previously:

What was once “a Ukrainian neo-Nazi paramilitary organization” which even the FBI said is notorious for its “association with neo-Nazi ideology” was first relabeled as merely “far right” before it became a normal “unit in the Ukrainian military.”

Today the NYT topped that evolution by turning a Ukrainian government press release into a tear-dripping story about the reunion of freed Azov losers with their families:

Released Azov commanders have an emotional reunion with family members in Turkey
NYT, Oct 4 2022

Commanders of Ukraine’s celebrated Azov Battalion have held an emotional reunion with their families in Turkey, Ukrainian officials said, honoring the fighters released from Russian confinement last month as part of the largest prisoner swap since the start of the war. Among the 215 Ukrainian prisoners of war released in the exchange were 108 members of the Azov Battalion. The group’s defense of the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, the southern port city decimated by Russian forces in the first months of the war, has become a powerful symbol of the suffering inflicted by Russia and the resistance mounted by Ukraine. Under the terms of the swap, the commanders of the battalion must remain in Turkey, which brokered the exchange, until the war ends. After months of waiting, they were reunited with family members on Monday, according to a statement from the office of President Zelensky and photographs distributed by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Service. Ukraine’s first lady, Olena Zelenska, who attended the meeting, said in a post on Telegram: “There are many emotions. The road to this moment was long and difficult. Finally they were able to hug. Ms Zelenska said she gave the Azov Battalion members “thanks from Ukraine, from the president and all the people for whom they are fighting.”

How can anyone working at the NYT not be ashamed of this whitewash of a deeply fascist organization. The NYT is far from the only ‘western’ media doing this. I was easy to find some 40 stories in mainstream media which between 2014 and Apr 2022 which critically discussed the ‘controversial’ Nazi ideology of Azov and other Ukrainian militia. Then the coverage abruptly changed turning those fascist groups into harmless patriots. Others have done similar analyses:

In order to get a better sense of how Canadian media’s approach to reporting on the Azov Regiment (formerly the Azov Battalion) has changed over the years, we searched for every mention of the group in the archives of the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, and National Post. We also searched through the CBC News website, as well as some of their broadcasts. All of the 90 unique mentions we found (as of Aug 10) were compiled, with the description of Azov provided in said article or broadcast being noted for comparison. We found that these news outlets (and the wire services much of their coverage relied upon) went from directly acknowledging Azov’s neo-Nazi ideology to suggesting that the group is merely “controversial” or has a “checkered past.” Some reports included no qualifiers at all, and simply presented the group as just another Ukrainian military unit fighting against Russia.

It is not just the media but also politicians who have done a U-turn from condemning Azov and other Nazi groups to welcoming them as guests in Washington:

Congress bans arms to Ukraine militia linked to neo-Nazis
The Hill, Mar 27 2028

A little-noticed provision in the 2,232-page government spending bill passed last week bans US arms from going to a controversial ultranationalist militia in Ukraine that has openly accepted neo-Nazis into its ranks. House-passed spending bills for the past three years have included a ban on US aid to Ukraine from going to the Azov Battalion, but the provision was stripped out before final passage each year. This year, though, the $1.3t omnibus spending bill signed into law last week stipulates that “none of the funds made available by this act may be used to provide arms, training or other assistance to the Azov Battalion.” Rep Ro Khanna (D-Cal), an outspoken critic of providing lethal aid to Ukraine, said in a statement to The Hill on Tuesday: “White supremacy and neo-Nazism are unacceptable and have no place in our world. I am very pleased that the recently passed omnibus prevents the US from providing arms and training assistance to the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion fighting in Ukraine.”

A year later that language was again stripped from the omnibus spending bill. Three years on and the very same Nazis are greeted by prominent members of Congress:

California Democrat Rep Adam Schiff, who pushed the Trump-Russia hoax as hard as anyone, invited neo-Nazis serving in Ukraine’s Azov Battalion to the US Capitol and met with them on Monday. Sean Adl-Tabatabai noted in a Sep 27 News Punch analysis: “The American Left is openly aligning itself with Nazis while painting its domestic political opposition as Nazis who present a danger to democracy.” How quickly they seem to forget. Just three years ago, 40 US senators signed a letter demanding that the Azov Battalion be added to a list of terrorist organizations. When it was reported that the Azov Battalion was in the thick of the fight against Russia’s invasion this year, however, Democrats and their legacy media allies treated them more as heroes than terrorists, critics say. During their visit, the Ukrainian soldiers reportedly thanked the US Congress for the billions in aid it has approved thus far and then asked for more.

There is whole series of pictures of Democrat congressmen and senators meeting such groups posted by Daria Kaleniuk, the assistant director of a Ukrainian activist group called Anti-Corruption Action Centre. The Anti-Corruption Action Center is a US government-financed NGO in Kiev. Together with Ukraine’s controversial National Anti-corruption Bureau it is a political enforcer which accuses anyone in Ukraine of ‘corruption’ as soon as they divert from the US-dictated line. Back in July it even took on Zelensky:

Many political experts and anti-corruption activists viewed the removal of Ivan Bakanov, head of Ukraine’s state intelligence service, the SBU, and Iryna Venediktova, the country’s prosecutor general, by presidential decree as Zelensky taking advantage of extraordinary wartime authority to consolidate his own power. Tetiana Shevchuk, a lawyer and activist at the Kyiv-based Anti-Corruption Action Center, said in an interview: “It’s not a move to do the right thing. It’s a move to gain more control over our top law enforcement bodies.”

The US-financed Anti-Corruption Action Center is now promoting the visits of fascists to the center of US power. Democrats are welcoming them. Their hate of anything Russia allows them to ally with even the worst people one can think of while mainstream media provide cover for those people’s hateful ideology.

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