Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky has made an uneasy peace with ‘ultranationalist’ and neo-Nazi militias making war on the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine, peopled primarily by Russians. He’s also threatened to renege on the Budapest Agreement and reinstate Ukraine as a nuclear power. Any wonder why Putin is nervous? From Moon of Alabama at moonofalabama.org:
Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism states:
Lambert and I both find this is the worst informational environment either of us have faced, orders of magnitude worse than the war in Iraq, …
Dear patient readers,Lambert and I, and many readers, agree that Ukraine has prompted the worst informational environment ever. We hope readers will collaborate in mitigating the fog of war – both real fog and stage fog – in comments. None of us need more cheerleading and link-free repetition of memes; there are platforms for that.
I ask readers and commentators here to live by the same standard. There are too many comments now for me to read and police. Please notify me via email if there are certain trolls or offenders who deserve to be excluded from this site.
Now back to Ukraine and the big question: Why is Russia doing this?
At the Grayzone Alexander Rubinstein and Max Blumenthal have published a piece about Zelensky’s turn from the peacemaker he had promised to be before his election to an active supporter of the fascist ‘ultranational’ militia. They pin that turn to a frontline meeting between Zelensky and militia fighters in the fall of 2019:
In a face-to-face confrontation with militants from the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion who had launched a campaign to sabotage the peace initiative called “No to Capitulation,” Zelensky encountered a wall of obstinacy.
With appeals for disengagement from the frontlines firmly rejected, Zelensky melted downon camera. “I’m the president of this country. I’m 41 years old. I’m not a loser. I came to you and told you: remove the weapons,” Zelensky implored the fighters.
Once video of the stormy confrontation spread across Ukrainian social media channels, Zelensky became the target of an angry backlash.
Andriy Biletsky, the proudly fascist Azov Battalion leader who once pledged to “lead the white races of the world in a final crusade…against Semite-led Untermenschen”, vowed to bring thousands of fighters to Zolote if Zelensky pressed any further. Meanwhile, a parliamentarian from the party of former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko openly fantasized about Zelensky being blown to bits by a militant’s grenade.
Though Zelensky achieved a minor disengagement, the neo-Nazi paramilitaries escalated their “No Capitulation” campaign. And within months, fighting began to heat up again in Zolote, sparking a new cycle of violations of the Minsk Agreement.
By this point, Azov had been formally incorporated into the Ukrainian military and its street vigilante wing, known as the National Corps, was deployed across the country under the watch of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, and alongside the National Police. In December 2021, Zelensky would be seen delivering a “Hero of Ukraine” award to a leader of the fascistic Right Sector in a ceremony in Ukraine’s parliament.
That is all correct. But let me point out that death threats from the fascists to Zelensky were already made much earlier.