Growing up in the 1960s, the Rev. Roger Dixon heard the warnings every time the William Penn High School football team was set to play Cedar Cliff. “The older men used to say ‘don’t get caught up there after the game. You might get into trouble. They might try to arrest you,’” recalls Dixon, who is Black and graduated from William Penn in 1966. Rafiyqa Muhammad tells of a similar experience growing up in Harrisburg. “Our parents always told us about certain areas,” she said. “Our father would tell us don’t go here, don’t go there. Do not go over to the West Shore. I remember we would drive in and drive out. There was no going over and hanging out.”
A MintPress investigation has found that a host of Western government officials, intelligence agents and assets have been directly involved in intimate collaboration with Nazi groups and individuals since at least 2014. This has included involvement in creating and operating the Nazi-run kill list in Ukraine, which MintPress revealed recently. While Western media have belatedly been forced to concede that there are Nazi influences in Ukraine, many journalists have insisted that the visible fascist patches on uniforms are only there to troll Russians and that they are insignificant and a gift to Russian propaganda.
Sacramento, California - Clashes broke out inside the Sacramento City Council chambers on May 23rd, as angry community members chanted, held banners, and shut down a small group of neo-Nazis who threw up Hitler salutes and attempted to address the council. The group of white supremacists was led by Ryan Messano of the bay area, who made headlines last week for attending a previous city council meeting, spewing racist and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Writing on the neo-Nazi friendly social media platform Gab, Messano gloated, “I’ve commented 20+ times under my name. None of the Leftists have put it together.”
On April 24th 2023, two French neo-Nazis were jailed for 15 months, nine of which were suspended, for possessing assault rifle ammunition. The pair had returned to Paris from Ukraine two days earlier, and were arrested at customs. Both were on the radar of French domestic spying agency DGSI, which held files on them for endangering state security. According to the French outlet Mediapart, one was a veteran of Chasseurs Alpins (Alpine Hunters), France’s elite mountain infantry force. He was thrown out of the military after his neo-Nazi sympathies were exposed online. The other is a notorious local far-right activist.
The accuracy of this commentary’s title is borne out by statements made and actions taken by the Ukrainians themselves. In 2020 millions of people around the world protested against racism in the wake of the police murder of George Floyd. Ukrainians made it clear that they were not to be included amongst that mass of humanity and in fact expressed their support for white supremacy. In June 2020, a group of football fans at a match in Ukraine unfurled a banner reading, “Free Derek Chauvin .” Chauvin is the man who murdered George Floyd. Not to be outdone, members of the neo-Nazi group Nazionalny Sprotyv, National Resistance, marched on October 14, 2020 with a banner that made the point very clear.
On January 1, 2023, hours after the Ukrainian armed forces engaged in an airstrike on a Russian military base that led to the death of at least 89 Russian soldiers—most of them raw recruits—the Ukrainian parliament, army leadership and local officials celebrated the 114th anniversary of Stepan Bandera, the figurehead of Ukrainian fascism. Bandera advocated the establishment of an “ethnically pure” Ukrainian state in alliance first with German and then with US imperialism. He personally participated in multiple targeted political assassinations of Polish politicians in the 1930s. During World War II, the Bandera-led Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and its paramilitary wing, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), participated in the Nazi-led genocide of hundreds of thousands of Jews in what is now Ukraine and Poland; in 1943-44, the OUN-B and UPA engaged in massacres of an estimated 70,000 to 100,000 Poles.
The U.S. relationship with Ukrainian fascists began after the Second World War. During the war, units of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN-B) took part in the Holocaust, killing at least 100,000 Jews and Poles. Mykola Lebed, a top aide to Stepan Bandera, the leader of the fascist OUN-B, was recruited by the C.I.A. after the war, according to a 2010 study by the U.S. National Archives. The government study said, “Bandera’s wing (OUN/B) was a militant fascist organization.” Bandera’s closest deputy, Yaroslav Stetsko, said: ““I…fully appreciate the undeniably harmful and hostile role of the Jews, who are helping Moscow to enslave Ukraine…. I therefore support the destruction of the Jews and the expedience of bringing German methods of exterminating Jewry to Ukraine….”
The New York Times has found another neo-Nazi militia to fawn over in Ukraine. The Bratstvo battalion “gave access to the New York Times to report on two recent riverine operations,” which culminated in a piece (11/21/22) headlined “On the River at Night, Ambushing Russians.” Since the US-backed Maidan coup in 2014, establishment media have either minimized the far-right ideology that guides many Ukrainian nationalist detachments or ignored it completely. Anti-war outlets, including FAIR (1/28/22, 3/22/22), have repeatedly highlighted this dynamic—particularly regarding corporate media’s lionization of the Azov battalion, once widely recognized by Western media as a fascist militia, now sold to the public as a reformed far-right group that gallantly defends the sovereignty of a democratic Ukraine.
Italian police announced a series of raids against the neo-Nazi Order of Hagal organization. Accused of stockpiling weapons and planning terror attacks, the group has established operational ties to the Ukrainian Azov Battalion. Five members of an Italian neo-Nazi organization known as the “Order of Hagal” were arrested on November 15th while an additional member remains wanted by authorities. He happened to be in Ukraine, fighting Russian forces alongside the Azov Battalion, which has been formally integrated into the Ukrainian military. The “Hagal” members are accused of plotting terrorist attacks on civilian and police targets. A sixth member of the Hagal group, now considered a fugitive, is in Ukraine and embedded with the Azov Battalion, a neo-Nazi paramilitary group that has been incorporated into the Ukrainian National Guard.
This document came out of numerous discussions with anti-fascists across the country. There has been repeated concern among ourselves and our comrades about a culture of anti-fascist activism that views exposing fascists online as the end-all be-all of anti-fascist organizing. Online exposés are one tool of many that anti-fascists use to materially disrupt fascist organizing in our communities. An exposé of a Nazi by itself is meaningless if it does not have a material impact on that fascist, their organizing, or the communities they threaten. Here we address some common stumbling blocks and best practices for outing Nazis in a way that sustains our movements, protects our communities, and most importantly, materially impacts fascist organizing.
This September, a delegation of the Ukrainian neo-Nazi-led Azov movement arrived in the United States, at a time when myth making about the far-right network’s “depoliticization” had reached a fever pitch. By this time, the New York Times had ceased referring to Azov as “openly neo-Nazi,” and was referring to the ultra-nationalist organization as “celebrated.” Since news broke of Azov’s US tour, more information has come to light about the ultra-nationalist organization’s outreach in the country, including efforts by Azov to reverse Congress’ ban on supplying it with arms and training. The Azov delegation included three veterans of the regiment formerly holed up in the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol. They were led by Giorgi Kuparashvili, the only fighter not taken prisoner by the Russians.
The deployment of dozens of Members of the National Police, in coordination with a smaller group of neo-Nazi militants, occupied the surroundings of the Independence Park of Santo Domingo on Thursday to block the realization of an act of solidarity with the mobilizations in Haiti against imperialist interference. The event had been convened by the National Popular Coordinator, which brings together dozens of Dominican social organizations. Under police protection, neo-Nazis chanted slogans calling for the murder of "the traitors," a term by which they commonly refer to human rights defenders and left-wing activists. Since the previous day, neo-Nazis of the Old Dominican Order, a group that publicly vindicates Mussolini and Trujillo, as well as other groups had threatened the organizers of the act of solidarity, claiming that they were Haitians, and calling on their supporters to attend armed with sticks and stones to the Independence Park.
From 1978 (not ’79 as many believe), the administration of Jimmy Carter decided to “draw the Russians into the Afghan trap,” in the words of the President’s National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski. US intelligence called on its British counterparts to activate networks of Afghan fighters. New generations of extremists joined the fight. Aid, arms, and training poured into Afghanistan. Support increased following the Soviet invasion in December 1979. Throughout the 1980s, tens of thousands of jihadis from dozens of Muslim-majority countries were flown into the US, Britain, and Pakistan to receive training from the CIA, Green Berets, US Marines, and British SAS and MI6. The foreign extremists later rebranded themselves “al-Qaeda” and launched a series of spectacularly bloody attacks on strategically significant targets that provided justification for a global “war on terror” that continues to serve as ideological cover for contemporary US hegemony.
As the United States undergoes a national mourning process over a spate of mass shootings, American white nationalists with documented histories of violence are attaining combat experience with advanced US-made weapons in a foreign proxy war. That’s according to the Department of Homeland Security, which has been gathering intelligence on Americans who have joined the ranks of the more than 20,000 foreign volunteers in Ukraine. The FBI has indicted several American white nationalists associated with the Rise Above Movement after they trained with the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion and its civilian wing, the National Corps, in Kiev. But that was almost four years ago. Today, federal law enforcement has no idea how many US neo-Nazis are participating in the war in Ukraine, or what they are doing there.
Disinformation has become a central tool in the United States and Russia’s expanding information war. US officials have openly admitted to “using information as a weapon even when the confidence and accuracy of the information wasn’t high,” with corporate media eager to assist Washington in its strategy to “pre-empt and disrupt the Kremlin’s tactics, complicate its military campaign” (NBC, 4/6/22). In defense of the US narrative, corporate media have increasingly taken to branding realities inconvenient to US information goals as “disinformation” spread by Russia or its proxies. The New York Times (1/25/22) reported that Russian disinformation doesn’t only take the form of patently false assertions, but also those which are “true but tangential to current events”—a convenient definition, in that it allows accurate facts to be dismissed as “disinformation.”