Лиля Никон – Жертва Украинского Обстрела

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Who Goes to an Azov Battalion Charity Concert? Here’s 10

Originally published on http://www.grahamwphillips.com on 1st July 2014… (see below) 

The Azov Battalion was formed on May 5th, 4 days later they were involved in still one of the most shocking actions of this Ukraine crisis, the Mariupol massacre. They were the battalion sent out of the Mariupol police hq first, into the streets, shooting, killing unarmed civilians. Since then, involvement in further atrocities across the former east of Ukraine has had them labelled ‘men in black’ (their uniform is all black, unmarked), even a ‘death squad‘. Part of their funding reportedly comes from oligarch Igor Kolomoisky. How many of them are there? Some have reported 70, but the group itself are secretive about exact numbers, with speculation it could be in the hundreds. Their official Facebook page has over 8000 ‘likes’.

Azov concert posterIn addition to Kolomoisky, the unit is part funded by the Ukrainian government and now, as it transpires, part funded by a charity concert taking place in Kharkov on July 13th, comprising heavy and death metal acts, with tickets on sale for 150 UAH (a bit under $13 – left).

The axes are clear, the sign superimposed over the Ukrainian colours of the shield, the Wolfsangel, a symbol in common use among neo-Nazi groups. Here from the Anti-Defamation League website

Along with many other runic symbols, Nazi Germany appropriated the Wolfsangel. It appeared as part of the divisional insignia of several Waffen-SS units, including the notorious 2nd SS “Das Reich” Panzer Division. As a result, it became a symbol of choice for neo-Nazis in Europe and the United States.

So, who would go to this concert? Well, 172 are confirmed, 236 maybes, let’s have a look at 10 – (all photos taken from their Vkontakte profiles, links provided so you can check yourself) –

>Лютый Слобожанин – Luti Slobozhanin is going. Luti translates from Russian as ‘fierce’, by the way. This is his profile photo –

Vkontakte Lutin

Fairly ordinary, albeit with weapons. Then in his photos this below, which says, in Ukrainian, Mariupol Today, Sevastopol Tomorrow, presumably a reference to the Mariupol massacre of May 9th and that supposedly representing the ‘taking back’ of the city for the Ukrainian side, with Sevastopol in Crimea they believe to come –

Vkontakte Lutin2

Luti would seem to be a member of Azov himself, with many personal style photos of the battalion posted –

Lutin4
Azov Battalion1

And this one, which says ‘There was never an order to disband the UPA‘. The UPA being the notorious Ukrainian Insurgent Army, who collaborated with the Nazis in World War Two. Actually, their purges of Jews and Poles in west Ukraine shocked even the Nazis at their brutality. 

Vkontakte Lutin3
The Wolfsangel is there in his pictures, on a black helmet against the Ukrainian flag –

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His profile goes on, with swastikas –

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A photo in honour of Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik

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And a poster declaring ‘Legalize Murder’, something which clearly resonates with an Azov battalion who opened fire on unarmed civilians in Mariupol on May 9th.

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Luti will be there at the event, which advertises tickets on sale at shops across Kharkov, Ukraine’s second largest city.

Helga Wise has a profile photo of an avatar holding a molotov cocktail against the Ukrainian flag. She also identifies herself as a member of far-right extremist group the Pravy Sektor. She’s going –

Azov supporter Ukraine
There’s Злая Щука, Zlaya Shuka, which translates something like ‘wicked pike’. He’s gone for a Nazi war medal on his profile page –
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Zlaya will be there on the 13th, at Club Zhara, near the city’s Metalist football stadium.
There’s Большой Ребёнок – Bolshoi Rebenok – translates as big child. The faces are blurred on an otherwise standard profile photos of him and his friends in front of the Ukrainian flag –
Bolshoi rebenok
Then, in his photos, among copious other extremist images, this –
VK Nazi skulls
Создан Творить, Sozdan Tvorit, translates as ‘created to create’ has himself bearing the Wolfsangel as his profile photo –

Azov supporter2

He’s blacked out his own eyes in most his photos, those not, such as this, spraying a Wolfsangel onto a wall, he (presumably) is balaclava-d –

Azov supporter5

Here Sozdan is giving out a Nazi salute on top of a building –

Azov supporter3

And, among a litany of himself in combat images, here he is kicking a drawing of a Star of David

Azov supporter4

There’s Андрій Нахтігаль, Andrei Nachtigall – the Nachtigall not his real name rather the name of the Ukrainian Nachtigall battalion which collaborated with the Nazis in WWII. Here’s his profile –


Azov Nazi 2
With many photos of Andrei in fatigues and military equipment, he’s clearly a trained soldier, from Ternopil in the west of Ukraine. And numerous photos of neo-Nazi party Svoboda indicate an affiliation there too –
Azov Nazi 3
But Andrei’s main obsession is apparent even from a quick overview of his photos. Hitler and the Nazis. There’s a photo marking Hitler’s birthday –
Azov Nazi
One declaring ‘I want this again’ with a photo of Hitler, and a line about rolling on tanks throwing out ‘sieg heils’ –

Azov Nazi1

But it can’t all be Hitler, Andrei likes the ladies too. As long as the ladies like Hitler.

Azov Nazi porn

Some senior figures too, Ігор Криворучко, Igor Krivoruchko, head of the Social National Assembly – an umbrella organisation encompassing the most extreme far-right groups in Ukraine, from which the Pravy Sektor was born last year.
Nazi Azov2
Nazi Azov
The Wolfsangel again –
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You’ll find Igor there, enjoying LIMITED MUTANTER (Death Metal), among others. And as for the others going, there are the above and those like them, but there are many who look just like normal Ukrainians –

Лёля Радченко, Lelya Radchenko

Azov concert guy

Валерия Жежеленко, Valeriya Zhezhelenko
Azov concert girl
Алексей Кузнецов, Aleksiy Kutznetzov
Azov concert guy1

The above are just 10 who will be cheering on, attendance set to swell to well above 200, perhaps 300 on a night which will surely spawn countless Vkontakte photos of men who’ve carried out the murder of civilians being feted as stars. Any sum of money raised by the concert, maximum a few thousand dollars, will be a drop in the ocean in keeping the fully-equipped military unit they are rolling, so the event organised by a group called the ‘eastern brotherhood‘ is really just a chance for all their fans to congratulate their heroes.

The men who take their name from the Sea of Azov, claim they are ‘patriots of Ukraine‘, worship Nazi ideology. An official part of the Ukrainian military. A Ukrainian military endorsed by the EU, the US. By neo-Nazi Ukrainians. By normal Ukrainians. They will surely give the Azov battalion a big night on the 13th, before unleashing their men in black to bring further death to those in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

Azov Battalion Ukraine

 

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Neo-Nazi Euromaidan

Originally published on http://www.grahamwphillips.com, February 16th 2014 (see below)

Another rally goes on (the 11th, no less) in Kiev today, with opposition ‘leader’ (or at least the man keeping the seat warm until Yulia is released), Yatsenyuk, having stated ominously: “We give parliament one week to change the constitution, or there will be conflicts.”

Strange that this would seem to be the fellow the Americans regard as a real diplomat, good ole’ Yatz. But perhaps not so given his popularity is in general so low, he couldn’t even visit Kharkiv without getting doused in ‘brilliant green’, just about all Yatsenyuk can do is try to cash in on revolution-fervor with his playing to the barricades bravado. Those he presumably hopes to impress with his rhetoric, Svoboda, have just reneged on a pledge to vacate Kiev’s occupied City Hall.

I’m asked rather often by Ukrainians why I don’t support Euromaidan. The answer is quite simple – I have grandparents who served in World War Two, fighting fascism. In supporting Euromaidan, you give your backing to those they were fighting against. The fascism of Euromaidan is deeply entrenched, with an entirely clear lineage. With supporters of Batkivshyna UPAand UDAR fairly moderate, the move to the ‘ultra-violence’ which has become the defining feature of Euromaidan, has been powered by far-right parties.

A recent survey showed the typical Euromaidaner to be a youngish man with no higher education from the west of Ukraine. The three pillars of the west of Ukraine are its ‘capital’ Lviv, academic centre of Ternopil and the supposed seat of Ukrainian culture, Ivano-Frankivsk. And there’s something they’d really like you to think. Really. That their brave soldiers, of the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists, OUN (military wing the UPA) fought independently during World War Two, with whichever side gave them the best chance of an independent Ukrainian state.

All very romantic, romanticised. The only trouble with it, is it’s utterly disingenuous and totally untrue. Of all the Nazi collaboration during World War Two, the west of Ukraine in Lviv, Ternopil and Ivano-Frankivsk were perhaps the most slavish, bloodthirsty proponents. And it began right at the start of WWII, with both branches of the OUN confirming a commitment to working with the Stepan BanderaNazis, the OUN described by Germans as “a faithful German auxiliary” of 1939. In fairness, leader of OUN-M, Andriy Melnyk, was a rather dignified older fellow (near 50 at the time), who favoured a more moderate approach.

But the man of that moment was unquestionably Stepan Bandera (pictured left), then in his early-30s, operating proceedings from his Krakow base, Germany’s General Government, in Nazi-occupied Poland. His OUN-B faction were engaged in ‘ethnic cleansing’ of the west of Ukraine from the start of the war, with talks already underway into forming what would be German-serving battalions Nachtigall and Roland. The Germans themselves were shocked at the brutality of the western Ukrainians, as they attempted to eliminate the Poles and Jews from Lviv with everything down to metal poles, a pamphlet of the time proclaiming – “We will lay your heads at Hitler’s feet”.

When the Germans invaded Ukraine on June 22nd 1941, they were greeted by towns and cities in the west decked out to welcome them, Nuremburg style – (these Ivano Frankivsk) –

Nazi Ukraine28

Nazi Ukraine10

Nazi Ukraine9

As enormous crowds turned out –

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Nazi Ukraine11

Nazi Ukraine13

Ukrainian officials fell over themselves to welcome Nazi officers –

Nazi Ukraine4

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Ukrainian battalions ready to serve were out on parade with their own fascist symbol of two sig runes alongside the Nazi swastika –

Nazi Ukraine17

Nazi Ukraine2

Nazi Ukraine6

Pageants of traditional Ukrainian folk cultures were laid on –

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Nazi Ukraine1

Nor is this the past, this is the present. The most popular political party by far in Lviv (reportedly taking over 50% of the vote there), Ivano-Frankivsk and Ternopil is Svoboda, a party who have made Nazi-idolatry a central part of their platform –

– Yuriy Mykhalchyshyn, member of Svoboda’s Lviv City Council, maintains a blog called nachtigal88, the nachtigall a reference to the Nazi battalion formed in Ukraine, with the 88 a binary version of “Heil Hitler”. Mykhalchyshyn references Goebbels repeatedly as a hero, and has himself stated of Svoboda: “We are against diversity. Ukraine is for Ukrainians.”

Svoboda Bandera– In 2011, Svoboda instigated the change in name of a street formerly known as Peace Street, in the village of Razliv near Lviv, to Nachtigall Street, honouring the Ukrainian Nazi unit. 

– Svoboda shares the Nazi values of racial and sexual ‘purity’. Senior member Yuriy Syrotiuk declared he was unhappy about black singer Gaitana representing Ukraine in the Eurovision song contest, citing that she “is not an organic representative of the Ukrainian culture”, while the group has attacked homosexual marches, describing them as ‘deviants’ and ‘perverts’. 

– Svoboda have championed the veneration of Nazi-collaborator Stepan Bandera as a national hero, while leader Oleg Tyagnibok has become infamous for anti-Semitic statements. His anti-Semitism saw him dismissed from parliament in 2004, yet in 2005 he co-signed a letter to President Yushchenko calling for an investigation into the “criminal activities of organized Jewry in Ukraine.”

And this is really just getting started. Any Ukraine under Svoboda, as per their policy, would see violent persecution of minority groups, even the over half the country who speak Russian, with Svoboda seeking to criminalize that language (despite senior member Iryna Farion having once been a member of the Communist Party, something she rather hilariously denies).

So if you want to know who’s fighting for Euromaidan today, in many cases it’s the grandchildren of these western Ukrainians –

Ukraine

Nazi Ukraine25

Nazi Ukraine15Nazi Ukraine8

These people –

Nazi Ukraine today

I took this one down on Maidan, the young man in yellow hiding his face before throwing a Nazi salute when asked about their politics. In the background is the original Svoboda logo, the Wolfsangel, inextricably connected with Nazi symbolism – Svoboda was originally called the Social-National Party of Ukraine (see what they did there?) –

Euromaidan (2)

Perhaps the real worry should be, though, that Svoboda are simply not far enough right for many down on Euromaidan. For those who feel Svoboda are just a bit moderate, there’s Spilna Sprava – a clever name because what it supposedly means is ‘common cause’, while the initials spell ‘SS’. They have openly stated their aim is instigating civil war in Ukraine, and the group clearly like this photo, as it’s posted more than once on their Vkontakte page –

Spilna Sprava

The caption ‘only together are we strong’. Guns, of course also referenced by Pravy Sektor leader Dmitro Yarosh –

In his interview with TIME, Yarosh, whose militant brand of nationalism rejects all foreign influence over Ukrainian affairs, revealed for the first time that Pravy Sektor has amassed a lethal arsenal of weapons. He declined to say exactly how many guns they have. “It is enough,” he says, “to defend all of Ukraine from the internal occupiers” — by which he means the ruling government — and to carry on the revolution if negotiations with that government break down.

And indeed, young men down on Maidan are patrolling the streets openly brandishing firearms (highly-trained Afghan veterans have long been a part of Euromaidan), with beatings of anyone who disagrees becoming ever more savage.

Euromaidan gunEuromaidan gun1

(Photos courtCouple of words parsed – esy of here – http://postum-main.livejournal.com/462141.html)

Their grandparents would be proud if they could see them, they too fought for fascism in Ukraine. Just like today, they also managed to fool a lot of Ukrainians into believing they were something other than Nazis.

Couple of words parsed – 

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Краматорск, Каким Я Его Помню – Фото

Вчера я прочитал что Краматорчанки Требуют Отменить Мобилизацию.

Я начал вспоминать Краматорск – провел много время там Апрель и Май 2014 – как это было. Вот фото – следующее будет видео.

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Святослав Вакарчук – кто он? действительно…

Первоначально опубликовано на http://www.grahamwphillips.com – 3 января 2014

1SlavikВакарчук занимает уникальное место в современной украинской культуре. Он здесь безусловно первая звезда, и не только как звезда шоу-бизнеса, но и как человек с активной гражданской позицией. Его значимость в украине нельзя сравнить со звездой в других странах – здесь он больше король, чем звезда. Я уважаю его за хорошее образование (он закончил факультет физико-математических наук Львовского университета) и его вклад в шоу-бизнес – он ведь не только звезда в Украине, но и на всём постсоветском пространстве.

Vakarchuk Orange

‘Слава’ играл действительно большую роль в Оранжевой Революции – стоял на Майдане все это время и поддерживал ее сторонников. Он также много сделал для благотворительности. Вот сейчас ему 38 лет, и в следующем году будет 20 лет “Океану Эльзы“. Мне выпал шанс познакомится с Вакарчуком лично через нащего общего знакомого в Киеве, где мы однажды вместе провели вечер в пабе.

До этого я был на паре его концертов, однако через несколько минут общения мне стало ясно, что Вакарчук далеко не такой, каким я видел его на сцене, национальный патриот Украины. У него очевидно есть что-то от “звездной болезни”, чему я не был уж очень и удивлен. Vakarchuk1
Фактически, даже в период его, в последствии неудачной, депутатской деятельности, менее чем года, он вёл себя так, как будто Верховная Рада была своего рода концертной площадкой – даже иногда одевал солнцезащитные очки.

Общаясь с ним, мне конечно было интересно узнать его мнение об истории и политике, он же имеет репутацию эксперта.

Он со своей стороны, если о чем и хотел говорить, так это про девушек, как он стал звездой, других звездах, которых он знает, и в общем, как роскошно он живёт. Последнее конечно правда, в стране где заработать в шоу-бизнесе для многих практически невозможно, Вакарчук действительно богатый парень. К тому времени он уже заработал более 40 миллионов долларов.

И вот снова, спустя 9 лет после Оранжевой Революции, Вакарчук играет большую роль, но уже не ту,что раньше. Сейчас он будет прогуливаться по майдану, только если его лицо будет на ТВ. Дал все таки концерт 14го декабря, но только на сцене и только один час, хотя говорил что остается на всю Vakarchuk3ночь. Он даже не написал ни одной новой песни для Евромайдана – просто повторил популярную в свое время Вставай. Хотя читая его твиттер, можно подумать что он прямо таки герой баррикад. В 2004 может это было и так, но в 2013 Вакарчук геройствует сидя где-то в одном его домов. Интересна ли ему Украина в Европе, более чем продажа билетов на 20-летие Океана Эльзы? Сомнительно.

А после концерта на Майдане, точно так же, как и после того вечера в пабе, он умчится в своём Рендже Ровере.Я долго терпел этот его PR в Твиттере, но когда это становится слишком – вот что происходит.

Vakarchuk (1)
Но я тут не обижаюсь – это Вакарчук, он конечно же может делать так, как он хочет, ведь он – Звезда. Как Шекспир сказал – вес мир это сцена. И для Вакарчука, Евромайдан – просто очередной концерт.

Vakarchuk Euromaidan

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The Ghosts of Vozdvyzhenka


Originally published January 3rd 2014 on http://www.grahamwphillips.com (see below). By Graham

vozdvyzhenka-5There’s a certain irony to the hundreds either camped out on Maidan, or taking shelter in one of the occupied municipal buildings in Kiev. They lie, shiver as temperatures dip, just a couple of kilometres away from perhaps the prime residential development in all Ukraine. And it’s almost completely empty – it could accommodate their number many times over. Yet, as with so much about the place, the numbers for the 42-acre Vozdvyzhenka development have just never added up.

The idea for the brightly-coloured complex came at the start of the new century, with Ukraine booming, and talk it could even eclipse the likes of Latvia and Estonia as a new, post-Soviet powerhouse. The figures looked rosy indeed – growth of over 5% in 2002, 9.6% in 2003, shooting up to just over 12% in 2004, at which time Vozdvyzhenka construction was powering ahead, having begun in 2001. And so it was, the utopian urban enclave was to provide 400 luxury apartments and houses for the wealthy of Ukraine, and those outsiders wanting a piece of the action.

But to read about it now without the suffix, or prefix, ‘ghost town‘ is rare. It’s a ghost town which finds itself haunted by those young ladies of Kiev ever-keen for a photo-session backdrop –
Vozdvyzhenka6 Ukraine girl (1) Ukraine girl (3) Vozdvyzhenka 16

The background of the pleasing pictures is more than just a kind of elegant, upmarket Balamory, it’s a national Tymoshenko Yushchenko 2disaster. Yushchenko and Tymoshenko took over as the new Orange leaders, at the start of 2005, but despite all the enthusiasm at their coming, big business stalled investment in the country as they waited to see whether a raft of policy proposals, including mass re-nationalising, would come to pass. The pair’s greenness in managing a national economy, and an internecine relationship between the pair, saw growth down to 2.7% in 2005.

Still, Vozdvyzhenka continued to go up, with investors confident too much was in Ukraine’s favour for it to be down for long. They were right. Ukraine rebounded to over 7% growth in 2006, near 8% in 2007. But, that was it, as the global credit crisis hit, the Orange Revolution fell apart pulling Ukraine to the very abyss. Growth remained positive in 2008, as Vozdvyzhenka neared completion, but 2009 saw a plunge of 15%, mass Vozdvyzhenka 10unemployment, bankruptcy, and crippling currency devaluation. Investors and potential buyers fled from the £85m ‘urban village’, as they did from all major construction projects – work at the nearby Mirax Plaza, supposed to be Ukraine’s tallest skyscraper at around 200 metres, stopped overnight in early 2009, at 11 floors.

The value of the Vozdvyzhenka apartments fell from £500,000-plus for 120 sq metres, to, in the dog days of 2009, little more than £100,000. Development company Kievgorstroy-1 found itself having gone from looking at making a serious sum, to staring down the barrel of colossal losses. Their promotional material had once proclaimed:

Group DCH and company “Kievgorstroy-1” is realizing project of high-class residential district “Vozdvizhenka” in historical part of Kiev (district Gonchari-Kozhemaky), limited by streets Vozdvizhenskaya, Goncharnaya, Kozhematskaya and Degtarnaya.

High-class complex class deluxe is suppose construction of cottages and houses from 3 to 5-storey in architecture style the end of XIX century. In separate standing buildings will be fitness center, bank department, cigar-club, children club, billiard, restaurants and etc.

Till (sic – should be by) the end of 2008 investors are planning to finish construction of the first rate of project, including Vozdvizhenskaya, Goncharnaya, and part of Kozhematskaya. The full placing in commission of the district is planned on 2012.

>Perhaps feel most sorry, if you will, for those who did pay half a million plus for the apartments, many of them foreign investors sold on the idea their properties would soon be worth a million plus, never even moved in.

But then, the area always has been an anomaly. Could there even be a curse of Vozdvyzhenka? No one even knows when the area itself began. There are reports the founding of the area dates back to I AD, and Roman times, yet numerous excavations have failed to find traces of dwelling dating to that time. The first known Vozdvyzhenkasettlements date to 1150, less than a century before Kiev was near completely destroyed, in 1240 by the Mongol invasion of Rus.

As Kiev recovered, and rebuilt, Vozdvyzhenka became a mecca for artisans – potters, blacksmiths, stonemasons , furriers. Streets were named after the trades and materials – Degtyarnaya, oil tar, Kozhemyatskaya, from fur, Goncharnaya – pottery.

The beginning of the 16th century saw handicraft shops springing up, masters and traders settling there. Its future seemed assured, as Kiev headed into the 17th century as a major city in the Tsardom of Russia. Yet, yet, many of the structures had been erected quickly, with little regard to the unique topography of the area, iVozdvyzhenka 3n the depression of a valley as it is. When a fire in the early 19th century wiped out much of the construction there, no one could agree on how best to cultivate the complicated tract of land.

The name Vozdvyzhenka, incidentally, means something like ‘exaltation’ in English, and it comes from the Holy Cross Church constructed in nearby Podol in the late 18th century. But as Podol boomed, Vozdvyzhenka fell into wasteland in the 19th century.

You could argue these days it’s a kind of beautiful wasteland of unchecked optimism. And, in a country which so many marriages are based on just that (a Research & Branding Group survey showed 79% of Ukrainians getting married following their emotions, while only 15% were guided by ‘reasonable motives’), perhaps appropriate Vozdvyzhenka finds itself so oft-used for wedding photos –Vozdvyzhenka 24 Vozdvyzhenka 19 Vozdvyzhenka 21
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