Rank Injustice, Hypocrisy in the UK – The Case of Ben Stimson and Chris Garrett

I’ve written, and made about this case extensively, and for some time. Now, with the imprisonment of Ben Stimson, and media exposure of that, it’s come to wider attention –

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4697734/Benjamin-Stimson-joined-pro-Russian-militia-jailed.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/british-man-pro-russian-forces-ukraine-jailed-terrorism-benjamin-stimson-a7842521.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-40612229

Interesting that here, the BBC didn’t mention one of the key reasons Ben was sent down, was the BBC’s framing of him – 

And in the BBC article, this quote –

Det Ch Supt Russ Jackson, head of the North West Counter-Terrorism Unit, said: “The images of him holding a rifle and wearing military clothing are deeply concerning.

“He has been jailed for the role he played in a violent conflict and I hope his conviction will send a message to all those who are even considering joining conflicts.”

‘Deeply concerning’. It’s interesting that no-one in UK authority finds Chris Garrett, from the Isle of Man, and his actions in the Ukraine conflict ‘deeply concerning’. Chris, joining a neo-Nazi battalion, and killing in its name, troubles no one in British officialdom. 

So, while Ben is now doing over 5 years in Strangeways prison, for, as even the police admit, effectively just posing with a weapon. Chris is over on Ukrainian territory, doing much more than posing with weapons. The fates of the 2 men contrast sharply –

It’s quite a staggering move by the UK. And here’s what it means – 

* The UK government views the Euromaidan-coup installed regime in Ukraine as so legitimate that it’s willing to take the extraordinary move of jailing a British man for effectively being an activist against it – taking no part in active conflict, as Ben did not.

* A man, in the case of Ben Stimson, effectively just posing with a gun – and actually Ben originally wanted to do humanitarian work in Donbass – is worse than a man, Chris Garrett (pictured), killing for a neo-Nazi battalion in Donbass.

* The BBC and the UK government can work in partnership to stitch up a British national, that can be exposed, and none of the British media will mention it.

It’s shocking hypocrisy, incredible injustice. And, I’m ashamed to admit, it’s the UK. 

Report, UK Citizen Chris Garrett: War Criminal

An Austrian man who fought for the Ukraine side in Donbass has been arrested in Poland, for war crimes committed in Donbass. However, a British man, Chris Garrett, has gone for more than 2 years unpunished, for offences just as bad. Here is a brief report, more to come soon. 

Name: Chris Garrett

AKA: Swampy

D.O.B: 1984

From: Isle of Man

Crime: Served with Ukraine’s neo-Nazi Azov battalion, responsible for mass war crimes in Donbass, from October 2014 to April 2015. Is now back serving for Ukraine in Donbass (see below).

Evidence:  His own testimony, in interview. ‘Chris Garrett, a 31-year-old British tree surgeon, knows what it’s like to shoot a man dead.’

Video of Garrett in Donbass: Mariupol after shelling, January 24th, 2015 –

Supporting video: My interview with Ben Stimson, British man arrested in the UK for serving with people’s militia in Donbass, despite never firing a shot in anger there –

Background to Garrett: (from Newsweek, April 2015)

His dream since the age of 12, when he first joined the Army Cadet Force—a voluntary youth organization set up by the British army and Ministry of Defense—was to be a soldier. At 16, he left school and enrolled in Britain’s Army Foundation College, which trains 16- and 17-year-olds to become future soldiers. While at the college, he suffered a serious physical attack, details of which Garrett prefers not to discuss. The assault prompted him to cut short his service and return home. He never achieved his goal of becoming a soldier. On December 29, 2003, Garrett attempted to rob a gas station and was subsequently convicted and imprisoned for 19 months. His criminal record ruined his chances of joining the British army or from getting private security work. An injury that shattered his left heel ruled out the French Foreign Legion—the French army’s legendary force made up of foreign nationals.

In 2008, he made his way to the border of Thailand and Myanmar to join the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), a rebel group whose goal is to establish an autonomous state in Myanmar for the ethnic Karen people. Garrett bounced between his home on Britain’s Isle of Man and Myanmar. He assisted with training, rebuilding projects and land mine clearance, but fighting wasn’t an option. Then, in August 2014, a friend in Ukraine, whom he had met online, suggested that he join the battalions there. “When I realized everything in Ukraine had kicked off,” Garrett says, “I thought, I’m in the right mindset; I might as well go.” He didn’t expect to be involved in fighting, but Garrett did think he could help with removing munitions.’

Current location: Believed to be Donbass again, as per this photo posted on April 22nd, on his own Facebook account.


His contact details: https://www.facebook.com/chris.garrett.16503

Just a Typical Ukrainian Soldier…

In the western media, we often ready about ‘brave’ Ukrainian soldiers, ‘defending their land from Russian invasion‘ etc etc. Yet, I know another side – due to my status as a ‘hate figure’ for some in Ukraine, because of their media’s campaign against me due to my work not matching their own version of events – Ukrainian soldiers not infrequently contact me, often through the ‘Russian Facebook’, Vkontakte.

This happened again just a few days ago, when a man called Ivan Oguta sent me some messages, asking for my phone number to ‘ball me out’ – 

Screenshot (1720)Ivan is a 23-year-old man,  his Vkontakte profile gives his hometown as Brest, as in Belarus, but it’s not definite he’s from there, and in any case he’s clearly serving in the Ukrainian army –

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Text in Ukrainian here, about a soldier’s life – 

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‘One country, one Ukraine’ – written here – 

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Lots of standard-style soldier snaps: 

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And then…

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Ivan clearly likes the ladies:

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And his friends:

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And his friends seem to share his own political views!

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And just in case there were any, any doubt of his affiliations, Ivan has posted these:

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Don’t just take my word for it by the way, click here to see for yourself.  And this is far, far from the first time I’ve written about neo-Nazism in the Ukrainain army, Ivan is far from an exception. And yet, the west just keeps on supporting Ukraine…

Mikael Skillt – Facts, Fiction and Frauds

Editor – Graham Phillips – I’ve written extensively about Mikael Skillt – you can read about him here, here and here. I was recently sent this article about Mikael Skillt, from a reliable source, name withheld for confidentiality reasons.

I’ve touched up grammar slightly on this article, added a few links. My comment on this article is that it’s clearly written with an agenda – as any article is – and this being to debunk the ‘legends / myths / misinformation’ around Mikael Skillt. It raises some interesting, challening points, and while Skillt was not consulted in this, he of course has his right to reply via his social media, comments here. 

Mike Skillt is the perfect redemption story in the post-coup Ukraine. A charismatic, articulate and Russophobic poster boy in a failed state desperately looking for hope and heroes to cling to. He has been featured in a multitude of Mikael Skilltpro-Kiev media, he has been embraced by the “credible” Newsweek, and on a daily basis he tweets about his achievements in the broken-down Ukrainian society.

Mike Skillt is everything the corrupt Ukrainian leaders – and their Western puppet-masters – could ever dream of. He is also a fraud.

There was always something different about Mike. He talked about murder and war crimes as if being in an action movie. But most soldiers who have seen war – its horrors and suffering – tend to be mostly silent and resigned. Mike also Mikael Skillt 1appeared to be somewhat out of control in his narcissistic and self-aggrandizing stories. His stories were not just dehumanizing the heroes of DPR/LPR, but himself too. Mike was a super-soldier, a Special Forces operator, elite and with an almost super human dimension to his self-proclaimed perfection. But, again, as time passed, and the stories grew into Herculean myths, things started to feel more and more wrong.

Looking closer into Mike Skillt’s past and present – using public records and public testimonials by other pro-Nazi soldiers in the Azov battalion – a totally different picture will materialize.

THE SWEDISH SNIPER THAT NEVER WAS

Public records show that The Swedish Sniper served 227 days of mandatory military service at the infantry regiment I21. His service period was among the shortest – read: exclusively for people deemed unfit by the pre-service tests by the Swedish state – and Mike’s role in the army was as motorcycle delivery boy. I21 has never had any sniper training, not one even remotely “elite” unit, or any
other way for Mike to become a sniper.

Mike’s service grade was X65 and that is one of the lowest a Swedish soldier can virtually get. For example this abysmal service grade would have made it impossible for Mike to, as he claims, “been offered to go on peacekeeping Mikael Skillt Azovmissions abroad”. His service record would per se disqualify him.

After a longer sojourn of unemployment, low-end jobs, state benefit programs and failed business attempts Mike went for the Swedish National Guard. However, verified by a number of Swedes, this has only the name in common with other many countries National Guards. It is basically “a bunch of drunk middle-aged men and naïve teens playing war games a few times a year”, according to our sources.

There is indeed a “sniper” education at the Swedish National Guard. But that is a voluntary weekend class. Whether or not Mike has actually gotten that training is not established in our investigation, but we will give him the benefit of the doubt. What is established, beyond any doubt, is that such courses can never – by any standard – be considered a real sniper education. The only path to becoming a sniper in any of Sweden’s armed forced is to serve in a rangers unit. Mike has never been close to any such service.

Mike Skillt did, during his time in the National Guard, compete as an amateur in the guardsmen’s different “sport shooting” competitions with various results. That being said, these competitions were mostly with the army’s standard assault rifle AK-4.

A “WAR HERO” DISCLOSED AND DISOWNED

Mikael Skillt AzovIn what appears as an attempt to escape his Swedish reality – debts, being dumped by a woman, and made a pariah by many of his old Nazi friends over financial disputes (all claims verified) – the Kiev after the anti-democratic coup became Mike’s destination. Almost instantly Mike started to search for the limelight, create stories and actively seek media’s attention.

Early April 2014, on the way to Kharkiv (with the neo-nazi Right Sector in order to overthrow the city’s democratically elected officials), Mike was arrested by the police. At his first of many Ukrainian – and international – media appearances he claimed to have “broken knees, broken ribs and a severe back injury” after hours of torture by the police. Let’s just say these serious and self-stated injuries were of the “Timoshenko” school of bullshit. Because a few days later he yet again appeared in media perfectly untouched.

Mikael SkilltDuring his time with the Azov battalion in the pro-Russian eastern Ukraine Mike did see combat. But a number of military professionals – snipers, special forces and regular infantry – are highly sceptical about the stories he loves to tell media. Many were just laughing tired and pointed out that he is overweight and most certainly physical unable to have executed the missions he claims.

Mike has frequently mentioned a kill shot at 1400 meters. That would put him in the – albeit ambiguous – Top 15 of longest kill shots ever. But the experts we have consulted highly doubt this after looking at what rifles Mike has posed with on his pictures. “Such a shot would be ballistically impossible”, one said. Mike himself, in an interview with the Dutch “The Post Online”, mentions using a Remington 700 for his 1400 meters kill shot. We have not been able to Google and find one verified account of a shot longer than approximately 1000 meters, plus minus 10 %, with that rifle (nevertheless bullets and charge).

In his large number of interviews the number of confirmed kills has also varied drastically. In the Dutch interview mentioned above he claims to have killed 20 people, in the Italian Corriere della Sera the number is up to “at least 150”… and for unknown reason the number of people he has killed tend to oscillate Mikael Skillt 1drastically from interview to interview. The snipers we have talked to find this behavior unexplainable, ridiculous and insulting. Not one believes Mike Skillt to be genuine.

This was exactly where our look into Mike’s Ukrainian journey would end. But then it came to our attention that his former friends and Nazis in Azov had disclosed and disowned him. The following information is verified and 100 % establish to be written by Carolus Lofroos (a Swedish-Finnish soldier in Azov with background in a rangers unit in Finland) and another soldier who served with Mike Skillt in Azov (even Mike himself verifies that in their public argument). It will leave you speechless and not only Mikael Skillt 2disgrace Mike, but Western media in general and their lazy “journalism”.

For years and years Mike wrote a large number of daily posts on the Swedish – and arguably pro-fascist – forum Flashback. In a thread aimed for veterans of the Ukrainian [sic!] war his stories amplified to absurdity. He was a special forced operator, he was in direct contact with military and political leaders, he had access to a plethora of classified information… and gradually he started to trash-talk the international soldiers in Azov more and more (at this point Mr. Skillt was relocated as instructor/administrator in Kiev).

Then one day all that changed. Almost immediately after this public disclosure and disgrace Mike stopped writing on the forum he written on for many years. Because his former brothers in arms wrote the truth about Mike.

“Because of the impossibility of ending Mike’s bullshitting, even after warnings, the group [Azov’s international soldiers in the unit by the front] will issue a full disclosure. We feel bad for doing this, but can’t see any other way to stop him [referring to his bullshit claims].”

“Mike hates the international group because he is not allowed back to any combat unit in Azov in general, and especially not the international group”

“During his time as leader, the group barely ever got any combat tasks. Later it became clear that Mike never wanted to be assigned any combat missions” […] “The only mission Mike gave us was a make-believe such, when he shot at his own Mikael Skillt 3civilian car, in order to claim for a journalist spetsnaz had attacked him.”

“Mike has not been part of liberating [sic!] neither Marinka nor Mariupol, says their group commander. He was always hiding in the background.”

“Retreating from Shyronkie, a guy close to losing his life swears to have seen Mike, in panic and alone, drive by in a car and leaving him and 3 more soldiers behind.”

“On leave in Kiev, Mike did not want to go back to Urzuf and found one reason after another” […] “After 3 weeks I went back by myself to Urzuf. The reason Mike wanted me to remain [in Kiev] was that he was broke and wanted to ‘borrow’ money.”

All quotes above are written by the alias “Henlos”. His real identity is not established, but throughout the conversation Mike himself proves to know this person and verifies him to be a legit soldier in Azov.

“He is way too horny on appearing important.”

“Skillt had lied massively what I could do down there [refers to the front] while waiting for him [who insisted on staying in Kiev].” […] “When Skilled arrived he held passionate speeches about how the international company would be structured. It should be an elite force within Azov yada-yada. But the truth is that Skillt is not a military commander.”

Mikael Skillt 4“His competence is on par with what to expect from a simple soldier and national guardsman. Skillt claimed to be a sniper and employed by the army. I am sure someone can obtain public records about that.”

“We underwent training structured by him sometimes, mostly garbage. If they were physically demanding Skillt usually took a car or just stayed at base sleeping.”

“What happened is that he took videos of shooting exercises and, I discovered later, posted on Twitter claiming it to be pictures of actual combat.”

“And Mike, what happened to the Facebook charity money you held? Our guys should get new fucking clothes? You claimed to have made approximately $1,200, but nothing ever arrived to our group. But I remember big restaurant bills you were generous with in Kiev.”

“[when we] helped pushing the enemy back from Mariupol and keeping them back, you were in Kiev and posted posing pictures, claiming to be behind enemy lines, on Twitter, pretending to be at war.” […] “During this time your claimed kill number increased from 20-30 to around 100. Without any participation in battle.”

All quotes above are from Carolus Loofros , verified and legit. More information about him here, in Swedish.

A MILLION TWEETS, A MILLION LIES

When realizing the depth of Mike’s lies and fraudulent claims we took a closer look at other claims of his. Given his obsession with Twitter and forums it was very easy – factually using public records – to find a complicated pattern of self-aggrandizing lies and misrepresentations.

Mikael Skillt 5We also discovered a track-record of violence and mental abuse (even towards women). HOWEVER since this information is impossible to verify, and may hurt relatives and innocent people, we have chosen to not disclose it.

There are however many highly questionable statements of superiority. Mike loves talking about himself and nurse his own myths:

  • Mike often claims to have lost large incomes, close to $80,000 annually, in Sweden. He also often states he was some sort of construction project manager working with billion dollar companies. Neither of this can be proven by public records. On the contrary, he has never had any income not substantially under the average Swedish income level. He has debts formally established by Sweden’s state debt collection agency and even to an enforced collection level stated by court (expropriation of wages, enforced seizure of possessions). His former nazi friends tell unanimously him to have taken welfare checks, undergone unemployment programs, and having worked as a mover (carrying sofas and tables for a small moving and transportation company).
  • For well over a year Mike has claimed to speak Russian. But only in writing. Never once on video or in live conversations.
  • Mike has also been very vocal about his excellent English and times abroad. Any native English speaker will find this laughable. His constant – for years! – inability to differ between “your”/”you’re” and “then”/”than” says enough. He Mikael Skillt 6may have a decent language and some idioms, but at the end of the day he is a Swede lacking linguistic fundamentals. If you have lived and worked in English, than [pun intended!] will never happen. Not even for a Swede!
  • When it comes to the “abroad” years and the “bank accounts in many countries” we cannot establish this by any public records. All we can see is that he lived most of his life in a small northern town, on very low incomes, and no true sign of times abroad can be found. He has not – and remember this is a guy who obsessive-compulsory post pictures of cats/food/shoes/himself like an insecure and anxiety-ridden teenage girl – posted any proof of these times abroad himself either.

NARCISSISTIC SOCIOPATHY AS A CAREER

During Mike’s Gatsby-esque journey to “fame” we also noted a few significant abnormalities in his behavior:

  • A constant need to be grandiose and important
  • Mikael Skillt 7(False) Stories about success, fame, connections with the elite of the society
  • Claims of always being superior: intelligence, language, alpha male, violence and physical abilities and so forth
  • Anger and rage when being confronted, or even in harmless discussions, and often a surrender to insults about opponents being “ugly” or “mentally challenged”
  • A willingness to hurt others, often strangers, in order to feel powerful and important

Fullscreen capture 03042016 171520.bmpIt did not feel quite normal, so we let a practising psychiatrist take a look at his twitter. A real diagnosis can obviously not be made, but – and we quote – “the person in question is expressing the classic signs of narcissistic sociopathy” and “the behavior appears engraved and established, possibly pathologically, by obsessive interaction in social media”.

Mike has basically made a career out of a possible mental condition. Lies, empathy-bereft behaviour and selfishness have taken him to a career in Ukraine. By his own words he is now aiming to become a politician and “fight against corruption”.

INCARNATION OF THE UKRAINIAN FAILURE

But this is not just the story about Mike. It is the story about Ukraine after the coup, because – ultimately – it was the failed state, its rabid anti-Russian media, lazy journalists in expensive hotel bars, and a spiritually destroyed society that
let Mike become this fraudulent hero.

In the modern Ukraine – corrupted, selfish and belied – the existence of characters like Mike is not just natural, but necessary to exist, due to the society’s many mortal wounds. Ukraine is attracting charlatans, con men, fraud merchants, and selfish decadence. All these people prey on Ukraine and their Mikael Skillt 8“fortune” is made of the million innocent Ukrainians’ suffering.

Mike Skillt is the incarnation of the Ukrainian failure.

A CHALLENGE TO NEWSWEEK AND OTHER “SERIOUS” MEDIA

Finally, we would like to issue a challenge to Newsweek, the Daily Signal, Kyiv Post, Radio Free Europe, and all other propaganda media whom have glorified Mike Skillt:

Prove us wrong! Prove us wrong or make formal apologies for published misinformation!

We have copies of public records. We know about his real military service in Sweden. We have the tax reports, we have the debt history, and we have credible statements from impartial sources. Because we did our research and we checked the facts critically… something you never did!

The Donbass Truth Committee

The UK Gets Set to Welcome Ukrainian Neo-Nazi Andriy Parubiy

Graham Phillips

Back in 2009, far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders was initially banned from entering the UK, due to his views. That ban was rescinded on appeal, Wilders was admitted. But the principle, supposedly, that the UK doesn’t allow known, high Andriy Parubiy1profile exponents of far-right, ultra-national, politics which could be termed ‘fascist’ or ‘neo-Nazi’ to cross its borders.

Fast forward 6 years, and a man who makes Wilders look like a moderate is not only to be let into the UK, but warmly welcomed as a VIP guest by the UK government, coming for a series of meetings with government officials, think tanks and the Ukrainian community.

So, who exactly are they meeting? Well, Andriy Parubiy, 44, of the Lviv area of Fullscreen capture 20102015 005820.bmpUkraine, formed the Ukrainian National Socialist Party, its name drawn from Nazism, its tenents, its symbols drawn from Nazism. On October 23rd, he’s guest of honour at the prestigious Royal United Services Institute, that being the Professional Forum in the UK for those concerned with National and International Defence and Security. The talk’s to take place at Whitehall, just a couple of hundred metres away from 10 Downing Street itself.

So who really is the man feted as First Deputy Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada (Supreme Council of Ukraine) and former Head of the National Security and Defense Council. Only holding the latter position for just over 5 months is actually the least of his problems. Channel 4 described him as

“Parubiy was the founder of the Social National Party of Ukraine, a fascist party styled on Hitler’s Nazis, with membership restricted to ethnic Ukrainians. The Social National Party would go on to become Svoboda, the far-right nationalist Andriy Parubiyparty.” 

Quite a difference to his glowing write-up on the RUSI site (a young Parubiy pictured at a meeting, right) –

Andriy Parubiy is First Deputy Speaker, Parliament of Ukraine. He is a former Member of Parliament (VIII convocation), Narodnyy Front faction and Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (2014) and during 2013-2014 was Head of the Maidan Self-Defense Forces. Between 2012-2014 he was a Member of Parliament (VII convocation), Batkivshchyna faction and a Member of the Science and Education Committee of the Verkhovna Rada. From 2007-2012, he was Member of Parliament (VI convocation), Nasha Ukraina faction and a Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Verkhovna Rada. He was educated within the Faculty of History at Lviv National University (1994).

And even the Channel 4 description only skims the surface. Parubiy himself has never even tried to deny the lineage of his 1991-formed Social National Party of Ukraine as deriving predominantly from Nazi ideology. Their symbol, the Wolfsangel (pictured), now most known for its association with radical Ukrainian Wolfsangelneo-Nazi Azov battalion,  is described, along with Parubiy’s SNPU itself in (Andreas Umland and Anton Shekhovstov, Ultra right Party Politics in Post-Soviet Ukraine and the Puzzle of the Electoral Marginalism of Ukrainian Ultranationalists in 1994–2009) –

“… of these various Ukrainian nationalist parties the SNPU was the least inclined to conceal its neo fascist affiliations. Its official symbol was the somewhat modified Wolf’s Hook (Wolfsangel),used as a symbol by the German SS division Das Reich and the DutchSS division Landstorm Nederland during World War II and by a numberof European neofascist organizations after 1945. As seen by the SNPU leadership, the Wolf’s Hook became the “idea of the nation.”

Ukraine NazisMoreover,the official name of the party’s ideology, “social nationalism,” clearly referred back to “national socialism”—the offcial name of the ideology of the National-Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP) and of the Hitlerite regime. The SNPU’s political platform distinguished itself by its openly revolutionary ultranationalism, its demands for the violent takeover of power in the country, and its willingness to blame Russia for all of Ukraine’s ills. Moreover, the SNPU was the first relatively large party to recruit Nazi skinheads and football hooligans.” 

Andriy Parubiy2Between 1998-2004 Parubiy was the head of paramilitary youth wing of Social-Nationalist Party ‘Patriot of Ukraine‘, which existed until December 2014 when it merged with the similarly far-right, neo Nazi Right Sector (Pravy Sector), who would play such a key role in Euromaidan. He was engaged with and co-ordinating their various violent actions, which ranged from simple football violence to attacks on anything associated with Russia – Parubiy himself was put on trial for alleged assault on communist demonstrators in Lviv on 7 November 1997. Parubiy himself has an extensive history of violence, Parubiy’s book ‘A View from the Right‘, was published in Lviv in 1999, a quote from that here –

“Young men with loose long dirty hair and worn out jeans propagate dissoluteness and pacifism – that’s the result of expansion into Ukraine of American way of life and liberal ideology. Russian-speaking criminal world, devoid of spirituality, without national roots – is the legacy of communist rule in Ukraine.” Parubiy ‘The view from the right ‘ (p. 15)

SvobodaParubiy left the SNPU in 2004, by then the party had rebranded itself as Svoboda, the Nazi lineage remaining, and ever more prevalent as they came to increasing prominence – renaming a street in the Lviv area from ‘Peace Street’ to ‘Nachtigall Street’, honouring the Ukrainian battalion who fought alongside the Nazis, with senior member Yuriy Mykhalchyshyn translating the texts of, and open in his reverence of Joseph Goebbels. Numerous anti-Semitic statements, violent attacks on anything connected with Russia, open racism, attacks on homosexuals … it goes on.

Andriy Paribuy Maidan DefenceParubiy has maintained close ties with his former parties, openly allying with them as he became commander of the Euromaidan ‘Defence’, in the violent overthrow of the Ukrainian government of 2014 (pictured).

He was in charge of the various paramilitary units during this, mobilising them throughout the 3 months of bloody conflict which resulted in the forcing out of Ukraine’s president, and government on February 22nd. There have been allegations he was responsible in instigating the notorious sniper fire of February 20th, where Euromaidan organisers fired on their own activists to escalate the situation.

There is also a connection between Parubiy, and the Odessa massacre of May Odessa_Mykola_Parubiy2nd, 2014. He was seen, on April 29, 2014 (right), delivering military grade bullet proof vests to the Euromaidan activists who would play an integral part in the burning of the Trade Union House base of pro-Russian activists, just days later, with mass loss of life.

So, what is Parubiy’s aim in coming to the UK? Almost certainly aligned with that of his previous visits, to Canada and the UK, where he appealed with those countries to increase their military aid to Ukraine, to send lethal aid.

Unlike Wilders, the UK press have so far kept quiet about Parubiy, the RUSI are Parubiycertainly keeping quiet about his Nazi connections. Parubiy is set to take his place at 11am, on October 23rd, at RUSI, Whitehall, London, SW1A 2ET, to ‘discuss Ukraine’s experiences in countering separatist and Russian actions, with particular focus on assessing the role of hybrid warfare’.

It’s unclear if his audience, and the event is free, open to everyone, via online booking, will know that they are taking ‘expert advice’ from a man who formed a Ukrainian neo-Nazi party, let alone be able to ask him about that.

Mikael Skillt Interview – 15 Key Points

Mikael Skillt

Graham Phillips

Yesterday, continuing into today, the interactive Twitter interview with Swedish citizen, Mikael Skillt, senior member of Ukraine’s neo-Nazi Azov battalion, took place. Skillt’s prolific use of social media has made him effective spokesman for the Azov battalion, one of the battalions ever at the forefront of events in Donbass, giving him a high status as a representative of proceedings.

The basics about Skillt

Mikael Skillt AzovFull name: Kjell Mikael Skillt

Age: 38, 13th December 1976

From: Sundsvall, on Swedish coast

Employment: 7 years in Swedish army, speciality – sniper. Worked in construction industry as ‘project manager’.

Current: Officer, Senior member of Ukrainian Azov Battalion, reports himself in charge of ‘Operations of Swedish Volunteers’.

Location: Skillt spends a lot of time in Kiev, where he was during the interview. He is currently deployed by Mariupol.

Politics: Connections to Nazi Party of Sweden, National Democrats, neo-fascist National Youth, neo-Nazi Swedish Resistance Movement.

Record: Reported sentenced to two months in prison by Sundsvall District Court in 2009, for ‘vandalism, and assault with racist motives’. Again reported convicted in 2013 when he received 75 hours of community service in Solna District Court for rioting.

There was a huge response to the interview, here are the 15 Key Points – 

1. Skillt’s reason for fighting on the Ukrainian side, for the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, is that he ‘hates imperialism‘. He adds that he is not fighting for any government, but ‘fights for Ukraine‘.

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2. There seems to be some issue, or differences, between Skillt and the far-right terrorist group also fighting for Ukraine, the Pravy Sektor. Skillt stops short of fully supporting them, and has apparently never met, or spoken, to leader Dmytro Yarosh ‘That will be between me and Yarosh, if we meet‘.

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3. Skillt does not seem interested in subjects in his own country, Sweden, in which, with his far-right views, you would perhaps expect him to have an interest in. He answers ‘Not my problem, I moved to Ukraine‘ in response to a question on the ‘islamification of Sweden‘.

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4. Skillt purports to believe that he is fighting against ‘Russians’, and reports himself as 5km away from Donetsk at one point. Yet, his statement that Russia is sending ‘drunks‘ casts some doubts as to whether he really believes it is the regular Russian army.

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5. Skillt thinks that Donetsk, Lugansk, and Crimea, will ‘return to Ukraine‘, does not think Ukraine itself should be in Europe. Unlike the official position, Skillt believes there should be an independence referendum in Ukraine.

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6. Skillt says he wouldn’t shoot me, but, in his capacity as an expert sniper, can shoot someone from 1400-1500 metres. He seems to derive pleasure from boasting about his ‘kill count’ – ‘Let’s say that I killed more soldiers then (sic) your whole family have fingers, toes and ears together.’ At one point he adds ‘my soul would give you life long nightmares‘. He seems to enjoy war, adding that his ‘soldier family‘ has been ‘waging war for 500 years‘.

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7. Skillt has abandoned his earlier plan, to go to Syria and fight for President al-Assad. As for Ukraine’s president Poroshenko, he declares that he would ‘prefer a more battle like president‘, but that Poroshenko ‘has his full loyalty‘.

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8. Skillt joined the neo-Nazi Azov battalion because they ‘had what he needed‘ – a ‘structure and armory’, and reports himself as senior in the operation. Despite numerous statements from Azov about ‘reporting to no one‘, and their links to oligarch Igor Kolomoisky, and ultra-nationalist Ukrainian politician Oleg Lyashko, Skillt states that Azov are in the National Guard, neo-Nazi Pravy Sektor founder Andrei Biletsky is the ‘supreme commander‘. Skillt would not be drawn on Azov’s oft-declared intention for ‘another Maidan’ in Kiev.

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9. It was Euromaidan which made Skillt want to get involved, and he reports himself as having only received 4000UAH, around $200, for his participation. He reports himself as having ‘lost 60,000 Euros’ fighting for Ukraine, thinks of himself as a ‘modern crusader’.

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10. Skillt expresses mixed feelings on Ukrainian WWII Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera, but believes he ‘saved a lot of lives‘ (the first time I’ve heard this claim about Bandera).

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11. Despite fighting for a Ukraine going to enormous lengths to make people speak the Ukrainian language, rather than Russian, Skillt only speaks Russian.

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12.  Skillt expressed numerous, extreme anti-Russian sentiments throughout the interview, he would ‘color the Azov sea red with the blood of Russian soldiers if needed‘, yet declares he ‘likes Russians but hates what Russia has become under Putin‘. Skillt believes the recent Chernobyl forest fires were started ‘by Russia‘.

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13. Skillt does clearly not believe in ‘respect one’s enemy’, saying that Motorola and Givi, commanders of NAF forces, are ‘war criminals‘ ‘rabid dogs‘. whom he would kill with pleasure. He states that he has killed ‘over 100′ in Donbass‘. He says he has ‘no feelings when I work‘, and that when he works he ‘turns into a machine‘.

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14. Skillt is in a serious relationship with a Ukrainian woman, which seems to have heightened the lengths he is prepared to go to for his ’cause’. He goes back to his native Sweden ‘regularly‘, where he receives assistance, is prepared to take Ukrainian citizenship. As for his own mortality, Skillt seems to believe himself near invincible, on asking how he would like to be killed ‘it will never happen‘.

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15. Skillt admits that the Ukrainians shell civilian areas of Donbass, yet attempts to justify this by saying the ‘Russians‘ use them as ‘human shields‘.

Fullscreen capture 04052015 021959.bmp     Full transcript here.

Who is Stepan Bandera?

Graham Phillips

On Sunday, I went along to the Stepan Bandera museum in north London. Apparently open in London for over 50 years. That Sunday saw perhaps the museum achieve the most Fullscreen capture 28042015 175511.bmpcoverage in its half-century term, as I was physically denied entrance to the premises, housed in an Islington townhouse.

Attention descended on the museum, and the man behind it, unknown to many in the western world – so just who is Stepan Bandera?

Stepan BanderaStepan Andriyovych Bandera was born in Ukraine’s western village of Staryi Uhryniv to a clerical family. Politicised from an early age, Bandera rose through activist, scout, up to leader of the Ukrainian nationalist movement. Well-known through Ukraine in his life, primarily for being responsible for the proclamation of an Independent Ukrainian State in Lvov in 1941, his fame to some, notoriety to others, grew to such an extent after his 1959 KGB assassination that then-President Viktor Yushchenko attempted to award him the Hero of Ukraine accolade as one of his final acts in power, in 2010. It was annulled a year later by then new President Viktor Yanukovych.

Bandera KievTo pro-Ukrainians, though, Bandera is a hero and veneration him was already rising in Ukraine before, over 50 years dead, he became one of the most prominent figures of Euromaidan, left, hanging in Kiev’s central administrative building even. German historian Grzegorz Rossolinski-Liebe believes the mythologising of Bandera began in Canada after his death as a way of bonding the separate Ukrainian diaspora, so keen to have a ‘hero’ they could identify as Ukrainian they were prepared to overlook all else. Over time, with the active hold Canadian expat Ukrainians exert over Ukraine, (Stepan Bandera’s grandson, Stephen, along with other Bandera relatives, lives over there), the Stepan Bandera youngcult of Bandera found its way back to Ukraine, with inconvenient facts of Bandera’s life pushed aside by the new Bandera mythology.

To get back to Bandera facts – from boyhood he was involved with Ukrainian ultra-nationalist organisations, rising through the ranks to become chief propaganda officer of the OUN in 1931, active in recruiting Ukrainian nationalists in both western and eastern Ukraine. By 1932 he was second in command of OUN in Galicia, and 1933 head of the OUN.

Along with other Ukrainian ultra-nationalists,

Roman Shukhevych, Stepan Lenkavsky, Yaroslav Stetsko, Yaroslav Starukh, Bandera was key in developing the concept of “permanent revolution” in Ukraine. This took the premise that GaliciaUkrainian people would always be exploited by an ‘occupier’, revolution would be required to overthrow that system, and then another once the inevitable ‘exploitation’ emerged again, and so on.

After becoming head of the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists, OUN, in 1933, Bandera set about either converting to his cause, or driving out the Poles and Soviets in the at the time disputed territory of Galicia (above left – much now subsumed as west Ukraine). This policy failed to have his desired effect in obtaining autonomy for the region. Bandera then turned to an attempt at assassination, plotting to do away with Polish minister of internal affairs, Bronisław Pieracki – it failed, he got caught, and sentenced to death for that.

Andriy Melnyk Stepan BanderaBy the time of his arrest and subsequent imprisonment, in 1934, Bandera‘s political career had long moved to the insurgent terrorism he had chosen as the method of achieving an independent Ukrainian state. Death sentence commuted to life, then released after five years, after agreeing unconditionally to cooperate with Nazi Germany, in 1939, Bandera headed straight to occupied Krakow, capital of Nazi Germany’s General Government. However, there he failed to regain control of his former organisation, the OUN, falling out with current leader, Andriy Melnyk (the two pictured, above left).

Bandera OUNAs a result of the fallout, the OUN (right) split into two, as Andriy Melnyk who had been leading the organisation, refused to endorse Bandera’s intent to actively seek Nazi collaboration. So it was, the OUN split and Bandera’s OUN-B sought out Nazi partnership. Breaking away from the more conservative Melnyk, Bandera formed the OUN-B (to Melnyk’s OUN-M), and set about full integration with Nazi German forces. Bandera himself held meetings with the heads of Germany’s intelligence, with the aim of forming battalions ‘Nachtigall‘ and ‘Roland‘, comprising Ukrainian OUN members, loyal to the Nazis.

February 25, 1941 saw head of the Abwehr, Wilhelm Franz Canaris sanctioning the creating of “Ukrainian Legion”, to comprise 800 fighters, fighting as part of Nazi Germany’s forces, under Shukhevych. Bandera himself oversaw the formation of small units of the OUN-B, named ‘Mobile Groups’, comprising teams of 5-15 members who would travel around Western Ukraine and beyond spreading propaganda and recruiting. The recruitment pitch shared a Nazi platform – with anti-Semitism at its core, the difference being that supposedly an independent Ukraine would be allowed to exist Nazi Ukraineindependently alongside any German super-nation.

The tactic was successful, with the mobile groups some 7000 strong, recruiting waves of fighters, and support for the Nazis spreading across Western Ukraine, with towns in the west turning out in force to greet Nazi forces (left), even to parts of the capital of Kiev, and prominent Western Ukrainian literary figures lending their support, notably the duo of Ivan Bahrianyi and Vasyl Barka.

In early 1941, the Nachtigall unit was formed, under Bandera, and outfitted in the standard Wehrmacht uniforms, placing blue and yellow ribbons on their shoulders. Their aims were outlined in a May 1941 Krakow meeting: “Moskali (derogatory term for Russians), Poles, Jews are hostile to us must be exterminated in this struggle, especially those who would resist our regime: deport them to their own lands, Lvov pogromimportantly: destroy their intelligentsia that may be in the positions of power … Jews must be isolated, removed from governmental positions in order to prevent sabotage, those who are deemed necessary may only work with an overseer… Jewish assimilation is not possible.

So it was, the OUN-B followed behind the Nazi invasion into Ukraine. Bandera and his Nachtigall battalion have been accused of a particularly ruthless approach towards the extermination of the Jews, Poles, and Russians they viewed as the enemy. On June 30, emboldened by a Ukraine which looked like it was falling to the Nazis, the OUN-B, led by Bandera, declared an independent Ukrainian State from Lvov, stating that it would work closely with Hitler and the Nazis to form the ‘new order in Europe’. The first Lvov Bandera tangible manifestation of this was the ‘Lvov Pogrom‘, the mass extermination of Jews and Poles which took places from 30th June to 2nd July, murdering a number estimated as high as 10s of thousands. (Photos from pogrom).

Bandera’s Nachtigall battalion, and Bandera himself, were actively involved in this pogrom, with reports that the Nazis themselves were shocked at their brutality in execution. This independent ‘Ukrainian state’ lasted less than a week, with Bandera arrested by the Nazis, who had duped the gullible 32-year-old at the time, into believing they supported an independent Ukrainian state. Of course, they simply wanted to ease their passage into occupying Ukraine.

Bandera himself was arrested on July 5th 1941 and taken to prison in Berlin. The Germans treated Bandera well, but he was a prisoner, not allowed to leave Berlin for Zellenbauthe remainder of 1941, then in January 1942, transferred to Sachsenhausen concentration camp’s special barrack for high profile political prisoners, Zellenbau (left). Bandera made no attempts to escape from here, watching on in comfort as hundreds of thousands of his countrymen perished in conflict.

He spent most of the next 3 years in prison, albeit with special treatment after indicating ongoing willingness to help the Nazis. He had access to a radio in prison, and even Bandera Stepancertain communication with the outside world, so by 1944, he knew the Nazis were losing. Actually, the military branch of his own OUN, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, UIA, had even changed sides to start fight against the Germans in early 1943. Yet, when Bandera was approached in April 1944, he enthusiastically agreed to throw himself into the Nazi effort, released in September of 1944, setting up office in Berlin arranging supplies of arms and intelligence in an attempt to enlist the Ukrainians once more to fight for the fast-losing Nazis.

Yet, by this time, most of them were dead or had switched sides. The seeds sown by the OUN-B’s dissemination of anti-Semitic propaganda had seen Ukraine engage in Babi Yarseveral atrocities against Jews during the war, most shockingly perhaps the Babi Yar massacres (right – more on them here). Bandera’s re-recruitment attempt was unsuccessful, the war finished just a few months later, seeing Nazi defeat and Bandera revert to civilian life. Sort of.

As for Bandera’s family, reports that Bandera’s brother Bogdan was killed by the Nazis, are unconfirmed. His brothers Oleksandr and brother Vasyl (below left) were killed in Auschwitz, with Bandera acolytes having observed over the years that Stepan could hardly endorse a regime which had Vasyl_Bandera_in_Auschwitzexecuted his brothers. In reality, evidence points to them being killed by Polish inmates who discovered their identity. It is known Bandera’s father was executed by the Germans, though it is reported his father did not share Stepan’s extreme politics and some have suggested he was executed for harbouring a member of the OUN opposed to the Nazis. This was the month before Stepan proclaimed Ukrainian independence in Lvov.

The remainder of the 40s and early 50s, saw Stepan Bandera, working for the German equivalent of the CIA, giving freelance spy training for infiltration into the Soviet Union. Bandera had met his future wife, Yaroslava Yaroslava Bandera(pictured right), in Krakow in 1940, with her at 22 already a seasoned activist for the Ukrainian cause. The two married in June of that year and had three children, Natalia, born 1941, Andrei (year of birth given as 1944 or 1946), Lesya 1947. Bandera was never able to take adequate care of his family, with Natalia having spoken of a childhood of assumed names, hiding, living in cabins in forests, going for long periods of time without seeing her father, subsisting on inadequate food.

In 1954, Yaroslava and the children joined Stepan in Munich. Yet, life for the family was still tough here. Post war, the Germans were willing to leave Bandera alone, the western forces to occasionally use him for espionage assistance. But the Soviets had not forgotten Bandera, with repeated attempts made on his life over the years. In 1959, these reached an apotheosis, with German police arresting a man seen taking a Bandera assassinationsuspicious interest in Bandera’s children. Bandera was given extra security, but strongly advised to leave Munich, which he declined to do.

On October 15th, 1959, Bandera was killed in his own apartment, by KGB assassin Bogdan Stashinsky, who had been watching him since January, but intensely for several days. Despite this, the (in Stashinsky descriptions) ‘short, bald, blue-eyed’ Bandera (living under the named Stepan Popel) had let his bodyguards off that day. As Stashinsky produced his cyanide gun inside a rolled-up newspaper, Bandera’s last words, as he held his shopping, were the rather redundant “What are you doing here?” Bandera didn’t even produce his own gun, on him at all times, with him a proficient marksman (he had taken an active part in the Lvov pogrom). Shot in the face, quickly turning purple, then black, the 50-year-old Bandera died on a third-floor landing before the ambulance had even arrived.

Bandera’s wife and children, upon his death, quickly moved to Toronto to start a new life. Bandera had politicized his children from infanthood, yet it was only after his death they learned they were Banderas, not Popels. Natalia took some part in Ukrainian Stephen Banderamovements, yet unable to recover from the health problems of their childhood, Natalia died in 1985 at 44, she had two children, Sophia, born 1972 and Orestes, 1975. Andrei, Andrew, took an active role in the Ukrainian diaspora, forming several organisations, a newspaper ‘Ukrainian Echo’, and arranging mass demonstrations. With his wife Mary, he had three children, Stepan (Stephen, Steve – right), 1970, Bogdana, 1974, and Helen, in 1977.

Stephen, Steve, who has tried to forge a career as a journalist, has been the most vocal defender of his grandfather, accusing others of unwarranted attacks on the grandfather he frequently referred to as a ‘hero’. However, his actions on behalf of him seem to have waned in recent years. Steve previously did extensive ‘historical’ work to exonerate his grandfather, though his fallback position was always that no one really knows the truth: ‘an accurate account of Ukraine’s 20th century history remains largely unwritten.’ Sadly for ‘Steve’, countless, verified, articles of history exist from that time.

Suffering health problems, Andrei died in 1984 at either 38 or 40, depending on sources. Lesya, who worked as an interpreter for Ukrainian organisations and had no children, lived on to the age of 64, dying in 2011. Yaroslava had died in 1977 at the age Stepan Bandera stampof 59. Despite his wish to be returned to Ukraine in death, Bandera was buried in Munich, where he remains to this day, his burial place the subject of several recent attacks.

Even in death, Bandera’s fortunes have been little better than life. In 2009, to mark 100 years of his birth, he was put on a stamp (right), which many outlets in Ukraine refused to stock. Then, on January 22nd, Ukraine’s Day of Unity, in 2010, Viktor Yushchenko, in his final weeks as President, attempted to use the controversial figure (in Ukraine as a whole, pre-Euromaidan, only 6% had a strongly positive opinion of him, as high as 37% in the west, down to 1% in parts of the east), as a last stand, and two-fingered farewell. Bandera was made a Hero of Ukraine, with grandson Stephen accepting the award on his behalf.

Bandera NaziThe award was internationally condemned, not to mention widely ridiculed (left) with other Hero of Ukraine holders speaking out of their wish to renounce the award, even criticised by the European Parliament. Bandera held it for less than a year, it was annulled on January 12th 2011, by then new President Yanukovych. There had been talk of huge uprisings across the country if the award was annulled, but in these pre-Euromaidan days of calm in Ukraine, that didn’t materialise.

As for his tangible legacy, statues of Bandera, several exist in the West of Ukraine, Bandera Lvovhave enjoyed mixed fortunes. One near Lvov was destroyed in 2013, the Lvov statue itself, unveiled in 2012, cost double the projected amount, $1.2 million, with sources indicating substandard materials used in the finished article.

And then of course, his museum in London, of which more to come. A strange, closed doors museum with admittance only to those on a pre-approved list. Those pro-Ukrainians who go attempting to find vindication for their reverence for Bandera in a museum of revisionism, in which Bandera appears as a ‘hero’, rather than what he was – an unapologetic, ruthless, failure-prone Nazi collaborator.

Bandera museum