Ukraine: training the West’s far right

22 Nov
Paul Gray, shown here in a Fox News Appearance

Paul Gray is not just some angry suburban dad glibly labeled a fascist by the liberal media because he delivered an off-color rant at a parent-teacher conference. He is the real deal.

Alexander Rubenstein, writing in The GrayZone (below)

At the height of the War on Terror, corporate media bombarded us with fear porn on Western jihadists signing up, freely or under coercion, as foot soldiers for ISIS in Iraq and Syria. So why are we not now being similarly bombarded with tales of Western fascists – the real kind – now gaining combat experience, and hands-on familiarity with advanced weaponry, as foot soldiers with the Azov Battalion and other far right forces in Ukraine?

(That’s a rhetorical question. Only the chronically credulous – a large constituency I grant you – would expect our systemically corrupt media to do any such thing on a matter so vital to those who rule us.)

The US Department of Homeland Security has voiced concern, as has the FBI, but the conflictual agendas of America’s alphabet agencies have been well known since 9/11. And right now, those of the CIA and its proliferation of sister orgs are in the driving seat as Washington prosecutes the proxy war it has, after years of effort, ignited on Russia’s doorstep. 1

Not that this is a purely American issue. I came across Alexander Rubenstein’s GrayZone piece of May this year, part replicated below, by way of a link in the final paragraph of a November 15 feature in Defend Democracy – on the arrest in Italy of five members of a neo-Nazi cell linked to the Azov Battalion.

On the march in pre 2022 Ukraine; the fascists of the Azov Battalion

We can be sure similar cells operate across the Western world; far right tendencies now gaining combat experience in Ukraine.

And Bringing It All Back Home.


DHS ‘concerned’ over Nazis returning to US after fighting in Ukraine. Why isn’t the media?

Alex-Rubinstein, May 31, 2022
US corporate media has provided glowing coverage to Paul Gray, a notorious American white nationalist fighting in Ukraine. A DHS document warns he’s not the only US fascist drawn to Kiev.

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 Battaliion 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. 

But one thing is for certain: the Biden administration is allowing the Ukrainian government to recruit Americans – including violent extremists – at its embassy in Washington DC and at consulates across the country. As this report will show, at least one notorious extremist fighting in Ukraine has received extensive promotion from mainstream media, while another who is currently wanted for violent crimes committed in the US was mysteriously able to evade FBI investigators looking into war crimes he previously committed in Eastern Ukraine.

According to a Customs and Border Patrol document released thanks to a May 2022 Freedom of Information Act request by a nonprofit called Property of the People, federal authorities are concerned about RMVE-WS’s, or “racially-motivated violent extremists – white supremacy” returning to the US armed with new tactics learned on the Ukrainian battlefield.

Ukrainian nationalist groups including the Azov Movement are actively recruiting racially or ethnically motivated violent extremist white supremacists to join various neo-Nazi volunteer battalions in the war against Russia. RMVE-WS individuals in the United States and Europe announced intentions to join the conflict and are organizing entry to Ukraine via the Polish border.

The document, which was drafted by Customs and Border Protections, the Office of Intelligence, and other Homeland Security sub-agencies, contains write-ups of interviews conducted by law enforcement with Americans en route to Ukraine to fight Russia.

One such volunteer interviewed in early March “admitted to contacting the Georgian National Legion but decided against joining the group as they were accused of war crimes,” according to the document. Instead, the volunteer “ hoped to obtain a work contract with the Azov Battalion.”

That interview was conducted nearly a month before additional war crimes committed by the Georgian Legion were reported by The Grayzone. However, the volunteer’s allegation may also refer to the illegal execution of two men who had attempted to break through a Ukrainian checkpoint, or an additional, unreported crime known to insiders within volunteer networks.

One key “intelligence gap” listed in the document speaks to the US government’s complete lack of oversight in the proxy war it is sponsoring in Ukraine. NATO arming campaign which has offered no assurances that Western weapons won’t fall into the hands of Nazis. “What kind of training are foreign fighters receiving in Ukraine that they could possibly proliferate in US based militia and white nationalist groups?” the document asks.

Property of the People shared the document with Politico, which sought to downplay and even discredit its explosive contents by inserting the caveat that “critics say” the Department of Homeland Security document “echoes one of the Kremlin’s top propaganda points.” 2 But as this report will illustrate, the presence of hardcore American neo-Nazis in the ranks of the Ukrainian military is far from a deception cranked out by the Kremlin’s propaganda mills.

Read Alexander Rubenstein’s piece in full at The GrayZone …

* * *

  1. I’m confining myself to thinking the strengthening of fascism in the imperial hub is seen as an ‘unfortunate downside’ of the overriding goal of regime change in Moscow. (Or of continuing to bog down Russia in an expendable Ukraine.) But given capitalism’s historic use of dark forces – US weaponising of Salafism in the middle east and of death squads in Latin America … MI5/British Army collaboration with ‘loyalist’ terror in the Six Counties – can we rule out other arms-length Faustian pacts in the struggles to come, as western ruling classes seek to make the masses pay for crises borne of rentier  greed?
  2. As Jonathan Cook – Cook on Monbiot on Ukraine (again) – put it, those who in lieu of addressing an argument’s specifics point to its usefulness to Putin (or in the case of the powerful Israel lobby, to antisemites real or imaginary) are at best puerile. The critical bit is that “in lieu of …”  We may legitimately ask cui bono?  in circumstances where (a) we’ve refuted an argument’s specifics, (b) those making it have a proven record of lying, and/or (c) said specifics are lost in the fog of war. None of those circumstances apply to factual claims made, and interviews recorded, in a document “drafted by Customs and Border Protections, the Office of Intelligence, and other Homeland Security sub-agencies”!

10 Replies to “Ukraine: training the West’s far right

  1. The US/UK/NATO have had no problem with nazis since 1945, when they’re useful to the empire. And yet again, as with false flags and other made up crap on Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and on and on, they only get away with it because the MSM are silent, in their service to empire.
    I never mention Ukraine to family or friends any more, because when I do I get funny looks, anger, and I’ve been told my views are “extremist”.

    • I never mention Ukraine to family or friends any more …

      That’s probably wise. In most cases any ensuing discussion quickly explodes into egoic exchanges that generate far more heat than light. It’s not cowardly to walk away, lips sealed, or change the subject. In doing so we save our energies for times when we can, in however small a way, make a useful intervention.

      In the context of Palestine, Norman Finklestein said something that resonates with me. We lose our cool in such arguments, he opined, because we lack the facts to rebuff the philistine and brainwashed arguments people, including those we love, routinely come out with. Sensing those argument to be indeed philistine and brainwashed, yet unable to politely rebut them, we lose it. In the aftermath all we are left with is the sense we’ve let ourselves down – again – and to no useful purpose.

      There’s a simple remedy, says Finklestein. Bone up on the facts and pick your battles. It’s not easy, and I fail more often than I succeed, but I try to keep in mind this question: what exactly am I trying to achieve here?

      In my experience you can’t ask that question after you’ve gotten angry, and the raging ego-monster within all of us has leapt from its cage. At that point, inquiry and effecting change have fled the scene. It’s all about me winning! The point of the question is not to extract ourselves from that all too familiar scenario – by the time we’re in it, there’s no way out as a rule. Rather, the point is to give it a massive swerve before we get there.

      Questions can also be powerful. To those now upset at the suffering of Ukrainians, we can agree – then quietly ask when they think that suffering began.

      The point being not to paint them as hypocrites – they aren’t – but to show them how horrifyingly manipulated we are. Our emotions are as much the playthings of those who manufacture our political views as they are of those who manufacture our consumer ‘choices’. For most folk, Ukraine sprang into existence in the run up to February 24 this year – despite a vicious civil war having raged there for eight years. The reason they don’t acknowledge this is not that they’re bigots. Just that they never knew. Well whose fault is that, and whose interests does it serve?

      • You raise several very pertinent points, your last one being really key ie “for most folk Ukraine sprang into existence in the run up to February 24 this year “. They knew nothing of the 2014 coup or the vicious civil war going on since. I find a lot of people just accept the “Putin’s unprovoked invasion” fiction spouted by the MSM.
        My brother, a nice man despite being a lifelong tory voter, thinks regarding Ukraine, that Putin is evil, because “he used to be in the KGB”. Now Putin isn’t a nice guy, obviously, but I believe most western politicians are far worse. And so I asked my brother if he thinks CIA people, past and present, are nice. Pointless asking him, he just kept saying “KGB awful!” Most people I know aren’t tories but have similar attitudes.
        One does read that less and less people trust the MSM which is a hopeful sign, but there’s a long way to go to open more eyes.
        On another point, contrary to what you say, I find it’s other people who get angry with me when I say the US/NATO are to blame for the war in Ukraine, in response to which I prefer to just shut up or change the subject. When I’ve pointed out facts which they didn’t know, because the MSM don’t report it, for instance Boris Johnson when to Kiev to block a peace deal early on in the war, they can’t really dispute it so they don’t respond.
        I know some facts, not all obviously, on any subject. I don’t accept or agree with everything that some independent journalists who I respect say. No two people could possibly agree on everything. But knowing stuff and hearing people say things they’ve obviously got from the MSM is very frustrating because I know nothing I could say would change their fixed view of something.
        I find the mendacity of MSM journalists and their servile treatment of power absolutely staggering, but unfortunately millions still believe them. Still as I said, trust in the MSM is falling and this surely can only continue to fall. Caitlin Johnstone, whose work you follow so you’ll already know this, repeatedly points out that there are many more of us ordinary people than there are powerful people, and they’re afraid of us, which is why so much time and money is spent brainwashing the masses.
        Enough from me I think.

        • One does read that less and less people trust the MSM …

          The trouble with surveys reliant on asking people’s opinions is that they assume self-awareness on the part of respondents. People may say – and believe – that they don’t trust mainstream media but in practice their world views, unless they make a sustained effort to seek out – and triangulate – alternative sources of information and opinion, will still reflect ruling class priorities in the form of media manufactured opinion.

          How do I know? I’ve seen – in myself and in academics who write excellent books on MSM bias – that on issues vital to ruling class interests (i.e. subject to propaganda blitzes) folk who profess to mistrust MSM jump into line faster than you can say “Noam Chomsky”!

          • Yes this is all very true. State propaganda is so pervasive and compelling to so many, which is I believe the main reason why our world is in such a mess, for want of a better word. You know this obviously but just take as an example Iraq and WMDs, where the entire mainstream swallowed the lies which were then fed to the public. Media Lens and others have repeatedly pointed to the fact that the Iraq invasion of 2003 couldn’t have happened without universal support across all corporate media, who never scrutinised what Bush, Blair, Colin Powell were claiming.
            It would take I think decades for most people to see through the fake news fed to them, but I try to be optimistic.

  2. One of the key observations made by those with actual military experience (way beyond mine, I hasten to add) such as Douglas McGregor during this interview….

    is the absence of capabilities of NATO forces to sustain any direct peer to peer operations in Ukraine or anywhere. In terms of personnel, equipment, munitions, logistical support, Western elite (and thus, via the controlled media, the bulk of the populace) perceptions of what is viable and possible in terms of projecting cross-continental power is not congruent with reality.

    The self imposed de-industrialisation and financialisation of the West has reduced capabilities across the entire spectrum – infrastructure, agriculture, productive capacity, logistics, health, education, politics, economics, and, most importantly, culture.

    It is of little surprise in this context that the preference is to use proxies – whether its terrorist groups across the Near East and North Africa or private mercenaries. It generates more and larger scale money laundering operations (ask Mr Fried of recent FX fame) and you don’t get the problem of the sheer size of numbers of armed combatants returning home wanting a reasonable social settlement that the elites in the UK had at the end of WW2 (whilst such mercenaries and terrorists are a major problem on returning home they are 1. more manageable than the numbers returning in WW2 and 2. A major problem for the plebs rather than the elites).

    Which again, brings us neatly back to the infantile-ised culture which labels anything outside of the rapidly shrinking Overton Window of The Official Narrative (TON) as ‘extremist’ – on any matter from foreign policy to gender, economics to politics.

    I recently came across of piece which made the following observation via an example taken from WW2:

    Back in 1944/45 as Japan was facing defeat & becoming desperate for men, they wanted to take the PoW camp guards, but were afraid of thousands of PoWs running loose.

    NO need to worry said one astute psychologist. I’ve been watching & observing. In any community you’ll find easily there are a few people who initiate action, are not afraid, are able to make a decision, & see reality. It’s about 5%. Isolate them & put them in one well guarded camp. Leave all the rest to be guarded by one fat, sleepy, useless guard. They won’t move.

    the Japanese Generals weren”t too sure, but desperate, they followed his advice. And it proved to be true. The vast majority, losing their natural critics, leaders, just sat & waited for someone to rescue them. They never had needed guarding.”

    Which seems to more than adequately explain the present lamentable state of play among a populace bombarded with Berney’s propaganda model since birth.

    What it does not explain is how the same contagion overwhelmed the vast majority of the other 5%* throughout the entire West (Andrei Martyanov has written to such an extent of this that he could compile it into a book and retire on the proceeds).

    * in previous threads we’ve covered some obvious candidates who shoot themselves in the foot and undermine both opposition to the status quo and the prospect of meaningful (internally generated) change of it with their convenient inconsistencies – Monbiot, Jones, Mason for example.

    Not least of which is the inability to accept and answer any challenge or criticism. A trait shared with those representing the status quo, which such self-declared champions purport to rail against, as well as the average mardy arsed five year old.**

    ** It is next to impossible to make any internally generated progress when critics of the status quo/Official Narrative – whose main critique is that what they are criticising adopts a position of ‘my way or no way’ – adopt the same my way or no way behaviors and attitudes (cancelling anyone who does no agree with them 200% – Richard Murphy and George Monbiot being prime examples) – or adopts the same official Narrative (as Jones does towards GC biologically Gay men and women).

  3. Any more info on where that PoW story came from, Dave? I collect such stuff for my menagerie of exotic human behaviour.

    • I will try and find it at some point Jams. Though it might take a while as I still have the decorator in tomorrow, plus a delivery and fitting of a gas appliance, then on Thursday someone is coming to measure up for a carpet. Leave it with me.

    • Found it.

      It was a BTL comment on this Saker thread on 12 November….

      ….by/at: Pamela St on November 12, 2022 · at 2:59 am EST/EDT

      Not counting the replies on comment two on this thread it is the third comment from the top.

      In the replies to Pamela St’s post this one may help (3rd reply down after a discussion containing three replies to a poster by the name of ‘Tedder’)

      Jarek Carnelian on November 12, 2022 · at 2:42 pm EST/EDT

      “I read about the Japanese guards too. It was in a Colin Wilson book. I am not sure which but it may have been “The Outsider”. He might have been arguing there that this 5% of self-possessed and self-actualising individuals or goats among the sheep, were examples of his Outsider. Milgram’s famous experiments in compliance are also instructive here.”

      The trail ends there.

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