It has become a popular position both in the mainstream and pseudo-alternative media, and among those on the Russophobic left, to downplay the significant fascist influence on the political and military institutions, as well as the cultural character of the “New Ukraine.” Quite often, the reality of Ukrainian fascism is obscured by vague assertions that such conclusions are merely “Russian propaganda,” that they are simply Kremlin talking points, and not statements of objective reality.
Indeed, influential political figures such as the ever-hilarious John McCain and Jen Psaki, and global media brands like The Guardian and FOX, have all rushed to the nearest camera or twitter account to proclaim that Ukraine is “free” and that we should “stand united” with it. Carefully embedded in these pleas is the notion that Ukraine is democratic, and that whatever “ultra-nationalists” – coded language for fascists and Nazis – exist, are merely a marginal influence at best.
Such vacuous statements belie the inescapable fact that Nazis make up an important strata of both the political and military establishment. Moreover, they are intended to provide cover for US policy which provides these elements with the support they need to both influence the political development of the country, and prosecute its illegal war against the people of Donetsk and Lugansk.
At issue is not whether everyone in Ukraine is a Nazi, as that is an absurd argument that no one is really making. Rather, the question has to do with precisely which individuals and factions that are unmistakably fascist are being supported, directly or indirectly, by the US and its allies. More to the point, which of the US-backed Nazi elements are integral to the continued illegal war against the East, and which figure prominently in the future trajectory of the Ukrainian state.