Ukraine: What Are They Fighting For?

Most people do not know what has been happening behind the scenes in Ukraine because of a media blackout since the February coup. Now the so-called ‘rebels’ have been accused of downing MH-17 and killing all its passengers. There is more to this story than mainstream media will say.

With Ukraine on the verge of economic collapse and the government’s resistance to passing bills to implement the IMF imposed austerity measures, tension broke out into a scuffle in the Ukraine parliament on Tuesday, reportedly because a lawmaker blamed the Ukrainian authorities for failing to adopt a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine and accused them of running a war against the Ukrainian people. (AP)

However in another report by Rachael Jones, the brawl “occurred after ministers voted to approve a presidential decree to call up more military services to combat rebels in Eastern Ukraine. Kiev repeated the decree from 45 days ago to call up more military reserves to fight rebels and to ensure the ranks of what Ukraine calls its ‘anti-terrorist operation’ are filled.” The scuffle was between nationalist politicians and members of the party led by former president, Victor Yanukovych, who was overthrown in February by a coup.

It is not only parliamentarians whose tempers run short over the need to conscript more men from Western Ukraine to fight the so-called rebels in the east. A mother interviewed in Western Ukraine is very distressed and angry that her son was taken away to fight against his fellow countrymen.

“Why do we send our kids there, if they are mocked as “Banderovtsy”? Why? Why the grown up able-bodied men run to hide here, sending our kids instead?

“Why? Why did they make “Maidan”?  From this very Maidan everything started. This Maidan they made … And they were paid on Maidan. They were paid to be there. Everything was paid for.”

In all its rawness, she reveals the truth about the pain and anger so many people feel right across Ukraine since the coup in February. A transcript is available on the website where this video was posted, and the comments add to the picture she portrays.

Who or what is a “Banderovtsy” the mother was referring to? Another name is “Banderite,” which was more commonly used during the marches in Kiev. Although they are referred to as Neo-Nazis, they were originally Nazis from Western Ukraine who fought with Germany during the Second World War. In 1943 and 1944, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) was led by Stepan Bandera (hence Banderites), who set out to ethnically cleanse Ukraine. Bandera, who is now regarded as a national hero, organised massacres that claimed the lives of 90,000 Poles and thousands of Jews. Ukrainian peasants and workers who wanted to join the Soviet Union were brutally terrorised, tortured and executed. The UPA went on to kill some 20,000 Ukrainians before the insurrection was completely crushed in 1953. (1)

Stepan Bandera is a national Nazi hero in Ukraine who led the UPA to commit genocide during WWII to create an ethnically ‘pure’ Ukraine. Those who support his ideals are called “Banderites.”

In in the lead-up to the U.S. orchestrated February coup, these Banderites marched through Kiev shouting, “Revolution, revolution,” “Ukraine for Ukrainians,” “Death to our enemies,” and, “Death to the Muscovites (meaning, Russians). You may then understand that, in light of this and the pro-Russians killed in Kiev and burned alive in buildings in Odessa and Mariupol, that the Russians in the east are literally fighting for their lives. Thousands have already fled to Russia. Hundreds have already been killed, including women and children.

The RT video (at the end of this post) below gives a good overview of the Nazis who have become very powerful in Ukraine, and some of the atrocities they have committed – including the massacre in Odessa on May, 02. It also interviews Daniele Ganser, author of NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation GLADIO and Terrorism in Western Europe (Contemporary Security Studies), who urges people to remember the term “strategy of tension.” Essentially it means that you blow up a bomb and say that your enemy did it. Think MH-17.

A powerful example of how the ‘strategy of tension’ works was seen in the three bombings that took place in Italy between 1969 and 1980, killing over 100 civilians. The marginal left-wing elements of society were blamed. However a series of investigations and judicial proceedings revealed that it was the work of right-wing elements in collusion with Italian military intelligence to discredit the Italian left, and encourage support for a corrupt status quo. (2)

From the documentary, Nato’s Secret Armies, comes this chilling description of how the ‘strategy of tension’ worked in Italy.

“The strategy of tension was a complex phenomenon in which the various figures operating didn’t have the same objectives. There were groups from the extreme right who really wanted to destroy the democratic system with a coup. Alongside them were military commanders, parts of the secret services, and conservative forces in general who were using this first group. Rather than a full blown coup, they wanted a stabilisation of the institutions of power…

Destabilise the public order to stabilise the political order and justify a repressive intervention that would be welcomed with relief by the population. People want to live in peace. They don’t to walk into a bank or get on a train and die because of a bomb put there by some unknown killer….

Once fear has been instilled in a population, you can make them do anything.”


(1) Nationalism and Fascism in Ukraine: A Historical Overview

(2) Systemic Destabilization as “A Strategy of Tension”: 9/11, the JFK Assassination, and the Oklahoma City Bombing