Normalizing Nazis at Vogue, MSNBC, and “America’s Largest Documentary Festival” (but not Catalonia)

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Dmytro Kozatsky was the press officer of Ukraine’s Azov Battalion, which makes him a fascist (Colonel Douglas MacGregor: “[T]hese so-called Azov Nazis and their supporters are not only murdering Russians, they’re murdering their own people, and as we saw recently, they actually set out to kill Polish troops that were serving in Ukrainian uniform in Ukraine.” For more on the Azovs, see Appendix A. For more on Kozatsky, see Appendix B).[1] Kozatsky is also a photographer. His most recent project was photographing from inside the Azovstal iron and steel works at Mariupol, with the Azovs, until his capture by Russian forces and ultimate release in a prisoner exchange. He is now touring the United States, apparently to support a movie in which he stars (as himself), and his Azovstal photobook. The main purpose of this post is to show a Nazi insinuating himself — and rather easily — into the upper reaches of our culture industry (fashion, film, books) through such examples as I can glean from Google in its currrent state. The culture industry being primarily PMC and Democrat, the same people defending and applauding Kozatsky are also the ones with “In This House” signs on their lawns, who decry “hate” wherever they feel they encounter it. It’s a funny old world. But let’s look first at Kozatsky’s war.

The seige of Azovstal made Kozatsky’s career as a photographer (and he is a good photographer, much as Leni Riefenstahl was a brilliant cinematographer). Let’s look at three images:

(From the VOA.) Note the caption: “Azov regiment.”

(From WaPo.) The caption: “Azov special forces regiment” (whatever that means).

(From Ukrainian Weekly.) The caption sources the photo to “the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine,” suggesting an official connection. This one seems to be of Kozatsky, rather than by him. (The first two photos, not being openly manipulative, are more appealing to me than this one. I mean, a shaft of light striking a performative Jesus? Really? At least it’s an ethos.)

When Russian forces took Azovstal, Kozatsky was captured (along with, according to Russian estimates, 2,439 other prisoners of war). Moon of Alabama discovered this curious incident which took place while Kozatsky was in captivity:

On July 28 the Russians published a video of an interview with Azov nazi soldier Dmytro Kozatsky, call sign Orest, who directly accused Zelenski advisor [Oleksii ] Arestovich of ordering the killing of Russian soldiers who had been taken prisoners.

Kozatsky was running the public relation side for his Azov unit. Even before the war started, Kozatsky says, Arestovich was preparing an information campaign with shock videos that were supposed to show the torture and killing of Russian soldiers taken prisoners. Kozatsky received such an order and passed it on. He later noted that such shock videos were indeed made and published on social media sides.

Negotiations took place between Russia and Ukraine, and of the 2,439 Ukrainian POWs, Russia released 200, one of whom was Kozatsky. From Ukrainska Pravda:

“It is very difficult to negotiate about people who are well known in the media. The fewer people know you, the easier it is to release you [from captivity]. When you are famous, your value increases many times over. The most difficult thing was to talk about the commanders, about Ptashka [renowned female army paramedic – ed.], or about the photographer known as Orest,” another interlocutor in President Zelenskyy’s circle explained.

Clearly, for whatever reason, Kozatsky was a high-value prisoner (and not least because throwing Zekensky advisor Arestovich under the bus — if that’s what really happened — didn’t affect his release in any way). Kozatsky describes his war to EuroNews:

“That’s it. I am thankful to Azovstal for shelter – the place of my death and my life,” Dmytro ‘Orest’ Kozatsky said in his Instagram post, published on Friday.

The Azov regiment fighter[2] made his photography from the sieged Azovstal steel plant available for free, asking for it to be shared as much as possible. Some of these photographs have already gone viral revealing the situation of Azov regiment fighters, notably the injured personnel.

“By the way, while I will be in captivity, I leave you my photos, apply to all the journalist awards and photography competitions for me. If I get something, I will be really pleased to learn about it after I am released. Thank you all for your support. See you”, he wrote.

And now Kozatsky is on tour! First, I’ll look at what happened to Kozatsky in Spain (where they know what fascism is all about, having been ruled by Franco). After that, I’ll work though cases in the United States: Vogue magazine, Ukrainian National Womens League Of America (Philadelphia), the School Of Visual Arts (New York), and (drumroll) MSNBC[3].

Catalonia. Here’s what happened at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia. From Hyperallergic:

Several of [Kozatsky’s Azovstal] photos were on display at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) since mid-October, but on November 13, the institution announced it was prematurely ending the show, claiming that it “wasn’t aware of the artist’s ideology.”

“The UPC radically rejects Nazism and regrets the situation created,” the UPC said in a statement.

Earlier that day, pro-Russian Ukrainian journalist Anatoly Shariy had shared multiple screenshots of Kozatsky’s social media posts on Telegram, all of which contained far-right and neo-Nazi hate symbols. A swastika tattoo appears on Kozatsky’s leg, with another drawn in ketchup on a homemade pizza. Meanwhile, a selfie of Kozatsky shows his sweatshirt emblazoned with the numbers 14/88, a combination of two white supremacist symbols, and a Ukrainian coat of arms.

(To be fair, Kozatsky issued a non-apology apology. For more, see Appendix B.)

Vogue Magazine

From Dmytro Kozatsky’s listing as a Vogue photographer:

The Azov regiment fighter made his photography from the sieged Azovstal steel plant available for free, asking for it to be shared as much as possible. Some of these photographs have already gone viral revealing the situation of Azov regiment fighters, notably the injured personnel.

Dmytro and other fighters of Azovstal in Mariupol were defending the city for 82 days with limited supplies of food and water, they also saved more than 1000 civilians (mostly women and children) that found shelter, food and water at the plant and later were evacuated.

“Fighters,” again. Have we learned nothing from Coco Chanel? Apparently ***cough*** Balenciaga ***cough*** not.

Ukrainian National Womens League Of America (Philadelphia)

From the events listing:

UNWLA, Branch 10, is hosting a photo exhibition displaying the reality of war in Ukraine through the eyes of four amazing photographers. Free admission and refreshments. Prints available for purchase.

The exhibit will feature some of the most beautiful and heartfelt works of:

1. Dmytro Kozatsky – the photographer who took the most famous photos from Azov

Entirely unexceptional. Which is the problem. (I also wonder how many other branches of the UNWLA Kozatsky will visit, and whether he will visit Canada as well.

School Of Visual Arts (New York)

Again from HyperAllergic:

Protests erupted at DOC NYC’s premiere of the film Freedom on Fire (2022) at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) Theatre in Manhattan, which hosted Kozatsky as a guest speaker. Audience members who raised the accusations during a Q&A were forcibly removed from the event. One attendee, student and organizer Kayla Popuchet, said she was attacked by fellow audience members, some of whom called her a ‘bitch’ and ‘Kremlin shill.’

“Kremlin shill.” Carrying a “Vote Blue No Matter Who” tote-bag, no doubt. From Popuchet:

So I was just kicked out by @DOCNYCfest for pointing out their “special guest speaker” Dymtro Kozatsky is a Neo-Nazi in the openly Nazi Azov Regiment who participated in the attacks on Donbass civilians. DocNYC tried to hide his affiliations, why? — Kayla (@kaylapop_) November 14, 2022

“I even heard someone call me Russian, which is funny because I am an Afro-Latin American with zero relation to Russia,” Popuchet told Hyperallergic.

Obviously, Popuchet was from an out-group, so anything goes:

As journalist Moss Robeson noted on Twitter, the SVA Theatre removed all mention of Kozatsky’s name from its event description after Shariy’s Telegram messages surfaced earlier that morning. SVA declined Hyperallergic’s multiple requests for comment, and DOC NYC has not yet responded.

Does make you wonder where DSA — and heck, AOC! — was on this, doesn’t it?


From MSNBC itself:

Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States Oksana Markarova, Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Carol Guzy, and Dmytro Kozatsky, a Ukrainian soldier and photographer who was held in the Mariupol steel plant, join Andrea Mitchell to discuss “Relentless Courage: Ukraine and the World at War,” a new book featuring a collection of images capturing Ukrainians’ enduring fight. Ambassador Markarova, who writes in the book about a journalist lost to the war, tells Mitchell: “He was a very beautiful human being, full of light,” and Russia’s targeting of civilians “shows how inhumane this aggressive regime is, and how this war is about the values, democracy.” She adds, “We will not stop until there is accountability.”

* * *

I’m afraid I don’t have an earth-quake of a conclusion here; what stuns me is the ease with which Kozatsky is penetrating our cultural institutions. Booking agents, facilities managers, press agents, board members who organize such things, fashion editors, network anchors: All combining their efforts to service a Nazi professionally, as if it were the most normal thing in the world, which at this point perhaps it is. It would also be nice to know if how many other Ukrainian efforts like this are going on, and if they are… facilitated by anyone “in government.”


[1] OK, I said “Nazi” in the headline, and the (more accurate) “fascist” in the text, because “Normalizing Nazis” is euphonious. But I don’t want to get into the fine points, here. One of Terry Pratchett’s more entertaining villains, Mr. Pin, has “Not a Nice Person at All” done in pokerwork on his wallet. “I wonder kind of person would put that on a wallet?” “Somebody who wasn’t a very nice person.” So I will not be debating styles of pokerwork at this time. I could have said “Banderite,” I suppose, but then nobody would know what I meant.

[2] Azov “fighters,” I love it. Seems to be the most frequent euphemism.

[3] Moss Robeson has a vivid but entirely unlinked description of Kozatsky’s appearance at the Taras Shevchenko School of Ukrainian Studies of Greater Washington, in the facilities of Westland Middle School in Bethesda, Maryland (i.e., in the heart of PMC territory, where everybody “works in government,” and the fifth wealthiest city in the United States). Sadly, I can’t source the photo of the event, I can’t find the event on any school calendar or newsletter. That’s a shame, because Irena Chalupa, former editor of the Atlantic Council’s UkraineAlert blog and DNC oppo researcher (!), is said to have organized and photographed the event. Perhaps readers can do better?

APPENDIX A: The Azovs are Fascists

Before February 2022:

Atlantic Council (2018):

Since the beginning of 2018, C14 and other far-right groups such as the Azov-affiliated National Militia, Right Sector, Karpatska Sich, and others have attacked Roma groups several times, as well as anti-fascist demonstrations, city council meetings, an event hosted by Amnesty International, art exhibitions, LGBT events, and environmental activists. On March 8, violent groups launched attacks against International Women’s Day marchers in cities across Ukraine. In only a few of these cases did police do anything to prevent the attacks, and in some they even arrested peaceful demonstrators rather than the actual perpetrators

To be clear, far-right parties like Svoboda perform poorly in Ukraine’s polls and elections, and Ukrainians evince no desire to be ruled by them. But this argument is a bit of “red herring.” It’s not extremists’ electoral prospects that should concern Ukraine’s friends, but rather the state’s unwillingness or inability to confront violent groups and end their impunity. Whether this is due to a continuing sense of indebtedness to some of these groups for fighting the Russians or fear they might turn on the state itself, it’s a real problem and we do no service to Ukraine by sweeping it under the rug.

Of course, it’s not a problem any more!

Al Jazeera (2022):

The far-right neo-Nazi group has expanded to become part of Ukraine’s armed forces, a street militia and a political party….

The unit was initially formed as a volunteer group in May 2014 out of the ultra-nationalist Patriot of Ukraine gang, and the neo-Nazi Social National Assembly (SNA) group. Both groups engaged in xenophobic and neo-Nazi ideals and physically assaulted migrants, the Roma community and people opposing their views.A few months after recapturing the strategic port city of Mariupol from the Russian-backed separatists, the unit was officially integrated into the National Guard of Ukraine on November 12, 2014, and exacted high praise from then-President Petro Poroshenko.

“These are our best warriors,” he said at an awards ceremony in 2014. “Our best volunteers.”

Cato (2022):

An especially egregious performance has occurred with respect to the role of the Azov battalion (now the Azov regiment) in Ukraine’s defense effort. The Azov battalion was notorious for years before the Russian invasion as a bastion of extreme nationalists and outright Nazis. That aspect proved to be more than just a source of embarrassment for Ukraine’s supporters when the unit became a crucial player in the battle for the city of Mariupol. The Western (especially US) press sought to portray Ukraine’s resistance to the Russian siege as a heroic effort similar to battle of Stalingrad in World War II.

The prominence of the Azov regiment among the defenders certainly should have complicated that media portrayal. Yet most accounts simply focused on the suffering of Mariupol’s population, the heartless villainy of the Russian aggressors, and the tenacity of the city’s brave defenders. Such accounts typically ignored the presence of Azov fighters among the defenders or failed to disclose their ideological pedigree. A Washington Post story, for example, merely described the Azov regiment as “a nationalist outfit.” Other news accounts referred to the Azov forces in a similar vague manner, occasionally with a perfunctory acknowledgment that the regiment was controversial.

….However, the coverage of the Ukraine war threatens to achieve a new low in media integrity and credibility. When the establishment press whitewashes the behavior of outright neo‐​Nazis, something is terribly amiss.

CNN (2022):

Azov’s military and political wings formally separated in 2016, when the far-right National Corps party was founded. The Azov battalion had by then been integrated into the Ukrainian National Guard.

An effective fighting force that’s very much involved in the current conflict, the battalion has a history of neo-Nazi leanings, which have not been entirely extinguished by its integration into the Ukrainian military. ​

In its heyday as an autonomous militia, the Azov Battalion was associated with White supremacists and neo-Nazi ideology and insignia. It was especially active in and around Mariupol in 2014 and 2015. CNN teams in the area at the time reported Azov’s embrace of neo-Nazi emblems and paraphernalia.

After its integration into the Ukrainian National Guard, amid discussions in the US Congress about designating the Azov Movement a foreign terrorist organization, Ukraine’s then minister of internal affairs, Arsen Avakov, defended the unit. “The shameful information campaign about the alleged spread of Nazi ideology (among Azov members) is a deliberate attempt to discredit the ‘Azov’ unit and the National Guard of Ukraine,” he told the online newspaper Ukrayinska Pravda in 2019.

The battalion still operates as a relatively autonomous entity. It has been prominent in defending Mariupol in recent weeks, and its resistance has been widely praised by members of the government.

Fair (2022):

The outsized influence of neo-Nazi groups in Ukrainian society (Human Rights Watch, 6/14/18)—including the the Azov Regiment, the explicitly neo-Nazi branch of Ukraine’s National Guard—is another fact that has been dismissed as disinformation. Western outlets once understood far-right extremism as a festering issue (Haaretz, 12/27/18) that Ukraine’s government “underplayed” (BBC, 12/13/14).

The Financial Times (3/29/22) and London Times (3/30/22) attempted to rehabilitate the Azov regiment’s reputation, using the disinformation label to downplay the influence of extremism in the national guard unit. Quoting Azov’s founder Andriy Biletsky as well as an unnamed Azov commander, the Financial Times cast Azov’s members as “patriots” who “shrug off the neo-Nazi label as ‘Russian propaganda.’” Alex Kovzhun, a “consultant” who helped draft the political program of the National Corps, Azov’s political wing, added a lighthearted human interest perspective, saying Azov was “made up of historians, football hooligans and men with military experience.”

That the Financial Times would take Biletsky at his word on the issue of Azov’s Nazi-free character, a man who once declared that the National Corps would “lead the white races of the world in a final crusade…against Semite-led Untermenschen [subhumans]” (Guardian, 3/13/18), is a prime example of how Western media have engaged in information war at the expense of their most basic journalistic duties and ethics.

APPENDIX B: Kozatsky is a Fascist

In addition to the Nazi paraphernalia described by Shariy above, we have Twitter likes:

On Twitter, the Azov press spokesperson [Kozatsky] has “liked” many horrendous posts, including an image of a symbol associated with the Nazi SS which largely administered the Holocaust. The Totenkopf was captioned: “Your face when you read news about gypsies.” That year, in 2018, the U.S. Helsinki Commission warned, “attacks on Roma in Ukraine have escalated dramatically.” Earlier that spring, Kozatsky liked an image of the KKK and another tweet that said “Heil Hitler!” on the Nazi dictator’s birthday. In January 2019, Kozatsky liked an image of Amon Göth, an Austrian Nazi who commanded the Plaszow concentration camp and was portrayed in Schindler’s List as the main antagonist of the film. In March 2020, not long after the first confirmed case of Covid-19 in his country, Kozatsky liked an image of Ukrainian graffiti that said “Death to Yids” with an SS symbol. Two days before he surrendered in Mariupol, someone on Twitter mocked Kozatsky for his ankle tattoos: “I’m not a nazi.” He responded, “I want to disappoint you and tell you that the swastika is not only Nazi. Here is your homework, young investigator…” There are plenty of more examples of him being a Nazi on the internet.

As seen above, Dmytro Kozatsky obviously gets a big kick out of the neo-Nazi code 1488, and he appears to be fond of the white supremacist Ukrainian brands SvaStone and “White Print.” According to Reporting Radicalism, a website created by the US-funded Freedom House in Ukraine, “The brand name SvaStone alludes to the swastika. Its logo is a stylized swastika… The logo and name are exclusively used as a brand that targets far-right consumers.” White Print is more obscure and overtly neo-Nazi. This Azov-associated brand, which apparently operates exclusively on the Russian social media network VK, made Kozatsky’s 1488 tshirt, and perhaps another featuring a sun cross swastika. Kozatsky expressed interest in another one of their shirts glorifying the “Galicia Division” — the Ukrainian Waffen-SS unit — in addition to the shirt he already has emblazoned with the Nazi formation’s Ukrainian emblem.

Not a nice person at all.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Tommy S

    so great NC, is fearless about this crap. thank you so much…Though I hate equally the Russian regime, I’m not stupid enough to support a Nato war, or USA regime change anywhere on the planet.

    1. YankeeFrank

      Hating the Russian “regime” (democratically elected govt) is standard in the USA and I have to wonder why. Putin and the Russian government waited for 8 years after the brutal fascist attacks began on Russian-speaking Ukrainians in 2014 to start the SMO — a time during which over 14,000 died due to the Ukrainian “regime” — 80% of the dead were ethnic Russians (those numbers are from the UN). They tried every possible way to stop the constant shelling of Ukrainian towns in the east including Minsk I & II which the Ukrainians admit they never intended to implement. The restraint shown by Russia is something you would never see from any of the US “regimes” and yet they are the brutal, dictatorial monsters we should now hate.

      I actually admire Putin for breaking the yoke imposed on his country by the US after the Soviet Union’s fall. He broke the oligarchs (created by the US) looting Russia and turned it into a successful nation — a monumental task after the horror of the 1990s. That’s why his approval rating has floated from the mid 60’s range to its current 80% during the past 20 years. Without Russian opposition the western regime plan of global homogenization would doom us all. Almost all of what you hear about Russia and China in the US is CIA nonsense.

    2. Ignacio

      How easy would be not to hate something such as Russia… and particularly a country about which someone like me, for instance, knows very little. Typically the more you know the more difficult to hate. If, let´s say Biden, does something i consider wildly incorrect… should I hate the US? Should I hate China because Xi Jinping? The UK because Johnson? Germany because… let’s say Habeck? Ukraine because Zelensky or Kozatsky? (etc)
      Or is this “I hate this country” some sort of short way of saying a different thing?

      I think, Tommy your mind has been permeated by the tons of anti-Russian propaganda available everywhere these days. IMO saying something like “I hate Russia” is quite unfair.

      1. Tommy S

        I pretty much ‘hate’ all states. They exist to enforce private property, and corporate rights..and destroy any real bottom up socialism…..among much else…. I’m an anarchist. All support to the Russian people, well most anyway.

        1. Michaelmas

          Tommy S: They exist to enforce private property, and corporate rights..and destroy any real bottom up socialism…..among much else

          Among other things. Because it’s not that simple and nation-states have historically also been the only providers of national healthcare, education, unemployment insurance, and other socialist goods, as with regimes as various as Bismark’s Germany or the UK’s Attlee government.

          It’s for that precise reason that neoliberal globalists dislike and propagandize against vulgar ‘nationalism.’

  2. jsn

    Thank you for this!

    For the last six months I’ve been struggling with backing the claim that until February Azov was acknowledged as Neo-Nazi by mainstream sources.

    To have it in one place now from Atlantic Council, Cato and CNN is fantastic!

  3. OIFVet

    I don’t see why you are surprised about the US harboring, nurturing and funding Ukie (and German, Croatian, Bulgarian, and other nationalities) nazis. They have been doing just that since the end of WW2. To paraphrase a US president, “They may be nazis, but they are OUR nazis.” And given how thoroughly the liberal establishment has been harnessed to do CIA’s bidding, the penetration of cultural institutions can be viewed simply as part of the perception shaping operations being run on the US public.

    The only thing that this latest sordid chapter in America getting in bed with unsavory characters does for me is to despise liberals even more.

    1. Michaelmas

      OIFVET: the US harboring, nurturing and funding Ukie (and German, Croatian, Bulgarian, and other nationalities) nazis … (and) have been doing just that since the end of WW2.

      I recently read a biography of James Jesus Angleton. It turns out that precisely these activities were essentially Angleton’s one and only professional accomplishment and claim to fame at the CIA.

      Hard not to approve of the greater professional accomplishment of Angleton’s buddy Kim Philby in playing scum like Angleton so adeptly.

    2. Carolinian

      “The missiles go up. Who knows where they come down?” He was definitely a Nazi. But after WW2, as now, suppressing the Russians was job one. The soon to be CIA thought the Nazis knew how to take the Russians on. For we Quiet Americans the ends always justify the means. Just keep it secret.

      1. ambrit

        “We aimed at the stars and hit London.”
        In all fairness, I must also mention Antwerp, Belgium, which received more incoming V-2s than did London. (Antwerp–1610 and London–1358.) Paris also got into the ‘action,’ receiving 22 V-2s.
        See, (scroll down to Targets):

        1. caucus99percenter

          I Aim at the Stars was the actual name of the British film biography of Wernher von Braun, distributed by Columbia Pictures and shown in U.S. movie theatres. The “…and hit London” wisecrack comes from a line in the film spoken by a figure critical of, and cynical about, the scientist.

          Von Braun was also the scientific lead figure in three “educational” space-promoting Walt Disney films, which also were aired as Disneyland TV series episodes in the 1950s.

          Von Braun was briefly a national hero after the success of Explorer I and the Army’s Redstone Arsenal wiped out the memory of the U.S.’s initial failure two months earlier with the Navy’s Vanguard.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > The missiles go up. Who knows where they come down

        For those who came in late:

        Don’t say that he’s hypocritical,
        Say rather that he’s apolitical.
        “Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down?
        That’s not my department, ” says Wernher von Braun.

        “Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down” goes for Silicon Valley. Certainly Uber… Everybody will just have to make their personal risk assessments.

        1. caucus99percenter

          The Apple TV+ series For All Mankind portrays an alternate-history timeline where the first mission to land on the Moon is Soviet, not American.

          In that timeline, Wernher von Braun doesn’t get the grace period that the U.S. “winning” the space race granted him in real life and is instead promptly targeted as part of a congressional hearing into what is seen as a record of NASA snafus. The relevant episode even includes a clip from that very Tom Lehrer video.

    3. hk

      We saw much the same crap during the Yugoslav Wars, with worse-than-Nazis Ustashe being openly lionized in certain circles. I am admittedly amazed that the support for the Nazis is as widespread among “do gooders” as it is–sympathy towards the Croatian Nazis was a bit more subtle/less overt in 1990s.

  4. danpaco

    While the battle for Mariupol was raging our local 24hr news cannel CP24 (toronto) constantly played battle footage from Ukraine branded with an Azov screenbug. it was appalling and nobody batted an eye.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        [lambert blushes modestly].

        I’m sure there are many other examples, but this is the best I can do with Google having become something other than a search engine. Perhaps readers will post comments with sightings.

  5. Quentin

    The filth descending on the USA becomes daily more appalling. That Mitchell womann is really dipping her toes into Nazism?

    1. JBird4049

      From what I have seen, and honestly, I have been ignoring her for years, Andrea Mitchell has always followed the party line, and has not done real reporting in years, no even the mild sort that some anchors used to do. She is fed the approved story and that is that.

      It has been a slow, but steady, process in the United States’ mainstream media. Every year more of the honest reporters, producers, and anchors get sent to figurative Siberia or are “retired” or just fired. Every year, the remaining independent stations are bought out and made more “efficient.” The shrinking number of survivors get the message to do only the approved news in the approved style or they will be retired.

      Honestly, no matter how bad the new media has become, so long as the those who personally remembered the Second World War (or McCarthyism) were in charge or perhaps their immediate children, certain things would not be done. Just like how those who were in charge remembered the Great Depression stopped the most excessive actions under Neoliberalism. Too bad. We could use several dozen Edward R. Murrows.

      There are reasons beside taxes for why history has been gutted in education from first grade through college.

    2. rob

      lest we not forget
      andrea mitchell is alan greenspan’s wife.
      She hasn’t uttered anything remotely anti-central scrutinizer in several decades… if ever

  6. Michael Fiorillo

    Ah, the #McResistance: touting a DNC/NatSec/media hoax/mass delusion (Russiagate) because Orange Man Is Hitler, then pivoting on a dime to glorify actual Nazis in Ukraine. It’s very PoMo and meta, isn’t it?

    1. Polar Socialist

      That’s the thing with the Nazis: nobody likes them, but people of upper middle class and higher always think they can control them – until they can’t. Then it’s too late.

      Happened to a lot of Eastern European countries between the wars, where this new thing appearing after the WW1, democracy, made the old ruling/owning class to fear the masses and seek help from the most ardent anti-socialist circles available. And all of a sudden it was dictators and brown/black/grayshirts everywhere! Who would have guessed?

      On a tangent, all same countries then had the big payback after the WW2, by the local communist cadres bearing a grudge towards the enablers. Now, they naturally blame Soviet Union/Russia for all the bad things done during these internal struggles from practically medieval societies to modern “liberal democracies”. (Sorry for the rant)

    2. semper loquitur

      “It’s very PoMo and meta, isn’t it?”

      Yep, it’s all about narrative control. Want a different reality? Just talk it into existence! Now the objectification of women is soul felt self-expression for men, photographing mutilated infants is art, sexualizing children is fashion. Joe Biden is just super extra friendly with women and girls. Russia is out of missiles and simultaneously a global threat. Putin is a fool and a dark genius at the same time. Hunter discussing “10% for the big guy” means not a thing as he sat on the board of a company in an industry he would struggle to define accurately. The “big guy” shutting down an investigation of his buffoon of a son and then bragging about it is passed over without comment.

      A recent CNN commentator, with that bland, matter-of-fact, composed façade of the super reasonable PMC grifter, explained how fetishists reading Dr. Seuss to children is perfectly normal, what’s all the hubbub about? He tried to look genuinely perplexed.

      Jimmy Dore had a recent show featuring those mongoloids who host The View discussing the Balinciaga BDSM bear ads. Their verdict? It was all “in poor taste”. Not criminal, not depraved, not damaging to the children who were exploited for the photos. “Poor taste” was the crime committed. And watch out for those who use the word “groomer”, they are right-wingers! Oh, and Balinciaga’s latest designs were terrible too. All talk, nothing of substance, nothing has any real meaning.

      I read the Dark Mountain piece Amfortas linked earlier. Marx is quoted and I think we are watching that quote play out around us: “all that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned.” I’ll always be amazed at how quickly it happens though, how one second something that is deservedly condemned is suddenly on sale at your local toy store. Or Kindergarten classroom. I’ve said it before, at least the conservatives believe in something, for better or for worse. Liberals are black holes, they have no bottom line in their quest for righteousness and therefore the dispensation to rule.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Or Kindergarten classroom

        It’s hard to know how widespread the various phenomena decried by the right are. I would like to see an aggregation of curricula, for example. Conservatives do aghastitude just as well as liberals, after all, just over different things.

        1. semper loquitur

          That’s a fair point. I’m sure the Right is being hyperbolic about groomer teachers. I’m still shocked to see it at all, though. Was there not a time when even one instance would have been held up for universal approbation? If only for an outlet to look morally based and to grab eyeballs?

          1. caucus99percenter

            It helps the Right that some individual cases are so weird, it is not hard to convince alarmed parents that they constitute — to hark back to those old military recruiting ads — an “Army of One.”

            Kayla Lemieux, the teacher known for wearing large prosthetic breasts:


      2. rob

        “conservatives believe in something”
        the problem is though, that what they BELIEVE in are fairytales.
        the left, are the same as the right… made up of mostly clueless people shaped by their aversion to looking at anything too deeply. And never feeling responsible for the mess they make.

  7. José Freitas

    I really, really, REALLY, can’t wrap up my head around the fact that Russia releases this type of prisoners. Why???

    1. JohnA

      It was a a prisoner swap. And the Russians were desperate to help their own troops help prisoner by Ukraine and cruelly tortured, blinded, castrated, maimed etc. Gilbert Doctorow in a recent post claimed a hospital in St Petersburg was treating many of these agonised victims but the authorities were keeping it mostly quiet to avoid potential bloodthirsty demands by ordinary Russians to level Ukraine to the ground once and for all.

    2. Daniil Adamov

      Possibly because our authorities don’t actually consider them to be exceptionally objectionable or dangerous?

    3. C.O.

      I do wonder if the Russians aren’t quietly taking note of the western media and government responses to the few of that very type of prisoner after their release. The responses are certainly instructive, and they are out in public. Funny enough, this specific case also resonates with part of a history podcast episode I was listening to yesterday, Episode 6 of the World War 1 Civ series of Justin Podur and Dave Power’s wonderful Civilizations podcast project (Project home page:

      If anyone else would like to listen to the episode, here is its page:

      This episode includes an brief description of the tsarist Okrana and their deliberate practice of letting certain prisoners go. I don’t claim that early twentieth century secret service practice in Russia explains what the military and secret services in today’s Russian Federation today, but it is thought provoking in the way the Von Clausewitz is. (Thanks to the NC commentariat I finally sat down and read Von Clausewitz.)

  8. Joe Renter

    It was a eye opener when I was old enough to know better on how the Nazis came to power between the wars. The powers that be were so afraid of socialism and the idea of losing control to the masses. But I am sure after seeing Russia losing the Czar stuck fear in many people other than the elite, perhaps. The story is much more complex than that I imagine. Using the term national socialism as a cloaking term is interesting in itself.
    The current news on the neo-Nazis having elevated status (dressed in acceptable norms) now is a mind bender.

    1. JBird4049

      And actual leftists and progressives of the non-performative kind are hated by the Democratic Party/PMC. Telling that.

      I have a vision of all the fascist flowers happily unfolding under a dark sun.

    2. caucus99percenter

      > Using the term national socialism as a cloaking term is interesting in itself.

      Not just proudly incorporating socialist as part of their brand identity, but also workers! The Nazis’ official name was “National Socialist German Workers’ Party,” Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP).

      Successful marketing, holding a lot of appeal for the downtrodden common man and woman feeling betrayed by elites and foreign exploiters at every turn.

      1. Daniil Adamov

        I get the impression that some of the Nazi leadership actually did think they were socialist. Certainly Strasser. Himmler and Goebbels had some such leanings too, though how sincere it was and what they meant by it was less clear. On the other hand, I recall mention of a conversation in which Hitler openly derided socialism as an unfortunate gimmick he had to use to win (when Strasser asked him whether he’d nationalise Krupp, as a socialist should; obviously not).

        1. Michael Fiorillo

          My understanding is that the Night of the Long Knives, where Ernst Roehm and his followers were murdered, came about in part because he wanted more emphasis on the “Socialism” (at least as he saw it) part of National Socialism. While the deadly purge was primarliy about power, there was an ideological component.

    3. Daniil Adamov

      “But I am sure after seeing Russia losing the Czar stuck fear in many people other than the elite, perhaps.”

      The Tsar was one thing. The Republic that followed him before the Bolsheviks overthrew it wasn’t of much value either. However, Bolshevik actions and policies during the Civil War were genuinely horrific, and it is worth remembering that many of the refugees from the Bolsheviks ended up in Germany, spreading the bad news. This genuine horror was then inflated some more by right-wing media and propagandists. That probably contributed to the elevation of fascists, Nazis and other anti-communist extremists, since without the benefit of hindsight they could be plausibly regarded as the lesser evil (sometimes this even applied to how German Jews viewed Nazis – yeah, they’ll take away their legal equality, but they won’t rob and kill them like the communists would, right? It did not turn out that way, yet it appeared plausible to them at the time).

      1. vao

        Let us not forget the very common slogan in France at that time: “Plutôt Hitler que le Front Populaire” — better Hitler than the Popular Front (in French it rhymes). It goes quite a long way to explain the attitude of the French governments (and other democracies) during the Spanish civil war, and during the occupation of France by Germany.

  9. fresno dan

    The main purpose of this post is to show a Nazi insinuating himself — and rather easily — into the upper reaches of our culture industry (fashion, film, books) through such examples as I can glean from Google in its currrent state. The culture industry being primarily PMC and Democrat, the same people defending and applauding Kozatsky are also the ones with “In This House” signs on their lawns, who decry “hate” wherever they feel they encounter it. It’s a funny old world
    Its a terrible old world.
    What was the old saying – never argue with someone who buys ink by the barrel? Now a days, those who command giga trillons of pixels can control what most people are told is reality, and more importantly, suppress incovenient facts.

    1. Questa Nota

      They seized the high ground, or the high screen.

      On a positive note, there do appear to be fewer of those In This House signs compared to the summertime. That is a type of Quiet Quitting, the modern version of Staring Thoughtfully Into the Middle Distance.

      The overall impression that the PMC / In This House collective makes on me is one of being scared shitless. They don’t want to say, do or even think the wrong thing, because what will their peers think? It doesn’t matter so much what anyone else thinks, just those peers and, by extension, the perceived next level up. The utter lack of coherent thought that should accompany receipt of news about ACTUAL NAZIS is just further down the continuum from their other performative posturings.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > The overall impression that the PMC / In This House collective makes on me is one of being scared shitless.

        That is the PMC’s existential position. They can’t sell their labor, like the working class. They have no (economic) capital, like the ruling class. They have only social capital. Hence, “predatory precarity.”

  10. Amfortas the hippie

    arent these Blue check people now feting actual nazis as heroes…the same people who …not so long ago…were all about that revisionist 1619 claptrap?
    and how amurka is totally, essentially, racist to the core?
    and fascist, to boot?
    and a little before that, about how all dudes who like chicks are all racist hemanwomanhaters, because a few rich guys actually were?
    and before that, about how the entire non-bougies population of said Amurka were deplorable fascists who should be resisted at all costs, lest we infect their precious bodily fluids with our uncouthness?

    and arent these the same general class of folks who just threw a few big unions under the corporate bus? wont let us have healthcare?
    are all in for censorship of “unapproved” doubleplusungoodspeak?
    and have somehow avoided legislating for the “essential workers”, if not actively opposing them, for 35+ years?

    fuck them
    i’ll continue to think for myself, and spit on the floor, in spite of their vapors.

    1. hk

      The same people would have feted Ernst Rohm and the Nazis as LGBTQ heroes had they been around in 1930s. (I wonder how they’d have reacted to the Night of Long Knives, though.)

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Fascion

      Not a Bowie fan, but the lyrics from his song “Fashion” are a propos:

      There’s a brand new dance
      But I don’t know its name
      That people from bad homes
      Do again and again
      It’s big and it’s bland
      Full of tension and fear
      They do it over there
      But we don’t do it here

  11. truly

    Thank you Lambert for posting this.
    Around the beginning of the year, when things got more heated in Uk I started bookmarking sources that warned of the rise of nationalism and Neo Naziism in Eastern Europe. Pretty soon I had over twenty bookmarks. Some were to articles that had collections of their own bookmarks with more than 20 sources supporting the notion that there were Nazis in Ukraine. And that they held significant power. Time, BBC, The Nation, CISAC- The Center for International Security and Cooperation (think tank at Stanford), MOA, and many many more. And then on Feb 22 all of this went down the memory hole.
    Simply amazing that media sources who warned of the rise of nationalism, supremacy, and Neo Naziism could suddenly claim that it was a right wing conspiracy, pushed by friends of the Kremlin.
    First they came for those who bookmarked articles about nationalism and fascism.
    Then they came for the writers of those articles……
    When they round us up and march us off to camps for just knowing what we know, we can take comfort that we will be surrounded by wonderful people who are immune to propoganda.

    1. Acacia

      They should be recorded in the Wayback Machine.

      It would be interesting to have that evidence of scrubbing history.

      1. C.O.

        Alas, the Wayback Machine is known to scrub pages and websites when the right people contact them and the pages and websites in question run too far afoul of “the narrative” at the time. I don’t know if they undelete when “the narrative” changes.

        1. Acacia

          Yes, though there is also

          I guess my point is that it’s not so easy to to memory-hole stuff on the Internet because there will often be traces or copies made by other sites, which means there will be evidence that history has been scrubbed. A MSM site could yank the article from their server but there will be copies. In addition to the archive sites, search engines typically have a cache. Is an MSM org going to contact three or four separate organizations to request that all copies of a single story are purged? If we have hard evidence that that is happening, isn’t that also kind of a story?

          If we have evidence that the NYT, for example, formerly published articles condemning Nazis in the Ukraine, but then those articles disappeared from their site, and from the Wayback Machine, but not from, it would be clear that somebody made an effort to scrub the history.

          You or I may not be even slightly surprised by this, but there are many people who still listen to MSM sources and take them seriously. To argue against such people, we would need hard evidence that efforts are being taken to manipulate the narrative, not simply claims that “that article I read disappeared”.

          Again: hard evidence, not claims.

  12. Aumua

    I don’t know why AOC’s name has to be dragged into it, but otherwise an excellent article. I really love the picture.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > I don’t know why AOC’s name has to be dragged into it

      Because AOC is an elected representative from the area and endorsed by DSA. One would think that a putative socialist with a large following — particularly among youth — would find a few minutes to put the spotlight on a Nazi and decry his presence. Apparently not! (Then again, the SPD played a pretty equivocal role in Germany as well, starting with voting for war credits in 1914. History doesn’t repeat but….)

      1. Aumua

        Well Ukraine’s special and criticism is off limits. We can’t deviate from the script there, sorry.

      2. playon

        One would also think that if AOC is a “socialist” she wouldn’t have voted to screw railroad workers.

      3. madrad

        She and other far left people who supposedly claim “socialist” or “anti fascist” are too busy calling women who protest men being in women’s sports or men being transferred into women’s prisons nazis. They of course do not care about actual nazis.

  13. The Rev Kev

    It shouldn’t come as a surprise that governments will support out and out Nazis and invite them into the centers of power (so they can measure for drapes?) After all, the west was actually supporting Al Qaeda in recent years with money, weapons, training, intelligence and even providing them with air power. I guess that 9/11 is all just past history now for them. So why not support Nazis too? Maybe it is a generational thing. Growing up in the 60s and 70s there were plenty of documentaries aired on TV showing exactly who the Nazis were and what they were all about. The capstone for these was the 26-episode British documentary television series “The World at War” back in ’73. But now it is all about expediency so for example you find the kids and grand-kids of Polish massacre victims working hand in hand with the kids and grand-kids of the Ukrainian mass murderers of Poles. And other countries tolerated Nazis too such as in the Baltic States in spite of it being illegal in the EU. But they were given a pass so what do I know. Point is that governments will always support Nazis if they can be made use of.

    And the media? When Putin said that the west was an “Empire of Lies”, likely most people did not have a clue what he was talking about. But I am sure that most people in the media did. They have a simple deal in that they spew out the line of propaganda spewed by the establishment and they will have a comfortable job with many career opportunities. If they don’t, they are gone for good. You can masturbate online in front of your colleagues and you will be only suspended for a brief time but tell the truth about Nazis and you are gone for good. So that is why when you listen to the media they will tell you that Putin is bad, sanctions are good, unions are corrupted, AOC & The Squad are progressives – and now Nazis are good. My point is that with both governments and the media, they know exactly what they are doing but are doing so for their own reasons.

    Which brings me to what could be called the well off who also make up the professional managerial class. They have access to the internet and researching who and what the Azov people are all about is not hard. The Azov people boast about being white supremacists and they have plans to expand west. And them claiming that a Nazi salute is just them pointing at the sun strains the edges of credulity. So these sort of people have no excuses to pretend to be ignorant. And yet you see crowds of them attend when the Azov guys & gals go on tour as if they were real heroes. And these very same people provide political support to the government to aid and arm them. When younger I wondered what it was like for an average person living in Germany in the 30s knowing that you could not stop what was happening and that you were in for the ride anyway. I think that I have a better understanding now.

    1. caucus99percenter

      > I think that I have a better understanding now.

      I feel the same.

      There was a discussion here seeking reasons why people as well-educated as doctors were disproportionately among Nazi-dom’s “early adopters.” Huh. Well, just look around at our present situation.

      The more prestigious the place of people’s college education, the more “woke” their institution’s corporate culture and the more eager they seem to circle wagons around profiteering war-drum beaters / Dem-GOP duopoly figures of the day, even as everyone’s essential freedoms are being cast aside and trampled.

      And all for what? Beats me. I guess the elites are still trying to get Trump (“The walls are closing in™”) and punish Putin. Well, walls are closing in—around us vulnerable ordinary slobs and senior citizens, in our precarious existence.

      <rant off>

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > these sort of people have no excuses to pretend to be ignorant. And yet you see crowds of them attend when the Azov guys & gals go on tour as if they were real heroes. And these very same people provide political support to the government to aid and arm them. When younger I wondered what it was like for an average person living in Germany in the 30s knowing that you could not stop what was happening and that you were in for the ride anyway. I think that I have a better understanding now.

      If you have not read Richard Evans’ The Coming of the Third Reich, I highly recommend it. He gives a really good sense of “what it was like”, based on personal diaries and other documents. It’s head and shoulders above anything I’ve ever read on fascism. A real work of scholarship, with full apparatus, and yet gripping and readable.

      1. Tommy S

        The three volumes of Evan’s are excellent. Have read twice. And that’s after 30 years of reading left analysis, and books like Germany Tried Democracy. Must reads all three. Explains very clearly why most doctors immediately joined up. Germany had hundreds of years militaristic and racist culture. As the late Raul Hilberg explains in Shoah, the final solution was part three of a hundred years of actions….

    3. Acacia

      So these sort of people have no excuses to pretend to be ignorant.

      Agree, though what I have experienced is that they (1) were not giving any attention to the Ukraine until this February, when the media started hyperventilating about the Russian SMO (b-b-but… Putin invaded the Ukraine!!), and (2) when challenged in any way, they double down on the narrative that they’ve received since late February.

      Indeed they have access to the internet and could research what the Azov people are about, but they won’t spend the time to do so, because it’s much easier to just repeat the preheated narrative and get all self-righteous about how horrible Russia and, by extension Putin are. If you point out that the mass media itself did a 180° turn on the Azov and fascists in the Ukraine, the virtuous signalers just blink with incomprehension and carry on with their self-righteous rant. They are living in a timeline shaped by hoodwinking and propaganda.

      If you tell them they have been drinking a little too much kool-aid, they will only double down harder on the narrative. The only thing I can see possibly swaying these people is a pile-on of incontrovertible primary source evidence, both that there ARE Neo-Nazis in the Ukraine and that the media has tried to spin this otherwise. In my experience, at least, simply describing Stepan Bandera and asking why he’s considered a “hero” is not enough, as many good-thinking liberals will just wave that away.

  14. DJG, Reality Czar

    Somehow following the dollars and euro: “what stuns me is the ease with which Kozatsky is penetrating our cultural institutions. Booking agents, facilities managers, press agents, board members who organize such things, fashion editors, network anchors: All combining their efforts to service a Nazi professionally, as if it were the most normal thing in the world, which at this point perhaps it is.”

    I had a similar thought several weeks back, when I attended a concert by the pianist Melnyk, a Canadian/Ukrainian who claims “continuous music,” the ability to play more notes a second than anyone else.

    The concert was here in Chocolate City in a highly atmospheric locale: The former chapel of a graveyard in the Italian style–long porticos surrounding an expanse of (deconsecrated camposanto) land, with the chapel at the far end. The concert accommodated about fifty, maybe seventy attendees, who paid about 10 euro each.

    Where did the money come from to bring Melnyk from Canada for a single night’s performance?

    Melnyk doesn’t speak Italian and went on (and on) in English. First, about emotions and technique. Then about some Ukrainian music traditions. And then came the nazifascist songs: Melnyk told us that the proceeds from sales of his CDs at the concert would go to the Ukrainian army–“for socks and soap” and things like that.

    A talky nazifascist, he then called the Russians orcs and went into a whole “we don’t even look like them” spiel. Ahhh, the endless resentment of the Russian Finno-Asiatic hordes.

    On the way out, exiting the moody camposanto and its atmospheric gate, I asked my Italian friends if they understood all of the English. They said yes. I pointed out that he was 100 percent a nazifascist. That kind-a derailed the conversation for a few minutes.

    And yet: Who is putting up the money for the current onslaught of Ukrainian artistic mediocrities now swarming through the West? (Let’s not even talk about goofy EuroVision and this year’s results.)

    1. playon

      “the ability to play more notes a second than anyone else”

      As a musician myself I find this kind of thing loathsome. Technique is not music.

  15. dandyandy

    In the meantime in our green and pleasant UK land, last evening on Newsnight, (this used to be a reasonable political analysis show some years back), the usual pack of shills were setting up their own private war crimes tribunal, specially tailored for just one customer, a Mr VVP.

    When FT turned into a turd, I cancelled my subscription. However I cannot unsubscribe from BBC. The law says I must pay the TV License and support this neoliberal neocolonial racist crap that is being rammed down the throats of 67 million people.

    If sources of genuine information (hat tip NC) did not exist, I’d be thinking I was on acid.

    1. Brian Beijer

      If sources of genuine information (hat tip NC) did not exist, I’d be thinking I was on acid.

      This is how I’ve felt for the past three years. The relentless global gaslighting has been mind melting. I find myself pondering whether even basic “facts” are true. Since the pandemic began, I’ve found myself re-examining everything I thought I once “knew”. I can no longer trust any of the social institutions; not the universities, journalism, “neutral” international organizations, medicine or even science itself. Everything I once dismissed as looney conspiracy theories, now seems equally as plausible as the narrative I’m being told. How does one navigate a Jackson Pollock world? NC helps provide a little structure within the chaos, but it’s often not enough to offset the swirling, dizzying confusion of colors/ narratives that the machine cranks out relentlessly. I’m grateful though to NC for being the place I know I can find others who are striving to find reality in all this fiction.

  16. David

    I don’t think that the European or US political classes see themselves as consciously cuddling up to right-wing nationalist extremists. It would be less worrying if they did.

    The capacity of these classes for self-delusion is almost infinite, and comes from two things. One is an attempt to project our political spectrum onto the rest of the world. So there are “moderates” (usually “pro-western”), “extremists”, “nationalists”, “radicals”, “hard-liners”, pro-this, pro-that etc, irrespective of what the situation is on the ground. So the West supports those it believes are most like (or least unlike) itself, even if that similarity or lack of difference is hard for others to see. Because it wants to have influence everywhere, it tries to isolate and support groups it sees as being more “moderate”, or closer to our way of thinking or at least our objectives. And clever local actors know the words to use to gain our support. So whilst the West never, for example, “supported” Al Qaida or the Islamic State, it managed to fool itself that by supplying weapons to groups in Syria, for example, that were not overtly religious (and there were some at the start of the conflict) it could exert influence. But of course these weapons were promptly sold and wound up in the wrong hands, or units simply defected.

    The second is that the West is Always Right. By definition, we only support Good People, and so by deduction, anyone we support must be Good, and if evidence is found to support that, it must be quietly buried or forgotten. This has happened for decades: George Orwell noticed how quickly the discourse on the Soviet Union shifted after 1941, with Soviet Flags being displayed in London. No ally of ours could possibly be open to question.,

    Conscious evil is much easier to deal with than self)delusion and stupidity.

    1. Daniil Adamov

      Mhm. It does suggest some remarkable skill at forgetting/agreeing to pretend to forget everything that doesn’t fit this view, as illustrated by the news meme. Obviously, they don’t consciously support far-right nationalists! The people they support are obviously not really far-right nationalists in any way that counts, and to say otherwise is to side with the aggressor.

    2. hk

      Thanks for the reminder about Orwell’s observation. We’ve always been allied with Eurasia, indeed (as corollary to having always been at war with Eastasia, that is)

  17. Lex

    Excellent work, Lambert. Thank you. Of course influential sectors of the US have never had much problem with Nazis, going back to the rise of the original Nazis. And the seeds of Ukrainian nationalism we see today were carefully preserved by the US, planted and tended. They serve a larger purpose and so get special dispensation. I think David’s comment summarizes that very well. The PMC will conveniently forget their support for Ukrainian fascists and violent neo-Nazis when the related groups (and in some cases the same people) do their neo-Nazi shit here in the states. The connection between the Ukrainian groups and US groups is strong and known.

    That liberal PMC will refuse to understand that Dimitrov’s definition of fascism is the correct definition: fascism is the political manifestation of finance capitalism. Aside from how that makes the PMC a little bit fascist itself, it means that the PMC will eventually be faced with a decision to either adopt more hardcore fascist behavior and trappings or it will be a target for the goons of fascism.

    The cartoon version of fascism the US holds in mind is a product of economic collapse and misery. There were lots of outright neo-Nazis in Russia during the 90’s. Ukraine has had them only grow in power since it never climbed out of failed state status. The PMC’s tourist vision of Europe will reflect this more and more if the economic trend lines in Europe continue. And the US won’t be spared. The PMC is still having a fit about 1/6 and describes it as a fascist putsch attempt. Good thing a bunch of those guys are learning the real ropes in Ukraine now as volunteers defending the western order. See, Dimitrov’s definition again.

  18. Exiled_in_Boston

    ‘…until his capture by Russian forces and ultimate release in a prisoner exchange.’ If one of the main reasons that Russia invaded Ukraine was to denazify that country, why in heaven’s name do they release captured Nazis? Does not seem like that is a way to attain a major war aim.

    1. Daniil Adamov

      “Denazification”, like “delimitarisation”, as used by the present Russian government is an extremely vague concept that can be stretched to cover any possible interpretation of those words. I suspect that is by design, since it means Putin can declare victory at a time of his choosing. I rather doubt it means “capturing or killing every Nazi in Ukraine”, in any case. It could mean “forcing Ukraine to remove people we call Nazis from the government” or “inflicting a sufficiently high rate of casualties on far-right military units” or some combination thereof.

  19. Victor Sciamarelli

    A fundamental fact about US foreign policy is that people are always a means; and never an end.
    Though a handful of Ukrainians like Kozatsky have figured out that serviceability to US interests is the road to acceptance and media access; we have been here before.
    Pick any decade since 1898 when the US decided to become an empire, and there is a long list of fascist characters we called friends. Death squads in El Salvador, military coups is Guatemala, Honduras, and Brazil, Pinochet and the murder of Allende, Contra terrorists in Nicaragua labeled freedom fighters, or Suharto in Indonesia, and when locals can’t handle the load the US is ready to step in and unleash barbaric violence; as in Vietnam; the list goes on.
    Kozatsky will enjoy his 15 minutes of fame. Meanwhile, Ukraine is on the road to ruin and bankruptcy, and will likely hand over its economy and resources to private investors. What else is new?

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