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View Diary: German Neo-Nazis Forge Ties With Ukrainian Svoboda (146 comments)

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  •  Russia (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    koNko, sweatyb, duhban

    Putin's Russia is the leading edge of 21st century fascism. Putin allows neo-nazi groups to operate openly in Russia as long as they don't actually call themselves nazis. These groups seek out gays and then target them for violence just as German Nazi groups did to Jews. In Russia, gays are the the outgroup scapegoats, and they are being blamed for the "corruption" of the West. Russian ultra-nationalism is surging and it is pumped up through propaganda by state-owned Russian media. This isn't some hypothetical about what some small small group within a government might do if it achieves power. This is already happening in a state with enough nuclear warheads to cause the extinction of our species. Can this be reasonably called anything but the new Russian version of fascism? Yes, the specter of German nazism is still a useful propaganda tool that Putin uses often to manipulate the Russian people, but the idea that he or the people helping him run Russia have a problem with fascism when they themselves are world's leading fascists is preposterous.

    •  That's why I am hostile to Russia's alleged worry (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      koNko, duhban

      ...about Ukrainian nationalism and fascism.  Russian nationalism and fascism are objectively far more prominent in terms of their proximity to power.

      It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

      by Rich in PA on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 11:09:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There is only one (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Richard Lyon, koNko, Sophie Amrain

        right wing politician in close proximity to power with extreme views even for Russians - it's vice premier Dmitry Rogozin, he had party Rodina which advocated rights of Russians everywhere, in national republics and in former Soviet countries.

        However he never seem to cross the line between nationalism and ultra-right ideology, never advocated racist views, never tried to organize militants like Ukraine's Svoboda.

        Kremlin ruthlessly (probably by bribes, posts) engineered dissolution of Rodina, while its firebrand leader's energy was directed to NATO (where Rogozin was envoy) and right now he deals with weapon makers and space industry.

        As for other members of Putin's administration I don't know any who could be branded right wing let alone ultra right wing.

    •  Putin in fact banned (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Richard Lyon, Euroliberal, koNko

      many neo-Nazi organizations in Russia like National Bolshevik Party, Russian Union etc which propagate racist supremacy and hate 10 mln of migrants from Central Asia and first of all Caucasians like Chechens.

      He also cracked down on racist football fans after riots in 2010.

      It's the West which gives support to such groups in Russia for example google Alexey Navalny, harshest Putin critic and "democracy activist" according to Western media but who incidentally upholds racist and neonazi views, has been attending and supporting neonazi Russian marches on November 4 every year, was expelled for his racist views from Yabloko (small opposition) party.

      Navalny was educated in Yale on US grant, Michael McFaul former ambassador of US met him, & keeps in touch with such odious figures as former chess champion Kasparov who also attended meetings of neonazi organizations trying to organize common front against Kremlin.

      •  The truth is somewhere between the two of you. (6+ / 0-)

        Part of the problem is language, though.  What do we mean when we say "fascist" or "neo-Nazi"?  Many of the groups you both have mentioned don't make sense in either of those categories - e.g. if National Bolshevism is neo-Nazi, then the latter really has become meaningless as a descriptor.  And what would we consider Nashi?  Fascist? Neo-Nazi?  Proto-neo-fasci-nazi?

        I'll back you up on this point, though: for all the bad things Putin does, one area he's been moderately better about than the rest of his colleagues is relaxing ethnic tensions.  Granted, some of this is merely show, but as with the recent Moscow riots, he's shown more dispensation toward executing laws against ethnic hatred.  (I say some of it is "merely show", though, because he hasn't done jack about the Uzbek camps outside of Moscow or the persistent violence against undocumented workers, etc.)  Ethnic Russian nationalism has made huge strides in the last decade, but Putin has taken a mostly hands-off approach to that.  His interests, whatever they may be, aren't ethnic at root.  And he's been much, much better to the Jewish community than almost any ruler in Russian history (which, let's be honest, is setting the bar way, way low.)

        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

        by pico on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 11:19:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Neonazi (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          koNko

          or fascist in my view is anyone propagating racist supremacy and stoking ethnic hatred, also there are other indicators, militant style party membership and preparation for violent power grab, adoration of leader (fuhrer) etc.

          Putinist Nashi, Seliger, Young Russia and other sycophant organizations took style of scouts but recently Putin's PR managers decided to invite young members of other parties, Communists, Liberal Democrats (in name only), Just Russia etc.

          Is Putin's regime quasi fascist? No, in such case he first of all would introduce visas for poor Muslim migrants. Uncontrolled immigration is reason why ethnic riots happening in Russia.

          But in political sense his regime is close to 19th century Bonapartism or one and a half party rule like in Japan, Germany and Italy after world war 2 where there is one dominant party of power and plenty of others without hope of capturing Kremlin unless there is serious economic crisis.

          •  But on the flip side (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Spit, AoT, Richard Lyon, KenBee

            you have Putin this week calling anti-war journalists "the fifth column" and "traitors to the nation" (национал-предатели) who are trying to undermine Russia's greatness by stirring up discontent, etc. etc.  He's promised to "respond appropriately", and if that doesn't send a chill through your spine, then you may not have followed Russian media issues over the last decade.

            You can't just filter his policy through an ethnic lens: his crackdowns on information should be a huge concern, and there's a reason so many people have been using the word "fascist" to describe him (I abstain from that word because it's grown so vague, but I sympathize).  

            Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

            by pico on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 12:25:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think some people put too much emphasis (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              pico, Richard Lyon, Spit, Jim P

              on the ethnic part of fascism when trying to apply it strictly. I think it entirely possible to have a fascism free of ethnic content and instead have it be nationalism. I don't know that Putin is fascist, I don't think he really has a cohesive enough ideology to call it anything except dictatorial.

              If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

              by AoT on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 12:30:29 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The original purpose of fascism in Italy (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AoT

                and Germany was to build a bulwark against communism. The antisemitism had already been firmly established in central and eastern Europe since the mid 19th C. It provided an easy vehicle to use to connect Jews to communism.

              •  Point (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AoT

                This is an important point. Fascism above all else ultra-nationalist and power. The peripheral characteristics of fascism depends on the time and place it is coming to power. German fascism was somewhat different from Italian fascism, and American fascism was different from either of them. Russian fascism should be expected to manifest itself as its own distinct flavor.

            •  национал-предатели (0+ / 0-)

              is mistranslated, it's akin to national socialists (Hitler's party) because национал is shortening for nationalist.

              5th column, fascists is very widely used in political lexicon of India for example, if it says anything only to difference in political culture between Russia (or India) and the West.

              His crackdown on information is worrysome but many Russians have two versions of events in Ukraine - presented by

              numerous pro-Western outlets (TV Rain, some Ren TV news programs, Echo of Moscow radio, most Moscow newspapers, Vedomosti, Novaya Gazeta, New Times, Novye Izvestia etc) which ape Western media coverage, presenting Svoboda as "Ukrainian patriots", omitting their racist & Russophobic rhetorics and crimes in general,  and concentrating on corruption of Yanukovich regime which embezzled billions of dollars,

              and Russian state-media (Russia 1 and 24, Izvestia and Rossyskaya gazeta) picking up on Russophobic rhetorics of Maidan and lawlessness and banditism in Ukraine.

              Unfortunately for pro-Western media in Russia, Putinist media don't seem to cook up facts, for example speeches on Maidan from certain Balashov (Shoot all Russians in the head!), Svoboda and Right Sector leaders fighting in Chechnya with terrorists as old pictures and footage emerged from archives etc and so on.

              So in the end Russians threw their support behind Putin and his propaganda machine.

              •  Holy crap this comment. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Richard Lyon, Spit

                I don't even know what to say.  You know that предатели means traitors, but it's no biggie.  Russian media is balanced - though TV-Rain is the only independent television outlet and it's only offered on a dwindling number of special cable packages; the rest are newspapers just "aping" Western media coverage - and best of all, Putinitst media "don't seem to cook up facts", says the user quoting RT and telling us that Russian LGBTs are better off than Americans.   Alright-y then.

                I've tried - to the extent possible - to ride a moderate line in explaining events in Ukraine, not because I have a moderate stance (clearly) but because I think it's important people get a fuller picture from which they can draw their own conclusions.  And I've been hardheaded about certain issues, without doubt: I welcome the users here who keep my honest by pointing out mistakes or alternative readings.

                But this?  I think I'm done responding to you in this diary.  

                Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                by pico on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 01:04:19 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I think (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Sophie Amrain

                  you should be worried by American so-called free of government control media one-sided coverage of events which could lead potentially to disastrous wars not about Russian media coverage which you have litte knowledge it seems.

                  Russians definitely have more points of views to choose from than Americans.

                  When whole media speaks in one voice it's not freedom of press, people should have access to different points of view and interpretations not diet of filtered propaganda pieces where uncomfortable facts brushed aside.

                  As for TV Rain it's marketed itself as "entertainment optimistic channel" in contracts with cable providers only to replace optimism with Western media style pessimism about everything Russian, economy, politics, culture etc. That's why ratings were dwindling (it was at #28) even before Leningard blockade gaffe which led to providers dropping it off. Now TV Rain is available for free via many satellites like Yamal (which covers whole Russia) so anyone can watch it.

            •  'Tyrant' or 'would-be Tyrant' skips over a lot of (0+ / 0-)

              fruitless definition wrangles, most of which come from academic language. But the living heart of the matter is the relationship of the power-holding class to the everyday person, and how far that power circumscribes the everyday life. 'Tyranny' works for most cases. Putin is a tyrant. Now we can talk about generally beneficent tyrants, self-serving tyrants, lunatic tyrants, ...

              One can distinguish between Putin's style and the racialist, eliminationist style profitably.


              Real fixes, outside the coffin fixes, ain't ever pragmatic says DC Bubble Conventional Wisdoom.

              by Jim P on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 12:27:36 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Racism (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        koNko

        21st century Russian fascism is not racist. It is homophobic.

        •  So (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Richard Lyon, koNko

          Has the new Ukranian government passed a law legalizing same sex marriage yet?  Wasn't that what all the rioting in Kiev was about?

          This aggression will not stand, man.

          by kaleidescope on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 11:31:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  They're opposed to same-sex marriage, (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Richard Lyon, Spit, koNko

            but their deal with the EU was contingent on, among other things, passing LGBT anti-discrimination laws.  So actually, yeah, it has been in play: there were pro-LGBT rallies at Euromaidan, as well.

            That being said, I think Putin's prosecution of Martsinkevich has been really telling on this point.  Martsinkevich is the founder of those online videos where you "hunt" gay men and torture them for fun.  He's been prosecuted three times: each time under "inciting ethnic violence".  This last video of his, the one that got him extradited from Cuba, was a gay man - but an Iraqi - so he's been prosecuted under the ethnic law.  No justice whatsoever for his gay victims.  Firefly isn't wrong about the way this is proceeding in Russia.

            Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

            by pico on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 11:37:49 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  well (0+ / 0-)

          you should check facts before trusting US media on plight of Russian gays, in US from 2012 more than 4000 homophobic crimes were registered, in Russia just 40.

          Of course it's also indicator that gays in Russia probably don't report minor abuses (like Baldwin anti-gay slur) but generally picture is not worrysome as US media tried to present.

          So-called anti-gay propaganda law among children so far produced 3 fines of $115 in one year.  (all fined actually broke law consciously hoping for Western grants).

          •  Where are you getting this information from? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Richard Lyon, Spit, koNko

            You know there is no legal category for homophobic assault in Russia, right?  Nearly all of the cases are registered as "hooliganism", and LGBT activists (particularly in St. Petersburg) have fought to get them designated as homophobic attacks to draw attention to the almost undocumented level of violence - and they've usually lost these cases.  For obvious reasons most victims refuse to go public because of the effective outing.  

            The gay propaganda law, like most laws in Russia, has been used exactly the way it was intended - to disrupt LGBT organizations, to shut down events, to detain suspects, to demand bribes, etc.

            Российская ЛГБТ-Сеть has been documenting all this in great detail, so I'm curious where you're getting this information from.

            Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

            by pico on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 11:46:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  quote (0+ / 0-)

              from RT

              Official statistics show 12 homophobic attacks in Russia last year, though activists at Moscow’s sociological NGO Sova Center says such numbers are almost meaningless, as assaults are rarely reported, and almost never recorded as hate crime incidents.
              Official statistics of homophobic crimes exists however include mostly rapes, murders etc, not petty insults.
              Sova is respectable NGO documenting racist & other hate crimes in Russia but they should make better than empty claim.

              There were few horrific crimes for example sadistic torture by police in Tatar republic in similar fashion to Tornovsky murder but there were no indicators victims were gays or even mistakenly thought as gays.

              •  Yeah, you're quoting RT on this. Oh, lord. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AoT, Spit, Richard Lyon

                Sova's not making an empty claim.  Early last year two assault cases were challenged in St. Petersburg to be refiled as homophobic attacks, and they were denied.  This is in St. Petersburg, where there is a robust LGBT activist movement.  Project that back against: the other cases in St. Petersburg, and then to the rest of the country.  And then to all the people who refuse to report it at all, because of the effective outing.  Sova is spot-on on this issue, and it tracks with my own experiences in Russia, as well.

                (O/T for people interested in Russian LGBT issues: I got to meet and chat with one of the organizers of the St. Petersburg QueerFest, Ira Rodulgina, during a panel discussion on LGBT law in Eastern Europe.  She's done tremendous archival work piecing together Russia's LGBT history from the back shelves of KGB filing cabinets.  Amazing woman, and I hope to write something on her work in the near future.)

                Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                by pico on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 12:33:58 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  What do you think (0+ / 0-)

                  about this information?

                  Brian M.Heiss and the truth about Russian 'Anti-Gay Law'

                  Are these figures for homophobic hate crimes in US (around 1500 in a year) concocted or not?

                  •  We have a lot of anti-gay hate crimes (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    AoT, Jim P

                    I track them. I used to track them for activism, they were important statistics to be able to use. Now I just keep tracking them because it's the sort of thing you can't stop doing once you've started, easily, though I do warn that it sometimes takes me at least a six pack and sometimes a twelve pack to make it through my annual summary (at least I don't have to present it to anybody anymore, hic.)

                    But I've been doing this, once, twice a year for nearly two decades.

                    And there are more now than there were. And you know why?

                    It's not because there were fewer when I started tracking them, back before they were even formally called hate crimes.

                    IT'S BECAUSE THEY ARE REPORTED CLEARLY. There are MEANS TO REPORT THEM CLEARLY.

                    •  it's very good work (0+ / 0-)

                      but Russian media don't report every homophobic crime in US and don't blame homophobic Obama for them like US media does and not only with homophobic crimes but generally -

                      for example blaming Putin for apartment blasts (which was proved in court to be work of certain Gochiyaev terror group),

                      Politkovskaya murder (she was killed on order of one Chechen criminal) etc and so on.

                      Western media work is very sloppy - first to create wrong impression of evil Putin dictator then drop any follow up work even if they disagree with court decisions.

                      Because to confront these cases they need facts, but Western journalists don't like facts they like only naked propaganda to brainwash population.

                      •  I'm done responding. (0+ / 0-)

                        In fact, the status of LGBT folks in Russia has been on my radar for much longer than it has been on the media's radar here. And you're just spouting whatever you'd like to assert, twisting things to support what you'd prefer.

                        There is no respectful response I can give you in this. Good day.

      •  By the way, if you want to get a real sense (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Richard Lyon, offgrid, Spit, koNko

        of how screwy these political orientations can get: National Bolshevism was founded by Eduard Limonov, the radical queer punk novelist turned violent revolutionary nationalist.  

        We just don't have words on our political spectrum for people like him.

        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

        by pico on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 11:32:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  OK (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      limpidglass

      So Russian fascists are horrible but Ukranian ones aren't so bad.  

      This aggression will not stand, man.

      by kaleidescope on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 11:29:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fascists are bad (0+ / 0-)

        Fascists are bad anywhere, and I hope that the fascists in Ukraine get sent home in the upcoming elections, but let's not miss the forest for the trees. One of the two has a huge, modern military with a nuclear ICBM arsenal, and the other is a relatively insignificant Eastern European backwater.

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