war crimes in Ukraine

The Tribunal for Putin (T4P) global initiative was set up in response to the all-out war launched by Russia against Ukraine in February 2022.

Russian fascist ideologue Dugin: Why stop with Donetsk and Luhansk?

Halya Coynash
On Vladimir Putin’s ‘Novorossiya’, the Russian fascist ideologue and organizations active in eastern Ukraine, and a surreal ‘antifascist’ conference in Yalta attended by the Kremlin’s fascist, sometimes neo-Nazi supporters from European countries

   Alexander Dugin (left), whose Eurasian empire ideology has gained influential followers in recent years

A number of fascists and neo-Nazis descended on Yalta this weekend, with members of prominent fascist parties like Hungary’s Jobbik due to attend.  They joined Sergei Glazyev, senior adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Maxim Shevchenko a member of Putin’s human rights council, Kremlin-backed militants and their Russian comrades from various far-right and neo-Nazi parties in discussing the fight against the ‘fascist junta in Kyiv’.  A star attraction was surely the proposed formation of a Russian ‘Anti-fascist Council’.

It is unclear at present how many of the invited members of Belgium’s neo-Nazi Parti Communautaire National-Européen’; fascist Jobbik; far-right British National Party and others actually attended the Aug 29-31 conference on “Russia, Ukraine and Novorossiya: global problems and challenges”.  Reports mention only that people from the relevant countries were present.  

Absence would not, however, indicate lack of support.  A number of the announced guests or parties were involved in something euphemistically called ‘observing’ the Crimean ‘referendum’ on March 16.  Many have since continued to actively defend Russia’s ‘right’ to the Crimea and Kremlin policies generally.

  Glazyev (left) and Mostovoy

The introductory address was provided by Putin’s aide Sergei Glazyev.  The latter’s statement that he was on leave and speaking in a private capacity is as difficult to take seriously as Russia’s claim that Russian soldiers involving in fighting the Ukrainian army are doing this as ‘holiday’ recreation.

Glazyev caused some bemusement in late June when he labelled Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko a ‘Nazi’, and he has not veered from that course since.  Or not quite, since his speech in Yalta was considerably more strident with respect to the United States.

“Ukrainian Nazism is a foreign element since Ukraine is a country of the Russian world [Russky mir]”, Glazyev asserted.  He believes that it is the USA who has an interest in a war in Ukraine.  The US, seeking to become the single world ruler, is trying through a new global war to write off its own debts and cover future financial bankruptcy and a catastrophic economic decline.

The USA is using incredible provocation – from the fire in Odessa to the Malaysian airliner shot down to convince Europe to enter into war with Russia and for that it needs to provoke Russia to invade”.

He denied that Russia was providing the militants with military aid, supporting them only ideologically and by not obstructing volunteers.

The USA’s aim, he claims, is to destroy Russia and Ukraine, and then all of Eurasia.  Ukraine was never an enemy for Russia and the Americans understand that they are placing the Kremlin in an impossible position – war with a brother country. 

The bloody drama in Ukraine, he proclaimed, is “our shared misfortunate since we are talking about the mutual destruction of one and the same people”.

Maxim Shevchenko, member of Putin’s human rights council, continued the pathos, saying that “each falling bomb is falling on us all”.  He is convinced that all Ukraine is occupied by what he calls Kyiv fascists.

Either Shevchenko or Luhansk leading militant Alexei Mozgovoi noted that the war in Ukraine does not just affect people living there, but “also Russians since the border between the two parts of a once united country is absolutely artificial and their population is interwoven by millions of ties.

These words were spoken while thousands of residents of the port city of Mariupol dug trenches and formed a human chain to try to deter Russian forces which are believed to have been involved in the capture of the nearby city of Novoyazovsk.   The professed concern for ‘shared misfortune’ are bitter mockery not only because of the thousands of Ukrainians killed or maimed over recent months, but also because of the Russian soldiers, many conscripts who have died fighting Russia’s latest illicit war. 

Equally distasteful are the constant attempts to foist the view that the Kyiv authorities are ‘fascist’ and that the first ever Ukrainian president to receive a majority at the first round of voting is a ‘Nazi’. 

The cynicism is almost surreal even without the invitations provided to members of far-right and neo-Nazi parties in Europe.   Most of the Ukrainian militant leaders, together with many from Russia, are people known for their far-right, sometimes neo-Nazi views.  The ideologues, as well as some prominent members of the neo-Nazi Russian National Unity party [headed by Alexander Barkashov, believed to be in Donetsk at the moment], Alexander Dugin’s ultra-nationalist Eurasia Party; Edward Limonov’s Other Russia party and Black Hundred are either actively involved in the fighting in eastern Ukraine or effectively encouraging others to take part. 

Pavel Gubarev, one of the leaders of the Donetsk militants from the outset is known for his roots in the Russian National Unity party.  His aide, Alexander Proselkov, shot and killed on July 31 by the militants’ own security guards, was a Russian national and member of  the neo-fascist International Eurasia Movement and Eurasian Youth Union, both closely linked to Dugin.   He was one of many Dugin followers now in eastern Ukraine. 

Neo-fascist Dugin’ has friends and / or followers in high places in Moscow.  His anti-Western and anti-democratic rhetoric was disturbingly echoed in Glazyev and Shevchenko’s addresses in Yalta.  

Dugin, Barkashov and Limonov and their supporters have provided active support and training to militants in eastern Ukraine.

Nor is any of this new.  Anton Shekhovtsov, a researcher on far-right movements, reports clear evidence of Russian security service support for pro-Russian ‘separatists’ since 2005.  He notes that this was a year after Putin’s address to the Federal Assembly in which he spoke of the collapse of the Soviet Union having been the “greatest geopolitical disaster of the century” and having forced millions of their “compatriots” to find themselves outside Russian territory.

An original ‘Donetsk Republic’ organization was created in 2005 with members taken to training and indoctrination camps in Russia.  Shekhovtsov points out that the camps were formed at the initiative of both Dugin and Vladislav Surkov, then deputy head of Putin’s Administration, using Administration money. Among the participants were Andrey Purgin, now ‘first deputy prime minister’ of the self-proclaimed Donetsk people’s republic and Oleg Frolov, a ‘member of the DPR’s ‘parliament’.

None of this is new, not even the attempts to present all Ukrainians who oppose them as ‘neo-Nazi’ and ‘fascist’.  The terms, as Shekhovtsov aptly puts it, are turned on their head. 

Putin’s response to expressions of outrage on Thursday over irrefutable evidence of Russian military engagement in Ukraine was an ‘appeal to the insurgents of Novorossiya’ in which he laid all blame for the carnage on the Ukrainian military.  His reaction on Aug 31 to clear signs of disunity within the EU was to demand more ‘statehood’ for eastern Ukraine.  His press secretary leapt in explaining that Putin had spoken only of greater ‘autonomy’ and that Ukraine must negotiate with ‘Novorossiya’. 

Peskov had initially tried to justify the president’s  use of the term Novorossiya as being that which was ‘historically’ used.  This was indeed what Putin himself said back in April when asked about ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine.  He noted that the area in question referred to Kharkiv, Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, Mykolaiv and Odessa.  “Russia lost these territories for various reasons, but the people remained."

With NATO, the USA and other countries having clearly stated that Russian forces and equipment are deployed in Ukraine and watching as they advance together with the militants, it is worth noting the comments made recently by Russian national and Moscow-based Dugin.  “As we develop our offensive, an interesting point will emerge, namely: what are the borders of the DPR and LPR [Luhansk people’s republic], that is, the Federal State of Novorossiya?  Kyiv will not recognize us, but then we won’t recognize Kyiv.  What makes you think that we would stop on the borders of the former Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts?”

Exactly 75 years since Nazi Germany invaded Poland, it is surely time that western countries ask themselves this same question. 

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