In Background, Media critique, Russia

By Riley Waggaman, Russia Insider, March 23, 2015

Russia is in the midst of a fringe ultra-nationalist renaissance, according to The New York Times, which witnessed firsthand some racists talking in a room in St. Petersburg. For a day.

Russia Insider fixes NYT article on European right

Russia Insider fixes NYT article on European right

Brace yourself, reader. In Putin’s Russia, right-wing groups (and a guy dressed up like a cossack) met together and shared their common woes: The looming Muslim takeover of Europe; Asians stealing all the good university scholarships; babies still not white enough. The usual grievances from the usual weirdos. Which isn’t to say it’s not terrible.

But can we really say it’s so much worse than the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) conference, held annually in America’s swamp-capital? Your Moscow correspondent once covered a CPAC extravaganza, and basically it was non-stop anti-immigrant, Islamophobic garble — the major difference being that at CPAC all the racist garbage came from Donald Trump, and not some no-name skinhead from Golden Dawn.

Yes, Russia allowed right-wing groups to meet and complain about their right-wing problems. And we’re very glad that The New York Times decided to write about this particular, one-day “haven”.

But did you know that there is a country that gives right-wing groups far more than an afternoon lease on a St. Petersburg ballroom? There is actually a country quite close to Russia that gives its right-wing groups carte blanche to kill and terrorize uncooperative citizens. This country is called Ukraine. And it is a bastion of freedom and European values, according to The New York Times.

Ukraine is hands down the world’s safest haven for right-wing groups, because instead of throwing its swastika enthusiasts in prison like other European nations, it gives them guns and laurels.

In August, Ukrainian chocolate sultan Petro Poroshenko awarded the leader of the pro-choice knitting club Azov Battalion, Andriy Biletsky, with the Order For Courage.

Biletsky is not only a courageous Wolfsangel-bedazzled freedom fighter, he is also the head of Ukraine’s creatively named Social-National Assembly, which is committed to “punishing severely sexual perversions and any interracial contacts that lead to the extinction of the white man.”

Close your eyes and try to imagine the font size 72 Caps Lock New York Times front page screamfest if it was discovered that Vladimir Putin had decorated a brain-dead maniac who has promised “to prepare [Russia] for further expansion and to struggle for the liberation of the entire White Race.”

Now change “Vladimir Putin” to “Petro Poroshenko” and “Russia” to “Ukraine” and you will finally understand why we live in an upside down nightmare garbage world where people freak out about a one-day conference of fringe groups in St. Petersburg.

(True to their mission of proliferating misery, western newspapers have described the gentlemen who serve in Biletsky’s battalion as “battle-scarred patriots.”)

Of course, it all depends on how you define “battle-scarred.” One of the nationalist battalions under the control of Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense has been accused by Amnesty International of “widespread abuses, including abductions, unlawful detention, ill-treatment, theft, extortion, and possible executions” – what Newsweek describes as “ISIS-style war crimes.”

The United States Army now has tentative plans to start training these gentlefolk, and The New York Times seems A-Okay with this.

So anyway. Russia. Host to right-wing scum for a day-long conference. What’s next? Will Putin start giving them guns, medals and military training?

*****

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