In Background, Ukraine, Feb 20, 2015

The active role far-right groups have played on the pro-government side in Ukraine since the violent coup of the last year has been ignored in the West merely because those groups are anti-Russian, journalist and broadcaster Neil Clark, tells RT. Neil Clark is a journalist, writer and broadcaster in the UK. His award winning blog can be found at

RT: As we’ve heard, Ukraine’s ambassador has said far-right units are not just fighting alongside the army, but are also controlled by Kiev. Shouldn’t the admission spark worries in Europe?

Ukraine's neo-Nazis, photo by Gleb Garanich, Reuters

Ukraine’s neo-Nazis, photo by Gleb Garanich, Reuters

Neil Clark: Well, it should do, but it won’t I’m afraid because we’ve been seeing this all along. And I think the very active role that far-right groups have played on the pro-government side in Ukraine since or before the violent coup of the last year has been ignored, has been a sort of taboo subject in the West. We are not supposed to notice the very strong element of neo-Nazism, fascist and far-right elements on the pro-western side in Ukraine. We are not supposed to mention it. And it’s quite interesting, isn’t it? We compare the coverage of Ukraine with Hungary, whereas in Hungary you only have to be a moderate nationalist to be labeled a far-rightist or a neo-Nazi or a fascist there.

John McCain, the US neo-con senator actually labeled the Hungarian PM Viktor Orban “a neo-fascist dictator.” The same John McCain was on the platform with neo-fascist and far-right figures in Ukraine before the coup. So that double standards are quite extraordinary. As I said we are not supposed to notice the strong elements of the far-right in Ukraine. We are supposed to pretend that they are not there and it’s quite outrageous really.

READ MORE: Ukraine ultranationalist leader rejects Minsk peace deal, vows ‘to continue war’

RT: To what extent is Kiev indeed controlling the military wings of the far-right groups?

NC: Well it’s not totally clear, is it? I think there is at least an element of strong control. Then of course they should be liable for the war crimes and the crimes that have been committed by these far-right groups. But as I said it’s a sort of dirty secret in Ukraine, it’s a taboo topic which we are not supposed to talk about. And of course when we do talk about these far-right militias then it’s all dismissed as “Kremlin propaganda.” It’s the unsavory truth that the coup in Ukraine, the leading role in that coup was taken by violent far-right groups and it really is appalling that the West has sided with these people merely because these people are anti-Russian.

RT: The envoy also said the Ukrainian army wouldn’t be able to stop the advance of Russian forces without those radical volunteer units. How essential are they to the Ukrainian military effort?

NC: I think they are very important, very essential because the Ukrainian army doesn’t have its boots on the ground. I mean there have been desertions, nobody quite right in the West Ukraine wants to enroll, wants to fight in the East. And so they will be heavily dependent on these far-right militias as they need them. They needed them back in February 2014 to come to power in the Ukrainian government. And they need them now. And of course as I said the West knows what is going on and we are supposed to turn a blind eye to this that we’ve got people there in Ukraine who we in the West are for the same side as. And yet if it was any other country it would be denounced as fascists but of course in Ukraine they are fighting pro-Russian rebel separatists, so it’s a sort of ok. And that really is wrong.

See also:
Talks on making the Right Sector radical nationalist group part of Ukraine’s armed forces are underway, TASS, Feb 20, 2015



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