“Liberated and cleansed” : Nazi March and Oath in Severodonetsk

Dear Readers:

I saw this piece in PolitNavigator.  It is not much more than usual Ukro-Nazi antics, but it does give me an opportunity to point out political bias in a wikipedia entry.

The headline of the PolitNavigator piece reads:

Ukrainian Nazis With Swastikas Marched Out Into the Center of Severodonetsk

Some backstory, which is where I often resort to wikipedia, as a quick way of getting some needed facts (like, names, dates, etc.).  I do realize that I am not a real journalist.  However, I still feel an obligation to get my facts straight.  (Not to mention separating facts from opinion.)

According to wikipedia, Severodonetsk is a city in the Luhansk Province of Eastern Ukraine, named after the Seversky-Donets River.  The city was founded in 1934, when factory workers were sent to man a nascent Soviet chemical industry.

Severodonetsk Memorial to anti-Nazi victors of WWII.

During the 2014 civil war in the Ukraine, Severodonetsk passed back and forth between “pro-Russian Separatists” of the Luhansk People’s Repubic; and the Ukrainian government.  On 22 July 2014, the city was recaptured by the Ukrainian side.  Showing his or her political bias, the wikipedia editor phrases this fact using the loaded political word “liberated”; then quotes a Ukrainian National Guard source who uses the even-more loaded word “cleansed”.

On 22 July 2014, Ukrainian forces managed to liberate the city from the pro-Russian separatists.  The next days heavy fighting continued around the city; on 23 July 2014 the National Guard of Ukraine and the Ukrainian Army released a statement that said they were “continuing the cleansing of Severodonetsk”.

Map of Ukrainian regions

Here is my suggestion for a more neutral phrasing of that paragraph:

On 22 July 2014, the Ukrainian army and National Guard managed to re-take the city from the pro-Russian separatists.  The next days heavy fighting continued around the city; on 23 July 2014 the National Guard of Ukraine and the Ukrainian Army released a statement that said they were “continuing the cleansing of Severodonetsk”.  We all know what the word “cleansing” actually means.  As Hermann Göring used to say, when you hear the word “cleansing”, then hold your Mauser very close.

Fast forward to the present day.  Where Nazis in the Azov Battalion march through the main streets of Severodonetsk carrying their Wolfsangel, or  “Wolf’s Hook” swastika logos.

These young bucks, as shown in the photo, are from the “Civic Auxiliary” affiliated with the Azov Battalion of the Ukrainian “Anti-Terrorist” forces.  The main part of the accompanying video shows them reciting the “Oath of a Ukrainian Nationalist”, a sort of Ukrainian “Pledge of Allegiance” which was pronounced by recruits into Stepan Bandera’s Ukrainian Insurgent Army.  Along with chanting such slogans as:  “Glory to Ukraine!”  “Glory to Kievan Rus!”  “Novorossiya go suck it!”

I poked around the internet a bit, trying to find an English-language version of the “Oath”.  Didn’t see one, but I DID find this nice musical album of Ukrainian nationalist songs.  Inspiring stuff, but please remember that, in the final analysis, these guys lost the war.  Therefore, singing along to the likes of Triumph Of Ukrainian Insurgent Army (Track 4), or Unvanquished Knights (Track 5) is good for strictly nostalgia buffs.  And while you’re at it, throw on your Johnny Reb costume and go do the next Battle of Gettysburg re-eanactment.

On the other hand, the young Nazis shown in the PolitNavigator piece, did actually win this battle.  For Severodonetsk, I mean.  One must look reality in the eye:  They did re-take Severodonetsk from the Separatists.  Give them their due.  Quoting one of the victors (you can see him speaking at :26 seconds into the video):

Bandera’s legacy: Mounds of human corpses

«Два года назад, в Северодонецке, когда мы вышли против России, против войны, сюда привезли титушек, «йоббиков», по-украински, и разогнали проукраинский митинг, избили ребят. Сейчас годовщина, ребята выходят, вот, гражданский сектор «Азова» подключился. Многие из них были в то время здесь», — прокомментировал мероприятие один из его участников.

Two years ago, in Severodonetsk, when we came out against Russia, against the war, they brought the “Titushki” here, the “Jobbiks”, as we call them in Ukrainian [yalensis:  An unusually incoherent, even for Ukrainian nationalists, allusion to the Hungarian nationalist political party, Jobbik], and they dispersed the pro-Ukrainian meeting, and beat up our lads.  Now a year has gone by, the lads are back in the street, see here, the Civic Auxiliary of “Azov” is out in force. 

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