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Chicago march of reactionaries and fascists marks ‘renewed independence’ of Ukraine

Commentary by Eric Struch |
August 31, 2021
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Chicago, IL - On Sunday, August 29, there was a parade commemorating the 30th anniversary of the "renewed independence" of Ukraine. While this may at first glance seem to be no threat to labor, progressives and anti-racists, the true character of the event is revealed by the Nazi-coded language used in a letter written by the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America inviting other Ukrainian organizations to participate.

So who is the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America? It's basically the Ukrainian version of the pro-Nazi German-American Bund. It was founded in 1940 to conduct propaganda in the U.S. in favor of anti-Semitic Ukrainian quisling organizations that would collaborate with the Nazi Wehrmacht and SS during the war, sending hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian and Polish Jews to their deaths in the extermination camps of the Third Reich.

The organization has a leadership body called the National Council, composed of groups like the Society of Veterans of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), a fascist paramilitary that helped the Nazis round up Jews and communists. Another notable National Council member is the Brotherhood of Veterans of the 1st Division of the Ukrainian National Army. Another name for the Ukrainian National Army is 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS. It was also known as the 14th SS Volunteer Division Galicia. Their führer was Pavlo Shandruk, who was responsible to the German High Command.

One of the Nazi dog-whistles they use is "renewed independence." This is not simply a reference to the paperwork signed in 1991 that put post-Soviet Ukraine on the path to becoming a U.S. satellite state. It is a reference to a different, earlier phase of fake "independence" as a part of the Third Reich in WWII. They close their letter with the infamous phrase, "Glory to Ukraine! Glory to Our Heroes!", which is the Galician Nazi version of "Sieg Heil!"

The current "independent" regime in the failed state known as Ukraine (now officially the poorest country in Europe) dates back to violent, Nazi-led 2014 Maidan coup. This orgy of anarchic violence led, with U.S. assistance, to the illegal overthrow of the democratically elected government of President Viktor Yanukovich, who was forced to flee the country. The post-Maidan ruling junta has been a revolving-door government of billionaire oligarchs backed by their privately-owned Nazi paramilitaries. The term "external governance" has been coined by Ukrainian dissidents to describe Kiev's relationship with Washington.

The oligarchic regime has tried to impose a right-wing agenda that is discriminatory against Russian-speaking Ukrainians in the east.

After it became clear that the Kiev junta intended to impose this reactionary agenda by force, Russian-speaking Ukrainians formed their own independent republics, the Donetsk People's Republic and the Lugansk People's Republic (DPR-LPR). The regime of the Galician oligarchs responded to this by unleashing a war against civilians in the LPR-DPR. Most Ukrainian soldiers have no taste for the blood of their sisters and brothers in the east, so the murder of civilians has been left up to the state-sanctioned Nazi paramilitaries like the infamous Azov Battalion and the Misanthropic Division.

The Chicago parade has nothing to do with Ukrainian "independence" because Ukraine isn't independent. Rather, it is a celebration of the OUN-UPA WWII Nazi puppet state and the genocide it carried out against Jewish Ukrainians, communists and Russian-speaking Ukrainians. All progressives, people of conscience, anti-racists and revolutionaries should condemn this outrageous fascist provocation.

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