In his February 24 address to the Russian people announcing the invasion of Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin set out as one of his reasons for going to war the “denazification” of Ukraine.
As Russian troops launched their attack on Ukraine on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the “special military operation” would seek the “denazification” of its sovereign neighbor.
“Its goal is to protect people who have been subjected to bullying and genocide… for the last eight years. And for this we will strive for the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine,” Putin said during an address on state television.
This caused a lot of head-scratching. The Putin fanbois immediately took it to mean that Putin was invading to destroy the Azov Battalion, which has been labeled as following a “neo-nazi” ideology. Thinkers with bigger brains attributed it back to Ukraine’s problematic role in World War II.
This is the Washinton Post’s effort in Putin says he will ‘denazify’ Ukraine. Here’s the history behind that claim.
The rhetoric around fighting fascism resonates deeply in Russia, which made tremendous sacrifices battling Nazi Germany in World War II. Critics say that Putin is exploiting the trauma of the war and twisting history for his own interests.
The New York Times offers up this analysis: Why Vladimir Putin Invokes Nazis to Justify His Invasion of Ukraine.
The “Nazi” slur’s sudden emergence shows how Mr. Putin is trying to use stereotypes, distorted reality and his country’s lingering World War II trauma to justify his invasion of Ukraine. The Kremlin is casting the war as a continuation of Russia’s fight against evil in what is known in the country as the Great Patriotic War, apparently counting on lingering Russian pride in the victory over Nazi Germany to carry over into support for Mr. Putin’s attack.
Sometimes, though, the Russians tell us what they are up to if we pay attention.
For instance, in February, an essay appeared in RIA Novosti (more of which in a second) Sputnik and was quickly 404-ed. It laid out Russia’s goal in attacking Ukraine as bringing Ukraine, and eventually Belarus, back inside a Greater Russia; see Did a Quickly Deleted Essay in Russian Media Explain What Vladimir Putin Wants Russia to Gain From the Ukraine Invasion? If one looks at the disposition of troops in the first couple of days of the war, it is obvious that there was a larger agenda than protecting the two fake republics in Donbas.
On Monday, the officially-sanctioned Russian outlet RIA Novosti published an op-ed by a pundit named Timofei Sergeitsev titled What Should Russia do with Ukraine?
Here are some highlights via Twitter.
“Denazification is a set of measures aimed at the nazified mass of the population, which technically cannot be subjected to direct punishment as war criminals”
“However, besides the elite, a significant part of the masses of the people, who are passive nazis, are accomplices to Nazism. They have supported the Nazi authorities and indulged them…”
“…The just punishment for this part of the population is possible only as the bearing of the inevitable hardships of a just war against the Nazi system”
“The name Ukraine can seemingly not be retained as the title of any fully denazified state formation on the territory liberated from the Nazi regime”
“Denazification is inevitably also deukrainisation – a rejection of the large-scale artificial inflation of the ethnic element of self-identification of the population of the territories of the historical Malorossiya and Novorossiya begun by the Soviet authorities”
“Unlike, let’s say, Georgia or the Baltics, Ukraine, as history has shown, is unviable as a national state, and attempts to ‘build’ one logically lead to Nazism”
“The Banderite elite must be liquidated, its reeducation is impossible. The social ‘swamp’ which actively and passively supports it must undergo the hardships of war and digest the experience as a historical lesson and atonement”
[You an find extended quotes at the end of the post to give you the flavor. The translation is via Medium but you can use Google Translate and read it for yourself at this link. You’ll see the term “Banderite” in the essay, it refers to the short-lived pro-German puppet state created by Ukrainian nationalist Stepan Bandera. (If Bandera had read Mein Kampf and Hitler’s views on Slavs, he would not have been shocked when his great idea failed.)]
As if to signal the RIA Novosti essay was not a fluke, former Russian President and current Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of Russia Dmitry Medvedev took to Telegram to add his two cents. The whole essay is translated on Twitter, or you can find it in Russian outlets like this one. Here are some highlights.
‘Passionate’ Ukrainians have been praying for the Third Reich for the last 30 years. Literally. Disgust is caused by photos in which Nazi symbols are found in almost every military unit of Ukraine taken by [Russian] army – flags, literature, posters. Even mugs with swastikas! /12
— Max Fras (@maxfras) April 5, 2022
This is her way, [Nazi] Ukraine! As well as ‘individual freaks’ who consider themselves entitled to represent such Ukraine. A lesson for them will be not only the current special operation, but also episodes of the glorious past /14
— Max Fras (@maxfras) April 5, 2022
Russian President Vladimir Putin firmly set the goal of demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine. These complex tasks will happen all at once. And they will be decided not only on the battlefields. /16
— Max Fras (@maxfras) April 5, 2022
To change the bloody and false consciousness of a part of today’s Ukrainians is the most important goal. The goal is, for the sake of the peace of future generations of Ukrainians themselves, the opportunity to finally build an open Eurasia – from Lisbon to Vladivostok /17 EOT
— Max Fras (@maxfras) April 5, 2022
What to make of this?
An essay is published in a high-profile Russian media outlet by a high-profile pundit. The essay lays out a plan for something that looks very much like Stalin’s purges of the 1930s, with the Katyn Forest thrown in for good measure. It advocates the eradication of Ukraine as a polity and seems to hint at the destruction of the Ukrainian language and culture. The latter part is textbook genocide. It implies that Poland and the Baltic States are next on the menu. All of this is contained under the rubric of “denazification.”
Close on its heels, Putin crony Dmitry Medvedev excoriates Ukraine as a bastion of nazism and says that “for the sake of peace,” Ukraine’s taint of nazism must be erased.
Just as Hitler told us what he was going to do in Mein Kampf, I think we have to assume the Russian government has just told us what they are going to do.
I’m leery of “man on the street” interviews, but if this video is real and representative, the Russian people have received the message loud and clear.
The Russian attitude to Ukraine.
Something is seriously wrong in Russia. pic.twitter.com/vRfDaxmL1l
— Visegrád 24 (@visegrad24) April 5, 2022
When one looks at the atrocities uncovered in Bucha (not for the squeamish here | here), the targeting of civilian buildings, and the indiscriminate bombardment of Ukrainian cities, it isn’t hard to see how and why this is taking place. These are not the actions of rogue commanders or poorly trained troops. Instead, this is a planned program of national eradication. This is Putin’s “Final Solution to the Ukrainian Problem.” The killings, kidnappings, and terrorism are not bugs in a sloppy military operation; they are highly prized features of a plan to absorb Ukraine back into Russia and, over time, eliminate the national and cultural identity of the Ukrainian people.
The implications of this are stark. In the rawest terms, it means that a peace deal is not possible in Ukraine. There can only be an armed truce awaiting the next round of hostilities or until Russia changes leadership, and that change brings a different attitude.
Read The Ukrainian Army Liberates Territory From Russian Invaders and Discovers Murdered Civilians; Shocking Evidence of Mass-Scale Russian War Crimes Raises the Stakes in Ukraine, and Russian Torture Chamber Discovered in Liberated Ukraine Town as the Russian Army Continues to Do What It Is Good at Doing for more details on the Bucha war crimes.
This is not a ‘meme’, but our and your reality right now.
— Ukraine / Україна (@Ukraine) February 24, 2022
RIA Novosti essay
Denazification is necessary when a considerable number of population (very likely most of it) has been subjected to the Nazi regime and engaged into its agenda. That is, when the “good people — bad government” hypothesis does not apply. Recognizing this fact forms the backbone of the denazification policy and all its measures, while the fact itself constitutes its subject.
Those Nazis who took up arms must be destroyed on the battlefield, as many of them as possible. No significant distinction should be made between the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the so-called “nationalist battalions,” as well as the Territorial Defense, who have joined the two other types of military units. They are all equally complicit in the horrendous violence towards civilians, equally complicit in the genocide of the Russian people, and they don’t comply with the laws and customs of war. War criminals and active Nazis must be punished in such a way as to provide an example and a demonstration. A total lustration must be conducted. All organizations involved in Nazi actions must be eliminated and prohibited. However, besides the highest ranks, a significant number of common people are also guilty of being passive Nazis and Nazi accomplices.
The further denazification of this bulk of the population will take the form of re-education through ideological repressions (suppression) of Nazi paradigms and a harsh censorship not only in the political sphere but also in the spheres of culture and education.
The period of denazification can take no less than one generation that has to be born, brought upm and mature under the conditions of denazification. The nazification of Ukraine has been going on for more than 30 years — starting from as early as 1989, when Ukrainian nationalism was given legal and legitimate forms of political self-expression and led the movement for “independence”, setting a course for Nazism.
The current nazified Ukraine is characterized by its formlessness and ambivalence, which allow it to disguise Nazism as the aspiration to “independence” and the “European” (Western, pro-American) path of “development” (in reality, to degradation) and claim that “there is no Nazism” in Ukraine, “only few sporadic incidents.” Indeed, there isn’t a main Nazi party, no Führer, no full-fledged racial laws (only a cutdown version in the form of repressions against the Russian language). As a result — no opposition or resistance against the regime.
That’s why there can be no compromise during denazification, as in the case of the “no to NATO, yes to EU” formula. The collective West is in itself the architect, source, and sponsor of Ukrainian Nazism, while the Banderite supporters from Western Ukraine and their “historical memory” is just one of the tools of the nazification of Ukraine. Ukronazism poses a much bigger threat to the world and Russia than the Hitler version of German Nazism.
Apparently, the name “Ukraine” cannot be kept as a title of any fully denazified state entity on the territory liberated from the Nazi regime.
Denazification will inevitably include de-ukrainization — the rejection of the large-scale artificial inflation of the ethnic component in the self-identification of the population of the historical Malorossiya and Novorossiya territories, which was started by the Soviet authorities. Being a tool of the Communist superpower, this artificial ethnocentrism was not left unclaimed after its fall.
Unlike, for example, Georgia or the Baltic States, history has proved it impossible for Ukraine to exist as a nation-state, and any attempts to “build” such a nation-state naturally lead to Nazism. Ukrainism is an artificial anti-Russian construct that has no civilizational substance of its own, a subordinate element of an extraneous and alien civilization. Debanderization alone will not be enough for denazification: the Banderite element is only a hand and a screen, a disguise for the European project of the Nazi Ukraine, which is why the denazification of Ukraine means its inevitable de-europeanization.
The Banderite elites must be eliminated; their re-education is impossible. The social “bog,” which has actively and passively supported them through action and inaction, must go through the hardships of war and internalize the lived experience as a historical lesson and the redemption of its guilt.
Denazification as a goal of the special military operation within the limits of the operation itself means a military victory over the Kyiv regime, the liberation of the territories from the armed supporters of nazification, the elimination of hard-line Nazis, the imprisonment of war criminals, and the creating of systemic conditions for further denazification in peacetime.
Originally Posted on: https://redstate.com/streiff/2022/04/05/kremlin-newspaper-and-a-putin-confidant-endorse-genocide-as-russias-final-solution-to-the-ukraine-problem-n545699