Ukrainian neonazis and the USA

This video from the USA says about itself:

Max Blumenthal: US is Arming Neo-Nazis in Ukraine

4 February 2018

Max Blumenthal reports that the US has provided military assistance to the Azov Battalion, known as a bastion of neo-Nazism within the Ukrainian armed forces.


Stop persecution of Ukrainian anti-war journalist

This video is called Imprisoned by Ukrainian regime: Ruslan Kotsaba appeal to international community [2017].

Translated from the peace site in the Netherlands:

30-1-2018 Ruslan Kotsaba, pacifist and journalist, supported the [2014] protests on Maidan Square. However, he also criticized the war in Eastern Ukraine and refused to participate in it as a conscript. He was accused of being a traitor but was acquitted. Now again conviction is threatening. You can support him.

Connection e.V., which supports international conscientious objectors and deserters, has a web page on which you can send a supporting postcard to Ruslan Kotsaba and a fax to the court. You will also find more information about this case there.

British historian banned in Ukraine for mentioning anti-Semitic massacre

This video says about itself:

Savchenko called Jews … in Ukrainejudes” on air – English subtitles

29 March 2017

Ukrainian MP Nadiya Savchenko said that she doesn’t identify herself as antisemite, however she doesn’t like “judes”. Savchenko told that on air of 112 Ukraine TV channel on March 25 during her interview with Dmitry Gordon.

Right-wing Ms Savchenko used to participate in the war in eastern Ukraine as a member of the neofascist Aidar batallion. She names as her heroes Chilean dictator Pinochet and Margaret Thatcher.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Ukraine prohibits book by prominent British historian Antony Beevor

Today, 13:41

The British writer and historian Antony Beevor has reacted indignantly to a ban on one of his books in Ukraine. The country has blacklisted the Russian translation of his world-famous book on the Battle of Stalingrad, because it contains a passage about a Ukrainian [nationalist allies of nazi Germany] crime during the Second World War. 30,000 books have been banned from entering the country.

According to the director of the Ukrainian authority on the media, the book is banned because Beevor tells how a Ukrainian militia killed ninety Jewish children. “That’s a provocation,” said director Oliyinyk against Radio Free Europe.

According to Oliyinyk, people have never been convicted for that act of war. “When we looked at his sources, we discovered that he had used the Ministry of the Interior of the Soviet Union as a source.” This was reason enough for the regulator to submit the book to a panel of experts, which confirmed the legality of the ban. “We are very pleased with that”, says the director.

In 2016, Ukraine adopted a law restricting the import of books from Russia if they contain ‘anti-Ukrainian’ texts. A team of ‘experts’ assesses which books may and may not be imported.

The historian himself denies to the radio station that he used Soviet sources for his book. He states that the source was a book by the highly respected German anti-Nazi officer Helmuth Groscurth. “He wrote to his wife at that time about this crime, so shocked was he about what he had seen”, says Beevor, who demands apologies from Oliyinyk.

The writer still wants his book to be on Ukrainian shelves.

“It’s utterly outrageous that this is happening. … This ban is pretty depressing from the point of view of Ukraine itself – they want to show themselves as being so much more democratic than Russians to the north and then they’re doing this”, he told The Guardian.

Ukrainian world chess champion not playing in dictatorial Saudi Arabia

This video is called The Famous Chess Trap In Action By Anna Muzychuk.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

‘I am ready to stand for my principles’: Double world chess champion says she won’t defend titles in Saudi Arabia because of kingdom’s inequality

The Ukrainian, 27, will not travel to Saudi Arabia, where she wouldn’t even be allowed to walk down the street unaccompanied

It would be great if the Ukrainian government would have principles as well, and would follow the example of this chess player by stopping selling Ukrainian warplanes to the Saudi absolute monarchy for their bloody war on the civilian people of Yemen. However, as they are waging their own bloody war against their own compatriots, I am afraid they won’t do that unless they are under big pressure to stop.

Ed Malyon, Sports Editor

Tuesday 26 December 2017 15:17 GMT

It takes years of work, days of staring at a board and hours of agonising over individuals moves en route to becoming a world champion in chess.

And it takes only a short-sighted decision from its governing body to ensure you lose that crown.

“In a few days I am going to lose two World Champion titles – one by one,” Anna Muzychuk says.

“Just because I decided not to go to Saudi Arabia.”

Muyzchuk is the defending world champion in two disciplines of speed chess – rapid and blitz. In rapid, each player gets 15 minutes to complete all of their moves and in blitz it is just 10.

The 27-year-old Ukrainian had been looking forward to defending her championships won in Doha, Qatar in 2016 but this year’s competition, hosted by a political rival, has already faced far more opposition than any chess competition ever should.

For Muzychuk and her sister Mariya, another chess pro, their refusal is on the grounds that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia does not treat women with anything even approaching equality – a country where the sisters would not be allowed outside unless escorted by a man.

“[I decided] not to play by someone’s rules, not to wear abaya, not to be accompanied getting outside, and altogether not to feel myself a secondary creature,” she said in an emotional statement.

“Exactly one year ago I won these two titles and was about the happiest person in the chess world but this time I feel really bad. I am ready to stand for my principles and skip the event, where in five days I was expected to earn more than I do in a dozen of events combined.”

And therein lies the problem. Saudi Arabia are understood to have paid in the region of US$1.5m to host the tournament, which will be called the King Salman World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships. That fee is four times what the host usually forks out and the prize money at this week’s event is many multiples of what players would usually expect to receive – particularly championship contenders like Anna. …

But it is not just women who have had problems with the Saudi-hosted event.

The very fact that this country is hosting a world chess tournament for the first time is controversial domestically as it comes two years after the country’s top cleric issued a religious edict against playing the board game. Saudi Arabia’s top cleric, Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al Sheikh, said in early 2016 that chess is “forbidden” in Islam because it wastes time and can lead to rivalry among players. …

Then there are the political issues, with countries that are currently geo-political rivals of the Kingdom complaining they have not received visas to enter the country and compete.

Israelis say Saudi Arabia ignored requests by Israeli players to obtain visas to participate in the tournament, perhaps unsurprising given that Israel and Saudi Arabia do not have diplomatic relations. But Qatar and Iran have reported similar grievances. While the top three male players are all travelling for the tournament, many will be missing and the women’s competition is still reeling from Muzychuk’s withdrawal on Tuesday.

“All that other stuff is annoying, but the most upsetting thing is that almost nobody really cares,” Muzychuk added in her Facebook post.

“That is a really bitter feeling, still not the one to change my opinion and my principles. The same goes for my sister Mariya – and I am really happy that we share this point of view. And yes, for those few who care – we’ll be back!”

Child, LGBTQ refugees deported to Afghan, Ukrainian war zones

This video from Britain says about itself:

Children Deported to Afghanistan, BBC 2015 Documentary

Deported to Afghanistan. Over the past ten years, thousands of unaccompanied children have fled to the UK from war-torn Afghanistan, but when they turn 18 …

On 21 December 2017, the Dutch parliament voted on some motions about refugees.

First, the motion by Socialist Party (SP) MPs Ms Sadet Karabulut and Mr Jasper van Dijk, against forcibly deporting Afghan children to Afghanistan, where a war is going on. Apart from the SP, some other parties like the Party for the Animals (PvdD) voted for this.

That was unfortunately not enough. A majority voted against. That included the two most xenophobic parties: Geert Wilders‘ PVV and Thierry Baudet‘s FvD. That included also the MPs of the new Dutch four party coalition government, with its just one MP majority: VVD, CDA, D66 and Christian Union. The right-wing VVD and CDA parties are scared of losing votes to PVV and FvD. D66 and Christian Union used to be less anti-refugee than CDA and D66, but now go along with them because of the government coalition.

Then came the motion by Van Ojik and Kuiken of the GroenLinks party, against forcibly deporting LGBTQ refugees to Ukraine, where there is a war as well and violent homophobia, including by people with high level government jobs.

Exactly the same parties (SP, PvdD, etc.) voted for this motion as voted for the Afghanistan motion. Exactly the same parties voted against. One might expect that from the religious fundamentalist Christian Union. But it is somewhat unexpected for D66 who claim they support LGBTQ rights.

Finally, a motion by Van Ojik of the GroenLinks party, to designate refugees from Iraq (also a country at war, dangerous for returning any refugees to) who have converted from Islam to another religion as an especially at risk group, who should have special guarantees against deportation. Again, roughly the same parties voted for and against.

Not completely the same: this time, the fundamentalist protestant SGP party voted in favour, as they favour converting to Christianity.

That the Islamophobic PVV party voted no is not so surprising if one knows that this party basically hates all foreigners, including from mainly Christian countries like Romania and Poland. However, the PVV in the past claimed to love ex-Muslims. There was a committee in the Netherlands calling itself a committee of ex-Muslims. Its most prominent member Ehsan Jami was not an ex-Muslim. His father was atheist, his mother Christian. The other members of that short-lived committee were not ex-Muslims either: a man who had never been a Muslim, and a Muslim woman who wanted to stay Muslim but considered reforms were needed.

Geert Wilders’ Islamophobic party then employed Jami as a parliamentary aide.

As a reaction to the Ehsan Jami committee of ‘ex-Muslims’ who had never been Muslims, another Dutch committee of ex-Muslims was founded. This time by people who had really grown up as Muslims, but later did not consider themselves as such. And who rejected Jami and PVV Islamophobia. That other, real, ex-Muslim committee did a press conference in a Dutch Moroccan mosque; disproving the propaganda by Jami and the PVV that supposedly all Muslims virulently hate and want to kill ex-Muslims.

So, Wilders’ PVV proclaimed their platonic love for ex-Muslims. In practice, they want to deport them to war zones in Iraq.

Ex-Georgian dictator, refugee from Ukraine to the Netherlands?

This 20 September 2013 video is called Torture Tape Rage: Thousands protest Georgian prison horror.

That scandal of sexual torture in the prisons of Georgia led to the downfall of dictator Mikheil Saakashvili.

Eventually, Saakashvili lost not only his job as dictator, but also his Georgian passport.

It was not a total downfall. In Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, Panama Papers billionaire because of chocolate and military production corporations, had become president after the violent expulsion of his predecessor. Poroshenko gave Saakashvili a new, Ukrainian, passport. More still: he gave Saakashvili the governorship of Odessa province.

However, not so much later, Saakashvili and Poroshenko quarreled. Poroshenko canceled Saakashvili’s governorship and his Ukrainian passport.

What then?

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Saakashvili explores moving to the Netherlands

Today, 16:44

The Georgian former president Mikhail Saakashvili may come to the Netherlands to be with his wife Sandra Roelofs. He is now in Ukraine, where he is at odds with the authorities.

Saakashvili’s lawyer has requested that the stateless Georgian be brought to the Netherlands on the basis of family reunification. According to the Immigration and Naturalization Service, Saakashvili is eligible because he is married to a Dutch woman with whom he has two sons.

Saakashvili can not return to Georgia and has a quarrel in Ukraine with his former ally, President Poroshenko. He was governor of Odessa in Ukraine. … Poroshenko finally tried to have his old friend arrested, but Saakashili managed to escape from a police van with the help of his supporters.

Will the Dutch government now welcome Saakashvili as a political refugee; maybe even give him a third, Dutch, passport? Possible, as Saakashvili was a ‘pro-Western’ dictator; who, eg, like the Dutch government, sent soldiers to Iraq and to Afghanistan to help George W Bush in his wars.

However, if one looks at hardline anti-refugee policies in the European Union, including the Netherlands, then Saakashvili has reasons to be not so optimistic. According to governments like the Dutch government, even war zones like Iraq or Afghanistan are supposedly ‘safe’ countries to forcibly return refugees to. Say, a poor unemployed Ukrainian worker, fleeing to the Netherlands because he is scared of neofascist paramilitary gangs which not only steal paintings from Dutch and from Italian museums, but also kill fellow Ukrainians in Ukraine, will probably get to hear from Dutch authorities: ‘War in Ukraine? That is only in the east. Ukraine is a safe country and a friendly country to us. We will deport you’.

Family reunification for refugees from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan etc. is also hard in the Netherlands.

Still, Saakashvili’s status as a former pro-NATO dictator may earn him privileged treatment from Dutch authorities compared to that hypothetical Ukrainian poor worker refugee, or these Syrian, Iraqi, Afghan etc. refugees.

Dutch corporate media are usually very uncritical on Saakashvili, in which a factor is that his wife is Dutch.

It is not self-evident that Saakashvili’s Dutch wife will really welcome him. As in 2013, as quoted in an earlier post on this blog, she sounded rather critical:

Roelofs herself has remained in Georgia and let the newspaper know that she feels more like being married to the country than being married to her husband. She also criticized the political actions of her husband. He had too much haste and then “you will make mistakes and you will make enemies.” She says that Saakashvili refused to listen when she mentioned criticism she had heard on her travels through the country.

VAGABOND former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili was deported from Ukraine to Poland today after armed men wearing masks nabbed him in a Kiev restaurant and drove him to the airport: here.