Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is likely planning to renew military training in Ukraine, furthering the debate as to whether Canada should involve themselves within what has become a quagmire.
Indeed, the non-combat mission Operation Unifier, has seen a rotating contingent of 200 troops train thousands of Ukrainian soldiers since 2015.
Trudeau has been silent on whether he will renew his pledge to support Ukrainian troops, however many Canadian ministers have been insistent on its renewal.
Not only would this move further deteriorate relations with Russia; but there is also great reason to believe our taxpayer dollars and soldiers are helping to train neo-Nazis.
In the Ukrainian National Guard, therein rests a high-ranked battalion, known as the Azov Battalion. Members of the Azov Battalion are stationed within Lviv Military Academy.
They were integrated into Kiev’s military by the Western-backed president Petro Poroshenko in the fight against Russian separatists. They have ties and answer directly to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and work closely with the Ukrainian Intelligence Service, the SBU.
Azov’s founding member, Andriy Biletsky, was the leader of the Social-National Assembly, an openly Neo-Nazi group. Currently, he is the leader of the far-right, Neo-Nazi political party National Corps which holds a couple seats in the Ukrainian parliament.
The flag of the Azov Battalion sports a wolfsangel, a logo used by the murderous Waffen SS in WWII. Many of them brandish other Nazi insignia on their armbands, clothes and helmets. Furthermore, in the city of Mariupol, the Azov Battalion held a torchlight march with 5000 participants, called March Khorobrikh, emulating the processions of Nazi Germany.
Needless to say, Azov is a predominantly Neo-Nazi faction.
Why are we helping to train Neo-Nazis in their battle against Russian separatists?
Does Canada have no problem training soldiers who follow the very ideology we fought against in WWII? Does our hate for Russia trump the very foundations of our morality?
Unfortunately, these are not the only examples of neo-Nazism that pervade Ukraine. Indeed, the west openly supports and funds a country with the highest prevalence of neo-Nazism in its government.
In fact, Kiev just recently renamed one of their main streets after Stepan Bandera. Stepan Bandera was a leader of the Ukrainian Nationalist movement during WWII who sided and received funding from the Nazis. He also helped to carry out pogroms against Ukrainian Jews. Ukrainian parliament member Oleksandr Brygynets supported this and even said that the change “is a good thing”, and yet, it is “not enough”.
Pictured above is a poster of Stepan Bandera in Kiev City Hall.
Furthermore, under Victoria Nuland, the US admittedly helped to orchestrate the coup in Ukraine, overthrowing democratically-elected President Victor Yanukovych; helping to spearhead a battalion of Neo-Nazis in her doing so.
Moreover, in 2014, ethnic Russian protesters were forced into a trade-union building by far-right Ukrainians, who then proceeded to set the building alight with Molotov cocktails, killing forty-eight. The building was then sprayed with swastika-like symbols and graffiti reading “Galician SS”, a reference to a Ukrainian National Army that fought alongside the Nazi’s in WWII.
Even more so, the Speaker of the Parliament is Andriy Parubiy, founder of the neo-Nazi Social-National party and the neo-Nazi Svoboda party (who at one point held 37 seats in the Ukrainian parliament). The party was co-founded with leader Oleh Tyahnybok, who called for the liberation of his country from the “Muscovite Jewish mafia”.
Pictured, former Foreign Minister of Affairs John Baird with Oleh Tyahnybok (left)
Indeed, the media silence regarding neo-Nazism in Kiev is deafening. It’s time to take a stand against Canada abetting neo-Nazi elements in Ukraine. In the end however, it’s up to Trudeau to decide if he wants to be on the right, or the wrong side of history.