Nationalists from the US, Germany, Italy, France, Norway, and Russia, among others, visit Kiev to build their movements.
This post first appeared on Russia Insider
A revealing and in-depth look at how right wing nationalists around the world are increasingly interacting with Ukrainian right, which envisions taking their movement global, and reconquering the world.
They call it the ‘Reconquista’.
Fourteen words. A code phrase known to any neo-Nazi. Fourteen words by David Lane of the US, a preacher of Hitler's ideas who died in an Indiana prison.
"We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children."
Today, this slogan serves as a sort of challenge and response for accurate recognition of like-minded people. Yet it was also the lead that allowed journalists to uncover a whole network of far-right organizations that spans dozens of countries.
(Scene from a famous Russian movie where defeated Nazis are plotting their re-emergence:)
"But to those who don't have any clue now, we will become a legend. And the legend needs to be fed. We need to create storytellers who will put our words into a form that the humanity will abide by in twenty years.
The moment somewhere instead of the word "Hello," you hear, "Heil" as a personal greeting, be sure that in that place we'll start our great resurgence."
“For those interested, here's who we are. It's the Rise Above movement. Say the fourteen words. Oh, man... I don't think they'll like it. I'm a big supporter of the fourteen, I'll say that.”
This man boasting a white-teeth smile is Robert Rundo. A born and bred Californian, he was arrested early October for alleged attacks on immigrants and several fights with anti-fascists, including that in Charlottesville.
His most benign action is the burning of harmful books next to pagan symbols and the slogan "Blood And Soil." Yet after a careful reading of the complaint filed in a US district court in California, the scale of Rundo's personality and the Rise Above movement no longer seems to fit a small Instagram account selling "right" T-shirts.
Bill of indictment:
On August 1, an Instagram user by the name of Right Band Clothing posted a photo of Rise Above movement activists, taken during their trip around Germany, Italy, and Ukraine.
One of the photos featured Olena Semenyaka, the international secretary for the National Corps, a subdivision of the Azov battalion. The caption said,
"It's a huge honor for us to meet a musician and a patriot. #818 #nationalism #blackmetal #ukraine #antiantifa"
The charges are based on the testament of an agent and a former soldier who's been professionally fighting terrorism and was trained at the FBI Academy in Virginia.
And here's the above mentioned Olena Semenyaka, speaking last week in Kyiv.
"I'm happy to welcome everyone on behalf of the Azov battalion that spearheaded the all-European Reconquista movement aimed at the development of cooperation between European nations.
Our primary goal is the creation of a pan-European union, of Pan-Europe. This pan-European union will be different from whatever exists today.
The union of nations has to rely on nations that have been living here historically and whose roots can be traced back to medieval times, while based on geopolitics as a historical discipline."
The term "geopolitics" that people mindlessly throw left and right nowadays and that was categorically avoided in the Soviet Union, is actually closely connected to Nazi Germany and the geographer Karl Haushofer's teachings on Lebensraum, a sort of living space supposedly required by every nation.
Respected experts on geopolitics from Germany, Italy, France, and Norway, who gathered together in Kyiv at a friendly site of the Azov battalion, were outspoken to the utmost.
Alberto Palladino, Journalist:
"You have to understand that fascism in Italy is a phenomenon that goes beyond politics. It's a historical phenomenon that led to the formation of our nation. So fascism is an indispensable part of our nation-building."
In other words, Ukraine is no longer enough for the Azov battalion. It now wants to build a far-right front, a Pact of Steel from California to Kyiv and maybe beyond that would include the theorists behind the Big White Revanche and the action-taking tourists who enter the ring of Reconquista, as Robert Rundo did, or just come to Donbass to shoot guns, as did Brian Boyenger, a volunteer with the Azov battalion.
- What motivated you to come here and fight on the side of the Right Sector battalion?
Brian Boyenger, Right Sector Militant:
"I had a dream. Maybe it'll sound crazy, but there was a yellow-and-blue butterfly flying over the battlefield. I was chasing it like a child, trying to figure out where it was taking me. Then I woke up. It was a rather strange dream, but I decided that I should go to Ukraine."
The yellow-and-blue butterfly has shown the way to a lot of people. For example, to this young geopolitician from Norway, a recent interview with whom has also been published by Reconquista.
Yarl, Azov Battalion Militant:
"Once, the Ukrainian police arrested me and beat me up. They shouldn't have done that. I came here to fight. I sacrificed everything I had back home. The policemen couldn't break my spirit. If they want to fight me, they should go to the separatists. I will be happy to meet them at the front."
Hiding under the umbrella of Reconquista are quite a few exotic organizations, like the Intermarium movement that takes its name from the doctrine of Pilsudski, an early 20th-century leader of Polish nationalists. The doctrine had as its goal the destruction of the Soviet Union.
"For Piłsudski, the goal was to create the so-called Intermarium, a regional alliance uniting small countries from the Baltic to the Black Sea. With increasing NATO integration, we see the strategy making a comeback, as evident from an increased defense spending.
The Ukrainian crisis was used by far-right actors who lobbied openly for their political "Third-Way." “Third-way” philosophies are strongly connected to the idea of a clash of civilizations in the world where a “cultural axis” is seen as a new dividing line for conflict.”
It is no accident that Intermarium conferences, this one, for example, New Nationalism, have been held at the Latvian embassy in Kyiv, whose military attache is always happy to see Azov members. Nor it is an accident that activists of Azov and Intermarium made trips to Lithuania.
And here's an activist of one of the Azov branches giving a speech in America House Kyiv. And more hospitality. The book of a US guest presented at the Reconquista forum. The White Nationalist Manifesto by Gregory Johnson.
The steel brotherhood of white people can also find room for Russian nationalists who are invited over by the Kyiv Centre For Russian Studies that has a telling map of the Grand Duchy of Moscow on their website. And here are the pundits themselves, who are, naturally, experts in geopolitics, paganism and the Third Way.
Ivan Mikheev, Neopaganist:
"The most famous Neopagan alliance of the early 20th century was the Thule society. And the 12 years of the Third Reich's existence became a sort of equator, after crossing which, the direction of the spiritual search among the best minds of the white race drastically changed."
Somehow, any spiritual search of the best minds of the white race ends up with burning books and bloodshed.
But since the course for universal redemption of nationalism has been set by none other than Washington, nobody wonders anymore why, despite the FBI's issues with Robert Rundo, the Azov battalion receives military support from the US or these Israeli assault rifles Tavor featured in a recently published video of Azov militants.
No one is surprised anymore by the far-right march in Poland or by the mundanely revealed conspiracy of the far-right military members in Germany.
In December, the Azov battalion, the National Corps and Intermarium are going to decide on the candidate for the presidential election. Fourteen words, each like a bird that has flown. They can never be recalled.
(Another scene from the Russian movie:)
“- Heil Hitler!
- Oh, stop it. My ears are already ringing.”
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