Truth, Inspiration, Hope.

As Ukraine’s Nazis, Domestic Terrorism, and War Crimes Are Normalized, the World’s Spectators Grow Numb

Neil lives in Canada and writes about society and politics.
Published: March 29, 2022
As evidence of domestic terrorism and war crimes emerge from Ukraine's side of the conflict, the world's hearts grow cold as harming Russia and Putin has become normalized in the narrative.
Ukrainians conduct a tiki torch march while carrying banners glorifying notorious World War 2 Nazi mass murderer Stepan Bandera in Kiev on January 1, 2022, marking the 113th anniversary of his birth. Domestic terrorism against Ukrainian citizens and war crimes against Russian soldiers are being increasingly accepted by westerners as violence and the extreme right is normalized through mass and social media. (Image: SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty Images)

Commentary

As Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine enters its fifth week, the horrors of war and the circumstances that preclude armed conflicts are made all the more evident.

Ranging from the epidemic of literal Nazis plaguing Ukraine, one not only rampant, but state-supported, to acts of domestic terrorism committed under martial law and open torture and murder of Russian prisoners of war, scenes that should be serving to shock and awaken mankind are, to the contrary, being dominated by a dark narrative. 

A white wash

In one example, a brutal video emerged of bound Russian soldiers being unloaded from a van and shot point blank in the knees before being left to bleed out on the ground without medical attention. 

In a Twitter thread by a verified account signaling a U.S. and Ukrainian flag emoji with almost 300,000 followers, the online pundit assured the public that the footage must be fake because its posting was “amplified” by those she characterized as “pro Russia supporters.”

Amidst multiple commenters in the thread echoing allegations that the videos were to be dismissed as Russian fakes, little to no sympathy for the wounded was to be found.

In a follow up, the individual characterized the video as merely “purporting to show Russian POWs shot in the legs by Ukraine.”

She further downplayed the inherent gravity of the potential war crime because the video was tweeted by a “Russian journalist who won’t allow replies to her tweets” and shared on Reddit by a “very pro-Russian account there.”

Nonetheless, March 27 reporting by CNN confirmed the veracity of the footage when it stated, “On the almost six-minute-long video, the Ukrainian soldiers are heard saying they have captured a Russian reconnaissance group operating from Olkhovka, a settlement in Kharkiv roughly 20 miles from the Russian border.”

CNN also reported that a senior advisor to Zelensky, Oleksiy Arestovych, stated, “The government is taking this very seriously, and there will be an immediate investigation.”

In additional comments, Arestovych cautioned troops to follow the Geneva Convention.

Callous

In an article published on the story by The Epoch Times, the comments section was surprisingly even more universally callous.

The third most upvoted comment was both ruthless and deflecting, “This is so phony it’s getting asinine. Nobody cares about Ukraine except the corrupt politicians that are hiding their money and dirty dealings,” before undertaking a diatribe about COVID-19 measures and the Federal Reserve.

Another said, “If an enemy attacked the US and killed my family members, they should expect no sympathy of any kind. Just saying, what do you expect?”

And a third, “Really? The pictures of bombed maternity wards and destruction of a country should be ‘investigated’.”

Normalization

The public’s cold-hearted response is attributable simply to the climate of hatred they are exposed to. Setting the tone for North America, during a March 3 tweet, Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) openly called on Russian citizens to assassinate Vladimir Putin.

In a follow up, Graham made the neocon-democrat establishment’s position more clear, “The only people who can fix this are the Russian people…Easy to say, hard to do.”

“Unless you want to live in darkness for the rest of your life, be isolated from the rest of the world in abject poverty, and live in darkness you need to step up to the plate,” he told the Russian people. 

In a wake of cancel culture against all things Russia, hostilities only escalated as Facebook announced an exception to its otherwise domineering and vague policy schema on violence and hate speech that would allow for calls to action for death and brutality against Russian soldiers and Vladimir Putin from select European countries, including NATO member Poland and Ukraine.

Facebook also began to allow open, public support for Ukraine’s Nazi Azov Batallion. 

But the normalization of Nazis, violence, and extremism (so long as Russia, Russians, or Vladimir Putin are the target) only persists.

On March 27, BBC ran a 9 minute disinformation piece of its own published to YouTube dubbed What Untruths is Russia Spreading About Nazis In Ukraine? 

The clip, which was little more than thinly veiled pro-Ukraine-anti-Russia spin doctoring severely downplaying the significance of Ukraine’s extensive historical connections to genuine Nazi extremists and their assimilation into the official ranks of the country’s armed forces, has picked up almost a million views in two short days.

Audacious

And although one could say the English-speaking world is still timid about how much luft to give to the glorification of Nazis and violence against Russians, Ukraine itself is simply daring. 

In a March 28 article, Ukrainian-language state broadcaster UNIAN proudly proclaimed support for the Azov Nazis. 

The article spoke with Russia-based Putin opponent Alexander Nevzorov. The authors boasted that Nevzorov “contacted the Azov regiment and gave the Russians a message” from what UNIAN framed as “these defenders of Ukraine.”

The author simultaneously went so far as to quote Azov leaders who claimed Putin was the real Nazi while downplaying the regiment itself as merely “a division of the National Guard,” allegedly formed from “volunteers in 2014 after Russia took Crimea, part of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions.”

“This is a unit in which representatives of different nationalities and religions serve,” they added.

In another case, on March 20, the Chairman of a government-funded “volunteer mobile hospital,” Gennaidy Druzenko, boldly stated on Ukrainian television that he had issued “strict orders” to his staff to castrate all wounded Russian POWs.

“Putin’s machinery burns well. Cadavers of ‘Putinoids’ stink to high heavens, but become harmless at the end, they say,” Druzenko quipped, before adding that Russian soldiers “are cockroaches, not humans”

In another instance, Former Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine, Volodymyr Omelyan, also openly fanned the flames on national television, “I hope that the discussion about good Russians & bad Russians will end with a short conclusion: a good Russian or a Muscovite is a dead Muscovite.”

In a more egregious case, Ukraine Channel 24 broadcaster Fahruddin Sharafmal openly called for the killing of Russian children, “I will allow myself to quote Adolf Eichmann, who said that in order to destroy a nation, you must destroy, first of all, children.” 

He elucidated his motives, “Because if you kill their parents, the children will grow up and take revenge. By killing children — they will never grow up and the nation will disappear.”

While Sharafmal acknowledged the country’s armed forces were prohibited from such atrocities by the Geneva Convention, he noted, “But I am not from the Armed Forces of Ukraine. And when I get the chance to take out the Russians, I will definitely do it.”

“Since you call me a Nazi, I adhere to the doctrine of Adolf Eichmann, and I will do everything in my power to ensure that you and your children never live on this earth.”