A useful perspective on Ukraine and the fascist Azov Battalion

I have a lot of thoughts about the events in Ukraine, and about the racism revealed in the reactions of “Western” media. While no situation like this is simple, it would take a lot to convince me that the more powerful of the two countries, which is also the one doing the invading, is somehow in the right. One argument I have heard, in support of Putin’s claim that this invasion is “de-Nazification”, is that the Ukrainian government is collaborating with the Azov Battalion, an explicitly fascist paramilitary group. It’s true – they are. That does not, however, mean that the Ukrainian government is itself fascist. As usual, Beau of the Fifth Column has a useful perspective on this. Part of what makes a lot of people “leftists” is the ability to hold their own country to the same standard as any other, even when rhetoric might try to mask the similarities. This video not only makes those comparisons, it also discusses what the possible outcomes of this collaboration might be.

Thanks to Gorzki over on Pharyngula for putting this video in front of me!


  1. says

    There are Fascists in Ukraine. They just happen to be aligned with Moscow. The Donbas Separatists are 100% fascists. They want to “cleanse the region”. They are in the minority, but they are a violent minority. Sound familiar?

  2. Pierce R. Butler says

    Insightful, but rambly – he could have made the same points in half the time, or less (even while citing sources, which he doesn’t).

    And he leaves out the history of the Azov in burning alive 40+ Ukrainian civilians during the 2014 upheaval, with apparent US State Department support. Soon after, the Ukraine government made them part of their equivalent of the National Guard, providing an excellent hook for Putin & friends’ current “De-nazification” propaganda – another neglected aspect of this video.

  3. says

    That’s useful context, Pierce. I very much hope that there are already plans to lock these guys up if they survive the war, but I have no idea how likely that is.

    Beau tends to avoid certain words or phrases from time to time, in a way that seems like he’s got a reason for it, but sometimes it can make him a little hard to follow. He also tends to keep his videos pretty narrowly focused, for better or for worse.

  4. John Morales says

    I like Beau’s videos.

    Conveniently, he speaks so slowly and so clearly that I watch them at 1.35x and he sounds pretty normal to me.

  5. says

    There was one point where I was watching someone else’s video about some bad take by Ben Shapiro at 1.5x, and they played Shapiro at 1.5x, and the man has never sounded more like a cartoon chipmunk.

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