Stepan Bandera. He did not claim to be a Nazi, just a Ukrainian "nationalist ». From 1935, Bandera advocated political violence. He had about sixty personalities assassinated, including two Polish ministers. During the Second World War, he organized the extermination of Jewish and Slavic intellectuals. The new Ukrainian regime erected monuments to his glory, including one in Lviv, the city where he supervised a massacre.

Western public opinion is outraged by the war in Ukraine and is mobilizing to help Ukrainians in flight. For all, it is obvious: the dictator Putin does not support the new Ukrainian democracy.

As in every conflict, we are told that the others are the bad guys, while we are the good guys.

Our reaction is that of people abused by war propaganda because they do not remember previous conflicts and do not know anything about Ukraine. Let’s start again.

Who started it?

Like in the playground when our classmates were fighting each other, we want to know who started it. There is no contest: eight years ago, the United States organized a regime change in Kiev with the help of armed groups. These people call themselves "nationalists", but not at all in the sense that we understand it. They claim to be real Ukrainians of Scandinavian or proto-Germanic origin and not Slavs like the Russians. They claim to be Stepan Bandera [1], the leader of the Ukrainian collaborators of the Nazis, the equivalent of Philippe Pétain from a symbolic point of view for the French, but above all of Joseph Darnand and the soldiers of the French SS Division Charlemagne. Ukrainians, who until now considered themselves to be of Scandinavian and proto-Germanic origin on the one hand, and Slavic on the other, call them "neo-Nazis".

Here in France, the word "Nazi" is an insult that is used for anything. Historically, it is a movement that advocated a racial vision of humanity to explain the colonial empires. According to it, men belong to different "races", today we would say to different "species". They cannot have offspring together, like mares and donkeys. In nature, these two species procreate mules, but these are usually sterile. This is why the Nazis forbade inter-racial mixing. If we are of different races, some are superior to others, hence the Western domination of colonized peoples. In the 1930s, this ideology was considered a "science" and was taught in universities, especially in the United States, Scandinavia and Germany. Some very important scientists defended it. For example, Konrad Lorenz (Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1973) was an ardent Nazi. He wrote that in order to maintain the race, homosexuals had to be removed from the mass and eliminated like a surgeon removes a tumor because they mixed their genetic heritage with that of other races without being noticed.

These scientists were no more serious than those who announced the apocalypse during the Covid-19 epidemic. They had the title of "scientist", but not the reasonable approach.

Modern Russia was built on the memory of what Russians call the "Great Patriotic War" and we call the "Second World War". It does not have the same meaning for them as for us. Here in France, the war lasted only a few months, then we believed in the Nazi victory and entered into collaboration. We saw the Nazis and the Pétainists arrest, from 1940, 66,000 people, generally for "terrorism" (resistance). Then from 1942 onwards, 76,000 Jews were arrested for being of an "inferior race" and sent to the East, in reality to extermination camps. On the contrary, in the Soviet Union, the Nazis did not arrest anyone. They wanted to exterminate or enslave all Slavs within thirty years in order to free up a "living space" where they could build a colonial empire (Generalplan Ost). This is why the USSR suffered 27 million deaths. In Russian memory, the Nazis are an existential danger, not for us.

When these people came to power in Kiev, they did not declare themselves as "Nazis", but as "nationalists" in the sense of Stepan Bandera, who also called himself a "nationalist" and not a "Nazi", and even outdid himself with regard to their genocidal intentions against Slavs and Jews. They called the former regime "pro-Russian", which is factually wrong, and banned everything that evokes Russian culture. First of all, the Russian language. The majority of Ukrainians were bilingual, speaking both Russian and Ukrainian. All of a sudden, half of them were told that they would no longer be able to speak their language at school and in the administration. The Donbass region, which is very Russian speaking, rose up. But also the Hungarian minority, who were taught in their own language and who were supported in their demand by Hungary. The Ukrainians of Donbass demanded that the districts of Donestsk and Lugansk be given autonomous status and that they regain their language. These prefectures (oblast in Russian) declared themselves republics. This did not mean that they aspired to independence, but only to autonomy, like the Republic of California in the United States or the former republics of the USSR.

In 2014, President Francois Hollande and Chancellor Angela Merkel put the people of Kiev at the same table as those of Donbass and negotiated the Minsk agreements. France, Germany and Russia are the guarantors.

Kiev has always refused to implement them even though it signed them. Instead, it has armed "nationalist" militias and sent them to the edge of the Donbass. All the Western extremists then came to fire the shot in Ukraine. These paramilitaries were last month, according to the Kiev government, 102,000. They form one-third of the Ukrainian army and are integrated into the Territorial Defense Forces. 66,000 new "nationalists" - albeit foreign - have just arrived as reinforcements, from all over the world, for the Russian attack.

In the eight years since the Minsk agreements, these paramilitaries have killed 14,000 people in Donbass, according to the Kiev government. This figure includes their own casualties, but they are not many. Russia has set up its own commission of inquiry. It did not only count the dead, but also the seriously injured. It found 22,000 victims. President Putin speaks of "genocide", not in the etymological sense of destruction of a people, but in the legal sense of a crime committed by order of the authorities against an ethnic group.

This is where the problem lies: the Kiev government is not homogeneous and no one has clearly given the order for such a massacre. However, Russia holds President Petro Poroshenko and his successor Volodymyr Zelensky responsible. We are also responsible because we were the guarantors of the never implemented Minsk agreements. Yes, we are co-responsible for this hecatomb.

The worst is yet to come. On July 1, 2021, President Zelensky, who armed the "nationalist" paramilitaries and refused to implement the Minsk agreements, promulgated Law No. 38 "On Indigenous Peoples" [2]. This law guarantees the exercise of the rights of the Tatars and the Karaites (i.e. Jews who do not recognize the Talmud), including the right to speak their language, but not the rights of the Slavs. The latter do not exist. They are not protected by any law. They are Untermenschen, subhuman. It was the first time in 77 years that a racial law was passed on the European continent. You say to yourself that there are human rights organizations and that they must have protested. But nothing. A great silence. Worse: the applause of Bernard-Henri Lévy.

Dmytro Yarosh. Behind him the flag of Stepan Bandera: black and red stamped with the Ukrainian Trident. Agent of the stay-behind networks of NATO. In 2007, he realized the alliance of European neo-Nazis and Middle Eastern jihadists against Russia. He played a central role in the 2014 regime change. Today he is a special advisor to the head of the Ukrainian military.

Why the recourse to war?

Our vision of events is distorted by our prejudices. This is even more pronounced in the Baltic States and countries formerly crushed by the "Brezhnev doctrine". These peoples imagine a priori that the Russians are the heirs of the Soviets. However, the main Soviet leaders were not Russian. Joseph Stalin was Georgian, Nikita Khrushchev Ukrainian etc., and even Leonid Brezhnev was Ukrainian.

As long as the Donetsk and Lugansk republics were Ukrainian, the massacre of their inhabitants was an exclusively Ukrainian matter. No one was allowed to protect them. However, by signing the Minsk Agreements and having them endorsed by the UN Security Council, France and Germany took responsibility for putting an end to it. They did not do so.

The problem changed in nature when, on February 21, 2022, Russia recognized the independence of the two Donbass republics. The massacre of its inhabitants was no longer a domestic issue, but an international one. On February 23, the Security Council met again as the Russian army prepared to intervene. At the meeting, UN Secretary-General António Guterres did not question the legitimacy of Russia’s recognition of the Donbass republics, nor of Russia’s military intervention against the neo-Nazis. He just asked Russia to give peace another chance [3].

International law does not prohibit war, but tries to prevent it. Since this meeting of the Security Council was fruitless, Russia was entitled to come to the aid of the inhabitants of Donbass massacred by the neo-Nazis. This it did the next day, February 24.

President Vladimir Putin, who had already waited eight years, could no longer put it off. Not only because people are dying every day, not only because the Ukrainian army was preparing a huge massacre on March 8 [4], but because Russian law makes him personally responsible for the lives of his fellow citizens. In preparation for their eventual exodus, the vast majority of Donbass residents have acquired Russian citizenship in recent years.

The exodus of 2 million Ukrainians

As in all NATO wars, we are witnessing the flight of the population. For the French, this is reminiscent of the exodus in 1940 when the German troops were advancing. It is a phenomenon of collective panic. The French believed that the Wehrmarcht was going to commit the same mass rapes that had been attributed to the Deutsches Heer at the beginning of the First World War. But the Germans were disciplined and did not engage in this type of violence. In the end, the aimless flight of the French had no objective reason, only fear.

NATO, since the Kosovo war, has developed the concept of population movement engineering [5]. In 1999, the CIA organized the displacement of over 290,000 Kosovars from Serbia to Macedonia in three days. If you are older than 30 years, you remember the gruesome videos of the long line of people, marching one after the other, for dozens of kilometers, along railway lines. This was to make it look like ethnic repression by Slobodan Milošević’s government and to justify the war that was coming. The Kosovars did not know why they were fleeing, but thought they would find a better future where they went. Seven years ago, you remember the Syrian exodus. It was about weakening the country by depriving it of its population. This time, it is about touching your emotions with women and children, without sending away the men who are required to fight the Russians.

Each time, we are upset. But just because the Kosovars, Syrians or Ukrainians are suffering does not mean they are all right.

The European Union accepts all Ukrainian refugees. The Schengen states accept all people who present themselves as fleeing the war in Ukraine. According to the German administration, about a quarter of these "refugees", who swear that they work and live in Ukraine, do not have Ukrainian passports, but Algerian, Belarusian, Indian, Moroccan, Nigerian or Uzbek passports; people who obviously take advantage of the open door to be legally registered in the European Union. There is no verification of their previous stay in Ukraine. For the German employers, this is a regularization that does not say its name.

We have to ask ourselves why the Ukrainian people do not support their government. During the war in Kosovo, the people of Belgrade stood day and night on the city’s bridges to prevent NATO from bombing them. During the war in Libya, several million people gathered in Tripoli to show their support for the leader Muamar Gaddafi. During the Syrian war, a million people expressed their support for President Bashar al-Assad. This time: nothing. On the contrary, we are told that teams of the Territorial Defense are hunting " infiltrated Russian saboteurs ", while the OSCE attests that there were no Russian soldiers in Ukraine before the beginning of the operation.

On the video of the bombing of the Zaporijjia nuclear power plant, no shots can be seen on the plant itself.

Image shock

We should have learned from previous wars that the first victim is always the truth. Since the war in Kosovo, NATO has become a master of war propaganda. At that time, the spokesman of the organization in Brussels was changed. His replacement, Jamie Shea, was detailing an exemplary story every day, either about the horrors of the Serbian criminals, or about the exemplary resistance of the Kosovars. At the time, I was publishing a daily faxed newspaper, the Journal of the War in Europe. I summarized the declarations of NATO and the dispatches of the small press agencies in the Balkans. Every day I saw the two versions getting further apart. In my mind, the truth had to be in between. When the war was over, it became clear that Jamie Shea’s story was pure invention designed to blacken the columns of gullible newspapers, while the dispatches from the small Balkan news agencies told the truth. And the truth was not in favor of NATO.

So I approach the Western media consensus with some suspicion. For example, when we are told that Russia is bombing a nuclear power plant, I think of President George W. Bush’s lies about the weapons of mass destruction of the tyrant "Saddam". Or when we are told that the Russians have just bombed a maternity hospital in Mariupol, I remember the Kuwaiti babies kidnapped in their incubators by the horrible Iraqi soldiers. And when I am assured that the evil Putin is crazy and Hitler-like, I remember how we treated Muamar Gaddafi or President Bashar al-Assad.

That’s why I don’t take these allegations seriously. The Ukrainian soldiers on Snake Island were not massacred by bombs as President Zelensky claimed, they surrendered to the Russian armies, as he later admitted. The Jewish memorial at Babi Yar was not destroyed by the Russians, who respect all victims of Nazi barbarism. The Zaporizhia power station was not bombed either. It was guarded for several days by mixed Russian and Ukrainian teams. Moreover, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed that there had never been any radio-active danger. The Marioupol maternity hospital was not bombed either. It had been evacuated three days earlier and transformed into the barracks of the Azov Regiment (neo-Nazis), as Russia had reported to the UN at that time.

So when I am told that the "dictator" Putin must be killed, I remain unmoved.

The battles

How not to notice that the images we see of the victorious "battles" of the Ukrainian army are always the same? How can we not notice that we only see a few destroyed vehicles? Have our war reporters never seen real wars? We do not interpret the images according to what we see, but according to the comments that accompany them.

For a week now, we have been told that the Russian army is encircling Kiev at a distance of fifteen kilometers, that it is advancing every day (but remains at a distance of fifteen kilometers) and that it is going to give the final assault. When it is explained to us that the "dictator" Putin wants the skin of the nice president Zelenski (who arms the neo-Nazis and promulgated the racial law), I take a step back.

The Russian armies have never had a plan to take the big cities. They are staying away from them (except Marioupol). They are fighting the "nationalist" paramilitaries, the neo-Nazis. As a Frenchman, supporter of the Resistance against the Nazis, the Russian armies have all my admiration.

The Russian army applies in Ukraine the same tactics as in Syria: encircle the cities that serve as refuge for the enemies, then open humanitarian corridors in order to make the civilians flee, and finally pound the fighters who remain inside. This is why the neo-Nazi paramilitaries block these corridors and prevent the population from fleeing. This is the principle of human shields.

It is a war of movement. We have to move quickly. The Russian troops are moving in trucks and armored vehicles. These are not tank battles. Today, tanks are inoperative in theaters of operation. In 2006, we saw Hezbollah reduce Israeli Merkavas to rubble. Russian troops move around in motor vehicles, which is why they have armored vehicles. Since we have supplied tens of thousands of anti-tank missiles to the Ukrainian army, including neo-Nazi paramilitaries, our weapons destroy them as they destroy their trucks. These are not battles, just ambushes.

The State of Israel was not mistaken: Prime Minister Naftali Benett advised President Zelensky to accept the Russian conditions for peace. Namely, not to lay down arms, but to destroy all monuments dedicated to Stepan Bandera and to arrest the Nazis who have been incorporated into the Ukrainian Territorial Defense.

Three new problems

As if the situation was not complicated enough, President Zelensky announced at the Munich Security Conference, just before the war, his intention to acquire the Atomic Bomb, in violation of his country’s signature of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

Then, the Russian military seized and published a working document of the Kiev government planning a military attack on Crimea and Donbass on March 8.

Finally, the Russian military uncovered some 15 biological weapons research laboratories that were working for the Pentagon. It announced that it would release the seized documentation and destroyed 320 containers of pathogens. The United States is a signatory to the United Nations Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), which it respects at home but violates abroad. Documents were released two months ago by a Bulgarian journalist. On March 8, the Chinese Foreign Ministry asked the Pentagon to explain the 330 biological laboratories it maintains under various names in 30 countries. The State Department denied the practice at the time. But Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, at a Senate hearing, acknowledged that the Pentagon was collaborating on these foreign programs and that she was concerned that the research was falling into Russian hands. When Russia took the matter to the Security Council, the West turned its accusations against it, accusing it of preparing a false-flag biological attack. For its part, the World Health Organization said it had been warned of Ukrainian-US civilian biological research and had asked Ukraine to destroy its pathogens to prevent their dissemination.

Thus, Ukraine, which maintains more than one hundred thousand "nationalists" and incorporated them into its "Territorial Defense", then adopted a racial law, is working on illegal biological weapons and hopes to acquire the Atomic Bomb. We have chosen to forget the examples of courage of Jean Moulin and Charles De Gaulle and to support President Zelensky!

Roger Lagassé

For 27 years, the Voltaire Network has been campaigning for freedom of thought, equal rights and brotherhood of arms. Now translated into several languages, we have become a source of analysis of International Relations used by many diplomats, military, academics and journalists in the world.

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[1After having participated in massacres of Jews with the SS, Stepan Bandera was arrested by the Nazis in 1941 and interned in a prison for VIP. Then he was released to participate actively with the SS in the fight against the Soviets. He was never an ideological opponent of the Nazis, but always collaborated with them against the USSR. See Stepan Bandera: The Life and Afterlife of a Ukrainian Nationalist, Fascism, Genocide, and Cult, Grzegorz Rossoliński-Liebe, Ibidem (2014).

[2«Про корінні народи України», Відомості Верховної Ради (ВВР), 2021, № 38, ст.319.

[3Security Council, 8974th meeting, UN, 23 February 2022.

[4Document: "Ukrainian secret attack plans" (source: Russian Ministry of Defense).

[5“Strategic Engineered Migration as a Weapon of War”, Kelly M. Greenhill, Civil War Journal, Volume 10, Issue 1, July 2008. "Understanding the Coercive Power of Mass Migrations,” in Weapons of Mass Migration : Forced Displacement, Coercion and Foreign Policy, Kelly M. Greenhill, Ithaca, 2010. “Migration as a Coercive Weapon : New Evidence from the Middle East”, in Coercion : The Power to Hurt in International Politics, Kelly M. Greenhill, Oxford University Press, 2018.