Denazification in this case is pure Nazism, the destruction of the Ukrainian nation. The same thing happened in the 1940s in Germany. They “denazified” the Jews. The Russians are doing it now. I am in shock. I didn’t know you could do something like that in today’s world.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy, March 8, 2022
Why did Russia attack Ukraine? Putin explained this by an allegedly noble yet completely incomprehensible goal — “denazification” of Ukraine. For the majority of the world, this goal remained a mystery. What kind of Nazism can even be in a country where German Nazism and Soviet communism exterminated millions of civilians during World War II? A country where Holocaust memorials are unveiled and where the president himself is Jewish?
However, on April 3, Russian news agency RIA.Novosti published an article by Moscow political scientist Timofey Sergeytsev, entitled “What Russia Should Do with Ukraine.”
This is the same person who created the nonsense map of “three varieties of Ukraine” during Viktor Yanukovych’s presidential campaign in 2004. In his propaganda article, Sergeytsev explains what the Russian leadership means by “denazification” of Ukraine and describes item by item how it should be carried out.
This very publication by Sergeytsev is a continuation of his article “What Ukraine We Don’t Need” which was published on the same website RIA.Novosti a year ago. It was published exactly when Putin decided to prepare for an attack on Ukraine. In this article, the author explains why he believes Ukraine to be “Nazi”:
“Ukraine took a Nazi oath en masse through the seemingly benevolent political vector of ‘aspiration for Europe,’ in the context of which, however, ‘European identity’ is unequivocally considered by ideologists and the majority of people alike as a sign of racial superiority.”
Thus, for the propaganda media, Ukraine’s European aspirations, its desire to be a member of the EU, to focus on European values, democracy and human rights are sufficient proof that Ukraine is Nazi and the Ukrainian people are “nazified.” Seems absurd? Here is another quote from the new targeted article by the Russian ideologue:
“…the Ukrainian Nazism unfolds freely as a fundamental basis of any Nazism — like European and, in its most developed form, American racism. Therefore, there can be no compromise with denazification, with the idea of no to NATO, yes to the EU. The Collective West itself is the designer, source and sponsor of Ukrainian Nazism, while the Western Bandera characters and their ‘historical memory’ are only one tool in the nazification of Ukraine. Ukrainian Nazism poses no less but a greater threat to the world and Russia than German Nazism of Hitler’s times.”
Dear citizens of EU countries, USA and Canada! How do you feel being called racists and Nazis? Absurd? But this is a component of the “Russian world” ideology.
What is more, Sergeytsev and the leading Russian news agency are expressing regret that Hungary and Czechoslovakia weren’t fully “denazified” back in the day, which “led to essentially fascist uprisings in Hungary and Czechoslovakia in 1956 and 1968, which the West portrayed as an aspiration of democracy.”
They are justifying their absolute right to “denazify” other countries “within our military jurisdiction (military tribunal), without resorting to institutes of international justice.” As we see, for Russians, anyone who wants to escape Russia’s totalitarian embrace, build a democratic society and be part of Europe is a Nazi. In other words, they threaten direct military aggression.
If the ideas of Sergeytsev’s first publication are essentially today’s ideology of Russia, what methods are supposed to be used for Ukraine’s “denazification” according to the second one? Let’s just say, they are impressive. We return to the dark times of Hitlerism. The “denazification of Ukraine” by Russia involves the following aspects:
1. “Military victory over the Kyiv regime, the liberation of territories from armed supporters of Nazification, the elimination of uncompromising Nazis, the capture of war criminals.”
That is, the total occupation of Ukraine and terror against Ukrainians. We remind you that, according to Russian ideologues, the Ukrainian people are “nazified.” Thus, the Bucha Massacre is not an isolated military incident, but rather, as proven by the tragedies of Mariupol, Kharkiv, Borodianka, a targeted policy of the Russian state aimed at the genocide of Ukrainians.
2. De-Europeanization of Ukraine. “Debanderization alone will not be enough for denazification — the Bandera element is only a stand-in and a smokescreen, a disguise for the European project of Nazi Ukraine, so the denazification of Ukraine means its inevitable de-Europeanization.”
Since Ukraine’s identity is European, because democracy, respect for human rights, and the rule of law are common for Ukrainians and the entire Europe, Russia perceives it as a threat. The values of the Russian people are opposite: totalitarianism, lawlessness, the right to force and aggression against neighbouring nations. It is impossible to erase European values from the mentality of the Ukrainian people, so Russia seeks de-Europeanization through de-Ukrainization and de-Ukrainization through genocide.
3. “De-Ukrainization” — destruction of Ukrainian statehood and memory of it.
- “Ukrainianism is an artificial anti-Russian construction that has no civilizational meaning of its own, a subordinate element of a foreign civilization.” Russia denies the right of the Ukrainian nation to exist. This is what the Russian Empire used to do, destroying Ukrainian statehood, banning the Ukrainian language and the right to be called Ukrainian, as Stalin’s Russia did, starving millions of Ukrainians, and this continues in modern Russia, which invaded Ukraine and committed genocide against the Ukrainian nation. This struggle for Ukrainians’ right to live has been going on for hundreds of years.
- “Ukraine, as history has shown, is impossible as a nation-state, and attempts to “build” one naturally lead to Nazism.” Thus, the right of the Ukrainian people to their own national identity and statehood, guaranteed by Article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, is considered “Nazism” in Russia.
- “The name ‘Ukraine’ probably cannot be preserved as a title of any fully denazified state formation on the territory liberated from the Nazi regime.”
Does this sound familiar? This happened before. During the occupation of Poland by Nazi Germany. The German Nazis destroyed the Polish state, banned the name “Poland”, and introduced the so-called Generalgouvernement, “Governor-General”, in the occupied territories. Reproducing the experience of its Nazi predecessors, Russia seeks to do the same with Ukraine, imitating even minute details:
“Their political orientation cannot really be neutral — the atonement of their guilt before Russia for treating it as an enemy can only be realized by relying on Russia in the processes of reconstruction, revival and development. No ‘Marshall Plan’ can be allowed for these territories […] The people and organizations serving as a tool of denazification in the new republics cannot help but rely on Russia’s direct support with force and organization.”
In Nazi Germany, this was called the “Lebensraum im Osten” (“Living Space in the East”) and involved the mass deportation of the “racially undesirable” population, its complete psychological and armed subjugation, and absolute economic exploitation. We see this in the Russian-occupied Crimea and Donbas since 2014, and this is happening right now in the occupied territories of southern and eastern Ukraine. And this is precisely the fate previewed by Russians for the entire Ukraine.
4. On the territory of the new Lebensraum, Russia as the actual successor of the Hitler practices must implement, in particular, the following measures:
- “Elimination of armed Nazi formations (which means any armed formations of Ukraine, including the Armed Forces), as well as military, information, educational infrastructure that provides their activities.” Apparently, this is the “demilitarization” announced by Putin.
- “installation of the Russian information space”, which means a totalitarian closed society, where only Russian propaganda operates and circulates.
- “confiscation of teaching materials and ban on educational programs at all levels that contain Nazi ideological views” — in fact, a ban on the Ukrainian language and Ukrainian history, as is already happening in the Russian-occupied territories
- “mass investigative actions to establish personal responsibility for war crimes, crimes against humanity, the spread of Nazi ideology and support for the Nazi regime,” which means a return to Stalinist terror and mass executions. This is already happening in the occupied territories
- “Russia-supervised adoption of primary regulatory acts of ‘bottom-up’ denazification on the local level, prohibition of all types and forms of restoration of the Nazi ideology… inclusion of a set of anti-fascist and anti-Nazi standards in the constitutions of new people’s republics,” which means an absence of democracy, repression and prohibition of individual, civil and political human rights, destruction of Ukraine’s identity and memory
- “creation of permanent denazification agencies for a period of 25 years,” and at the same time it should be “a territory of potential integration into the Russian civilization,” which means in practice that Generalgouvernement established on the occupied territories must be incorporated into Russia.
The Western reader might object to the fact that all this is the product of the twisted imagination of some marginal Russian writer, who is deluded by the ideology of Hitlerism. Unfortunately, this is not the case. This is the real ideology and practice of modern Russia.
On April 5 this year, the former President of Russia, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Medvedev reproduced the ideas of Sergeytsev in a Telegram post almost verbatim:
“…deep Ukrainianism, fuelled by anti-Russian poison and all-consuming lies about its identity, is one big fake. This phenomenon never existed in history. Nor does it exist today… Changing the bloody mindset of some contemporary Ukrainians, full of erroneous myths, is the most important goal.”
We should not forget that Ukraine’s right to exist has been publicly denied at the highest level in Putin’s program article “On the historical unity of Russians and Ukrainians”, published on July 12 last year. For the Russian dictator, our country is “entirely the brainchild of the Soviet era,” which was largely created at the expense of what he calls “historical Russia.” And the Ukrainian people are part of the Russian people. Only “nazified.” And in dire need of “denazification” under the heavy boot of the Russian occupier.
Thus, their goal is the genocide of Ukrainians, the destruction of Ukraine and its memory.