The Western Obsession with a ‘Greater Ukraine’

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(This article appeared in the New Worker – the newspaper of the New Communist Party of Britain – No. 1778, dated the 8.6.14, Pages 6-7)

The United States of America (and her bourgeois allies) has been involved in an attack on modern Russia over the last 6 months that has mimicked Nazi Germany’s military aggression against the Soviet Union in 1941. Both capitalist countries – the USA and Hitler’s Germany – attacked Russia through the Ukraine in an attempt to gain control of her natural resources, and reduce or completely nullify Russian political influence outside of her geographical area. Neither attack has been successful due to the character and strength of the Ukrainians and the Russians (and the implicit character weaknesses of the greedy bourgeois), but it is remarkable how history repeats itself – ‘first as tragedy, second as farce’ – as Marx correctly stated. It is ironic that just after the 69th anniversary of the defeat of fascism by the Soviet Red Army and her Western allies, the USA and UK are actively encouraging and supporting a neo-Nazi resurgence in the Ukraine that has usurped the legitimate government and replaced it with a junta bent on annexing the country permanently to the capitalist and liberal bourgeois politics of Europe and the West. This situation has developed primarily due to the fact that the USA, after successfully working to undermine the USSR in 1991, has continued to pursue a policy of political, economic, and cultural destabilisation in Russia and its surrounding countries. As Russia refuses to outlaw Communism as a political movement, and to distance itself from its Soviet past, the USA (and the UK) live in perpetual fear of a resurgent Communist state, and constantly works to undermine such a development through a relentless propaganda programme coupled with both overt and covert political and military initiatives, etc. The USA would prefer to see an annexed Ukraine as a junior partner member of the European Union (EU), which is nothing more than an extension of US foreign policy designed to dismantle any Socialist welfare provisions within European countries, and in their place instigate the ruthless implementation of free market economics.

Following Hitler’s rise to power in the early 1930’s, his book of rightwing delirium entitled Mein Kampf (My Struggle) was extensively published throughout Europe and the world. Hitler, however, made sure that each edition was carefully edited and altered to suit the mentality of its intended audience. This policy was deliberately designed to minimise the offense it would cause if the intended audience really understood what Hitler thought about them, and the inferior place they would occupy when his racialised utopia was eventually established in Europe and the rest of the world. As a consequence, the editions of Mein Kampf available in the UK and the USA omitted the sections containing the strongest and most obvious offensive remarks which lead many prominent intellectuals and leaders to view Hitler in a positive light, assuming that he was a moderate politician trying to make the best of Germany’s bad situation. In 1935, for instance, Winston Churchill (in his book entitled Great Contemporaries) referred to Adolf Hitler as a ‘Genius born of the miseries of Germany’, and went on to say ‘We may yet live to see Hitler a gentler figure in a happier age.’ This book was republished in 1937 with no alterations. Such was Hitler’s plan to deceive, that he ensured that his policy of ‘lebensraum’ (or ‘living space’) was virtually unknown in the West – and yet it served as the basis of his military plans to conquer Europe and was the single motivating force behind his 1941 invasion of the Soviet Union. Hitler believed that his racially pure German armies would sweep the inferior races out and away from their homelands and that millions of German people would consequently move in and occupy this new space, presumably with no thought whatsoever to how the land was acquired by Nazi Germany, or came to be free of its original inhabitants. Part of this policy, of course, involved the mass transportation of undesirable populations to Concentration Camps for ‘Processing’, a pseudonym for mass murder and eradication.

In 1935, Pierre Laval signed a mutual assistance pact with the Soviet Union on behalf of the French government in an attempt to present a united front against Hitler’s aggressive rhetoric and rapid militarisation of Nazi Germany. This action appeared to be half-hearted on behalf of the French who refused to follow this agreement with the usual military convention, thus rendering the agreement with the Soviet Union virtually useless. The situation was compounded by the fact that Pierre Laval was sympathetic toward the rightwing cause, and actively sought a bona fide alliance with Mussolini’s fascist Italy. This situation had come about because the previous French Foreign Minister – Louis Barthou – who was in favour of a broad and functioning Grand Alliance across Europe and the USSR against Nazi Germany – was assassinated in October 1934, and the rightwing Pierre Laval had taken his place. Laval felt compelled to appease the leftwing momentum that had been built through Barthou’s efforts and signed the treaty with the USSR knowing full well that he would never allow France to come to the aid of the USSR in time of war. In the meantime the Western powers developed the policy of appeasement toward Hitler (and Mussolini) and their fascist armies (together with the forces of Imperial Japan) continued their march across the globe.

By 1938, the Nazi German representative Ribbentrop was being invited to Paris for high level diplomatic talks regarding the position France would take if Germany turned her armies eastward, and invaded the USSR. The French failed to condemn the intended Nazi military aggression against the Soviet Union, and in a matter of weeks, influential national newspapers (such as Le Matin and Le Temps) were strongly expressing their support in favour of the formation of a ‘Greater Ukraine’, which would be administered by Ukrainian pro-Nazi sympathisers, and into which large German populations would be allowed to migrate, effectively ethnically cleansing the area of indigenous Ukrainians and destroying the legitimate Communist regime. France did not invent the policy of ‘Greater Ukraine’; indeed Hitler had been working on this idea (and many like it) for years, and was busy experimenting with which particular formulation of fascist intent elicited the least resistance from his potential enemies. It is, however, alarming how the French (and British) press seized upon the opportunity to vigorously support the idea of enhancing the prestige of Nazi Germany whilst simultaneously diminishing that of the Soviet Union. A year later, and now fearing the Nazi German build-up along its borders, France protested Hitler’s apparent preparations for invasion. German negotiators simply pointed out that France had allowed this build-up to develop through its attitude toward the ‘friendship talks’ with Ribbentrop the previous year.

As events transpired, the Nazi war machine invaded the Ukraine in 1941, and laid waste to its vast geographical area, whilst systematically murdering and exterminating large sections of its populations. This devastation also included the encirclement and destruction of vast Soviet military formations, which were, in the early days, unable to prevent the German advance. Out of the Ukrainian population, many traitors and collaborators emerged to assist the Nazi regime and act as local instigators of Nazi atrocities. Sixty-nine years on, the descendents of those collaborators, encouraged by the USA, have taken up arms again in the name of totalitarian hatred, intolerance, and genocide. What is happening today is not new. The Nazi German invasion of the Soviet Union – with its resultant 27 million casualties – was most definitely a tragedy of massive proportions, but now history is repeating itself as farce, with the USA trying to force the true pro-Russian Ukrainians to change their historical allegiances away from mother Russia and toward an illusionary capitalist political entity, called the ‘European Union’. Sixty-nine years ago Western Europe envisioned the annexing of the Ukraine into a ‘Greater Ukraine’, which is ironically, nothing less than a radically diminished Ukraine – a Ukraine in name only destined to become the dustbin of Europe. The capitalist West is attempting to make this dream a reality and is financing and arming neo-Nazi thugs to maim and kill the true freedom fighters of the Ukraine – the real descendents of the Soviet Red Army.

 

 

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