WASHINGTON – Ukrainian society must be “cleansed of Nazi elements,” a leading Russian intellectual wrote in an essay published Sunday as Ukrainian soldiers scoured the horrific aftermath of the killing of civilians in the Kiev suburb of Bucha.
An article entitled “What should Russia do with Ukraine?” published on the website of the Kremlin-controlled news agency RIA Novosti. Its author Timofey Siarheitseu is called a “political technologist”. He previously worked for Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine’s pro-Kremlin president who was ousted during the 2014 popular protests known as the Orange Revolution.
True to the arguments of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Sergeitsev even blames the civilian population. “A significant number of ordinary people are also to blame for the fact that they are passive Nazis and accomplices of the Nazis,” – writes Sergei. “They supported the Nazi authorities and indulged them.”
Oxford expert on Russian affairs Sergeytsev makes “strange, outrageous statements in the past” Map of Samuel told Yahoo News. But in this case, the article “represents the main Kremlin ideas.”
Ukrainian activists translated the article into English after the Russian-language version was widely circulated on social media.
“This is what the real #Russia wants,” the activists wrote.
“Support for the genocide is as naked as you read in the state media,” Russian expert Michael Weiss wrote on Twitter about Sergeitsev’s article.
The article is a “master plan for genocide”, an expert on Russia from Berlin Sergey Honest said Yahoo News in a text message. He predicted that Siarheitseu’s reasoning would be used as an excuse for new atrocities similar to Bucha’s.
Putin launched an invasion of Ukraine in February under fictitious claims that there were many “Nazi” extremists in the country’s leadership. Although there are far-right elements in Ukrainian society and the military, they are out of power, as in other European countries. Russia’s claims are becoming particularly absurd given that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is one of the few Jewish leaders on the world stage. Zelensky and some of his predecessors sought to orient the nation from Russia to the West, thus angering the Kremlin.
Russia “not only after the partial annexation of the territory,” Romani told Yahoo News about Sergei’s long reflections. “We are talking about the suppression of Ukrainian identity, and this equates any manifestation of Ukrainian nationalism with Nazism,” even if these manifestations of national feelings are voiced by Zelensky, who had family members who fought against the Nazis in World War II – and others who died in the Holocaust.
In its article, RIA Novosti Siarheitsev essentially calls for the elimination of Ukrainian national identity. “The name ‘Ukraine’ cannot be retained as the name of any fully denazified state in a territory liberated from the Nazi regime,” he wrote. “The newly created people’s territories in the territories free from Nazism must and will develop on the basis of the practice of economic self-government and social security, restoration and modernization of the systems of essential services of the population.”
Zelensky issued an article in an interview with Romanian politicians on Monday, saying it would be used as “evidence in a future Russian war crimes tribunal”. He said the article called for “destroying everything that makes Ukrainians Ukrainians.”
Putin has long viewed Ukraine as part of a broader Slavic empire led by Moscow, a vision formulated by intellectuals who provided philosophical support for the Kremlin’s aggressive goals in Ukraine and elsewhere. Despite the fact that Ukrainians share cultural, religious and linguistic similarities with Russia, they have long argued that they are treated as a junior partner. Ukraine has been its own nation since the collapse of the Soviet empire in 1991.
Sergeitsev’s article is a window into how the Kremlin apparently continues to see the invasion of Ukraine, despite the fact that last week it seemed to abandon the project of “denazification” amid rising military losses.
Regime change is no longer a public Russian condition of peace. But whether the Kremlin is really trying to stop the fighting remains unclear.
First, the Kremlin continues to promote its baseless statements about Ukrainian extremism: former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev wrote on social media on Monday that “a hot part of Ukrainian society has been praying to the Third Reich for the past 30 years. Literally.
Going even further in his essay to RIA Novosti, Siarheitsev claims that “Ukrainianism poses a much greater threat to the world and Russia than Hitler’s version of German Nazism.” Russian media was full of humorous stories about the alleged killing of ethnic Russians by Ukrainian troops. Strange conspiracy theories about bioweapons labs funded by Hunter Biden, the president’s son, and George Soros, a Jewish philanthropist, have also spread widely in the Russian media – and without any overt skepticism.
Adolf Hitler is responsible for the deaths of millions of Russians and Ukrainians, as well as the extermination of 6 million Jews. Russian propaganda complained about the fact that there were Ukrainian collaborators who worked with the Nazis during Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. These Ukrainian nationalists hoped to secure independence from the brutal Soviet government, which in itself was responsible for millions of deaths in Ukraine.
Zelensky and his supporters argue that if any regime represents modern Nazi Germany, it is one that is in Moscow.
“It is important to disseminate this article,” wrote the Ukrainians, who posted an English-language version of Sergeitsev’s essay. “The world needs to be aware of Russian methods, crimes and plans. Putin will not stop until he is stopped. “