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Dimitri Simes Calls Out George Kent’s Lies about Neo-Nazis in Ukraine

Nov. 21, 2019 (EIRNS)—In an article for the Daily Caller, decorated Russia expert Dimitri Simes, CEO and President of the Center for the National Interest, goes right after Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent’s preposterous and revolting effort to equate the American Revolutionary Minutemen with the neo-Nazis who were utilized by Kent, Joe Biden, and Victoria Nuland, then Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, in the 2014 Ukraine coup. Kent threw this into his Nov. 13 testimony to the House Intelligence Committee’s impeachment hearings.

“What Kent, the State Department’s leading expert on Ukraine, neglected to mention was that a significant portion of these volunteer battalions are ultra-nationalist and even explicitly neo-Nazi paramilitary groups. Also left unsaid was the fact that at least one of these militias previously received military support from Washington, and possibly still does despite a formal ban from Congress. ... While some of these militias did not espouse any particular ideology, others aligned themselves with ultra-nationalism and neo-Nazism. Such groups include the Right Sector, Dnipro 1 Battalion, Aidar Battalion, and the Azov Battalion.”

The Azov Battalion group’s founder and commander Andriy Biletsky famously declared that Ukraine’s mission is to “lead the White Races of the world in a final crusade against the Semite-led Untermenschen.” Human rights groups in Ukraine reported that battalions named Shakhtarsk, Aidar, Dnipro-1, and Azov perpetrated torture, disappearances, and unlawful detentions in the war in the East, Simes writes. During a speech before parliament in 2017, Azov head Biletsky threatened to overthrow the government. Azov and its political wing, the National Corps, are currently resisting President Volodymyr Zelensky’s peace plans.

Simes goes on to cite the well-known fact that Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov is the patron of Azov, along with the other neo-Nazi groups. Dismissed Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch stated in her impeachment testimony that she was in regular contact and collaboration with Avakov. Simes reveals that C14, the ultranationalist group associated with attacks on minorities, journalists, and political activists, was granted permission, in late 2017 to patrol the streets as municipal guards. A Daily Beast investigation found that the Pentagon and the State Department did not have a clear mechanism to prevent these groups from getting U.S. aid, despite the cosmetic demands proposed by Congress.

Simes caps his article by stating that the late Sen. John McCain was a patron of these groups, and that current Chargé d’Affaires William Taylor appears to be continuing this tradition. Dmytro Shatrovsky, the leader of the Azov-affiliated Veterans Brotherhood, recently gave a speech at an event sponsored by the State Department’s USAID with Taylor seated in the front row.

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