Cledun’s recent article for TRS, “Novorussia, Atlanticists, And Ukrainian Nationalists,” argues that the Ukraine question is not a dichotomy, as is generally believed, between backing either the US-backed Kiev junta or the pro-Russian separatist forces concentrated in the Donbass region. Rather, Cledun claims that there is a third option and that this third choice is the correct one: we should support the Kiev-allied Azov battalion, which, as Cledun documents, has a strong nationalist, anti-NATO, anti-EU tendency.
This is a misguided position. There are three reasons: it is counter-productive, utopian (LARP), and unstable even in success.
Firstly, it is counter-productive. It is well-known that far-right political groups like Right Sector formed the bulk of the ground soldiers during the Maidan riots. Many of the current members of the Azov battalion were probably members of these ground forces that got their hands bloody. It was this far-right contingent that did the dirty work for the Kiev junta, and what did they get out of it? Are they in power now? No, they have been excluded as much as possible from any of the positions of power. They serve merely as useful idiots for the US-backed Kiev junta, as well as the Jewish oligarch Ihor Kolomoyskyi, one of Azov battalion’s most notable funders. As such, Cledun’s position is counter-productive.
Secondly, it is utopian (LARP). Suppose that despite this continued political marginalization by their US-backed promoters, Cledun’s dream comes true and right-wing Azov battalion members manages to take control of Ukraine, including the Donbass region. Is there any doubt that such a regime would not be allowed to persist by the West? If a truly pro-white government were to emerge in Ukraine, you can bet your last federal reserve note that the United States would not take this lying down. It would immediately topple the government, probably through CIA intrigue, but if necessary by military invasion. Can you doubt that if the bulk of the American people saw a Nazi government in power in Ukraine that the vast majority would back an invasion? It would be a great opportunity for SWPLs to signal their social status, and Republicans would back it too because it shows that they may be right-wing but they aren’t RIGHT-WING like those Nazis, which every good red-blooded American hates.
Thirdly, it is unstable even in success. Most people in Donbass speak Russian as a first language, and in a number of cities in the region like Krasnodon and Sverdslovsk, the majority are ethnic Russian. From a cultural, political, and historical perspective, Donbass has far more in common with Russia than it does with Ukraine. Check out the map from the 2004 presidential election in Ukraine, pictured below. Donbass has a very different set of politics than Western Ukraine does. Cledun said himself that he does not like people who revere Lenin. That is far more common in Donbass than it is in Western Ukraine. Why would Cledun even want a bunch of culturally Russian socialist agitators in his nationalist Ukraine? Wouldn’t it be better to have a Ukraine without them in it?
In conclusion, Cledun’s position is wrong for three reasons. It is counter-productive, because Azov, despite its rhetoric, in practice serves the Atlanticists. It is utopian, because even if Azov did win political power, it would be smashed to smithereens before the ink was dry. It is unstable, because even if the Kiev junta manages to recapture and secure Donbass, all that will be gained is a resentful and politically dangerous population living within Ukraine’s borders.
As Mark Yuray put it, “Putin is not ideal. But he is far, far better than the nationalists in Russia and Ukraine (who are inexperienced, narrowminded and even counter-productive in their efforts), and his faults are exaggerated or misunderstood. Nationalist hopes of providing a ‘third way’ can only succeed in theory, because in reality there are no geopolitical centers of power for nationalism to take hold.”