Staunton, September 5 – Moscow historian Arkady Popov continues his examination of the eight myths propagated by Russia’s Krymnash notions with a devastating demolition of Russian claims that the Maidan in Ukraine was fascist and therefore Russia had no choice but to intervene (ej.ru/?a=note&id=28538).
(For his earlier articles in this series, see windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2015/07/none-of-eight-myths-in-putins-crimea-is.html, windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2015/08/moscows-claims-of-historic-right-to.html, windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2015/08/popov-demolishes-third-krymnash-myth.html, windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2015/08/fourth-putin-myth-about-crimean.html and windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2015/08/fifth-myth-of-krymnashism-ukrainian.html).
This week’s article in Popov’s series is especially important because he devotes particular attention not only to why the Kremlin has been pushing the falsehood that the Maidan represented some kind of “fascist junta” but also to why so many Russians, including members of the intelligentsia, have been willing to accept that absurdity.
The Moscow historian begins by noting that “the myth about the artificiality of the Ukrainian state” provided Moscow with what it considered legal justification for “the destruction of Ukraine” but “the myth about the fascist Euro-Maidan was more serious: it shows the necessity of [Ukraine’s] destruction.”
The most important feature of Putin’s hybrid war against Ukraine is the fact that “its information component exceeds its physical component geographically.” In such an information war, Popov argues, “success is measured not by the number of cities seized and soldiers of the opponent killed but by the number of victims in the population … that can be hung on it.”
That makes the charge of fascism so useful that it is “beyond any competition” because it “designates an evil without cause or motivation.” Popov cites the words of Russian journalist Andrey Lipsky who says that “for the overwhelming majority of Soviet people” who suffered from World War II, “fascism is an unqualified diabolical symbol of inhumanity, cruelty and aggression” (novayagazeta.ru/politics/62934.html
Putting the pro-Moscow militias in the former category means that they can do no wrong and calling the Ukrainians fascists means that they can do nothing right, Popov says. And repeating this often enough convinces some that this categorization is true even if the available evidence points in a very different direction.
Moscow does have a problem with all this, Popov says, and it lies in the fact that “in Russia itself, in the opinion of a growing number of analysts, ‘the present political regime is ever more strongly taking one aspects of Russian Nazism” and that “a significant part of [the Russian] public likes this ideology” (ru.krymr.com/content/article/26944664.html
And it is not the case that the Americans financed the Maidan: The US gave five billion dollars to promote democracy in Ukraine but that was spread over 22 years and not given just before the Maidan (vz.ru/news/2014/4/22/683263.html