According to Ukrainian media reports from October 28th, the All-Ukrainian ATO Veterans Union has formed a battalion of volunteers to be sent to defend the unity of the Spanish state. Three representatives of Ukrainian Nazi volunteer battalions issued this announcement on behalf of the veterans’ union, claiming that a corps of 300 militants has already been formed and armed to fight separatism in Catalonia.
The “spokesmen” expressed their support for the Spanish King and their appreciation of their “Spanish brethren” fighting alongside them against “separatism in East Ukraine.” The video proclamation ended with a chant in Ukrainian similar to that of the National Socialist German Workers Party – “Spain above all!”
This message has since been published by all Ukrainian internet news resources, a fact which in and of itself speaks to the seriousness of this announcement.
Allow me to share my considerations on this news.
Ukrainian Nazis’ ties to their European comrades are well known. Numerous Nazis from both EU countries and Russia are known to be fighting in the Azov battalion/regiment, and I personally know of cases of Spanish volunteers fighting in the ranks of other Ukrainian Nazi battalions. Also known are the the cases of Spanish anti-fascist volunteers who have fought in the militias of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics.
Since Soviet times, Russians have preserved a deep sympathy towards the the peoples of Spain. As is well known, numerous volunteers from the Soviet Union fought in the Republican Army in the Spanish Civil War, including future famous generals of the Great Patriotic War. In turn, many Spanish anti-fascist emigres paid homage to their homeland by fighting in the ranks of the Red Army, particularly in the legendary sabotage unit of Colonel Starinov and the Victors partisan units, among whom also fought the legendary intelligence officer Nikolai Kuznetsov. Indeed, it was on the fields of Spain that German Nazism and its allies faced their first resistance in battle.
The deployment of a gang of 300 Ukrainian Nazis to Catalonia and potential reinforcements will be perceived in Russia as a reincarnation of the first European war against Nazism. While Russians are poorly versed in the nature and nuances of the conflict between the Spanish central government and Catalonia, thanks to the “aid” of Ukrainian Nazis, Russian society’s sympathies will swing in the direction of Catalonia despite the fact that Russia is full of sympathy for Spain.
The participation of Ukrainian Nazis will only undermine the already low authority of the Spanish government and the EU in Europe. Official Madrid and Brussels supported the dismemberment of Yugoslavia, thereby unleashing the process of border revisions in Europe. Moreover, they also recognized the coup d’etat in Ukraine violently waged by Ukrainian Nazis. Any participation of Ukrainian Nazis’ in suppressing the independence movement of Catalonia will finally bury what is left of the Spanish government’s credibility. From the standpoint of Spanish interests, such a “medicine” (relying on Ukrainian Nazis as allies) would be much worse than the “disease” of Catalan separatism.
Hence why the Spanish government, greatly discredited in the eyes of public opinion, is likely to refuse the aid offered by Ukrainian Nazis.
Across anti-fascist groups and social networks throughout both Russia and Ukraine, different analyses abound as to the campaign announced by Ukrainian Nazis. It cannot be ruled out that behind all of this lies the desire by some marginal misfits to gain scandalous fame, something desperately lacking in Ukrainian Nazi ranks. Nevertheless, I tend to see this event as serious. After all, Ukrainian Nazism is probably the single most organized Nazi force in Europe. And it has more than a little combat experience and boasts numerous supporters and sympathizers.
Back in 2010 in my article on new tendencies in Ukrainian Nazism (published in abridged form on Fort Russ), I referred to the program of the paramilitary movement known as Patriot of Ukraine, on the basis of which Azov was subsequently created in 2014. One of the points in this program is the establishment of a pan-European confederation for a “White Europe”. To realize this and other goals, Ukrainian Nazism is in dire need of expanding its networks. It already has enough historical enemies in the neighboring countries of Eastern Europe, such as Poland, Hungary, and Romania, hence the outreach towards supporters in ultra-right movements in Western and Southern Europe, where such groups are rather ignorant as to the phenomenon of Ukrainian Nazism and its historical background.
Spain could be a wonderful springboard for Ukrainian Nazis to expand their European contacts and establish a new network of international ties and positions. Not to mention the international advertising of their “anti-terrorist” operations.
For these reasons, the appearance of Ukrainian Nazis in Spain, even if not in the promised quantity, is quite likely.
Originally published on fort-russ.com