19 Mar 2022 9:03 p.m
Former culture minister Vladimir Medinsky is an influential intellectual in Russia’s power circles. As head of the negotiating group in the process of settling the Ukraine conflict, he sharply criticized the Ukrainian way of dealing with neo-Nazism.
while the military conflict ongoing in Ukraine, negotiations between Russia and Ukraine on a possible settlement of the conflict continue online. In the course of a military operation, Russia is striving for demilitarization and denazification, renunciation of NATO membership and neutral status for Ukraine, recognition of the Donbass republics as independent states and accession of the Republic of Crimea to Russia. About the current details of the negotiation process reported the head of the Russian delegation Vladimir Medinsky.
“We’re dealing with a rather strange situation on the issue of denazification,” he said. “Our Ukrainian colleagues from the other side of the negotiating table believe that there are no Nazi formations in Ukraine and that this is not an issue for modern Ukraine.”
The Russian diplomat criticized Ukraine for not paying attention to things that bother the whole world, citing a number of points:
“They don’t pay attention to the work of the Nazi organizations allowed in Ukraine, to their symbolism, to their education, to their ideology, to the work of the neo-Nazi organizations allowed in Ukraine. Not even that in many Ukrainian cities streets and squares bear the names of criminals who fought against the countries of the anti-Hitler coalition.”
He stressed that this question of Nazism in Ukraine is very important for all those who consider the outcome of World War II inevitable for the world order. “I think we’ll come back to this question later,” promised the adviser to the Russian President and long-time culture minister of the Russian Federation.
Medinsky was also asked by journalists to comment on comments made by the Ukrainian President’s adviser Alexei Arestovich. On Thursday, Arestovich called on Ukrainians to start a “rail war” and destroy sections of the railroad supplying Russian troops. In particular, he mentioned the Crimea-Melitopol direction. Arestovich also called on the Belarusians to engage in “guerrilla warfare on the rails.”
The head of the Russian delegation called such statements extremist. They could seriously harm the negotiation process and the minimal beginnings of mutual understanding between delegations.
He stressed that he would be the least interested in commenting on Arestovian’s statements, as his speeches could only be interpreted as “direct incitement to terrorism”.
The 51-year-old historian and author Medinski comes from western Ukraine, and his family had to mourn victims of nationalist terror after the Second World War. in one interview with the Russian television channel Rossiya 24 he presented his view on the problem of Nazism in Ukraine in detail. The conversation took place just a few days after the Maidan coup in Kyiv in February 2014, which brought nationalist and openly neo-Nazi forces in Ukraine to the fore from politics, society and security organs could have reached.
He stressed that his great-uncle had been publicly and brutally executed by Ukrainian nationalists (what he called Banderovtsi) and that this is exactly where Ukraine is heading today.
To call those who have seized power in Ukraine “fascists” is an understatement, said the culture minister at the time. He found that the Banderowzi differed from Hitler’s Nazis in only one respect – the German Nazis acted more technologically. He warned of the consequences of the nationalist coup in Ukraine.
“This is just the beginning. Right now the politicians are in power, but then the militants will come and that will be scary,” Medinski said.
The historian pointed out that he himself is from Ukraine, and told the horrifying story of his family.
“I had a great-uncle who wasn’t even a communist, he taught literature in a rural school in western Ukraine. The Banderovzi dragged him out of the house and cut him to pieces at a public village meeting so that there would be ‘no more Muscovite dialect’ in the village. His body was not allowed to be buried. The desperate widow ran through the forest for a long time and collected her husband’s body parts in the holes,” said Medinski.
He stressed that when he was growing up in Ukraine, no one made a distinction between being Russian and Ukrainian. Western countries’ tolerance of Ukrainian nationalism reminded him of the 1930s, when Western democracies hoped to use the terrifying figure of Adolf Hitler to help them fight the Soviet Union.
Medinski has been an adviser in the office of the Russian President since 2020. No wonder, therefore, that his assessments of the Ukraine conflict are very similar to positions taken by the Russian President in the summer of 2021 in an essay and later, shortly before the official recognition of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics on February 21, in a speech had announced.
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