10 Sept.—The forces behind the increasingly violent disruptions in China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region have begun openly trying to foment the overthrow of the provincial government, on the model of the November 2013-February 2014 “Maidan” coup d’état that saw US-backed neo-Nazi militias oust the elected president of Ukraine. As the Australian Alert Service has reported, the trend in this direction had already become evident, as what began in late March as a peaceful protest movement was taken over by violent anti-China radicals supported by the US and British governments, including via the US State Department-funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED).1 Now, the Anglo-American empire’s desire for a bloody regime change is right out in the open, after its pet “democracy” and “human rights” activists organised mass public screenings of a 2015 documentary that whitewashes both the American hand behind the Maidan coup and the neo-Nazis who carried it out, glorifying it instead as a victory for democracy, in a bid to inspire Hongkongers into a repeat performance.
“On the evening of 29 August, protest leaders and communities arranged citywide screenings of the Oscar-nominated Ukrainian documentary film, Winter on Fire, which documents the 2014 EuroMaidan Revolution2 that eventually ousted Moscow-backed [President] Viktor Yanukovych from power”, the Ukrainian English-language newspaper Kyiv Post reported 30 August. That description contains several inaccuracies: the film was self-described as a “Ukraine/USA/UK” production; it would be more accurately labelled “propaganda” than “documentary”; and Yanukovych, the elected President of Ukraine, had complex relationships with Russia, the European Union, and various business interests operating in the post-Soviet region. But the main point of what happened last month is this: “The film was shown throughout Hong Kong at some 40 separate venues, mostly outdoors, according to organisers.”
American-Israeli filmmaker Evgeny Afineevsky (born in Russia, but residing primarily in Israel and the USA since the early 1990s), who directed and produced Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom, had on 19 August published an open letter to the people of Hong Kong, exhorting them “to see, that hope truly lies in the hands of the today’s [sic] younger generations, who believe in the possibilities for change and freedom, even when the price for that freedom are [sic] their lives … and who are ready to stand up for their rights and beliefs under the worst conditions, even bullets.” The Kyiv Post reported that “Protestors, pro-democracy lawmakers and other Hongkongers”, including 22-year-old NED darling Joshua Wong—a prominent public face of the Hong Kong separatist movement since the “Occupy Central” (a.k.a. Umbrella Revolution) demonstrations in 2014—had said that “their movement is ‘strongly inspired’ by the efforts of Ukrainian revolutionaries” as portrayed in the film. Which is precisely its point—because as Afineevsky candidly acknowledged in a 22 January 2016 interview with Mashable.com, he is “a filmmaker, not a journalist”, and crafted Winter on Fire not as an objective account of events, but as tale of good vs evil that he hoped would serve other “oppressed” peoples as a “manual for revolution”.
To this end, Afineevsky deliberately obscures the true driving forces of the Maidan. As Ukrainian-American author Lev Golinkin wrote in his review of Winter on Fire, published 18 February 2016 in The Nation, “The colourful array of activists, artists, scarf-wrapped babushki [grandmas], bearded priests and fresh-faced students makes it appear as if Ukraine’s people from all walks of life participated in the Maidan uprising. But some are missing—neo-Nazis, who were edited out.”
He cited a paper by Prof. Ivan Katchanovski of the University of Ottawa in Canada, published in September 2015—the month before Winter on Fire—which showed that the pivotal 20 February 2014 “Maidan snipers massacre” of over 50 people was not the work of police or other government forces, as Afineevsky and virtually all international media portrayed it. Rather, Katchanovski presented “considerable forensic and other evidence, that far-right groups not only provoked fighting by shooting at the police but also carried out the murder of Maidan protesters in a false-flag operation”.
In November 2017, two Georgian nationals told the Italian newspaper Il Giornale that they had been among a group of hired gunmen who had carried out the massacre, on orders from neo-Nazi militant and politician Andriy Parubiy, the commandant of the so-called Maidan Self-Defence Forces, who later became Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine, in which capacity he helped launch the civil war against the Donetsk and Lugansk regions in Ukraine’s southeast after they refused to accept the coup regime’s rule, and then was the speaker of Ukraine’s parliament.
A hero of Afineevsky’s film is Volodymyr Parasyuk, one of Parubiy’s lieutenants, who in its climactic scene is shown seizing the microphone on the Maidan stage, the night of 21-22 February 2014. The Maidan’s political leadership figures, after the sniper killings and with mediation by France, Germany, and Poland, had reached agreement with Yanukovych on a peaceful end to the protests and a power transition whereby the President would leave office by the end of the year. Parasyuk intervened to reject any deal with the government, and demanded that Yanukovych step down immediately or be killed, else “our comrades will have died in vain”. The 1 March 2014 Washington Post revealed that Parasyuk was a third-generation disciple of World War II Ukrainian fascist, Nazi collaborator and paramilitary leader Stepan Bandera (of whom more below).
Afineevsky also deliberately blacks out the leading role American officials played in the Maidan, mentioning only once in his film that visiting US politicians “[met] with Yanukovych in order to find a diplomatic solution”. Yet already on 4 February 2014, over two weeks before Yanukovych’s ouster, international media published a leaked recording of a telephone conversation between US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt in which Nuland instructed her subordinate as to who should be appointed prime minister, and how best to exclude the United Nations and the EU from the process. On 11 December 2013 the two had appeared on the barricades in person, where Nuland famously handed out cookies; and three days later, war-hawk US Senator John McCain flew in to pledge US support for the “revolution”, from a stage shared with Ukrainian member of parliament Oleh Tyahnybok, leader of the neo-Nazi Svoboda (“Freedom”) party which he and Parubiy had co-founded, as the Social-National Party of Ukraine (SNPU), in 1991.
A long history
This confluence of neo-Nazis and foreign meddling in Ukraine goes back much farther than 2013. As Executive Intelligence Review showed in a May 2014 research dossier,3 Bandera and other leaders of his branch of the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN-B), who both in conjunction with the Nazis and on their own had conducted ethnic cleansing campaigns during WWII (murdering some 70,000 Jews and Poles in 1943 alone) in the name of creating an “ethnically pure Ukraine”, were recruited after the war by Britain’s foreign intelligence service MI6, US military intelligence and later the Central Intelligence Agency, and the CIA’s German equivalent the BND, to run sabotage operations inside the Soviet Union. When the Soviet Union broke up in 1991, the leaders of the OUN-B and its offshoots, still in Anglo-American employ, returned to Ukraine to incubate all the extreme nationalist and/or neo-Nazi militias and political movements that took over first the Maidan and then the government. As Golinkin wrote: “Without the neo-Nazi groups, Maidan would not have succeeded in overthrowing Ukraine’s elected president—the titular ‘winter on fire’ would have sputtered out. And yet the film makes no mention of them.” Brief glimpses remain—a portrait of Bandera here; his red-and-black banner there; and now and then a masked provocateur bearing the Wolfsangel (“wolf hook”), a German heraldic symbol used by several SS battalions in WWII, and adopted in their honour by SNPU/Svoboda and various paramilitaries. But these are never explained, and would mean nothing to those not already in the know.
The result, as Golinkin wrote, is that “Winter on Fire omits key facts, which results in an audience whose understanding of Ukraine’s history, politics, regions, sociological makeup, and languages is extremely limited (or non-existent) receiving a one-sided view of developments in Ukraine.” That surely applies to the deluded followers of Joshua Wong and his fellow US and British agents in Hong Kong, who are supposed to be “inspired” to become cannon-fodder in the Anglo-American empire’s latest attempt at regime change.
1. “Project Democracy coup machine drives Hong Kong ‘protests’”, AAS, 28 Aug. 2019. Continue reading.
2. The “EuroMaidan” is named for Independence Square (Maidan Nezalezhnosti) in Kiev, where the protests-turned-riots took place. Participants were organised on the basis of supporting European Union membership for Ukraine, and opposing President Yanukovych’s postponement of signing an Association Agreement with the EU.
3. “British Imperial Project in Ukraine: Violent coup, fascist axioms, neo-Nazis”, EIR, 16 May 2014.
Australian Alert Service, 11 Sept. 2019