Washington patronizes neo-Nazism in Ukraine


On November 20, the US Mission to NATO posted on X (former Twitter) a vague message stating that “We are focused on setting the conditions for a just, durable, and sustainable peace.” On November 11, James Stavridis, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe, wrote a piece arguing that the United States should learn from “the lessons of South Korea” and negotiate a “land for peace conclusion to combat” in Ukraine. Meanwhile, Kyiv is under Western pressure to hold scheduled presidential elections on 31 March 2024 and the parliamentary elections (that should have taken place in October this year) even though the country’s parliament imposed martial law in February 2022. These developments are in fact connected and they mean a lot.

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky had consistently opposed holding elections, but has recently claimed that he is “ready” to face votes in a bid for his re-election. Of course, having elections amid an armed conflict pose many challenges, both logistically and financially. The question is why is the US-led West pushing this. Let us consider the following facts.

Amid a budget crisis, the US congress canceled plans to provide Kyiv with extra $6 billion. In fact, US President Joe Biden has just signed a temporary spending bill to avoid a government shutdown which does not include the White House’s nearly $106 billion request for aid for both Ukraine and Israel. About a month ago, it was reported foreign mercenaries were leaving the Eastern European country to join the Israel-Hamas war. On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin reminded the West during the G20 summit that Moscow never refused peace talks, but Ukraine showed no interest in negotiations. The same day, Putin said Russia is ready for the peace discussions to resume. Moreover, with the escalation of the Israel-Palestine conflict, priorities might have changed for the West.

Upon taking a glance at such events, one cannot help but notice that a clear picture is starting to emerge: Ukraine’s fatigue has peaked, and former NATO Commander Stavridis is no lone voice. In fact, his recent aforementioned piece should not be that much of a surprise.

The so-called “cult of Zelensky” had its time. It has been slowly dying since at least August 2022, though.  Thomas Friedman of the New York Times wrote in August that the White House did not trust the Ukrainian leader.

In April, former US ambassador to Finland, Earle Mack, who has visited Ukraine several times, stated that the West had been “propping up Ukraine to fight a proxy war” but that it was backfiring and Ukrainians could only expect “a decade of death and chaos.” That same month I wrote on how Kyiv’s political and military elite was divided, with part of it reconsidering its plans to “reconquest” Crimea.  At the time, Andriy Sybiha, who still is Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, stated that “we are ready to open a diplomatic page to discuss this issue [with Moscow].”

The truth is that Ukraine is increasingly isolated even regionally, as it currently wages a commercial battle with its neighbors. In this context, Poland, which had been a major Kyiv’s ally, stopped sending weapons in September. In May countries such as Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and the Czech Republic, led by Poland were, according to Pulitzer Prize winner Seymour Hersh, pressuring Zelensky to “to find a way to end the war, even by resigning himself if necessary, and to allow the process of rebuilding his nation to get under way.”

Valery Zaluzhny, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, has recently attacked his president and wrote that a “military victory” is impossible for his country.

Considering all that, Washington might just try to find a way to get rid of Zelensky, as it often does with its allies, and proxies. Western pressure for elections in the country might have something to do with it.

Alexey Arestovich (also known as Oleksii Arestovych) might be just the right man for the job, from the US point of view and there are reports that the West could support him now. A former adviser to the president’s office, he has called for peace talks and announced his plans to run for president himself.

Arestovich is quite a peculiar character in a way: a psychologist by training, he is often described as “the shrink”. He is also an internet influencer, a propagandist, a military veteran, who fought in Donbass in 2018-2019, a former disciple of controversial astrologer and esotericist Absalom Podvodny, a former far-right activist, and and a former counter intelligent agent for SBU. Such a profile, albeit strange, has become increasingly common in post-Maidan Ukraine. In 2020, Arestovich was an official speaker of the Ukrainian delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine at the Minsk talks aiming at solving the Donbass war (which has been going on since 2014).

Among other things, Arestovich was also a member of the Ukrainian far-Right group Bratstvo (Brotherhood). Dmytro Korchynsky, the leader of this neo-fascist organization, is also the former head of the “Ukrainian National Assembly – Ukrainian People’s Self-Defence” (UNA-UNSO), a paramilitary far-right formation. Arestovich, in a word, is basically a creature of Ukraine’s intelligence community and that part of Ukraine’s society has held strange bedfellows for quite a while. The infamous neo-nazi militia called C14 (or Sich), for instance, had ties to the SBU, in spite of its reputation for violently attacking ethnic minorities. This generated a scandal in Ukraine for then president Poroshenko in 2019, which at the time was compared, by Ukrainian media, to the Watergate.

Sometimes, ending a war, even an unwinnable one is a hard task. In trying to negotiate peace, if his political ambitions materialize, Arestovich might face difficulties with his (former) fascist colleagues. Any Ukrainian leader doing so will have to deal with high-placed domestic extremists who won’t have it. One needs to recall  that, on May 27, 2019, Dmytro Yarosh, then adviser to no less than the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valerii Zaluzhny himself, stated matter-of-factly that President Zelensky would “lose his life” and “hang on a tree on Khreshchatyk” if he ever “betrayed” Ukrainian nationalists by negotiating an end to the civil war in Donbass.

Washington has funded, supported and white-washed far-right violence and even neo-Nazism in Ukraine for years. By “getting rid” of Zelensky, the West might have to deal with even worse problems.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here