Russia Launches Ukraine Military Operation

https://www.vice.com/en/article/xgd7zd/russia-launches-milit…

Blasts rang out across Ukraine on Thursday morning after Russia began what a Ukrainian official called a full-scale invasion, actions immediately condemned by President Joe Biden as “an unprovoked and unjustified attack.”

“President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering,” Biden said in an address from the White House.

“Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring, and the United States and its Allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way. The world will hold Russia accountable,” he added.

Putin’s lie about the “Nazification of Ukraine” called out on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/BeschlossDC/status/1496697143775666180

Putin now pledging “denazification” of Ukraine, whose President Zelenskyy is Jewish.

But then you read this disturbing news about the growing rightwing movements in Ukraine:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-cohen-ukraine-commentary-…

A January 28 demonstration, in Kiev, by 600 members of the so-called “National Militia,” a newly-formed ultranationalist group that vows “to use force to establish order,” illustrates this threat. While the group’s Kiev launch was peaceful, National Militia members in balaclavas stormed a city council meeting in the central Ukrainian town of Cherkasy the following day, skirmishing with deputies and forcing them to pass a new budget.

Many of the National Militia’s members come from the Azov movement, one of the 30-odd privately-funded “volunteer battalions” that, in the early days of the war, helped the regular army to defend Ukrainian territory against Russia’s separatist proxies. Although Azov uses Nazi-era symbolism and recruits neo-Nazis into its ranks, a recent article in Foreign Affairs downplayed any risks the group might pose, pointing out that, like other volunteer militias, Azov has been “reined in” through its integration into Ukraine’s armed forces. While it’s true that private militias no longer rule the battlefront, it’s the home front that Kiev needs to worry about now.

When Russian President Vladimir Putin’s seizure of Crimea four years ago first exposed the decrepit condition of Ukraine’s armed forces, right-wing militias such as Azov and Right Sector stepped into the breach, fending off the Russian-backed separatists while Ukraine’s regular military regrouped. Though, as a result, many Ukrainians continue to regard the militias with gratitude and admiration, the more extreme among these groups promote an intolerant and illiberal ideology that will endanger Ukraine in the long term. Since the Crimean crisis, the militias have been formally integrated into Ukraine’s armed forces, but some have resisted full integration: Azov, for example, runs its own children’s training camp, and the careers section instructs recruits who wish to transfer to Azov from a regular military unit.