We have been noting, with growing unease, a phenomenon we call the Paradoxical Anti-Fascist Rhetoric of Contemporary Crypto-Fascism—witnessed both in the stateside far right Hitler-baiting Obama, and (more disturbingly) in the increasingly fascistic Vladimir Putin Nazi-baiting the Ukrainians. Now the websites Human Rights in Ukraine and Kyiv Post report on a far-right summit just held at Yalta (yes, in recently annexed Crimea, and the site of an Allied summit in World War II), attended by representatives of such unsavory entities as Hungary's Jobbik party, Belgium's Parti Communautaire National-Européen, and the British National Party—and overseen by Sergei Glazyev, a senior adviser to Putin, and Maxim Shevchenko, a member of Putin's human rights council (sic!). Predictably, this assemblage of neo-fascists discussed forming an "Anti-fascist Council" to oppose the "fascist junta in Kiev." Many of the Russian militants in attendance are said to have been followers of the Eurasia Party of Alexander Dugin—seemingly a key ideologue of Putin's Eurasian Union project.
We are heartened to note that simultaneously, as Sweden's neo-fascist Svenskarnasparti or Party of the Swedes (formerly the more honestly named National Socialist Front, with an agenda of halting immigraiton to preserve the country's "Western genetic and cultural heritage") took to the streets of Stockholm, the 150 or so of them were massively outnumbered by thousands of anti-fascist counter-protesters. There were clashes with police who tried to separate the two groups. (AP, Aug. 30)
But with much of the European and American "left" stupidly rallying around Putin and buying his line that the Ukrainians are neo-Nazis, we fear that some of the once stalwart antifas may become confused in their analysis. It isn't that there isn't a fascist element emerging in Ukraine. Of course there is. It's that there is also a fascist element emerging in Russia, around the ultra-nationalist and authoritarian cult of Putin. Supporting Putin in the name of "anti-fascism" is despairingly stupid—and all the more so after this Yalta confab.
Meanwhile, Euromaidan Press reports that a Russian Anti-War Committee has been formed to oppose Putin's invasion of Ukraine. The founding statement demands Putin's impeachment and calls on Russians to "Express their strong rejection of this fratricidal war with acts of peaceful civil disobedience." The mothers of soldiers mobilized to Ukraine have formed a Сommittee of Soldiers' Mothers and released a video demanding that Russian officials (who still deny Russian incursions into Ukraine) bring back their children alive.
We have noted the emergence of an anti-war opposition in Russia before—and that being an anti-war protester in Russia requires far more courage than in the West. We again insist: These are the people in Russia that we as progressives in the West should be supporting—not the war criminal Putin.