Ukraine War Agitates Racists

The war in Ukraine has thrown white supremacists and neo-Nazis into a tizzy.

Until Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, they were inclined to be pro-Russian, admiring Russia as a white Christian country and its president, Vladimir Putin, as an authoritarian strongman who stood for traditional values.

Richard Spencer, the guru of the American alt-right, lauded Russia as the world’s “sole white power,” while Matthew Heimbach, the founder of the Traditionalist Workers Party in the United States, hailed Russia as “the new shining city on the hill” and Putin as “the leader of the free world.”

According to the Anti-Defamation League, U.S. extremists who supported Russia did so out of antipathy to President Joe Biden’s liberal agenda, the NATO military alliance, and the global order that emerged following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.

But since Russian tanks stormed into Ukraine in a “special military operation,” in what was clearly a stark and unacceptable violation of its sovereignty, right-wing radicals in the United States and their allies in Europe have begun singing a pro-Ukrainian tune, says Rita Katz, the director of the SITE Intelligence Group, a private organization that tracks extreme groups.

Perversely, some of the extremists cling to outmoded notions, linking Putin, an arch nationalist, with communism and associating Russia with the now-defunct Soviet Union. They regard the war as an opportunity to volunteer for the Ukrainian side and thereby acquire essential combat training.

More to the point, as the Anti-Defamation League pointed out, they now question whether’s Russia invasion was worth the cost in “white lives.”

In a post on the Telegram messaging service — a haven for neo-Nazis, white nationalists and anti-government extremists — the white supremacist group, Indiana Active Club, said, “Whether you support the Ukrainian or the Russian side in this conflict, remember that every fallen white man is a loss to European people as a whole.”

Reflexively blaming Jews for the war, the club says, “The innocent people of Ukraine and Russia are caught in a ZOG (Zionist-occupied government) war from both sides. Whites lose, Jews win.”

Putin alienated racists by declaring that the twin objectives of his invasion are the “demilitarization” and “denazification” of Ukraine. As the far-right digital magazine, American Futurist, proclaimed, “If you’re NS (National Socialist) and you’re supporting Putin, who is invading a country with a listed reason of destroying NS groups like the Azov Battalion, you’re pretty fucking retarded.”

The battalion, founded in 2014, was integrated into the Ukrainian National Guard, and is under the leadership of Ukrainian militants who have expressed views that would be considered reactionary in democratic circles.

The Anti-Defamation League reports that some far-right groups have been referring to Putin as “Jewtin” due to his links with Jewish oligarchs like Roman Abramovich. As an unidentified user on the Flashwave Telegram channel wrote, “This invasion will result in nothing but dead Europeans at the behest of Russian Jewish oligarchs.”

One of the dominant themes accentuated by white supremacist organizations is that the war between Russia and Ukraine is a wasteful and futile “brother war” orchestrated by Jews in a diabolical conspiracy to undermine white European Christian civilization.

David Duke, the American antisemitic propagandist, has framed the war as a Jewish conspiracy to kill Christians, the Anti-Defamation League reports.

Racists like Duke, who lean toward Ukraine, are in a quandary due to the inconvenient fact that its president, Volodymyr Zelensky, is Jewish.

White Lives Matter, a racist outfit, offers a way out of this dilemma in this post: “Between the Jewish-led Ukraine & NATO and the Jewish-led Russia, choose white Ukrainians and white Russians. End the war, call out the international clique of anti-whites and their involvement on both sides, sentencing whites to genocide yet again. White racial unity. That’s it. The only take you can have as pro-white.”

Like antisemites since time immemorial, neo-Nazis have arbitrarily and stupidly decided that Jews are the root cause of the war in Ukraine.

So what else is new in Fantasyland?

About the Author
Sheldon Kirshner is a journalist in Toronto. He writes at his online journal,
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