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Brown Revolution in Ukraine: An American Academic Gets It Right

In an LA Times op-ed ("Ukraine's threat from within"), University of South California professor of international relations Robert D. English describes the ugly essence of the Brown Revolution. His take on the neo-nazi dominated rebellion is much needed and sorely lacked in the American media. I already picture the pro-Maidan hacks at NYT, National Review, and New Republic hammering away at their keyboards to post screeds denouncing Professor English as a Russian agent.

English is not afraid to say it how it is. He describes the Ukrainian radicals who quickly became darlings of the West as "odious people with a repugnant ideology" and has this to say about Svoboda and Right Sector:

"These are groups whose thuggish young legions still sport a swastika-like symbol,    whose leaders have publicly praised many aspects of Nazism and who venerate the    World War II nationalist leader Stepan Bandera, whose troops occasionally collaborated    with Hitler's and massacred thousands of Poles and Jews.

But scarier than these parties' whitewashing of the past are their plans for the future. They have openly advocated that no Russian language be taught in Ukrainian schools,    that citizenship is only for those who pass Ukrainian language and culture exams, that    only ethnic Ukrainians may adopt Ukrainian orphans and that new passports must    identify their holders' ethnicity — be it Ukrainian, Pole, Russian, Jew or other."

The professor also points out that contrary to the pro-Maidan apologists, Svoboda is not a fringe, but a dominant force in the new Ukraine since its members have five positions in the putschist, illegitimate government: minister of defense, deputy prime minister, prosecutor general, minister of agrarian policy, and minister of ecology and natural resources. The minister of defense is Admiral Ihor Tenyukh, who graduated from the US Defense Language Institute and previously called for the Ukrainian army to mutiny against Yanukovych while the deputy PM is the devoted Banderovite academic Oleksandr Sych.

English also points out that the West is plainly hypocritical:

"Given our own hypocrisy — don't violate agreements (except the one not to expand    NATO eastward), don't invade countries on phony pretexts (except Iraq) and don't    support minority secession movements (except Kosovo)"

Professor English's editorial is a welcome sign.  Now, Stephen F. Cohen is not the only mainstream American academic that has a sane view on the Brown Revolution.

Eugene Girin

Eugene Girin is a New York-based attorney and commentator.

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