Despite openly neo-Nazi groups, such as the Azov Battalion and the Right Sector, being embedded in the Ukrainian Republican Guard (which is under the command of the Interior Ministry), was not bad enough, now prominent members of the President Zelensky’s administration who have shown public appreciation and admiration for the so-called Islamic State (previously known as ISIS and ISIL).
One of Volodymyr Zelensky’s closest friends and associates, Aleksey Arestovich is a controversial figure, to say the least. He often boasts about being one of the architects of Ukraine’s psychological and information warfare strategy.
During his attendance on a Ukrainian political talk show (most likely in previous years), Mr. Arestovich openly stated that he “admired and respected” the methods used by the infamous Islamic State, a global Islamic terrorist group, widely known for the absolutely horrific crimes, destruction and simply havoc they have brought on the peoples of Syria, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria and even the Philippines, in addition to numerous individual terrorist attacks all across the globe. This was what Mr. Arestovich said:
“The commanders of ISIL are considered some of the more wise and successful commanders that there are currently. Everything is thought through in detail, even the degree of cruelty. Cruelty for show – it is inhumane, but it is of a very high level, a wise strategy, taking their particular interests into account.”
In another talk show, Mr. Arestovich reiterated his admiration for the terrorists once again:
“They are acting very correctly, I even have a notebook where I analyze ISIL in great detail, the best practices of running their business, the way they govern. Those methods, the world needs them, even though this means terrorism, medieval levels of cruelty, burning people alive, shooting them or cutting off their heads, etc. This is absolutely the way of the future.”
Had these mind-boggling words been publicly uttered by anyone else, it is highly likely they would have landed a person in jail, with charges of terrorist activities being pressed. However, top officials of the NATO-backed government of Ukraine have a near-complete immunity from any kind of prosecution and are simply allowed to say or do pretty much whatever they want, with impunity. This has already been implemented in practice.
A video was recently released where a Ukrainian actress identified as Andrianna Kurilets poses as a Ukrainian peasant girl slitting the throat of a Russian prisoner of war, also threatening virtually the entire Russian population. The video is quite disturbing, but what’s even more disturbing are the actual Ukrainian war crimes committed against Russian prisoners of war, as well as direct threats of Ukrainian officials and even doctors, one of whom has openly stated they will be castrating captured Russian soldiers, because they are “cockroaches“. After realizing just how negative the PR effect of these statements was, the Ukrainian doctor later retracted what he said and apologized.
However, even after these statements, various formations of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reiterated their threats. To make matters worse, foreign mercenaries in the Ukrainian military have stated they “will not be taking any prisoners”. There is even a video showing a Georgian man named Mamuka Mamulashvili, the supposed commander of the “Georgian National Legion” in Ukraine openly stating the following:
“Yes, we tie their hands and feet sometimes. I speak for the Georgian Legion, we will never take Russian soldiers prisoner. Not a single one of them will be taken prisoner.”
These statements alone constitute a breach of the Geneva Conventions. And yet, there is only silence coming from the mainstream media of the political West when it comes to these blatant threats and actual war crimes which are still being committed against Russian prisoners of war. At the same time, the Russian Armed Forces are being accused of the most heinous crimes, all without any clear evidence or an independent international investigation.
All this shows a horrific trend of various governments giving direct political, financial and military support to the most extreme elements of targeted societies. The so-called Islamic State proclaims it wants to establish a Muslim Caliphate, but all it really does is destabilize Muslim-majority countries by killing hundreds of thousands, mostly Muslims, while also causing tens of millions, again mostly Muslims, to flee their homes.
Neo-Nazi groups aren’t any different. They allegedly fight for the white race but then proceed to kill nearly 15.000 people in Donbass, most of whom happen to be white. Worse yet, these same Neo-Nazi groups have openly and publicly called for the extermination of Ukraine’s mostly Russian-speaking population, because they consider them to be “useless subhumans”. The same rhetoric was widely used in Nazi-occupied Europe some 80 years ago. We know full well the horrifying consequences of such ideologies, which is why Russia, a country which lost tens of millions of its citizens in WW2, reacted the way it did.
Drago Bosnic is an independent geopolitical and military analyst.