Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Why Are Swastikas Hot In West Ukraine? - The Daily Beast

NoBC4U Note: Another western outlet discovers the Nazis...

LVIV, Ukraine — Ostap Stakhiv, the leader of a political organization of Ukrainian nationalists, The Idea of the Nation, had been looking for popular support for many years without much success. Then the delicate-seeming 28-year-old started thinking that maybe there was something wrong with the insignia—a lion climbing up a steep hillside—printed on the group’s tracts and fliers. So Stakhiv chose another: the swastika, slightly modified, that Hitler adopted as the emblem of the Nazi Party in 1920 and that millions of Europeans, including millions of Ukrainians, associate with death.

It worked. Earlier this week, Stakhiv was busy setting up five tents around Lviv for this month's election campaign. He’s preparing to run for the local parliament on October 26th. The organization's newspaper, with double swastikas on the front page, was being distributed along with other propaganda materials, and Stakhiv and his aid, Yulia, marveled at the strength of the symbol. "A yellow swastika on a black field stands for power and spirit," said Stakhiv.

It also stands for just about everything negative that Russian President Vladimir Putin preaches about Ukraine being taken over by crypto-, and not-so-crypto-, Nazis. But young Stakhiv insists that’s wrong. He says he’s campaigning in opposition to "oligarchs running the country, the actual enemy of Ukraine" and sees his mission as opposing the politics of the current president, the billionaire Petro Poroshenko, who, Stakhiv claims, does not see the real picture.

“A yellow swastika on a black field stands for power and spirit,” said Stakhiv.

"The swastika is a very strong symbol, and as soon as we adopted it, we immediately grew popular among young people,” said Stakhiv. “Those who join us know exactly what they want, and they are ready to go to the very end." Today, Idea of the Nation is represented in 14 regions of Ukraine and counts over 1,000 activists, its leader told The Daily Beast.

How to explain the growing popularity of Nazi symbols in Ukraine? They keep turning up. Ukrainian soldiers have been seen and photographed wearing helmets with swastikas and the letters SS on their helmets.

Complete story at - Why Are Swastikas Hot In West Ukraine? - The Daily Beast

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