The Black Hundreds: The most important Russian group now active in Ukraine

 

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In a pro-Russian separatist demonstration in Luhansk, Eastern Ukraine, an unidentified speaker went straight for the jugular: “The Maidanists say we’ve had a revolution of national liberation. And I ask: ‘which nation?’ Let’s see how many Ukrainians have come to power. Yatseniuk?” The speaker paused, and the crowd called out, “He’s a Jew!” The speaker continued to list major Ukrainian politicians, adding their alleged Jewish names to prove their true origin: “What about Klitchko-Ettinson, or Yulia Kapitelman?” Someone from the audience yelled “She’s a zhid!” “Or the great fighter for the purity of the nation Tyahnybok-Srokman? Is this the bright light of the Ukrainian nation? This is a coup, a coup perpetrated by Zionists.” The crowd burst into applause.

A mix of various types of Russians have entered Eastern Ukraine over the last month: specials forces, intelligence agents, and all kinds of political agitators and provocateurs. From a Jewish perspective, the most important Russian group now active in Ukraine is the Black Hundreds. This movement sees itself as the reincarnation of the notorious anti-Semitic organization that flourished in Russia more than a century ago. Their program consists of the restoration of the Russian Empire in its pre-1917 borders (including Ukraine); establishing Russia as a mono-ethnic state and renewing the unity between the state and the Russian Orthodox church, as in Tsarist times; and protecting Russia against “those who hate Christ.” Their literature openly attacks “zhids.” (Here’s a recent post on their web-site: “The Vice President of the United States praised Jews for controlling the media, and thanked them for their central role in the legalization of gay marriage.”)

The Black Hundreds (and other similar groups, of which there are many) do not recognize the existence of a Ukrainian nation. There is only one Russian, or Slavic, nation.


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By: David E. Fishman, professor of Jewish history at the Jewish Theological Seminary

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