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“Talking about Ukraine as a fascist is complete nonsense and like the Nazis too,” says Mikulecký, mentioning how large the Russian neo-Nazi scene is.
“Russian neo-Nazis are militiamen, they’re in the army, and when you find a Wagner (member of the Russian private army) taking off his T-shirt, he’s not covered in red stars, but swastikas. The Russian narrative is simply upside down.”
“I totally agree with that,” warns military historian Kmoch. “The problem is that Russia has long used fascism and Nazism as a label for an adversary or an ideological adversary,” he explains.
It’s only when a friend falls to your right, a friend to your left, your grandmother betrays you and the rockets start falling on your head, then you start to fear and hate those in front from you.
“Ukraine fell into this because when the National Socialist troops arrived, the Ukrainians sincerely welcomed them as liberators before realizing that the Germans would not give them any independence,” he said.
“There were nearly a million men in the German armed forces throughout the Soviet Union,” Kmoch said. He adds: “An SS division has been formed from the inhabitants of Galicia. Russia had two divisions.”
The deployment of the Azov regiment in 2014 is cited as evidence of the Nazisation of Ukraine.
“Yes, there were outbursts and there were people who could be described as neo-Nazi, far-right scene. But it must be said how Azov was born. It did not happen in such a way that Ukrainian neo-Nazis would say, “Let’s go, let’s kill Russians. The Russians attacked Ukraine when the Ukrainian army was morally divided. And it was those battalions that the Ukrainian oligarchs paid to defend their property that were the only force capable of standing up to the Russians. And these forces managed to keep the Russians in Donetsk and Luhansk within certain limits in 2014,” he explains and talks about the transformation and purification of Azov.
“Today, the Azov regiment has nothing to do with neo-Nazis, rather it is an elite unit, both in training and in the fact that it has been constantly fighting since 2014,” said added Mikulecký.
Russian and Soviet liberation
Kmoch adds that Russia likes to use the term liberation for the wars it has started.
“Maybe they started liberating Finland, they liberated the Baltic. Nobody was curious about that, but the Russians liberated them, whether they wanted to or not. Then he liberated half of the ‘Europe of Nazism here, but he stayed in this half of Europe and kept half of Poland,’ admitted Kmoch.
He admits that the resistance of the Ukrainians, who did not greet the Russian soldiers with flowers, must have had an impact on them. “It just came to our knowledge at that time. The war gives me the impression that it shouldn’t have been like this, that they thought it would break out in two or three days as usual and everywhere,” Kmoch added.
What to do with grandma? Kill unit to survive
The question of what drives soldiers to shoot at civilian objects and what it is like to kill civilians, including villagers, lest they be able to reveal the whereabouts of their unit is also discussed.
“War is disgusting,” Mikulecký commented, adding why this is happening. “We know of a case in Afghanistan, where American specialists made the mistake of letting local herders, the boys who met them and the Taliban decimate their unit.”
“Shooting civilians is a crime, but if the civilian fights the soldiers, he ceases to be a civilian. And when I talk about the German operation in Ukraine or Russia, they liquidated a lot of people suspected of activities guerrillas. They were suspects, so they shot them. They didn’t have time to investigate them,” says Mikulecký.
“We certainly don’t apologize, you can’t apologize for that, but that’s another thing to comment on here in Prague and another thing from the perspective of a soldier who’s been deployed for three weeks, who killed several friends and experienced that he let a civilian pass and then attacked their unit,” adds Mikulecký.
“On the Russian side, as on the Ukrainian side, there are not only professionals, but also conscripts. At first there is no hatred, they have tasks and orders, and half don’t even know what they do and why they do it,” Kmoch added.
“It’s only when a friend falls to your right, a friend to your left, your grandmother betrays you and the rockets start falling on your head, then you start to be afraid and hate others. , you start hating them so much that you hate civilians because they’re all the same, and you start killing everyone indiscriminately,” Kmoch added.
The war in the city is not gloved
Regarding the brutal fighting in Mariupol, Kmoch said: “The war of the city cannot be done with gloves, and if you want to conquer the city, you have to shoot it and kill almost everyone in it. “
“Otherwise you risk the lives of your own soldiers,” says Mikulecký, who mentions that precisely because of the fear of heavy losses during the planned landing in Japan, the Americans decided to drop atomic bombs.
For more on this topic, listen to the full episode in the audio version at the top of the article.