While working behind the scenes to shape the post-Maidan Ukrainian government to their liking, powerbrokers in Washington — Biden included — have done all they could to downplay the U.S. role.
Former Vice President Joe Biden launched his candidacy for the American presidency on Thursday morning with the release of his first campaign video, ‘’America Is An Idea.’ The first word from the candidate’s mouth — “Charlottesville,” a town now synonymous with neo-Nazi hate in the U.S. — is the overwhelming focus of the ad, which attacks Trump for his widely criticized “moral equivalence” between neo-Nazis and anti-fascists.
After leveraging his power as VP to buttress a neo-Nazi coup in Ukraine w/ official US backing, Biden cynically exploits the violence of neo-Nazis in Charlottesville to underscore the vacuous message of his campaign launch video that “America is an idea” https://t.co/lgwWlnDZux
— Alex Rubinstein (@RealAlexRubi) April 25, 2019
Biden argues that “We are in a battle for the soul of this nation,” after bloviating over b-roll of the infamous torch-lit march the night prior to the murder of activist Heather Heyer by a supporter of Adolf Hitler. “Folks, America is an idea,” Biden says.
Heather Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro, seemingly condemned the exploitation of her daughter’s untimely demise, saying “I wasn’t surprised. Most people do that sort of thing. They capitalize on whatever situation is handy.”
Biden’s centering on the neo-Nazi violence in Charlottesville has also been roundly denounced by Charlottesville locals and activists who bore witness to it on Twitter and other social media. Yet, the candidate has received little scrutiny over the years for his role in abetting the neo-Nazi renaissance in Ukraine that followed the fascist takeover of the government, known as the Euromaidan.
Blowback from the U.S. government support for the far-right coup has already struck Charlottesville. The U.S. previously gave military assistance to the Azov Batallion, a neo-Nazi paramilitary organization that has been incorporated into the Ukrainian national guard. One neo-Nazi contingent present in Charlottesville, comprised of four men indicted by the FBI last year, trained under Azov. During the bloody clashes in Virginia, those men were caught on camera pushing down and repeatedly punching an African-American protester as well as choking and bloodying two women.
Meanwhile, the slayer of 50 Muslims in a white supremacist attack on a mosque and Islamic center in New Zealand earlier this year claimed in his manifesto to have trained under Azov and had a symbol associated with the group on his flak jacket.
Biden’s role in fueling the revival
It is widely known by international observers of Ukraine that Joe Biden, as vice president, served as Obama’s chief operative when it came to matters pertaining to the country.
In late 2013, Biden seemed to have been a key player in former President Victor Yanukovych’s bid to secure a loan from the International Monetary Fund.
Later, Biden would go on to boast that, “after three months into the demonstrations,” he personally told Yanukovych to “walk away” from Ukraine. Yanukovych has lived in exile in Russia since the takeover.
As someone who witnessed the murder of Heather Heyer in #Charlottesville I am deeply disturbed by Joe Biden’s decision to exploit neo-Nazi violence there for political gain but not surprised. When the political winds blow in a different direction, Biden has allied with neo-Nazis
— Alex Rubinstein (@RealAlexRubi) April 26, 2019
As the U.S. and violent protests were turning up the heat on the government, the U.S. was doing all it could to mold the government to its liking, and Biden played a pivotal role in this process.
In February 2014, leaked recordings emerged of Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland and Geoffrey Pyatt, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, plotting to unite the Ukrainian opposition to take over the government. They sought to use Biden as an intermediary with the three main leaders of the opposition, hoping he could get the details of the U.S. plan for the country to “stick” with the trio.
“So Biden is willing,” Nuland assured Pyatt.
Washington had its favorite of the three picked already. The most popular of them had little political or economic experience (he was a professional boxer), while the other guy, Oleh Tyahnybok, had longstanding ties to neo-Nazis, which would have legitimized Russian claims that the uprising was of a fascist nature. Tyahnybok is the leader of the Svoboda Party, a fascist organization that refers to the Holocaust as the “light period” and bans Jews from participation.
One Svoboda leader had posted a Facebook message to Jews in 2017 who were upset with a statue of Symon Petliura, who murdered tens of thousands of Jews: “If you want to live with us, get used to our rules, and if not, go to your land or be punished.”