|Yarmulke-wearing Boris Spiegel with the Russian |
"St. George" ribbon, popular with the separatists
by Sean Jobst
6 February 2018
The Kremlin's propaganda against Ukraine reads like an old Soviet propaganda ministry manual, mixed with an Anti-Defamation League press release. In a press conference after the 2014 revolution, Putin attacked the Maidan revolutionaries as "reactionary, nationalist and anti-Semitic forces." The day previously, he claimed Maidan was led by "anti-Semites and neo-Nazis on a rampage."
Putin's ally, the Chabad Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar, lended his support to the Kremlin's propaganda against Ukraine. In an interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency on 24 March 2014, Lazar raised concerns of "anti-Semitism" in the new Ukrainian government: "In the last 15 years I've never seen in Russia anything similar. And sadly, in Ukraine and in certain parts of Ukraine especially, there is a history of anti-Semitism."
Lazar attended the "victory" speech Putin gave at the Kremlin after the Russian occupation of Crimea. In July 2014, the Russian Chabad leaders organized an international press tour via chartered plane from Moscow to draw attention to Ukrainian "anti-Semitism". They attended a speech Putin gave in Sevastopol, where he thanked the Chabad rabbis for their efforts to "combat fascism". One of the first acts in Crimea after the Russian occupation was a "holocaust" memorial organized by the local Chabad Rabbi Benjamin Wolf. Chabad's loyalty was rewarded with a synagogue in Simferopol.
|Boris Spiegel and Berel Lazar|
One notable Russian-Jewish oligarch who has spoken at Chabad conferences is Boris Spiegel, an Orthodox Jew "closely tied to the Kremlin". Spiegel grew wealthy from his company Biotek, a major pharmaceuticals producer dominant in more than seventy markets across the Eurasian landscape. As chairman of the World Congress of Russian Jewry, he joined the Kremlin's propaganda effort when he called for the establishment of a tribunal that would investigate the Republic of Georgia's "war crimes" and "genocide" in 2008.
Since then, he has accused the former Soviet-occupied countries Ukraine and the Baltic states of "rapid nazification" and has called for a common history textbook for all Europe based on "serious scientific study, as well as the decisions of international judicial and political authorities on which basis the postwar world order had been built." In other words, a textbook indoctrinating Europeans into idolizing the Soviet Union and beating themselves up over the "Nazism" and "anti-Semitism" inherent within their own countries.
In 2010, Spiegel founded the "NGO" World Without Nazism (WWN), which one US Jewish publication called "a kind of Moscow-based Anti-Defamation League". Much like its American counterpart, WWN is a Jewish political advocacy group that attacks any political trend or figure it opposes as "anti-Semitic". Despite its claims of being non-governmental, WWN is actually a "governmental non-governmental organization" as tied to the Kremlin as is its leader. Most of its efforts are devoted to accusing any nationalist trend in Ukraine, Finland and the Baltic states as "neo-Nazi" and harkening back to those countries "collaboration" with Nazi Germany. Its solely because these countries don't idolize the "glorious" Soviet Union's occupation of their lands or deny the Bolshevik/Stalinist crimes against their peoples.
Spiegel led the initiative to construct a Red Army "Victory Monument" in Netanya, Israel in 2012. Designed to commemorate the more than half a million Jews who fought for the Red Army during World War II, it was unveiled at a ceremony attended by Putin and Shimon Peres. "What I just heard has warmed my feelings toward the Jewish people and especially toward Israel," Putin said at the ceremony. The Red Army nostalgia harkened back to the WWN's own foundation ceremony, where Soviet songs were sung and with chants of "We'll come back with victory! The Red Army is the strongest!"
In February 2014, Spiegel led a WWN delegation to meet with pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in Kiev, offering their support against the "extremism and neo-Nazism" represented by his Ukrainian nationalist opposition. In September, the WWN bestowed
"Freedom of Speech" prizes posthumously upon six journalists - including four who worked for Russian-state media - who died covering the "fight against the rebirth of Nazism" in Ukraine. Shortly after Maidan, the WWN released a statement to the Russian news agency TASS that warned "The absence of the international community's reaction can repeat the Kristallnacht for non-Ukrainians and other ethnic minorities." The statement continued: "Only those who want see Europe under Nazi and radical nationalists will condemn Crimea."
In February 2015, Spiegel issued an official statement commemorating the 72th anniversary of the Soviet victory at Stalingrad. "Today neo-Nazis are once again raising their heads. Their ideology is poisoning civil society in the very heart of Europe," Spiegel claimed. He asserted that Ukrainian "neo-fascists and neo-Nazi battalions" were committing atrocities against those "who honor the memory [of Soviet soldiers] over the Nazi machine of death." He threatened the Ukrainians defending their own country from Russian-backed neo-Soviet separatists that they would "risk being surrounded in a new Uranus pincer," referring to the Red Army operation that recaptured Stalingrad.
Spiegel's useful idiots are very active in Finland and Estonia, openly denying those countries' sovereignty and promoting Russian imperial objectives. On 23 March 2009, the WWN-affiliate organization Finnish Anti-Fascist Committee (SAFKA) staged a protest in Helsinki against the Estonian Embassy's seminar about Stalin's forced removal of thousands from the Baltic States. Brandishing Russian flags, other participants at the protest include dozens of members of the Russian Nashi youth organization, founded with links to the Kremlin; the pro-Russian Estonian Nochnoy Dozor (Night Watch) movement, initially founded to prevent removal of Soviet statues and symbols in Estonia and attacks its opponents as "Nazis"; and ten members of the Finnish Islamic Party, an Islamist political party led by self-admitted KGB agent and Muslim convert Abdullah Tammi. The Bolshevik Revolution was "social progress" according to SAFKA.
|Johan Bäckman in anti-Ukrainian separatist uniform|
SAFKA leader Johan Bäckman also co-founded WWN and serves as a governing board member. He has become notorious in Finland for his aggressive pro-Russian activism, frequently accusing various politicians, journalists and academics who don't tow the Kremlin line as "Russophobes" and "anti-Semites". He became notorious in Finland for his pro-Soviet historiography, which denigrated the Finnish war against the Soviets in the 1940s as a "racist" effort to create a "Greater Finland" and "ethnically cleanse" Russians in collaboration with Hitler. Even though he openly engages in such anti-Finnish activities unhindered, one pro-Kremlin propaganda source claimed he was "persecuted" in Finland, oblivious to the treatment of dissidents in Putin's Russia. This traitor completely ignores the discrimination faced by his fellow Finns under Russian occupation in Karelia.
Bäckman has uttered such absurd and bizarre statements as "Stalin was very gentle and sweet", and has denied the sovereign existence of Estonia and Latvia, condemning their efforts to repudiate the Soviet era as "an apartheid that represents the criminal discrimination of Russians" and dismissed the Soviet occupation as a "Nazi myth". He even wants anti-Soviet dissent in Estonia criminalized: "In my opinion speaking or writing of Soviet 'occupation' should be criminalized as a form of racist propaganda. I demand five years prison sentence to everyone who dares to say Estonia was 'occupied' by Soviet Union." He has been expelled and barred from both Estonia and Moldova for such subversive activities.
His activities connect him directly to the Kremlin. He is the Northern European representative of the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies (RISS), an organization staffed by former Russian intelligence officers which is funded by the foreign intelligence service and presidential administration of Russia. Bäckman was a member of the "elections observer" delegation of notorious pro-Russian political figures that rubber-stamped Russia's annexation of Crimea, even while he labelled the Maidan Revolution as "an illegal seizure of power". He is the Finnish representative of the separatist "Dontesk People's Republic", warning the separatists against two Finnish journalists he claimed were "agents of the USA and Ukraine". He has recruited Finnish fighters for the separatists under the cover of "travel" to Donbass and even "ski training". Bäckman established the "Novorussian Embassy" in Helsinki, despite the lack of official recognition.
He also has ties with the Eurasianist leader Alexander Dugin, who has often visited Helsinki at his invitation, and he has in turn been promoted as an authority by Dugin's Geopolitica. Much like Bäckman's links to Boris Spiegel, Dugin has his own links with the hardcore Zionist Avigdor Eskin and has claimed that both Jews and Russians are "chosen peoples". Certainly a useful idiot like Bäckman is only too willing to agree and sell out his own people and nation in the process.