It’s hard for me to explain the absurdity of Putin’s libertarians from my perspective. (I live in Ukraine.) It’s like libertarians defending North Korea and claiming that South Korea is a American puppet with US military bases. Certainly the military base is there, but . . . . You get the idea.
Libertarians generally trust Human Rights Watch. We often quote them regarding the death toll of the Iraq war. They’ve looked into the Kremlin accusation about airstrikes in E. Ukraine, and concluded that they couldn’t tell which side it came from. What HRW has said conclusively is that the Russian side is actively engaged in kidnapping, torture(http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/ukraine-crisis-two-bodies-found-brutally-tortured-in-slaviansk-says-president-oleksander-turchinov-9275542.html), intimidation, and restricting the rights of ethnic minorities.
It’s unfair to wave your hand and say “all sides have their propaganda.” No. Russia has been airing footage of their own atrocities in Chechnya and claiming it was Ukraine. They’ve aired their own atrocities from Georgia and claimed it was Ukraine. They’ve aired footage from Bosnia, Iraq, Syria, China and movies and claimed it was Ukraine. (http://www.examiner.com/list/russia-s-top-80-lies-about-ukraine)
There is no equivalence to be drawn here.
The nazi stuff is also BS. The use of nazi symbols and rhetoric is much more prominent among the Russian mercenaries (http://romaninukraine.com/the-russian-anti-fascists-in-ukraine-nazi/ / http://romaninukraine.com/nazi-pavel-gubarev-discussing-threat-of-fascism/ / http://romaninukraine.com/russian-nazis-in-ukraine-collection-of-links/). So much so that Russia has stopped making the accusation. (So has much of of the libertarian press, though some echos still linger.)
Also take the fascist accusation in context. When Lithuania was becoming westernized, Russia accused them of Nazism. When Georgia sought stronger ties with the west, Russia accused them of fascism, fomented separatism and invaded. When Estonia wanted to relocate a statue honoring their Soviet liberators (who, by the way, deported 17% of Estonia’s population to Siberia), Russia accused them of Nazism and imported a bunch of hooligans for hire to riot to Talinn. Similar imported hooligan rioted in Ukraine’s Kharkiv and Donetsk, back in march, murdering several pro-Ukraine protesters. There were reports that the hooligans didn’t know how to use the metro system, and didn’t recognize the anthem of the local football club.
Accusation of Nazism and fascism have been a centerpiece of Kremlin propaganda for 70 years. If you don’t believe me, read the open letter from the Jewish community of Ukraine, or look up the interview with Kyiv’s head Rabbi. He says fascism is MUCH worse in Russia.
We can talk about the hypocritical accusation of ethnic cleansing too. Again HRW has looked into the Kremlin accusation and concluded it is bullshit. I know this personally, b/c I know Russian speakers who have fled to the Ukrainian-speaking parts of the country. I personally know two guys who can’t live in Crimea because they were pro-Ukrainian.
You call look up what HRW has said about Catholics, Tartars, and pro-Ukrainians in the areas controlled by Russia. This week, there’s a story about two Ukrainian priests who were killed along with their families.
I’ve engaged this topic and attempted to refute some of the more ridiculous accusations of libertarians. If you’re interested, check it out:
ps — I actually know a third guy from Luhansk. Two from Crimea nd one from Luhansk who’ve fled b/c the Russians kidnap, murder, torture, Ukrainian activist. There’s no equivalent treatment to Russians by the supposed “Nazi” Ukrainians.
No Russian books have been burned. The Russian have burned Ukrainian books in Crimea and Kharkiv.
No Russian flags have been burned (that I’m aware of). The staged Russian demonstrations featured the burning of Ukrainian flags.
There’s no history of Ukrainians murdering millions of Russians. There is a history of Russians murdering millions of Ukrainians.
pps — Realize that Kremlin strategy has always involved building ties to dissenting political movements. Want proof? Here is a picture of NYC gay LGBT community supporting the Russian separatists. This is absurd. A centerpiece of Russian propaganda has been the fear that Europe will spread homosexuality into Russia and Ukraine.
It is safe to assume, and completely clear to me that the Kremlin has also been building ties to libertarian communities. The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity has been the most vulgar and shameless.