Dear editors of The Washington Post,
The National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU) pays respect and thanks for the great job you do for Ukraine and the whole world. We write to you because of an exceptional case, which for sure is some kind of misguide. Please take everything below as a helping hand and sincere expression of our feelings, but not as an attempt to influence your editorial policy.
We are deeply shocked with article in The Washington Post “russia’s war in Ukraine galvanizes extremists globally”. Link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/03/25/germany-far-right-ukraine-russia/
We want The Washington Post not to help russian propaganda in any way.
We don’t know the exact reason. But this article repeats many points of kremlin propaganda. Before the invasion into Ukraine, volodymyr putin and russian media had stated that Ukraine is under control of nazis, so heroic russian soldiers needed to “liberate” Ukraine. This is how the conduct war in Ukraine and misguide millions of people in russia and all over the world.
In your article it’s put equal between nationalists, extremists, “Azov” and nazis. We are not advocating “Azov”, but we ask for objectivity.
The National Union of Journalists of Ukraine, as the largest journalists in Ukraine, wants to inform about the main points:
- There are nationalists in Ukraine, but nationalist IS NOT EQUAL to “extremist” or “nazi”. Nationalism in Ukraine is a peaceful idea to self-govern and move out any external governance, first of all russian. Nationalism in Ukraine is not military and NOT nazi.
By the way, there are nationalists in Germany as well, though they don’t have much influence on country’s policy. But nationalists are not nazis, we know that for sure.
First of all, before publishing this article, The Washington Post should had found out are there really nazis in Ukraine and, if they are, are they in any control of situation in Ukraine. Spoiler: no, even though “Azov” leader was in Parliament for several years.
- “Azov” and “Natsionalny Korpus” are really implement their activities as organizations in Ukraine.
For many years they mostly played a show business and political media role which was actively used by russian propaganda – “well, look how aggressive are nationalists in Kyiv, they make marches and burn fires, they train at polygons and wear beards”. But we insist: they have never had neither political power nor people’s support. Such kind of organizations exist in any democratic country, including the USA and Germany. As a democratic society, Ukraine did not arrest these people, unless they violate Ukraine’s laws. The majority of the population does not actively support their activities even now, after russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
But now we appreciate “Azov” efforts. They are not just worried, like politicians all over the planet. With guns in their hands, they defend Mariupol. They are a part of Ukraine Army and strictly follow orders of the General Headquarters. Every day they oppose much bigger russia’s forces.
This is “Azov” official site: https://azov.org.ua/
- On your photo to the article, you show “Azov” followers in Kharkov (probably).
But they are not extremists as well. The only difference of these people is that they put their right hand to their chest (which assumes they are from “Azov” though it’s not the fact). But these people look strictly as a part of the Territorial Defence Forces which are established all over Ukraine as a civil support to the Army. They do not kill or terrorize Ukrainians as it can come out of The Washington Post article. They defend Kharkiv which is constantly under attack of russian army. The Territorial Defence Forces exist in every city/town/village in Ukraine, they operate under strict laws and would be punished if they do anything to break the law.
Territorial Defence Forces are very much the same as Militia from the Second Amendment to USA Constitution.
This is how Kharkiv looks like now: https://www.reuters.com/news/picture/inside-the-bombed-out-city-of-kharkiv-idUSRTXLGGZR
- We think that the article “russia’s war in Ukraine galvanizes extremists globally” breaks journalism standards and looks like retelling russian propaganda.
It makes impression that Ukraine is full of extremists, and those extremists provoke other extremists worldwide to kill people. That’s a total lie.
The initial part of text already looks like propaganda:
“The graphic circulated by the neo-Nazi party shows two arms locked in a handshake, framed by a heading in capital letters, “Nationalists help nationalists.”
“Accommodations wanted for Ukrainian nationalists!” the German group wrote on Telegram, also saying, “During the fighting in Ukraine, nationalists are at the forefront.””
What do you mean by this??? If you do not actualize and explain this text, you create impression like a kremlin propaganda.
- The Washington Post throughs dark shadow on people of the world who come to Ukraine to protect us with guns in their hands.
Since the beginning of russia aggression, citizens of Belarus, Great Britain, Georgia, Denmark, Israel, Canada, Latvia, the Netherlands, Poland, russia, the USA and Croatia came to defend Ukraine with weapons in their hands. Following the official statements by Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence, by March 11 citizens of more than 50 countries of the world fought in the so-called Foreign legion which amounts more than 20 000 persons. People of Ukraine thank these people with all their heart. You have no right to harm their reputation.
The Washington Post falsifies facts with this:
“In Germany, the number of far-right extremists crossing into Ukraine is still minimal, according to Germany’s Interior Ministry. So far, just 27 either have traveled to Ukraine or made plans to do so, authorities said this week, out of an estimated 33,300 far-right extremists, with 13,000 assessed to be inclined to violence”.
If these facts are not numerous, why do you put them as a trend?
The whole world fights fakes and propaganda. The extreme danger of propaganda is proven every day by the fact of russian aggression against Ukraine. kremlin propaganda is based on numerous fakes, such as “nazis in Ukraine”.
We welcome the USA efforts to help Ukraine win this war and beat the danger for the whole world whick comes out from putin regime.
We respect editorial independence of The Washington Post. Nevertheless, we strongly advise The Washington Post to initiate investigation of how this article could be written and published.
On behalf of people of Ukraine, we hope for apologies from The Washington Post. Not to us, but to the people of Ukraine and the whole world.
P.S. As you could notice, we don’t use capital letters for russia, putin and so on. This is not ignorance or mistake. This is the new Ukrainian standard. You may interpret it as “nationalism” if you want.