Scott Ritter: “There are Few ‘Good Ukrainians’ Left in Ukraine”


This article is a rebuttal to The nice people in Ukraine by Kevin Michelizzi, and The Good Ukrainians, Continued is Kevin’s response to this rebuttal.

Most of the “good Ukrainians” have gone. They are now Russian, and as such part of Mother Russia. And justice will be theirs.

Lately I have been taken to task for my strong criticism of the Ukrainian people, especially in terms of their collective responsibility regarding the tragedy that has befallen Ukraine because of Russia’s ongoing Special Military Operation, or SMO.

I have been called out in comments to podcasts that I have appeared on, and in my own Telegram channel. The most recent disagreement with my stance comes from Kevin Michelizzi, an information security specialist, in an article posted on my Substack page, who took umbrage at a comment I made to Jeff Norman during a recent “Ask the Inspector” podcast. Jeff had accused me of “taunting the nice people in Ukraine,” to which I responded, “There’s nothing nice about the people in Ukraine.”

“Scott has generalized the people of Ukraine like this more than once,” Kevin writes. “His argument stems from them being passive as their government honored [Stepan] Bandera and the OUN-B (Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists-Bandera) as heroes…”

Kevin excuses the passivity of the Ukrainian people in the face of the horrific behavior of their government as simply the people of Ukraine doing “what they must to survive.”

“I do not know what Scott expected the people of Ukraine to do,” Kevin laments.

How about behave like a people capable of discerning good from evil?

Kevin Michelizzi’s excusing of the passivity of the Ukrainian people in the face of unspeakable inhumanity being conducted in their name by those whom they elected to represent them in government recalls the arguments made by Catrine Clay in her bestselling book, The Good Germans. Clay made the argument that two-thirds of Germans did not vote for Adolf Hitler in 1933, when he was elected Chancellor of Germany, and that, over the course of the next twelve years, many of these “good Germans” were actively involved in opposing Nazi abuses and excesses.

When one looks at the total mobilization in support of the Nazi regime that occurred within Germany during the period of the Second Word War, the absolute lack of merit attached to Clay’s thesis becomes crystal clear.

Most Germans were active participants in the mechanisms employed by the Nazi regime to inflict its terror on a continent.

The others were, at best, passive observers.

But there were very few active opponents—the so-called “good German” was so rare as to be virtually extinct.

Yes, 2/3 of the German population did not vote for Adolf Hitler in 1933. But they either supported or tolerated his rise to power, and embraced the excesses so attached. And they were silent in the face of his crimes, especially against Jews, Poles, Russians, Gypsies—in short, against anyone who was deemed to be “subhuman” under Hitler’s definition of Aryan racial purity.

Daniel Goldhagen, the author of Hitler’s Willing Executioners, postulates that the reason for this national character flaw was the degree to which something Goldhagen called “eliminationist antisemitism” permeated the collective psyche on the part of the German people—simply put, they were pre-programmed through centuries of societal behavior to not only blame Jews and other sub-human races for all of their societal ails, but to embrace the physical eradication of these unwelcome human parasites as the preferred solution.

Understanding Goldhagen is essential when trying to come to grips with the present-day behavior of the Ukrainian people.

For starters, Ukraine, as a nation, is an artificial construct. Anyone who looks at the cobbled-together nature of the Ukraine which emerged from the collapse of the Soviet Union recognizes this. Western Ukraine (the birthplace of modern Ukrainian nationalism) and Eastern Ukraine (dominated by ethnic Russians whose loyalties and sympathies lie more in Moscow than Kiev) are inherently incompatible entities. The Kievan rump state that separates these two extremities serves more as a source of national dysfunction than national unity, a reality that is manifested in the level of corruption that permeates the body of this so-called Ukrainian “nation.”

Modern Ukraine is literally and figuratively the sick man of Europe, a nation whose industry and agriculture produces a national income which lines the pockets and fills the bank accounts of the corrupt oligarch class and their handpicked politicians that dominate the Ukraine, while leaving the Ukrainian people to flounder in a perpetual third-class status, all the while watching their national infrastructure crumble before their very eyes.

Ukraine is a major source of illicit human and arms trafficking, international money laundering, and other below-the-counter economic activities that define societies lacking any foundation in the normative influence of a nation governed by concepts founded in the notion of the rule of law. To the extent that one can say that the European and international community “likes” Ukraine or the Ukrainian people, one must first modify the definition of “like” as it relates to the relationship one might have with a cheap prostitute or corner drug dealer.

The fact of the matter is that Ukrainians are not “more or less like us” (an argument Catrine Clay makes about the German people during the time of Adolf Hitler.) Nor do their sensibilities “approximate our own” (another intellectual appeasement of societal pathology used by Clay to obviate the role and responsibility of the German people in the crimes of Nazi Germany.)

“I do not know what Scott expected the people of Ukraine to do,” Kevin Michelizzi complains in his article, a response to my criticism of criminal passivity on the part of the Ukrainian people in the face of the crimes committed by and on behalf of their leaders.

With all due respect to Kevin, it is not about what I expect the people of Ukraine to do, but rather the standard set by the people of Ukraine themselves, that is the heart and soul of this discussion. We know that a significant proportion of the Ukrainian people have risen in violent opposition to the illegal coup d’état that evicted the constitutionally elected government of former President Victor Yanukovich and replaced him with persons hand-picked by the United States government who injected into the mainstream of Ukrainian social and political reality the odious ideology of Stepan Bandera.

The people of eastern Ukraine said “no” to this unconstitutional usurpation of political power. The people of eastern Ukraine took up arms to fight back against the hate-filled ideology of the Banderists who dominated the illegitimate post-Yanukovich government of Ukraine.

It is not about what Scott Ritter, or anyone else, would have the people of Ukraine do, but rather what the right-thinking people of Ukraine already did—put their lives and livelihoods on the line in defense of their freedom in the face of a foreign-backed gang of white supremacist neo-Nazis who have perverted the notion of “Ukrainian” with their odious ideology.

One of the problems in trying to characterize the “Ukrainian people” is that this concept is not a singularity, but rather an amalgam of three collectives, each possessing their own inherent characteristics.

There is the Ukraine as defined by Stepan Bandera and his followers, which is centered in the western part of the country. The ideology that underpinned Bandera’s vision of Ukrainian nationalism is best described by his own words, spoken during his 1934 trial for murder, held in Lvov (at that time, part of Poland). “Our idea,” Bandera said, “in our understanding is so grand, that when we talk about its realization, not single individuals, nor hundreds, but millions of victims have to be sacrificed in order to realize.”

Millions of victims.

In the late 1930’s and early 1940’s, Bandera’s movement was partially funded by Nazi Germany. It readily adopted the principles and symbology of the very fascism that defined Hitler’s cult of personality. By April 1941, the congress of Ukrainian nationalists, meeting in Krakow, fully endorsed the principle of “one nation, one party, one leader,” and adopted the black-and-red flag (representing soil and blood) as the symbol of their movement.

The raised arm fascist salute, accompanied by the phrase “Slava Ukraina” (Glory to Ukraine), became the greeting, and later the war cry, of the Banderist thugs who, when Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, followed their Nazi masters into Soviet Ukraine. There, over the course of the next four years, the Banderists perpetrated the most horrific crimes against humanity in service of their perverted vision of Ukrainian nationalism, slaughtering tens of thousands of Jews, and hundreds of thousands of Poles and Russians. Their trademark move was to surround a village, force the population at gunpoint into a church or barn, and then set the structure on fire, all the while cheering as the occupants screamed in agony before perishing. Shouts of “Slava Ukraina” would ring out as victims ran, burning, from the structure, only to be gunned down by the Banderist thugs.

Keep that in mind the next time you hear an American Speaker of the House or Canadian Deputy Prime Minister shout “Slava Ukraina” in their respective legislative buildings.

The Bandera movement is alive and well and thriving today in Ukraine where, since the 2014 Maidan coup, it has become mainstreamed in Ukrainian society and politics. The Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, excuses Bandera as a “Ukrainian nationalist”; the Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, while General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, proudly takes a photograph with a portrait of Bandera in the background. The Ukrainian parliament has elevated Bandera to the status of national hero in Ukraine, streets have been named in Bandera’s honor, and statues erected in his memory.

The Ukrainian internal security and armed forces have been taken over by Banderists—once again, the villages and fields of Ukraine are tainted by the shouts of “Slava Ukraina” as the neo-Nazi thugs that populate the nationalist battalions (Azov, Aidar, Safari, Kraken, and others) and regular Ukrainian military (a recent class of Ukrainian paratroopers sang songs praising Bandera at their graduating ceremony) hunt down and murder Russian civilians and prisoners of war alike, in total disregard for the law of war.

The population of western Ukraine is beyond redemption, their culpability in promoting, sustaining, and implementing the horrific ideology of Stepan Bandera is beyond dispute.

They are, without a shadow of a doubt, “bad Ukrainians.” The worst. Evil. Despicable.

The underlying ideology of Banderism that courses through their sick vision of national identity must be completely eradicated, along with anyone who refuses to disavow it.

But what about the “other” Ukrainians? You know, the “good” ones, to quote Caterine Clay (and, by extension, Kevin Michelizzi.) Certainly, I’m using too broad of a brush—not every Ukrainian can be painted with the label of “bad.”

With few exceptions, they can.

Daniel Goldhagen demolished the notion of there being a statistically significant population of “good Germans” by detailing the systemic conditioning of the German people through their culture, religion, and education to endorse what he called “eliminationist antisemitism.”

The same trend exists in Ukraine regarding Russia. I call it “eliminationist Russophobia.”

From an early age, Ukrainian nationalism has promulgated the notion of the cultural and racial inferiority of the Russian people.

Ukrainians gleefully call the Russians “Orcs” (a Tolkien reference to a corrupted race of intellectually and physically inferior beings).

They cheer as these “Orcs” are tied to poles using plastic wrap, often with their pants pulled down, to be left exposed to the elements and the wrath of a vengeful population, who openly mock and physically assault these helpless individuals.

They remain silent as the neo-Nazi thugs of the nationalist formations conduct so-called “cleansing operations,” arresting Russians and executing them by the thousands.

They remain silent while Ukrainian soldiers gun down Russian prisoners of war on camera, in open violation of the laws of war.

The cheers and the silence are a byproduct of the same phenomenon: “eliminationist Russophobia,” the hatred of all things Russia to such an extent that the systemic murder of the Russian people is considered a viable means of eradicating the problem.

Ukraine is, as we speak, normalizing the cultural genocide of all things Russian—the language, culture, religion, and history. Once you mainstream the elimination of a culture and ethnic identity, transitioning to the physical elimination of a people is no problem.

Elimination Russophobia.

It is real, operating on a continuous basis as the official policy of the Ukrainian government, and made possible by the pathological indifference or active participation of those Ukrainians who do not identify as western Ukrainian nationalists, who may not openly espouse the odious ideology of Stepan Bandera, but who nonetheless make the hijacking of Ukrainian nation by the Banderists possible.

Just like the “good Germans” did regarding Adolf Hitler and his Nazi ideology.

There are few “good Ukrainians.” The vast majority of Ukrainians are either direct participants in the unspeakable crimes committed in the cause of modern Stepan Bandera-driven Ukrainian nationalism, or they are facilitators who are pathologically indifferent to these crimes.

The participants need to suffer the fate of their predecessors who, after being tried for their crimes in Kiev during January 1946, were hung by the neck until dead in a mass execution before a massive crowd of their victims.

The facilitators should pay for their sins by providing the forced labor necessary to unearth the victims of the Ukrainian nationalists, and to repair the damage wrought on Ukraine because of a war brought to them not by Russia, but rather the Ukrainian nationalists and their western allies.

There was, at one time, a large number of “good Ukrainians.” These are the people of eastern Ukraine who stood up and forcefully defended themselves against the murderous onslaught of the Banderists and their cowardly Ukrainian facilitators.

These “good Ukrainians,” however, for the most part no longer exist.

Thanks to the annexation of Kherson, Zaporizhia, Donetsk, and Lugansk, most have become Russian.

And if the war continues along its current trajectory, there may be a chance for the remaining “good Ukrainians”—those ethnic Russians who reside in the territories of Odessa, Nikolaev, Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkov, and Sumy—to become Russian as well.

This would be a salvation for them because there is nothing that connects them to the poisonous regime that governs in Kiev today, or the poisonous population of Ukraine.

I repeat my original statement—there is nothing nice about the people in Ukraine.

They are either staunch supporters of the odious ideology of Stepan Bandera, and as such deserving of whatever fate befalls them, or pathologically indifferent cowards who have facilitated the horrific crimes of the Banderists.

Most of the “good Ukrainians” have gone.

They are now Russian, and as such part of Mother Russia.

And justice will be theirs.