This article is dedicated to defining of, and explaining the origins of a new term which has started to be used in nowadays social and political science – rashism. References made to different historical sources clearly prove that the genocide policies themselves did not just jump out of nowhere in 2022, but do have a methodological an ideological root lasting for at least a century. The Chekists (NKVD/KDB people) tortured and murdered Banderivtsi (followers of Stepan Bandera), OUNivsti (members of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists)’to punish them for anti-Semitic terror’, thus, at the same time, mass burial sites of Jews with the evidence of the same tortures were discovered. Weird, one would say. But, for the rashits there is nothing strange, or wrong, in presenting their victims as aggressors.
Today the civilized world is shocked by what is going on in Ukraine. No one can remain indifferent to the atrocities against people – no matter civilians or soldiers – and barbarism against cultural values, which mark the very Ukrainian identity.Recently, a new term emerged: rashism. It deals with an ideology based on Russian Nazism, imposed on the people by their authorities by means of propaganda, mass outlook, and numerous crimes against humanity based on them.However, is this combination of ideology, outlook and crimes really new for the political entity named ‘Russia’? Let’s try to figure it out. Perhaps the answer to this question will become a basis for tectonic shifts in the international community’s awareness of what really is history of Ukraine in the 20th century and, in general, of its meaning for European or even world one.
‘First of all, they set up a torture chamber…’
Let’s start with what is happening today in front of our eyes. Rashist crimes against humanity are now being thoroughly documented, although not all of them get covered by media. From that insignificant part of crime descriptions, which has already gone public, a terrifying picture is pieced together, and a human mind refuses to perceive it.
The purpose of the atrocities is to intimidate (to make the population stay away from certain actions and to force the people to testify falsely against others) or to physically eliminate (those who do not surrender to terror or those identified as “extremely dangerous Nazis”). However, very often atrocities are committed for no actual reason at all – as if just for fun.
Shootings of civilians – in the streets, in lines for bread, in vehicles on the road and in their own homes, finishing off the wounded – have become a general practice. Pits filled with human bodies in several layers were discovered in towns and villages liberated from the Russians. Mass burial sites and even dead bodies were laid with mines. Torture took place everywhere. Representatives of the National Police, Ministry of Interior and Security Service of Ukraine, who investigated these crimes, said that Russian soldiers, having occupied the territory, first set up a torture chamber. If the city was large, there might be several prisons.
Several raschits used to break into one’s home to take him/her to prison and ‘to the basement’. Three to five people came to pick up just one. Usually, a bag was put on the victim’s head, and the hands were wrapped with tape. Public Radio Correspondent Oleksandr Khomenko published a testimony of three tortured people from the Kharkiv region – Oleksandr V., Oleksandr Teslenko and Vitaly Ilchenko. Everyone was ‘taken’ from their homes in their home clothes by a large number of soldiers, literally dozens of them. Huge vehicles like “Urals” and “Tigers” were engaged.
A clearly hidden purpose
According to the testimonies of people who survived torture chambers in Kyiv region, as well as in Kharkiv, Kherson and Donetsk regions, they were tortured with electric wires applied to each and every part of their bodies. This torture was considered the “mildest”. However, it was diversified. For example, the Russians put a bag on a victim’s head, or moisturized the place of torture.
The time of torture varied. According to a testimony of one of the prisoners in the Kupyansk camp, during the first interrogation he had underwent electricity torture for 40 minutes. Usually, for such tortures, a military field telephone called ’tapik’, was used.
Sometimes rashist executioners burned crosses with red-hot iron on the bodies of their victims. Ribs and jaws of prisoners were broken, ears and genitals were cut off, sculls were broken or heads got cut off… Perhaps, such actions were also carried out with the same axe with traces of blood that was found by the police in a torture chamber in the liberated town of Izyum. Also, about fifty bodies were discovered in a mass burial site. Local authorities said that almost all of them had evidence of violent death.
The BBC website published a testimony of 67-year-old Mykhailo Ivanovych, who survived torture in Izyum. He was tortured with electrodes attached to his fingers, beaten, and long needles were stuck under the skin on his back. The man was bleeding and was already half dead when the Ukrainian Army entered the city. According to the testimonies of other Izyum prisoners, the Rashists tortured them in complete darkness, shining their headlamps into the prisoners’ eyes.
In a torture chamber located in the village of Pisky-Radkivtsi, in order to ‘get their testimonies’, the people were buried alive (then dug up), and gas masks with a smoldering rag inside were put to their faces. A box full of broken dentures and a dildo were discovered, as well. In the Vovchansk torture chamber, the police revealed, in addition to electric wires, shackles of different types. According to the testimony of the tortured, their fingers were broken and their nails were torn out.
One just cannot help thinking: this is how they try to destroy the very human soul.
Missiles Aiming Graves
Obliteration of universities, schools, museums, and monuments is not considered a crime against humanity. But it sheds light on the ideology of the Rashists. The answer to the question ‘Why?’, which lies on the surface, is as follows: they destroy Ukrainian markers of identity in order to replace it with their own. However, what can be the answer to the question: ‘Why the churches, belonging to the Moscow Patriarchate, and the synagogues are being blown up?’.
Since the beginning of full-scale war in Ukraine, almost one hundred and fifty Orthodox churches have been destroyed. Let us keep in mind that in the East of the country, where hostilities are taking place, the parishioners of the Moscow Patriarchate prevail.
Synagogues, cemeteries and places of memory of Ukrainian Jews are also damaged. We started with Babi Yar in Kyiv, where the Nazis shot about 50,000 Jews in 1941. The memorial to the victims of the Holocaust was hit by a rocket attack on March 1, 2022. Five people died on the spot. True, this shelling can be ‘attributed’ to the fact that they hit the TV tower located nearby.
However, on March 26, a rashist missile hit another memorial to the victims of the Holocaust – in Drobytskyi Yar in Kharkiv. Another missile exploded near the Kharkiv synagogue, where more than 100 people were present at the time. The roof of the building was destroyed. Synagogues were destroyed in Mariupol in the Donetsk region and Gulyaipol in the Zaporizhzhia region.
In Kyiv, both Jewish and Christian burials were affected by a missile explosion at the Berkovets cemetery. The Jewish cemetery in Hlukhiv, Sumy region, was hit by rioters on May 8, the day of the capitulation of Nazi Germany. By the way, the victims of the Jewish pogrom committed by the Bolsheviks on March 7-8, 1918 are buried there. Two tzaddiks are buried in this cemetery, one of whom was a victim of this pogrom.
On August 8, the Armed Forces of Ukraine shot down a rashist missile over Uman, Cherkasy region, which, according to presumptions, was aimed at one of the most famous Hasidic shrines – the grave of Tsaddik Rabi Nahman. At that time, there were five hundred Hasidim from different countries of the world staying in Uman.
Later on, the rashists ‘vindicated’ the launch by the fact that the Uman synagogue, they say, houses an ammunition depot and a ‘Nazi gathering point.’ And on the day of Rosh Hashanah, the Rashists directed Iranian Shahed-136 kamikaze drones to Uman (the incident was reported by Babel Publications, referring to the SBU sources).
How can the demolition of Jewish shrines be connected with the attack of the Rashists on Ukraine and their further ‘plans to conquer the world’?
A Century of Experience
First, let’s recall the crimes of the Russian invaders on the territory of Ukraine in the 20th century, meaning the atrocities of the Russian army, which in January 1918 occupied Kyiv, robbed and shot the population, leaving behind thousands of dead bodies and millions of terrorized civilians. Penalty for resistance in Ukrainian towns should not be forgotten: every tenth male resident was executed. Let us also mention the spot murders of Ukrainian geniuses as a manifestation of terror – composer Mykola Leontovych, the author of legendary Shchedryk, ‘Carroll of the Bells’, impressionist artist Oleksandr Murashko, plant breeder Levko Simyrenko and many others.
Then there was the Holodomor of 1932-33, which had finally subordinated Ukraine to Russia, and the Great Terror, which began in Ukraine not in 1937 like in the rest of the USSR, but in 1934.
In the report on repression among Ukrainian educators, published in 1935 in the book “On the Front of Culture”, figures are given about the ‘liquidation’ of all directors of Ukrainian pedagogical (then teacher) institutes in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. 229 employees of the People’s Commissariat of Education were eliminated. The ashes of 100 percent of the employees of the regional and 98 percent of the district education departments remained in the prison ‘cemeteries without graves’.
Very little was known about these crimes until the end of the 1980s. In the sub-Russian part of Ukraine after 1923, the special services of the state with its center in Moscow tortured and shot people secretly in the basements, dead bodies were buried at night in the forests pits. Witnesses were eliminated or intimidated: they could pay with their lives for disclosing this information.
The atrocities and executions in the prisons of Western Ukraine, which were committed by the Russian occupation administration before retreating in the summer of 1941, received much more publicity.
Priests and rabbis, public figures, members of parties (including the Communist Party of Western Ukraine), officers of the Ukrainian People’s Republic and the Polish Army, ‘kurkuls’, intellectuals were kept in numerous prisons in almost every Ukrainian town.
Political prisoners were executed throughout the territory of Ukraine, but people in Galicia reacted much more actively to what was done, because it has been only two years since they had been deprived of freedom of speech, the right to public life and private property.
In addition, the Russians then retreated so hurriedly under the offensive of the Nazis that they did not have time to hide the evidence of their crimes – to burn or bury the dead bodies somewhere in the forest. The mutilated bodies were either left in the firing chambers and in prison yards, or were hastily buried right there in pits, sprinkled with lime.
Due to the fact that relatives and loved ones were able to get through the gates of these “secret institutions” a few days after the crime was committed, it was still possible to identify the bodies and record evidence of torture.
Pits and wells
According to the memories of eyewitnesses, in the prison in Sambor, Lviv region, “there were old men, women and children lying shot dead in the rooms and corridors… Each of these corpses had their hands tied behind their backs with barbed wire, their mouths full of finely chopped glass or rags, broken arms, legs and ribs, ears cut off, eyes gouged out.” The terrible picture was the same in town of Drohobych. The townspeople who came to the prison yard on July 1-2 to identify their loved ones were horrified: some had their lips, ears or noses cut off.
“The lower jaws of many prisoners were disemboweled (actually missing), the skeletons showed broken tibias and large femurs, as if they had been fractured. Some of the skulls were cut open with a saw, and some of them were broken with an unknown household object,” recalled forensic medical expert Volodymyr Ilnytskyi.
After the collapse of the USSR, NKVD/KGB buildings in every town of Ukraine began to reveal the secrets of their basements, yards and “special security zones” in the nearby forests. For example, in the Nativity Monastery in Zhovkva, Lviv region, where the NKVD garrison was located since 1939, the remains of tortured people were found under the floor of the cells. ‘Memorial’ Organization, engaged in searching for the victims of repressions and mass burial sites, examined 225 corpses, almost one third of them babies, even fetuses. A large part of the skulls are split from the front, apparently by an ax blow…
In the forest near the village of Posichchya in Ivano-Frankivsk region, people discovered a pit with a mass burial. There, according to a legend, students of the seminary were shot dead. The searchers from ‘Memorial’ Organization found the remains of 32 people and the priest’s clothes, in which the bloody head was wrapped. An ax was found nearby. Forensic examination confirmed that the head was cut off with it.
Some mass graves were uncovered by the Nazis during the Second World War in order to strengthen their propaganda among the local population.
This was the case, in particular, in Bykivnia, Kyi region, and Vinnytsia. The Germans uncovered the mass graves of the victims of the Russians in several cities of Donetsk region. Historian, coordinator of the Eastern Ukrainian Historical and Local History Association, Oleksandr Dobrovolskyi told about this in one of the interviews. So, in Stalino (that’s what Donetsk was called then), the hospital and its staff were shot, and 15-17-year-old students of the FZU (plant professional school) were killed near Makiivka.
In 1989, students of the Donetsk University confirmed the information from 1941 by conducting excavations at the site of mass executions. The layer of human bodies was about two meters, and the clothes on the corpses did not fade. There were Red Army soldiers with medical fixation units on their hands or feet, a nurse with a beautiful blond braid, boys from the professional school. Medical equipment was also found in the firing pit. In Slovyansk, in the basement of NKVD building, they found piles of corpses covered with firewood. Then they discovered a sewage collector clogged with the bodies of prisoners.
The Buried Truth
The invaders blocked the dissemination of information about their crimes by bribery and terror, sometimes by physically eliminating witnesses. Because of this “iron wall” of propaganda, for a very long time the world had perceived Russia as a highly cultured liberator of peoples, and Ukraine as a part of Russia – a poor, dark and wild land full of ‘sick fascists’.
“Calling others fascists while being a fascist is Putin’s main practice,” writes the famous historian Timothy Snyder.
However, is this actually Putin’s practice? After all, he did not invent all these tortures and the wicked ‘ways’ of presenting a victim as an aggressor. It is likely that the term ‘rashism’ introduced today refers to a much older concept.
Propaganda of the ‘crimes of the Petlyurivtsi, Banderivtsi, Ounivites, and UPA’ had to be very powerful in order to cover up the scraps of information about the atrocities committed by the Rashists that leaked through the heavy gates of the NKVD. Hundreds of books, including children’s books, thousands of articles, ‘documentaries’ and movies made in the USSR were supposed to constantly fuel hatred towards ‘nationalists’ who dared to declare an independent Ukraine.
Rashists still write about the ‘atrocities of Bandera’ – wells filled with the bodies of babies, five-pointed stars burned or carved on the chests of Komsomol members or communists. Although the facts prove otherwise: on many bodies raised from the pits and basements of the NKVD, Ukrainian tridents were cut or burned…
Priest and publicist from Russia Yakov Krotov (at a time a parishioner of Father Aleksandr Men, who was murdered in Russia), who joined the Orthodox Church of Ukraine in 2020, emphasizes that the lie about the ‘anti-Semitism of the followers of Bandera’ was invented too late. It began to be spread after the Chekists killed Stepan Bandera to justify this mass murder as retribution for ‘atrocities against the Jews’.
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall…
Before eliminating the victims, the Rashists have to dehumanize them. “The ones in front of you are not humans…”. In fact, the Rashists dehumanize whomever they target for termination, in an interesting way – they attribute their own numerous crimes to the victim.
Let’s consider a few concepts from the well-known book ‘Bezbatchenko’ by the participant of the “struggle with the Bandera underground resistance”, and later the head of the 4th Department of the KGB of the Ukrainian SSR, colonel of state security Kliment Galskyi (code name – Klym Dmytruk). It was printed in Lviv in 1974, with a circulation of 100,000 copies.
The abstract says that the book will reveal the truth about the participation of Ukrainian bourgeois nationalists in the preparation of Nazi Germany’s attack on the USSR. Especially about the fact that ‘the hierarchs of the Uniate and Autocephalous churches played a shameful role in this despicable case’. Looking ahead, one could admit that powerful Soviet propaganda against Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytskyi, a prominent personality, Head of the Ukrainian Greco-Catholic Church (who saved Jews during the Second World War) was built on these views, both internal and external.
In the chapter ‘Terror in Galicia and Volyn’ the concept is built around ‘monstrous massacres of civilians committed by Ounivets groups and their kulak assistants’ against civilians – Ukrainians, Poles, Jews.
Literally: “They organized Jewish pogroms, tortured people, gouged out the eyes of the old and young, robbed property… Trying to intimidate and terrorize the population, the Ounivets werewolves resorted to brutal, sadistic methods of murder.” For example, after capturing two Komsomol members, they were taken to the cemetery, “they were tortured for a long time, cut with knives, and then killed.” So, whose real portrait is this? Who’s the scariest of them all?
In the section ‘Principles of Mmurder and Treason’ the ideology and practice of ‘Ounivets fatherless people’ is ‘revealed’: “Reject morality and the gains of civilization!”, “Rape and slaughter!”, “Kill and hang!”. “This is what hatred of workers, years of service for the benefit of misanthropic fascism led the nationalist killers to,” Klym Dmytruk, a fighter of the Rashist ideological front, summarizes in this chapter of his book.
And in the chapter “Swastika on Cassocks” – a most interesting allegation is taking place: how “the St. Yura residence supported the pro-German orientation of nationalist centers.” It tells how “the old metropolitan, in addition to using the Uniate Church for anti-Soviet purposes, tried to intensify the subversive activities of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists by all the means at his disposal.”
This part of the book is dedicated to the activities of Metropolitan Andrii Sheptytskyi who had become a symbol of Ukrainian statehood at the time when Ukraine was split between Poland and Russia. Being a descendant of a rich family and, in fact, a millionaire, he established enterprises and institutions, schools and hospitals, and distributed scholarships to young Ukrainian artists. Moreover, he was the only one among prominent European cleric s openly opposing the genocide of Jews by Nazi Germany. During the Second World War Metropolitan Sheptytskyi and his brother Climentii hid the Jews from the Nazis and urged his parishioners and the clerics to do so.
Instead, the Chekist lists the enterprises that Metropolitan Sheptytskyi founded for the development of economy, agriculture and banking institutions in the Western lands of Ukraine, which at that time were a part of Poland (these enterprises were “nationalized” by the Russians in 1939). These are such enterprises as “Narodna Torgivlya”, “Dniester” bank, “Silsky gospodar”, “Riznytsia”, “Dostava”, “Unia” oil refining enterprise, “Land Mortgage Bank”, etc.
Dmytruk claims that Vladyka Andrey “received profits” from these businesses and invested those in the “insidious work of the Uniates before the start of the war” – gathering intelligence data, intimidating young people with “terrible divine punishment” for participating in “public life”, spreading anti-Soviet rumors. And then he also “blessed the battalion of murderers for new crimes.”
Now let us think who of the well-known Russian clerics could be portrayed with such a precision in details? Patriarch Kirill, no? Who would say that it was impossible to build a time machine? But, as it was mentioned above, such a picture of Vladyka Andrey’s activities is still being widely spread in the world through by the Russian agents.
And one of the signs that the world has finally rejected Rashist propaganda from all spheres and began to perceive the history of Ukraine without the mediation of ‘universal liberators’, would be the long-awaited recognition of Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytskyi as the Righteous among the Nations.
The Basis of Rashism
Now let us get back to the Jewish sanctuaries that are being destroyed by the Rashists today. Their “special attitude” to Jews, as well as to Ukrainians, has ancient and deep roots. And it is hidden, perhaps, in the denial of the One God or in a strange desire to “overpower” Him.
Professor of Columbia University in New York, a brilliant connoisseur of modern Russian culture, Mark Lipovetsky, told a lot of interesting things during his interview with the Russian editorial staff of Radio Svoboda. The notorious ‘combating cosmopolitanism’, in Soviet Russia, which turned into a powerful anti-Semitic campaign, did not disappear after Stalin’s death.
The ideology of Russian nationalism, being a fascist one by nature, penetrated the consciousness of the Soviet elites – Komsomol, Communist Party and cultural elites and became the banner of an active and influential nationalist movement among writers, artists and directors.
The professor reminds, in particular, of the 1979 debate “Classics and Us”, when a group of Russian writers protested ‘dominance of Jews at the Soviet theatre stage’.
This sort of views blossomed during the years of Perestroika after 1985 – then a scandal erupted around anti-Semitic society ‘Memorial’, and the speeches of Rasputin, Astafiev, Belov, and such magazines as ‘Nash Sovremennik’ and ‘Molodaya Gvardiya’ became quite popular.
Later on, the ‘issue’ continued in the works of the mastodon of Soviet and post-Soviet culture Nikita Mikhalkov. Mark Lypovetskyi believes that it was this decade-lasting trend, which had started the current Rashism.
The professor reminds of the writer and leader of the National Bolshevik Party, Eduard Limonov, popular, especially among young people, among whose follower was another writer, Zakhar Prilepin, known for his calls for war with Ukraine. Also, another Rashist ideologist, Alexander Dugin, came from the Yuzhinsky Pereulok community, the members of which studied the works of philosophers and social thinkers dripping with fascism and Nazism.
Added to all this was occultism and the ancient messianic idea of Russia’s supremacy over the whole world, widespread in the elite circles of the Russian Federation and among its security forces.
‘We Can Repeat!’ “We will resurrect on the ruins of your cities and write your names in the Book of the Dead!!!” – such an inscription was left by the Rashists on the wall in the already mentioned torture chamber in Kozacha Lopan town, Kharkiv region. What a strange mixture of messianic faith, worshipping a bloodily deity and some native belief in a power of the enemy’s “scalp”…
In his article “On the Ruins of the Victory Temple”, historian Vitaly Nakhmanovych interprets rashism in the context of the newest “main military temple” of the Russian Federation – the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ, located in Moscow and ‘dedicated to the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War, as well as to the military exploits of the Russian people during all wars’. The construction of the cathedral was completed on May 9, 2020. It can accommodate up to 6,000 people at the same time.
The walls of this temple are decorated with images of battle scenes. An inscription taking place under a grandiose mosaic, depicting tens of thousands of Russian soldiers in various uniforms with angels hushed on their knees, reads: ‘Civil war in China, war in Korea, armed conflicts in Hungary, Laos, Algeria, Yemen, war in ‘Vietnam, armed conflicts in Egypt, Syria, Mozambique, conflict in Czechoslovakia, conflict on Damansky Island, wars in Cambodia and Bangladesh, war in Angola, armed conflicts in Ethiopia and Nicaragua, fulfillment of international duty in Afghanistan, armed conflicts in Lebanon, Chad, conflict in Karabakh, war in Yugoslavia, armed conflicts in Abkhazia, Tajikistan, Transnistria, the First and Second Chechen wars, the fight against international terrorism in Syria, the reunification of Crimea.’
Vitaly Nakhmanovych notes that this temple is dedicated not to Christ and His Resurrection, but rather to Mars, the deity of war. The historian calls rashist belief “a religion of a Golden Age” and emphasizes that it is not only anti-Western, but also distinctly anti-Christian by nature.
Historian is convinced that ‘In full accordance with old paganism, it demands a return to the ‘good old days’ instead of building a new, better world, including one based on God’s commandments,’ – The repetition of the “Great Victory” should lead to the restoration of what had followed it – transformation of Russia into a great power which defines the fate of the world.”
Father Aleksandr Men, who was physically “forced to silence” by the Rashists through murder in 1990, wrote: ‘the era of Stalinism, Maoism and other ‘-isms’ showed that a person, from whom God was taken away by force, still longs for a pseudo-god.’
Belief in a pseudo-god does not lead to life. It requires dragging other peoples, other countries, the whole world into the abyss.
It is important that the world understands this based on the experience of Ukraine, which today is holding back the newest horde at an extremely high cost. Perhaps this understanding will give mankind a new sense of the value of humanity and its powerful unity.