Following the bloody 2014 Euromaidan coup, neo-Nazism became a staple of Ukraine’s political system and armed forces, with units such as Azov brandishing Nazi insignia at will and fascist war criminals and Nazi collaborators celebrated as national heroes.
After ten years with the left-wing newspaper Dagens ETC, prolific Swedish journalist Kajsa “Ekis” Ekman has now been fired after writing an article about Nazis in Ukraine.
In an opinion piece titled “Why are Kyiv Independent’s Nazi connections accepted?”, Ekman accused the Ukrainian newspaper of having Nazi connections. She also wrote that the publication was started with the help of money from the Canadian government, the European Endowment for Democracy, and that employees were sponsored with aid money from the US, as well as received grants from Swedish media organisations.
Furthermore, she took offence to the fact that “no one seems to react to Kyiv Independent’s editorial office having Nazi connections”, citing a friendship between the newspaper’s defence reporter Illia Ponomarenko and the former artillery chief of the nationalist Azov battalion, which has avowed Nazis in its midst and heraldic insignia inspired by Nazi Germany.
The Ukrainian newspaper Kyiv Independent was only founded in late December, but has millions of followers on social media and is frequently quoted by supportive Western media.
A large number of fellow left-wing journalists and opinion makers attacked Ekman, accusing her of spreading “Russian lies and propaganda”. Among others, Expressen’s Hynek Pallas accused Ekman of launching “vile attacks on Ukrainian journalists”.
The left-wing magazine Expo, which previously lambasted the spread of right-wing extremism in Ukraine, earlier concluded that Ukrainian Nazism should be toned down amid the ongoing conflict, “so as not to play into the Russian lie factory”.
Subsequently, Andreas Gustavsson, editor-in-chief of Dagens ETC, announced that Kajsa Ekman would no longer be allowed to write in the tax-financed newspaper. Gustavsson referred to it having emerged that Ekman wrote on Instagram that the Russian media channel RT had “very high-quality journalism”.
Ukrainian nationalism emerged long before the colour revolution of 2014 known as Euromaidan. After the bloody coup, though, neo-Nazism became a part of the country’s political system and armed forces, with units such as Azov brandishing Nazi insignia at will. Furthermore, radicals are free to organise marches and torchlight processions in honour of fascist war criminals and Nazi collaborators.