Winter On Fire is a documentary tracing Ukraine’s Maidan Square Uprising in 2013-14. Produced by Netflix, it was the channel’s first Oscar nomination. A seriously tough piece of viewing, inducing expletive saturated outbursts from the safety of the couch.
The uprising was a mass response to the corrupt president of the country, Viktor Yanukovych, having reneged on a much-anticipated association agreement with the European Union. Instead the man described by Lev Golinkin during a podcast as a scumbag but a democratically elected scumbag opted to cozy up to Russia and accept a bailout from Russian financial institutions, some of which he was certain to fill his coffers with.
Yet, how the far right and its Nazis went AWOL from the narrative was not explained.
In fact were it not for the odd glimpse of Nazi insignia the viewer might be lulled into thinking that the former US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul was on the money in claiming this year that “there are no Nazis in Ukraine,". But that would be as truthful as claiming there are no paedophile priests.
The documentary has been described as a CIA backed propaganda piece. How true that is I do not know but there would seem no reason for the CIA not to have enthused over it. The friend who recommended it to me made the point that it was “well put together as a propaganda piece.”
the ultra-nationalist group Right Sector played a crucial role, providing muscle to protesters who were largely unequipped to do their own fighting. The Right Sector had been viewed with some distaste in cosmopolitan Kiev. Now its members found themselves tolerated, even respected, by other protesters in the square.
Yet for some reason the guard dog did not bark to warn the viewer of that, leaving us unprepared for the horrifying vista that:
far from "denazifying" Ukraine, the Russian invasion is likely to further empower Ukrainian and international neo-Nazis, as it attracts fighters from around the world and provides them with weapons, military training and the combat experience that many of them are hungry for.