A Ukrainian television newscaster went on a fascist rant on national television on March 12, calling for the massacre of Russian children and the elimination of Russia from the face of the earth.
Channel 24 anchor Fahruddin Sharafmal made the statement following a report on the death of his friend, a Ukrainian Armed Forces member, who was killed fighting Russian forces over the weekend. He used the occasion to broadcast a photo of the Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann over his right shoulder and appeal for the murder of millions of Ukrainian citizens who are also Russians.
“I know that as a journalist, I have to be objective. I have to be balanced, in order to report information with a cold heart. But to tell you the truth, it’s very hard to keep going,” said Sharafmal.
“Especially at a time like this, since in Russia they call us Nazis, fascists and so on. I’ll allow myself to quote Adolf Eichmann, who said that in order to destroy a nation you must first of all destroy its children. Because by killing their parents the children will grow up and take revenge. By killing children they will never grow up and the nation will disappear. The Ukrainian Armed Forces cannot destroy Russian children because it is forbidden by the rules of war and it is also forbidden by various conventions including the Geneva Conventions.
“But I am not from the Armed Forces of Ukraine. And when I get the chance to settle things with the Russians I will be obliged to do it. Since you call me a Nazi, I’ll adhere to the doctrine of Adolf Eichmann and will do everything in my power to ensure that your children never live on this earth. So that you can feel what it’s like when innocent civilians die. So that you can feel all the pain and suffering when you say, ‘We didn’t start the war. It was all Putin. We didn't want this war.’ We didn't want it either.
“But you have to understand it’s about the victory of the Ukrainian people. It’s not about peace. We need victory. And if we have to slaughter all your families to do it, I’ll be the first to do it. Glory to the nation! And let’s hope there will [not] be such a nation as Russia and the Russians on this earth again. Because they are just scum that pollute this land. If Ukrainians have the opportunity, which they are basically doing right now, to destroy, to slaughter, to kill, to strangle the Muscovites, I hope everyone will do their part and whack at least one Muscovite.”
This is nothing short of an appeal for ethnic cleansing.
Channel 24 is a Kiev-based station, but is owned by TRX-Lux Media. In 2019 its website was ranked 13th out of Ukraine’s 25 top most-visited news outlets. The company is run by Katerina Kit-Sadova, the wife of the mayor of the western Ukrainian city of L'viv, home to 720,000 people. Tens of thousands of its residents identify as Russian and/or use Russian as their primary language.
The first half of Sharafmal's rant remains on the station's YouTube channel, but now cuts off before Adolf Eichmann is mentioned. The major Western media has no coverage of the incident, which became more widely known because it was reported by the Russian state news service Sputnik and picked up on Twitter.
A Nazi SS Officer, Eichmann played a major role in managing the logistics of the Holocaust and was later found guilty of war crimes and executed in 1962. Eichmann is today cited in the positive only by neo-Nazis.
Sharafmal issued an apology the next day, but this has little weight. One does not call for genocide as a slip of the tongue or in a fit of rage over a deceased friend.
His ravings are an expression of the political outlook that has gripped a section of the Ukrainian ruling class. The 2014 United States-backed coup that removed pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych was carried out with the help of far-right forces, such as the Svoboda political party and the paramilitary gang Right Sector.
These layers have grown like weeds in Ukraine ever since and have been incorporated into Ukraine’s military and police apparatus. They form the core of forces like the Azov Battalion, whose members wear neo-Nazi emblems on their uniforms and proudly display banners with the image of Ukrainian fascist and mass murderer Stepan Bandera at their marches.
The Ukrainian far right is now being armed to the teeth and trained, with billions of dollars of military aid from the US and NATO flooding into the country. The Biden administration announced on Tuesday that it will send the country another $1 billion.
Since the beginning of Russia’s invasion, the Armed Forces of Ukraine and various far-right and neo-Nazi elements have taken delight in posting photos of dead Russian soldiers, often accompanied by dehumanizing jokes and exhortations to commit war crimes.
In response to the shelling of cities by Russia's armed forces, the Facebook account of the Commander of Ukraine’s special forces announced it would no longer take Russian artillerymen prisoner, but kill them on the spot. The post also threatened that surrendering to Ukraine’s special forces would be worse than death and that captured Russian artillerymen would be “cut up like pigs.”
These posts are an announcement of the intent to commit war crimes, fully aligned with the spirit and content of Sharafmal’s appeal.