Since there has been a lot of talk about neo-Nazis and fascists in Ukraine, it’s worth remembering that the Nazis killed tens of millions of Ukrainians, Belorussians, Poles and other Slavs during the Second World War.
The Nazis regarded Ukrainians and other Slavs as sub-human, and that their long-range plan was to open up Ukraine as “living room” for the German population by killing or starving the majority of Ukrainians and reducing the rest to slaves and serfs.
Ukrainians suffered as much or more than Russians did from the Nazis, because the German army occupied all of Ukraine but only a tiny portion of Russia proper. Ukrainians in the Red Army against the Nazis as valiantly as any of Soviet peoples.
I briefly had a Ukrainian roommate, actually a naturalized Canadian citizen, when I was in college in the 1950s. Lubaslaw was a teenager when the Nazis consquered Ukraine. He ran away to join the partisan resistance fighters, and this enabled him to survive. He told me of watching from a hiding place as German soldiers lined up all the members of his high school and shot them dead in reprisal.
He also told me that many Ukrainians initially welcomed the German invasion. That is because during the 1930s, the Stalin regime also killed and starved millions of Ukrainians. Stalin ordered targeted killings and deportations to force labor camps of prosperous farmers (kulaks) and confiscated Ukrainian harvests and let millions of Ukrainians die in order to force them into collective farms. The government-controlled collective farms were an ineffective system for farming, but a highly effective system for keeping control of the population.
Older Ukrainians remembered the German occupation during World War One as comparatively benign, and were understandably willing to welcome the Germans back. They soon learned they had gone from the devil they knew to the devil they didn’t know.
I find it hard to believe that, in the light of this history, that there is a substantial neo-Nazi following in Ukraine. I have no direct knowledge, and I could be wrong, but I find it hard to believe. Anybody who identifies with the Nazis is ignorant of the historical record and blinded by hate, but this would be especially true of Ukrainians and for that matter Russians.