Swiss Military Expert Talks to EIR on Reality of the Neo-Nazi Danger in Ukraine
Ralph Bosshard, a retired Swiss colonel, has experienced the neo-Nazi phenomenon firsthand in Ukraine. In 2014, Lt. Col. Bosshard served as a planning officer in the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine and, from 2014 to 2017, as a special military adviser to Switzerland’s permanent representative to the OSCE and the Swiss ambassador to Kiev. He spoke of his observations in an exclusive interview last week to be published in the upcoming issue of EIR.
Lt. Col. Bosshard points out out that the Russian public firmly believes that western economic and political sanctions against Russia are “aimed at eliminating the country’s current political leadership, replacing it with a pro-Western one and ultimately splitting the country up”. The Russian nuclear doctrine, he explained, “states that nuclear weapons may only be used if Russia’s existence is threatened. Whether the Russian government judges externally initiated unrest as an external attack is currently unclear, but I would not try to find it out.”
While condemning the Russian invasion, Lt. Col. Bosshard pointed to the fact that Kiev had declared the Minsk Agreements to be null and void in an open breach of international law, and may have been preparing a new attack on the Donbass. He also stressed that for the Kremlin, Ukraine’s joining NATO is unacceptable, and it may have come to the conclusion last autumn that it could no longer be prevented and therefore decided to intervene.
Lt. Col. Bosshard noted further that “there is a supposedly patriotic — I would rather say nationalist — current in Ukrainian society that has trouble distinguishing itself from the ideology of National Socialism. The fact that old and young Nazis in Ukraine –and unfortunately in some Western countries — can wallow undisturbed in their memories, is interpreted in Russia to mean that Russia is once again in a fight for survival against National Socialism.”
Citing personal experience, the retired Colonel added: “On my numerous trips to Ukraine and especially to the crisis region of eastern Ukraine, I was confronted with fighters who in no way concealed their neo-Nazi convictions. It did not come as a surprise that these people were the first ones to participate in a counter-insurgency operation against the Russian-speaking inhabitants of the East. In Russia, people fear that these extremists, thanks to their armament and internal organization, could continue to determine Ukrainian politics in the future and make the fight against everything Russian a permanent state of affairs.”