Ukraine recently announced and showed off their new strip for Euro 2020. The shirts include a slogan which translates as “Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the heroes!”. The Guardian reported:
Both phrases have become widely used in Ukraine in the military and among supporters of the 2014 revolution that ousted Viktor Yanukovych, who now lives in Russia…The Russian foreign ministry spokesperson, Maria Zakharova, said on social media that the slogans on the shirts were nationalistic and that the slogan “Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the heroes!” echoed a German Nazi rallying cry.
What Andrew Roth’s journalism did not extend to is the fact that these slogans are linked to the far-right in Ukraine. They were used specifically by far-right volunteer battalions in the war on Donbas. They are historically associated with Ukrainian nationalism during WW2 – and at this time (for a period – not the whole war) Ukrainian nationalists fought with the Nazis against the then USSR. Quite clearly this was a deliberate provocation.
Roth skirted round all this under the guise of neutral journalism. He mentioned that the Russian Foreign Ministry had said that the slogan was nationalistic but he didn’t say that this was in fact true. But it is true. And so, once again, we see that a liberal journalist – who so often is apparently outraged about e.g. the treatment of Navalny – is quite happy for Russians (except their liberal friends) to suffer abuse and outrages. In this case the journalist seems to have been quite happy to have blatant reminders of Nazism thrust in the faces of Russians – who lost 22 million people as a result of the Nazis; half of them civilians.
UEFA – the governing body for the tournament was able to look at history and today banned the provocation.