Putin’s Neo-Nazi Helpers
Pavel Gubarev in not-so bygone neo-Nazi days
Russian TV has a new hero, “elected” by the people and persecuted for his beliefs by the new baddy regime in Kyiv. Pavel Gubarev is certainly pro-Russian and, as of March 6, in custody, but his neo-Nazi background, seemingly shared by some of his most vocal defenders, makes him a curious choice. The Kremlin, after all, claims to be fighting what it labels the fascist hordes, not supporting them.
A Donetsk small-time business man and head of the “People’s Militia”, Gubarev took part in a big demonstration on March 1 in Donetsk during which he was supposedly elected “people’s governor”. On that and subsequent days Gubarev led crowds in storming the Donetsk regional administration building, hanging a Russian flag. On March 5 pro-Russian activists are reported to have attacked EuroMaidan activists on Lenin Square. The police say that about 10 people from both sides were injured, with three needing to be hospitalized.
Gubarev, claiming to be the people’s governor, demanded that the regional authorities oppose the new Kyiv administration and that a referendum be held on whether the oblast should secede or otherwise change its status. He also directly called for Russian military intervention in the oblast.