Moscow plans event to unite global efforts to fight fascism after launching offensive in part to ‘denazify’ Ukraine
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has announced plans to host the first International Anti-Fascist Congress, stepping up Moscow’s efforts to fight Nazism amid the Ukraine crisis.
Shoigu briefed reporters on the new event on Tuesday, saying it would be held in August, in conjunction with the “Army-22” international military technology forum near Moscow. The initiative aims to “to unite the efforts of the international community in the fight against the ideology of Nazism, neo-Nazism in all its forms of manifestation in the modern world”, he said.
Russia draws attention to its anti-fascist agenda at a time when it is waging conflict in Ukraine partly to “denazify” the former Soviet republic.
“Your fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers did not fight the Nazi occupiers and defend our common homeland to allow today’s neo-Nazis to take power in Ukraine,” he said. added. President Vladimir Putin said last week, announcing the military operation against Kiev.
While the United States and other NATO members have accused Russia of using false pretenses to justify a “useless war” in Ukraine, Moscow argued that Western leaders supported neo-Nazis in the country. An estimated 27 million Soviet citizens were killed during World War II, mostly by Nazi Germany. Modern Ukraine has adopted a number of World War II Nazi collaborators – including Stepan Bandera – as national heroes.
Delegations from 129 countries were reportedly invited to attend the military forum. It’s unclear how much international participation the Anti-Fascist Congress will attract, at a time when the United States and its allies are calling on countries around the world to punish and isolate Russia over the conflict in Ukraine.