Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 21.05.2018
In what should become a diplomatic incident, Russia organized a hybrid war provocation in Ottawa on May 9 that resulted in an assault on a Canadian citizen. Staff of the Embassy of the Russian Federation to Canada organized a propaganda event to praise the Soviet Union regime of state terror, the dictator Stalin, and the fictitious “Immortal Battalion.” With Russian embassy staffers in attendance and directing events, a demonstration at the Canadian War Museum escalated to violence inside one of the exhibit halls when four men assaulted a lone counter-demonstrator who was silently holding a Ukrainian flag over his head.
Russian embassy staffers brought 300 demonstrators to Ottawa, Canada’s capital, for the demonstration. The Russian community in Ottawa is small, and the pro-Putin portion of that is miniscule. A “Victory Day” demonstration in Ottawa will typically get 15 to 20 people to attend, to wave hammer-and-sickle Soviet Union flags and hold portraits of Stalin. To get a large demonstration of 300, the Russian embassy had to have recruited – and almost certainly paid – demonstrators to come from Montreal and Toronto.
Russia pays demonstrators to provoke violence as a regular part of its “hybrid war” against Ukraine. In Ukraine, these rent-a-mobs are known as “titushky.” Titushky were used extensively by Putin’s puppet Yanukovych against the Ukrainian people during the Revolution of Dignity of late 2013/early 2014. Putin used titushky extensively during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine which began on 20 February 2014: trained rent-a-mobs instigated violence at the seizure of the regional parliament in Simferopol, at the seizure of the Donetsk regional administration headquarters, and at the seizure of the Security Services of Ukraine building in Luhansk. It is telling that the Russian embassy-led titushky in Ottawa went inside the Canadian War Museum, overwhelming it, and while inside a federal building instigated violence.
The Canadian War Museum and the Government of Canada were hopelessly naive about the Russian embassy-led titushky attack, which they should have seen coming. Is it possible that museum and government officials stupidly thought that “Victory Day” for Putin’s Russia means the same as it does for Canadians: commemorating Victory in Europe Day from the Second World War? Surely a museum that studies and presents war history would have known that the Russian revival of the Stalin-era “Immortal Battalion” propaganda lie is now being used to portray Ukrainians defending their country from Russian invasion as “Nazis” and Canadians who support sanctions against Russia (for invading Ukraine) as succumbing to “Russophobia.” Incredible as it may seem, the Canadian War Museum approved the demonstration by the Russians (outside the museum) and then only deployed one security guard against 300 Putin goons. No police were in attendance, even though a May Day provocation by the Russians in Montreal eight days earlier had resulted in titushky attacking the police and tear gas being used against them.
The Canadian War Museum did not even call the police when Russian embassy-led titushky violence broke out inside one of its exhibition halls. The national and local press in Canada embargoed this news story for 10 days, until the Toronto Sun published an 'opinion' article by human rights activist Marcus Kolga. Now Canadians have a small taste of what it must have been like for Ukrainians in 2014, when Putin goons took over state buildings while government officials stood by and did nothing to stop it.
The person who was assaulted is pressing charges. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Ottawa Police Service will be investigating and gathering evidence. The Canadian War Museum took notice of the incident with the police five days after it happened.
A federal building in Canada has been overwhelmed by Moscow-directed organized mob violence. A Canadian citizen was knocked down, roughed up, and bodily thrown out of a national museum that honours the sacrifice of Canadians in war. This is Russian “titushky” rent-a-mob violence, and it is a faint echo of what happened in state buildings in Simferopol and Donetsk and Luhansk in Ukraine. It is also an act of Putin at war that comes 66 days after Russia attacked with a nerve agent in Salisbury, United Kingdom.
The Soviet Union was criminal in nature, and was a regime of state terror which occupied Ukraine from 1920 to 1991. Ukrainian people suffered appalling losses to the violence of Soviet Union occupation regime, particularly in the Holodomor famine-genocide of 1932-33. The Russia of today brought a semblance of Stalinist violence to Ottawa, Canada – ironically, at a place in the city that is only a few hundred metres from a park where a Memorial to the Victims of Communism is being constructed.
Russia is invading Ukraine. Russia is at war with the West. On May 9, Russia introduced “titushky” violence to Ottawa, Canada. Staffers at the Russian embassy organized a rent-a-mob that was primed for aggression, and let it loose inside a museum against peaceful Canadians. Canada should expel every Russian diplomat involved as persona non grata. If the Government of Canada fails to act against Russian titushky violence in Canada’s capital then it will be abandoning its duty to maintain the national defence. Russia already “sanctions” Canada’s Foreign Minister, Chrystia Freeland, and the Government of Canada does nothing about it. If Canada does nothing about Russian embassy-led mob violence in the heart of the nation’s capital, Ottawa, then Putin will have scored another victory in Russia’s war against the West.