Why it’s true: Ukrainian Nationalism = Ukrainian Nazism

How a schismatic population, a misguided yearning for nationhood, and manipulation by Great Powers led to a modern day revival of Nazism in its most odious forms.

A unit of the Azov Battalion posing with all their favourite regalia.

Prior to the current conflict, the “Nazi problem” in Ukraine was recognised and well documented by global mainstream media ranging from The New York Times and NBC News to Reuters and The Nation. Even the conservative Atlantic Council, NATO’s think tank, knew there was a problem in 2018.

Geography as Destiny

In order to understand Ukrainian Nationalism as well as Ukrainian Nazism, it is important to know Ukrainian geography.

Firstly, we must realise what “The Ukraine” is. When I was younger, we always referred to the country we now call Ukraine as “The Ukraine.” that is because the word “Ukraine” comes from the Slavic word “Ukraina” — which means “borderlands” (the word is the same in both Russian and Polish). So it was never really its own country. Both the Russians and the Poles called it “the borderlands”.

In other words, the place now called Ukraine was always regarded as a sort of generalised geographic area, an outlying territory that formed the buffer between Russia and other states.

Indeed, much of what we now call Ukraine was “owned” by Poland, Austria and Hungary (in the West) and by Russia (in the East). It truly was a “borderland” that separated Russia from Western Europe.

The problem was that the people living in the Western part of Ukraine, centred around the main city of Lviv, felt themselves to be more western European. They were Catholics, and they were often under the rule of Western powers like the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Kingdom of Poland. The Eastern Ukrainians were ethnically Russian, believing in the Russian Orthodox Church, and always felt a great affinity to the Russian Empire. In fact, Russians always referred to The Ukraine was “Mala Rus” — which means literally “Little Russia”.

The primary cultural and geographic entity in Western Ukraine is a region known as Galicia.

Galicia’s position in Europe

German affinity

As you can see in the map above, the city of Lviv was also known by its German name, Lemberg. In fact, Lemberg was the official capital of Austrian Galicia from 1772 until 1919 and the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

During WWI, the Austrian Catholic Galicians in Lemberg were recruited by the Austro Hungarian Empire to persecute ethnic Russians in the Ukrainian territory. In fact, the very first “concentration camp” ever built in Europe was erected by the Austrians at Talerhof and was used to imprison ethnic Orthodox Russians rounded up by the Catholic Galicians who had been conscripted by the Austrians to do this “ethnic cleansing”.

“The Austro-Hungarian authorities imprisoned leaders of the Russophile movement … and those who recognized the Russian language as the literary standard form of their own Slavic language varieties and had sympathy for the Russian Empire. Thus, the captives were forced to abandon their identity as Russians, or sympathies for Russia, and identify as Ukrainian. Captives who identified themselves as Ukrainians were freed from the camp.”

The “Germanisation” of the Western Ukrainians is something that Russia has long recognised. The Russians fighting in Ukraine know whom they are battling.

The Origins of Ukrainian Nationalism

As described above, the region of Galicia is ethnically diverse. Following the end of WWI and the collapse of the Austrian Empire, Ukrainian Nationalists planned to turn Galicia into a Ukrainian state. But the overall Galician population was 47% Polish, 42% Ukrainian and 11% Jewish. However, in Eastern Galicia, Ukrainians comprised 62% of the population, along with 25% Poles and 12% Jews. The rest of Ukraine became a Soviet republic within the USSR with 26 Million Ukrainians (or Russians) living there.

The origins of Nazism in Ukraine stem from the same origins of Ukrainian Nationalism. Both movements now center on one man, Stepan Bandera.

Bandera was a right wing radical born in Austrian Galicia, in Lemberg, in 1909. His father was a Catholic priest. He joined the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists OUN at an early age (20) and quickly became known as a violent radical who took charge of the OUN in 1931.

Bandera eventually fomented a split in the OUN. The “old guard” of the OUN, who favoured the fascism of Mussolini, became the OUM-N, while Bandera’s faction, that followed Hiter’s Nazi philosophy, became OUN-B.

The OUN-B under Bandera

Under the militant leadership of Stepan Bandera in World War II, the ultra-nationalists organised the Ukrainian Waffen SS Galician, Nichtengall Battalion, and Roland Battalion that collaborated with the Nazis and were responsible for the genocide of over 500,000 people.

Following the war, however, Ukrainian Nazis were the only group to escape trial at Nuremberg for crimes against humanity. Moreover, neither the Banderites, the Ukrainian Waffen SS, nor any other Ukrainian collaborators have ever apologised for their participation in genocide.

In the landmark work on the subject , Genocide Committed by Ukrainian Nationalists on the Polish Population During World War II, Ryszard Szawlowski characterizes it this way:

“…the Germans have long admitted to their crimes, and have apologized for them publicly …. [The] president of the Federal Republic of Germany, Roman Herzog, [said] in his speech in Warsaw on August 1, 1994 … ‘I bow before the fighters of the Warsaw Uprising, and before all the Polish war victims. I beg forgiveness for what the Germans did.’ Russian president Boris Yeltsin, when he kissed monsignor Zdzislaw Peszkowski on the hand, whispered the words ‘I apologize’ ….

Ukrainian genocide committed against the Poles during World War II surpassed German and Soviet genocide …. [It] was marked by the utmost ruthlessness and barbarity, and … up until the present day, it has been denied or, at best, presented with reminders that all is “relative’ or other such evasions.”

Why Nazism “lives on” in Ukraine

FACT: There are unrepentant Nazis in Ukraine who see their history as an unbroken and unified chain of Nazi ideology, rooted in the firm belief that Russians must be wiped out.

Russia started raising the alarm about Nazis in Ukraine years ago. Russia fought against Nazis in WWII when they first formed the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. They knew that the Western Ukrainians (from Galicia) collaborated with the Nazis.

The Russians also knew that these Nazis felt it was their historical and sacred duty to kill Russians and other “subhuman” Slavs.

When the Soviets marched into the Ukraine, the Banderite nationalists fled abroad — and in most cases, to Canada. Even today, there are monuments and statues to Stepan Bandera and the UPA all over Canada, and Canada’s Foreign Minister, Chrystia Freeland, has been criticised for her connections to the Neo-Nazi Bandera organisations in Canada.

Chrystia Freeland holding a Ukrainian NeoNazi banner at a rally.

Such Nazi activists, aka Banderites, in the Ukrainian Ultra Nationalist movement are now in control of the government in Ukraine. This has happened with the close cooperation and help of the USA, who allied with the far right elements in Ukrainian society to overthrow the democratically elected but “neutral” government in Kiev in 2014.

This should come as no surprise, however. Those familiar with how the U.S. operates in its “regime change” operations will remember that The U.S. allied itself with the Mujahideen and Osama Bin Laden in the 1980’s to overthrow the Russian backed government in Afghanistan. Observers will also note that the USA allied with Al Qaeda and ISIS to try to overthrow the Assad regime in Syria. While that attempt was ultimately unsuccessful, the USA was successful in employing Nazi thugs and militia groups to provide the muscle that fuelled the Maidan Coup in 2014.

Once the elected government was gone, and President Yanukovych had fled the country, the U.S. State Department installed a pro-Western, pro-US, pro-NATO, pro-EU government that was hand picked by the US State Department.

The famous call between Nuland and US Ambassador to Ukraine Jeffrey Pyatt has Nuland dictating who would be in the new government. The photo below shows the persons involved:

Left: Oleh Tyahnybok, leader of the neo-Nazi Svoboda Party and renowned anti-semite who was actually barred from entering the USA in 2013 because of his party’s Nazism.

Center top: Vitali Klitschko, former boxer whose UDAR party allied with the Svoboda Nazis to oppose Victor Yanukovych.

Center bottom: Victoria Nuland, who famously handed out food to the Maidan protesters wanting to overthrow the elected government of Ukraine

Right: Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the interim Prime Minister that Nuland put in office, was a Pro-Nazi revisionist, racist and ardent Russian hater who promised his government would “cleanse sub-humans” from Eastern Ukraine. They even published his Nazi plan for ethnic cleansing on the Ukrainian US Embassy web site (the text has since been redacted to substitute “inhumans” for “subhumans”, but the point is unmistakable).

So — there you have it. Victoria Nuland, a fanatical Neocon who was also a top aide to the warmonger Dick Cheney, worked with Nazis, ultranationalists and far-right political figures to overthrow the duly elected government of Victor Yanukovych because Yanukovych had rejected the idea of joining NATO and was leading his government along a course of neutrality regarding Russia.

The West’s whitewashing of Ukro-Nazis

In recent months there has been a concerted effort to rehabilitate Ukrainian Nazi groups. In fact, the Azov Battalion in 2022 was honoured in the US Congress, where they were celebrated and met individually with up to 50 Senators and Representatives.

BUT — in 2018, the Democrats in Congress passed an Amendment to the Defense Authorisation Bill that prohibited the sale of U.S. weapons and supplies to something called the “Azov Battalion.” The reason given was that they were a Neo Nazi militia and guilty of all sorts of atrocities.

Here is the actual wording from the Bill:

None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to provide arms, training, or other assistance to the Azov Battalion.

From the official Congressional record, here is Rep. John Conyers, who introduced the Amendment, who said this:

This amendment that I propose this evening limits arms, training, and other assistance to the neo-Nazi Ukrainian militia, the Azov Battalion.

Foreign Policy magazine has characterized the 1,000-man Azov Battalion as “openly neo-Nazi’’ and “fascist.’’ Numerous other news organizations, including The New York Times, The Guardian, and the Associated Press have corroborated the dominance of White supremacist and anti-Semitic views within the group; yet Ukraine’s Interior Minister recently announced the Azov Battalion will be among the units to receive training and arms from Western allies, including the United States.

Azov’s founder, Andriy Biletsky, organized the neo-Nazi group the Social-National Assembly in 2008. Azov men use neo-Nazi symbolism on their banner.

So — — what changed?

The answer is simple: in order to achieve its geopolitical goals, the USA is once again siding with the most despicable, criminal groups. Just as with ISIS and Al Qaeda in Syria.

And the US is pressuring others to join them in “celebrating” the Azov Battalion. Indeed, even the USA’s Anti Defamation League, America’s largest Jewish rights organisation, has now declared that the Azovs are “no longer far right”.

Israel itself has even come around to loving the Azovs. Whereas Israeli press had decried the Nazi problem in Ukraine for yours but in December 2022 the Jewish state welcomed a delegation from the Azov Battalion, who declared, in an insane act of bravado, “Mariupol is our Masada”.

We should not accept this whitewashing. The Nazi leopards in Ukraine will not change their spots. I suppose we will have to wait until all the horror stories about Nazi atrocities come out about the Ukraine conflict before people accept the truth.

In the meantime, do not ever forget this “Mission Statement” from Andriy Biletsky, Founder and Leader of the Azov Battalion, speaking in 2010, who became a member of the Ukrainian Parliament in 2018:

“Our Mission is to Lead the White Races of the World in a Final Crusade…Against Semite-led Untermenschen [subhumans]” …

If the Azovs have a new Mission Statement, I have not seen it. I think the above pretty well describes how they see themselves – and what they foresee for Ukraine.

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About “The” Ukraine

There was a reason why we used the definite article.

When I was younger, we always referred to the country we now call Ukraine as “The Ukraine.” that is because the word “Ukraine” comes from the Slavic word “Ukraina” — which means “borderlands” (the word is the same in both Russian and Polish). So it was never really its own country.

Both the Russians and the Poles called it “the borderlands”.

Italian map of “European Tartaria” (1684). Dnieper Ukraine is marked as “Vkraine or the land of Zaporozhian Cossacks” (Vkraina o Paese de Cosacchi di Zaporowa). In the east there is “Vkraine or the land of Don Cossacks, who are subject to Muscovy” (Vkraina overo Paese de Cosacchi Tanaiti Soggetti al Moscovita).

In other words, the place now called Ukraine was always regarded as an outlying territory that formed the buffer between Russia and other states.

Indeed, much of what we now call Ukraine was “owned” by Poland, Austria and Hungary (in the West) and by Russia (in the East). It truly was a “borderland” that separated Russia from Western Europe.

In fact, another name for this place was “Mala Rus” — which means literally “Little Russia”.

Under the Soviet Union, The Ukraine was made into a Soviet Socialist Republic as part of the USSR. Sort of like how the New Mexico Territory became a U.S. State.

Then, the Soviet Union collapsed, and in 1991 — for the FIRST TIME IN HISTORY — the world witnessed the emergence of an independent “Ukraine”. But for Moscow, that place, and those people, were still “Little Russia.”

So you can see why Ukraine is a giant “red line” for Russia, and how no Russian President could ever let Ukraine become part of a hostile military alliance like NATO.

To put it another way:

Imagine New Mexico was somehow granted independence, and the government of the new nation of New Mexico passed laws making the use of English illegal, and suppressing all “anglo” culture, and then started killing the residents there who were not Spanish speakers. Suppose they decided to enter into a mutual defense pact with Russia, and Russia sent all sorts of weapons, military advisors, and other resources to New Mexico. Well, you might well think that the USA would do something to stop that. Such is the situation in Ukraine.

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How Vladimir Putin Saved the World

His Special Military Operation may have prevented World War III

The West is by now very used to condemning Russia for its “unprovoked” invasion of Ukraine. Every Western media outlet, every politician, every pundit and poster is now in the habit of automatically inserting the word “unprovoked” into every mention of the Ukrainian conflict.

Vladimir PutinBut that narrative is simply not true, and any person with even a cursory knowledge of the history of NATO and Russia over the past 30 years knows that we have witnessed three decades of uninterrupted, incessant provocation of Russia by the West.

But let’s be real — “provocation” in this case is a euphemism. What we are really talking about are threats to Russia and its sovereignty, if not its very survival.

Those threats have been ratcheted up radically since 2014, to the point where Russia was seeing an existential threat developing in the way that NATO and the USA were turning Ukraine into a NATO partner.

And yet, Western leaders refused to recognise the looming threat of war. They refused to take Putin seriously. They refused to LISTEN. But those who knew and understood the situation, from the likes of Henry Kissinger and George F. Kennan, knew that the actions of the U.S. and its allies were leading the world towards disaster.

As Thomas Hodgson writes in Foreign Affairs Review:

“Not one inch eastward” was the assurance given by US Secretary of State James Baker to Mikhail Gorbachev on February 9th, 1990. Seven years onward, former ambassador to the Soviet Union and architect of many American Cold War policies, George Kennan declared NATO’s expansion to be “the most fateful error of American foreign policy in the entire post-Cold War era.” Since this proclamation, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation has grown to encompass twelve former socialist republics.

Avoiding disaster through pre-emptive action

Putin’s Special Military Operation in Ukraine, however, avoided such a larger and much more dangerous general conflict with the West.

Had Putin not invaded when he did, then the Ukrainians would have continued to build their armed forces, just as they had been doing furiously over the previous 8 years since the 2014 Maidan Coup installed a pro-NATO, pro-Western government in Kiev.

Indeed, we now know from the confessions of Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande and Petro Poroshenko that the Minsk Accords, which they negotiated with Putin in 2014 and 2015, were specifically designed to “buy time” and allow the Ukraine to train more soldiers, import more weapons and generally prepare for a war with Russia.

Eventually, Ukraine would have become strong enough to invade and try to recapture not just the Donbas region, which was occupied by pro-Russian Ukrainian “rebels”, but also the region of Crimea, which became part of Russia in 2014.

That would have led immediately to an all-out war with Russia, one which would have quickly involved NATO.

Here’s why:

Crimea is critically important to Russia for many reasons. First, Crimea is host to Russia’s largest naval base, the Home of the Black Sea Fleet at Sevastopol. There is no way that Russia would have risked having that critically important base fall into NATO hands. And that would have been the case. Indeed, Ukraine is already universally acknowledged — by Russia, by the Ukraine, and even by NATO itself — to be a de facto NATO member. It has NATO training camps; its armed forces are trained to NATO standards of interoperability; the weapons it uses are either directly from NATO members and are up to NATO specifications. Ukraine is even holding joint training exercises and drills with the U.S. and NATO.

What is an SMO? Words have meaning

We must remember that Russia did not call their move into Ukraine an invasion, nor do they call it a war. They call it a Special Military Operation (SMO), which carries with it certain limitations and certain prohibitions designed to prevent the conflict from becoming a larger war. In fact, Putin listed three main objectives of the SMO, and once these are achieved, the SMO will be shut down (supposedly) without expanding to a larger conflict.

Remember also that Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, and the population in Crimea voted overwhelmingly to be part of Russia. Thus, Russia and Putin consider Crimea to be as much part of Russia as is Moscow or St. Petersburg.

Had Ukraine attacked Crimea, that would have been seen by the Kremlin as a direct attack against Russia, on Russian territory, and it would have prompted a full-scale response from Moscow. Putin would not have had a choice: his general staff as well as the people’s representatives in the Duma would have demanded an immediate and overwhelming military response.

It would have been all-out war. And for Russia, that would have meant war not just against Ukraine, but against the forces that were arming, training, supplying and aiding Ukraine — NATO.

Such a conflict would have quickly escalated and quite possibly would have led to a World War Three.

I know this sounds crazy, but …

By launching his SMO at a time when he could rush to occupy the Donbas and keep Crimea off the table, Vladimir Putin may have saved the world.

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Think we need new laws against “domestic terrorists”-? Be careful what you wish for.

A bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives called H.R. 350, also known as the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act (DTPA) of 2021.  Leftists and progressives need to hold the line on this discussion of “domestic terrorism.” We need to OPPOSE H.R. 350.

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Bernie Sanders and the Irony of Independence (or Why you should not listen to Bernie now)

There is an argument raging across Bernieworld between those who want to vote for Biden and those who want to vote third party. Both sides claim to have Bernie’s blessing on their decision – and both sides have reason to.

NOTE: This article is just a reality check for my fellow Berners and it is not meant to be a critique of Senator Sanders himself.

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Should Frustrated Progressives Look to the Republican Party?

Progressives have tried over and over again to take over the Democratic Party and return it to the worker-oriented engine for economic justice that it was under FDR.

They have failed.

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Why Trump is NOT “The Most Dangerous President”

Choose your poison?

He is a racist, a sexist, a misogynist and a xenophobe. He has sexually harassed and assaulted women. He is corrupt and has used his position in Government for financial gain. And on top of it all, he is demented and seems to be suffering from cognitive decline.

Yes, you may say, Joe Biden is not the perfect candidate, but Donald Trump is all of those things AND MORE.

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What Kind of Socialism Will We Have?

We are all socialists now

There have been several articles recently all expressing the sentiment, in one form or another, that with the COVID crisis, “we are all socialists now.” Suddenly Reagan’s quip about the government not being the solution to the problem but rather being the problem itself, seems remarkably naive and out of place. Everyone from bank moguls to CEOs to construction laborers to myriad small business owners are rushing to the bosom of the Government seeking life-saving assistance in the face of an unprecedented disaster. Continue reading

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Anti-Bernie Smear #28: “Bernie Will Hurt Democrats Running Down Ballot”

Now that Bernie Sanders is the presumptive nominee, and clearly the people’s choice to head the Democratic ticket in November, the Party Elites and their minions in the media are flailing about in an attempt to find some reason to oppose his nomination and overturn the will of the voters.

The narrative they are pushing, however, is a cynical reversal of their prior positions. It is also precisely wrong, and we have the receipts.

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Anti-Bernie Smear #25: “Bernie wants to let prisoners vote – even the Boston Bomber!”

People who oppose letting prisoners vote often do not have the necessary facts in order to make a rational decision.


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Anti-Bernie Smear #26: “Bernie is like Trump and/or his supporters are just like Trump’s”

Saying that “Bernie is just a Trump of the Left” is an intellectually lazy way to criticize a candidate. When you cannot fault him on policy or personal grounds, you go after his base of support. Such an attack is as despicable as it is stupid.



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Anti-Bernie Smear #27: “Bernie is a Communist, He Honeymooned in the USSR!”

Bernie is often attacked for having taken a trip to the USSR in the late 1980’s. This attack is as ancient and outdated as it is erroneous.

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Forget “Bernie Or Bust” – When it Comes to Climate Change, it’s “Bernie Or BURN”

People accuse Sanders supporters of being “fanatics” who push “purity tests” and adopt a “holier-than-thou” attitude towards other candidates and their supporters. They are grossly underestimating us.  We Berners are on a mission to literally save the world, and in this fight Bernie is not just the best candidate, he is the ONLY candidate.

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Anti-Bernie Smear #24: “Bernie is too far Left; he can’t win the general election – he will be another McGovern”

People who claim that Bernie is “too far Left” are mired in a false narrative that the Democratic Party itself has been promoting for decades in order to suppress and thwart Progressives.

2020 is nothing like 1972 EXCEPT in the way that the Democratic Party elite is trying to sabotage their strongest candidate.

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Anti-Bernie Smear #23: “Bernie has never been vetted, he’s been given a pass …etc.”

This smear is another one that I would have thought would disappear given all the blatant facts in evidence to the contrary. But no – there are still some people out there claiming that Bernie is popular only because no one has really challenged him, no one has investigated him, no one has really attacked him.

UPDATED: February 3, 2020


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Anti-Bernie Smear #17: “Bernie is not a Democrat!”

Centrist Democrats love to pillory Bernie for not being on their Team. This particular “attack” is so stupid that I resisted writing an answer to it for a long time, thinking that it would go away. Alas, there seems to be mo end to the stupidity of the centrist CorpDems and #StillWithering Hive Queen Holdovers that are still out there. Continue reading

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Anti-Bernie Smear #11: “Bernie is Pro-NRA, Pro-Gun, voted 5 times against the Brady Bill, etc.”

First, let’s be clear: Bernie is no fan of the NRA. Moreover, Bernie is by no means the most pro-gun Democrat out there. Indeed, throughout most of his career, Bernie has had a solid “F” from the NRA.

Bernie has also received a Distinction from Mike Bloomberg’s own organization, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund.

In addition, Bernie has been endorsed by the March For Our Lives anti-gun violence group that was formed in the wake of the Parkland shootings.

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This is Neoliberalism, Part V: the false promise of “Choice”

Beware of politicians, pundits and experts who say they support consumer “choice”  — that word does not mean what you think it means.

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This is Neoliberalism, Part IV: The Military Industrial Complex and the Big Lie Exposed

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Anti-Bernie Smear #22: “Bernie is an Anti-Semite”

To many people this may seem like an unlikely or even a silly smear, given that Bernie is Jewish, given that he lost his family in the Holocaust, and given that he actually lived and worked on a Kibbutz in Israel. But believe me, this is a serious smear, and the fact that serious people will level this kind of attack says more about the state of discourse surrounding Israel, Judaism and the definition of Antisemitism than it does about Bernie Sanders. Continue reading

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