The ex-Israeli soldier who led a Kiev fighting unit

01 Mar

fascistes juifs

‘Delta’ has headed ‘the Blue Helmets of Maidan’ of 40 men and women – including several IDF veterans – in violent clashes with government forces.

By JTA | Feb. 28, 2014 | 10:43 PM | 7

Delta, the nom de guerre of the Jewish commander of a Ukrainian street-fighting unit.

Delta, the nom de guerre of the Jewish commander of a Ukrainian street-fighting unit, is pictured in Kiev earlier this month. Photo by Courtesy

He calls his troops “the Blue Helmets of Maidan,” but brown is the color of the headgear worn by Delta — the nom de guerre of the commander of a Jewish-led militia force that participated in the Ukrainian revolution. Under his helmet, he also wears a kippah.

Delta, a Ukraine-born former soldier in the Israel Defense Forces, spoke to JTA Thursday on condition of anonymity. He explained how he came to use combat skills he acquired in the Shu’alei Shimshon reconnaissance battalion of the Givati infantry brigade to rise through the ranks of Kiev’s street fighters. He has headed a force of 40 men and women — including several fellow IDF veterans — in violent clashes with government forces.

Several Ukrainian Jews, including Rabbi Moshe Azman, one of the country’s claimants to the title of chief rabbi, confirmed Delta’s identity and role in the still-unfinished revolution.

The “Blue Helmets” nickname, a reference to the UN peacekeeping force, stuck after Delta’s unit last month prevented a mob from torching a building occupied by Ukrainian police, he said. “There were dozens of officers inside, surrounded by 1,200 demonstrators who wanted to burn them alive,” he recalled. “We intervened and negotiated their safe passage.”

The problem, he said, was that the officers would not leave without their guns, citing orders. Delta told JTA his unit reasoned with the mob to allow the officers to leave with their guns. “It would have been a massacre, and that was not an option,” he said.

The Blue Helmets comprise 35 men and women who are not Jewish, and who are led by five ex-IDF soldiers, says Delta, an Orthodox Jew in his late 30s who regularly prays at Azman’s Brodsky Synagogue. He declined to speak about his private life.

Delta, who immigrated to Israel in the 1990s, moved back to Ukraine several years ago and has worked as a businessman. He says he joined the protest movement as a volunteer on November 30, after witnessing violence by government forces against student protesters.

“I saw unarmed civilians with no military background being ground by a well-oiled military machine, and it made my blood boil,” Delta told JTA in Hebrew laced with military jargon. “I joined them then and there, and I started fighting back the way I learned how, through urban warfare maneuvers. People followed, and I found myself heading a platoon of young men. Kids, really.”

The other ex-IDF infantrymen joined the Blue Helmets later after hearing it was led by a fellow vet, Delta said.

As platoon leader, Delta says he takes orders from activists connected to Svoboda, an ultra-nationalist party that has been frequently accused of anti-Semitism and whose members have been said to have had key positions in organizing the opposition protests.

“I don’t belong [to Svoboda], but I take orders from their team. They know I’m Israeli, Jewish and an ex-IDF soldier. They call me ‘brother,’” he said. “What they’re saying about Svoboda is exaggerated, I know this for a fact. I don’t like them because they’re inconsistent, not because of [any] anti-Semitism issue.”

The commanding position of Svoboda in the revolution is no secret, according to Ariel Cohen, a senior research fellow at the Washington D.C.-based Heritage Foundation think tank.

“The driving force among the so-called white sector in the Maidan are the nationalists, who went against the SWAT teams and snipers who were shooting at them,” Cohen told JTA.

Still, many Jews supported the revolution and actively participated in it.

Earlier this week, an interim government was announced ahead of election scheduled for May, including ministers from several minority groups.

Volodymyr Groysman, a former mayor of the city of Vinnytsia and the newly appointed deputy prime minister for regional policy, is a Jew, Rabbi Azman said.

“There are no signs for concern yet,” said Cohen, “but the West needs to make it clear to Ukraine that how it is seen depends on how minorities are treated.”

On Wednesday, Russian State Duma Chairman Sergey Naryshkin said Moscow was concerned about anti-Semitic declarations by radical groups in Ukraine.

But Delta says the Kremlin is using the anti-Semitism card falsely to delegitimize the Ukrainian revolution, which is distancing Ukraine from Russia’s sphere of influence.

“It’s bullshit. I never saw any expression of anti-Semitism during the protests, and the claims to the contrary were part of the reason I joined the movement. We’re trying to show that Jews care,” he said.

Still, Delta’s reasons for not revealing his name betray his sense of feeling like an outsider. “If I were Ukrainian, I would have been a hero. But for me it’s better to not reveal my name if I want to keep living here in peace and quiet,” he said.

Fellow Jews have criticized him for working with Svoboda. “Some asked me if instead of ‘Shalom’ they should now greet me with a ‘Sieg heil.’ I simply find it laughable,” he said. But he does have frustrations related to being an outsider. “Sometimes I tell myself, ‘What are you doing? This is not your army. This isn’t even your country.’”

He recalls feeling this way during one of the fiercest battles he experienced, which took place last week at Institutskaya Street and left 12 protesters dead. “The snipers began firing rubber bullets at us. I fired back from my rubber-bullet rifle,” Delta said.

“Then they opened live rounds, and my friend caught a bullet in his leg. They shot at us like at a firing range. I wasn’t ready for a last stand. I carried my friend and ordered my troops to fall back. They’re scared kids. I gave them some cash for phone calls and told them to take off their uniform and run away until further instructions. I didn’t want to see anyone else die that day.”

Currently, the Blue Helmets are carrying out police work that include patrols and preventing looting and vandalism in a city of 3 million struggling to climb out of the chaos that engulfed it for the past three months.

But Delta has another, more ambitious, project: He and Azman are organizing the airborne evacuation of seriously wounded protesters — none of them Jewish — for critical operations in Israel. One of the patients, a 19-year-old woman, was wounded at Institutskaya by a bullet that penetrated her eye and is lodged inside her brain, according to Delta. Azman says he hopes the plane of 17 patients will take off next week, with funding from private donors and with help from Ukraine’s ambassador to Israel.

“The doctor told me that another millimeter to either direction and she would be dead,” Delta said. “And I told him it was the work of Hakadosh Baruch Hu.”


Delta, nom de guerre du commandant juif d’une unité se battant avec la rue ukrainienne, à Kiev au début du mois. Photo par Courtoisie

Il appelle ses troupes « les Casques Bleus de Maidan, » mais le brun est la couleur du couvre-chef porté par Delta – le nom de guerre du commandant d’une force de milice Juive qui a participé à la révolution ukrainienne. Sous son casque, il porte aussi une kippah.

Delta, un ancien soldat né en Ukraine a servi dans l’armée de défense d’Israël, il a parlé à jeudi JTA sous couvert d’anonymat. Il a expliqué comment il est venu là pour utiliser des compétences de combat acquises dans le Shu’alei Shimshon le bataillon de reconnaissance de la brigade d’infanterie Givati, pour rejoindre les rangs des combattants de la rue de Kiev. Il a été à la tête d’une force de 40 hommes et femmes – incluant plusieurs vétérans IDF pairs – dans les assauts les plus violents avec les forces gouvernementales.

Plusieurs Juifs ukrainiens, y compris le Rabbin Moshe Azman, un des prétendants du pays au titre de grand rabbin, ont confirmé l’identité de Delta et son rôle dans la révolution encore inachevée.

« Les Casques Bleus » le surnom, une référence à la force de maintien de la paix de L’ONU, coincé après l’unité du Delta le mois dernier ont empêché une foule de mettre le feu à un bâtiment occupé par la police ukrainienne, il a dit. « Il y avait des douzaines d’officiers à l’intérieur, entourés par 1,200 manifestants qui ont voulu les brûler vivant, » s’est-il souvenu. « Nous sommes intervenu et nous avons négocié leur passage en lieu sûr. »

Le problème, était que les officiers ne voulaient pas partirsans leurs armes à feu, selon les ordres reçus. Delta a dit avec son unité JTA a raisonné la foule afin de permettre aux officiers de partir avec leurs armes à feu. « Cela aurait été un massacre et ce n’était pas l’option, » a-t-il dit

Les Casques Bleus comprennent 35 hommes et femmes qui ne sont pas juifs et qui sont dirigés par cinq soldats ex-IDF, dit Delta, un Juif Orthodoxe né vers la fin des années 30 qui prie régulièrement à la Synagogue Brodsky d’Azman. Il a refusé de parler de sa vie privée.

Delta, qui a immigré en Israël dans les années 1990, est retourné en Ukraine il y a plusieurs années et est devenu un homme d’affaires. Il dit qu’il a rejoint le mouvement de protestation comme un volontaire le 30 novembre, après la violence témoignée par des forces gouvernementales contre des manifestants d’étudiant.

« J’ai vu des civils non désarmés sans formation militaire étant brisés par une machine militaire bien huilée et cela m’a mis le sang en ébullition » a dit Delta JTA en Hébreu matiné de jargon militaire. « Je les ai rejoints séance tenante et j’ai commencé la résistance de la façon que j’ai appris dans les manoeuvres de guerrillas urbaines. Des gens m’ont suivis et je me suis trouvé à la tête d’un bataillon de jeunes encore enfants, réellement »

Les autres soldats de ex-IDF se sont joints aux Casques Bleus plus tard après qu’ils aient entendu un compagnon véterinaire leur en parler a expliqué Delta.

Comme leader du peloton, Delta dit qu’il prend ses ordres des activistes liés à Svoboda, un parti ultra-nationaliste qui était fréquemment accusé d’antisémitisme et dont on a dit que ses membres ont eu des positions clés dans l’organisation des manifestations d’opposition.

« Je n’appartiens pas [à Svoboda], mais je prends des ordres de leur équipe. Ils savent que je suis israélien, juif et un soldat ex-IDF. Ils m’appellent ‘ le frère, ‘ » il a dit. « Ce qu’on dit de Svoboda est exagéré, je le sais avec certitude. Je ne les aime pas parce qu’ils sont incohérents, pas à cause [de n’importe quelle] question d’antisémitisme. »

La position dominante de Svoboda dans la révolution n’a rien de secret, selon Ariel Cohen, un maître de recherche the Washington D.C.-based Heritage Foundation think tank.

« L’élément moteur dans le secteur prétendu blanc dans le Maidan est les nationalistes, qui sont allés contre les équipes de SWAT et les tireurs isolés qui tiraient sur eux, » Cohen parle de JTA.

Cependant, beaucoup de Juifs ont soutenu la révolution et y ont activement participé.

Plus tôt cette semaine, un gouvernement provisoire a été annoncé en avance de l’élection prévue pour mai, y compris des ministres de plusieurs groupes minoritaires.


1 commentaire

Publié par le mars 1, 2014 dans Uncategorized


Une réponse à “The ex-Israeli soldier who led a Kiev fighting unit

Votre commentaire

Entrez vos coordonnées ci-dessous ou cliquez sur une icône pour vous connecter:


Vous commentez à l’aide de votre compte Déconnexion /  Changer )

Image Twitter

Vous commentez à l’aide de votre compte Twitter. Déconnexion /  Changer )

Photo Facebook

Vous commentez à l’aide de votre compte Facebook. Déconnexion /  Changer )

Connexion à %s

%d blogueurs aiment cette page :