‘Delta’ has headed ‘the Blue Helmets of Maidan’ of 40 men and women – including several IDF veterans – in violent clashes with government forces.
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.” (MC->Hakadosh Baruch Hu = God)
IMO, this guy is genuine, if so, who were the snipers? And if he’s being insincere – what is the intent? Yeah, I’ve thought of the mossad but they’re not acting alone.
Who stands to gain?
“There is now stronger and stronger understanding that behind the snipers, it was not Yanukovich, but it was somebody from the new coalition,” Urmas Paet said during the conversation.
“I think we do want to investigate. I mean, I didn’t pick that up, that’s interesting. Gosh,” Ashton answered.
The call took place after Estonia’s Foreign Minister Urmas Paet visited Kiev on February 25, following the peak of clashes between the pro-EU protesters and security forces in the Ukrainian capital.
Paet also recalled his conversation with a doctor who treated those shot by snipers in Kiev. She said that both protesters and police were shot at by the same people.
“And second, what was quite disturbing, this same Olga [Bogomolets] told as well that all the evidence shows that the people who were killed by snipers from both sides, among policemen and then people from the streets, that they were the same snipers killing people from both sides,” the Estonian FM stressed.
Ashton reacted to the information by saying: “Well, yeah…that’s, that’s terrible.”
“So that she then also showed me some photos she said that as a medical doctor she can say that it is the same handwriting, the same type of bullets, and it’s really disturbing that now the new coalition, that they don’t want to investigate what exactly happened,” Paet said.
Olga Bogomolets was the main doctor for the Maidan mobile clinic when protests turned violent in Kiev. She treated the gravely injured and helped organized their transportation to neighboring countries, who had expressed a willingness to treat those with severe wounds. From the outset, Olga blamed the injuries and deaths on snipers. She turned down the position of Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine for Humanitarian Affairs offered by the coup-appointed regime.
Yes, this report is from a Russian Source, and the West has -> These 6 Corporations Control 90% Of The Media In America (the illusion of choice)) while the UK has the BBC…Germany has Speigel… and so on – but Olga Bogomolets doesn’t appear to have anything to gain, in fact, when she was offered a lucrative job by the oligarch usupers she turned them down.
I haven’t seen Urmas Paet’ name pop-up in any of the listings of the lobbyists for a European Union with Ukraine or any other “government-oligarch” – “councils” – “institutes” – “think tanks” – and on the recording he appeared concerned about those injured – whereas Ashton….
The similarities between the extreme left and the extreme right in the false political paradigm which highlights a pattern of collectivism. Collectivism is the opposite of individualism and believes that the interests of the individual must be sacrificed for the greater good of the greater number which unites the doctrines of communism and fascism. For example, the Republican and Democrat parties in the US are both committed to advancing collectivism which is why the same policies are followed no matter whose voted into the White House – endless wars for one…
Himmler visiting I.B. Farben
“”Far from crushing the individual, the Fascist State multiplies his energies, just as in a regiment a soldier is not diminished but multiplied by the number of his fellow soldiers.
“”The unity of a nation’s spirit and will are worth far more than the freedom of the spirit and will of an individual; and that the higher interests involved in the life of the whole must here set the limits and lay down the duties of the interests of the individual.
Also see the – horseshoe theory
Nazi = National Workers German Socialist Party
Benito Mussolini was the Founder of Fascism and a life-long dedicated Marxist. Mussolini declined to have Italian Communism controlled by Moscow and thus formed the Fascisti after a falling-out with Lenin. Italy under Mussolini was typically Socialist with a centrally planned economy under a one-party government – exactly like Germany under Hitler. Like Stalin, Mussolini’s Socialism was “All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.” Hitler and Mussolini underscored their opposition to Internationalism – that is, Communism controlled by Moscow – by uniting under the banner of the Anti-Comintern Pact. Hitler, of course, was also a Socialist. If you doubt this, take a look at his soul mate, Ernst Roehm – Hitler’s immediate superior in the War and his politics are indistinguishable from those of the KPD. Hitler and Roehm were close comrades because of their shared political philosophies until the ‘Night of the Long Knives’ when Hitler sent best friend, Roehm, to Socialist heaven. Like Mussolini’s Italy, Hitler’s Germany was a centrally planned economy, under a one-party state. “All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state,” – in short: Socialism.
Bottomline: Orwell wrote…
“Everyone believes in the atrocities of the enemy and disbelieves in those of his own side, without ever bothering to examine the evidence. Recently I drew up a table of atrocities during the period between 1918 and the present; there was never a year when atrocities were not occurring somewhere or other, and there was hardly a single case when the Left and the Right believed in the same stories simultaneously. And stranger yet, at any moment the situation can suddenly reverse itself and yesterday’s proved-to-the-hilt atrocity story can become a ridiculous lie, merely because the political landscape has changed.”
I bring the “horseshoe theory” up oft-times because one is inclined to take a side and defend it to it’s core thus preventing the removal of the misty veil from ones eyes – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dialectic
…”On May 7, 1933, just two months after the inauguration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the New York Times reporter Anne O’Hare McCormick wrote that the atmosphere in Washington was “strangely reminiscent of Rome in the first weeks after the march of the Blackshirts, of Moscow at the beginning of the Five-Year Plan.… America today literally asks for orders.” The Roosevelt administration (MC->as did the Wilson administration), she added, “envisages a federation of industry, labor and government after the fashion of the corporative State as it exists in Italy.”
That article isn’t quoted in Three New Deals, a fascinating study by the German cultural historian Wolfgang Schivelbusch. But it underscores his central argument: that there are surprising similarities between the programs of Roosevelt, Mussolini, and Hitler.”….
The USA is getting most of the heat since they’re currently the “power leader in cahoots” but the (Continental European) German-House of Orange and the (European) German-House of Windsor have a lot to answer for…