Ukrainian glamor magazine to tour Europe with exhibition featuring neo-Nazi fighter (VIDEO)
Called ‘Winners’, the photo exhibition was prepared by the Ukrainian fashion magazine VIVA and television channel TSN, both belonging to the same media holding ‘1+1’, owned by oligarch Igor Kolomoysky. It features as models 18 men and one woman who sustained debilitating injuries while fighting for Kiev against rebel forces in the east and are learning to live with prosthetics.
One of the photos shows a man with a bare torso delivering a kick with his prosthetic leg. Stretching across his chest is a colored tattoo of a skull and a swastika. Not shown in the picture are his other tattoos, including the German Nazi emblem with a black eagle above a wreath with a swastika.
The public demonstration of Nazi symbols during the work on the project was apparently not restricted to tattoos. In an interview with TSN, the fighter-turned-model is wearing a jumpsuit with the insignia of 3rd SS Panzer Division Totenkopf, a Nazi unit infamous for slaughtering 97 British POWs during the Battle for France, among other war crimes.
The man’s name is Viktor Vasyanovich and he served in one of the volunteer battalions affiliated with the right-wing Right Sector group. He lost his leg after stepping on a mine in June last year. The Nazi tattoos were inked sometime in August, judging by the photos published on his page in the social network VKontakte (In Contact).
Vasyanovich doesn’t bother to hide his sympathies for Nazism in his posts. Images of glamorous girls in Nazi symbols, Nazi memorabilia and historic photos of German officials with attempted humorous comments like “bring me back to my 1939” are mingled with macho stuff like guns, knives and crude sex jokes. His comrades shown in some photos appear to share the attitude.
In one of his comments about the cost in lives that Hitler’s ambitions put on the world, he joked about regretting that he and his friends couldn’t beat the Nazi leader’s grim record because too few people lived in eastern Ukraine.
Apparently Ukraine is drifting from ignoring the presence of neo-Nazis and right-wing radicals in the ranks of its troops, dismissing all reports about it as Russian propaganda, towards actually glorifying them.
After the exhibition was brought to the European Parliament in Belgium and provoked a scandal, 1+1 said all reports about Vasyanovich’s Nazi sympathies were “fabrications and attempts to derail” the show. The man himself said his tattoos and Nazi-related posts were meant “to troll the militants, who call us Nazis.”